I am not a doctor.
I am not a nurse.
I am merely an advocate. A daughter who stood by her Father’s side and supported him through a cancer diagnosis. There is much I have learned and much I am still learning.
It was no secret that Dad was passionate about alternative cancer treatments and holistic health. Days after his passing, I began to question everything that he and I experienced and so strongly believed in. Were all of the studies we read not actually factual? Were those amazing doctors we met in Mexico just mistaken? Were all of the people we talked to who were seeing incredible results by healing themselves just having a rare unexplained remission? What about all of those small changes we were seeing in Dad? Were we just fooling ourselves? From the things we learned about detoxification, root canals, vitamin D, greens, juicing, recall therapy, B17, nutrition, immunotherapy… were we completely off track with all of that? I mean, we did everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. He spared no expense and was willing to try anything, regardless of how simple or bogus it may have seemed. There was never a part of me that ever thought that Dad would ultimately be “beat” by cancer. But there I was. I mean how could I deny what was now my reality? The proof was right in front of me… or was it?
All of my doubting came to an abrupt halt on September 4th, twelve days after Dad’s passing. The day we received Dad’s death certificate and the “final report” from Cleveland Clinic. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes; Cause of death: Sepsis.
My mind began to race and wonder how could this be? I had so many unanswered questions. I needed to know who determined his cause of death and the status of his cancer. After a few phone calls and reviewing Dad’s “final report” my questions were answered. The Doctor explained to me that after reviewing all of Dad’s records the only conclusion they could come up with was sepsis. Dad’s cancer hadn’t changed much since his scans at the end of March. The bone cancer, which was our primary focus with alternative methods was completely stable. There were a few lesions on his lungs that they were concerned about and something new in the space between the liver and right kidney, but nothing that seemed life threatening, just something they were keeping an eye on. All of Dad’s major organs were great and the cancer didn’t seem to be out of control. Obviously, what we had been doing since that scan was working.
In December of 2017, after Dad’s Radical Cystectomy (a surgery where a doctor removes your bladder and some of the lymph nodes near your bladder and then rebuilds your urinary system), they immediately declared him cancer-free. Within three months, the Doctors said it had spread and there was no way to stop it. On March 15th, they were giving him two months to live. Dad just never seemed to ‘bounce back’ after surgery. The super vibrant man we knew to be full of passion and zeal started to become weak and fragile. He started developing UTI’s and then steadily began battling constant infections that became more serious after the discovery of a fistula. ( an abnormal connection between two hollow spaces (technically, two epithelialized surfaces), such as blood vessels, intestines, or other hollow organs. Fistulas are usually caused by injury or surgery.) We know that this is most likely a result of his surgery considering they took a section of Dad’s small intestine to create an Ileal Conduit which diverts the urine to an artificial bladder called a stoma. The only way to try to stop the infections would have been to have another surgery. This type of surgery alone is already risky for cancer patients and 61% of patients actually needed surgical re-intervention after receiving an ileal conduit.
I felt like I was doing people a great injustice by not informing them of what we had learned about Dad’s death. Many of us assumed that Dad’s passing was a direct result of the cancer, but we can confidently say that Dad’s efforts were not vain.
There is so much more I want to share, but right now I just want to be an encouragement to anyone struggling with cancer or another disease. There is hope. I know Dad would want me to continue to encourage others to look for answers, and to be open and willing to try anything. It was working for him and it can work for you.
I created this blog back in May because I wanted to share all the information I had been learning in regards to holistic health and becoming whole; physically, mentally and spiritually. I always pictured my first public post to be a celebration declaring Dad as cancer-free. I guess I can still celebrate and declare that Dad is now cancer-free – I’m just having to look at things a little differently.
I plan to continue with this blog and use it as a tribute to my Dad and also to encourage others.
Take responsibility for your health. Be Well. Be Whole. #thereisabetterway