I Almost Died

October 13 , 2017 by: Virginia MacDonald Uncategorized

I know many of you have wondered what happened to me since I haven’t been responding to your comments as I had been before. So I thought you might like to know what I have been dealing with. To say I was preparing to die is an understatement. I was sure that I didn’t have much more time. I couldn’t stop crying because I did not want to die. My family was taking this very hard too, though they all were trying hard not to show it. They did a pretty good job of this since I had no idea till they told me once I started getting better. The following is what happened to me and why I had to change from NORI to conventional treatments.


I was diagnosed with stage 2 aggressive breast cancer on August 1, 2014. I went to two different doctors to see what they could do for me. The first wanted to do chemo only (it was what she did). No idea what kind she had in mind, nor did I know what was available and no one was saying. The next doctor was at City of Hope. This one was a surgeon. What do you suppose he offered? Yup, you guessed right, a mastectomy, again, his specialty.

I left City of Hope with a determination to find another way. I had read about natural ways to rid me of my cancer and wanted to try that first before going with more invasive methods. That’s when I found NORI. I stayed on this protocol for over two years. My numbers were only in the 40’s and were slowly coming down, very slowly. I figured it took a while to grow (10 years they say); it would take a while to go down. However, my numbers started climbing again. I was dedicated fully to the protocol and it was going back up.

I decided to find a naturopathic doctor to see what else I could do. I went to two of them. My main purpose at the time was to get a prescription for Low Dose Naltrexone, a medication that takes inflammation down. Each doctor prescribed a different dose to me and I did take it for a quite a few months. One of these naturopathic doctors recommended that I see a doctor in Tustin, CA.   So I called and made an appointment with one of the doctors at her clinic. I ended up making it with one of her doctors because if I had seen the doctor he recommended, my insurance would never pay for it. She charged $500 per visit and there was no way I could ever pay for that. So I saw one that took my insurance.

She seemed nice enough. Recommended several things for me to do to combat my cancer. Again, insurance would not cover anything she recommended. It would all have to come out of pocket. Money that I just didn’t have. So she put me on supplements and sent me to see an herbiest she used.

Now this herbiest checked me for parasites. It is said that people with cancer often have parasites (even if it’s just an over abundance of yeast). He told me that I was infested with them. So he sold me even more supplements. Some of which were totally disgusting to ingest. I also had to drink 16 oz. of salt water a day. I was on so many supplements that I could hardly eat I was so full. Over the next few months my weight plummeted. So far that I became so skinny my husband said I looked like I had been in Auschwitz. Now I may not have been quite that bad but I was getting close. What do you think they recommended when I complained about not being able to eat because of all the supplements? More supplements. We went ahead and did as we were told but not for long. They did nothing to help me eat more so I could gain any weight back. If you know anything about supplements they do nothing for you if you don’t take food with them. So basically, I was filling up on crap as far as my body was concerned. I had become malnourished during this time. They had done nothing for me except deplete our bank account.

Then the flu hit my house. Everyone got sick and it looked like my body would avoid it. I got a little cough; otherwise I didn’t seem to have anymore than a slight cold. That is till my breathing started to get labored. Each day it got worse.   I now was spending all my time on our sofa. Barely having the strength to walk to the bathroom.

Before I got that bad however, we talked to the doctor in Tustin about what was happening. She listened to my chest and told me she didn’t hear anything to indicate a problem. She was very wrong. I continued to slowly get worse. At this time I was also getting ready to have surgery that isn’t covered by insurance (we paid for it through fundraising). It was recommended to me that I have a surgery called Cryosurgery. What it does is freeze the cancer cells so that when the “clean up” cells came by they learn that these dead cells are not suppose to be there and are dangerous to our body. They then look for these types of cells and go after them. For those where the surgery is a great success, their bodies start fighting off the cancer and keep vigil so none can get out of control again. It takes about 6 months for all of this to transpire. It is now 6 months since that surgery and that is when my body should start showing me signs of responding. I do believe it has already helped me since both my husband and I noticed that my tumors seemed to be shrinking even before I started chemo. My left breast was so much bigger than my right breast that when we saw that they were almost the same size what else were we to think. Shrinkage was occurring.

The day before I had surgery scheduled, I also had an appointment with my new oncologist. I wasn’t going to tell him what I was about to do, knowing full well that he would not approve. Being as honest as I am, I have a really hard time keeping things to myself. So I ended up telling him. As I suspected, he did not approve and tried to talk me out of it. That I was wasting my money, no other reason, he too had not listened to my lungs at this point. With no real good reason not to go through with the surgery, my eldest and I headed down to San Diego.

The next day I was scheduled for surgery. My son sat in the waiting room for me. I was prepped and surgery began. The next thing I remember is waking up. Once I was fully aware the doctor told me about the surgery. She said that during the surgery I had stopped breathing and she had to resuscitate me. Otherwise, my surgery had gone well. It was very scary that I had stopped breathing. I had had many surgeries during my lifetime and had never had any issues till now. At this time I had an obvious breathing issue that every doctor seems not to have noticed. The surgery should not have been preformed that day. No pre-testing had been preformed prior to my surgery as in other surgeries that I had had in the past.   Although I believe in this surgery, I would never recommend this doctor to anyone. She had dropped the ball in a big way that could have cost me my life.

This is me with my little sister. She is helping me walk. As you can see, I was getting very frail.

Later, as my breathing got worst, my oncologist sent me for chest x-rays to see what was going on. He found that my left lung was filling with water. So I was scheduled to have a needle inserted into my lung to drain as much water out as possible. As scary as this sounds, it was all rather simple. The needle is inserted into the lung with the help of ultrasound to guide the way. A similar technique was used in my Cryosurgery. I did feel a bit better after but it took several days before I really felt the difference where I was actually able to do things around the house. If this had not been caught, this and not my cancer would have been the cause of my death. I am not saying the cancer had nothing to do with it. The fact that my immune system was so lacking caused the cancer and hence my bodies inability to fight off a sickness that at any other time I would have had a quick recovery, never mind the doctors in the Tustin area playing their part.

Within a few weeks after I started on my new protocol. Not one I entered into lightly. I fought it even during the time where I thought for sure I was not long for this world. With the help of my family, we all decided on doing as little chemo as possible. My one big worry was the fact that I was born with only one kidney and I knew that chemo could destroy other organs while it killed the cancer. Reassurance that there was always dialysis was not very reassuring. I felt I would just be trading one health issue for another.

You may have heard of low dose chemo on The Truth About Cancer. The low dose that they speak of is only 10% of the average chemo where they also use glucose as a Trojan horse to get the cancer to eat up the chemo causing cancer cell death. This is not covered by any insurance I know of. What ever the lowest level of chemo that insurance will still pay for is what I opted for. I go in once a week for this too, which is much less time than the average. This gives my body time to deal with it slowly instead of all at once. Many are hit hard with chemo (3 times in a week with a week or more off). We left it open for changes if necessary. As we progressed my numbers went down in both areas we wanted it to as well as in areas we did not.

This is in August on my birthday. almost six months after I started chemo. Believe it or not, I still have hair. It’s just all white and cut really short. After this picture I started seeing dark hair growing in as well. All this without stopping chemo. Taxol isn’t know for allowing hair growth.

I didn’t see my cancer numbers go down right away, in fact, they went up by the 3rd session, I never saw any of this at first so I had no idea what was happening, I was still getting use to their system. The other day I looked at all the tests they had done since March 1, 2017, my CA27.29 numbers went from 53 on the first session to 70 on the third and back down to 43 on the 4th.   My CA15.3 numbers went from 45 on the first session to 60 on the 3rd and finally 44 on the 5th session. Over the next few months my numbers went up and down till on July 12th new markers were tested. CA125 came up with 39, CA19-9 was 22 (normal is between 0 and 35 for both of these). These were the first to have anything in the normal range. On August 1, 2017 (my 3rd anniversary for finding out I had cancer) test results came in for both the CA27.29 and CA15-3. My numbers had dropped to 32 and 39 respectively. One in normal range and one very close. On October 3rd I got to see these same tests with both of them in the normal range (CA27.29 at 27 and CA 15-3 at 35, just within normal range). They need to come down much more I am sure before they will consider me in a really safe zone and then I can get off all the chemo drugs and go on only the Herceptin to keep the cancer from returning. At that point my energy should return and I should be able to go back to work.

As much as I fought using chemo of any kind, I can’t deny that it has done what diet and natural remedies where unable to do. I loved becoming a vegan and plan on keeping that part of Nori in my life. I still have issues with my family about that. They have not embraced it as I have. They know how excited I get when we find a restaurant that serves vegan as well as foods that they like eating. As I get better I will be taking over the cooking once again and vegan will be a more common meal then it is right now. I’m really tired of having to get upset when the first thing out of their months is what meat the meal will be centered around. I have used diet to help me through this process and it has helped in areas that other more invasive methods are used in the medical community. I will speak of that in my next blog. No matter what your oncologist says, diet is extremely important. Don’t eat anything that is processed. Bring your own snacks so you don’t have to worry about what is in them. Sugar, unless it is full of fiber like fruit and veggies is feeding the cancer not you. If you do get something that is pre-made, be sure you know what is in them. There are some things out there that are ok. Just don’t make a habit of eating even those.

Unfortunately, not every cancer can be dealt with in the same manner. Some do respond to natural protocols. Mine did not. It did however extend my life and showed me a better way of eating, one that I really enjoy.   I am now very mindful of what I put in my body and I have become quite knowledgeable about the subject. I may not be using the NORI protocol anymore, however, there are those who have been very successful at it. Breast cancer is one that is a bit tricky on whether it can help or not. I have met several others that it did not help and those that it did (more that it didn’t). As I am able to determine which were and which were not I will let you know. This is a very long process and may take a while (as any research would) to find out the information I need to come to any conclusion. Just keep in mind that whatever I find will be speculative at best since I am not a scientist, just an observer. I will be asking my friends that I have met along the way that have been helped with NORI and those that have had to go another way. Each one has done something differently with different results. You and only you can make the final decision on how you will handle your cancer diagnosis. I wish you and your families the best in your research and path you chose to take. God bless and in good health to you all.






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