Everything I do to heal

This is my belly during acupuncture which I get for digestion and back pain. Dr. Wang adds electrodes to the needles for extra activation.

I’ve watched all of the Bourne movies at least 50 times. My favorite thing about Jason Bourne is that he is never a victim. Even when they try to assassinate him, he doesn’t run away. He confidently heads TOWARD the shooter. He doesn’t hide. He doesn’t wallow. He doesn’t cower in fear. He confidently flips the situation to his advantage.

Dorky, I know but movies like this help my mental state. It’s so easy to get down these days. SO EASY. 

I want to head towards cancer and the havoc it caused my body.

I want to challenge it. 

CONQUER IT.

More than anything, I want to prove the doctors wrong.

I love proving doctors wrong.

When I asked the gastroenterologist how to prevent bowel obstructions last summer after my hospitalization, he said “there isn’t anything you can do, with the amount of surgery you’ve had, you WILL have more obstructions and end up in the hospital again.”

Never saw that dude again.

Since I’ll be covering how I’m trying to fix my battered body – and prevent more cancer – I thought I’d share an overview on everything I do to heal.

THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE! I work very closely with a nutritionist, naturopathic doctor, oncologists, medical doctors, massage specialists and acupuncturists to make decisions regarding my case.

Also, everyone is so different. Healing requires many, many science experiments. I try to change only one variable at a time so I can accurately assess the results. People think alternative medicine is “woo-woo.” Quite the contrary. I evaluate progress using special functional medicine labs and my detailed lab notes. I create formulas X (diet) + Y (supplements + Z (treatments) = outcome.

You can do this too. We’ll get to that later though. For now, my Healing List:

1) Weekly acupuncture :: It helped a lot during chemo and currently, I get it for digestion, sleep, hormone issues, anxiety (yes, you can get needles for that!) and back pain. They believe I’ll get better which is important for my mindset.

2) Visceral massage :: A relaxing belly massage with a highly trained specialist helps prevent bowel obstructions. I took two weeks off in July and a couple months off last winter and I was in pain and partially obstructed both times – all the proof I need.

3) IV fluids :: I get IV fluids twice per week because I can’t stay hydrated on my own. This causes fatigue, back pain and bowel obstructions. We theorize this is due to lack of colon and adrenal fatigue. The hot, dry weather in San Diego didn’t help. 

3) Supplementation :: I take over 20 supplements per day. I have a highly qualified naturopathic doctor and nutritionist closely monitoring my cellular levels of minerals and vitamins using a special lab called Spectracell. Nothing I take is random.

4) Special diet :: After a LOT of trial, error, and pain, my “safe” diet includes chicken broth, eggs, avocado, fish, sweet potato and coconut based products – a moist/mashed diet to prevent bowel obstructions. Losing 4 organs caused a lot of scar tissue – and I’ve always had a sensitive gut.  

5) Herbal tea :: A Seattle shop called The Herbalist sells a wonderful loose-leaf tea called Tummy-Ease Tea which I drink every night. It contains: peppermint leaf, flax seed, marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, orange peel, fennel seed and ginger root.

6) Stretching :: I have to stretch every night to help with pain and digestion.

7) Meds :: I take daily thyroid meds. My sister and dad who have had cancer due to Lynch Syndrome are also on these meds. Not sure if it’s related but it’s interesting to consider.

8) Hormone replacements :: I was nowhere near menopause when they removed my ovaries at age 42. Currently, I take 1.5mg synthetic estrogen, .5 bio-identical estrogen, 100mg progesterone. I’m still tweaking bio-identical testosterone.

BULLSHIT ALERT: it’s b.s. how menopausal symptoms are blown off. Even though I went through it instantaneously, I still had to hunt down the data on hormone replacement beyond estrogen. I’m pretty sure dudes also don’t get info as their hormones change with age. Sex hormones impact way more than libido. They regulate our energy, sleep, muscle tone, skin, etc. A lot of “you’re just aging” symptoms can be addressed safely and cheaply with hormone replacements. More to come on this.

Healing of this magnitude is a full-time job.

I have to work 300% (500%? 700%?) harder than the average person to maintain 40-50% normal bodily function. Without these interventions…well, I don’t like to think about it. Plus, I know all of this prevents more cancer – my body needs every chance possible.

I’m working on seeing more practitioners in upcoming months. I feel lucky to live in Seattle and have a background in nutrition and alternative medicine.

That’s why I’m sharing here. Everyone deserves this information. Mainstream medicine often (not always) expects us to sit back and be passive participants.

I refuse to sit back and wonder what’s going to happen.

I try to evoke Jason Bourne. Chase down that which is trying to conquer me.

Instead, I will conquer it.