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The support and fundraising that has happened on my behalf has touched my heart and has made alternative cancer treatment a possibility for me. Donations continue to be my primary funding for healthy food, supplements, living expenses and medical bills. If you feel moved to give to my Health and Wellness Fund, please follow the Paypal "Donate" button below. To avoid Paypal's 3% fee, checks or cash can be sent to Zachariah Walker, 1003 Chipeta Ave, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Blessings!


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Magic in the Madness

January was likely the hardest month I’ve experienced since the fall of 2005.  Memories from that time recollect almost four weeks in the hospital while doctors scratched heads and I withered away surviving only on IV fluids and TPN.  My recovery, in my under-construction Palisade house, consisted of staring at sheet rock with days where a trip to the mailbox was the highlight.  Thankfully, that has not been topped (or I should say bottomed).  I guess I gauge the severity of the experience by the “unknown” factor.  Chemotherapy was far from fun, but I knew the symptoms were temporary.  I worked through the various sheddings of self and my hair re-grew in its new unmanageable form.  Despite the questions of long-term side effects, I came back to myself.  This summer I ached through relative enjoyment, as I was able to travel to Montana despite the arthritic joints that continually cracked and made getting out of bed and sitting in a car an undertaking.  I, in fact, was just reminiscing the highlight of that trip to my homeland (click here for a series of sweet river photos!).  Last fall, after my second trip to Angeles Hospital, I started an at home cell factor therapy that was expected to create an immune response, and in turn, “mild” flu-like symptoms.  My immune response ended up being extreme and for weeks I repetitively got slammed with severe flu symptoms spending days in bed.  Once I was certain it was a reaction I knew there would be an end.  I also knew the response was stimulating an attack on the cancer in my marrow.  As those symptoms subsided I found myself shifting into a Crohn’s flare-up.  Back to where things started…  The Crohn’s, an autoimmune disease, began to slowly wear away my body as my immune system worked against it, responding to the inflammation and potential infection going on in my intestines.  As hard as I tried to remedy it with strict diet, specific supplements, and pharmacy grade probiotics, I couldn’t get ahead, and fell far far behind.  I fell so far behind I lost myself to the Great Mystery, and I didn’t know if I’d come back.  Apparently, on Raven’s wings, I am returning with a change of consciousness.  Talk about one hell of a ride.

This return from “the Great Mystery” is a return from the unknown, the void between life and death.  That is where I have been floating.  My trip to the hospital signified a hitting bottom and while there I found some new depth of will.  It was truly bizarre how that fiasco of a hospital visit turned something within me.  I certainly can’t credit the care I received while there.  I checked in dehydrated and suffering.  I sat in my room for six and a half hours before receiving an IV and it was eight hours before I got any pain medication.  I received the results of my CAT scan the next day, which showed nothing notable.  I sat confined in my room hiding from the worst place an immune compromised person should be, the hospital.  More than one doctor mentioned that.  At home I slowly improved, working my way back to a “normal” diet, though as I described in my last blog, a lot of weird things were going on in my body.  My doctor visit this past Monday perhaps shed a bit of light on that.  This is the biggest latest news…

One and a half weeks after being discharged from the hospital I was casually informed by my internist that the lab work from the hospital showed cancer in my periphery blood, measured by a “blast count.”  This bad news, delivered in the latest version of doctor bedside manner, as you can imagine, flipped my lid.  “Stop,” I said, “I need to catch my breath.”  The news shifted an otherwise “normal” day into a big reality shake-up.  Much has been on my mind in the aftermath.  For one, going back to the hospital fiasco, how did I get discharged without being informed of my lab results?  It took a week and a half to learn some really f***ing significant news?  Upon studying the labs new questions are raised.  In the blast column on my blood work it shows: 1/22- nothing, 1/23- nothing, 1/24- 45% blasts.  Is it possible for that to happen overnight?  At the beginning of January I specifically quizzed my doctor and phlebotomists to be sure my CBCs would show a blast count.  I needed confirmation of this for next steps with my Mexico treatment.  I was assured, though I questioned the confidence behind it.  I now am left to wonder if the blast count is a specific order that has not been being checked.  I still don’t know the answer to this though I have inquired (just apparently not in the right places).  If so, another big question in my care looms.  Why would a patient diagnosed with AML not have lab orders specifically checking for cancer in the blood?  All of this info has me a bit beside myself pondering the latest awe of my healthcare.  The saving grace of the situation is my lab results from my visit to the internist were on par with the prior results.  Apparently, the 45% blast count from the 24th was a machine count and after a smear by the lab tech a more accurate count was 30%.  I don’t understand the discrepancy, however, my smear from February 4th was a 29%.  This is good news considering the acute nature of AML as there is a fear that it will proliferate quickly. 

So where does this leave me?  Oddly enough, though I certainly travel all over the mental map, I have settled into a new state of empowerment.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put this current experience into words, but there is magic happening.  Larkin and my relationship has shifted into a new level of co-creative and proactive energy.  Our house feels more like a sanctuary every day.  My man Christopher (Dr. Lepisto) is right alongside and the three of us are cooking up some big plans.  Dr. Perez in Mexico is on board, as he continues to be in his remarkable way.  I am waiting to hear from him after he consults with his team.  I have also been doing some amazing and powerful work with practitioners on an emotional and spiritual level and my personal practices of yoga, energy work, visualizations and meditation have been taken to a new level.  As my doubts increase with how my local doctors can handle my complex case, my confidence grows with my own abilities to forge a healing path.  Big moves are in the forecast as I continue to learn about healing on multi-dimensional levels.  As always, I appreciate and ask for as much support from my communities, friends and family.  Through this BIG, challenging and daunting journey I am feeling more and more how it is guiding me to fully embrace my Highest Authentic Self.  I AM Powerful and Safe in the World.  That is significant as I “Shaman-on.”   


Dad said...

Sounds good. Talk to you soon. Love, Dad

Anonymous said...

Wow dude... what a ride. Shaman on friend. Thank u for the update.. much love..kevin Mahoney

Lindaa said...

Shaman WARRIOR. That's you. How in the world do you keep this all straight?
I feel full reading about your journey, your essence, courage, and spirit/lust for life.
Now I have more. Thanks Z. for giving us your best as usual. How do you do that, always? kind sir.
Cheers for Larkin, Dr. L, Mexico Angeles, and thumbs down to the big
hospital on the hill. Geez, guys!
Luv u.