After Danny’s cancer treatments were completed, about 3 1/2 years ago, he returned to a life that included a mixture of struggles, as typically expected for a cancer survivor. About 6 months ago, Danny began experiencing severe peripheral neuropathy. Because of its rapid onset, our first fear was that the cancer had returned, but after a doctor visit assured us the cancer was still in remission, we realized there was now a brand new struggle we needed to navigate.
The type of pain that has no understandable beginning and no decent explanation. This may be the most frustrating pain that exists, for you cannot determine a cause and therefore, cannot fully express or eradicate the effect.
Chemotherapy and radiation, though often much more detrimental than positive, had removed the fear of Danny’s aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. For this we are immensely grateful! However, the unusual pain and mental exhaustion that came as a residual effect of the drugs, was not fully anticipated nor understood.
For those of you who have followed Danny’s story and prayed along the way, we are intensely grateful. We have seen the power of God working in so many ways during this journey, and we know it is far from over. Therefore, we continue to look to Him for the peace to accept the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can. Every part of our journey has proved itself to be a blessing, and so we trust Romans 8:28, which says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.
I wanted to give a quick update on the current health situation, and I also wanted to encourage others who may be in the midst of dealing with (or trying to deal with) intense pain.
The first couple recommendations received, were intended to kill or numb the pain. Specifically, “Gabapentin” was suggested because that is successful with nerve based pain.
We were not satisfied with this answer. Gabapentin had a plethora of adverse side-effects, including depression and suicidal tendencies. We believe our bodies typically manifest pain because there is something wrong. Covering the pain without addressing the cause often creates more problems than it remedies. Therefore, IF there was a way to fix the pain without medicating, we wanted to find it.
We started researching and trying EVERY natural remedy we could possibly attempt. We are already plant-based eaters, but Danny cut out processed sugar and almost all dairy. We continued using essential oils specifically for his symptoms, we did massage therapy, we continued chiropractic care, we added magnesium supplements, we tried a gluten free diet, we juiced more often, we took Diatomaceous earth, we painstakingly made sure we got all of our B-vitamins and other nutrients that were linked to nerve pains, but the pain was not subsiding. After many long hours of research and lots of advice seeking, Danny and I felt lost as to what to do. By mid-January Danny had been out of work for almost 2 months and experiencing near constant pain.
This is when we met Dr. Marc Harris. He was recommended by family that both Danny and I respect and trust. Everyone who had seen this doctor had different ailments/problems and he was able to correct/help a variety of different patients. He had a long waiting list to get an appointment with him, but due to a last minute cancellation, we were able to see him sooner! (That is a story for another time :)) So, off to Bozeman, Montana we went!
This doctor was amazing, and I could spend a long time sharing his stories (maybe I’ll make a documentary about him one day!!), but for now, I will just focus on Danny’s treatment plan and the outcomes.
After a long appointment with a variety of tests, Danny was put on a detox treatment plan with extra supplements to aid his own immune defense system. His treatment plan includes homeopathic drops for an environmental detox and a metals detox, as well as a lymph detox pill. These are meant to cleanse his body of the chemotherapy drugs and other environmental pressures he deals with having been in construction and remodeling. In addition, he takes a B-Activ vitamin, Chlorella Pyrenoidosa, to draw the toxins out and protect his liver and kidneys, a Complete omega 3 essential vitamin, an Opti Adrenal, and a Nature thyroid support pills to keep his energy up, and Dopa Boost and 5HTPw SRT for his gut health.
Dr. Harris, also strongly suggested a more radical approach to our diet. He recommended a raw, vegan lifestyle. We already avoided meats and most dairy, but he suggested we raise the amount of sprouted seeds, quality nuts, fruits and veggies we eat, lower our gluten intake, and cut out processed sugar, completely. Some suggestions that surprised us were the removal of white potatoes and peanut butter. White potatoes (even with red skins—I asked) are SUPER high in sugar content when they are cooked, and peanut butter (even organic) does more harm to our body than good because of aflatoxins and fungus found throughout.
If we followed this plan, Dr. Harris told us that Danny would be pain free in 6-8 weeks. We were immediately excited and began the count down to a pain-free Danny. 🙂
8 weeks in….no change.
We were starting to get frustrated and experience doubt. Danny had been very diligent about following the treatment plan, and semi-diligent about following the diet plan ;)). However, we were not seeing results.
FINALLY, about 2 1/2 months after seeing Dr. Harris, Danny woke up one day, and said, “It’s gone! The pain is gone”! We relished in that single day of no pain, not knowing if it would last. Today, I am happy to inform you that Danny is 2 weeks PAIN-FREE!! He has moments in the evening when the pain comes back, because of a long day, and he definitely still has moments of exhaustion, considering he hasn’t been able to work or move normally for almost 5 months. But the pain is gone, and he has renewed vitality and hope!
IN addition to the supplements suggested by Dr. Harris, we have added a few more that aid in Danny’s health journey. These include Doterra’s DDR Prime, NuScience Corporation Cell Food, and a Curcumin/Tumeric vitamin. All of these are good additions, but would be ineffective if it were not for Danny’s commitment to healthy and quality foods, fresh air, exercise, water, the avoidance of toxins and chemicals, and most importantly, a strong prayer life.
Now, I give our specific plan, not as a treatment plan or even medical advice, but rather as a way for you to see an alternative method in process. There are many areas of health which affect our bodies. Every person is different and we will all have slightly different needs, but overall, when you give your bodies a healthy, alkaline environment, they are capable of healing. I share the specifics with you so that you may find encouragement in your own journey. Lifestyle changes and natural supplementation are MUCH more difficult than taking strong medication, and yet, they give a quality to life and an empowerment that cannot be matched by pharmaceutical drugs.
I want to take a quick moment to mention that due to permanent nerve damage there will be pains that cannot always be fixed, like Danny’s. In these cases, before relying on a medication with dangerous and often unknown side-effects, that you will need to buy and commit to for life, I have 2 alternative recommendations. First of all, I recommend brain therapy as taught by an amazing friend of ours, Becky Curtis, through “Take Courage Counseling”. This is a pain management method that utilizes our brain’s plasticity to override our natural tendency to dwell on pain. In addition, for those to whom it is available (I wish it was for everyone), medicinal marajuana is an amazing pain medication that does not have all of the dangerous psychological side effects and addictive qualities (more on this super interesting topic in the future) :). I support medical marajuana and I am one of VERY few supporters who has NEVER used marajuana. I plan to do a blog/vlog on this amazing plant and its fantastic abilities and hindered potential very soon!