Aug – Oct 2010 – sudden onset abdominal pain turned out to be a bleeding tumor on the outside edge of the liver. I lost half of my total blood volume into abdominal cavity before they were able to stop the bleeding using interventional radiology. Liver surgery -wedge resection done after the inflammation resolved. Doctor’s were very positive about the results saying that they were able to remove all the cancer with good margins. March 2011 – MRI follow up showed no signs of cancer.May/June – developed itching which became increasingly worse, treated with antihistamines with only minor relief. Then I changed to another medication that helps to bind bile salts which produced a little bit better results but not total relief.August 2011 – MRI repeated of liver and surrounding area and found multiple tumors inside the liver as well as outside the liver on the diaphragm. September 2011(end) - Chemo immobilization procedure was done where they placed tiny pellets inside the liver next to the tumors. The radiologist reported that he was unable to reach all the tumors but those that he treated responded very well.October 4th 2011 – Attended my first prayer meeting at the barn with my Mother who was here helping me during my recovery from the procedure at the end of September. The group prayed over me and I experienced the powerful and moving presence of GOD. There was a lot of bright purple light and I felt as if I were lifting up out of the chair and floating in space. I left this meeting believing that I had been given the miracle that I had requested in my prayers. I continued to attend every Tuesday evening prayer service until I left town to spend Thanksgiving with family in Indiana.October 2011(end) - PET Scan done of larger area to determine full extent of the cancer spread. The report came back (November 2nd) worse than expected with several additional large masses in the abdominal area being newly discovered. These were in locations in which surgery would not be helpful. The oncologist estimated 6 months to one year for survival unless we could find a way to shrink or arrest the tumor growth.November 7th 2011 – Received my first infusion chemo treatment with Kaiser. The plan was to do four of these and then try a different oral medication that targeted the tumors in and around my liver. Not liking the effects of the chemo or the overall plan we decided to seek alternative cancer treatment in Houston TX at the Burzynski Clinic. November 17th 2011 – I met with Brian and Dee in their home for a private counseling session. I was distraught with the news that my condition had become worse as I fully believed that I had been granted my healing miracle. This had never happened to me before – I was confused! After some discussion I revealed that I had been thanking GOD for my miracle by stating “I am not worthy to receive you but only say the words and I shall be healed” My feelings of unworthiness were baseless and needed to be resolved in order to allow for the healing that was promised. November 29th 2011 – Began treatment in TX which included a second infusion of the same chemo agent. This was done because the one tumor I could feel in my abdomen seemed to be getting smaller from the first treatment. They gradually added four additional cancer treatment drugs to my treatment regimen. After two weeks of monitoring I was discharged to continue treatment from home. December 1st 2011 – all the itching stopped as quickly as it had started. It was thought to be related to one of the targeted liver cancer drugs. December 22nd 2011 – Repeat PET Scan was completed. The results were received on the 27th due to the Christmas holiday weekend. My healing miracle had presented itself in his time, not mine. All of my identified tumors had markedly decreased in size, including the one inside my liver. The large mass on the dome of my liver was not seen at all. The shrinkage in tumor mass was substantial ½ or better for all tumors, nothing new and nothing the same – a miracle indeed given only 6 weeks of treatment!
Chronology: Mary Hood’s Healing
Mary Hood’s Healing Continued (8/29/12)February 2012 – Two more chemotherapy treatments (Dec 30th and January 20th) which were a little more difficult than the first two. PET scan on February 9th indicated that most of the tumors had stabilized and a few had mildly decreased in size. There were no new tumors which was good news. Still, we were a bit disappointed in the report given we were expecting more shrinkage of the tumors. The Doctors were very pleased with the results stating “stable is good”. I disagreed with them and again stated that we wanted to all gone and not just stable. The Doctor responded “Well that is an admirable goal and I would want the same if I was in your shoes but that is just not realistic.” These results shook my faith a bit but I believed I had been promised my miracle and that I would indeed get there. Another trip to Houston to the Burzynski Clinic at the end of February to get started on another medication – this time a chemo pill called Xeloda that is usually used for breast cancer. This was another medication that Kaiser would not approve as they would only prescribe the Nexivar that was specifically FDA approved for liver cancer. I continued to take the other Burzynski medications daily in addition to the Nexivar (Tarcevia, Affinitor and the PBs). I added Acupuncture and more prayer and meditation to my regiment. March 2012 – The combination of medications began causing severe abdominal pain which was the result of bowl inflammation. A trip to the emergency room in early March revealed an area of fluid pocket in the bowl lining – the start of a bowl perforation. This required that I stop all cancer medication and take heavy antibiotics for 10 days. April 2012 – Xeloda was prescribed one week on and one week off. The second cycle of the Xeloda went better but the third week again resulted in severe abdominal pain. This time around the pain required bed rest and again a stoppage of all cancer medication. The pain resolved in another 10 days without antibiotics this time. The PET scan report from Kaiser said the cancer remained stable but the Doctors at the Burzynski Clinic disagreed and reported that they saw a 7% tumor growth in the five abdominal tumors but that the liver masses remained stable since the scan in February. They attributed this to the inconsistency of taking the medications so they dropped the Xeloda and attempted to return to the original four medication regiment. We attended a cancer treatment seminar at the University of Colorado and spoke with the chemotherapy physician about the medications. He said that he had seen very nasty side effects with all of the medications independently and that he had never seen anyone on all of them at once. He also shared that he was aware of clinical trials currently being done relative to using Tarcevia and Affinitor for liver cancer which was encouraging. Power of suggestion not withstanding, it was clear that we were in uncharted waters. This shotgun approach to treatment would need to be titrated based solely on Mary’s tolerance of the medications. Kaiser and Burzynski Clinic would not talk with each other or coordinate care in any way so we had to manage care ourselves. Titration of the medications was difficult and resulted in several more bouts of abdominal pain and stoppage of medications for 10-14 days at a time. May 2012 – There was one tumor in my lower abdomen that could be easily palpated and it began to grow noticeably. It was the size of a large lemon and had begun to limit my mobility due to the pain. I had scheduled a spiritual retreat for the first week of May and the pain threatened to cancel the trip. A good friend decided to go with me and help with the driving which was a huge blessing. We went to the Sanctuary of Light in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico for a week long spiritual retreat. It was a beautiful and quiet wooded property that facilitated lots of meditation and prayer and a connection to God in nature. I worked on issues of forgiveness and listening to my guardian angles. The tumor began to shrink noticeably that week. By the end of the week the pain was gone and the tumor about half the size. I was still struggling to tolerate the medications as prescribed. The end of the month I rejected Burzynski’s recommendation to start a different medication given the side effects described in the literature were so awful. Instead I decided to take only Nexivar at an increased dose but was unable to handle that as well. Another vacation from all medication and I decided to return to only one pill a day (Nexivar 200mg) as the cycle of pain and inactivity had become intolerable. June – Mid month I was finally able to tolerate the one Nexivar pill daily without side effects. After loosing more than 30 lbs it was great to have food begin to taste good again and to have more energy. My hair also started to come back – looking like GI Jane. End of the month I started playing racquetball again a few times a week. The tumor we could feel in my abdomen continued to shrink slowly. July – Feeling better and exercising regularly. The prescription I received from my angles during my retreat was – “love, laughter and nature every day!” I worked hard to stick to this one as it has been most powerful for mind, body and spirit. August – Major healing progress confirmed the first week of August – PET scan showed “overall improvement”. The tumor we could feel is no longer palpable and was found to be totally gone on the images. All of the lesions inside the liver were significantly reduced in density. There were two smaller tumors that showed as metabolically stable but at the same size. The other four tumors shrunk in size considerably. The largest one going from 10mm x 13mm down to 2.2cm x 1.3cm. Nothing new and nothing worst so we are very thankful! Prayer meetings at the barn every week since last October have been amazing. The power of healing prayer can be felt by all who attend. I truly believe that I received my miracle back in October at my first prayer meeting. The up and down progress was bewildering to me and I sought council from Brian and Dee to better understand why. This is not to say that my faith in the miracle as promised was not reinforced every week at the meetings. Every meeting gave me a sense of peace that supported my faith that I would eventually receive totally healing. I had wanted and expected a flash in the pan type miracle. I have come to see that I have a lot of work to do on having patience and this experience is teaching me this lesson in spades. Relative to my miracle I also had a lot of work to do on letting go of control. Intellectually I know that control is an illusion but somehow that doesn’t seem to prevent me from trying. It was difficult to see that my rigid expectations were not allowing God to provide my healing in his time and in his way. I am still working on learning to pray for blessings without having specific expectations around the how or when. Let go and let GOD! Wow this has been hard for me. In hind site I can certainly see the blessing of his timing as I continue to learn and grow in ways that my flash in the pan miracle would not have allowed. I thank the Lord daily for my miracle and I have faith that when the time is right - I will be totally healed as GOD has promised me.