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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Hallelujah Christmas

Preparing my heart this Christmas season...

Beautiful lyrics, swelling chorus... for a baby born to us...

May your spirit be lifted this night, as we begin to celebrate...

A Hallelujah Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Leaping into Brave...

The Grief Journey

5 years ago... Can it really be?

5 years ago, I watched the sun come up through a hospital window as mom lay behind me, still and small, machines beeping, iv's dripping.  I didn't know it would be the last sunrise I would ever see with her...

And we've wandered this grief journey like a rag-tag bunch of homeless pilgrims.  Always seeking our way back to the familiar, the normal, trusting in a God of Big Grace to guide our steps.  We are finding home in a very new normal, with lessons learned, often upon our knees, torn and tear-stained, along the way:

Life goes on... whether we want it to or not.  That's the hard.  In those early days and weeks how we wanted life to stop. {It did stop... without her.}   We were broken, grieving, a mess.  And Grace pulled us back into the land of the living, with tears and love, laughter bubbled again.

Death is final... we can't go back and undo things we've said or done.  How we've longed to turn back time.  No one is ever ready to say Good-bye... we've learned to rest in the gift of those final months, knowing we said a million I love you's... knowing it will be enough to bridge the long walk until we meet again. 

Compassion is the heartbeat of Grace... my heart grieves more tender with those suffering loss.  I have learned to just be there.  Words are so inadequate when a world disintegrates, but arms to hold, shoulders for endless tears and hearts grieving together... this, I am finding, is the language of compassion and love and God's Grace.

Surprising, I have learned to live larger, take chances, find a little brave... This past cruise with Dad found us all on an adventure that simply slays me!  We, literally, leapt into brave...

Truly... Me, afraid of snakes and speaking in public and jumping off high dives... yes, that fearful, cowering me... she leapt off canyon walls and over thundering waterfalls... Seriously {!}  I did that!

Leaping into Brave... perhaps you would enjoy a picture (or two) of our Extreme Canyoning Adventure??

Did I tell you that our Extreme Canyoning Adventure took place on the beautiful Island of Dominica, home to Pirates of the Caribbean film???  Beautiful I say!

First we got suited up... 
{a lot of gear I'm thinking... hmmmm...}

Ready for Adventure

Crash course in rappelling...
{Think I've got this.  Sort of...}

Gorgeous hike thru the RainForest to get to the, ahem, jumping off point.
{Nervous yet?}

Yep, nervous now,
well, actually getting a little freaked out,
that rappelling tutorial back at home base left a few things out!

This is getting real.
{I might have been trying not to throw up... just saying}

Holy Cow!  I made it!
{In one piece... and I'm smiling!}
And you may notice that the group made me go first...What?!
Yes, they figured if I could do it then they could too... Ha!

I may have needed a push for the first Leap into Brave...
{that was a 20 foot waterfall}
No, No, No!

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

I just did that!

Navigating the current...
We think the water was cold, but none of us can remember.
We were just so happy to have survived the first two challenges!

Our happy and amazing guide!

More Leaping!

More Climbing!

More Waterfalls!

More Amazing!

{That Smile}

We got this now...

Gorgeous RainForest Canopy
High Above Us...

Last one... and it's a beast!
Getting our Brave on in the most spectacular way!


We just did that!

Leaping into Brave
And we survived!!!!

It's very symbolic of the past 5 years... the cliffs, the waterfalls, the hard,
the pain, the fear, the push, the pull of so many loved ones cheering us on...

It is so like our Grief Journey,
and we are making it, one cliff at a time.

5 years of missing... Time and Grace have woven their way through out our days, slowly, but surely walking us home.

Missing mom... I will always, always miss her.  Time has eased that intense yearning to hear her voice and feel her hugs, but I'm learning to allow myself to grieve those moments when nothing will do but to feel her near.

Today is one of those days... the grief digs in... and we know tomorrow the memories will swamp.

Giving ourselves permission to feel her near, and let the tears fall, and miss her so very deeply... and rest in memories forever ours.

My Love, Always,

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Wedding...

Joyful, Glorious, Happily Ever After!

This weekend past we celebrated love and family and grateful
All Together
with our niece, Stacee, and her beloved, Casey...

Beautiful advent welcome to this Thanksgiving season,
especially because dad was able to attend!!

He has missed too many celebrations this past year...
A wedding, filled with happy laughter and hallowed love was just the thing to put us in the Graced Grateful mood!!

A few pictures... Yes?!!

(my bursting-at-the-seams-proud brother... Father of the Bride!)

{Joy Bubbling Over}

From our Family to Yours,
Happy Thanksgiving,
May Love Grace your Table in Abundance!

Congratulations Stacee & Casey!!
Love you both to pieces!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

In It Together...

And the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is honoring our Pancreatic Cancer Heroes in a beautiful way...

If you are an Instagram follower, check out the #InItTogether hashtag.  Or click on the following link and be humbled and amazed at the outpouring of support from all around the world:

I am sobbing and cheering all at the same time.

If you are in the trenches with this nightmare of a cancer, please, please know, you are not alone.

We are truly In It Together.  And one day soon, the pancreatic cancer battle will be won!  When all your fight is gone, know that so many others are holding the line and standing in the gap for you.

Graced to Wage Hope Together,

My Love, Always,

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Elaborate Conspiracy Theory?

I know this 31 Day Challenge hasn't been easy for some (me included)... 

I bet you're asking "If it is so good, then why haven't I heard of it before now?  Why isn't my doctor prescribing these successful therapies for my cancer?"

Right?  {Me too}

And here's the thing... I don't like conflict.  I hate debates.  I never win an argument.

So everything about this 31 Day Challenge on Alternative Therapies flies in the face of all that I am.


I am more passionate about finding a cure for pancreatic cancer than I am about being politically correct or making someone that I don't know happy.

Through these last 5 years with the website and this blog, we have "met" hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones.

Roughly 99.9% are using conventional, traditional therapies to fight their cancer.

Less than 1% of those we've met on this pancreatic cancer journey will survive the onslaught with conventional treatment.

I am slowly waking up to the fact that conventional, traditional therapies, those Gold Standard Treatments, are failing the pancreatic cancer patient, simply failing in the most horrendous of ways.

And so, when you ask "If it's so good, then why haven't I heard of it?"

My answer is, now you have.

These are options.  Not mandates.  Take the time to research, ask questions, seek answers...

The Truth About Cancer documentary resonated deeply for me.  Perhaps it will for you as well.

Chris Wark at Chris Beat Cancer shares the following:

"For anyone who says, “You can’t use anecdotal evidence” or “You were just lucky”, or “How dare you question science-based medicine” or “Shame on you for telling people not to do chemo”  etc.

... There are two ways we can learn. We can learn from scientific research and we can learn from experience, our own experience and the experiences of others. This is why survivors stories which are often dismissed as “anecdotal” should never be ignored. In my opinion survivors trump science.

I find it funny how critics of me, who claim to be all about science-based medicine, describe me as “lucky”.

Really? Lucky? What branch of science is luck exactly?

Newsflash: Using the word “luck” in a scientific argument makes a very weak argument.

So no, I haven’t been lucky. “Luck” is a shallow, unscientific, godless view on life. It has no place in scientific discussion.

Science is not truth. It is a method of discovery. It is man’s attempt to understand the infinite complexities of the universe that God created. And while man’s knowledge and understanding has certainly expanded throughout human history, at no point in history has the totality of science ever been correct. There is vigorous debate within the scientific community on thousands of points. Science is full of errors, unknowns, and in some cases deliberate fraud when specific outcomes benefit the researchers. Pharmaceutical science is the worst in this regard. When billions of dollars of profit are at stake, you better believe there’s some fraud going on. Google the term “publication bias” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Scientific “truth” is constantly changing, because we are constantly discovering new things.
Science is not a religion to be worshipped. Believing in science is like believing in the weather. Today it’s sunny and 70 degrees in Memphis, but what’s true today will not be tomorrow. As much as the scientific community claims to understand about cancer and the human body, they still really don’t understand it at all. If they did, they could cure every cancer every time.

Science-based medicine is deception.

Touting conventional medicine as “science-based medicine” or “evidence-based medicine” is industry propaganda for the masses. Conventional science-based medicine is most accurately described as “patent-based medicine” or “profit-based medicine”, because it only includes scientific research that leads to patented highly-profitable pharmaceutical drugs.

Over many decades, thousands of published peer-reviewed scientific studies on nutritional science and lifestyle medicine have been largely ignored by the medical and pharmaceutical industry, despite the fact that these studies perpetually demonstrate that the leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) can be prevented and reversed through simple diet and lifestyle changes. So yeah, there’s a whole lot of science you aren’t hearing about. FYI: Some of the top nutritional science MDs of our day are Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Banard, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Michael Greger, just to name a few. Again, there are over 40 scientific journals devoted to nutritional science!

Nature exists in perfect order.

The human body, just like nature, is Intelligently Designed to work in perfect order.
You have trillions of cells in your body, each cell is more complex that anything man has made!
Do you think that these trillions of cells work together in perfect harmony on accident, by chance?
Cancer is the body’s NATURAL response to overwhelming toxicity and suppressed immune function.

It is the body’s brilliant attempt to save your life.
The earth was created for us by God.
Everything the body needs to thrive and heal can be found in nature, specifically whole plant and animal foods from the earth.

The body is designed to heal.

Look at Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.That’s a SCIENTIFIC LAW OF NATURE, just like gravity.

Only by working WITH gravity can man fly. Any attempt to ignore or defy gravity will result in failure.

When you go against the Laws of Nature you will reap sickness in your body.
When you abide by the Laws of Nature you give your body the ability to heal.

What I am doing here on this site is intentional.

If you do even the smallest amount of research you will find that chemotherapy is for the most part ineffective in curing most epithelial (solid-tumor) cancers. The cancers that it does work pretty well for are childhood leukemia, CLL, testicular cancer, and lymphomas. This information is on my site and it abounds in hundreds of published medical industry studies. Go to pubmed and learn something from the scientific evidence that you have not seen.

When an oncologist tells a patient that their particular cancer has been shown to “respond” to a particular drug, what that really means is it that the drug has shown to shrink tumors. That’s it. No remission. No cure. Just tumor shrinkage. That’s what the industry calls “responding”. Look it up!
Every oncologist knows this, but most are trapped in a system that pays them HIGH six figures to keep doing exactly what they are doing, despite the dismal results.

There are many courageous MDs who have left the brutal and barbaric “cut poison burn” cancer treatment and are getting phenomenal results. Dr Nicholas Gonzalez, Dr. James Forsythe, Dr. Leigh Erin Conneally, and Dr. Rashid Buttar, just to name a few.

Nutrition and natural therapies will NEVER be used instead of pharmaceutical drugs. For one simple reason: They cannot be patented and are not profitable. Wake up ! There are over 1,000 drug company lobbyists in Washington DC alone. It’s a conspiracy of greed with continued concerted effort to maintain control over a trillion dollar medical industry.

With the exception of trauma care, the entire medical industry is built on three lies: that you have no control over your health, that you are essentially a victim of good or bad luck, and that you cannot heal yourself."

            *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In Chris' opinion, Survivors Trump Science... I think I would have to agree.  This 31 Day series is not some elaborate conspiracy theory, but an honest look at what is working in the field of pancreatic cancer treatment...

And that has been my desire these past weeks, to share the pancreatic cancer success stories.  To share their therapies and treatment plans.  To give you options in the fight.

To allow Hope to rise up...

It has been grace to travel this 31 Day Challenge with you, exploring The Truth About Cancer... Praying your journey continues on to places of Beauty, of Healing and of Hope.

My Love, Always,

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Are We Confused Yet?

Ok... Honest. 

From one cancer warrior to another... do all the options on this 31 Day Challenge sort of make your head spin?

{Me too...}

Not only are we talking about the option of alternative cancer treatments as opposed to traditional, conventional methods.  We are also opening up a whole new world of natural, non-toxic cancer therapies... with lots of options!

So, what might be best for your specific journey?  Your particular cancer? 

Should you try the Gerson Therapy?  What about Chemotherapy?  Or perhaps the Hoxsey Formula?

Maybe it should be the Cellect-Budwig Diet... Then again, what about radiation, or even surgery?

Too often on this cancer journey we are torn by recommendations, urgent and dire, that cause panic and debilitating stress in the midst of an already nightmarish situation...

What if we could combine the best of both worlds?  Not have to choose one over the other?  But instead be treated as an individual, integrating many of today's top cancer therapies, both conventional and alternative.

I wish I could tell you that place existed. 

The cancer world is still very divided... between conventional, traditional treatments and alternative, natural therapies...

Each camp paints the other with an ugly brush.

The conventional wisdom would have us believe that all alternative doctors are quacks and can't be trusted.

The alternative holistics would have us believe that conventional doctors are in Big Pharma's pockets and, likewise, can't be trusted.

Who do you believe?  Making my head spin I tell ya...

It would seem that it is very much up to the patient to make the overwhelmingly difficult choice of a primary course of treatment.

But the tide is gradually turning and The Truth About Cancer documentary has resonated for many.

This would be my very humble take on the world of integrative medicine... it is a powerful, potentially revolutionary force in the cancer world.

And here's why I believe that so strongly.   When mom was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her symptoms were pronounced and urgent... the mass on her pancreas had grown large enough to press in on her bile duct and pancreatic duct, effectively closing them off, trapping bile and digestive enzymes.

The pain was intense, and the jaundice was terribly alarming.  Doctors performed an ERCP (surgical procedure under anesthesia) and inserted stents (small plastic tubes) to open the ducts and keep them open. 

Mom's physical relief was almost instant.  Even as our emotional world was collapsing with the news of her cancer diagnosis.

Her cancer treatment consisted of conventional treatments, chemotherapy and radiation.  It was a year-long study in how not to battle pancreatic cancer... the  nausea, vomiting, weight-loss, abdominal pain, complications... all signals that we were losing the fight, inch by excruciating inch. a nutshell, mom benefited immediately from conventional surgery to open her bile and pancreatic ducts... We believe she would have died if not for that life-saving surgery.

The truth is, however, that she did die of the cancer, while receiving the very best conventional treatments available to her doctors.

Mom's story is not unique... pancreatic cancer treatments just have not been able to breach the wall.  Too many precious ones are losing the fight.

Yet, there are some pancreatic cancer survivors... Kathryn Hahn, Felicity Corbin Wheeler, Pamela Kelsey... all using alternative, natural therapies.

Perhaps that is why The Truth About Cancer and this 31 Day Challenge have kept me up at nights... What if mom had tried one of these therapies?

Could she have survived while integrating the best of both worlds?  Surgery, yes... the stents saved her life... the Gerson therapy, or perhaps the Cellect-Budwig treatment to fight the cancer instead of the chemo?  Perhaps...

Integrative Medicine...the best of both worlds... there is a Hope that pulls on our hearts... for each cancer warrior tonight, fighting when the news is grim, when their bodies are weak, when they just want to give up...

Holding you close in my prayers, knowing that Grace will be sufficient for every moment of the journey, don't give up...

Shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, journeying together,