Friday, September 3, 2010

Things to consider, lists to be made.

It was an easy decision to begin the Gerson Therapy nearly a year ago because at the time, there were no other options for treating melanoma. Sure there were early clinical trials and chemo drugs that could be used to break down tumors, but nothing that didn't offer more damage than hope. I am unable to totally write off the Gerson Therapy as having not worked because it is supposed to take a full two years. All things considered, the decision practically makes itself.

One option is to stay the course and continue on the Gerson Therapy for at least another year. I would have to, without a doubt, change things up and somehow more heavily focus on it as a therapy versus a way of life. I'd have to hire someone full time to simply take over and do everything for me. I'd have to even more so, alienate my friends, family and those that I work with. The issue here relates to the fact that I now have bone metastases. If the tumor grows and begins to fracture or break my leg bone, I'll have to resort to pain medications, which will drastically reduce or nullify the therapy. This will force me to look for alternatives, but because of damage my options will be even fewer.

There is now an option for those suffering from Stage IV Malignant Melanoma. An option that is neither chemotherapy, nor requires a long term hospital stay for treatment. Of course, I am talking about Ipilimumab and it does not come without it's own side effects and possible long term effects. There is seemingly sound logic and science behind it and it coincides with the same genre of healing the body versus traditional approaches that aim to kill the cancer and accept the collateral damage.

It has been been recommended by several people, and most recently my Gerson doctor agrees. Looking at all the facts, considering where we are after a year on the therapy. Knowing that tumor growth can sometimes be accepted, but spread means something totally different. I need to make a change.

Though it appears the evidence has become overwhelming, that doesn't allow me to suddenly change anything. As you might expect, there is a waiting list to receive this drug. Many of you have sent me recommendations for other treatments, doctors and other helpful resources. It is my intention to look through them over the next few days and begin to build a list. I'll be calling doctors and asking questions to see if there are other options that I should consider. I'll also see if I can get on a shorter waiting list to receive the treatment.

Besides the now obvious reminder that something is there, I am still very healthy and once again in good spirits. I will slowly ease off the Gerson Therapy and possibly even broaden my menu to something a little less restrictive, which is on my list of things to research. I will attempt to post more frequent updates as things occur, things could get quite interesting.


Myron Remington said...

Mike, when I compare your clarity of thought with others at a similar stage of cancer, there is no comparison. I can not speak for your "quality of life", but one thing is very clear: you are in charge of your situation far more than anyone else I know who faces similar challenges.
Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts and encouraging others to strive rather than give up and go with "doctor's orders".

Laurie said...

I don't know Myron...but boy is he a smart fellow! You ARE in control of this situation with your clear thinking and the action you are taking. As with anything, we NEVER know for sure if the decisions we are making are "right," but I know that you will continue to make the BEST choice given the information you have at hand.

I'm so proud of you, Mike! You choose LIFE! You choose FAMILY! You choose to THRIVE and SURVIVE!

<3 <3 <3 Laurie

Anonymous said...

So many people follow your progress hoping you will forge a new path that will help someone. I admire your courage and believe in what you are doing. I know this is a hard decision but living your life feeling good instead of being sick on therapies sounded like a good idea to me-of course it doesnt always work but never lose hope-you are inspiring to many of us out there struggling with this disease and weighing the side effects against living.

Rose said...

Mike, at least, you are in good condition and good frame of mind going into your new treatment. If you decide you would like to talk to Dr. Balch, I would be glad to try to call him for you. I don't know if he would remember me, but I think he would. Don't know if that would do any good, but it might. I am so glad you have clarity about your decision. It sounds very logical. I have seen where good nutrition and immune supporting herbs can virtually eliminate the side effects of chemo. Will be thinking of you, checking on you, and wishing you luck.

Jon said...

As a gerson patient with great success (meaning excellent blood tests and progress) with Malignant Melanoma, I started the program and diet at the baja clinic 3 months after you. I have followed your blog but am very upset and disappointed in your comment : that you will "more heavily focus on it as a therapy versus a way of life" and that you would hire someone if you continue. Didn't you understand it was a therapy and a serious science as I remind myself at 6:00 every morning when I am sticking coffee up my butt? How can you have us follow you for all this time and not have been serious and diligent about it as a therapy and a science. -- hour by hour with meds and juices? I think you owed it to us as you were going along to tell us how you followed their science and diet and how you did not.

I wish you the best success and only good things and recovery your way, but I am no longer going to follow you as I thought I was following someone that was on a strict gerson therapy. Again, good luck in your choices but clear of what they are and stick to what you believe in ..... I know what I do and I will follow that.

Best in your health and recovery.

Mike Brockey said...

Jon - I've been on the full Gerson Therapy since arriving at the clinic in September of 2009. Every day since then, I've had the constant reminder and day long battle of simply keeping up with it. Early on, as tough as it was I would keep it up mainly because I knew that I had no other option and this was a life saving therapy. The longer things went on, the less that I could mentally picture what I was doing as being a therapy. Though physically and strictly committed on the diet, juicing and relentless schedule, I needed to be in a different place mentally.

If you were actually following my story, you would know that I made the mental shift a while ago. I saw this as being a long term commitment, and not simply a therapy that would be over in another year. I've never once swayed, nor cheated not even since the latest news.

I've also blogged about my involvement with tai chi, my young children and the fact that I work (lightly) from home. All things that are both important to me and are the things I am referring to. If I am to carry this on, I would have to further limit those things and remain in bed all day. Though I already have help several days per week, I would also need to hire someone to come in and do EVERYTHING. -- Have you done that?

Fact is that this therapy is tough, expensive and mentally challenging. What it doesn't need is people like you challenging other practitioners publicly when you argument is so misinformed.


Anonymous said...

I've been meaning to email you with an update on my situation, but haven't had a chance. I'm really disheartened by your current situation. My gut reaction is that you should call in the "big guns" -- whatever clinical trial/allopathic treatment seems most promising and least problematic. (If that combination is even realistic.)
Take care,

Cris said...


You are the commander of your life..from what I have followed over the last year, you have done amazing things in your own therapy and look forward to the next few years of following your story as well.

Mine and my families' prayers are with you.

Cris P.

smitty240 said...

I think I am correct in saying that you are in the central portion of MD. I'm sure you are aware of this, but I thought I'd pass it along.

It's an Ipi trial in B-more area. I just had SRS on 2 brain mets that showed up in just 10 weeks between MRI's. I'm starting the Ipi in Charlotte this coming Wednesday. I salute your courage in trying the alternative therapy.

Anonymous said...

Check out "optimum health institute". I know a woman who has had amazing success here.