I finally received a copy of my Guardant Health blood biopsy results and I am so pleased to report that the biopsy did not detect any genetic alterations (last year there were 4 alterations detected at 3.4%). This doesn’t necessarily mean that I am completely cancer free but it certainly does mean that there is not enough cancer in my bloodstream for them to find these alterations (HER2, EGFR, etc).
I have an appointment with my naturopathic oncologist in Seattle on Jan. 28th to discuss these results and formulate a plan for continued treatment or perhaps stopping chemo or herceptin in the future. I don’t foresee myself ever stopping the supplements or many of the repurposed meds that I take as they are blocking so many of the pathways the cancer uses for fuel/food. Clearly I am more susceptible to cancer growth and probably can never just live with no thought about my diet, exercise, and toxic load. No, I will be mindful of these things for the rest of my life; and I am ok with that!
My Natural Killer (NK) cell blood test came back as well and those are now in normal limits thanks to the mushroom supplements I am taking (they were below normal limits least year before I started chemo) but we want them in the higher end of the normal limits so I have been increasing my mushroom supplements. What are NK cells? Simply put, they are cells that look for cancer and other cells that don’t belong and inject a protein in them that causes them to self-destruct. These cells are selectively cytotoxic to what the body sees doesn’t belong.
I should point out that while high levels of NK cells are beneficial to those with or susceptible to cancer or those with viral infections, it may not be wise to encourage high levels in individuals with certain auto-immune disorders as explained HERE
2 years ago, I had a different blood biopsy processed through Biocept and I didn’t realize that while Guardant measures circulating free DNA (cfDNA), Biocept measures cfDNA AND circulating tumor cells (CTC). I would be very curious to see if the number of CTC is comparable to what it was 2 years ago or if it is higher or lower. 2 years ago, the CT were slightly above the normal range, indicating possible metastatic spread but at the assurance of my oncologist and **former** naturopathic oncologist, I ignored the results and went on with life…..only to receive the CONFIRMED metastatic diagnosis a year later.
So, for now, I take comfort with the results of these tests and will enjoy my holidays while I continue with my current treatment until we can formulate a new plan.
I do see my regular naturopath tomorrow to go over another very thorough blood panel and the result so of my heavy metal testing. I hope to discuss and possibly do testing for estrogen function and bone loss (chemo can cause bone loss and we suspect my body doesn’t process estrogen well). All these tests will give us better insight into the minute details of my health that may encourage cancer growth. If there are any small areas we can change, or heal to make my body more inhospitable to cancer, we will do it!
I hope this brings you hope, joy, and beneficial information!