Monday, February 13, 2012


It has now been nearly 5 years since my second diagnosis which led to  Stage 4 metastatic disease. As most of you know my recent tests all came back showing No Evidence of Disease (NED) which is fantastic news!

However, Chris and I have been considering where to go from here. This has brought us to a crossroad with my treatment and care.

It does appear the current treatments are working and keeping the cancer at bay. We now want to shift our focus to adding complimentary care to help relieve some of the pain I have in my neck, the constant headaches and stress.

So, we are looking into Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Their Chicago hospital specializes in breast cancer. This is where I will be going to meet with a team of doctors and complimentary care physicians. Of course there will be an oncologist and radiologist that "head" up the team.

So why choose CTCA to help us make some decisions? I am very interested in their team & patient empowerment approach.
A few of the specific areas I hope to add to my treatment are;
  • acupuncture
  • chiropractic care
  • nutrition & naturopathic medicine
  • stress management such as yoga, counseling, support groups
  • pain management
Much of these I have been doing on my own over the years. I have a great Oncology team here, as well as a great counselor. Nutrition, exercise and stress management have been on-going for me on my own.
What intrigues me  is all of it being done by a team of docs in the same place and in communication with each other about my treatments and progress. With everything from the oncologist to the acupuncturist.
 Another option is to put all this together here. Finding all the right people ( who know how to work with Stage 4 mets. patients) to integrate all this, and communicate with each other seems very difficult, but will be another option to look at.

I have not made a final decision on going up there for a second opinion yet. We are praying for wisdom and discernment about my future care and welcome your comments and opinions. Especially if you are familiar with CTCA ( either positive or negative experiences)either for yourself or someone you know.

Monday, February 6, 2012

N E D....

                                               No Evidence Of Disease!
My PET & Bone scans came back showing no metastatic disease!

I had an MRI of the Cervical and Thoracic spine. Both came back showing no  disease, however one of the reports states " spinal stenosis and central disk protrusion @ C4-C5 and left paracentral disk protrusion @ C5-C6 and C6-C7".

At this time I need to speak with my Onc. about what is next. I am considering a few things for the pain in my neck and headaches.
Acupuncture and physical therapy are most likely where I will begin. My Onc. said I can go to a chiropractor and massage therapy, however they will want to see the MRI results before working on me. I am not allowed to have any "cracking" of my neck. T1-3 area was radiated a few years ago from the cancer spreading to this area.

My tumor markers are elevated, although nothing is appearing on the tests. This will be something we will keep an eye on. My nurse mentioned coming back in 3 months for labs to see where the numbers are at.

So, overall, very good test results! We are trying to figure out what the best "complimentary" treatments will now be to help with the pain. If you all have any suggestions for the neck and headaches, I would be happy to hear them. Thanks!


Related Posts with Thumbnails