Something Old and Something New - October 22, 2015

Baking soda - it's the bomb!  Or so we thought until Julie T. in Illinois had a recurrence scare a couple of months ago.  I was confident her TURBT would produce benign results.  I was very confident, because Julie T. is one of the few who uses baking soda daily as a preventative for cancer recurrence.  And the final results are in.  Microscopic analysis of the biopsies taken during her TURBT showed an unusual thickening of some cells in the bladder wall, but no cancer at all.  And 3 months later her latest cysto has showed ALL CLEAR again.  So perhaps baking soda IS the bomb after all.

Something OLD - Julie sent an article about Dr. Otto Warburg, the man who discovered cancer.  He also noted that cancer cells thrive without oxygen, and that excess oxygen and an alkaline environment make it impossible for cancer to live, but easy for healthy, normal cells to thrive.  He also had other ideas about health and disease, some of which have proved to be incorrect.  A quick glance at Amazon shows now many books ranting about government and agency lies and conspiracies, stating that baking soda cures cancer and everyone has known it for 100 years.  But the info was suppressed for whatever reason.  I am not a fan of hand waving and accusation, and I feel these hype-books do more harm than good.  The facts are simple - and the answer is simple, and most people I know refuse to believe that something so simple can be true.  Trust me (and Julie T. and a few others) - Baking Soda taken once or twice daily on an EMPTY stomach is cheap and effective.  It is good for those who have cancer, those who HAD cancer, and those who have not yet had the displeasure.  I am literally betting my life on it.  Bottom line - it won't hurt you and it might well save you, so why the hell not?

Something NEW - John B. in Minnesota has access to all the latest tech via his medical team.  The new kid on the cystoscopy block is now blue light.  Purportedly blue light combined with a chemical agent is better at revealing bladder tumors visually.  You can read a brief summary of the process HERE.  Even better, below is a video in which John B.'s own doctor explains the process.  Enjoy!

RECURRENCE, It CAN Happen! - August 1, 2015

Update: Micro-pathology showed something less than full recurrence for Julie.  She and I concur that baking soda is working its miracles.  Here are the exact words of the path report.  You can judge for yourself.  Conservative diagnosis is that it's "indicative of recurrence."  My diagnosis is that it's indicative of the efficacy of baking soda regimen.

Sections show two fragments of urothlium with are extensively denuded and contain some cautery artifact.  There is a focal area containing somewhat thickened urothelium and a suggestion of a papillae. There is no significant atypia identified. This area is suggestive of a low-grade papillary urothelium carcinoma but the scant amount present precludes definitive diagnosis.

Recurrence - it's a scary deal.  In bladder cancer without treatment of any kind there is a 90+% chance of recurrence in 10 years.  With treatment, this number is cut to 50% or less, still very high.  I believe that baking soda, diet, exercise, and supplements can reduce this number even more.   In our non-statistically significant sample of folks who follow this blog and keep me posted with their progress, we have had only 1 case of recurrence reported, after a cysto with no mytomycin bake or BCG follow-up, within 6 months.  For the rest, we have had no recurrences.  Until now.  Julie T. in Illinois had some doubts about her physician and had an appointment with another for a "meet and greet."  The decision was made to do a cysto on the spot.  The doc felt he saw a very small tumor in a completely different area.  He speculated that it might be recurrence based on stirring up cancer "seed cells" from the previous TURBT and cysto poking around.  The prior TURBT did not have a chemo bake afterwards.  On July 15 a second TURBT was performed by the new doc with a mytomycin chemo bake following.  Pathology revealed a small superficial low grade papillary tumor recurrence.  That was the bad news.

Was there any good news?  Absolutely!  Let's start with this - follow up exams via cystoscopy do detect recurrence early.  And then there was the size and grade, both favorable.  On top of that was the opportunity to do the chemo bake afterwards, and to look forward to a great follow-up regimen with a new doctor.  Julie is holding up well, and has her game face on.  Nobody wants to go back to quarterly cystos, and it's a mere nuisance in the big scheme of things.  Easy for me to say, I suppose.  

Here is Julie's take:

Not the news I had hoped for, but I am very thankful it was found super early and the only further treatment is 3 month follow up at this point. It sucks going back to scopes every 90 days, but I guess this is the nature of the disease. I am planning on continuing the baking soda regimen as my new dr. feels this recurrence was caused from the previous dr. going in in and stirring up old cancer cells that had been lying dormant.  Even though the pathology report showed no cancer cells present, it is possible that a stray cell was activated and seeded itself in the new location.  I am frustrated a little because I asked the old dr. to use mitomycin after the surgery in and was told no.  It was used this time. I feel if I had been listened to, then this may not have happened.  I supposed this is just another reason why I needed to changed dr. 

What was most surprising and disturbing to me was that Julie was one of the first to adopt a baking soda regimen, taking a teaspoon nightly in 4-6 ounces of water.  This was enough to keep her urine pH between 5.5-6.5 during the day.  As you all know, I am a big proponent of this regimen.  The only thing I would suggest different for Julie would be to go to two doses per day, bedtime and early morning, with the goal to keep urine pH at 7.0 or higher for 24 hours.  I have had to adjust my personal amount to a great heaping teaspoon each morning with about 14 oz of water to make it palatable.  This keeps my urine pH at 7.5 or higher for 24 hours, even if I drink red wine in the evenings.  With the new doc, the new TURBT, the new chemo bake, and increased baking soda regimen, I think Julie will be in great shape for zero recurrence in the future.

For the rest of us this is NOT a bad news story.  This tells us that the ongoing surveillance is necessary and recurrence is not necessarily a big deal.  This disease can be managed by staying on top of it aggressively.  Hang in there, and keep the attitudes positive!

BCG Supply News & Judgement Day! - April 20, 2015

First some quick updates:  The BCG shortage is greatly alleviated.  My doctor reported that they could order and reserve as much as they needed for any of their patients with only two weeks of notice.  While not fully mitigated, the supply chain is starting to fill the needs.  As for me, I retired from my corporate job last October, sold our house in Utah a few months ago, and got rid of most of our lifetime accumulation of stuff.  Keeping a few things in a lake house in Oklahoma, and starting a life of full-time travel.  Our location is TBD on any given day, and it promises to be a lot of fun!

Today was my latest judgement day.  Had a year off since last cystoscopy plus 3 BCG maintenance treatments.  Have since sold our house and moved out of state, but Dr. Hopkins is still in Salt Lake City.  So our first big trip since retirement was right back to where we came from a few months ago.  We had a week of business related stuff to do, and I was able to squeeze in the cysto for today.  Being busy is good, as you really don't think much or worry about the cysto.  I was able to do a bit of deep breathing exercises this morning, and then we were off to the doc's office.  With an 11AM appointment, we knew it would be late, and we had a pretty long wait in the exam room waiting for the event, which finally happened around noon.  This time allows trepidation to build.  How does one spell trepidation?  Something like this:

Surprisingly this room is far less creepy than it was in 2008 when I had my first cysto in here.  Then it was just a bench and an optical scope.  No comfy exam chair and no hi-tech video system, lights, etc.  Even so, one must spend the time somehow.  The nurse was kind enough to give us a heads up when we were next in line for the doc, so I did not have to spend the entire hour semi-naked on the table.  My wife gave me a gentle back and neck rub until the nurse came in and said we were next.  Then I just relaxed on the table and played with the stress balls an thought happy thoughts for 15 minutes or so.  The doc was relaxed, thorough and quick.  "Looks good," was the verdict, rendering my ALL CLEAR.  Now cancer free for:

We discussed next year's schedule and diagnostics.  I'm on for IVP instead of CT scan, PSA, Cysto, and 3 maintenance BCG treatments.  Scheduled the cysto for May 10, and will worry about the rest later.  Going to forget about having cancer for a while.  We went out and had an epic lunch celebration at perhaps the best restaurant in Salt Lake City, Pago.  I highly recommend it!

Thanks for all your prayers and good wishes of support.  God is good, all the time!