My journey with cancer began in September 2010, when I was diagnosed with Stage II invasive ductal carcinoma of the right breast. The biopsy results revealed the cancer cells were aggressive, therefore I began chemotherapy on October 1, 2010, at a cancer center in Austin, Texas. My oncologist ordered the typical "one size fits all" harsh chemotherapy, which included Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Taxol. The chemotherapy was effective in shrinking the tumor of the right breast but did not rid me of the cancer. I then underwent a lumpectomy upon completion of chemotherapy, which was recommended by my oncologist and surgeon, followed by thirty rounds of radiation.
I kept all my follow up appointments and underwent diagnostics and was informed by oncologist that I was "cancer free". I was faithful to perform self examinations and even mentioned to my oncologist that my right breast seemed to have excessive scar tissue.
In October of 2012, I underwent my annual mammogram, which did not detect any abnormalities, however in late December 2012, early January 2013 I began to experience right arm pain. I contacted my oncologist and spoke with her nurse, who was concerned with a possible blood clot. I underwent an ultrasound and nothing was detected according to radiology technician. I then discovered a lump under my right arm and expressed my concerns with oncologist. It was then a repeat was ultrasound was ordered and a mass was detected in the same exact location of the initial tumor. A biopsy confirmed recurrent cancer and I underwent a radical mastectomy of the right breast in February 2013. Biopsy results confirmed cancer cells in seventeen of the lymph nodes removed.
Due to the poor outcome of the initial treatment with "one size fits all" chemotherapy and radiation in 2010-2011, my husband and I sought alternative treatment. I was informed by my oncologist that the cancer would continue to spread and I would die within one year if I didn't undergo chemotherapy and radiation. I sought treatment at a facility in Rosirita, Mexico, staying for one month. The cancer continued to spread to chest wall.
I continued to be resistant to chemotherapy but knew that I was losing the battle to cancer. I considered radiation but was concerned with the integrity of my skin, which was an eggplant color with several open areas of bleeding and drainage, and after reading the effects of radiation, I declined. My faith to my Lord and Savior remained strong and I was led to Burzynski Clinic in June 2013. I contacted the staff at Burzynski Clinic, faxed medical records and was scheduled for a consultation two days later with Dr. Burzynski and his team of physicians. Dr. Burzynski gave me hope and informed that treatment could begin immediately. I was informed by Dr. Burzynski that my tissue and blood for gene cell target testing would be sent immediately to an out of state facility. (My blood and tissue had been sent by my oncologist in Austin to another facility, but Dr. Burzynski indicated the results were not favorable and a more extensive test with additional information was needed. I began treatment immediately and once the results were received from gene cell target testing, treatment was altered accordingly, which proved to be effective with my cancer.
My physicians at Burzynski Clinic and I immediately began to see improvement of the chest wall, with healing and regression of tumors. (The painful, itchy tumors had also begun to spread to my back and upper abdomen. Photographs had been taken by staff at the Burzynski Clinic periodically to monitor the status of the tumors). My family and I are elated to know that the treatment rendered by Dr. Burzynski and his staff was effective! What was once a death sentence has become a hope for continuation of life with my family and loved ones. I praise God for Dr. Burzynski's gifts of knowledge, expertise and love for his patients.
Marsha L. Swenson