Friday, May 4, 2007

Ty's Juice

Why the optimistic feelings lately? We want to tell you about something amazing that we would not have believed had we not seen it with our own eyes.

Earlier in the year, I mentored a class on Constitutional Studies. When Ty began his new chemo, I emailed my group of teachers to ask if anyone could help by taking on some of the boys in my group. I briefly explained the situation with Tyler.

One of these teachers emailed me about an alternative product, with lycium barbarum as its active ingredient. She said she knew someone who had been sent home to die with cancer and who was now cancer-free. She gave me his phone number. I researched the medical studies on it because I was skeptical, but intrigued.

The studies indicated a better effect on reducing nausea and boosting red blood cells when the goji fruit was cold processed rather than heat filled. There are several other benefits if you read the studies.

We had reached the point where we were willing to try anything because medical science did not appear to have the answers. Really, I think our exact thought was "Why not? It's just juice." Okay maybe it was more like, "Why the Heck not." (Keeping it clean for the kids).

We didn't let Tyler know that we were adding goji juice to his diet. (As I mentioned before, he takes all nutrition via his g-tube, completely bypassing his mouth/taste buds). We just gave it to him, starting with a low dose at first and gradually working it up higher.

At first, he broke out in red splotches all over his body and had really bad night sweats - we're talking completely drenching the sheets two times a night. (This is remarkable in that Tyler DOES NOT sweat - EVER. In fact, there is an accomodation for him in his education plan that there is always a fan directly in front of him on his bus and he is never on the bus longer than 25 minutes because he does not regulate his body temperature).

I called the woman who had recommended the product to us and told her that I thought he might be allergic to it. She felt that we were seeing a detox effect and should stick with it. I think she was right, as these effects only lasted about three days. By the fifth day on goji, the tumor actually looked much smaller. I grabbed the measuring tape and it had come from 31x25 cm down to 25x23 cm. I then gave Ty the goji juice with some alkalized water. An hour and a half later, it was measurably smaller - down to 23x20 cm. Amazing!

Because Ty had no idea what we were doing - it was just juice to him, there could be no placebo effect. We returned to the hospital 1 week after starting the goji juice and alkaline water for his third chemo round. The scans confirmed that he had lost 2 cm in overall volume - that's a huge change.

The latest scan from last Tuesday, shows that he has lost another 1-1.5 cm. We are encouraged by this.

Even our nurses were impressed by how much smaller it was. It used to look like he had swallowed a nerf football, but now it looked more like a hockey puck.

I suppose the doctors would say that the shrinkage is due to a delayed reaction from the chemo. I just find it hard to believe that when the change was so sudden and so close to adding the juice to his regimen. It goes to the hospital with us, and we don't care if anyone rolls their eyes at us - Ty is feeling better.

He is also no longer experiencing breakthrough nausea during and after his chemo treatment. Previously, we couldn't even move him for fear of triggering his nausea and gag reflex. His quality of life was horrible. I couldn't even hold him without him getting sick.

We just had to share our success. On the right is a link to the site where we buy our juice. Let us know if you'd like to try some for yourself. One thing to remember is that any goji that comes in a glass bottle has been heat pasteurized. Ty's comes in pharmaceutical grade bottles and has been cold-filled.

We welcome any questions you may have. It may be incidental, but he no longer suffers from high blood pressure or needs medication to treat it (at his worst, he was 176/116, but he averaged 140/100). Oh! and we noticed his hair trying to grow back about 3 weeks ago. It's white or blonde, but it looks just like peach fuzz.

The biggest difference we have noticed (other than the tumor size) has been in his mood. He is once more able to smile and laugh, and he feels so much better. The reduction in nausea alone has been worth it.


Adria said...

That's very exciting. I wish I'd known about it when my mom was undergoing chemo. Do you know how the juice tastes?

Corrie said...

It tastes great, and it leaves a little zing when it goes down your throat.

Let me know if you want to try some.