After Tijuana: Good News - Karen Berrios

After Tijuana: Good News

After my month at the Tijuana cancer treatment clinic I went home and continued with the home program that the clinic physicians had recommended. Thankfully I had the full support of my husband, and my kids were very understanding, because this home treatment program affected all of us. There were things we could not do, places we could not eat, modifications that had to be made to our household’s schedule.

First there was the diet: The program entailed a complete nutritional approach. I ate a completely vegan diet, did a lot of juicing and was very intentional about what I put into my body. I took supplements. I even found myself bringing my own food to family gatherings and other social occasions, because the diet was so strict.

In addition to the diet there were a variety of therapies and treatments that I did at specific times throughout the day. One therapy, for example, was a sono-dynamic (sound) therapy. For 30 minutes I would use a hand-held device that applied sound waves to my neck. The founder of the Tijuana clinic, Dr. Antonio Jimenez (“Dr. Tony”) believes that this treatment helps to kill cancer cells.

Another therapy was a full body hyperthermia therapy in which I put myself into a dome-shaped machine that produces a lot of heat. The idea of this therapy is to induce a very high body temperature to stimulate your immune system to fight cancer cells, which die in high temperatures. I would do this therapy three times a week. Each time I had to set up the machine, heat it up, go into it for about an hour, get out and recuperate. After reaching that fever point it would take 15 minutes or so for my body to rebalance and get back to normal. Then I’d shower and put it all away. So although the actual therapy only took one hour, the entire process easily took two. And there were a number of other therapies as well.

All of these therapies really changed the dynamic of my family’s regular routine. Everyone had to adjust, and it was tough.

During the year that I followed this strict new diet and home therapy program my entire focus was on it. Because of this, there were many moments when I couldn’t engage with my children’s regular schedule. I couldn’t take them to soccer practice or sit down and do homework with them like before, I didn’t volunteer in my daughter’s classroom. Sometimes I was simply too exhausted to really be there for them. All of my energy and focus was going into healing.

But I stuck with it, and I’m grateful that my family supported me.

Every three months I had my local primary care physician order bloodwork and scans, and then I would take the results of these tests for a follow-up appointment at the clinic in Tijuana.

After six months on this home treatment program I went in for a medical follow-up with my local physician, complete with the requisite bloodwork and scans. It was at this appointment that I was elated to receive good news: The direction was positive! The tumor had shrunk a bit, and the tumor markers in my blood had shifted in a good direction.

It was wonderful to see that I was moving in the right direction, and it felt good that my hard work of submitting myself to this strict diet and regimen of therapies was paying off! My doctors were very encouraging and excited for me.

My family was excited for me, but underneath that I still sensed that what they really wanted was for me to follow the “standard” course of treatment—surgery, radiation, etc.—and stop all of this therapy that was limiting my life so much. Despite the opposition and challenges, I continued to stay strong in believing what was right for me.

Power Thought: Everything is possible for those who believe.

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4 Comments

  1. Christine Margo on September 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Congratulations, Karen! My experience is similar, going back to H4C Sept 12th, next week, for my last followup. I went from the last stage of multiple myeloma to smouldering, where no treatment is necessary. (I never did cbemo) But I faithfully do the home program and everything you described, thank you for putting it in writing. I don’t think people realize what a huge commitment it is on our part and our families. I know for me it is a lifetime commitment and I cherish every moment on this earth!

    • Karen Berrios on September 11, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Hello Christine! Thank you for your message and congratulations to you for your healing progress :))) You are right! It is a lifetime commitment and cancer knocking on our door gave us an opportunity to live again. Seeing things from another perspective cherishing every moment as you said. Wishing you complete healing and speedy recovery in your healing journey. Please check back with us after your last follow up at H4C. Blessings!

  2. Cindy Guerrero on September 7, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Congratulations Karen! This is not easy but you are very courageous and a strong women. I am praying for complete healing over your body. God Bless💕

    • Karen Berrios on September 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you so much Cindy! Many blessings and much love your way 🙂

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