On September 30th, Sandy had such extreme back pain that she simply couldn't take it anymore. Sandy's sister, who is an LVN, contacted Sandy's nurse at M.D. Anderson to see what they wanted us to do. They asked us to take her to the emergency room at Midland Memorial to have them run a CT scan. Because of all of the confusion that Sandy was going through they were also concerned that the cancer may have spread to her brain. After much frustration and aggravation at the ER we were finally able to convince the doctor to do the scan and we were able to take Sandy back home.
When we got back home, Gina suggested that we contact Hospice of Midland and ask them to come in. I know that most people, including me, think of "end of life" treatment when they think of hospice. But Gina wanted to use them to help keep Sandy more comfortable and to have someone locally that we could contact when Sandy needed something. What an amazing organization...within 45 minutes of calling Hospice there were two nurses at our house getting Sandy admitted and explaining everything to us. They were there only about 30 to 45 minutes before they had Sandy hooked up to oxygen to aid in her breathing. They did an assessment of Sandy's condition and got the meds delivered that she needed to help with her pain and her cough. This took a huge weight off of my mind knowing that we had compassionate, capable people to take care of Sandy's needs!
As hopeful as we were for the miracle that so many were praying for, we could clearly see that Sandy's condition was deteriorating and she was requiring more and more pain and cough meds. She was spending almost all of her time in bed and heavily medicated. This was her condition on Saturday, October 3rd, when Gina took me outside away from the family and tearfully told me that we needed to have a family meeting to discuss Sandy's condition.
We called all of the siblings and the kids that had made it home together that afternoon and listened as Gina told us that she didn't believe that Sandy would be alive in another month! Gina has had about ten years of experience working for hospice and seen more than her share of terminal cancer patients. While we were still hoping for that miracle, we knew that realistically we had to make the necessary arrangements and plans. This was truly the darkest hour!
Then, on Sunday October 4th, Gina received what I believe to be the miracle for which so many have asked and trusted and waited. She talked with her sister-in-law Sherri about a little girl from Midland named Josie Nunez who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in September, 2008. Josie was flown to Cook Children's Cancer Center in Fort Worth where she underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment. However, in the middle of all of this treatment she developed another brain tumor! Discouraged and fearful, her parents decided to take her off of the chemo and radiation and seek an alternate cure. Long story short...on February 3, 2009, Josie's parents received the results of her latest MRI...no signs of any tumors!! The cancer was gone!! (We had the pleasure to meet Josie and her family last week when they came to our house to share her wonderful story with us!!)
Anyway...Gina continued telling me what Sherri had told her about Josie's cure. This is when I first learned about Dr. Bernardo Majalca. Dr. Bernardo is a naturopathic doctor and contends, "You are not dying of cancer. You are dying of acidosis." A body that is too acidic allows cancer cells to grow and flourish. By getting the body more alkaline the cancer not only stops growing, but it dies.
Gina called Dr. Bernardo and told him about Sandy's condition and the prognosis she was given at M.D. Anderson. His response was very matter-of-fact and nonchalant..."Oh yeah, we can take care of that." And he proceeded to tell Gina what we needed to do to get Sandy well again. His slogan is "Cancer is not a death sentence. It is a major inconvenience." This was the breaking of the dawn after our darkest hour!
Now I know there are people out there who feel as though they would never take the advice of a naturopathic doctor over that of a medical doctor from M.D. Anderson. I suspect that if I were reading this story about someone else instead of living it with my wife, I would be one of those people. However, in this particular instance Sandy had the M.D. telling her that her condition was "very serious" and that the chemo treatment she was receiving may not be able to help her, while she had the N.D. stating very confidently that he knew what to do to kill her cancer. When you're staring into the abyss you tend to listen with a different sense of respect and priority to the people who can give you hope.
My posts have almost got us caught up to date...Sandy started on Dr. Bernardo's diet and supplements on Saturday, October 10th. We're only four days into this so far. We've seen some great progress and some minor setbacks so far...but we have seen progress! And that is what we have been hoping for!!
I would encourage everyone to take a little time and visit the Nunez family's website about Josie's victory over cancer. It is at http://www.bennunez.com/healingjosie/index.html
If you will click on the "Movies" tab at the top of the page you can watch an 8-minute video by Dr. Bernardo Majalca and see what motivates him to help people. It's quite moving!