On August 14th, 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The past two years have been a roller-coaster ride of fear and exhilaration. You see, I also got engaged in 2008… I’ve had two surgeries, one in NYC and one in Portland, Oregon; each followed by a recurrence within months. I am now at Stage IV, with metastasis to the bones, and a local recurrence in my right breast.
After much research, medical advice on both coasts, diagnostic testing, and soul-searching, I decided to seek treatment at the Cancer Hope Center in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Forsythe is on the cutting edge of integrative cancer care. I was lucky enough to be able to meet with him for a consultation on March 10th, and felt confident that this treatment would save my life. One of the exciting differences in this treatment is that I get a chemosensitivity blood test which is sent off to Europe (not available in the US, apparently) and tells us exactly what chemo drugs and natural medicines will work on my specific cancer cells.
I needed to raise $30,000 for the initial three-week intensive treatment (which, in the world of cancer treatment is cheap!) Unfortunately, none of this was covered by my health insurance. I needed help, and my friends came to the rescue. In just one month I was able to raise $16,000 through my GiveForward website, and another $7,000 poured in to my cancer bank account from friends raffles, a carwash, a benefit dance party! and unexpected gifts. I was able to go to Reno with money in my pocket and get three weeks of naturopathic IV treatment. [I was probably the only person in Reno NOT pouring money into slot machines!]
Within five days, the lesions and itching on the surface of my breast started to clear up. I was elated! The healing has continued, and my cancer markers (monthly blood tests) began to go down for the first time since August ’09 after my 2nd surgery. I have continued with the at home regimen of supplements (the most important are Salicinium and Poly-MVA) which cost over $1000 a month) and a special anti-inflammatory diet. I can feel the tumors shrinking, and am feeling better all the time. I can only hope that any tumors inside (like the ones they saw in my hip bones with the MRI) are shrinking too. My oncologist is amazed by my progress, but still skeptical about naturopathic treatment – go figure! I also get 50 grams of Vitamin C intravenously every two weeks, and monthly infusions of Zometa (for bone metastisis), and a shot of Zoladex (which keeps my ovaries shut down so I can take the Femara, which controls the estrogen that the cancer needs to grow). It’s not easy, and there are some heavy-duty side effects, but so far, it seems to be worth it.
I am currently fighting my third recurrence and am in the process of raising another $40,000 for that. I really appreciate all the help that is coming my way.
Please donate online using the link in the upper right corner.
Or, you can send donations to the “Meg Patterson Cancer Treatment Fund”, c/o Clatsop Community Bank, 988 Commercial St, Astoria, OR 97103