Carmen is now on only 1 drug, Xeloda. We welcomed the idea of giving Carmen time to heal but at the same time wondered what this might do to her recovery. Dropping the seemingly stronger of the 2 drugs gave us some pause as we pondered what else we might do to battle her disease. So I began searching the net once again to look for anecdotal evidence of recoveries. Research papers and studies at this point were not very useful for me because I wasn’t looking to treat a multitude of people. My focus was on 1 person.
The amount of information on the net was overwhelming and difficult to navigate because it was so fragmented. But through my searching, I did find one thing that I could do fairly easily with little to no adverse effects on Carmen. It was juicing. Luckily Carmen had purchased a juicer about a year ago, still in the original packaging. It was conveniently next to the cake mixer, also in the original packaging, untouched, unappreciated, and unloved.
In late January her tumor marker, CA125, had dropped to 47. This was the lowest level ever and it followed the last Oxali infusion which made sense. There was a downward trend, albeit a not so steep slope. 3 weeks later (now without Oxali) this number jumped to 63. The downward trend was broken with this reading. We were disheartened, hence the search and the start of juicing. The vegetables that seemed to have the most nutrients and showed the most benefits were carrots, beets, celery, flax seeds, kale, blueberries, and apples. Would this make a difference? We obviously weren’t sure, but the worst it would do is make her healthier. So I began making these juices daily 2-3 times. At first it took some getting used to the taste, but after a week or so, it was actually good. Without missing a day we did it for about 4 weeks leading up to the 10th cycle of just Xeloda. We eagerly anticipated the CA 125 results following this cycle. The result was 48, a very nice drop, but still within the range that was established during the previous 8 months. So we faithfully continued non-stop until the next reading. The normal range is 0-35 keeping in mind she has never been below 47 while on 2 chemo drugs. I was hoping for mid-low 40s, but secretly wishing she would break 40. The result stunned us. It was 27. The drop in 6 weeks (from juicing) went from 63 to 27 which is steeper than the first 2 cycles of chemo which went from 91 to 51. We were amazed. No other variables were changed. The only 2 variables that changed were the dropping of Oxali (which caused the number to spike to 63) and the addition of the daily juices. I’m pretty sure that the dropping of Oxali was not the cause of the 27, so the obvious conclusion was juicing.
We were hoping this was not an anomaly or an isolated incident, or lab error. We needed more data points to confirm the benefits of this non-chemo approach. The subsequent measurements were 31 and 32. It looked to us like we had established a new range, which was within the “normal” range. Of course being in the normal range doesn’t mean one is cured of cancer. We knew she still had the tumors in her, but what it did mean (or so we thought at that time) was the tumor was making less of this antigen for whatever reason, which may mean it was being assaulted. All speculations I know, but seemed logical to me.
In April Carmen had another CT scan. As with all scans, the next ones become the most important ones. This scan in April showed no growth on any of her tumors and for the first time the large one was said to be “same to slightly smaller”. Did we turn the corner on this? I was desperately hoping we did.
We continued juicing thinking and hoping this would contain not only the tumors but also prevent stray cancer cells from developing in other areas of her body. All the scans up to this point showed no new growth in any other area. This was probably the best news that came from the scans. Although a secondary site was already established, the scans showed no other areas of growth. Truly good news.