The past month has been an up-and-down roller coaster for me and Raquel with her brain tumor cancer. After two previous MRIs showing a decrease in tumor size, her last MRI on April 10 showed an increase by 15%. And after her school play ended on April 21, she started exhibiting symptoms of tumor growth, such as increased loss of balance and memory. We knew we were at a critical point because this type of tumor can double in size in only three weeks.
We talked with her radiation oncologist, who said that it would be too dangerous to do more radiation therapy on her, because it would cause more inflammation in her brain. And because the survival rates for chemotherapy on this type of cancer are so low, like 5 to 10%, and it weakens the body so much, we decided we would seek other natural, but more aggressive therapies for her. At this point, people started coming out of the woodwork to tell us about the healing and tumor reducing properties of hemp or cannabis oil, and more specifically, a compound in hemp or cannabis called CBD. This compound is non-psychoactive, which means it does not get you high. That would be the compound called THC. There is a lot of controversy over THC, because of its psychoactive effects. Though most people use it for recreation (smoking), it can be used in different forms for medicine. But the CBD compound has showed great success in halting seizures in many epileptic children, as well as halting tumor growth in many adults and kids with cancer. I know of one man under the care of one of our natural practitioner, who has been able to halt his glioblastoma tumor growth, the same type of cancer that Raquel has. This gives us hope, along with the other things we are doing for her. Here is the CBD oil I started her on, which is from the hemp plant. It is non-psychoactive and legal in all 50 states. Anyone can order it online, but it’s not very strong. A friend of mine told me she would help me start her on some stronger cannabis oils in Las Vegas, so I took Raquel down there at the beginning of May. We obtained a medical marijuana card for her, just so we would have the freedom to do whatever we felt necessary. We were actually interviewed by NBC Channel 3 news in Las Vegas about the difficulty of getting medical marijuana down there and having it tested. Here’s the link- http://www.bit.ly/1HnbaXt We also had access to colon hydrotherapy and a hyperbaric chamber, which infuses more oxygen in the body. It is fairly well-known that cancer does not survive well in a highly oxygenated environment. So the more oxygen to the body, the better. I also signed up for regular oxygen tanks from our home healthcare company. Raquel was doing pretty well, but then she developed a cough with some mucus. I suspect she was fighting a low-grade infection. My husband was in South America for about 10 days on a humanitarian trip with our oldest son. He had really agonized over the decision to go because he was so worried about her. But Raquel started to get over the worst of it. I knew I would be caring for her and that there probably wouldn’t be a whole lot for him to do. So I encouraged him to go and tried to be strong whenever we communicated. They went, had a great time and we are all so happy to be back together. There are many times in life when I’ve had to make a decision about what I will put my faith in. I knew that if we had a bad crisis, and I had to take her back to the hospital, I would not be able to continue doing all the natural treatments for her that I was doing. I can honestly say I’ve never worked so hard, worried so hard or prayed so hard in my life. It has been a tough run, but the Lord has upheld me, my friends helped and stood by me and my family members encouraged me. There are days that Raquel is so tired that she can’t even stand up. Her vision has gotten more limited, so that sometimes she can’t see much above or below eye level. She has to turn her head, so her peripheral vision has been affected. Sometimes I cannot determine whether her symptoms are from the medicine or the tumor. I figure that if it is the medicine, we will get through it. If it is the tumor, we just have to keep praying that the medicine and treatments will work fast enough. It’s enough to get so scared about, that I could feel the stress take a toll on my body. There have been just a couple nights, one over this past month and one last September when she had her seizure, that I really think it might have taken years off my life. So I have since decided, that I must proactively live in faith and not in fear. I can’t control the outcome of this situation, but I can choose to love my daughter every day and work hard for her well-being. And even on the worst of days, I can still keep hoping, praying and planning that everything will be okay. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that my family and each member of it can be together forever. I’m grateful for the holy priesthood, or authority of Jesus Christ, which has sealed our family together in the holy temple of God, which sealing will last beyond the grave. It comforts me every day to know that my Savior, Jesus Christ, has paid not only for my sins, but also for my mistakes, sorrows, imperfections and regrets. I know that all my failures can be swallowed up in his grace and will eventually be turned to my benefit. I know that God is there, and that he loves us. I feel his Holy Spirit guiding me on a regular basis. What a great gift! I know that our purpose here on earth is to learn, grow and experience joy. Even mighty challenges such as these, can help us achieve this purpose more fully and even help us in our pursuit of true happiness. For this, and Raquel’s continued presence in our lives, I am so thankful.