By Chef Anne Feinman
The superior vena cava is a large vein located in the upper chest, which collects blood from the head and arms and delivers it back to the right atrium of the heart. If this vein is compressed by outside structures, such as a cancerous tumor, then return blood flow to the heart is impeded. When blood flow to the heart is restricted, the increased pressure in the veins of the face and arms causes fluid buildup in these areas. This condition is referred to as superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS). CAT scanning of the chest is most often used to diagnose superior vena cava syndrome.
This is the diagnosis for my younger sister Tami, age 49. I went to Bandera, Texas for the past 10 days, to be by her side for the beginning of her journey. Radiation began Wednesday, and will continue for 10 treatments, prior to beginning chemotherapy. I have found it very difficult, not to be angry! Her symptoms actually began in March, with numerous doctor visits, including specialists, blood tests, etc. Tests of her liver…nothing…so how did numerous doctors miss this diagnosis? Tami’s symptom’s, said “vena cava”…but until she was stung by a wasp 2 weeks ago, and the additional swelling of her left arm, and a rush to the emergency room…not one doctor saw the masses growing against her heart, lungs and this major artery.
My inclination, upon hearing of Tami’s diagnosis, was “FIGHT”! I ordered 4 books to be delivered overnight on alternative treatments for cancer… I visited locally with Dr. Gutierrez for some well received guidance on nutrition, and I prepared to fly to Texas within days. Upon my arrival, my brother-in-law went and purchased a juicer. Tami and I purchased every organic, cancer fighting veggie we could find. Our first morning, the chef in me came out, and hourly juices were prepared with organic raw carrots, parsley, kale, romaine, broccoli, pears, granny smith apples, beets, etc. After 4 days of juicing, we had an appointment to have radiation profiling done at the cancer center in San Antonio. The oncology radiologist commented on the swelling having gone down! Bruising was going away! Three more days of juicing and we returned to begin radiation. We asked the doctor to show us the first CT scan and the last one, done 3 days ago…the tumor had shrunk!
As Tami’s oldest sister, I joined her in her hourly juicing, to provide her the support I thought she may need. She has a wonderful sense of humor and each time I made a juice drink, she would look at it, and pronounce it’s a strawberry daiquiri (when made with beets) or a margarita when it came out green! There were many mango mimosas, and Dom Perignon… and of course, our capsule supplements, were our nuts or yogurt raisins! Imagine one capsule, a supplement that actually contained the nutritional value of 4.78 lbs of broccoli!
I returned home to Marco Island, yesterday, and my sister continues her journey to FIGHT this disease with the support and love from her husband Lon Yaeger by her side and her strong, unrelenting belief in GOD! Please join me in praying for her as she continues this battle. Her raw veggie juicing continues, as well as the radiation. A bit of western technology with love of GOD, added to nutrition…I pray a “WINNING COMBINATION!”
I Love you Tami!
Your sister, Chef Annie and Family