Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scan Results Day!

PET scan from 2010
I had my 3rd PET scan on Monday.  I did not have "scanitis" as much this time as I did for my previous CT scans.  Something about PET scans makes them more meaningful to me than the CT scans do.  Perhaps it is because of the 3 PET scans I have had only one of them was not so great (the first one that showed all of the tumors in my liver).  Here is a picture of the first PET scan I had done back in March of 2010, shortly after I was diagnosed with CC.  You can clearly see the giant lump protruding from my abdomen.  It is even pushing my stomach out because it is so massive.  This is where I was told that I most likely only had anywhere from 5 months to a year to live.

Scan #2 from August 2011
The second PET scan was quite a bit different looking from this one.  This scan was from August 2011, 17 months after my diagnosis.  This is the scan where the radiological oncologist was astounded that in just 17 months I was able to somehow get rid of the cancer that others predicted I was most likely destined to die from.  This is the scan that blew us all away as there were still masses of tumors in my liver but all of them were "dead" or no longer cellularly active.  You can see that the giant mass of tumors in my abdomen is no longer there.

Scan from March 2012

THIS is the scan from this recent Monday.  This scan was performed at another place.  Normally I got my PET scans done at the Good Samaritan hospital in downtown Portland.  This time the scan was performed at my cancer clinic.  I am not sure if this is why the scan looks so different, or if it just looks so different because things are just that much better, but I am going to take it at face value.  In comparison to the other two scans this one looks AMAZING to me!  To me this scan looks like "Um...where is the cancer?"  To me this scan looks about a zillion times better than the other ones.  If they thought the last scan looked good then it seems like they will think that this scan looks amazing.  To me this scan looks like nothing short of a miracle!  But, then again, I am no oncologist nor am I a radiologist.  I have an appointment this afternoon with my oncologist to discuss the "official" results.  Who knows, perhaps I am missing something.  I am trying to not count my eggs before they hatch or put the cart before the horse but I am hoping to expect some good news today.

I visited my naturopath yesterday and got my nutritional IV.  I also had an appointment with the doc.  I had some blood work done last month to check to see if I had candida and we discussed the results of that blood work.  It appears that I do indeed have a full blown case of candida caused and/or exacerbated by the chemotherapy and other drugs used during my treatment.  Quite honestly I am very certain that I have actually had candida for at least the last 15 years and that is possibly what led to, or proliferated my cancer in the first place.  The doctor told me that he has most likely seen higher numbers come back for this test but in his clinical memory he could not remember when.  Anything over a 1 means that you most certainly have a candida overgrowth in your body and my numbers came back at a whopping 3.8!  Candida overgrowth actually weakens your entire immune system and leaves you vulnerable to other illnesses and diseases (such as cancer, rheumatiod arthritis, crohn's disease, IBS, fibromylagia, and tons of other things).  I have been at my doctors office on average of two times every months since about 1998 complaining of the same symptoms (bloating, gas, abdominal pain, mucus in stool, heartburn, acid reflux, constant stomach gurgling) and in all that time no one has ever mentioned the word candida to me.  Instead they would write it off as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and give me some pill or  another and tell me to come back if it felt worse!  Later the doctors actually told me that IBS is the category that they lump all digestive disorders into when they actually have no idea what is wrong with you! Can you believe that?!  So if you have been told that you have IBS, I highly recommend that you confront your doctor and ask for a simple blood test to see if you actually have an overgrowth of candida albicans instead.

Once again I must change my diet.  Oh well, I am a seasoned pro by now.  No sugar, no bread, no gluten, no beans, no seeds, no oatmeal, no corn, no soy, no rice (the only grains I can eat are quinoa, millet, barley and kamut), no anything that has been processed or manufactured.  In simple terms I am supposed to eat like a "hunter and gatherer" meaning if you can't find it out there normally in nature then don't eat it.  Pretty simple.  It is a shame that I just went grocery shopping yesterday and some of the things I purchased are going to be sitting in my freezer for a while until I can get this situation cleared up.  I am told that if I am strict with my diet it should only take about a month or so.  There are natural ways to rid your body of candida, for instance coconut oil, garlic, and cinnamon are known to kill it.  My naturopath has given me a 30 day supply of highly concentrated garlic and cinnamon that I take every day.  I am also supposed to eat as much coconut oil as I can, "put it in everything" he told me.  Lucky for me a friend of mine gave me a giant tub of coconut oil recently.  Another friend of mine also gave me a great book all about candida and the proper diet to follow to rid yourself of this condition.  It is a great book and it even has recipes so you can make great food that does not promote the growth of candida.  The book is called The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates and it is a must read!  It even has a questionnaire to see if you have the symptoms of candida.

I am finding out that having cancer is not just about trying to kill the cancer and become cancer free.  It brings with it an entire entourage of other complications.  If or when someone who is given a cancer diagnosis is able to get rid of the cancer beast people sometimes think that the world just goes back to a state of normalcy for the cancer survivor/patient, like now everything is all over and they can just resume their lives again but this could not be farther from the truth.  Cancer brings with it many things, not all of them always bad, but most of the time it brings other complications as well.  I am finding this out now.  I knew that this was not going to be a stroll through the park by any stretch of the imagination.  One (of many) positive things that cancer has taught me is that we all (even those of us out there without a cancer diagnosis) must be aware of what we put in our mouths.  Our society makes this hard for us.  Giant agriculture tells us that their products are "healthy" and we believe them.  We are completely bombarded by over processed foods that literally all contain some sort of derivative of corn and/or soy.  In small amounts and eaten infrequently these often do not pose a problem for our bodies.  But since they are in nearly every food we eat (unless we are eating mostly only fruits and veggies with 20% or less of our diet being animal products) our bodies are being over run by these yeast producing foods which weaken our immune system and create an environment for disease to flourish.

Pay attention to your body.  Listen to what it is telling you.  Make a conscious effort to really understand the way your body feels after eating certain foods.  If you listen it will speak to you.

Peace, love, light and many healthy blessings to you all!


  1. Like you, I am no radiologist, but it certainly looks hopeful. Amazing that you are doing so well two years after your initial diagnosis and prognosis of 5 months to a year! Shows the power of the human spirit. would you consider writing a guest blog for me? If so, email me at
    Cancer Warrior

  2. congrats on such amazing resuls! I am so proud of you :)

  3. Perksofcancer,
    I would absolutely love to write a guest blog for you! I just got my results yesterday and even my skeptical oncologist was very pleased with the results of my last PET scan! I found out yesterday that I appear to be free of any living cancer in my liver/body!!!! YES!!!!!
    I am going out of town for a few weeks beginning on Wednesday the 28th so it may be hard for me to write during that time as I will be on the road with my father. But I can get something done before then or after then if that suits you.
    Thank you for your comment and I am looking forward to conversing with you again soon!
    Cancer Can Suck It!

  4. Shanna,
    Thank you so much!!! I am quite pleased with me too :) in the most non-conceited way :)
    Much love and health to you my friend!

  5. You are such a beautiful person! I always mean to come and read your blog, but it seems to get away from me. I agree with you that we need to be more conscious of what we are putting into our bodies. It is scary really. I feel so overwhelmed about it with raising my girls and trying to make healthy food fun. I know we eat too much soy and canola. You definitely inspire me to make changes. Thanks for being you! :)

    Tiffany - Live. Learn. Love. Eat.