9 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU GET A PANCREATIC CANCER DIAGNOSIS
Written by Brian David Muller
Getting a cancer diagnosis is something that can drop you to your knees and Pancreatic Cancer is something that can almost make your heart stop just from hearing those two words, That is why the first thing you need to do is to know use those two words.
1. Don't say the Two Words Pancreatic Cancer Again.
They have too much weight in our society and the last thing you need is more fear and stress being placed on you when you tell someone what type of cancer you have. If I had a dollar for every time I got that horrible response from someone(you know the one, like they are looking at you as if you are already dead), I would be a very wealthy individual. Change those two words to something that feels weak or fragile. I chose to change those two words to "Pancer." If someone asks you why type of cancer you have, just tell them you would rather not go into details. Tell them it's cancer and it is going to be a fight. When you tell someone the type of cancer, some may feels the need to relate or connect by saying something like, "Oh my uncle had that type of cancer. He died within 3 months of being diagnosed." Really. Seriously. And how is that comment going to help me? You don't need it. Fear is already at it's highest. You don't need anymore fear injected into this fight, especially at the beginning.
2. Stop Looking at the Statistics.
The statistics are not good. Some of the worst but that doesn't mean you can't be a statistic of ONE. As long as there is a chance, hang on to that. It is the only thing that will keep you from running those statistics through your head constantly. Try to look at the positive side of the statistics. If 80% of people don't beat Pancer, that means 20% do. If 50,000 people die of Pancer each year, that means that 10,000 people live. There is no reason you can't be one of those 10,000.
3. Clean Out Your Pantry and Fridge.
Get rid of everything in your pantry that has refined sugars or that is enriched. That means all your white rices and pastas and anything that has sugar. I don't think you need to eliminate sugar from your diet completely, but make sure you get rid of the things with the bad sugars. Fructose being the biggest bad sugar to do away with. Also, start shopping organic. Aldi grocery just went completely organic and banned the use of pesticides and makes shopping organic a little bit more doable and affordable. After you clean out the pantry, it is time to go through your fridge. Get rid of anything and everything that causes inflammation. Dairy products like milk and cheese. Substitute milk with almond milk. Substitute cheese with greek yogurt. Try to limit your consumption of red meat and pork. Focus on chicken and fish if possible. Stock your fridge with green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and green beens. Stock your counters with organic fruits. The best types of fruit are ones with a seed in the center, like peaches, apricots and plums.
4. Find 2-3 Good Combo Supplements to Compliment Your Plan
It can be overwhelming when you start reading about all the things you need to take to complement your chemo regime. Instead of taking 60 supplements and pills each day, work with a neuropath or alternative medicine provider to find 2 or 3 effective supplements that combine a number of cancer fighting supplements together. Don't wait to do this after chemo has or hasn't worked. Do this early in the fight. We met with Dr. Jeff Kotulski from Between the Bridges Healing Center in Mankato after things had spread and he prescribed High-Dose Vitamin C, Selenium, Pancreatic and Probiotic Enzymes and a supplement called Meta Arrest Pro which included things like Curcumin, green tea and ginseng as well as many important vitamins like Vitamin D, B2, B3, B6, B12, Zinc and Alpha Lipoid Acid. High Dose Vitamin C turns from an antioxidant to a pro-oxidant at high doses which can help break down the slimy layer that surrounds cancer cells making them more vulnerable to chemo or your own immune fighting cells. Selenium is an essential trace element and has been shown to have strong anti-cancer effects related to its catalytic role in antioxidant enzymes. To get probiotic enzymes, Dr. Kotulski recommended a product called Integrative Therapeutics Elemental Powder for GI Dysfunction. Since about 80% of your immune system is in your gut, this not only helped with digestion, it also helped get your gut working right so that your body could absorb essential nutrients. Make sure you touch base with your alternative medicine team at the institution you are getting treatment to make sure nothing will counteract with your treatment plan.
5. Stop Reading Internet Articles not Backed by Scientific Trials
You are going to be inundated with articles from friends or concerned family members with the next big cure or natural remedy. Stop reading them. Thank the person for the article, but this is not what you want to be spending your time doing. In fact, anything that adds stress to your life should be eliminated if possible. Thinking you should be doing X when you are doing Y is the biggest source of stress and stress is the biggest culprit in weakening your immune system. There is NO "ONE" NATURAL CURE or CANCER PROTOCOL that is going to win this fight for you. Period. You need to listen to your doctors. They are you best chance to beat this horrible disease. Consider complimentary medicine along with chemotherapy. Alternative medicine is not an alternative to modern medicine. The internet is full of alternatives, but very few if any backed by standard randomized scientific trials.
6. Avoid Laying in Bed too Much Even Though You Are Tired.
If you are doing chemo, you are going to be tired. You are going to be sick. You are not going to feel like moving, but if you stay in bed for long periods of time, a whole set of other problems could start to take shape. The biggest issue is something that you don't need to add to all the other symptoms you are having. That issue is BLOOD CLOTS. Pay attention for pain in your arms or chest. Pay attention to swelling in your legs. Blood clots can put a huge stall in your progress and stop your treatment all together. Try to get up even when you don't feel like it and walk around the house or around the block if it is nice out. If you do sit or lay down for extended periods of time, keep your feet elevated above your heart if possible. Being on blood thiner medication will also interact with your complimentary plan. For instance, if you are using CBD and THC Cannibas Oil, THC and cannabidiol have anticoagulant and antiplatelet properties that increase risk of bleeding. Selenium has anticoagulant and antiplatelet properties that also increase risk of bleeding. The supplement Meta Arrest Pro contains several elements which may increase bleeding risk including curcumin, green tea, and ginseng. So do your best to stay as active as you can. You don't need the complication of a blood clot.
7. Don't Waste Time Thinking Too Hard.
Time is off the essence when fighting Pancer, especially if it advances to Stage IV. Cancer grows geometrically like algae in a pond. Once it spreads, those cancer cells are typically more aggressive and multiple very quickly. Think of a pond with a small circle of algae in the middle. The next day that small circle doubles, then the next day that new circle doubles. 2 feet becomes 4 feet. 4 feet becomes 8. 8 feet becomes 16. 16 feet becomes 32 feet and so on until the entire pond is covered. Don't waste time thinking too much on what to do. 2 weeks is like 2 months when it comes to metastatic cancer. The biggest regret I have when it comes to my wife Amie's fight against Pancer, is that we took to much time off. I don't regret being able to enjoy our Christmas together as a family. It was a magical Christmas and I will cherish those memories forever, but it also allowed the cancer to get an upper hand. Cancer doesn't take a break. Cancer has no vacations. Cancer doesn't care. You can spend a lot of time wishing you would have done this or that, but just don't let one of your regrets be this. Keep going and don't let up. We did the best we could to fight this disease and Amie was so brave and strong. I am still in awe at her strength and willingness to do whatever it took. She was and will always be known as a fighter all the way to the very end.
8. If You Are Getting Really Sick During Chemo, Demand a Chemo Sensitivity Test.
My wife Amie was sick the entire time she was on chemo. She had the most aggressive regime that you could have called Folfirinox which was Flourouracil(5-FU), Oxaliplatin and Irinotecan. After almost 8 months of zero quality of life and an oncology team that could figure all her side effects out, I demanded a Chemo Sensitivity Test. It turned out she had what is called the 5FSGB(5FU Genotypinh B) mutation. This identified individuals at increased risk of toxicity when considering 5-FU chemotherapy treatment. They always talk about quality of life but never focus on this test. This one simple test could have been the difference. A different treatment might not have worked as well at fighting this aggressive cancer, but Amie would have at least had the possibility of a better quality of life and been able to fight longer and harder. So if you are getting sick and your oncologist team can't figure it out with prescription pain or nausea medications, demand a Chemo Sensitivity Test. They will tell you that it is not necessary or that it typically doesn't tell them much, but don't listen. Be adamant about it. This would be the one time to not listen to your doctor. A good oncologist will not fight you on this, although the insurance company will. Because it is not a necessary test, insurance most likely won't cover it. Demand it and tell them to find out a way to get insurance to cover it.
9. Find a Survivor To Talk To That Has Made it Through It.
No one can understand what you are going though except someone else that has been through it too. Find someone that was diagnosed at the same stage, has the same tumor location and challenges. Make sure they are further along and are making progress. This doesn't mean you should avoid going to a support group, but you need good gas. You need positivity. You need strength. You can't stay strong, if you are talking to someone who is taking your confidence, hope and strength away. Find someone preferable your own age and gender. No one fights alone and fighting with someone you can relate to and talk to is critical. You are going to need this person to make it through those really hard days or weeks when you feel like quitting.
Keep fighting. Don't let up. Keep your faith even when you feel like hope is lost. You can beat this. Believe that you can.