This was one tremendous shift in my learning. All of the head knowledge I had attained over the past decade was largely for nought for me. But it was not a waste of my time. It was all part of the trail of breadcrumbs that I can now see in hindsight. If you had pointed me to Kurt’s website when I was first diagnosed, I would’ve looked at it, sure. But I would’ve immediately scoffed and moved on like many people do. I would not have been ready for it. But God had been working on me in so many ways, slowly, insistently, subtly cracking open my mind tiny bit by tiny bit.
But then there’s that exorbitant price tag. Sure. But let me explain two things. First, have you ever seen an explanation of benefits for a chemo infusion? Yeah, just one little infusion costs way more than an entire day with Kurt or Kris. And once is never enough with chemo. Secondly, thanks to my work with Louis, now I knew how much of a toll it takes on the healer to focus precious energy that intensely, into another person’s body, for that extreme an amount of time. And then to get up and do it all over again? Plus the travel and constantly being away from his own family? I don’t know. The man gave me my life back in a miraculous way and, in my opinion, that was worth every dime.
From a rigidly Christian perspective, those Christians who put limits on God … like I used to be … this might have been an evil thing and one that could jeopardize my very soul. Dark energy … evil. I mentioned that to Kurt once. He threw his head back and laughed and said, “How could healing a brain tumor in a 12-year-old ever be evil?” Ya know, he had me there. There was no evil in my getting well … none whatsoever. And thankfully my soul is still in my body. If I hadn’t taken God out of His box two-and-a-half years ago, I’m not sure I would be able to say that now.
And now I was on weekly chemotherapy. That evil chemotherapy. It cannot heal anything. Its sole mission is to destroy. But my life was being restored to me in ways I had forgotten about. My energy and stamina picked up, as well as my strength. The previous summer, I had such muscle weakness, I couldn’t even groom my horse. But now I was out there grooming, playing with, riding … and I even had two camping weekends over the summer! What a glorious miracle that was! Statistically speaking, chemotherapy gives tumor shrinkage, but that doesn’t always equate to increased time on the planet. So the benefits, IMO, are typically not worth the side effects. But such was not the case for me at all. Once more, a miracle was happening in my world. I would’ve been dead by this time, so this chemo definitely was extending life in my case.
My oncologist is a hoot. Here he had talked me into all this therapy that he knew was not the way I roll … and I was coming back to life before his very eyes. Months later, he asked me, “Did you think we’d ever see this day?” I was doing so well and I told him no. He said, “Yeah, I wasn’t too sure either. Not sure at all.” Ooooooh I wish he had never told me that. Now I know he has a serious poker face and we might need to make a tough decision together again one day. Sure wish I didn’t know that part. But he humors me like a kind grandfather and acts as though he thinks the things I come up with are … well … probably more eccentric than ridiculous. I guess, once one is four years past one’s expiration date, he can afford to let me run wherever I please. He asks thoughtful questions about each and every modality I throw at him. And then he says, “Whatever.” The last time he said that to me, I told him, “Seriously? Are you really going to say that to me? You know I don’t respond like anyone else does.” He had been walking out of the room and he whipped back around and said, “I know I say whatever. But I also say I can’t argue with success and success is what is standing right in front of me.” Guess he shut me up!
So what lesson could I take away from all of this conventional vs alternative experience? The first time around, I nearly destroyed myself with toxic treatments. I will never have pectoral muscles again from radiation to both sides of my chest. Secondary cancers are a huge risk as well. Then I started reading and went to the opposite end of the spectrum and would not entertain anything remotely smacking of conventional cancer treatment. It was toxic; it was deadly; it didn’t heal. But here I was feeling better than I had felt for years. Here’s my big lesson. Yes, chemotherapy is toxic and natural therapies are not. I still would not use chemotherapy as my “go to” stance in treating cancer. My opinion is that chemo is extreme and should be used in extreme cases. For me, it is a tool and should be used as such.
The way the conventional world typically treats metastatic patients goes like this. They consider metastatic cancer incurable. So they don’t really try because now it becomes a fine line between quality of life and extending your life. They don’t give you the extreme, “curative” doses of chemotherapy because it will make you really sick and won’t cure you anyway. It becomes a balancing act. They typically will not give you chemo cocktails (mixtures of drugs) now because they’re more difficult. Now you get single agent chemos, for the most part, which are easier, but may not hurt your cancer as badly … not curing you, but keeping you alive a bit longer. And when your cancer outsmarts the drug you are using, and it always does once it is metastatic, you move to another drug. Until you run out of options.
I didn’t want to live that life. I have learned that I have a pretty decent intuition in what to pursue and what not to pursue in my therapy. I am slowly learning to trust that and not be afraid of it. I have learned that when the fight has you on the ropes and your opponent pummeling the crap out of your face, you have two choices. You can either go down for the count, or you can unleash something extreme to get that opponent off you so you can get back in the fight. A tool to be used selectively. Unleash it, back off the enemy, then resume your style of fighting.