Excuse my errors and use of the English language. it sort of "Southern Rock".. haha
On May 9th 2019, 3 strangers saved my life and I was one of them! This is truly an amazing story of giving. A single mother in her later 30's gave me the left lobe of her liver thru the UPMC Living Donor Transplant program. The other person, an organ donor I never met, gave a major vein called an inferior vina cava
I have been self employed most of my life. Fortunately, I have a loving wife and son, that were with me all the way from the time we met and from the time my son was able to tie his shoes. Along with, being surrounded by amazing people; neighbors, friends, employees and sub-contractors who gave so much.....THANK YOU for you support!!!
A big problem being self employed was, in order to afford health insurance we had catastrophic health insurance (affordable premium - no benefits). Which was ok at the time because our family was very healthy, we had a good diet, we were taking whole food supplements, we were getting exercise and we had no history of medical conditions in our family.
That all changed in 2015 when the new insurance plans kicked in. I was 51 in March that year and as they say "you need a colonoscopy". So, I complied and that is when the BAD news came. A HUGE tumor was found in my colon. The doctor estimated the tumor was growing for over 8 years, so that means my cancer started in my early 40's. The tumor was so large, my surgeon did another colonoscopy to tattoo my intestines where it need to be removed, 10 days later I was having a colon resection. After the surgery, my cancer was diagnosed as stage IV colorectal cancer, the tumor had broken the barrier and was in my lymph nodes. When my doctor told me the news, my first comment was " I can beat this, right?" and as a good doctor, his reply was "YES".
That is when the my wife and I started our research on how this happened and what we could do to stop my cancer spread. We found nutrition, naturopathic treatments, homeopath and alternative therapy treatments (massage, yoga, acupuncture & chiropractic) would heal my body, stop cancer growth and would compliment the success of western medicine. Our research and learning continues even today, January 1, 2021
Later in 2015, a CT PET SCAN showed 5 tumors in my liver. My Doctor, the Surgeon and my Naturopathic Oncologist recommended chemotherapy and other medications / supplements to shrink the tumors and then surgery to remove the tumors. We agreed and I did several chemotherapy treatments over a 6 week period. After the treatments, the surgeon recommended me to UPMC in Pittsburgh because, I had a tumor on my vina cava (this supplies all the blood from your liver to your heart) and it was a very difficult and life threatening procedure. In January 2016, I had a liver resection to remove 1/2 of my liver and the tumor on my vina cava was ablated (burned out). Three months after the surgery it was recommended that I have more chemotherapy to remove any remaining cancer cells.
Keep in mind, while all of this was going on, we had a business to operate. My son had just graduated college and was starting his career in NYC. Which he put on hold to come home and help me and his mother. Occasionally, when able, I would go to work and do as much as possible, even carrying a chemo pump.
Later in 2016, a CT SCAN showed a mass in my lung. After monitoring it for several months and other test, I was given the option to biopsy it or just remove it. In January 2017, I chose to have a lung wedge resection to remove the tumor and what a GREAT DECISION it was, the mass came back positive as colon cancer.
Then in 2017, a CT SCAN showed the tumor on my vina cava was back. In January again, another surgery to ablate the tumor.
In August of 2018, a CT SCAN showed the tumor on the vina cava was back and again it was ablated. In November a CT PET SCAN showed the tumor was back, growing rapidly and bigger than ever. I was give the choice to take chemo the remainder of my life and if I didn't, they gave me six months to live because the tumor was pushing against my hepatic vein and would eventually grow into the vina cava and both would block the blood flow to my heart.
My Family and I could not believe this was happening, I was in very good physical condition. and I had no symptoms. I could do anything I put my mind to.
I decided that I was not going to do chemo. The reason was because as soon as I stop, the tumor would grow. Instead, I chose to go to Canada in January of 2019 to see my Naturopathic Oncologist who I have been seeing since 2015. Only this time, we had to step it up a few notches. I was instructed to get high does of Mistletoe and Vitamin C through IV, along with nebulizing alpha lipoic acid and other naturopathic treatments. ( DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN, YOU MUST HAVE A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL ADMINISTER ANY NATROPATHIC MEDICINE ) My Wife and I spent the next three months in Canada to receive these treatments.
In March of 2019, UPMC contacted me about having a liver transplant. This option was never available or performed on anyone in the USA for Metastatic Cancer, because the theory was Metastatic Cancer would continue to grow in my body and I would die anyway. The GOOD NEWS is the Naturopathic Treatments worked and we stopped the growth of the tumor. All the testing results for the liver transplant came back positive and I was approved for a living donor liver transplant. Only it was a BYOL... "bring your own liver" now that was a new one... does Amazon sell them, Craigslist, or maybe Offer Up??? And the surgery had to be completed QUICKLY before the tumor began to grow again and broke the barrier. My family and friends put together a huge campaign for me to try and find the most amazing person to give part of their liver to me. While all of this was going in, I was able to find a supplier of mistletoe that would accept a Canadian Doctors prescription and a functional doctor here in the states to administer the treatments.
My wife and son were the first to sign u to donate part of their liver but, both were disqualified, three of my sons friends signed up, they were disqualified, about 50 people all total disqualified.
However, in May of 2019 my new neighbor, whom I only met once or twice because I was always having surgery or out of the country. Was approved and graciously donated part of her liver to me, almost a complete stranger with several children. And thanks to her, words can not explain or show our family's GRATITUDE.
HAPPY DAYS!!! ALWAYS BELIEVE AND DON'T GIVE UP!!!!
YOU CAN BEAT THIS!
Click the link below to view an article written by Kim Strong, a USA Today associate
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Wanting to be successful with
Green Bay Packer pride ,
off to Canada to see my Naturopathic Medical Oncologist in, early January 2019 after being given 6 months to live in mid December 2018. The tumor attached to my inferior vina cava was growing rapidly. Using High Dose Mistletoe and Vitamin C, we stopped the growth. This procedure must be performed by a Professional,
DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!
At the apartment relaxing for the day. more to follow soon,
Danielle is the incredible brave woman that gave me the gift of LIFE!
Her recovery from the partial liver donation at UPMC was 5 days in the hospital then released with follow ups.
Your willingness to give part of your body to almost a complete stranger is an amazing testimony to your kindness, your love of life and shows your true heart!
This $2.00 piece of equipment is worth more than the millions of dollars worth of equipment in the hospital when you are recovering from surgery!
Yes, that is a TRUE STATMENT!
This is a spirometer, you inhale thru it to increase you inhale. By doing so, you bring more oxygen into the lungs, which does way too many things to lit here..
Just Do It!
Yes, that's right, it was a beautiful June day, the sun was beaming in the window and I'm taking a spa day to relax, heal and recover.
What a wonderful feeling!
Thanks to the qualified and skilled team at the Starzl Transplant Institute at UPMC Montefiore Hospital.
To the Surgeons, operating room staff, Transplant Floor Nurses, and all involved in my fight for life,
Thank you for the time and dedication you give to your education, the endless hours when someone is in need and the kindness you gave to me helping in my surgery and recovery.
YOU ARE OUR HEROS!
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