December 5, 2018
Issels Clinic – The Last Day of Treatment in Santa Barbara
Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
The day dawned again. They tend to do that. Somehow the two of us had trouble dawning today. We were both exhausted. Glen had been up and down too many times to count. I had “slept” in a very restless state as a result and woke up at 6am with an excruciating migraine. I had also been having my usual migraine night with multitudes of dreams; sleep talking (telling Glen to keep his eyes open) and doing spiritual warfare in my dream state. This is not abnormal for me when the pain is that bad. I began using the chiropractic laser on my head and neck pretty early and did that for at least an hour before it calmed down even slightly. I moved from that laser to standing in front of the mirror with a normal laser pen and a round black belt on my lower stomach moving the laser in clock-wise circles inside the black circle on my stomach. It’s also a real chiropractic treatment that causes whatever is touching the mirror to “want” to go back into place. I do both lasers pretty much daily in order to function but today it was really bad and not wanting to budge. Today I was wishing for a chiropractor because that seems to be the only option when it’s that excruciating. I ended up taking a migraine pill once we got to the clinic, which today only took the edge off the pain. I’m still thankful for all my tools or I wouldn’t be moving at all today!
Glen was also moving slowly having not slept much all night. He was weak and shaky. Having had another mistletoe shot yesterday he was again feverish last night. Glen is feverish most nights because in order to heal they are actually inducing a fever to stimulate the immune system. It seems very wrong and is hard to observe night after night but it is the right way of waking up the body to fight. We arrived at the clinic and Glen was led away for more testing because one didn’t work out quite right yesterday. It took awhile because there was a line up for testing. Star did the testing again today. I didn’t watch today because I didn’t want my “magnetic personality” to shut down any machines! I plopped down on the couch and waited while talking with Ken, Jimmy and Wileen. As we all talked my “personal assistant extraordinaire” Rowena, texted me asking if the 11am would still work to “see” a client. I almost forgot! Good thing she asked – so I moved onto the floor in the hallway and talked with a sweet client.
By then it was 12pm and I walked to the back to see how Glen was doing. Glen was not doing well. His body was done with treatments – I think because he was so exhausted and the complete lack of sleep that does not help one heal! Roberto was trying to find a vein that worked for the IV as his catheter line had started leaking! It took around 20 pokes to find a vein so that Glen could get his last set of IV’s today. The IV’s were the only treatments on the agenda today besides meeting with the doctors one more time. I couldn’t stand to watch even though Glen is extremely tough. Most people would have refused the IV after poke seven. In fact I witnessed them refuse because they are almost screaming in pain. I’ve had a lot of IV treatments in the past for Lyme Disease and my veins kept popping the needle out with the last one I had so I’m a little nervous about doing more as well! Sadly, IV therapy is one of the big protocols for Glen when he gets home. Poor guy! Good thing those pokes don’t bother him!
I had lunch at the Casita and then packed up all our laundry to go to the Laundromat, then rushed back to the Clinic because apparently Carly the nutritionist was skyping again. I like her so wanted to be there for that. I missed the first half hour but at least got the last half hour and got to say goodbye to Carly. Today I learned that “tiger nut” flour is not a nut but rather a root. I had never heard of tiger flour but it’s a good substitute for nut flour that I will be looking for because I am very allergic to nuts.
I waited at the Clinic until Glen was done the IV so that we could talk with Dr. Kim and then Dr. Issels. The first meeting was with Dr. Kim. We were hoping beyond hope that the blood tests from yesterday would show that the cancer markers were going down. Our hearts sank when Dr. Kim shared that the cancer markers were again going up. Really?! He pulled up a chart to calm our fears.
“We used to panic when the cancer markers went up so quickly instead of down. If you look at this chart of another patient you can see that the cancer markers spiked, and then after a few weeks went rapidly down. We think that the spiking is because the many treatments are causing the cancer tumors and cells to break down and fill the blood stream with cancer markers. This means that the treatment, according to experience, is probably working. We will want more blood work done in about three weeks,” Dr. Kim explained as he wrote down the exact things he wanted our doctors back in Canada to check for, “And then make sure I get the results. I am only a phone call away.”
Wow. Dr. Kim is amazing. He is often in his office researching and I wonder if he’s in there praying a lot. He went over the home program and different pharmaceuticals to look into if what we’re doing isn’t working. Since we live right on the border if our doctors don’t co-operate we can always have him send stuff to us in Washington – but hopefully our doctors back home will be on board and work together as a team. We’re praying for that outcome! Glen got up and went to the bathroom and I asked a few more questions sharing how disappointed I was that we couldn’t see the markers going down while we’re here. Disappointed is an understatement. He understood and shared in our obvious hope of wanting evidence to keep the hope alive. I remain hopeful. My roots are firmly grounded in Christ and so are Glen’s so this will not make our hope go dry. If God said Glen will be healed then Glen will be healed.
We then met with Dr. Issels who confirmed that according to his tests Glen is looking better. He also affirmed what Dr. Kim said. We have so very much to remember! Dr. Issels is also just a phone call away. He prefers phone consults so that he can ask more questions and be more helpful – he would just prefer that we book it with the front desk so that he’s ready for us with file in hand. I certainly understand that. I was also wondering if we have to pay more for consults and the answer is no! We have these doctors for the rest of Glen’s life and what we have paid is all-inclusive – unless of course we come back for more treatments in Santa Barbara. I guess with that being said it’s not a bad deal and it’s a deal we will certainly be utilizing!
Dr. Issels then explained that he needed to go home because he lost his wife this past summer and there were some people coming to pick up some kitchen equipment. Talk about a bomb drop!! I knew there was something that just didn’t add up and grief certainly explained what that something was. He was doing an amazing job in spite of dire circumstances. He was still doing what he has been called to do. We will continue to pray for him. Now we know how to pray more specifically.
Saying goodbyes at the Clinic were bitter sweet. We kept our “Kangen” water bottles (perfectly balance PH water to help the body become alkaline) so I have to bring those back tomorrow but we wanted to say our main goodbyes today. The staff and the patients we met have become very special to us. We have bonded at a level that is very deep and happened very quickly. I’m not even sure that we, even now, know a ton about each other (depending on whom we hung out with the most), yet when you bond on a life and death level with dear people like these it is for life. We have exchanged email and phone contacts with most of them. It is our desire to stay in contact with them. Jimmy and Jennifer said if we need anything out here to just contact them. They are from Los Angeles and are also believers. Ken and Ada are also leaving for home tomorrow. They are amazing and I will truly miss them all! Jimmy and I were both the comic relief at the clinic. It was my goal from day one to make everyone smile – staff and patients alike. If I can come in and tell a funny story about how my hair suddenly got curls and make everyone smile, why not? Life is way too serious and these people, though in pain, know all too well that life is too serious. They don’t take life as seriously in a way. They know life is fragile and treat it with respect. They smile when the world thinks there is nothing to smile about. They find purpose and reasons and look at life different. Life is too short to live bitter. These people live better and I have a high and huge respect for each one of them. We all have to go sometime…and it’s hard to let our loved one’s go. I think that for most at the clinic God has more… He’s just teaching us all a valuable life lesson on what is important.
I dropped Glen off at the Casita and made my way back to the Laundromat. I was definitely looking forward to doing laundry at home! I can’t believe how blessed we are. Back home I have two incredibly amazing sons, a crazy amazing horse (boarded out), a huge house that also holds my growing counselling business, supportive friends and family – and it’s all because of Jesus. The years have been filled with trials and I am thankful that Glen and I have been able to face these trials and grow together in Christ. They have also been filled with much joy. May He grant us the keys not only to Glen’s healing but also healing to many more who come through our door. By the grace of God we grow those roots deeper in Christ and thrive. Without that grace, we are nothing. “Thank you Jesus for adopting us! Now we again claim healing on Glen and expand the boundaries of his life into a healthy old age in Jesus Christ Name! Amen.”