- Billy Michels
So here is a brief look at my plan and how I am supporting it.
The Western Treatment Plan
Chemo (AAVD - 4 different chemicals) given through a port in my chest every other Monday for 12 treatments. All in all it will be 6 months, starting February 11th and ending July 15th (happy birthday mom!). No radiation. Second PET scan will be after 4 treatments. My doctor is Dr. Kevin Chen at the Franklin Square Medical Center. I had a second opinion at Johns Hopkins with Dr. Nina Wagner-Johnston who is the head of research for lymphoma, and gave my treatment plan the Hopkins blessing. She even worked with my doc before, so I know I am in good hands. Franklin Square is a much smaller hospital system and feels very comfortable. Easy to navigate, cozy environment and wonderful people to work with. Hopkins is somewhat of a monster.
The juicy cocktail of AAVD includes a new drug (like 5 years old) called Brentuximab that is designed specifically for Classic Hodgkins Lymphoma. It is like a smart bomb that avoids killing off healthy cells and targets just my wonderful travelers. This is fantastic for efficiency, and to reduce side effects.
The Eastern Treatment Plan
I have the honor of working with Dr. Alan Tillotson (Wilmington, DE) who specializes in Chinese herbal medicine and is quite brilliant. He has looked into the specific juicy cocktail I'll be getting, and has assigned a plethora of herbs and supplements to compliment the treatment, as well as protect my organs, nerves, and my body in general from the potential side effects and the actual effects of the chemicals. One for the heart, one for the liver, one for the white blood cells, one for the nerves, one for the energy, one for immune boosting, one for....
Body and Mind
Acupuncture weekly from Erin Mitchell and Kim Hennessy.
Osteopathy from Dr. Christine Mitchell, D.O.
Natropathic medicine and craniosacral from Dr. Emily Telfair, ND
Chiropractic support from Dr. Mary Steiner
Buddhist Psychotherapy from Dr. Stephen Clarke
Massage from Tami Jacobs and Leslie Ann Wernsdorfer
Thanks in big part to my friend Kim Collins who successfully got over breast cancer with diet alone, and a shit ton of research, I've fully embraced a fairly clean diet of non-inflammatory, mostly alkaline based foods, and added some new stuff I've avoided my whole life (i.e. broccoli and cauliflower). I've already been very organic, GMO free, dairy free, and refined sugar free - so I've had a great head start (yes, I indulge in the sugar and cheese here and there - but not now, sad face). Cutting out the booze, after a rough start, but trying to keep the temple clean and give my liver a fighting chance with the chemo it now has to process. Red meat and anything made with white flour is out as well.
Daily protein shake. Tons of oranges. Tons of green tea. Tons of water.
Still going to the gym a few days a week and playing squash now and then. Yep, squash.