Category Archives: Resources

New Videos: ABCs of Creating Conditions for Healing

Create conditions for radical Healing in your life. Find simple solutions by updating your attitudes, behaviors, and making major life choices to influence cancer and other dis-ease outcomes. If you have cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, or other “incurable” dis-eases, find relief and personal healing by using these concepts.

I was told to get my affairs in order after two years of conventional treatment for highly aggressive end-stage sarcoma. Yet against all odds, I have enjoyed radical remission since 2011, free of evidence of cancer and free of cancer treatment. Find out what I discovered about changing attitudes, behaviors, and making major life choices that can assist you with turning the corner and thriving.

This short series comes in 4 brief parts and is posted on youtube.

Part 1: How I healed from highly aggressive end-stage cancer.

Part 2: How you can change attitudes to stop being a victim, stop worrying, and let go of resentments.

Part 3: How you can change behaviors such as knowing your nutritional stats and improving it; a sample spiritual practice that gets you out of your head; and how to manage difficult emotions.

Part 4: Putting it together with making major life choices to heal your life, which can help your body rebalance and heal itself.

Please enjoy and share, and let me know about speaking engagements where I can share this important message.

Many thanks to Jim Gray, with Gray Solutions, for creating this new video for Thriver Soup!

Sharing my Story with the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation

Click here for my brief story

The Northwest Sarcoma Foundation provides hope, education, and support to sarcoma patients and their families in the Pacific Northwest while investing in research to improve cure rates for sarcomas.
Its CARE values are
Compassion — Providing comfort through a sympathetic awareness.
Advocacy — Promoting accurate diagnosis, research, and treatment options through  investment in research
Responsibility — Providing timely, accurate information and reliable resources.
Education — Providing educational materials for patients and families about this disease.
Its vision is better treatments for sarcoma patients and increased cure rates.

Mesothelioma Website Gives Virgil a Chance to Survive

Note: Virgil Anderson is alive today and receiving life-saving treatment because he found an organization that provided him with the information and support he needed. As we all share what we learn from our journeys with cancer, whether ours or another’s, we can give each other more options and genuine hope. Thank you, Virgil, for sharing this with us.

Virgil writes:

My story of illness and cancer is similar to the struggles of others: I was diagnosed at 50 with the devastating type of cancer called mesothelioma. I am now very sick and fighting for treatment and for my life. I am limited and unable to enjoy the activities I once did. Just breathing is difficult for me now, and I can blame all this on exposure to asbestos.

My message is an important one, and I want to educate people about the risks of exposure to asbestos. I want other people to know that prevention is important with mesothelioma and that early detection and diagnosis are crucial for effective treatment. Avoid asbestos, but if you have been exposed, get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

I grew up in the small town of Williamson, W.Va., and my story with asbestos began in high school. I worked in demolition, taking down buildings with tools and with my own hands. It was hard work and I was exposed to asbestos-laden dust. Disrupting asbestos in older buildings is one of the top ways people are exposed to asbestos fibers.

After that job I moved on to others, including working on cars. I tore out and replaced hood liners and made repairs to cars, including working with clutches and brakes. All of these parts contained asbestos. Without knowing the dangers or how to protect myself, I was again exposed to asbestos fibers.

Asbestos was once used extensively in so many applications, especially in the construction of buildings. The real dangers of inhaling or accidentally consuming this mineral were not known until the 1970s when regulations were finally put into place. Because I never knew the risks, I worked for years around asbestos and now I have mesothelioma.

I am now living with the consequences, as are many other older Americans. Mesothelioma sneaks up on you many years after asbestos exposure. I now have a hard time breathing and even walking. I spend much of my time in bed, unable to do normal daily tasks. My symptoms include chest pain, a terrible cough, and shortness of breath.

Treatment is limited for me. Treatment for mesothelioma is already difficult, but my cancer has spread to the lymph nodes so surgery is not an option. I am hoping to undergo chemotherapy, which may shrink the tumors and bring me some relief, but a cure for this disease just isn’t possible.

I hope that by sharing my story as far and as wide as I can that I will reach people who may still be able to take steps to prevent mesothelioma or to get screened and treated early. If there is any chance you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, do not wait to talk to your doctor about it. Monitor yourself for symptoms and get screening tests to catch this terrible disease early. My story should help others avoid a similar fate.

 

Beyond Immunotherapy: Metabolic Treatment for Cancer a Possible Future Option

Cancer metabolism was addressed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I am reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Brian Van Tine, sarcoma program director at the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, spoke on “Understanding Your Cancer’s Metabolism.”

Some cancer therapies currently in use involve attempts to change metabolism through diet to alter the course of cancer.

Van Tine, however, said, “There is little you can do with your diet to alter the course of your tumor outcome. Metabolism is tricky. It’s like a wonderfully orchestrated watch.”

If you try to put a halt in the system, the body will try to go another way to accomplish the same task, he said.

When cancer cells are born, they have a different metabolism from the rest of the body. The purpose of cancer is to grow. In the metabolic process, nine out of ten cancer patients don’t have a urea cycle (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27982/ )  and don’t express ASS1 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/445) in their tumors.

These two conditions make Leiomyosarcoma patients prime candidates for a metabolic-based therapy. Dr. Van Tine is studying possible future treatments for cancer / sarcoma patients using metabolic therapy. Click here for an explanation of his research.

Clinical Trials and Leiomyosarcoma

nlmsf-logo

Clinical trials for leiomyosarcoma (LMS) were discussed briefly Oct. 8 at the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation patient symposium in St. Louis, Mo.  This was one of several cancer treatment topics that I will be reporting about during the coming weeks.

Dr. Peter Oppeli, assistant professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine, said LMS is one of the more common types of soft-tissue sarcoma. It is found in smooth muscle cells that naturally occur in the intestines, blood vessels, and the uterus, all of which are in charge of involuntary action in the body. For pregnant women, these muscles play a key role in labor and delivery.

LMS can originate anywhere smooth muscles are found. In almost half of all new LMS diagnoses, it is found in the uterus. It also occurs in the body’s extremities and in the abdominal cavity, especially in the back part of the abdomen.

There are about 2,000 new diagnoses each year. Compare that to another type of cancer, such as colon, which has about 135,000 new diagnoses each year.

Because LMS is rare, it is more challenging to come up with treatments. Any new drug for a rare disease is cause for a lot of excitement. Trabectadine, for example, was approved by the FDA in October 2015.

New drugs are approved when they show proven benefit from a clinical trial.

Clinical trials are research studies for understanding cancer and how to treat it. Trials can look at new drugs, combinations of drugs, ways to ease side effects, new forms of radiation, and new surgical methods.

A Phase 1 clinical trial is for finding the right dose and finding out the treatment’s side effects.

A Phase 2 trial involves larger groups of patients. In a Phase 3 trial, large number of patients are treated to confirm effectiveness.

The vast majority of clinical trials do not have a placebo-only option. Placebos usually are combined with standard effective treatment, so every patient gets what is determined to be the best treatment.

What is research protocol? It is the rule book for each clinical trial. Each trial will have a unique/specific protocol that describes inclusion and exclusion criteria for potential treatment.

Is a clinical trial going to help a particular patient? “We hope so, but cannot say with certainty that enrolling is going to be beneficial,” Dr. Oppeli said.

Almost every standard treatment has first been proven effective in clinical trials.

After his talk there was a 10-minute time period for questions.

A lot of clinical trials have interim times to see if a trial is helpful or not. Then if not shown effective, the trial is stopped. If the results look promising, the trial continues.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

For more information on clinical trials, go to www.cancer.net for a large video library.

Thriver Soup Thursday–Sharing Kylee’s Happy Place

If one speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows one, like a shadow that never leaves.

Dhammapada 2

 

Buddha was described by his contemporaries as “ever-smiling.” He knew the secret to true happiness came from pure acts and thoughts.

Kylee's Dancing AngelsKylee Brooke Webster found her ever-smiling, happy place when she danced, and made a career counseling adolescent drug addicts.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with an undifferentiated sarcoma in 2011. Two years later she danced her way beyond the veil of tears.

She keeps dancing, though, through a foundation established in her honor during 2014. Kylee’s Dancing Angels assists other sarcoma patients with finding their happy places by providing financial support so they can do what they love.

I am most fortunate to already be in my “happy place,” free of evidence of highly undifferentiated endometrial sarcoma and free of medical treatment for five years. I contacted Kylee’s Dancing Angels to see if they could help me give copies of Thriver Soup: A Feast for Living Consciously During the Cancer Journey to other sarcoma patients to increase their chances of getting to their happy places.

Because of the foundation’s generous grant, a limited number of free copies of Thriver Soup now are available to leiomyosarcoma (LMS) patients in the continental United States through the National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation (NLSMF).

Kylee’s older brother, Allan Webster Jr., wrote, “Kylee loved to read and I know she will be smiling, knowing she is helping you help other sarcoma fighters with ideas on how to improve their journey with sarcoma.”

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you are a leiomyosarcoma patient or know someone who is, in the continental United States, who would appreciate ideas for how to get to a happier place, please contact me for a free copy of Thriver Soup. A limited number of copies are available. We ask, in exchange, that you write a thank-you card to Kylee’s Dancing Angels and make a donation if/when you are able to NLMSF for LMS research.

To donate to Kylee’s Dancing Angels to help other sarcoma patients, please visit http://www.kyleesdancingangels.org/.

Sources:

Müller & Maguire, 2002, http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/buddha/

Thriver Soup a #2 best seller on Amazon

lit candles Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha, The Dharmapada

By lighting a candle through Thriver Soup and sharing its message of options with others, the light of genuine hope among cancer patients is increasing.

On Saturday, Jessica Brown with the Fox19 Morning Show in Cincinnati shared the camera with me:

http://www.fox19.com/clip/12485852/thrivers-soup

On Sunday, many tips for cancer survival were shared through Bob Salter’s show on the New York City CBS radio station WFAN:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio/bob-salter/  (Click on the June 5 / 7am show; it’s 40 minutes)

By Sunday afternoon, Thriver Soup became a #2 best seller on amazon.com!

Other interviews for National Cancer Survivors’ Day (June 5) included:

  • Dr. Christine Horner with “The Radiant Health Show” (about 30 minutes)
  • Judy Peace with WAIF 88.3 FM, Cincinnati, OH
  • Chad Young, Program Director with WKCT-AM, Bowling Green, KY
  • John Maciel, KW Magazine on 98.5 FM CKWR, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • And a prerecorded show with Matt Nie, Community Focus, 89.1 WBSD FM, Burlington, WI, will air this summer.

By sharing the light, we can make it possible for more people to survive beyond a cancer diagnosis. Thank you for sharing the light with me.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Sharing these links with others can light even more candles of hope with options. I would love to hear how the tips in Thriver Soup are lighting your way.

Source:

http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/dharma-quotes-quotations-buddhist/joy-happiness.htm

Mary Celebrates Sarcoma

​Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.

Psalm 103: 1, Christian Bible, New International Version

 

Mary Connolly shares from her heart her journey through a devastating cancer diagnosis to celebrating sarcoma with a thankful heart.

At age 21, while still a college student, synovial sarcoma was found in her leg. Meanwhile, her sister was undergoing gamma knife surgery for a brain tumor.

Mary had surgery that left her unable to lift her right foot upward. She had to get her car modified with a left foot pedal. Away went all her beautiful, beloved shoes. That was just one of numerous challenges she faced, including in her relationships with family, friends, and potential boyfriends.

Mary turned these challenges into opportunities. Now when people ask about her foot brace, she uses that as an opening to raise awareness about sarcoma.

Mary’s faith played a huge role in her healing journey. Her book, Celebrate Sarcoma, is filled with her prayers and Bible verses reflecting her struggles with her understanding of God.

Eventually she came through to the other side of depression. Mary wrote, “I decided that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. Something that would not just benefit my family and close friends, but an even wider circle of people. I decided that I could be nothing but thankful for how the cancer brought about positive change in my life…. God has blessed me with a maturity and insight that many don’t have even after experiencing successful careers. For this I am grateful.”

Reflecting back on her experience, she writes, “As much as I have despised cancer for the havoc it has wreaked on me, I have reached a place where I can’t imagine my life without this experience and the journey on which it has set me. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, the relationships I have built, the experiences I have had—some that have brought tears of sadness or joy, others that have brought laughter or mourning.”

Through it all, Mary has reached a place where she can celebrate sarcoma. She looks forward to working with young adult cancer survivors.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

The sale of Mary’s book will benefit orthopedic cancer research at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. The book is available athttp://www.amazon.com/Celebrate-Sarcoma-Mary-Connolly-ebook/dp/B00Q9X5EHG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449889641&sr=8-1&keywords=celebrate+sarcoma .

Thriver Soup Article: Mary Celebrates Sarcoma, by Heidi Bright

Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back.

John O’Donohue

The soul of Patricia Moreira-Cali has been stirred into full life by a purple dragon known as leiomyosarcoma. It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and for women it usually starts in the uterus.

On April 23, 2013, Patricia’s uterine “fibroids” were found to be cancerous, and she began a perilous journey that continues today. She bravely talks about her first year after the diagnosis in her book, My Journey with the Purple Dragon. She goes into vulnerable detail about her emotional experiences and her search for a cure.

“Friends and family are not with you at all times of the day and night,” she wrote. “You are alone when the tears seem endless, when the sorrow is so painful that it’s hard to breathe, when the grief cuts through your core, when you long for the freedom to feel healthy, and when you are introduced to death, and somehow you befriend it.”

She experiments with a variety of complementary treatments while doing conventional chemotherapy. “I have no doubt that the treatment of cancer, and many other chronic diseases, requires a holistic approach,” she wrote. Among her choices were to visit John of God in Brazil, and she describes her experiences there.

Gradually, the reader witnesses Patricia’s inner transformation. “A new me is emerging, growing and flourishing, somehow,” she writes.

When she reaches the end of her first year of treatment, she finds an enviable place of serenity. “I have detached from much illusion, and I feel mostly at peace within.”

The book is self-published and could benefit from professional editing, yet overall it is a moving story of courage and a roadmap for others on the journey with cancer.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Profits from Patricia’s book sales go to leiomyosarcoma research and to support a poor child with cancer through her non-profit Helping Children Heal (HCH). Her book can be ordered at http://www.purpledragonjourney.com/order-now/

 

Sources:

Patricia Moreira-Cali, My Journey with the Purple Dragon: Living with a Rare and Aggressive Cancer. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2014:78,100, 105.

Thriver Soup Article: Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon by Heidi Bright