Book being Published in China-In Chinese!!

It’s not everyday that your book gets translated and published in another language, let alone Chinese, but that’s what’s happening to the book we co-authored with Dr. Peter Littrup on my experience being a patient pioneer using cryoablation (freezing) to save my breast. The part the Chinese are publishing is about our experience in China at Fuda Hospital in Guangzhou where we got some innovative immunotherapy treatment last year.

I was invited by the Chinese to be a presenter at a Writer’s Forum in August but was unable to go as I have an exhibit of my paintings opening at Froelick Gallery (Portland, Oregon) in September.

So Alex and I created this 12 minute video to send instead.
We just posted our video on YouTube. Please take a look, especially if you are interested in innovative, body-part conserving, immunity giving cancer treatment. Here’s the link:

https://youtu.be/OsZr7cVCC8E

Book Press Release

book cover

Finally…..after 10 years…….our book is available! Here’s Lori’s post!

The story about my using cryoablation (freezing) to kill my breast cancer, avoid a mastectomy and get an immunity to my cancer.
Woven together expertly by my wonderful writer husband Alex, this book uses my journals written in real time, his insights and reflections, our innovating physician Dr. Peter Littrup’s own amazing story and what has happened since our ground breaking adventure together. It includes a section of my recent trips to China’s Fuda Hospital, the epicenter of where these techniques are being most fully embraced.
Below is the press release and link to the website on Amazon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Now available from Amazon.com in Kindle or paperback, They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them, or How Freezing my Breast Saved my Breast.
“My breast cancer diagnosis in 2001 came 35 years after my mother died of the same disease.  Those 35 years turned me into a warrior: I was determined that if I got the same diagnosis, I would not merely survive cancer, I would defeat it.

I rejected a disfiguring mastectomy and used cryoablation, freezing a tumor, to save my breast. Cryoablation killed the cancer and stimulated an immune response. When a tumor is frozen, it can no longer hide its DNA structure, which allows the immune system to recognize the cancer as a foreign body and develop antibodies to the cancer, if the immune system is strong and robust.

Cryoablation is very inexpensive compared to a mastectomy, yet it is not available for breast cancer treatment in the U.S., though it has been used in other parts of the world to treat thousands of women. Bucking conventional medical practices to secure cryoablation treatment was like walking through a mine field. My husband, Alex, and I decided to write this book with Dr. Peter Littrup, the doctor and medical innovator who performed the cryoablation, to help others get this treatment.

We challenge American doctors to join the fight in this new frontier.  I risked my survival to save my breast, knowing that success would mark a milestone in the war against breast cancer.  Being cancer free 11 years later proves me victorious!
I spoke recently about my experience at the 3rd Annual Cryoablation and Stem Cell Research Cancer Conference in Guangzhou, China. Clinical evidence presented there proves cryoablation to be an effective alternative to a mastectomy or lumpectomy.

We invite you to read our story and join us in the fight to discover and demand better treatment options for women with breast cancer.”

Visit keepingthem.com where you can find links to Laura’s speech and more information regarding cryoablation treatment of breast cancer.

There will be a book signing event at Froelick Gallery, 714 NW Davis St., Portland, OR on Wednesday, November 19th, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm
And here’s the link to the book on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Theyre-Mine-Im-Keeping-Them-ebook/dp/B00M3O6HK8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413654669&sr=1-1&keywords=theyre+mine+and+im+keeping+them

My Speech at the 3rd International Forum on Cancer, Guangzhou China Aug 2014

Fuda Cancer Conference Aug. 15, 2014

 

I am honored to be sharing the stage today with such distinguished doctors and researchers who are making so many wonderful contributions to the advancement of cancer treatment.   I know it is unusual for a patient to be given such an honor and I thank Dr. Xu for inviting me. As a patient who has benefitted from new thinking on how best to treat cancer, I am especially happy to be among you today! It was 11 years ago that I talked to Dr. Peter Littrup of the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan regarding cryoablation for my multi-focused breast cancer. I wanted to try cryoablation to avoid a mastectomy. It was the first time Dr. Peter had used this technique on breast cancer and it worked beautifully.

 

I am not a scientist. My career is in the arts and I’m going to show you some of the paintings I did during the last 11 years of my recovery to tell you my story.

 

But first, I would like to give you a challenge:

 

Because I firmly believe:

 

It’s Time for Cryoablation to Replace the Mastectomy.

 

I would like to see cryoablation move from being “experimental” to becoming the new “gold standard” for breast cancer treatment

 

 

It’s time for the world to learn that cryoablation and immune system stimulation are a far better alternative for all women than the mastectomy and that the odds of beating cancer and surviving is a superior combination than the mastectomy combined with chemotherapy, the current “gold standaed”.

 

So this is my challenge to the fellow participants of this conference. To help Cryoablation, combined with immune therapy, become the new Gold Standard for Breast Cancer. It’s time for Breast Conservation to become part of the picture and for women to learn that keeping your breast, rather than removing it, can actually increase their chances of survival.

 

Now I will begin with my story:

 

RoarRoom.54x48.2010

 

RoarRoom.54×48.2010

 

I want to begin by quoting my husband from our book.

 

“Cancer hits your life like a tsunami. It crashes through buildings, finds you at night, and drowns you. Cancer wrenches your life around, forcing you to pay attention to it with a constant fearful reminder-I have cancer, my wife has cancer, my husband has cancer, someone I love has cancer”.

 

I was hit by my cancer tsunami when I was diagnosed with multi -focused breast cancer early in 2003. It was

Valentine’s Day in America, a day of love and tenderness. I looked on my body with love and did not want to lose my breast to a mastectomy as my doctors had recommended, even though they  assured me the mastectomy was the highest standard, the Gold Standard, of care.

At the time of my diagnosis, my third child and daughter Emma, who is here in the audience today, was 13 years old. Emma is now 25. (Introduce Emma).

It is my biggest desire and highest hope that doctors like those assembled here in this room today will move cyroablation as a treatment for breast cancer from being experimental to being widely available and covered by insurance by the time my daughter and her friends are the age that they may be faced with their own breast cancer diagnosis.

 

I was also 13 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated with a mastectomy. She died 4 years later.

 

I had 35 years after my mother’s death to think about what I would do if I got breast cancer.

I didn’t want to just SURVIVE cancer I wanted to DEFEAT it!

 

Having a body part removed seemed like the cancer would have won a victory over me. I hated cancer for taking my mother and I didn’t want it to have that victory. I didn’t want to leave MY three children mother-less. I set my intention to find a way to save my breast and be medically proven to be cancer free

022 Leap, 68x48, oil and wax on canvas, 1996 (2) 022 Leap, 68x48, oil and wax on canvas, 1996 (2)Birch

 

This painting, entitled “Leap”, helped me make the decision that a new technique called cryoablation might be what I needed to achieve my goal.

 

In the painting, we see a woman confidently jumping out of a tree, yet we don’t know where she’s going to land! In the same way, I made my decision to keep my breast, but I didn’t know how I would do that.

 

I trusted a new technique that had advanced my ability and brought success.

 

I believed Dr. Littrup was a great artist of this new technique he helped pioneer and I knew in my heart it would work. If it didn’t, I reasoned I could still get the mastectomy that my doctor offered. But I wanted to try cryoablation first.

 

 

 

042 Juggle #3, 68x48, oil and wax on canvas, 2003

 

 

This painting, Juggle, also helped me decide. It was the last painting I did before I found out I had breast cancer. In fact getting ready for an important exhibition in San Francisco, which this painting was included in, was the reason I was late in getting my annual mammogram. Not getting my mammogram sooner was probably the reason my cancer was not found early enough to allow a lumpectomy.

 

In the painting there is a mysterious third hand holding a round white ball, much like the freeze ball used in Dr. Littrup’s treatment.

 

It was as if my subconscious had premeditated I would need a helping hand that wasn’t my own. The fact that that third hand in my painting had a white ball, much like a freeze ball used in cryoablation-well, that just felt like it was a sign from Heaven that Dr. Littrup was going to save me, like the 3rd helping hand in the painting.

 

The operation was a big success and I’ve remained cancer free for 11 years.

 

During that time my husband and I developed a website, keepingthem.com, to help other women know about this possibility for them. I’ve talked to a lot of women who also want to save their breasts.

 

Over the years I’ve been surprised by the fact that at least half the women who have contacted me are just as interested, if not even more so, in the immune boosting effect of cryoablation rather than breast conservation. In fact, I’d say it’s about 50-50. Half want to save their breast but are glad they might also be getting an immunity to their breast cancer, and half want to get the immunity but are glad they would also be saving their breast.

 

I’m proud to say that about two dozen women followed me to Karmanos to be treated by Dr. Littrup.

 

book cover

 

We were all so excited and hopeful about my successful outcome that we wrote this book, They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them, based on my journal going through the process, interviews and writing by Dr. Littrup and expertly narrated by my husband Alex. Alex also included reference support. This book is now available online through Amazon in both Kindle and paperback . I have copies for the fellow presenters so let me know if you’d like a copy.

 

Our hope is that writing and releasing this book will help let women know that cyroablation works and may be a superior way to both conserve, “keep”, their breasts and get an immune effect. We want woman to know that this is a better way to treat breast cancer.

 

I’d like to encourage you doctors to also share the success stories of your patients and to follow the lead of Fuda’s Dr. Xu and his wonderful book, “Nothing But the Truth”. His book has been a great inspiration for patients and their families being treated at Fuda.  It is a

 

terrific tool in spreading the word about cryoablation. Even if you don’t write a book, I hope you will make yourself available to speak about your work using cryoablation and share the  stories of your successes.

 

Laura Ross Paul Charcoal Series 4

 

My treatment was not without some difficulties due to lack of knowledge about cryoablation and I thought you doctors might like to know of a few.

 

There were three main problems:

 

The first involved the immune effect.

 

I returned to my home in Oregon on the West Coast of the United States  three days after my treatment in Detroit, Michigan where Dr. Littrup was. Soon after my return I developed

fevers and chills with no other symptoms. My doctors were as confused about it as much as I was. It was a years later that one of the women contacting me through the website told me this reaction was most likely a sign the immune effect was kicking in.

 

Anecdotal information like when the immune effect does kick in and what symptoms this creates in a woman’s body might be something researchers would like to keep track of.

Sharing information like this would be very helpful to potential patients considering this treatment. They will still be patient pioneers like I was and would like to know if symptoms they weren’t expecting have a reason for happening.

 

The second problem I had was how to read my checkup MRI’s. I got my follow up treatment in Portland, Oregon, where cryoablation is unknown as a treatment for breast cancer. My operation had been done in Detroit in a different hospital system. The new healthy tissue replacing the frozen tissue in my breast looked to my doctors in Portland like the cancer was returning. Dr. Littrup explained to them that the new growth was not cancer but they disagreed and said his treatment was a failure and never should have been tried.

 

 

To resolve this issue I was invited back to Detroit and Karmanos where I spent much of my day in a MRI machine getting a special test that was interpreted by

three very smart looking specialists. This was the type of test that only was available in a very sophisticated facility like Karmanos. At the end of the long test I was declared cancer free in every cell of my body. This was the medical confirmation I had originally set out to get with my intention and a dramatic conclusion for Dr. Littrup’s experiment on me. Cryoablation could successfully be used on women’s breasts for breast cancer.

 

The third problem came when I had to begin radiation three months after my operation. My health insurer insisted on the same protocol as post-lumpectomy. Dr. Littrup believed in radiation as a follow up treatment as well but told me to put it off as long asI could so that my hematoma could be eaten by my immune system as much as possible before radiation started. While the hematoma had reduced by at least a half to 2/3’s, the radiation effectively stopped my body’s ability to eat up my hematoma and I was left with a still largish hard fat necrosis. It went from grapefruit size to about the size of a peach pit. Eventually it became infected and needed to be surgically removed. Luckily my original surgeon had stuck with me and performed the operation.

 

Despite this set-back, I eventually won over the respect of my Portland doctors. My Oncologist and Radiologist both took on other patients from my location that had gone to Dr. Littrup for cryoablation on my recommendation.

 

Fuda Day 2-2

 

My final remarks will be about my friend and Fuda Patient, Fe Zahorordriuk, of Alberta Canada.

 

Dr. Littrup’s Cryoablation Program was closed down 3 years ago due to Government over-regulation of  the health care industry. His hospital no longer allowed women to self-pay for his services. But women where still coming to my site asking where to get cryoabltion done. I needed someplace I could end them.

 

I had known about Fuda Hospital in Guangzhou from my husband and my Internet research about cryoablation. I knew that Dr. Littrup had been to China in the late 90’s on a trip hosted by the UN where he helped spread the word about it. I knew they treated breast cancer at Fuda and it might be a good option if only I could persuade women to go. But nobody wanted to go to a place that far away or that foreign for something still so new and still considered experimental.

 

Fe’s sister in-law found my website and I first talked with Fe by phone in the fall of 2012. Her husband had found FUDA on his Internet searches and she was planning to go.

She asked if I thought it was a good idea to go to Fuda.

 

Fe was having a reoccurrence of an aggressive breast cancer. Not only did I tell her I thought it was a good idea, I told her I thought it may be her only real hope as she surely needed the immune response to attack her metastasized cancer. I asked if I could cover her story for our site. That’s when she said I should come with her to check it out in person.

 

I didn’t have time nor money for such a venture, but I knew in my heart that no western woman, at least no American woman, would ever believe in Fuda unless another western woman checked it out.

 

I asked my film maker son Louie to help me make an

Internet fundraiser and was delighted when our friends and family quickly raised enough money to buy a plane ticket to China. My husband added enough funding for Louie to join me. Louie is now working on a documentary of our trip.

 

As it turned out, Dr. Littrup was going to be at Fuda during our stay, attending a similar conference to this one. The stars had aligned for me again!!

 

Not only did I get to be reunited with Dr. Littrup, I learned a lot by being able to attend the conference. And I had Dr. Peter to help me understand some of the treatments going on with Fe.

 

Part of what I learned was the terrific effect of Fuda’s Combined Immunotherapy for Cancer. It was very central to Fe’s treatment. I learned that this CIC boosts the immunes system’s ability to attack cancer throughout the whole body, killing cancer cells before they have a chance to form into tumors and attacking remote sights of small tumors that have formed. I knew the immune effect did this but I found out that adding CIC helps prevent a reoccurance.

 

I was so impressed by Fe’s results and those of other Fuda patients using CIC that I brought my husband with me back to Fuda last April for us both to receive CIC treatment.

Alex had prostate cancer in 2010. His tumor was ablated with Hi Fu, high intensity focused ultrasound.  This left his immune system with the ability to see the tumor cells in the same way that cryoablation does, so he was a candidate for CIC as well as myself.

 

Fe happened to be back at Fuda in April  then too, getting more CIC herself so we were happily reunited at Fuda as fellow patients and had more time to find out what was working best with her treatment. She also had a lot of success with radiation seed implants and Herceptin treatments which she was back at Fuda to get more of.

 

I was so impressed with Fe’s successful diminishing of her cancer symptoms during my first Fuda visit that Alex and I added her story to our book.

 

I gave a copy of our book to Dr. Xu last April. His reaction to it was asking us if he could publish the Fuda part of our book. We of course hope that this too will spread the word.

 

 

 

Fuda Day 2-1

 

 

Fe is such a wonderful spirit and a keen fighter! For what she has been up against I am so impressed with her energy and general good spirits and health and I’m so impressed with the care she received at Fuda.

 

Dr. Littrup made an astute observation about Fuda when we were here together in 2012. He said China came into the allopathic cancer treatment business rather later than most western countries. As a result, they were able to pick and chose the most effective treatments and put them together in innovative ways..

 

Perhaps another reason the Chinese have embraced cryoablation that I’ve also observed is their tremendous respect for the immune system, which is at the heart of the centuries old Traditional Chinese Medicine. I totally appreciate that Fuda has a traditional medicine department who treatments are very often included in a patient’s care.

 

Another huge strength is Fuda’s personal approach for each patient, recognizing the uniqueness of each individual. In the west we tend to get protocols that one size fits all. One of the first things I was exposed to At Fuda was the doctor/ patient meetings where everyone gets an equal say in a patient’s treatment, even the patient. Wow!

 

One of my biggest challenges was the coordination of my doctors care especially as I was trying to coordinate two different hospital systems. Coordinating care will be a big challenge for other women choosing this method until it is widely available.

 

 

xFeAndJellyBlueUmbrella

 

My final image is of Fe herself and her sister Jelly, who has been her faithful companion and supporter on all her trips to Fuda.

 

The reference image for this picture was  taken behind the Sun Yet Sin Autorium here in Guangzhou.

Fe hadn’t seen much of China nor Guangzhou on all her trips to Fuda so one lazy rainy Sunday we hired a tour guide and took she and Jelly for sight seeing tour.

 

As you know Sun Yat Sen is considered the father of modern China having helped get the revolution going that separated control from the emperor, giving power to the people. This was the location where the revolution got started.

 

We, those of us in this room, are starting a revolution of sorts for how cancer is most effectively treated. I think this painting then is a fitting image for my closing remarks. I’ll let my ending words come from Dr . Sun Yat Sen himself:

 

“In the construction of a country, it is not the practical workers but the idealists and planners that are difficult to find.”

 

All of you here today are attempting to build a new way of treating cancer patients and in many ways this is as difficult a task as building a country. Cryoablation is a better way of treating patients because it is less morbid, less expensive and more effective at killing cancer.

 

So I encourage you to become more than practical workers, I ask that you become idealists and planners to insure that cryoablation is used throughout the world.

 

Thank you!!

 

1.11.13 Fe’s Update-Back to Fuda

1.11.13 Fe’s Update:
(From the latest email from Fe- She’s from Canada, but is a native Filipino. She speaks English as a second language).

It’s now important to tell you about my second comeback to relay my therapies
to those cancer patients who wants to come at FUDA for treatment . There were 5 of us in the
ambulance service & none of us are rich to afford this therapies . Our life is at stake,& we’ll
do anything to save our lives. I believe that if you have cancer time is essential important &
there’s no time wasting it.I believe w/ all my heart wiat FUDA can threat e w/ my ailment,&
pls. convince who ever e- mails or ask you, time for treatment is a must f they value their
own life’”.

Fe’s back at Fuda, having taken a break for Christmas, after her cryoablation procedures.

Since I’m not a medical person, nor medically trained, it’s difficult for me to explain in medical language everything going on with Fe –so I think I should explain it the way I understand it:

These are the steps it appears Fe went through after she got to Fuda.
Her blood was taken to be cultured and put back after 13 days to boost her immune system before her operation. She was given at least five imaging procedures with ultra sound, MRI and Pet scan to really figure out where she might have a metastasis. It was found in five places, two small one in her bones, but mainly a reoccurrence in her breast and five places in her liver. She was given Heparin treatment since she was Hep positive. She also had Cancer Micro Intervention (CMI), very fine grain particles of chemo medicine put directly into her tumors. All of this was to reduce the size of the tumors and to build her immune system before having her tumors frozen. Her big day finally came a few days before I arrived at Fuda. Cryoablation was given to her breast and liver sites. By the time I got there she was up and around, energetic and cheery. She was wearing a heavy “shield” apron as she had also had some iodine pellets placed internally at her tumor sites to treat the clean margins.
These would remain in her for several months so she traveled back and forth to Canada with them.

During the times Louie and I visited with Fe and Jelly in her room, nurses were constantly coming in and out, checking on her temperature, pulse and urine, checking her IV’s. Fe was getting internal vitamins to help her body cope with all that was going on. She also was having medicine put into a port in her arm that led to a line going up to her arm to her chest. There were a few days she had a bad fever. I never got a clear answer if it was because her immune system was over-loaded or if it was in reaction to one of the drugs she was taking.

Of course there was a concern that the small sites in her bones were not frozen. But earlier, Dr. Xu had showed me slide after slide of these secondary bones sites being gone when they where checked later, after the initial freezing. This is what I think their thinking was with Fe. I’m waiting to find out….. I’m sure, if there still is something there, it will be ablated. I’m sure this is what all the building of the immune system is all about. The thinking seems to be that cancer finally exits the body at the cellular level.

I just finished Dr. Xu’s book, “Nothing But the Truth”, given to all Fuda patients to explain his thinking and experience with treating cancer. It is a very honest and inspiring book, which I’m sure, goes along way to give a patient confidence about their treatment.

When I was in seventh grade a teacher of mine taught us how to alleviate “fear” when he showed us that “knowledge” of what one is afraid of, takes the fear away. He had us study spiders, which we all admitted before hand no one liked and were in fear of. We were required to keep and accurate log of the 20 or so spiders that lived in our area. My classmates and I were famous at our school for our ability to pick a spider up by it’s hind legs and dropping it like a yoyo to carry it around by its web-string. Our friends would ask us to identify what kind of spider they found and what its characteristics were. Soon no one in that school “hated” or were ”afraid” of spiders.

I can see that something like my teachers spider education is going on at Fuda. Patients and their families seem very educated and “empowered” by all the literature, seminars, and patient meetings with doctors, and signage everywhere. The place doesn’t “smell” like fear. There is an attitude that “we are smarter than cancer” and “we will concur this”. Instead of fear, there seems to be a feel of “empowerment” and “we can get through this!” That’s what I felt (for Fe) upon finishing the book. I think I’m going to ask Dr. Xu to write up the case study for Fe’s experience for the last chapter of our book, “They’re Mine and I’m keeping Them”. (He’s an excellent writer).

Stay tuned

Getting bag packing help!!

IMG_4505

My daughter, Emma, has a friend who is starting a business helping people with their packing for a trips abroad.
Whitney Hull-Benson is a confident whiz!! She kindly offered to give me a free-be consultation with what to bring in a small carry-on to China. I will be prepared for both hanging out in the hospital, and interacting with the director who has offered to give us some of his time. (She even took photos and emailed them to me with accessory instructions!).

She quickly whipped together combinations I never would have thought of and gave me a bunch of different outfits by selecting just a few basic pieces. I should have extra room in my suitcase to bring along host gifts!!

Tomorrow I’m booking our tickets to China!

china-thumb

The early response to our online fundraiser has made that possible.
This is way out of my comfort zone but seems to be happening so fast I’m hardly aware I have a comfort zone!

I’ll been flying to the Guangzhou airport, south of Beijing, then on to Fuda hospital. I’m going to Fuda to assist a woman from Canada I’ve never met except through internet conversations. Her name is Fe and she’s a brave one indeed. Actually it was Fe’s sister in law who introduced us. Fe had had a reoccurrence of her breast cancer. The initial treatments of lumpectomy and chemo had been so hard on her she was unwilling to try it again. During a late night search her husband had found a hospital in China that took a different approach, freezing the tumor. It’s called cryoablation or cryosurgery. Was this a good idea?? Does anyone in the west know about it?? That’s when Fe’s sister in law did her own internet searches. That’s when she found our site,theyremineandimkeepingthe.com, named after our book, “They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them”. I’ve maintained this site for over seven years, although it’s currently getting a much needed upgrade.

Fe’s sister in law, Collyne, wanted to know, what did I know about cryoablation? Well actually I know quite a bit. It was almost 10 years ago that my husband’s excellent internet and phone skills helped me connect with one of cryoablation’s early pioneers, Dr. Peter Littrup of the Karmanos cancer center in Detroit. Dr. Littrup and I probably made a good pair, I wanted to save my breast just as much as he wanted to try his freezing expertise out on breast cancer. He took me on as his first breast cancer patient. Years later I met someone in San Francisco who happened to know the woman who talked her doctor into doing the first lumpectomy. Her logic was the same as mine; if it didn’t work, traditional mastectomy could always be a fallback procedure. But it worked beautifully!! AND I may even have benefitted from a wonderful side effect. Many cryo patients get an” immune effect”, basically an immunity to their own cancer. As I’m finding out now, the Chinese have added additional protocols to specifically stimulate this very important effect.

But back to Fe. After a phone call from her sister in law, where I made the comment that I would love to go to Fuda to check it out, I got an email from Fe herself, inviting me along.  Fe knew I wanted to check out Fuda for myself and she was willing to offer her experience as the catalyst, so her story could be shared. What a brave woman!! That request went straight to my heart like an arrow. It resinated deeply. Why?? Because 18 months earlier the cryoablation program at Karmanos had been shut down. I wasn’t sure why. For at least five years women had been finding their way to our website. I had spent countless hours on the phone telling them exactly what my experience was like. My husband Alex, who is so much better with actual facts and figures than I am, often also spent endless hours helping these women with difficult decisions, weighing circumstances, offering advice. Many, I didn’t keep track, followed my footsteps and also became patients of Dr. Littrup, saving their breasts from mastectomy and beating their cancer. Happily two were from my home state of Oregon, Heather and Mary. I got to meet them both in person and they have been very generous, allowing me to  forward their contacts, to also share their experience with women trying to decide what they should do.

But now,” what to do” was proving most difficult. Our web site, even at its primitive, basic, early stage, must have been convincing. The women now writing me were convinced they wanted to have it done. But where?? For six months I’d been working with Jackie. Jackie wanted to be “the first black Laura”, explaining to me that african-american women would need a black face on a cryoablated breast cancer survivor before they’d buy into the procedure. It was Jackie who found out achieving that goal really wasn’t going to be possible in Detroit. The program there was not going to continue. I was faced with both the heartache of finding out Dr. Littup’s program no longer existed and having no good options for Jackie, who I was becoming very fond and attached to with each long phone call. Finally Jackie called me from the east coast. She had found another doctor who ran a clinic offering several alternative treatments. Cryo was one of them. She had talked this doctor into tying it on her. We celebrated by finally meeting in person for lunch when she got back to Portland. But when Jackie’s three month MRI happened, both our hearts broke…..where she’d been frozen she was fine, but outside of those boundaries..a reoccurrence. Perhaps this doctor was not as skilled or experienced as Dr. Littrup….but now what??

The inquiries keep coming….a woman from Cape Cod, northern California, LA, South Carolina, Australia, now Canada. I had read about Fuda. I knew the UN had sent Dr. Littrup to China in the mid nineties to teach them his techniques. I knew this was the reason the Chinese led the world in lung cancer cures as they began to use cryoablation as a very effective treatment. They had a post up on their website of an 85 year old woman’s before and after picture of her cancer erupting from her breast, becoming gangrenous, then being frozen. The after treatment photo showed it looking very normal. Wow!! But China……

Now here was a woman who was actually going. All the women I’d mentioned it to couldn’t get beyond the distance, the cultural and language barriers, let alone the potential costs. Would the treatment they got there be worth it? After Jackie’s experience, I’d already made a decision I couldn’t really recommend anything I hadn’t checked out for myself. Now I was being given an offer to do that.

But thinking and doing are different. There is a moment when thinking must turn into doing……

That moment came for me during my favorite morning yoga class. My teacher, Todd, always leads us through a guided meditation. During that meditation, just a few weeks ago, right after Fe’s offer to join her, the switch to “doing” commenced….”I should go” became…….. “I’m going”.

Right after class I I called one of my two film maker sons….Louie. Would he consider going with me…..if we could raise the money…..to help get Fe’s story in a form it could be shared? (He’s a wiz at u-tube and all stories visual). Why yes!! He’d love to!!

It’s been a short distance from that moment to getting a video ask ready. My ever supportive husband Alex has again used he’s internet skills to find the best vehicle for asking and getting the video Louie and I made posted….in only 24 hours our supportive friends have donated enough to be able to call the travel agent in the morning….now Fe’s friends are kicking in with notes such as….”you’ve restored our faith in the kindness of strangers”………I seem to be close to tears often…….this is WAY out of my normal comfort zone….but it appears, in about a week, I’m going half way around the world to help feed and bath a woman I’ve only corresponded with on the internet, at a hospital who seems to be doing amazing things. No, I’ve never met her, but I KNOW her. I know her because I’ve been in a similar place, when I only had my hopes and dreams of beating cancer in a way I wanted to work, even if it hadn’t been done before. It DID work. And now I want that SO badly for Fe…. and for Lori….. and Claudia and Karmelle and Karen and Jackie and for ALL the women who’ve contacted me in these last few months, making a heart connection as I try to help them figure out their best options. Maybe our finding out about what goes on THERE will eventually lead to it  becoming readily available HERE.

Isn’t this what women are good at? Networking? Sharing our stories? Fe wants to share her story. I want to help her do that……

It’s Christmastime. Isn’t that the time for wonderful things to happen??