(originally posted Jan 2008) I have been trying to decide how to write up what I have been through for the past few months. I thought about writing a succinct page and calling it the “girls corner”. There is so much information in my head it is really overwhelming to try and write it all down on one page so I will be updating this often. I wanted to get something down in the meantime for those who were interested. (this post will always be available at the top of my blog under PAGES: Girl’s Corner).
It all started about 5 months ago on a Monday with a pap test. I bet you can’t find many stories that start like that. Now I know I have male readers including my dad so I will keep everything as guy friendly as possible. There won’t be anything shocking. I promise.
So, I digress, I went to a new gynecologist for my normal yearly appointment and didn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary. The only difference was I hadn’t been in 2 years (don’t wait girls, go every year) and I was going to a new doctor I didn’t know. I got the standard, “we’ll call you if there’s anything. If you don’t hear from us expect everything to be normal.” By Friday I had totally forgotten about it and around 5:30 my phone rang and it was the doctor himself! I thought wow, this new doctor really goes for the personal service and then it hit me, this can’t be good. My heart began to race. So he says, “Your test came back abnormal. There are some abnormal cells. I have no reason to believe it’s cancer but you need to come back in for a biopsy of your cervix. You also tested positive for high risk strains of HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer)” That rings in my head, biopsy…never fun…. of my what? Oh no. I don’t think so. That really can’t be fun. I remembered when a friend of mine had that done and I had gone to see her. She was not a happy camper. I wanted to be a happy camper. A happy camper was one who didn’t get a phone call!
So about a month and half later (because that was the first appointment available) I took the day off work and went in for the “procedures”. I was scheduled to have a cloposcopy and if things looked bad a cervical curettage. Things were not good so I had both. Now let me back up a minute. For the previous month and a half I had googled and read forums until my eyes were so tired I could barely open them and I was more confused than ever about what I had, what to do, etc. I had an abnormal pap but what did that mean? Did I have cancer? Was I going to have to have a hysterectomy like the other women in my family? Did I inherit cervical cancer? Is it genetic? Can I have kids? And on and on and on…. All the questions were exhausting.
I had also read everything from the “procedures” being painless to excruciating depending on which post I was reading. Some women had no problem while others said they felt like it was the worst pain they ever felt except for childbirth. I really had no idea what to expect. The one thing I did know was I wasn’t buying the doctor’s cavalier “it’s no big deal” phrase that he had said one too many times to believe.
Let’s just say it hurts. A lot. Not screaming pain or even crying pain but it’s intense. Not to scare anyone who is about to do it but it does. Its also a very strange indescribable pain that I can only imagine is similar to childbirth or so the doctor, who loved saying “its no big deal” said afterwards. Helpful. Really helpful. Now you tell me. He and the nurse were shocked and said, “wow! You’re going to do great during labor!”. “It’s no big deal” and “you’ll do great during labor” so don’t go together!! I have to say it only hurt in the moment. It was quick and then it was over. So I went home, took lots of advil and went to sleep. Then it was more waiting….and waiting….and waiting for test results. It seemed like forever.
Normal cervical epithelium
Now the thing about cervical dysplasia is it really is the best kind to have. It is supposedly not genetic and it is so slow growing you could wait years before you actually develop cancer. So I was in a great place. I didn’t have carcinoma incitu yet so I had time. That doesn’t really make you feel better though when you’ve been told you have something that will become cancer especially when there is a history of the women in my family having hysterectomies due to cervical cancer both at my exact age. Now the question was what were my treatment options? What do I do next?
So I call the doctor to discuss things. He explains how he would like to do cryosurgery, where they freeze the cervix with liquid nitrogen, and he’d like to do this as soon as possible. Yeahhhhh, I’m thinking ……not so much.
So I hit google again and read the forums. Every possible forum I can find. I try finding information about cryosurgery and what it’s like. Pros, cons, effectiveness, cure rate……etc. The answers were shocking to me. Not a cure. Highly effective in getting rid of abnormal cells but no guarantee they will stay gone and often times it comes back. Possible permanent alteration of the cervical landscape with the added bonus of jeopardizing the ability to get pregnant. Hard to control the tissue depth when freezing the abnormal cells and often times too much is done at too deep of a level or not enough is done. Watery shedding for 2 – 4months as the cervix recovers from the trauma. Months!!! As well as inability to accurately assess a biopsy in the future if it comes back. So…. I should do this…. why?
So I started looking into other options and there were a few. There was laser and there was what they call a Leep procedure. One is what it sounds like. They laser off the cells. In the Leep they do a loop biopsy where they cut them off with a heated knife. Now for the laser you have to be put under and I don’t react well to anesthesia so that was ruled out. Now the Leep has numerous problems. It is painful. You can take off too much of the cervix, which can cause problems with conceiving as well as carrying a baby to term. The only good thing is out of all the procedures it is the only one where you can actually take a sample to test in case you missed anything earlier. If you have a more progressed condition like Carcinoma Incitu they will want to do a cone biopsy and that also has similar complications to the Leep especially with conceiving and carrying a baby to term. So I read.
So I went back to my doctor and asked him all these questions and it went something like this:
Me: Couldn’t it go away on it’s own?
Dr.: 1/3 reverse, 1/3 progress, 1/3 stay the same
Me: Okay, well don’t I have time to see what happens?
Dr.: I can’t recommend that. I can only recommend that you go ahead with the procedure as soon as possible. (a.k.a. if I recommend not having the procedure you could develop cancer and sue me. I don’t want to be sued.)
Me: What happens if it comes back?
Dr.: Well my daughter’s came back and we just did it again.
Me: Isn’t it harder to tell the second time because the landscape has changed?
Me: If you do it again and have to keep doing it aren’t you really at risk for causing major problems with conceiving?
Dr.: There is no evidence of that. There are always risk with any procedure.
Me: What about the risks of changing the cervical landscape and the effects that could have on conceiving or childbearing?
Dr.: There are no such risks with cryotherapy. (I knew this was not true)
Me: How long will I have watery shedding and be uncomfortable?
Dr: Two weeks, maybe longer. (more like 4 months, which my current doctor confirmed)
Me: Okay, well what about a different procedure?
Dr.: Sure, I can do those but they will both require anesthesia and will take place in a hospital.
Me: Okay, well what do you think I should do?
Dr: Cryotherapy. It’s no big deal. (I had heard this phrase before)
Me: Okay, I’ll call you back! (I just wasn’t buying it. Somewhere deep down just said no, this is not the way)
I thought to myself, no big deal? No big deal!!!? Let’s see him put his “you know what” in liquid nitrogen and say “it’s no big deal”. I bet he’d think that was a PRETTY BIG DEAL!! What he meant was my procedure was no big deal for him.
So I hit google and the forums AGAIN! There were tons and tons of posts from women who were also confused who were in the same boat as me. Faced with these decisions and being told to do things that just didn’t feel necessary or make sense. I did searches for everything. I started researching alternatives and everything I could possibly read. I read books. I read blogs. I read everything. I read about beta-carotene deficiency and folic acid deficiency but nothing on reversing it. Then I found it. I googled “reverse cervical dysplasia”. That’s when I found a forum where a girl wrote about how her doctor’s recommendation of large amounts of folic acid, beta-carotene, herbal treatments, as well as dietary changes had worked for her.
That was it for me. That was the turning point where I could do something. I could give in and do what was conventional or I could listen to my gut and do what I knew was right for me. I listened to my gut and in that moment I became the ambassador of my own health. It was time to find a new doctor!
I had also suspected for quite some time that I had Candida. I recently had been sick and had it so bad that I had thrush in my throat. My throat and tongue were white. Covered in white. My other doctor (who is also no longer my doctor for obvious reasons) put me on Diflucan for a few days as well as antibiotics and called it a day. I said, I think I have Candida and this is all related. Diflucan for a few days isn’t going to solve anything. It’s just going to come back. It came back. He gave me more Diflucan for a few days. I never went back. The Candida, the dysplasia, everything, I knew it was connected. I was a healthy person. I ate well. I was slim. I had no reason to be so sick. He didn’t believe in my theory. It was time to find TWO new doctors.
I hit the web to look for holistic health. I was inspired by my mom who had kept my dad off insulin and controlled his diabetes through diet. I also had a good knowledge base in science from pursuing a biology degree at UCSC. I was armed and now I just needed someone who believed in me. My mom gave me a book called The Dries Cancer Diet which stresses food combing for alkaline balance with a strong emphasis on fruit. Dries was a great start and I attempted his diet for a month. I still didn’t feel good though and hadn’t found a doctor. Then I read an article on Yeast from Dr. Nan Fuchs and I emailed her. She was kind enough to reply and recommend the Watson Wellness Center and I found my new doctor. So as I waited to see my new doctor I started researching the Acid Alkaline Balance and I came across pH Ion. I also made an appointment with my old doctor at Cedars Sinai whom I loved and was now sorry I had ever left, Dr. Serden.
While I waited to see my doctors, I ordered some pH test strips to see how acidic my body was. I realized if I had Candida then the Cancer Diet Dries suggests wouldn’t work on me, as the sugar from the fruit would make my body too acidic. The fruit would feed the Candida and the acidity in my body would keep my body out of balance. So I waited for my strips to come to see if I was right. If my body was acidic than I was on to something. Sure enough they came and I found my body was in the seriously acidic range.
Then coincidence, luck, call it what you will, I turned on the TV and there was this show called Crazy Sexy Cancer. I was immediately sucked in. Kris Carr looked just like me. She is cute, spunky, young and full of questions for which we had no answers. This was her journey to find them out and for me to find out as I watched. I couldn’t believe it. She was asking all the same questions I was. My theory was right!! Acidity plays a huge role. I watched as she saw doctor after doctor and learned about the raw food diet. She drank green drinks that looked awful and craved toast with butter so badly she even ate some. I watched as Kris was able to stabilize her cancer and heal her body. The great thing about the raw food diet theory was that as long as I cut out fruit it should heal both dysplasia and Candida, which I realized were feeding each other. Candida made my body acidic and that was an environment where cells would grow irregularly into cancer. So, I became a raw vegan (except I eat fish). My diet most closely resembles that of Natalie Rose. I love her book and highly recommend it. I also read every book out there but my most favorites and ones I recommend to everyone are above and foremost, THE CHINA STUDY by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II, The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates and THE RAW FOOD DETOX DIET by Natalie Rose. (EVERYONE SHOULD READ THE CHINA STUDY and THE RAW FOOD DETOX DIET even if you’re perfectly healthy) .
So I went to my new doctors and to my amazement they believed in everything I said. Watson and Serden were wonderful and very supportive of my plan! Even though they had different practices and specialized in different things, they had no problem with my desire to work with both of them simultaneously. I found that worked well for me. We started a whole new plan that I have outlined below. Dr. Watson put me on an herbal supplement routine, folic acid, monolaurin, vitamin suppositories, etc. while Dr. Serden monitored my progress and did my testing. It was wonderfully comforting to have them both.
You can see what I eat and don’t eat on my Bueller’s Diet page at the top of this blog. I will add what my specific anti-cancer diet was. I drank 2 – three glasses of green juice a day (I like Essential Greens from Trader Joe’s because it doesn’t have sugar or fruit juice).
What I did to reverse dysplasia and get rid of my high risk HPV (which was gone after 5 months):
5 mg of Folic Acid (note this dosage is not mcg it is mg which is a much higher dose) 1 a day (Ortho Molecular Folic Acid)
B12 supplement 1 a day (Solary B12 5000 mcg lozenge)
Multi-Vitamim 1 a day (Innerlight Mega-Vitamin)
VRL Detox (to fight HPV and Epstein Barr which I have both) 1 capsule 2 times daily
Monolaurin (for the Epstein Barr and our new theory since it’s antiviral for the HPV) 1-2 caps 2-3 times a day
Vitamin C – 1,000mg-4,000mg (buffered or Ester C) a day – I took 4,000mg a day and split it up so that I took 2,000 in the morning and 2 (I did take this then but I now take Metagenics Ultra Potent-C 1000mg tabs – 4 tabs a day)
Medicinal Mushrooms (Host Defense)
I was told by Vitanica that they are reformulating the suppositories and thus are temporarily out of stock. They will be ready in 2-3 months (the date of this post is 9/2/08 for reference) and they will then be sold through doctors. You can reach them at, email@example.com, for any questions. I do not have suggestions for alternatives and ask that you please discuss that with your doctor as I am not legally able to give advice.
This is what I used:
Week 1:Vitanica Vitamin A for 6 days (1 suppository each day for Days 1-6) Ingredients: Vitamin A (as Palmitate) 200,000iu and Vitamin E in polybase.
Similar but not the same as Wise Woman suppositories.
Day 7: Vitanica VagPack suppository (2 suppositories on Day 7) Ingredients: Anhyrdous magnesium sulfate, glycerin complex, hydratsis tincture, thuja oil, tea tree oil, bitter orange oil, vitamin-a (as palmitate) 100,000 iu, ferric sulfate, ferrous sulfate in polybase.
Week 2:Vitanica Papillo suppositories for 6 days (1 suppository each day for Days 8-14) Ingredients: Ingredients:Vitamin A (palmitate), lomatium isolate, oil of Thuja and citricidal (grape fruit seed extract) in polybase.
Day 15: Vag Pack suppositories (2 suppositories on Day 15)
One week off and then repeat cycle. I was told if I had my period anytime during this to just stop and start up where I left off.
I had to repeat for 8 weeks, then take a month off and then repeat pap or biopsy.
Essential Greens about 2 -3 a day (even better to juice my own if I could)
Matcha (Green Tea)
They are finding new things out every day. I just read yesterday on this website Herb Net about a clinical trial using Retin A to treat cervical dysplasia:
Preliminary trials of the prescription vitamin A derivative retinoic acid (Retin-A®) applied topically to the cervix show complete regression in about 45 percent of patients treated with higher concentrations (0.1583 to 0.484 percent) of retinoic acid.8
All the above suppositories were designed for Vitanica by Dr. Tori Hudson. She also claims green tea suppositories work well at reversing dysplasia and cancer which she offers on her site. I used them for awhile before I found Dr. Watson and they were great.
For Candida (I will be doing this for 1 year):
AlkaLife – pH drops for water to make it alkaline
Alkalive Green – for when I didn’t have green juice
Sole (Himalayan Sea Salt)
Lemon Water (just water with 2 lemons for when my pH tested really acidic)
Also I took Diflucan for 1 month at the beginning.
Essential Greens about 2 -3 a day.
I am thrilled to say that after just 3 months my pap is NORMAL!!! The cervical landscape is clean. My candida is gone. I am thrilled to say that now just 2 months after the dysplasia cleared up I got the news that the high risk Human Pappillomavirus is gone for good. It no longer exists in my body.
I make sure to remember every time I step in a doctors office that the only person who is going to look out for me is me. I am the ambassador of my own health and I choose what’s best for me.
I highly recommend Dr. Tori Hudson’s book:
This is an awesome resource and she has a whole chapter on how to treat cervical cancer holistically. I highly recommend it.
Please understand my policy that I will not reply to emails or comments about what someone should do or how much of each supplement to take, or anything that applies to someone’s own treatment. I am not a doctor and I legally can not advise my readers. All I can do is answer questions about what I did that worked for me or point you in the right direction for other research resources. Thank you for understanding. Be well!
I will say though: girls get your pap every year!!
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.
The HPV came back but only for a month. Here’s another post on what I did the second time: