About

 

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In 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30.  I underwent a bilateral mastectomy to remove the cancer and help prevent future recurrences.  I was lucky at the time not to have to undergo chemotherapy, as it generally leads to infertility, and in January of 2015 we found out we were pregnant.

A few months into the pregnancy, I was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer that showed up in my lymph nodes.  Because the cancer was estrogen sensitive again, the hormones from the pregnancy created a heavy risk for the cancer to rapidly spread to the rest of my body.  My choices were to abort the pregnancy, undergo chemotherapy during the pregnancy, or do nothing and risk having the cancer spread.  After much research, I chose chemotherapy and underwent my first treatment in April 2015.

With the support of hundreds of people around the world, cheering us on, praying for us, and following the progress of our sweet little miracle, we were so happy that our little guy, Joaquin, was born in July 2015.  He was born at 1.5 lbs, had no other health issues and spent two months in the hospital to grow before joining us at home.  We feel so blessed every day that we have such a beautiful healthy child in our lives.

I, on the other hand, had a very traumatic health experience after his birth that left me hospitalized for 20 days and a long recovery at home.  Shortly after his birth, I experienced Spinal Headache , then as a result of extreme high blood pressure from Preeclampsia, I ended up in the ICU with PRES Syndrome (a reversible brain damage that took 6 weeks to clear up) and C. Diff that kept me from seeing Joaquin for two weeks while I fought off the extremely contagious and often deadly bacteria.

It took over a year for my body to recover from all the trauma from chemo and the post partum health issues but I worked so diligently at rebuilding my body through health, nutrition, spirituality and love all while navigating being a new mother.  After a while, things were finally looking up, and it felt as if a very dark chapter in our lives was finally coming to a close.  But in April of 2017, after consecutive blood tests showed elevating tumor markers, I had an MRI showing new lymph involvement and two small spots in my liver.  We followed up with a full body CT/PET scan and the cancer was more advanced than any of us expected (6 liver tumors as well as cancerous activity in six different lymphatic systems and tumors on my sacrum, lower back and shoulder).  We didn’t know if it had been slowly growing for the last two years, or if it was progressing rapidly.  To quickly get a handle of this before it continued spreading, I underwent four rounds of chemo along with continuing all my alternative medicines and then had a follow up scan that MIRACULOUSLY showed all the cancer was no longer showing up and I was officially NED (No Evidence of Disease).  I am now on hormone therapy which has shut down my ovaries and drastically reduced the amount of estrogen available to any remaining cancer.

While I went through chemo over the summer of 2017, I had such an enormous support from my local community but also from all over the world.  I know I couldn’t have done it without this immense support.

I am now slowly putting the pieces of my life back together a stepping back into this wonderful, wonderful life.

Many of you have asked how you can help during this journey.  We’d love for you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers and if you feel so inclined, a donation will go towards the rising medical costs that are associated with the ongoing fighting of cancer.  You can also follow our visual journey documented on instagram: @vivavivian           

Donations accepted here:

GoFundMe

Paypal

Thanks for checking in,

Vivian, Sasha, and Joaquin

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7 thoughts on “About

    • Lynn F says:

      I keep seeing your commercial and I have a friend that went through chemo. Not only did she lose her hair on her head, she also lost her eyebrows. Your headgear indicates you have lost your hair, but you have eyebrows. Why the deception?

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      • vivavivian says:

        Hi Lynn, sorry to hear about your friend. Everyone reacts differently to each type of chemo. My eyebrows only thinned out, but I did not lose them completely. Sorry to hear you felt deceived by that. That was not the intention

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    • Jen says:

      Dear Vivian, your strength is an inspiration!
      I heard about your cancer “journey” from my brother that is fighting his battle as well. His friend, & neighbor, had you as one of her students. She is also fighting cancer.
      It’s been just over a year since his diagnosis of colon cancer that spread through the intestinal walls into his liver. He’s done several rounds of chemo, chose a life style change in diet, and uses some alternative herbs. The cancer in his colon is no longer evident, but the liver has an increase in spots.
      In an article on Medium, you had mentioned your use of CBD/THC oils. As he is also doing this, I wonder what your regime has been?? RSO? High CBD, low THC? Increase in quantity & frequency? Will you please share with me?
      Thank you so very much! God Bless you & you’re family

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      • vivavivian says:

        Hi Jen, sorry to hear about your brother. Who is his neighbor/old teacher of mine? Regarding cannabis oils, I would highly suggest having a professional recommend his dosing. What we are learning (through trial and error) is that different cancers react differently to different dosages. I have been doing “micro-dosing” 20mg CBD to 2.5 mg THC. This has been successful with the type of cancer i am fighting (hormone positive breast cancer). Higher doses of THC has shown to be problematic to hormone positive breast cancer fighters. For colon cancer, I believe RSO has been beneficial, but I don’t keep up to date on colon cancer which is why I’d suggest having a consultation with a doctor that specializes and stays on top of the most current information regarding dosing for specific cancers. Most doctors will do phone consultations. I would recommend Dr. Frankel at Greenbridge Medical Services in Santa Monica, CA. He is one of the top doctors with the most experience with medical cannabis dosing. Hope that information helps. and I wish your brother all the luck and success with his treatments.

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  1. Jen says:

    Thank you Vivian, for your quick response, additional information and the support you Our angel in common was your teacher, Lee Hibbetts , and she was in Edinburgh/McAllen, Texas. I can email you her # if interested.
    My brother says that your dosage is very close to what his dosage is, but his is multiplied by three. He’s increased his dosage over time, and is currently using 65 mg CBD and 7.5 THC.
    He met with one of his doctors today, that wants him to think about doing chemo pills called Stivarga. My brother recently had a very bad reaction to his most recent, new targeted chemo treatment. He’s very conflicted to take treatments that are labeled, first thing, in bold letters, that it can cause severe damage to the liver. Living in Oklahoma, where cannabinoids are not legal, he appreciates the possibilities that alternative medicine can provide. He’s not totally opposed to chemo, but says he’s going rogue! Eating the best he can, CBD & exercise!! His next scan is early February.
    Thank you again for the name of Dr. Frankel and the encouragement to seek out doctors that have more experience with including cannabis with the treatments he needs. The journey will continue. Best of healing, comfort and LOVE to you! – Jen

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    • vivavivian says:

      I adore Lee Hibbetts! Good luck to your brother. After diligently working to keep the cancer at bay with alternative methods, I was so disappointed that it came back so aggressively. Beware of stories of people who cured themselves naturally. Not because it isn’t true, but because their health history may not be the same as your brothers. Maybe they cured stage I prostrate cancer naturally. Maybe they had surgery but refused chemo. Every BODY is different and will react differently to different protocols. The Cancer Tutor is a fantastic website for alternative cancer treatments. One very important thing they state is to make sure your treatments are working faster than the cancer is growing. After conventional treatment alone failed me and alternative alone failed me, I STRONGLY believe that an integrative approach is key. Chemo may knock the body down, but alternative will support the body back to health. I wish him so much success with whatever method he chooses to do. Sending you all so much love.

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