Meet my cousin Kelly Carroll, today’s guest blogger who shares her incredible story of how she survived breast cancer. Kelly is a stay at home wife and mom with a blended family that keeps her on her toes. Active in the local Charlotte, NC community, Kelly runs an outreach program for foster children called Mosaic-Style with Love. She has learned that each day is a blessing to cherish, and laughter is the best recipe for healing!
In September of 2009 at 38 years of age, I found a lump in my left breast. Several days later I was sent to the hospital for a mammogram. Within minutes, a radiologist said with tears in her eyes, “You have cancer and it’s bad!” She went on to tell me that I had 5 large tumors that had spread out of the breast to my lymph nodes. Her words were “you need to move quickly with treatment as this is life threatening.”
The whirlwind began as the diagnosis was confirmed to be stage 3 breast cancer. I received my first chemo treatment within a few weeks of my diagnosis. I became violently ill within hours of receiving the 4 hour long drip of rat poison, which is basically what chemo is. It kills both bad and good cells throughout your body. A mediport was placed in my upper right chest beneath my skin for the medicine to go immediately into my main artery. The vomiting was so violent it caused my mediport to literally flip upside down under my skin. That night I thought I was going to die and I asked God: “If you know I am not going to beat cancer, please take me now as the suffering and pain is beyond comprehension.” That was only the beginning!
By the time I reached my 5th out of 10th chemo treatment (I had been hospitalized after each treatment), my skin was a grayish color and paper thin. It would rip if I just gently bumped it on something. My fingernails were gray/black and green with a few nails ready to fall off. My whites of my eyes were yellow. My throat was raw and it felt like razors all the way down when I just swallowed water. I was weak and my bones ached like the worst flu times 10 and finished off by what I would imagine felt like a semi truck running over your body. My brain cells would not fire and I could not retain names and simple words to complete a sentence. Every single piece of hair on my body was gone as the chemo kills ALL cells. There were days that I laid without the ability to move, no matter how bad I wanted to. I am a determined person and always on the go with a high pain tolerance.
At my 5th chemo treatment, my oncologist told me they may lose me when the chemo drip went into my veins, as my body was not reacting well to the drugs. She told my family that my eyes may roll back in my head and I may stop breathing. A crash cart was pulled up next to my hospital bed and they were there waiting and ready to revive me if this happened. I am so thankful they did not have to use the crash cart that day, but the days that followed were the worst of them all. This chemo treatment was several days before Christmas and I was determined to be home with my children and my husband, not in the hospital.
I fought my body for as long as I could until it started to shut down on Christmas Eve, when I was admitted to the hospital for 7 days. During that time, others have told me they didn’t know if I would leave that hospital. They truly believed that was possibly the time they would say their goodbyes to me. I recall a female doctor sitting at my bedside one evening when we were alone and she asked, “Do you believe in God?” She too thought these were my final days here on earth. But God had another plan and I praise him each and everyday for his goodness and his healing!
I was released from the hospital and told by my oncologist that she could not give me another ounce of chemo or she would kill me with it. She said I also needed radiation, but my body would not respond well and it could kill me. She went on to say “all we can do now is perform a mastectomy, remove your lymph nodes and hope for the best.” I endured that painful surgery, only to find out they messed up and left more cancer cells behind. Several days later, I received a call that I needed to go back into surgery ASAP. I was still full of cancer cells and they didn’t get it all. It was then I decided to try something different from anything I knew previously: combine conventional medicine with holistic medicine.
I went to Sanoviv Medical Institute in Baja, Mexico for integrative treatments for whole body health. Sanoviv was founded by a world famous virologist, Dr. Myron Wentz. After 4 extensive days of medical testing at the institute, a group of doctors created a treatment plan for me in a non-toxic environment. This included detoxing my body of all the harmful toxins that had built up from the chemo, as well as all of the harmful foods that I was eating. They began to teach me about clean eating. Everyday began with a pH balance strip which the doctors used each day to regulate my food intake so that I would be alkaline. Sanoviv treats cancer patients with a concept that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment and find it difficult to survive in an alkaline environment. Cancer cells make your body even more acidic as they produce lactic acid.
Sanoviv started me on a USANA vitamin regimen. I would take about 20-25 all natural pills in the morning, in the afternoon, and again in the evening. My nutritionist provided green juices to include cancer fighting dark green leafy vegetables in my diet each and everyday. Wheatgrass shots were given to me several times a day. This is nature’s finest medicine. Two ounces of wheatgrass juice has the nutritional equivalent of five pounds of the best raw, organic vegetables. It is also a powerful detoxifier, especially of the liver and blood.
Each day at Sanoviv, they taught me about food products my body was ingesting that are toxic. For example: beef produced in the U.S. is heavily contaminated with natural and synthetic sex hormones, which are associated with an increased risk of reproductive and childhood cancers. For other types of foods, they taught me that if it contains more than 5 ingredients, don’t eat it! I also received high-dose vitamin C by intravenous IV infusion. Vitamin C has been shown to slow growth and spread of certain types of cancer.
Every other day I went into a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber. This increases blood oxygen levels and is proven to work with a number of illnesses, and will overcome one of the main influences of cancer. Cancer exists in a low-oxygen environment and plentiful oxygen can kill it off. It has the potential to be a simple alternative cancer treatment. I also received another treatment where the doctors took about a billion of my T-cells (a type of white blood cell that fights viruses and tumors) and at the lab they inserted them with new genes that would program the cells to attack my cancer. The altered cells were given to me by stomach injections every other day.
I witnessed miracles at Sanoviv during my 30 day stay at the hospital. I watched other patients with debilitating illnesses be cured before my eyes! I am a true believer of a holistic lifestyle. When I was 39 years old, near death, it revived me in 30 days and made me feel and look like I was 18 years old again! I still have an oncologist here in the U.S. who orders bone scans yearly to watch for my cancer to return, but I decline all of the pharmaceutical medications they say are required for my survival. I just celebrated 5 years in remission this past May of 2015.
Each and everyday I thank God for my healing. It is my goal to live each day with true purpose!