THE BLOG
04/06/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Doing Homework Is Important

Even though my head is pounding, I've talked to way too many people today, written and read way too many emails today; I have neither exercised nor have I eaten greens and I have no patience or inspiration to write 500 words. But I must write 500 words before I can return to the couch and allow myself to watch Jake cut from five women to four women which he'll then take to their home towns and meet their family and friends.

I must write even though my stomach is growling and I'd write better if I'd just stuff some steel cut oats in it, but I can't take the time to do that because I must let my fingers fly in this moment.

Dr. Z just called. She spoke with both Dr. P at City of Hope and Dr. K at MD Anderson in Texas. They both agreed my situation is not one in which I must currently undergo chemotherapy. Thanks to my friend Dave Crane, I learned about MDA's clinical studies going on in Texas that are shooting for a cure for this so-far "incurable" disease I have. However, in the small print when I finally pushed myself to read the CLLTopics.org pages he kept sending me, I discovered that the only patients eligible for this study to cure the disease were people who hadn't yet had any chemo.

This was one of the reasons I was on a mission not to have chemo. I was terrified of dumping toxins into my body that is already overtaxed by toxins, hence why my lymph glands are building up the markers that scared the community doctor.

Dr. Z says that there is a dissonance between academic medicine and community medicine. Community medicine would read my chart and subscribe/insist that my CLL be treated with aggressive chemotherapy (RCF). Academics who study statistics and see the worst cases disagree. Dr. P told me of a man who ran, literally disappeared for nine years after CoH insisted he have chemo to treat his CLL.

Nine years later he showed up in a wheelchair because the lymph glands were so swollen and engorged throughout his entire body. They gave him six months of chemo and this man is alive, walking, and quite possibly thriving again.

So, even though last night Dr. Z insisted I have chemotherapy in 2010 because of my markers and the three pesky lymph glands that are a tad swollen, tonight she said, "you'll go to Texas and register. Then when the study is ready, you'll be on the list to cure this disease. We'll watch your numbers and if you are okay in six months, we'll take out your port-a-cath."

Now it is up to me during these six months to do all the healing remedies I can find, cleanse my lymph, put castor oil with a heating pack on my spleen, take Epsom salt and Lavender baths, eat kale and broccoli until I literally turn green. This twenty-seven day roller coaster I've been on since being diagnosed has not been fun at all, but it has been educational. Now I can focus again on the sleep challenge. I hope it's not too late.