HeidiBright

Birth Year 1961
Gender Female
Country United States
Please summarize your healing story in 100 words or less During July 2009 I was diagnosed with stage 4b highly undifferentiated endometrial sarcoma, with the most aggressive type of cells (grade 4). During the next two years I had 42 days of chemotherapy infusions and three major surgeries. The relentless cancer kept coming back. After my third surgery, with no more chemotherapy options, I was told to get ready for hospice. Yet during those two years, I also went through an enormous internal makeover. I have been in radical remission, free of evidence of disease and free of any medical treatment, since August 2011. For more information visit thriversoup.com/
Last Updated August 30, 2019

Health Challenge

What is/was your primary health challenge?

Cancer

Type of cancer

Sarcoma

Can you be more specific?

Highly Undifferentiated Endometrial Sarcoma

Highest stage of cancer

4

Year diagnosed

2009

Current health status

No evidence of disease

Year you healed or became stable

2011

Type of Healing

I used conventional and non-conventional treatments at the same time to overcome my challenge.

How was your health challenge diagnosed?

Biopsy or Pathology Report, Imaging (CT, PET, MRI, Mammogram, X-ray, etc)

Treatment

Check any conventional treatments you've tried for your health challenge:

Chemotherapy, Surgery

Check any of the 9 Radical Remission factors you've tried:

Diet Change, Herbs & Supplements, Increasing Positive Emotions, Releasing Suppressed Emotions, Following Your Intuition, Deepening Your Spiritual Connection, Increasing Social Support, Finding Strong Reasons for Living, Taking Control of Your Health

Check any other alternative treatments you've tried:

Energy Healing (e.g., acupuncture, reiki, kinesiology, etc), Exercise, Psychotherapy

Story

Briefly describe your diagnosis method and conventional treatments, including their timing. Did they help at all?

Ultrasound was suspicious. Complete hysterectomy including 6 inches of intestines. 16 treatments of Gemzar/Taxotere. New growth. 8 treatments of doxil/cisplatin. New growth. Both lungs resected. Ifosfamide/Taxol for 18 weeks. New growth, from .5 to 2.5 inches in 5 weeks. Lung resection. Out of options. Radical Remission.

Please tell us your healing story in as much detail as you would like:

Chuck Gibson, [email protected], wrote the following article that appeared on Cincinnati.com's Community Press website May 17, 2016.

There were times when Heidi Bright prepared to die after being diagnosed with a terminal cancer in July 2009.

Today Bright delivers a message of hope and healing through her book äóìThriver Soupäó and speaking to groups. This is the third traditionally published book by the Milford author.

äóìItäó»s sort of like a recipe template for healing,äó Bright said. äóìItäó»s not a cook book itäó»s a template for healing.äó

Brightäó»s book addresses healing from every angle: physical, medical, nutritional, social, emotional, mental and spiritual. It is exactly the same approach she used in her own survival and healing. Highly undifferentiated endometrial sarcoma is a most rare form of uterine sarcoma. At a leiomyosarcoma conference in 2015, only half the people in the room raised their hand when Bright asked if they even heard of this diagnosis. Zero hands went up when asked if they knew of anybody diagnosed.

äóìI have only heard of one person in the entire world who had the same diagnosis,äó Bright said. äóìI heard of her early on. I have no idea where she is, or if sheäó»s even still around.äó

Rather than chase that down, Bright utilized her energy for her own survival. The first oncologist she saw offered only one paragraph of information he found online. Her sister works for the FDA and had connections within that organization and the National Cancer Institute. She called on all her friends.

äóìShe got me in touch with the best uterine sarcoma doctors in the world,äó said Bright.

That led her to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where they wanted her to stay for treatments. A wife and mother of two boys, 11 and 13, living in Loveland was not going to Houston for treatments. Next was Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. Again, they wanted her there for the treatments. Her sister found the Sarcoma Alliance. Dr. Larry Copeland of Ohio State was a highly recommended member of the alliance.

äóìWe decided to go there,äó Bright said. äóìWe met him and we both agreed he was the right person for me.äó

Between the July diagnosis and the scan for the chemo treatments, she went from one metastatic nodule in her lung, to four. She was already doing lots of alternative treatments including affirmations, visualizations, praying, and people praying for her; everything she knew about and a strict diet. A blood draw showed her albumen (a measure of nutritional status) to be 4.2. Above 3.5 is good, below 2.5 is usually a poor prognosis for someone with cancer.

äóìI already had a very good nutritional status and here I was with end-stage cancer,äó she said. äóìSo I knew diet was not going to save my life.äó

Bright says it absolutely did contribute to her healing and survival, but not without medical treatment. She went up to Columbus for chemo treatments every two weeks for 16 treatments. After that round of chemo, there was still one tumor growing. She began a new different type of chemo treatment which lasted eight months. The remaining tumor died, but a new tumor was growing. She decided to have it surgically removed and tested.

She had the lung surgery, followed by chemo-therapy, which required three to five-day hospital stays every three weeks. Copeland referred her to Dr. James Pavelka at St. Elizabeth in Edgewood, Kentucky, so she could stay closer to home. After six treatments a scan showed a one-half inch nodule on the pulmonary vein right next to her heart.

Despite concerns of her oncologist, the surgeon who performed her lung surgery was confident of success. In the midst of all that, Bright and her husband agreed their marriage was over. She moved out, stayed with friends and even slept on floors. Five weeks later she had the surgery. The tumor had already grown from a half-inch to 2 1/2 inches. Bright did not want to know the prognosis.

äóìThey didnäó»t tell me, but it was pretty clear that I was in trouble,äó Bright said. äóìThere were several times when I prepared to die. The stuff was growing, what could I do?äó

Six weeks later, at a post-op meeting, she was told how big the tumor had been and to get back on chemo. With no chemo options left, Bright was told get ready for hospice.

äóìMy next scan was clean,äó Bright said. äóìIt was 25 months from the time I was diagnosed to the surgery. Three months later I had a scan and it was clean.äó

Throughout those two years Bright had been writing on a Caring Bridge blog created for her at the beginning. People who read it encouraged her to write a book. Learning all along the way, she had great support and personal determination to survive. A book sharing her äóìrecipeäó for survival and healing is the natural outgrowth from her experience.

äóìIt was seven years of hell,äó she said. äóìI feel like Iäó»m on the other side now.äó

The other side has revealed a will to share hope, healing and survival. Bright said äóìThriver Soupäó will teach the äóìABCäó»säó attitudes, behavior, and choices for readers to learn there is hope. The book offers tested tips to reduce the impact of chemotherapy, get out of the hospital earlier, recover faster, manage fear, relieve stress, and avoid scams. Her book is filled with a message of healing and hope for those trying to survive cancer.

äóìI like being alive,äó she said. äóìIäó»m just getting started. Iäó»ve got to get this out there. I want to give people strength and hope.äó

National Cancer Survivorsäó» Day is Saturday, June 5

Alive and well, Heidi Bright has been in radical remission since 2011.

She received the 2014 Voices of Women award for outstanding personal growth and transformation from Cincinnatiäó»s äóìWhole Living Journaläó magazine.

She speaks to groups regularly and is available as a guest for radio and television.

Her book äóìThriver Soupäó is published by Sunstone Press.

Contact Heidi and learn more at thriversoup.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: As of September 2019, Heidi is thriving post-diagnosis.

Do you have any thoughts about what may have caused your health challenge in particular, or what causes it in general?

I was otherwise very healthy; albumin of 4.2 when diagnosed and I had low levels of inflammation. Diet was largely organic produce and little/no wheat or dairy. I meditated an hour daily, maintained my weight, exercised. So I don't know what else it might have been except possibly long-term chronic stress.

Other

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thriversoup.com

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