Sunday, January 15, 2017

Our Life With Cancer / Past and Present

Warning! This post might get long.

I want to talk about our trip to Mexico and how it came to be. I know a lot of people have asked so I want to share the story and in an attempt to keep the gossip away. lol

As everyone that knows us, knows that Russ has been diagnosed with throat cancer for two years now. We have been treating it at home with holistic treatments. That worked very well the first year. By summer of the second year, Russ started experiencing pain in his mouth and throat area. He started taking over the counter pain medication. That was when we decided we needed some extra help. We have been watching Ty Bollinger's, The Truth about Cancer series and learned about some great places. We chose to go to the Hoxsey clinic in Tijuana, Mexico in July. It was only one day at the clinic and cheaper than going somewhere with an extended stay. When we got there, the doctor was very encouraging with how healthy Russ was. All doctors that run test on Russ tell him that his blood work and organs are in excellent health. He just has a tumor in his neck. With that being said, the doctor felt that Russ had time for the Hoxsey treatment to work. It is a slow working formula but effective at killing cancerous tumors. Unfortunately, it wasn't working fast enough. The diet was extremely hard to follow as well. Russ' pain continued to slowly increase. By November 2016, it was getting almost unbearable and was affecting his ability to work and run his business. One evening, the pain was so bad and his throat was swelling and he thought he was going to die. We called our parents and Michelle and Kyle and our wonderful friend, Mark Bagwell. They all came to the house and prayed for Russ. It was time to make some decisions. Russ told me what he was willing and not willing for doctors to do to him. We made an appointment with his family doctor the next day. He was very sympathetic to Russ' wishes and told him that he has had a great quality of life for the last two years that he would not have had if he had gone with traditional treatments. (As a disclosure here, we do not promote or endorse traditional or non traditional treatments. Just do your homework and find out all of your options before you let any one doctor determine your fate.) He told Russ to get his affairs in order and to let me know specifically what he wanted in case something happened like the night before.

So, we had to face some hard realities that no one wants to face. That Russ could actually die from this. It is not something I was wanting to hear. We started researching our options again. Drastic times call for drastic measures. So we looked at some of the places that Ty Bollinger recommended. There was one clinic in North Carolina that you can go to for 6 weeks and then follow up treatments. The cost starts at $50,000. We also considered the Hope 4 Cancer institute in Mexico. They have two clinics. One is in Tijuana and the other is in Cancun. They have a treatment there that is only given in one other place in the world and that is Germany. It is called Rigveer. It is a virus that they insert in you that kills cancer cells, even down to the stem cell, but does not harm normal cells. They use this along with about 15 other treatments. How this clinic works is you go for three weeks. Then they send you home with 3 months worth of supplements and shots and a machine that you use on yourself every day. I cannot remember the names of all of the treatments. You can go to the website if you want to see specifics: The cost is $40,000 for three trips to the clinic and one years worth of supplements, shots, and equipment. It does not include airfare. So now that we decided this was what we wanted to do, we had to find a way to pay for it. We told our family about our decision. My sister started a go fund me page. We were looking at all of our options. Selling stuff, selling the kids, (just kidding!), loan, as I said, trying to look at all of our options. We had heard about some people funding their cancer treatments with their life insurance policy so we looked into that. It just so happens that our term life insurance that we have had for a long time had this accelerated death benefit on it. That means you can cash in on part of your policy and they deduct that part at the time if your death. (It is Lincoln Life Benefit that we purchased through Allstate,(Danny Marcengill) in case you were wondering.) The only catch is, you have to have a death sentence. Meaning, you only have one year or less to live. So we went back to the doctor and talked to him about this. He willingly sent a notice to the insurance company. That was the most sobering of all was when you get an actual death sentence. Not a happy time. But the silver lining was one more chance to fight. We believe everything happens for a reason and there was definitely a reason we purchased that insurance years before we needed it. God is always in control.

After we got the information rolling with the insurance company, we called the Hope 4 Cancer clinic and made an appointment with their clinic for January 2nd. Russ would have liked to go sooner but we had to wait on the insurance company to see if they accepted our request. At first, they were going to send us to the Tijuana clinic. But after we sent them Russ' medical records, they decided that the treatment he needed was in Cancun. Needless to say, we were both happy with that decision since we had been to Tijuana and wasn't thrilled about spending any more time there. So to sum it all up, the insurance company sent us a check on December 30th. Talk about waiting until the last minute! We were getting concerned. We received enough money to pay for our trip and help us when we get home with bills until Russ can start working again.

I want to add here, we cannot tell you how much we appreciate all of the donations that came through the go fund me or given to us personally. That money has gone into funding this trip, as well as helping with our bills in December while Russ was unable to work. We are very grateful for all who contributed and pray God richly blesses you for it.

Our prayer now is that this trip has been the answer we have been praying for. So far, the treatments are going very well and Russ is starting to feel a little relief in swelling and pain. I will post again with some of our adventures while here. Just a trip to the grocery store in another country is an adventure!

Life is a grand adventure! Don't forget to live.
Peace and Love,

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome to a New Year! 2017

I have been trying to decide how to write this post. 2016 was quite the year. Many ups and downs. We started the year off with high hopes like every year. In some ways, we have been extremely blessed. In other ways, we have been extremely tested. More so than ever before in our life.

Last winter, we stopped working as diligently with Russ' cancer protocol. We stopped a few of the protocols and became too lenient on his diet. He was feeling good so we got complacent. But as anyone with cancer knows, you do not have the luxury of complacency. You must remain completely diligent. So things started to change for the worse. By the summer, Russ started having pain and started taking excedrin to manage it. We went to a one day clinic in Mexico in August and came home with lots of supplements. They informed us that it is a slow working formula but effective. They believed that Russ had the time since he was in great health. It wasn't enough. The pain continued to increase. By November, things got critical and we made some decisions. We looked at our options and decided to go to a different clinic in Mexico. This is called Hope 4 Cancer. You stay for three weeks and then they send you home with a home program that you stay on for one year. It is very expensive but we really felt like this was the way to go. We just had to come up with the money. Well, we went ahead and made an appointment to go January 2nd. Believing that the money would be there when we needed it. Finally, last Thursday, we received the money. So we are most hopeful that this is the answer that we have been praying for. We believe we have been given a second chance to beat this cancer and grow as individuals like never before. Russ and I will be in Mexico for three weeks. We have never been away from the kids this long and everyone is a little nervous. But we have great family and friends that are helping with the boys and I believe everyone will grow as a result of this journey. I will have time to study and decide what this new year will be like for us. We do not know exactly what the end result will be but that doesn't mean you do not set goals and dream and desire to grow in all areas of our life.

I started really working my business this summer and it has paid off. I have moved up two levels and have some great customers. I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store. I am excited about my One Simple Change Facebook group and will be posting regularly once I get settled in Mexico. I have taken the last two months off to focus on Russ and my family but am eager to start moving forward in helping people change their lives by changing their health. My passion in life is my family and helping people improve their health. I believe prevention is far better than fighting a disease. No one is completely immune but there are things we can do to prevent sickness and disease. I wish we would have been more diligent about prevention before Russ got cancer!

I want to end this post with how very grateful I am for the kindness of people. I know there are bad things that go on every day all over the world. But I believe that deep down, people are more good than bad. More generous than selfish. More kind than jerks. We have been blessed beyond measure from people we know and don't know since people have found out about Russ the last two months. The money, prayers, good vibes, and support have been incredible.

My prayer for you is that you find 2017 to be the year that you put aside petty differences, don't waist your time on things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Put your attention on your family, goals, dreams, and desires. Focus on the things you do want and not the things you don't want. I hope for a great and prosperous 2017 for myself and for you. Here's to health, healing, and dreams fulfilled!