Posts Tagged With: Cancer Treatments Centers of America

Cancer Update October

Well last week I had yet another CT scan to check on the status of the tumors in both lungs. The scan showed that the No-Cancertumors are stable. My oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America is going to continue my treatment using the oral medication Votrient. He has a couple of other treatment options ready to go in the event the Votrient ceases to be effective. Votrient is a targeted therapy rather than a form of chemotherapy. This means my healthy cells won’t be damaged by the treatment.

I have been learning quite a lot from a 9 part internet documentary series from www.thetruthaboutcancer.com. ICancer does not mean a death sentence any longer.  It can be cured. In the last week I have been making the transition to a more plant based eating plan. I am using my Nutribullet quite a lot these days.

Since I am being treated for stage 4 kidney cancer that has spread to my lungs I also found out that my one remaining kidney has begun to lose quite a bit of its filtering ability. I met with my kidney doctor and he has made some changes to my blood pressure medications. He told me that he is making these changes to “buy me time”.  I am not accepting this statement and I am believing the Lord Jesus to restore my kidney as I make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Categories: Cancer, Health, Personal | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

A Second Opinion

A cancer diagnosis no matter what stage is an alarming news to hear.  After hearing the news all kinds of questions begin tophoto2 swirl around in a person’s mind.  What are my options? Where will I get treatment? What is the prognosis?  In my experience dealing with stage 4 kidney cancer that spread to both lungs I had to get these questions answered.  The one big question that I had to get answered was where can I get a second opinion. A friend of mine had told me about a place that sounded great, but also expensive.  That place was Cancer Treatments Centers of America (CTCA).  Let me share with you my top reasons to seek a second opinion at CTCA.

The center will pay for your travel to CTCA for your second opinion.

Once you decide to check out CTCA for a second opinion and call to speak to representative things are set in motion including your travel to CTCA.  The travel department of the center books a flight for you and a caregiver to generally the closest regional medical center. Once you and your caregiver arrive at the airport you will be greeted by a limousine driver who will drive you to the center.  Upon arrival to the center you will be given a quick tour of the center.  Then you will be driven to the hotel that you have been booked into.

The center provides discounted lodging at local area hotels.

Another advantage to seeking out a second opinion at CTCA is that they provide discounted lodging a local area hotels.  The lodging isn’t the Motel 6 no frills style.  They are various Marriott properties, Homewood Suites, and Holiday Inn.  The rates are highly discounted for CTCA patients and caregivers. The average cost for the evaluation week is under $100 for the entire week.  After that, the average rate is around $40 per night.  Each of these hotels also provides free breakfast meals.

The center provides very low cost dining at their cafe.

CTCA has its’ own fully staffed cafe on site.  They use only certified organic products for its menu.  In fact, much of the produce used in the cafe is grown on site at their organic farm called the Hope Springs Farm.  For patients and caregivers this is a large discount on meals.  Two people can eat most meals for under $10.  They have both prepared hot meals as well as a grill for made to order breakfast meals and sandwiches.  There is a full soup and salad bar as wells as a  juice and smoothie bar.

The center provides with you an entire team to look over your options.

Unlike many other hospitals, CTCA provides and entire team of doctors and clinicians to treat cancer.  During the initial week of evaluation patients will meet with a medical oncologist that specializes in a particular type of cancer.  Patients will also be assigned a naturopathic doctor who will assist with possible side effects to treatment with different vitamins and supplements.  Patients also are assigned a nutritionist to help with dietary choices to boost the immune system and help with any negative taste changes due to treatment.  If radiation is needed as part of fighting the cancer a radiation oncologist will be assigned and will work with the primary oncologist.

The center provides and encourages patients to be in community with other patients through the program Cancer Fighters.

CTCA believes in treating the whole person battling cancer.  One of the ways that they help with this is to encourage patients to be in community with each other for support.  The primary avenue for CTCA to accomplish this is through the program called Cancer Fighters.  This group is comprised of many volunteers who themselves are cancer survivors.  This group facilitates weekly meals in the cafe for patients to get to know one another as well as providing various outings to local restaurants and sporting events.   According to their website, Cancer Fighters® was created for and by our patients, their families and friends to support one another to win the fight against cancer. It is a community of inspiration for people who have been touched by cancer.”

Treatment and services are all done under one roof.

Have you ever been frustrated having to travel from one location to another to see a specialist or to have a scan performed?  This doesn’t happen at CTCA.  All of the doctors, clinicians, surgery, treatment, scans, and lab work is done under one roof. For a patient of CTCA everything is under one roof.  Whether you have an appointment, need a massage, need a hot meal, or even a pedicure, everything is in the same building.

The center provides both psychological and spiritual support to patients.

Battling cancer is more than just a physical battle. It can take a toll on a person’s emotional and spiritual condition as well. Having a positive mental and spiritual outlook goes a long way in fighting this disease.  CTCA has a team of licensed psychiatrists who can help patients with the psychological components of battling cancer.  CTCA also provides a team of trained non denominational  chaplains to help with patients spiritual needs.  They provide weekly worship services, communion, and prayer support.

The center provides the latest technology and treatments to fight cancer.

CTCA uses the latest technology and treatment options available to treat cancer. They do not use a cookie cutter approach to cancer treatment. Each patient is unique and it takes an individualized approach to battle the cancer. They use the latest approved medications and chemotherapies to treat patients. Some examples of these treatments include diagnostic imaging using PET scans, MRI, and CT scans.  They also can perform genomic testing to find what is driving the tumor growth and treat it more specifically.  There are over 50 different methods used in cancer diagnostics at CTCA.

Today treating cancer has improved greatly with new technology and therapies.  It is no longer a death sentence to hear the news of having cancer.  When a new patient walks through the doors of Cancer Treatment Centers of America they won’t even feel that they’re in a hospital.  Patients are treated like family and greeted by staff with hugs and support.  If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, don’t fret.  Rather, make a simple phone call to CTCA for a valuable second opinion and the best care.

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The Journey Takes Me to a New Home

20131223 PHX_BL32479 727-7H4 N707SA Southwest right side take-off lSo my cancer journey continued with my moving in with my dad.  After a week of living with my dad, I began to search online for apartments in the area close to the cancer center.  I knew that I could not afford to find my own place in California due to the high cost of rent.  I checked with a fellow cancer patient who has lived in the Goodyear area all her life on the apartments I was looking at.  She pointed me to the apartment that was in a good area to live.  On my next trip out for treatment, I visited the apartment complex closest to the center and filled out an application.  A one bedroom unit was available and I put down a deposit to hold it for me.   So, finally in late October I moved into my new home in Arizona.  The staff of nurses in the infusion department began to donate stuff that I needed for my new place.  I had moved here with a couple of suitcases of clothes and an air mattress.  Everything else I needed was given to me by my friends and care team from the cancer center.

Over the past several months I have become more familiar with the area and it is beginning to feel more like home. I had to have a new stent placed in my right bronchial tube in December, and it has helped to keep my airways open to breathe more freely. I am a regular fixture at the cancer center each weekday, even when I don’t have appointments.  I have breakfast with the Cancer Fighters group 3 days a week and I have the opportunity to meet new patients and friends. Dr. Quan has had me taking an oral medication called Votrient that I take on a daily basis.  This medication is working at shrinking the tumors in both my lungs.  Most of my hair has turned white, but that’s fine with me if it gets rid of the cancer.  I am hopeful that I will be declared cancer free in the coming months.

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Cancer Treatment Round 8 Part 2

CTCAPhoenixWell,  I have just returned from Phoenix from my 8th Round of cancer treatment using Torisel.  My stay began on Thursday with an MRI of my brain to check to make sure that tumors hadn’t spread to my brain.  I had been experiencing dizziness for a few days.  The MRI showed no evidence of tumors.  Praise Jesus!  It did show, however, that I had a sinus infection.  So I am on some antibiotics to take care of that.  My oncology team thinks my dizziness and fatigue have been caused by this infection.  My round of Torisel went well and my oncologist Dr Quan is very optimistic about its effectiveness.

On my next trip out to Phoenix on the 16th, I will have a chest x-ray to see how the treatment is working.  Dr Quan doesn’t want to expose me to more radiation so he is not having me do a CT scan on the next trip.  I am confident that it will show continued shrinkage of the tumors in my lungs.  I was able to meet a new patient to CTCA this trip.  He is from the Bay Area and is there for a second opinion on his cancer diagnosis.  I tried to share my experience so far and I hope it was encouraging for him.  I was feeling a little down and then the Lord picked me up by helping me help someone else.  Awesome.

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Cancer Treatment Round 8 Part 1

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Well I am flying off to the Phoenix area once again for another round of my Torisel treatment for Stage 4 Kidney Cancer.  It is a strange thing to be looking forward to going back to Cancer Treatment Centers of Americabut I am.  It is all because of the great and caring staff of the center.  My oncology team is wonderful and the staff know my name.  I will walk in the center tomorrow afternoon and be hugged and greeted by at least 5 staff members.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be treated at CTCA.

I am due to have an MRI on my brain tomorrow afternoon.  I have been experiencing some fatigue and dizziness lately.  So, my oncologist wants to make sure that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond my lungs to my brain.  I appreciate all of the prayers and support of my family and friends.

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