Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Side Effects -by Joe

Heidi's new chemotherapy, Taxotere, was confirmed effective against her new liver tumors two weeks ago.  Wonderful news!

The downside is the worsening side effects, because it is such a toxic therapy.  Heidi and I worry a lot about the neuropathy and dizziness.

When you cross your legs and the one leg goes 'to sleep', when you stand your foot is numb, eventually starting to tingle as sensation returns.  That's also how neuropathy feels.  Anywhere from tingling to numbness.  Scary for an athletic, outdoorswoman like Heidi.

The dizziness is new, not experienced with any of Heidi's previous side effects.  Last month on a hike, I had to catch Heidi as she started to collapse on the trail from dizziness.

The pain, fatigue, GI upset and mouth sores were there with previous chemotherapies to varying degrees.  But the neuropathy and dizziness scare us.  We are praying hard that neither worsens and that we'll find supplements that mitigate them both.

But on Heidi's better days, we continue to live life as fully as possible:  hiking, participating at church, deepening friendships, gardening, working.

God willing, the side effects will lessen instead of increasing over time. 

After all, Heidi's active life four years past Stage 4 diagnosis is a miracle in itself.  They expected only one year. I am profoundly grateful for the miracle!

Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts!



  1. and your continuous sharing is an act of great service, love and connection.

  2. I was introduced to this incredible blog by A.J. Wood's guest post on Scott Kelby's blog http://scottkelby.com/2012/its-guest-blog-wednesday-featuring-a-j-wood/. I've only met with your story this morning but I've already shared tears, smiles and prayers with both of you. I just wanted you to know that this Texas based husband, father and follower of Christ has been deeply touched and inspired by your courageous and vulnerable love for each other and for God. Add one more prayer warrior to your team roster! Be blessed!

  3. Again, came from AJ's post. You guys are a true pillar of endurance.

    Perhaps this is the reason I came across your story... I have been researching cancer medicines for a while (having lost members of my family to it, and my auntie just recently been rediagnosed with breast cancer, in that research I have come upon an amazing treatment for cancer Call antineoplastons that is having miraculous results for years. It's done by the a doctor Burzynski in Texas.

    There is even a documentary on him on Netflix at the moment, This really does seem an amazing medicine, with no reactions like traditional treatments.

    I hope you guys check his clinic out, it's worth a phone call at least. Good luck on your journey, you are both an inspiration.

  4. Great blog. We are working to develop a community and feature people on our new blog here liveforlifehopeforall.com/cancer-support/

    Would you be interested in being featured and share any tips for to help people just going being diagnosted with cancer?

    Please let me know.

    1. Eric,
      Not at the present time - too much going on with the battle..

  5. Dear Joe and Heidi

    I am the editor of a new open access journal dedicated to cancer research (www.oghreports.org) and we are launching our inaugural issue in July 2012. I am also a physician by training and my PhD. work was dedicated towards finding new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for cancer and towards a way to counter cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy. I came across "Blog for a cure" and read about your story and felt touched by it.

    As an Editor, I would like to share your story with other clinicians and scientists who work every day with cancer patients or in labs trying to battle this disease. The journal is circulated to a large body of clinicians and scientists and we would like to share your perspectives with the scientific community. Our Editorial board includes several well known scientists, clinicians and surgeons, as well as researchers who are motivated to fight this condition.

    If you would be interested, please email me your story to editor@oghreports.org. There is no limit to the text but we prefer upto a 1,000 word limit. Photographs are welcome. There is no deadline but if you would like something to be included in our inaugural issue, the last date for that would be June 15th. You can also write about your blog or any questions that you may have and we will run it by our experts and post an answer in the journal.

    Please also share this message with your friends and colleagues.

    Subhankar Chakraborty, M.D., Ph.D.
    Oncology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Reports [www.oghreports.org]

  6. What they fail to disclose is that Chemo in general would leave you with compromised immune system, and a faster spreading cancer. Only the immune system can prevent the spread of cancer. Tumor existence is NOT what you should measure your success in fighting cancer by... (It might turn necrotic or calcified, and still show up).Watch for too much CT... it causes cancer!!!

    Hello, my name is Ari, I am a survivor (so far...) of two cancers, a widower of a cancer victim (now re-married..) and is dedicated to fighting cancer, and helping others do so.
    I lived in Toronto, Canada (my family is in southern California), and last year, after marriage, I moved to the Philippines. I am majority owner of a Dialysis clinic, and built a unique cancer clinic, the one I dreamt of having when my first wife was struggling. I took her to Mexico clinics twice, for treatments (which were very successful!), talked to dozens of physicians, and always found lack of properly equipped clinics, which could do a lot better if they were.
    Along the way, I have gained insight of how proper Hyperthermia should be applied. This is a method which doubles the success rate of conventional therapies, and alternative ones as well, provided it is done properly. I have purchased the most powerful device for this, and added two other types of devices, which when applied in the right order, prevent a process of DE-sensitizing of cancer cells to the effects of specific frequency hyperthermia. We also do mild whole body hyperthermia in order to strengthen the immune system (with no side effects),and help reach the right thermo-therapeutic levels within the tumour.(the right temperature simply destroys the tumour...). There are also other aspects to this, biological ones, which for lack of commercial incentive (UN-patentable..) is not pursued by multinational pharmaceutical corporations which control all medical research in the field.
    I also introduced other forms of immunotherapy, and alternative cytotoxic elements, such as Helixor, a mistletoe extract, which has three times better success rate then most chemo agents, without the side effects.
    I can give information about many clinics I learned about, (mainly in Mexico and Germany)
    If you are interested in getting free advice, please feel free to contact me, @ advancedcancertherapies@yahoo.com
    Ari Idan

  7. Great blog and great aptitude. I am a cancer patient as well (pontine gliona) since 2008. i have beaten the odds.
    I definitely will love to interview you guys for a documentary I am directing on Cancer survivors. By the way last post from Ari, Great information, I did a research on those clinics long ago.

    Wilfredo Aqueron
    Director, Thanks to my Cancer
    campaing at: www.indiegogo.com/thankstomycancer

  8. Hi, Nice post thanks for sharing. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back.