Glam (pseudonym) is a Radical Remission survivor of stage 4 colon cancer. Diagnosed at age 46, she used conventional medicine (surgery and chemo) along with complementary therapies to overcome a diagnosis that has only an 11% 5-year survival rate. Today, she currently has no evidence of cancer.
Here is her story, in her own words:
“In late 2012, I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with lung and liver metastases. My doctors said I only had 6 months to live and they recommended that I not do any treatment, because it would only drain my energy and in the end it would not cure my cancer due to my advanced stage.
I asked for second, third and fourth opinions until I found doctors and people who were committed to my cure and not my cancer. I decided to fight with all my energy, soul, knowledge and faith against this stupid disease. The treatments were not easy at all – I was running against time and needed to be very assertive – there was no space for mistakes. So, I underwent surgery and chemo but I also researched as much as I could about alternative things I could do to support the success of my battle.And here I am, against all statistics, forecasts and bets – I am here, alive, living my life. I am cancer free and in total remission!
In terms of the details of my medical treatment, in September 2012 I developed progressive asthenia [weakness] after 3 weeks of rectal bleeding. A colonoscopy showed a “semistenotic rectosigmoid tumoral lesion”; the biopsy revealed “partially differentiated tubulopapilar adenocarcinoma.” A PET scan confirmed the rectosigmoid lesion with small regional lymph node involvement, and hepatic (liver, left lobe) and pulmonary (lung, left superior lobe) metastases.
I underwent surgery on October 13, 2012 to remove the main tumor and the left liver met. The pathology report showed a 6 x 5 cm ulcerated tumor with invasion up to the sub-serosal adipose tissue, and a liver met consistent with adenocarcinoma of the intestine. After that surgery, I did well and on October 22, 2012, I was taken again to the operating room and the pulmonary (lung) nodule was removed, and a biopsy confirmed adenocarcinoma compatible with colon origin. K-ras was un-mutated. My preoperative CEA was 28.5, post-surgeries it went down to 3.9, and since then has always been normal.
I also changed my diet, I went back to yoga, I start practicing meditation, and forced myself to do even small exercises whenever I had energy. I strengthened my faith and researched about lots of foods that could help my body get stronger and kill those cancer cells. I now believe that my body is my temple and everything that I eat feeds the cells and bacteria that I have in my body. So, I started being very selective with my nutrition and now always keep a list of anticancer foods with me. I also changed the focus of my mind and re-thought problems and what was really important in my life. Life is beautiful – it is to be lived and loved. That’s what I do, with God’s blessings always!
Also, because I presented with lung and liver mets, chemotherapy with mFolfox 6 and Cetuximab was started [after the surgeries]. Afterward, I developed intense and frequent mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal toxicity, so they concluded that I had severe toxicity to 5 FU, probably because of enzymatic deficiency. They also concluded that my gastrointestinal intolerance was caused by Oxaliplatin. Having received the treatment with so many dose reductions, they decided to go for treatment with Cetuximab and Irinotecan without 5 FU and Leucovorin. I completed eight cycles (last one in July 2013), fortunately without significant toxicity. My PET scan in August 2013 showed no evidence of disease.
At that point they discussed the possibility of stopping treatment vs continuing with some form of maintenance, which led them to try Panitumumab maintenance. It was given every 3 weeks in a 9mg/kg dosing. Grade 4 skin and mucosal toxicity prompted stopping that treatment and their suggestion was to continue just with periodic follow-up’s with clinical and lab evaluation, plus continuing all of my alternative treatments.
Editor’s Note: As of December 2018 Glam is well and thriving post diagnosis.
To View Glam’s Radical Remission Profile, Click HERE.
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