Thursday, April 30, 2009

"We've got the old Julie back!"

Here's another update about my mom! She is doing great at the clinic and the few that have got to talk with her have said "Sounds like the old Julie!" She's hopeful and seems really excited to get home and implement all that she is learning. Just like some one with an allergy or diabetes, she knows that this diet is going to be her new way of life.

Carrie has been our main connection with my mom and Bob, and she says it best:

I spoke with Mom today and she's sounding better than ever! After she got back from Iowa City, it really seemed as though all hope was gone, she'd planned her funeral and that we had very little time left with her. She's been at the Gerson Institute almost 6 days now and she sounds so full of hope its almost as if she might just get a 2nd chance at life. All of her vices are gone (alcohol, cigarrettes, etc) and although she's not completely enjoying the diet (vegan with only organic fruits, veggies and carrot juice on the hour) along with the body detox, you can tell she's starting to feel better as her spunk is back and it's now driving her crazy that the dr's just want her to rest when she feels as though she wants to be up doing things again.

There are only 10 patients with their companions allowed at one time and they've gotten to meet people from Korea, Alaska, other parts of the US and Canada, but are becoming friends with another couple from Michigan, where the wife also has Skin Cancer Melanoma. She's an RN nurse apparently at a hospital in Michigan and watched too many people in similar instances die from the chemo/radiation and chose this route instead.
Her case is of course not as advanced as Mom's is, but her choice in treatments is inspiring. Today she also gets to meet Charlotte Gerson (photo to the right), the founder of the institute whose father developed the therapy that has helped so many become cancer free. She sounded really excited to get to sit down and talk with her today. As Charlotte says at 88 years old "the only way to prove the nay-sayers wrong is to continue to out live them" :)

There was one minor setback in that they tried to give her an anti-inflammatory hoping to help reduce the swelling/tumors in her eye and apparently she's allergic to it as they ended up having to visit the ER. She was initially concerned going to a Mexican hospital, but she said you wouldn't believe it. She wanted to take a picture to show us, as she said it was cleaner, nicer and a better experience than any she's ever had in the US. She was in and out in a half hour. They did an x-ray of her heart and lungs and said they were all clear and everything's looking good. Although the skin cancerous lesions are on the muscles surrounding the organs, it doesn't seem as though they're impacting the functionality of those organs.

They expect her to have her first healing response in the next few days where the dead cancer cells will be expelled from her body. She could have a fever/nausea during that time as the toxins build up and release, but it's all a good sign.

Again, thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers, though this is going to be a journey with a lot of ups and downs, it seems as though things are getting "brighter by the day", so THANKS!

Here are a few links if you are interested in learning more about the Baja NutriCare Institute and the Gerson Therapy

Monday, April 27, 2009

Icebreaker 2009

Before the race with the "Icebreaker Penguin"
and the Stanford Wolves Mascot
Colton very excited to start the race.
After the race with our medals.
(I think I should've ordered a larger size shirt!)
Made it through the race, and
fell asleep on the way to the car!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Julie update

My sister briefly talked on the phone with my mom this evening and she seems to be doing really well. The clinic (Baja Nutricare) seems really nice and they feel really safe. Her bloodwork looks good and she will get to meet with a specialist on Monday. She also said that they been giving her a lot of supplements and are always handing her some type of juice, so much that when they tell them it is lunch or dinner, they are never hungry.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers, Cortney

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pray for my Mom and Stepdad

Most recent family picture taken over Easter vacation.
(front l-r): Colton, Grandma Pat, Julie, Bob, Kacie
(back):Christopher, Jesse, Cortney, Brent with Evan, Connie with Blake, Carrie, GT, Ashlee, John, Christi with Isaac

Here's an email from my sister explaining everything:

Just wanted to thank all of you for your continued thoughts and prayers on our family as my mom endures the "fight for her life". We've had a lot of trying moments recently (loss of Bob's dad, loss of GT's grandma, etc), although we've also gotten to share a lot of special moments with so many friends and family, so we have much to be thankful for.

Just a quick update, but last Friday my mom's dr's told us that the Temodar they were treating her with isn't working and the Melanoma cancer has now spread to her bones, her spine and what were small tumors just a few weeks ago have become masses and continues to spread throughout her body. They're nervous about the cancer breaking her bones or getting into her spinal cord which will cause immediate paralysis. In short, there is nothing more they can offer her other than a very toxic chemo that we understand doesn't help Melanoma patients and she most likely wouldn't make it out alive. The dr's are all shocked she still isn't in a lot of pain and can still walk, so we're all very thankful for that.

With very little time left on our hands and no other options in the US, we're turning to alternative medicine. They can't administer natural healing methods in the US because it can't be patented nor considered a drug but we were able to get her approved into the Gerson Institute/Baja Nutri Care Center in Tijuana Mexico where for the next 2 weeks she will undergo a complete body detox with a very specific organic, vegan diet that will build up her immune system to cause the cancer cells to naturally die off. There is a lot of cancer to "flush" through her system, so she'll endure a lot of ups and downs, but she's very strong willed so we're hopeful she can make it through.

With all the research we've done and all the success stories, the Gerson Therapy has the best results for Melanoma patients in particular so we're hopeful we still have enough time for her body to begin healing itself.

During my mom's "retreat" we may hear very little as far as updates, but we'll post anything we feel appropriate onto my sister Cortney's blog at:

Love, Carrie

My sister also didn't mention that they don't allow smoking, so she will be going "cold turkey" after smoking for over 30 years. Just this alone is going to be a challenge, so if all of your prayers could be directed toward her, my stepdad Bob (who will be with her and going through the diet also), her speedy healing and God's hand working in all of this!
On behalf of my family, we thank you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy 2nd Bday Christopher!

Happy Birthday Christopher James!!! I can't believe that he is already 2!

Less than a week old
First Birthday!
Birthday Breakfast
I couldn't figure a way to get a candle to stand up in his cereal,
so he just got to eat the "shmallow" afterward!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back from Iowa- Tadpole Hunting

My camera started acting goofy, so I don't have any pictures of: Easter, the boys' birthday party, plane rides, Iowa City, hanging out, etc. The only photographic proof that I have is from the afternoon after we took family portraits, we went tadpole hunting in the pond in my sister's front yard. My sister has land that is every little boys (or girls) dream- big pond stocked with frogs, fish and tadpoles, mounds of dirt, tractors, sticks, mud, atvs, deer, campfire, everything a growing kid needs.

Excited about the tadpoles!
Aunt Connie helping with the catching
Found a snail shell

Funny story: Evan (3, in red) claimed this frog as his friend and the next morning (Easter), he excitedly ran out to check his frog, droopily came inside and said
"The easter bunny let my frog go." (a little easter candy made everything better!)
John helping Connie dig out frog carcasses. A late, deep freeze killed a bunch of the frogs, so Connie (always curious to look at scientific/gross things) couldn't help herself.

Connie showing Colton the dead frog!

Christopher squeezing... er, catching a tadpole.

Kacie and the tadpoles

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hello Spring Break!

Colton showing off his 2nd book award
he was awarded at last night's AWANA Ceremony
-with his favorite teacher
Nothing says "Welcome Spring Break" like a sprinkle doughnut!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Welcome to our Family!

On a random visit to the pet store to play with the puppies, we decided to pay 25 cents a piece to adopt these four little feeder goldfish. We already had the tank (after an unfortunate experience trying to raise wild tadpoles), so we just bought some rocks, food and scrubbed out the tank. After finding out why they called them "feeder fish", Colton was very proud to have saved these guys from being a bigger fish's dinner!

Their names are:
Nemo- the orange one
Tigger- orange and black
Shark bait- Silver one
Pebbles- White with red spots

"This is the one I am going to eat when you are not looking!"

Christopher enjoying the fish!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Happy 7th Colton

Happy Birthday Colton!

One Day Old!

We plan on having a big bash at Chuck E Cheese when we are back in Iowa for spring break, so this morning we did our traditional Birthday Breakfast (he requested Cocoa Wheats with a gummi lifesaver to hold up the candle) and he got to open a few gifts! I can't believe that you are already seven! I love you!