Alrighty-O! 3 months have passed... and it's time for another #BriPositive Health Update. Here are my most recent results:
- My thyroglobulin (the cancer marker) DECREASED from 7.1 to 5.1 mL in the past 3 months.
- The PET scan (which measures the metabolism of my cancer) was CLEAR! It showed no evidence of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) avid or metastatic disease.
Why did my cancer shrink? What changed?
We may never know for sure... and It's probably an accumulation of MANY things... but I primarily changed two things.
1. My practicing & studying of Buddhism &
2. Starting a Ketogenic Diet
I started practicing Buddhism three years ago, but I had always been inconsistent in my daily chanting and studying. The last 3 months, I made it my goal to commit to daily actions and reading. The concepts and ideas I learned from Buddhism have fueled my fighting spirit, and gave me hope when I was at my lowest. It sounds crazy to say this... but I am done feeling sad or angry by this cancer diagnosis. I am more interested in discovering my purpose- why I am here. I want to discover and learn what it is I am meant to learn from this crazy adventure we call Life. I have been gifted with such a unique journey- and that makes it an opportunity for a LOT of growth. To quote Daisaku Ikeda of the SGI,
"People do not grow when their environment is too comfortable, when they are not challenged. It is in the midst of suffering and hardship that strength of character is formed."
The ketogenic diet is based on the idea that cancer is a metabolic disease. With the gracious help of my lovely friend/coach/mentor Nicole Lippold, I was able to learn more about this diet and the way it has been used to cure cancer. Nicole was with me every step of the way, along with my twin sister (who decided to try the diet in solidarity with me.)
How the diet works?:
There are many different types of cancer, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they need glucose to survive. Sooo.... It’s pretty simple. Stop feeding it what it needs to grow, and it will eventually die. The goal of the diet is essentially to starve the cancer. Part of me is still skeptical that it could be that easy... and the other part of me is fully committed to diving in deeper and is totally geeking out over all the studies and research. I got amazing results in just 3 months (more like 2 months because I kept cheating and messing up the first month)... so I plan to continue on this diet to see where it gets my counts for next time.
How do I feel?
I am happy. So very happy. I feel relieved, proud, and motivated more than ever. I FLIPPED OUT when I saw the results and cried tears of joy on the sidewalk after my meeting with the doctor. The last few months have been such a challenge.... (I went through a break-up, had to find a new place to live, apt application was denied, I was homeless for 2 weeks, moved my stuff in and out of a storage unit, dealt with health insurance bologna, started this strict and specific diet, all while continuing my "normal" life dancing, teaching, and auditioning... it was quite insane...) I had to keep digging up hope from the deepest parts of my being to refuse to be defeated. Finally... after 4+ years, I feel like I am in control of my health, and it feels SO AWESOMEEEE.
*cue music and happy dance*
I have to give a HUGE THANK YOU to my entire community- my friends and family - for all of your support. I certainly could not have done this on my own. It truly takes a village. THANK YOU THANK YOU. Your encouragement and love means the world to me.
We are not done fighting yet... Onward to set bigger goals... cancer free goals, specifically. I'm calling my next mission: Project Get To Zero 🙌🏼💛
Next scans are in February 2019! Stay strong & Stay tuned...