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Even though I did not pay too much attention to it in the beginning, I still remember how it all started as if it was yesterday. It was March, 2004 right across the street from where I was living at that time, in the courtyard of the school I used to attend until the 8th grade. I was playing soccer with my friends. One of my team mates throws a high ball so I jump and hit it hard (trying to score as it was an important game). I can’t remember if I scored or not; something else got my attention: some sort of discomfort in my neck (the cervical spine) that I have never felt before. In the beginning I was feeling it only when playing soccer (and hitting the ball with my head), but then, slowly, it turned into pain. In June, 2004 I left to USA (until October same year). All these 4 months, surprisingly for me, the pain was gone (still a mystery to me). A couple of weeks after my returning to Romania, I started feeling the pain again.

It was getting serious, so I needed to go see a doctor. I did. He said I was fine. The pain was till there, so I went to another doctor. Same answer. So, hello dr. #3, but again same answer. I went to different types of doctors (mainly neurologists) but they could not establish a diagnose. All my neurological signs were good (great in fact), so I cannot blame any of them. I was hoping the pain will pass, so I stopped asking doctors for their opinion. But the pain would not go away. I started trying different things (what me and my family could think of): acupuncture, neck elongations, physiotherapy, all sorts of natural ways for local pain, bandages etc. but still, nothing. After approximately one year of the first discomfort, the pain got so intense that I could not control my legs sometimes (If I would not hold on to something very quick, I would fall), I could not sit on a chair, if I would have to study something on my computer(and I had to, because I was in my final college year, the final exams were close) I would have to stand on my knees in front of it etc. We needed to do something. So, finally someone suggested that the only way to see exactly what’s going on there is to have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). I was scheduled for May 16, 2005. No matter what it would have been, I wanted to get this over with. I couldn’t wait to get the diagnose.

May 16 finally came. For the first time in my life I was having an MRI. All sort of rules before you get inside that tight device (almost every time I have an MRI done, I wonder how would I fit in there if I was a little bit larger), but everything went well, I got out and was told I need to wait about half an hour. So I do and finally the scan report: Dr I.R tells me I have a tumor named chordoma and he sends me to Prof. Dr. S.F ( these are his initials, yes :)) ) which is the head of the neurosurgery department. I thank Dr I.R and as soon as I get out of his office I call my mom and let her know the diagnose. She instantly starts crying (she knows a lot more stuff about medicine than I do, as she works in this domain so she kind of knew the gravity of the diagnose). That’s when I start to feel a little bit afraid, since I could not remember my mom crying in all my 23 years of life. I know now it has to be serious. I didn’t get to talk to dr. S.F (as I finally found out he was specialized on brain surgery), but to dr T.M (which was said to be the best on spine surgeries). I was lucky as he was available at the time I got to the clinic and he saw me right away. He looked at the MRI and then we had a serious/direct talk. He told me he is overbooked, that he has patients waiting to have a surgery since Christmas, but he’ll do his best to put me on his agenda since this is a very serious thing; we needed to take care of it as soon as possible and that I should forget about all my final exams and get this done with. In a couple of days he let me know that he will do the surgery sometimes at the begging of June, as soon as he can. My final exams were at the begging of June, and the graduation ceremony was on June 11. I knew at this point that this was not going to happen for me, even if I would have fought all the pain and stay in front of the computer to learn all that I had to. In a couple of days, I hear again from dr T.M, letting me know he fixed a date for my surgery: June 11, 2005.

I get all my things in place for it, and on June 10, I was heading to the hospital for my first surgery ever (I had my sinus polyps removed when I was younger but it was a minor procedure). Even though I was told it was not going to be an easy surgery, I can’t say I was afraid. I knew it was something that needs to be done so let’s do it. Next morning, I am told that my surgery will be delayed a couple of hours. Since I don’t like waiting, I started to get a little nervous so I decided to go out for a walk to clear my mind a little bit. Without even noticing, my walk takes me outside the hospital area, out on the streets (I sound like a criminal now, “out on the streets” again). I realize I should go back, so I take a good look at everything around (as a lot of negative thoughts go through anyone’s mind, when they’re about to have a major surgery, no matter how optimistic and powerful they are) and…what do I see?…one of my colleagues’ car..all dressed up. It kind of hit me then…it was June 11 – our graduation ceremony. They were going to have fun…but hey, I heard that when you wake up from a surgery, due to the anesthesia substances you are kind of “high”, so I was going to have fun too, right ? Having this in mind, I am heading back to my bed and wait for the moment, which finally comes. They take me to the operating room. With all of that being new to me, it was kind of exciting…I was exploring every piece of equipment. It was a little bit cold and a lot of light; looking too much at the light sources I had a moment when I imagined seeing my body from somewhere above (damn the movies where they show this) but I quickly put an end to this imagination. While doing what I was constantly told to, I slowly feel like I can’t keep up with what the people around tell me and…boom…I wake up….open my eyes…after a few moments I realize I am not in the operating room anymore and then…I see my mom, she was holding my hand…after a few moments of really concentrating (the anesthesia gets to you, as I said, takes you to a “high” state, where everything is great but you are kind of confused and you don’t really know if you’re dreaming or if you’re awake) I realize I made it through and thanked God I am still alive (as that was my biggest fear: I was too young to leave this world and it would not have been fair at all  to leave my dear mom and my dear grandma alone, by themselves). Seeing my mom there, right beside me, and also my girlfriend (which I still can’t thank enough for being there for me, night and day, all the time since I started feeling the pain), one of my first thoughts was to let my grandma know I was okay. Of course, my mom already took care of that. Next day, my mom told me I asked her about 7 times to call my grandma; again, the effects of the anesthesia which, along with the pain killers were still doing their job: I was feeling (mentally) great, though physically, not so much. I was cold and feeling nausea. Next day, when I started to be more aware of what was happening, I was told that they could not remove all the tumor, and also they had to remove a part of C3 (3rd cervical vertebrae) so I would have to wear a cervical collar (a neck brace) until the spine gets used to the missing bone part – that would be approximately 2 months. I didn’t know it at that time, but that was going to be fun (especially due to the high temperatures; remember, it was summer). Other than that, everything was going fine, dr T.M couldn’t believe his eyes how fast I was recovering, so 4 days after surgery (and also with me pushing him that direction) he sends me home. The effect of anesthesia and pain killers are gone now so I start feeling worse for a few days (this happened after every surgery).

Now the recovery begins. And I can say it is going pretty well, even though my right cheek was numb most of the time for about two months, I could not use my right arm for maybe a month, I had a very hard time washing myself and that cervical collar was not comfortable at all, but I slowly got used to all of these.

As I said, they could not remove all the tumor. That meant I had to have a radiation therapy session (or at least that was what the doctor said). Without digging into it any further, I trusted him and went along with it. The second worst decision ever (after the one of getting on that sledge in the winter of 2003, which lead to the hardest shock for my neck and eventually to the cancer development). So, in September, 2005 I start a 20 sessions radiation therapy. At this point, I have already recovered physically, I got rid of that collar, everything was going great. Up until April, 2006. A check up MRI showed a recurrent chordoma. Dr. T.M told me that it would be better for me to go to someone with more experience in what I needed. When at a conference abroad, he showed my case to Dr. R.V from Budapest, Hungary. After 2 months of evaluations, we all agree that I will go and have a very radical and risky surgery in Budapest. The date was also set: July 27, 2006. Given the fact that I have already went through a surgery, it scared me less than the first time, even if they said it was going to be radical and a lot riskier. Again, let’s do it. I asked Dr. T.M if he would want to go to Budapest and assist the surgery. He said yes. I was fine with it since he performed the first surgery. And this gave me a little bit more confidence.

On July 25 I arrive at the Hospital in Budapest, they perform all the tests needed and finally the big day arrives. My mom came at the hospital earlier, hoping that she would have the chance to see me before I go in the surgery room.  We talked for a few minutes but then I was told I need to go back to my bed and take a pill, to relax, they said. My plan was to take the pill and then go back to my mom. I don’t know what they meant by relax (by the way, I don’t want to offend any one from Hungary, but I came in contact with a lot of people throughout my visits in Budapest, so I can reach this conclusion: they don’t know, or don’t want to know any foreign languages. If you don’t know their native language you’re kind of screwed; fortunately, of course, Dr. R.V knew English so we could understand each other), but I fell asleep right away (didn’t even realize it). I open my eyes…that feeling again: where am I? what happened? I look around. I see no one. I take another good look around..nothing…I’m trying to move my hand…hehee..surprise: no can do! I take another good look around and I start seeing things more clearly: there were a lot of things coming in and going out of me, but what got my attention was a big tube coming out of my mouth..ups…that can’t be good…I soon realize I was breathing through that thing even if it didn’t feel like it; weird feeling. I then saw a window, and noticed it was dark outside. I finally understood that second surgery was also behind me and it must have taken a long time(since it was already dark; I was then told that it lasted a total of about 11 or 12 hours). I was mad they fooled me with that relax pill but I was, again, thankful I have made it through.  For quite a while I was okay with the fact that I couldn’t move, I was feeling something weird in the cervical area but couldn’t understand what it was and I was constantly trying to get used to breathing through the tube. As I said, it was weird, because it didn’t feel like breathing. I kept telling myself that I must be breathing (otherwise I wouldn’t be alive anymore). But no matter how hard I was trying to stay calm, in the end, paranoia got to me, also helped by the fact that I could not see anyone (a nurse) anywhere around and even if there would be someone, how was I supposed to let them know I don’t feel like breathing (I couldn’t talk because of the tube)? If there’s one way I am afraid of dying of, is suffocation. It scares the s**t out of me. And so, it finally got to me…I started to panic..wanted that thing out of me…it felt like I was breathing less and less air into my lungs…everything seemed to be happening very fast, but at the same time, so slow, the feeling was terrifying, I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t shout, I couldn’t let anyone know, no one was there to see me…no matter how much I was trying I couldn’t get this panic attack to stop…and when I was almost sure I need a miracle to get out of this situation, I see something that was coming closer to my bed, something that seemed to be a person, but I wasn’t sure because I couldn’t see clearly anymore…and that “something” tells me “linisteste-te, esti la terapie intensiva, tubul asta te ajuta sa respiri, totul este in regula, linisteste-te, totul este in regula”; yes, in my native language and it means “calm down, you are in the emergency room, this tube helps you breathe, everything is fine, calm down, everything is fine”. I knew then that the miracle has happened: God sent me an angel to calm me down. Otherwise how could that “something” talk to me in my own language? I finally calmed down and got over the panic. After a while, when the doctor came to take my tube out (probably the most beautiful moment of my life until then), I understood what that “something” was: a Romanian nurse who moved to Budapest a few years ago to work at this hospital. Angel, no angel she helped me so much in those moments. I couldn’t thank her enough, even though I said a lot of “thank you”s, “multumesc-uri” actually, also due to the fact I was so happy I could speak again. It was almost morning now. It didn’t take much time until they took me back to my regular room. I didn’t know anything about my mom, so the first thing was to ask the nurses (and that was a challenge) to give me my phone. I called her, first thing I told her I was fine, in my room so she can come if she’s in the hospital. I remember she didn’t say anything for a few seconds. She was shocked I was calling her. I didn’t even hang up and she was already entering the room.  She couldn’t believe her eyes to see me already in my room, doing so fine and be able to talk. I soon understood why she wasn’t expecting that. She told me that when they took me from the operating room to the emergency room she had the chance (or not) to see me for a few seconds. And I was a mess, a total mess, disfigured. She said she hardly could recognize me. She then dropped a few tears…tears of happiness for seeing how things turned around in such a short time. I was still not able to move (I could only move my hands a little bit) and that weird feeling in my neck was still there, but other than that, everything was fine. No chills, no nausea, all good. I asked my mom what is it that she knows about the surgery. She told me it lasted around 11 or 12 hours, which, I then found out, were the longest 12 hours of her life, as they took me to the operating room by “surprise” so she did not know what’s happening, she didn’t know where the operating room was, no one was able to tell her anything etc – this is when she started smoking, she couldn’t take the torment anymore (but she quit again after a short while :D. She also told me they took a lot of tumor out, probably most of it, but they cannot be 100% sure and in order to achieve the highest percentage possible, they had to remove two of the cervical vertebras: C3 and C4 and fix the spine with titanium implants and bone collected from my (both anterior and posterior) iliac bones. I understood at that point why the weird feeling in my neck :P: it was the implants (see image).

The anesthesia and pain killers were getting out of my body so I started to feel the pain. The worst pain was not as I expected, in the neck (due to the implants), but in my left butt-cheek (due to the posterior iliac crest bone graft they took out). And that was pain, trust me. But I got a little bit used to it as it got better anyway, and on the fifth day after my surgery I managed to go out, visit the hospital’s garden. Me and my mom were like 2 crazy kids: so glad that I was recovering so fast (given the fact that it was a long and risky surgery). After another two days, I was able to walk all the way up to the Citadella (which is located on one of the highest hills in Budapest). It wasn’t easy at all, I had to stop a few times, lay down on benches, take my collar down, but I did it! And so it started to get easier and easier each day. We got back home, where, of course, everything was even better. I got rid of the pain killers, I had no pain whatsoever, I was great. A new chapter of my life was beginning.

For about an year I was (or at least I thought I was) chordoma free. That until a new check up MRI, which unfortunately revealed the recurrence of the tumor. It was shocking to me, as I was so sure that dr R.V did such a great job. And he did. But the chordoma found its way back. For the first time in my life I started having serious negative thoughts. I quickly got rid of them (also helped by going to probably the best party ever, in the same day/night of finding out about the recurrence) but the sadness of getting the same result again, was still there.

I went to Budapest to dr R.V. He suggested that a new radical surgery was needed. We agreed that we will do this on February, 2008. I got all my papers ready and left to Budapest for my third resection of the tumor. A new MRI was done and dr R.V said that, unfortunately, the chordoma is now affecting C2 also and in order to have a chance of getting all the chordoma out, we will need to take C2 out. C2 could not be taken out like C3 and C4, through a posterior incision, but through the front, which meant that he would have to split my mandible in half. Also, the implants, which at this moment were from C2 to C5,C6 had to be replaced and fixed in the skull, which would result in almost no movement on the neck. Let’s say I didn’t have so much trouble with the mandible being split and eating through straws for 1 or 2 months, but I just couldn’t take the idea of having almost no movement in my neck for the rest of my life. So, I thanked Dr R.V, shook his hand and went back home.

We reevaluated my options. Again, Dr T.M came up with a solution. At another congress he attended, he talked to Dr B.M from Munich. I got in touch with him, went to Munich to have a face to face meeting, when he told me he would not do such a terrifying thing to me, as taking out also C2 by spliting my mandible. At that point that was what I wanted to hear but it was only after a while that I realized he had no idea of the severity of my situation (which Dr R.V was aware of). Anyway, we agreed that he would do the surgery and in June 2008 I was back to Munich. Everyone was nice over there, they were all talking English, the surgery lasted only about 4-5 hours, they took most of the tumor out (but were not able to tell me 100% that no tumor was left) and they also strengthened the implant structure (fixing it in C1 too). My recovery was very fast, I got back home, no pain killers, everything was going smooth.

Of course, up until next check up MRI, only a few months after my June surgery. I talked to Dr B.M and agreed he would operate me again in January 2009. I was okay with it given the fact that this surgery seemed to have done the less harm to my body, since I recovered the fastest. So in January,2009 I was back in Munich for my 4th chordoma removal. It was the same as half a year ago: easy, no problems, quick recovery, came back home, no pain killers, everything great. I know you heard this story before. Up until my next check up MRI which (not surprisingly anymore) showed a recurrent chordoma. This time it went much lower, on the lymphatic duct. This is when I understood that the reason I recovered so fast from the surgeries performed by Dr B.M in Munich was that he didn’t perform such a deep suction of my tumor cells. And my frustration was even bigger when I was thinking that these surgeries cost me the most money out of them all (taken individually). Anyway, what came up next, were 4 consecutive surgeries performed by Dr T.M (I didn’t want to spend a lot more money to have the same result. And at least, I was home): March, April and November 2010 and then November 2011. First two were only 3 weeks apart because the tumor was very big on both sides after the “great” job Dr B.M did in Munich, so two different approaches should have been performed.

In the spring of 2011, I followed a 1/week session of Bowtech Therapy, for about 4 months. A lot of people told me it might help, so I decided to give it a try, but I can’t say I saw any positive effect. The lady I was going to for the Therapy had to go on vacation and that was when I stopped following this type of treatment.

In the autumn time of the same year, I decided to try something else. For the first time I was ready (mentally) to change my diet. A lady, which someone had told me about, recommended that I should try the Oshawa diet, which meant eating only rice, buckwheat, oat and millet. It wasn’t easy at all, as I would eat almost the same things every day, over and over again.  I did my best to follow the diet for as long as I could, but after approximately 3-4 months I couldn’t take it anymore and I gave it up. Besides the fact that I lost some weight (but still less weight that I lost in 1 month going on the raw vegetable diet), there was no other positive thing coming out of using this diet, so I don’t know what to say about Oshawa. I really can’t say it helped me fighting the cancer.

By the beginning of the summer 2012 it’s when things started to get out of hand. Until a while back, I was used to having the surgery, get rid of the medication, pain killers and be able to have a normal life in between surgeries. But lately it wasn’t like this anymore, I could not let go of my pain killers. Even more, we had to administrate a higher dose, and then a higher one and so on. By the beginning of the summer I was taking a frightening high dose. I was already taking the anti inflammation substance for a long time without stopping (2 years maybe) but I was reaching a dose that would be accepted for 2-3 weeks at the most. I was already taking this dose for about 2 months, and had to take it for another 5-6 months, until I had my next surgery (and last one, so far) on October 24, 2012. Which takes us to the story of my last and hardest surgeries of all.

On July 16, 2012 my check up MRI showed that the chordoma has spread again; a lot. Its volume was very big (see image of MRI) and it was obvious from the outside as well (see image), which has never happened before. I realized that I can’t go on like this anymore, there’s something else I needed to do. I started thinking about alternative medicine and read a little bit about it. Even though I was now ready to change my life style and make a lot of so called sacrifices, another surgery to remove most of the chordoma was definitely necessary due to the size of it and only then apply the alternative medicine to what’s left of it. Since Dr R.V was the one I trusted to do the best job he could , I got in contact with him and he told me he will do his best to remove as much chordoma as he can. He will definitely not be able to take it all out, he is sure now, that is the reason he agreed not to take out C2, but anyhow, it will be a very hard and a very risky surgery. Asking him to spare my vertebras and take out as much tumor as he can, we agreed to have the surgery at the beginning of November. I quickly had all my papers done and was ready to go. My general health was getting worse and worse everyday due to the growing chordoma having invaded all the vital organs in the cervical area, but also due to the high dosage of pain killers I was taking. Even with this high dosage, the pain was getting bigger and bigger, I was having problems breathing, with my eyes (double vision, diplopia) and after a while I lost my voice. It has been a while now since I was having a hard time going to work. Even though I could have stayed home for months (and that was what the doctor also suggested) I wanted to go to work, as it kept me busy, it kept my mind away from a lot of negative thoughts. One day, at work, I started having a very hard time breathing; my colleagues got scared and called the ambulance even though I told them there’s nothing that the doctors on the ambulance can do, it will pass if I lay down (there are some positions of my neck that I found in time to produce less pain); I was used to this, but they were not. That was when I stopped going to work. As much as I wanted to, and I’m not just saying that, I could not keep on going to work anymore. I called Dr R.V right away and told him I need to have the surgery sooner than scheduled.

In the beginning I told my mom I see no sense in her coming over with me. I should be fine. I will go, have the surgery and everything will be okay. Of course, a lot of my thought were focused on the financial part. We would have saved some money that way. Thinking things through and with some help from very nice people, we decided that she will go with me. Thank God! (you will see why a little bit later). And so we arrived at the Budapest Hospital on October 15, 2012. Unfortunately there were a lot of holidays at that time in Hungary, then Dr R.V had some personal issues and the surgery was delayed for more than a week. It finally happened on October 24, 2012. Finally, the moment has arrived. I’m being taken to the surgery room. A very nice man comes to me and starts letting me know a few things (he was speaking a very good English). He tells me a lot of things which I was already aware of, but at one point he tells me something new: because of my breathing problems, I will have to have a breathing tube forced down my throat not through my mouth, but through the nose. Hmm…that didn’t sound very good. And the nice part was that they need me awake while doing this (if I could not breathe through that tube, they will quickly take it out so I could continue breathing normally). This being said we’re going for it. I take a look around in the surgery room and I realize there is no way they could have done such a good job in Romania…everything is looking much better, the devices especially; that gave me confidence. The nice doctor starts explaining the procedure of getting the breathing tube inside…I tell him I’m okay and we start: it wasn’t even that bad…we constantly collaborate on getting the tube in and… booom…it happens again…I wake up not knowing what happened, it takes a while for me to realize that we got through with it and I have made it for the 9th time. I don’t remember how the tube finally went in all the way, but it did. I take a good look around but I’m not seeing very much because of the pile of tubes going in and coming out of me. Of course, my friend, the white tube, fixed in my nose with blue duct tape, was still there. So, I was going to breathe a while through that, I guess. But now, at least I know what I am dealing with and I am sure I will be able to control myself so I wouldn’t get in the same paranoia stage as with my last tube. I realize I can breathe normally, I am still alive so everything is okay. I continue to look around, when…surprise…my mom was there, by my side, holding my hand. I wasn’t expecting that, since I was in the emergency room, but it seems they made an exception for me. I didn’t like one thing though: she was crying. At that point, I didn’t understand why. I wanted to start talking to her, but ups…I forgot about the tube in my nose going all the way down in my lungs..so we tried and tried the “signs language” but that didn’t help at all. I could hardly move any of my arms and I was still sedated so…no way in understanding each other. Finally I (somehow) get my hand to my ears and she gets it that I want her phone, opens a message box and I start typing: the first thing that came up in my had was “de ce plangi?”, “why are you crying?” I was feeling good, no pain, so why? she just waved her hand as an “it’s nothing, let it go” but then (after a few days) she told me: after this surgery I was looking even worse than the last surgery in Budapest and I had some sort of metal collar from my head (fixed with 4 screws on my skull) to my chest. So, even if I was feeling good (of course, due to the anesthesia and pain killers) I wasn’t looking that good. Anyway, the awkward moment passes and we start talking (using the phone’s message box) about something else and try to make jokes, take pictures (as she knew I would want to see the way I looked with all those tubes around me and that big metal thing – see image). The doctors let my mom stay for a long time with me so everything was going well. Right before she was about to leave, the cutest nurse ever comes to me and tells me she’s on duty tonight and if I needed anything to just push the button. And she was nice too. So, I was already thinking how many times I could push the button without her getting suspicious ;)) Well, believe it or not, I didn’t press it at all, but this is another story. The night was almost over. It was ok even though I did not get too much sleep. I was glad that it was almost 8AM and my mom will be there soon. I still have some problems breathing so doctors are constantly coming to my bed to check on this issue. They tell me they cannot take the tube out until they are 100% percent sure I can breathe on my own. In the evening they finally decide it’s okay to take it out. It didn’t even hurt as much as I was preparing myself for. And I was finally talking again, even though hoarseness was present, which got worse the next days, until the point I have lost my voice. At that point I thought it’s because of the surgery edema, but it turned out I was wrong, it’s the chordoma affecting my right vocal cord. Anyway, I was out of the emergency room, and before taking my white tube out of my nose, they got rid of the metal collar as well, which was there because, I found out later, dr R.V also strengthened the implants structure by putting longer implants in the back: from skull,C1,C2 to C5,C6,C7 (see image). So thinks were getting better. But that was about it. My condition before the surgery, the exhausting surgery, all the medication I took and was still taking at that time, my immune system that was very affected now, all these made it to be the hardest recovery of all. There were a lot of things that were new to me in terms of recovery. But, even though it was going much slower than I was hoping, I would still feel some improvements. My mom was by my side 10 hours a day (those were the hours when visitors were allowed) which helped so much. I don’t even want to thing about how things would have evolved if she would have stayed home, as we initially planned. Even though I don’t feel very good, I can’t wait for the doctor to say I can go home. Finally, on the 2nd of November I am out of the hospital. Our flight was the next day so I go to the hotel where my mom was staying. My pain was getting bigger (even though I was doing anything to prevent this and my mom was taking care of me as I would have been a 2 year old child), I was having problems breathing, I could hardly get out of bed. The night was coming, I knew I had to get some sleep. The time would have passed faster and my body would get in better shape. I did manage to sleep a while, but not as much as I wanted. Me and my mom are slowly getting ready to leave. I’m not feeling very good. I feel so week and the pain is killing me. The taxi is coming. We were expecting some sort of small bus, but instead it was a car. That was great: I could lay down on the backseat. The cab driver was very nice, helped us and he was talking a very good English. We instantly asked him if he could talk to someone at the airport to get a wheel chair for me, as I was having serious doubts that I would be able to wait in lines and walk all the way to the gate. He did his best, but unfortunately he couldn’t help us. We should have called earlier. The following 1 hour and a half was not easy at all. Fortunately, people in lines and airport employees saw I was a mess and let us go through without waiting in line. As all the pain was not enough, the bus that was supposed to take us to the plane, was (we still don’t know the reason) getting very late. We finally are on our way to the plane, we get on it and are ready to go home. I put my neck in a position that makes a little bit of pain go away and I even manage to close my eyes for a few minutes. When I wake up, I feel a lot better. That was good. We land and finally: we are home !!! Not ever was I so happy to say “Home, sweet home !” Now, that I was home, I was hoping that my recovery will go smoother. Well, it didn’t. The recovery was going very slow. My mom (especially) and my grandma were taking the best care of me. But I was still recovering so slow. I had so many days when I could not even get out of bed to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t used to this. There were some problems with my posterior incision as well, which did not heal as it should have. That gave us a hard time, but it closed in the end. The days are passing and passing but still I can’t see a significant improvement. Dr. R.V told me I need to go back to visit him before Christmas. I had serious doubts about that because of my general health. Still, I took some more pain killers and gave it a try. In the meantime, I had a MRI, which I showed Dr. R.V when I got to Budapest. With the images being displayed on his computer,  I ask him what I should do next. After a few seconds of silence he looks at me while lifting his eyebrows and tells me: “I don’t know. Try and look for the cause of it, maybe”. Then is when it hit me: conventional medicine, most probably, could not do anything else for me. Even though I have already started researching on alternative medicine, this is the time when I realized it is my only hope and I needed to dig a lot deeper into this. And so I did. Now, after almost 4 months from the surgery, I can say I feel better than before. But that is mainly, I’m almost sure of that, because I started to change my diet, eat a lot healthier and take supplements to get back on track.

Ever since I stopped going to work (a couple of weeks before the surgery) and then after the surgery (when I was able to get out of bed and use the computer) I dedicated most of my time searching and reading about how my diet should look like and what changes I have to make in my life in order to give this cancer as little hope as possible. Also I was sending a lot (and I mean a lot) of e-mails to doctors all over the world, but I kept on getting the same answers (especially from conventional doctors).

So far, I talked about conventional medicine. From now on, most of the writing will be about the alternative one. It’s been like a month since I started a raw vegetarian diet, and it’s after 2 or 3 weeks when I started to really feel that I was recovering. Sometimes, the feelings are mixed since the body responds to the diet in so many ways and it might happen that what we think it could be a bad sign (we’re feeling somehow sick or we get infections), it could turn out to be the body’s way of telling you that the healing process has begun. That is why we need to have a close connection to our body, get to understand it, have the time to focus on the signs he’s sending us.

As I said earlier, I started the raw vegan diet about a month and a half ago. Supplements were also added to it. It is not at all easy to follow a strict regime like this. It takes commitment and consistency. To better understand what I’m saying, take a look on how a typical day in my new life looks like.

It’s been like 3 weeks since I started feeling better (generally speaking). Taking this approach, there are two tings I need to take care of: first get my immune system back on track, boost it up as much as I can and then find the way to stop this chordoma from growing. I feel like the first step is beginning. I’ll keep on the diet and reading and reading and reading (in order to find out as much as I can about chordoma and why it keeps growing, but also get to understand more about my body) and then, soon I hope, I will get to phase 2, which is the most important thing. For now, my goal is to find a way to stop it from growing, and only after that to see it shrink.

Well, this is it for now. Please have your fingers crossed for me, and from time to time, if it’s not too much to ask, have me in your prayers, as I will need it. I will need it in order to find a solution and win this war. Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: This post and all material on this site is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended for treatment or a cure for any disease or condition.