Be honest. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be real. Let them in. Let them join the adventure. Let them see the truth.
Everyone has many glimpses of Ryan: the open, authentic, loud, fearless, full of life, you only live once guy that will let you into his heart any day, any time. Then there’s me. I’m the polar opposite. My natural self wants to hide from the world and face it all alone, figure it out and make it happen. Or at least I thought that’s what I wanted. I knew the moment this adventure started it would be public. To know Ryan is to know he doesn’t keep secrets from the world. So, I jumped in and let him be without second guessing. What I never once thought is that I needed it to be public for me. The outpouring of love and support has blown me away. What has caught me by surprise is the new-found love of writing. It has become therapeutic, allowing me to gather my thoughts and see my own feelings. It has allowed me to double check my heart, my thoughts, my decisions. It has even allowed me to clearly see glimpses of His love and His guidance. Now, I’m thankful for being open and public about our adventure. I’m thankful that I can be who I am, fully appreciating Ryan for all he is.
So, here we are: Day 2. New therapies mixed with existing protocols. Wednesday morning came quick and the first knock to the door came with a pot of coffee. If you are following our Facebook profiles you know what this means as we are creating amusing moments for all to enjoy. In case you are not up to speed, coffee time has taken a whole new meaning = coffee enema time (please see Day 1 blog for more info on coffee enemas). It is the first thing Ryan does when the nurse arrives at 7am and the last therapy of the day around 9ish with 3 more squeezed in throughout the day (yes, pun intended). After his 7am enema Ryan was able to take a bath with my help and we headed to the dining hall to enjoy our breakfast. Dr. Lopez joined us and we enjoyed conversing about many subjects. Examining our past and looking for instigators of stress was a key topic and something Dr. Lopez is passionate about discovering for each of his patients. After decades providing care to cancer patients he has discovered that if a patient is not able to let go of old wounds, let forgiveness envelope their heart and recognize (and release) the stresses in their life, beating cancer long term is even harder and in some, impossible. He has personally seen how patients who would not let go of past issues with others or forgive their own selves have stunted their ability to heal from cancer. Dr. Lopez firmly believes our emotions can literally impact the body and its ability to fight. I could tell he was excited to see how positive Ryan’s outlook continues to be. In a future post I’ll dive more into this specific topic as I believe stress and negative emotions are a big part of the cancer causing cocktail. For now we’ll move on with the day.
The rest of the morning went smooth as Ryan is quickly acclimating to the hourly juices and multiple enemas. After lunch it was HyperBaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) time. The chamber is huge, it can technically hold 11 people inside! I chose to not go into the chamber this first time as the driver said he would take me around and even show me some really good eating spots. Yes, I took a little break from our diet and indulged in a tomato basil soup and a small sandwich made with goat’s cheese, tomato and pesto. It was delicious! My diet is essentially the same as Ryan’s right now, so a little indulgence is good for the soul! (side note: the driver is a chef and big believer in the CHIPSA hospital so he let me know he was the chef that taught the cooks and they use the “better” ingredients and make the soup and sandwich from scratch).
Back to the HBOT: Ryan went into the chamber with a lady and her husband, Eugene, another patient who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer that has metastasized to the brain. Later I found out that she started asking Ryan a couple of questions and it triggered a 45 minute “talk.” Ryan was fired up coming out of the chamber in the best of ways. Later that evening Eugene told me he wished he could just hang around Ryan all the time as he brought life, joy and laughter into his soul. It was a moment of remembrance that all of us need one another to bring positive and uplifting chatter. Laughter truly is medicine to the bones.
In the evening Ryan sat in a steel bath for his Hyperthermia Therapy. While he sits in the intensely hot water his body temperature rises. At the same time an I.V. with Laetrile (B17) is administered. This combined therapy lasts about 30 minutes.
Whole-body hyperthermia through immersion hydrotherapy has been long-recognized for its many beneficial therapeutic effects including improved circulation and stimulation of disease-fighting capabilities. Recently it has been demonstrated to promote anti-cancer immunities. (reference: http://chipsahospital.org/treatment/) Click here, to learn more about Laetrile (B17).
Summing up Day Two, Ryan’s overall upbeat mannerism had returned. Sure, there were moments of frustrations and even a time when Ryan was sad then angry. Overall, he ended the day with confidence. Confidence that while it may not be easy, it will be worth it!