MD Anderson

Dear Friends,
I wanted to let you know that my former disease has recurred There is never a pleasant way to give friends and loved ones bad news, but it is time to let you know what has transpired. Before I say anything else, I want you to know a few things. One, I am actually doing very well, mentally and physically. I have NO physical symptoms, and having made decisions for treatment has greatly lessened my stress. Two, I know that I have inadvertently left people off of this list. I wanted to send this out quickly, and there may be people whose names escape me at this moment. And lastly, I would appreciate it if you do not call me, as I do not have the time, energy, or desire to continually discuss the situation. It becomes distressing to go over all the details time and time again.

That being said, I have known since a March 14 check up that a “cyst” was found on manual exam in an area called the “cul-de-sac”, that was the one spot found 3 and 1/2 years ago during my hysterectomy and multiple abdominal/pelvic biopsies that was malignant outside of the uterus. My specific endometrial cancer is called Papillary Serous Carcinoma, and unfortunately, is a more aggressive, less common endometrial cancer. Everything was microscopic at that time–always giving a negative CT scan. Since then, the only indication that anything was amiss was a blood test that my Integrative physicians have me do. It is called the Oncoblot and reveals malignant cells that have a specific protein on their surface. Unfortunately, it has been positive for 3 years. So, even though conventional medicine said I was fine–no clinical signs–I have known that there was a possibility that this disease could still raise it’s ugly head.

So, very long story short, I was somewhat surprised by my oncologist’s discovery, but not shocked. After a CT scan, a PET scan, a 2nd opinion by a well-known gynecology oncologist in Dallas, several video conferences with my Integrative research oncologist, Dr. LaValley here, and I trip to Minnesota to visit the Integrative physician who has continually supplied my protocol, Dr. Foley, and has followed me, I went to MD Anderson 2 weeks ago to be evaluated. This past Friday, I had a biopsy that is positive. After much research and discussions with my 2 Integrative physicians, a radiology cousin, and a urological surgeon cousin, I have decided on IMRT at MD Anderson, along with small weekly amounts of Chemo. IMRT stands for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, and it is a much more targeted, less immune destroying type of therapy. I had to ask for it, as all 3 “Conservative” doctors wanted me to have surgery and similar chemo to what I had before. I don’t believe that worked well enough, and I am not doing that again, as I have no faith in that combination. Also, much research shows that surgery not only knocks out your immune system, but also spreads the tumor seeds.

Therefore, I will be in Houston at MD Anderson in the near future (yet to be decided) for 6 weeks. Radiation will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks, plus weekly small chemo doses. This radiation is an easy choice for me as it is much more targeted–with much less collateral damage that the old kind, will be done by a team or Gynelogical Oncology Radiologists, who do this EVERY DAY, and the chances are MUCH greater that this therapy will kill the cancer cells, instead of merely delaying the next time I have to have treatment! Several physicians have told me that I did “very well”, as I made it 3 and 1/2 years with recurrence. I do not wish to do this again.

I have many friends and family in Houston. I will be able to stay with various people during my time there, will come home on weekends, and will hopefully be able to continue to do limited massage, pull a few weeds, and sit on my back porch with a nice cup of hot tea. I promise to keep you posted.

So that’s it for now. I’m going to get rid of this pest! And, I have an incredible support system–fabulous friends, family, clients, a precious 1 year old grand son, and one on the way. Just send me good thoughts and prayers, and I will wrap myself in them, knowing I have been divinely guided to this point.

Much love,
Melanie