• Billy Rae Stewart

October 31, 2020 - A Fork in the Road

Updated: Jan 15

My unexpected journey has come to a fork in the road, and to be honest with you I had a feeling this would happen. Most of you are probably wondering where I have been. To put it bluntly I have been in an extreme battle. Let me explain.

First, I will tell you what has happened to me since my last post. Up until my fourth infusion everything was great and uneventful, but after my fourth infusion things began to go downhill. Fatigue began to set in along with some nausea. Come to find out one of the side effects of Keytruda is a rise in sensitivity to smell and taste. The smell of foods began to make me sick just smelling them. It reached a point where I had to sit outside while my wife cooked because I could not handle the smell. This led to a small selection of foods I could eat which lead to more fatigue from not eating enough calories per day.

Then I had infusion number 5 which really kicked my butt. This put me on my back much of the day and I could barely function. Vomiting began to set in and this led to them taking me off all meds while we tried to get it under control. Next step was to go to a Gastrologist for an Endoscopy to see what is going on. Their conclusion is that I have a bad case of acid reflux which can be caused by Keytruda and chemo treatments. I had acid reflux for years and took Prilosec but had stopped taking it almost a year ago because the symptoms had gone away after losing weight. That is where I am at right now. Still trying to get it under control. This is where the fork in the road comes into play. For stage 4 kidney cancer Keytruda and Inlyta is pretty much the only thing they have to fight this with. There are other combos but they are the same as these two but not as effective and have the same side effects. Unfortunately, my body is not tolerating either one. Diet is an extremely important part of any cancer treatment along with exercise and lifestyle changes. Not being able to eat and exercise puts you at a great disadvantage.

In the medical field the way they look at it is prolonging your life not getting rid of it all together. Success to them is you’re still alive no matter what your quality of life is. So, you must choose between quantity of life or quality of life if you are having a hard time tolerating the drugs. However, there are three ways to battle cancer. First, traditional therapies, second, alternative therapies, and the third is trusting in God. My goal in the beginning was to combine all three but the hope of traditional therapies seems to be fading at this point unless there is something I don’t know about. The good news is there are two left, which in my opinion are the best ones anyway. It is sad to me that the majority of Oncologists will never bring up or talk about these two options. No money in it I guess.

God designed our bodies to heal themselves by giving us an amazing immune system to protect us from sickness. The problem starts when the immune system is weakened to the point that it can no longer protect you because it is to weak. Cancer is a modern disease. If you research you will find that hundreds of years ago it was extremely rare. If you put cancer on a chart along with lifestyle you would see that as our lives become more sedentary, more stressful and the quality of the food changed along with poor chooses in our diet, you would see cancer increasing rapidly.

Despite all our efforts over the last 50 years not much progress has been made in our battle against cancer. The medical field will sing a different song but the facts bare the truth. It has become more about the money than the cure. A 30 supply of the Inlyta that I was taking is $15,000 dollars without insurance. If you have Medicare it covers 80% which still leaves you with $3000 per month out of pocket. The fact is a whole lot of people end up bankrupt trying to fight cancer.

So I am left with two choices, stay the course with traditional therapies and try to endure the horrific side effects that will leave me unable to function or try alternative therapies which more and more people are choosing with great success. Just go to Barnes and Noble and you will find a lot of books by people who have cured their cancer through radical diet and lifestyle changes. There are thousands of articles written by research teams and doctors year after year that prove these therapies work but they are ignored by the majority of the medical industry.

So, I have a choice to make. A fork in the road of my journey. But the beautiful part of this whole thing is God is still on the throne, Jesus is alive, and they are still in the healing business! And that folks IS the Therapy I trust the most!

I love all of you and so does God,


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