Monday, September 27, 2010

Progress in My Healing Plan: Bring on the White Hair!

I'm moving away from Gerson. I'm eating a wider range of foods. My root canal has been extracted. I've managed to acquire access to an adjuvant treatment. I've been accepted in the Ipilimumab trial for extended access. It's been crazy, but it has all been working out quite well.

I've moved away from the strict Gerson regimen and have began working on a new menu and diet plan. I will be following the many guidelines from other "cancer diets" and will continue to maintain a low-fat, low-sodium vegetarian diet. I plan to add in legumes, berries and some of the "super foods" that are widely talked about today. I will continue to steer clear from highly processed and other chemically enhanced foods.

This change puts a rather large hole in my schedule. After all, I'm only doing one coffee enema per day and my juicing schedule is much more relaxed. I've managed to get to work a few times last week, and I plan on making a continued appearance. I was able to go out and spend the day with my son, and am currently trying to plan a weekend camping trip -- a trip that should be much more relaxing than the last.

My mouth is now clear of dental issues or mistakes. The lymph node that was once under my jaw has now cleared. As expected, it was due to the infection which triggered the initial extraction. I've since also had my root canal removed. This clears the last bit of mercury amalgam as well as the possible breeding ground for bacteria. Now I hope, my body's immune system can focus on bigger issues.

I was able to get a prescription of Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) have been taking it nightly for a couple weeks. I did experience the as-advertised vivid dreams for the first night or two, so I know that my body was able to accept the medicine. I think it is important to include as an adjuvant and based on there being no negative impacts, my doctor agrees.

It was a bit of a run around, but I finally got in touch with Dr Spira from Virginia Cancer Specialists. Apparently they have expanded even further the access for receiving Ipilimumab. I will be included in the first group of those being treated at this facility with the drug, a fact that turns out to be a moot issue since all facilities must strictly follow the same protocol setup for the clinical trial.

Amy and I had a good conversation with the doctor. We both liked him and not simply because of his impromptu impersonation of Dr Sharfman. It was friendly, but it was funny and dead on accurate. Dr Spira did indicate that clinical trials are different and is one case where it is less about my "interviewing" him and more about him seeing if I am am a fit for the trial. Even still, I decided to tell all and hide nothing. He told me that I could continue with my reduced "Gerson schedule" as well as LDN during my treatment. He warned only that I should not have any vaccines, recently or for a period of time beyond the treatment.

A few of you reached out after my previous post and offered your help in finding the Melacine vaccine. I really appreciated that. After a few phone calls and a chat with "a lady in Canana who's job it is to assist Americans receive Canadian health care", we found out that Melacine is in fact no longer commercially available. I could once again look around for the black market variety, but after my talks with Dr Spira, I suppose this should probably fall out of my current plan.

In preparation for the trial I had to have more bloodwork, an EKG and a head CT. All of which came back clean. I am able to use my recent PET scan as a baseline, but since it was a few weeks ago it puts me on a short time table. If I wanted or needed more time, I would have to get another scan. Since I am ready to go, they booked me for Tuesday, September 28.

Amy and I will go to the clinic in the morning. I will receive a 90 minute infusion into a vein in my arm. They want to monitor me for an hour or more at this first appointment, but then I'll be sent home. There are a number of things I'll need to monitor on my own, but it "should" be nothing like IL2 or chemo. I'll return every three weeks for another infusion for 4 weeks total. After a few weeks, we will scan and check for status. Initially seeing slight progression is apparently common for this drug. It's my understanding that unless things are clearly not working, I would be eligible for another round of 4 treatments.

From all that I have read, the common and early indication of remission and long durability is that my hair will turn white. My son made reference to wizardry, perhaps Merlin or Dumbledore. Another as offered by my friend Patty, while keeping it long I would look like a Tai Chi Grand Master. I guess I had better stop missing class.


Laurie said...

WOO HOO, Brockey Family!!! So glad to see this all moving forward now that you have made the decision on your plan of ATTACK! :o) Also glad to hear that you were able to spend the day with Kaige...a wonderful gift for BOTH of you!

I will be sending up prayers throughout the day tomorrow and will be hoping for an update. You are a SURVIVOR, Mike! And I can't wait to celebrate your "remission and long term durability!"

Love you all so much!!!


smitty240 said...

Good to hear you have a plan in place. I just had my second dose of Ipi yesterday. So far, some lack of sleep (may be due to travel), but beyond that, no indication that I'm taking any meds. My Dr did say side effects generally don't become evident until 2nd or 3rd dose, so I will be especially vigilant from this point forward.

Hope this is your (and mine) magic bullet. Wish you the best.

Mike Brockey said...

Smitty240 - Thanks for the comment. Please keep in touch and let me know how you do. Email if you like, I'd be interested in comparing notes. I'm being treated in Virginia, where are you from?


Daniela said...

what an incredible update, mike & amy! loving that you will have a little more freedom to enjoy family time out of the house, and even camping!

hoping you are feeling well today, and that the treatment a few days ago is doing it's job...

much warmth toyou all,
daniela & bert scholl

Kiki said...

Hi - I moved away from the Gerson Plan too, and went for a mostly raw vegan diet, IPT (insulin potentiation therapy) a targeted chemo, and basil, rosemary, cilantro with mineral rich pink Himalayian salt.

I hope you will do well, I found the GD too restrictive to do all the time, and needed to enjoy my food (what I can have) with all the herbs and spices included. Quality of life. I too do coffee enemas almost daily, infared saunas included.

-good luck to you Kiki