Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Some sobering thoughts

In the last post I remarked about the American Cancer Society statistic that only 8% of patients with Stage 4 renal carcinoma survive past 5 years. So there you are. My focus is to be among the 8%! 

But attitude is so important. On a daily basis I tell myself - "I am going to beat this thing, and if it is unbeatable, I am still going to beat this thing. Conversely if it is really on the way out and I have nothing left to beat, I am going to behave as if and continue to beat it anyway!

On Wednesday June 8 I had my appointment with Dr A Fairey, my surgeon of much renown (he brought me back from death's door, that's why). Two or three times he remarked how good and healthy I looked. And I told him that my weight was within a pound or two of my weight when I returned from the hospital in mid December. I was 179 then, and I am 178 this morning for example.

However, here is the sobering thought. He finished his few remarks with saying in effect that my recovery was proceeding very well, and he was pleased that I was not on any medication or chemotherapy "yet". Yikes! The yet-word is scary. In other words he expects is to come back, even if it hasn't shown any growth "yet," which is in keeping with all I have read so far about renal carcinoma - it often recurs within two years of seeming remission, and that it is resistant to chemotherapy.

So I continue my rant about chemotherapy and radiation. These treatment protocols are meant to reduce the size of tumours and slow their growth, rather than to kill the cancer cells that cause the tumour growth in the first place through epigenetics (the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself) to bring about programmed cell death or apoptosis. However it is true that the latest chemo-therapies like Sunitinib do work with the immune system to help target cancer cells. At least that is my understanding.

The whole idea of epigenetics is that we can control our genetic expression through out own biology. Our genes built us but how they are expressed to cause or control disease for example is up to us. Just a few minutes ago I received a notification from Hay House by email of new publications that address this very issue (see: http://links.hayhouse.mkt5657.com/servlet/MailView?ms=NTE1OTc0MTAS1&r=MTk1NDU1MDk5MjAxS0&j=OTQxODc4ODgxS0&mt=1&rt=0).

There are two aspects to my health regimen right now. One is to improve and protect the health of my remaining kidney and the other is to kill the clear cell renal carcinoma. I am tackling kidney health through mitochondria-targeted antioxidants like Coenzyme Q10 and R-Lipoic acid (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21356165). I am also steering away from red meats, pork especially and processed meats of all kinds to help kidney function. I am concentrating on fish and chicken products and poached or boiled eggs for protein. Eggs are not a cholesterol problem I am told if they are cooked at low boiling temperatures (boiled or poached, NOT fried or scrambled).

And oh yes, there is the problem of the GFR rating which is supposed to be above 60, where as my remaining kidney has had a number generally between 35 and 40. at Cross Cancer Institute they will not give the intra-venous enhancing radiological stuff to improve the deatail in a CT scan if the GFR is below 40. Dr Fairey, who is an expert in kidney health, says as long as this number is greater than 30 he is not worried. So my goal with the super antioxidants help is to increase that GFR thing to above 40. Just to jog memories mine included eGFR is short for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Your eGFR is a number based on your blood test for creatinine, a waste product in your blood. It tells how well your kidneys are working

The key things about killing the cancer cells is choosing foods with a low glycemic index to help lower sugar as a fuel for cancer cells, and to boost my immune system by taking zinc to improve thymus health (the thymus produces the cancer-killing T-cells) and injecting Iscador which helps the immune system target cancer cells as well (see: http://www.oicc.ca/uploads/mistletoe-health-professional.pdf)

To close this post, here is a neat video showing how T-cells attack and kill cancer cells: https://m.reddit.com/r/gifs/comments/4lcqko/tcell_killing_a_cancer_cell/ . Really neat how you can take videos with a microscope!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Sobering thoughts - but hope and joy are necessary

I am not out of the woods yet, just a burst of sunshine in a clearing! I decided to search out kidney survival rates and here is what I found: 

Survival rates by AJCC TNM stage
Stage5-Year Survival Rate

Survival rates for kidney cancer by stage - American Cancer Society


Kind of looks dire, doesn't it? And they also say that regression of kidney cancer after removal of a kidney is "extremely rare". So although my cancer seems to be receding I cannot relax my nutritional vigil.

Today I am travelling to Edmonton for a follow-up appointment with Dr A Fairey, the surgeon who saved my life on December 06, 2015. One of my interests will be to ask him how to improve the health of the one kidney that I still have. That must be considered seriously so that I can have the intravenous when I have my next CT scan which will be August 23, 2016, 2 1/2 months away now.

I now have my Feb 3 and May 16 radiologist's reports, and I have compared them with considerable wonder to the report of Dec 3, 2015 just before my operation. Yes, it is a wonder that I am alive and quite well. More about that in the next blog entry.

One of my favourite books has become Nina Joy's "Adventures of a Cancer Maverick". I think her surname, Joy, is interesting because joy is one of her main ingredients for healing and long-term survival. Here is the cover for her book just in case you are interested in finding a copy: 

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