In July of 2011, I experienced severe difficulty breathing and went to a hospital emergency room. Upon being admitted, I was diagnosed with ER+ metastatic breast cancer in my left breast. The cancer had spread into my left pleural cavity causing an accumulation of fluid which had partially collapsed my lung. In addition, the cancer had spread into lymph nodes under both arms, in my chest on both the left and right, and in the area of both lungs. The cancer also may have spread into my left chest and shoulder muscles and my right breast. The fluid was drained from my left pleural cavity. An oncologist recommended conventional treatment consisting of four cycles of chemotherapy over a nine-week period, followed by a radical mastectomy, and then daily radiation for six weeks. After that, I would be on drugs for the rest of my life. There would be no hope of reconstructive surgery due to massive scarring from the radiation, and I would risk permanent lymphedema in my left arm. When I inquired about alternatives to their treatment, the doctors said there were none. Reluctantly, I submitted to two chemotherapy treatments which resulted in extreme fatigue, bone pain, and loss of hair, muscle mass and weight. Although I had an appetite, it was painful to eat.
At this point, I decided to discontinue chemotherapy and pursue an alternative and self-determined course of natural treatment through diet and vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements. Learning of a nearby integrative oncologist who agreed to work with me, I continued this treatment with apparent good results until the end of April 2012, when he discontinued practice, and I no longer had a healthcare professional to follow me.
In mid-May 2012, I began experiencing symptoms that suggested my cancer may be returning. In late June, I began to again experience breathing difficulty, and in mid-July, I was back in a hospital emergency room. My left pleural cavity had again filled with fluid, and my left lung was fully collapsed. Twice, fluid was drained from my left pleural cavity and talc pluerodesis procedures were performed. This substantially restored my ability to breathe although some fluid remained. Diagnostic tests revealed that in addition to being in my left breast and pleural cavity, the cancer had invaded the chest wall and shoulder muscles; was present in lymph nodes under both arms, around my heart and air tubes to both lungs, in my upper abdomen, and in the area of my left pelvis; and had metastasized on my right hip bone. An initial course of eight cycles of intense chemotherapy was recommended to be followed by continued chemotherapy for the remainder of my life. Surgery, radiation and hormonal treatment were no longer options because the cancer had gone too far. The oncologist stated that my prognosis was very poor, the cancer would never go into remission, and all she could do is try to kEep the disease from progressing.
Prior to the summer of 2012, I had learned of Dr. Burzynski and the Burzynski Clinic. Believing that he would be my best hope, I proceeded to the Clinic in August. Dr. Burzynski and his team began their strategic treatment of the cancer. The plan of treatment consisted of 6 medications, each of which had a specific role and which, in combination, acted synergistically in my therapy. The medications were introduced slowly, one each day as we watched for possible side effects. None ever occurred. I began to feel stronger with each passing day. At the end of three weeks at the Clinic, the treatment program was in place, and I returned home to continue my therapy. My first PET/CT Scan after my initial treatment at the Clinic, and my first office follow up with Dr. Burzynski, were in November 2012. The scan and follow up were very positive and encouraging. The cancer was gone from the lymph nodes and bone and only little remained in the breast. The breast was free from the chest wall and was soft and more normal in appearance. The remaining fluid in my left lung was gone. I continued on all medications following this visit. A PET/CT Scan in March 2013 did not show any cancerous activity. A third PET/CT scan in June 2013 confirmed this to be true.
I have not experienced any significant adverse effects under Dr. Burzynski's treatment. From the time I first came to the Clinic in August 2012 and up to the present, July 2013, I have engaged in all my normal activities without inconvenience. My breast looks and feels normal again, I have regained my weight, and my hair has grown back since my initial bout with chemotherapy in 2011.
One aspect of being a patient of the Burzynski Clinic that is especially meaningful to me is that I am able to talk directly with my doctors if and when I have a desire to do so. (Thankfully, I have seldom felt a need to do so outside of the regular, weekly telephone calls from my doctor, personally, which are a part of Dr. Burzynski's program of care.)