My Journey for an Alternative Solution to Skin Cancer

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This journey began because of a skin biopsy I had this past June that indicated I had a squamous cell carcinoma located on the right side of my nose, very close to my eye. My dermatologist recommended surgery – Mohs – which I asked to postpone until after my nieces wedding the end of July. The surgery was scheduled for early August, but I cancelled it just prior to leaving for our trip to Maine. I sent my doctor a letter trying to explain my reasoning, knowing full well he would not agree. I have two things in my life that keep me from wanting to accept everything the medical profession wants to say. One is faith and prayer. I fully believe that God has provided all that I need for healing – first from the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross for my life and, second, in the plants he created that hold all the true “medicines” we need for health.     

One of the most amazing recent discoveries for me, is essential oils. After being into nutrition for most of my adult life, somehow I missed learning about these oils – the vital fluids of plants – with molecules so small that they penetrate every living cell. These oils are chemically very special in the universe of God’s natural substances. Their healing power has been known and used since the most ancient of times. They are considered to be the first medicines of mankind and were an important part of the prescriptions of Hippocrates.

The beauty of oils as medicines is that they don’t have negative side effects like the synthetic drugs and chemicals of modern pharmacology. Therapeutic grade oils are pure essential oils derived from organically grown or wildcrafted plants. They must be steam distilled at atmospheric pressures and minimum temperatures in vessels that are non-reactive. they must be bottled in dark or opaque non-reactive containers with no adulteration, dilution, refinement or tampering with the oils in any as they come from the still. Young Living Essential Oils is a company that meets all of these standards. They have always led the way with innovative technology for plant production and distillation for the extraction of the highest therapeutic-grade essential oils.

So, shortly after my “diagnosis”, I was introduced to these oils and learned quickly about the healing properties of Frankincense – one of the precious oils brought to the Christ child by the Wise Men.

Frankincense has a sweet, warm, balsamic aroma that is stimulating and elevating to the mind.
Useful for visualizing, improving one’s spiri
tual connection, and centering, it has comforting
properties that help focus the mind and overcome stress and despair. Frankincense is considered the holy anointing oil in the Middle East, wher
e it has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. More recently, it has been used in European and American hospitals and is the subject of substantial research. Frankincense is also a valuable ingredient in skin care products for aging and dry skin. The ancient Egyptians used it in rejuvenation face masks.             

I used this oil on the spot for about two months, applying with prayer, expecting all cells to be healthy.       

Essential Oils & Curaderm - My Alternative Treatment Therapy


Curaderm BEC5 is a natural anti-cancer drug derived from the eggplant. Twenty five  years of basic research, pre-clinical research and clinical research have established that BEC from eggplants, in a cream formulation, is effective for treating non melanoma skin cancers.

Starting point – late June 2011

I ordered the cream and read the book and decided this was worth a try – just trying to avoid a costly and inconvenient surgery.

The way it works is, you apply the cream to the area at least twice a day and cover with medical tape. Initially the lesion will increase significantly and then as treatment progresses the diameter of the lesion will decrease until all cancer cells are replaced with normal cells.

Day 7 with Curaderm

In my case, I has no lesion protruding from the skin, which made it harder for me to be confident I was dealing with a squamous cell carcinoma. So I applied the cream in the spot where the biopsy had been taken, which was all healed by this time and difficult to even see. (Remember, I had been applying Frankincense all summer to the area). In this photo, after one week, it does appear that the Curaderm was destroying something

Day 7 w/ oils & Curaderm

- had to be cancer cells, as it doesn’t harm healthy cells.


Day 15

By the end of the second week, there was a noticeable erosion of the skin. Again, indicating the cream is destroying cancer cells well within the epidermis and dermis, causing an apparent hole in the skin. Instructions are to continue to use the Curaderm until the skin starts to fill in.

By the third week I started having an allergic reaction to the medical tape I was using. I realized the tape was not latex free and I have a sensitivity to long exposure to latex. UGH! I immediately purchased latex-free, for sensitive skin tape and it felt so much better to just change the tape. It was getting a little itchy and just looked irritated and bad. I also wasn’t sure about using the oils as an anti-septic, as they can cause skin sensitivities too, especially in the light of this kind of irritation. So, I may have aggravated it with the oils??

Day 21


We were heading to Atlanta for a wedding this day and I was rather depressed about how bad I looked. I had decided I’d have to wear my shades to everything. (Hide behind the Foster Grants!) On the way to Atlanta, it just seemed to be getting more and more irritated. I had decided to apply Polysporin to the area as well, trying to stop the infection. After arriving in Atlanta, I washed the area carefully and decided to only put Polysporin and the tape on it… let it rest. By the next morning, it felt and looked a little calmer. I washed it carefully again and reapplied Polysporin and the tape. No Curaderm. I wasn’t sure, really, if I had used the Curaderm as long as I was supposed to. The whole thing is kinda a guessing game, since I was self-medicating and had no experienced practitioner advising me. However, the book by Dr Cham has photos and lot’s of invaluable information to help you do this on your own. It seems from the testimonies that three weeks often is enough to do the trick. http://curadermtestimonials.blogspot.com/

Day 28 - After no Curaderm for the week


On returning from Atlanta, I continued only Polysporin covered with the tape. At first things calmed, as you can see at the end of the 4th week. My skin is looking pink and smooth, just the way it is supposed to. To prevent scarring, I continued to apply Polysporin and covered it with the tape. (That had always been the recommendation from my dermatologist after previous procedures).

However, this now makes over a week of applying Polysporin and, low and behold, I started getting a rash. The interesting thing is, I spent the weekend of the 23rd & 24th at the Young Living Essential Oils Convention and was exposed to many, many oils. There was an amazing EXPO hall where you could touch, smell, taste, and ask questions. I sampled so many oils. I left that weekend feeling a little “off” – like I was catching something… and my rash was spreading…

I work part-time for an ophthalmologist, Dr. Sam, who has been so helpful in advising me about some of this. He spotted the rash and asked what I was using and then informed me about the high level of allergic reactions in the form of a rash caused by Polysporin. Oooohhh Nooooo. I rushed home and got in a hot tub with Epsom salts and baking powder – trying to detox my skin from this ointment. The hot bath felt good too. I immediately stopped putting anything on the wound and finally went bare skinned.

Day 36 - no Curaderm only Polysporin

The area where the Curaderm had been applied still looks pink and smooth, but you can see the crusty rash forming on my nose and face. The fact that this area is so close to my eye made for concern during this whole ordeal. But, I didn’t like the thought of surgery in that spot either!

Well, even after stopping everything, the rash didn’t stop. I now had a full blown case of contact dermatitis developing. By the next day, the rash was so bothersome, I couldn’t wear clothes. I just wanted to sit in a hot tub and soak. It was so itchy!!!! I was getting weary.

Oct 6 - 10+ days of rash developing

I stayed home from all work this week. On Wednesday, 10/5, I called a friend that has a clinic with an far infrared sauna. I thought that sweating might help. However, you can see by this photo that I only got worse! I wasn’t sure if that was just a sign of detoxing or what. It actually felt better, initially, after being in the sauna. This is getting serious now.

On Friday I sat in the sauna again. Afterwards, I had an appointment with my chiropractor, Dr. Haskel, and he was very concerned. He said no more saunas until I was healed and to seek the advise of an MD. Well, here it was late Friday afternoon, so the doctor’s office would be closed. I just went home and crashed – had to take Benadryl to sleep.

Oct 7 after 2nd sauna

Oct 7 after 2nd sauna - inflammed!!!


Saturday, Oct 8 - drastic

Sauna caused major inflammation! The Far Infrared rays emitted by the Sauna through the use of carbon panels duplicates the healthy rays that come from the sun. As healing as this can be normally, obviously it wasn’t a good idea for dermatitis!

So when I awoke on Saturday morning, my eye was so puffy I could hardly focus out of it. I sent this photo by text to Dr. Sam (the ophthalmologist) and asked if he thought this would wait until Monday when my dermatologist would be open. He immediately called me and told me to get to the ER at Altamonte Florida Hospital and to ask for Dr. O’Brien – he would be waiting for me. It was pouring down rain. Not a day you want to go out in, but Jack drove me over there and I was admitted to ER and given and IV of a very potent steroid along with fluids. I was there a couple of hours then dismissed with a RX for oral steroid for 5 days and an antibiotic to assure no infection on the skin. So much for my natural alternatives. But when you get yourself in a fix (due to the chemical ointment), be glad for quick relief.

Dr. Sam sent this photo to a friend that is a dermatologist and they suggested it looked like I had phytophotodermatitis –   The pattern is one in which you would have probably spread some lotion or cream on your chest and this area was exposed to radiant energy. Hmmmm…. seems like the sauna was equivalent to me laying in the sun – as far as the reaction anyway. So, it turns out, that the hot baths were only aggravating the situation as well. It needed cooling – which I used ice packs to stop the itch when I wasn’t in the bathtub.


It is Sunday evening now. I have had the IV steroid yesterday in the ER, an oral dose last night, and a second oral dose tonight. Everything is calming down and I feel so much better.

Oct 9, Sunday - AM

Oct 9, Sunday - AM - less inflammed

Oct 9, Sunday - AM

Oct 9, Sunday - PM

You can see marked improvement from the morning photo to the evening photo. The eye is hardly swollen and the inflammation is manageable. Tomorrow, Monday, I have to try to get my dermatologist to follow up on this. He will not be happy, as we haven’t spoken in person since this whole ordeal started.

As far as the skin cancer area, I can’t be sure with all this eruption around it. As the dermatitis subsides and I can evaluate the area, I will have more confidence on how the Curaderm went. After attending the Young Living Conference and learning about the extensive research with Sacred Frankincense and cancer, I will continue to put the oil on my skin – all over. They even say to put it on your breasts, or any area you are concerned about, to prevent and/or destroy any cancer cells.

If you want more info on the oils or the Curaderm, please feel free to contact me. You can visit my Young Living website at www.youngliving.org/jgates10

10/13/11 - 5 days since ER and IV steroids



Update – 5 days since the ER and the IV steroids – I’m almost completely healed. I really believe that my amazing rebound is due to working with my chiropractor, Dr. Haskel, the last few months and working on my immune system with nutrition and Young Living essential oils.

More quilts

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Just felt like posting some photos of other quilts I’ve made. A place to record by achievements!

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African-themed quilts for Derek & Melody

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Made for Aimee & Paul for their wedding

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For Julie & Ryan - wedding gift

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Baby quilt for Lori & Bryan's little baby

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Wedding gift for Rengie & Kourtnie

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uncomplete - batik circles

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Janelle's bed in Savannah

Fall is almost in the air

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Well, the weather man says it will be in the air by this evening. I keep checking outside – still pretty humid, although, not as hot as it was over the weekend. So, in Florida, we do our Fall cleaning in the air conditioned comfort of our homes.

Last night I finished the rag quilt I’ve been working on for weeks. When it was finally complete, I needed to clean my sewing room – there was thread all over the floor. Then I started organizing my table tops and counters to get ready for a new project. That lead to dusting and scrubbing and vacuuming… it’s getting there. I’m almost ready to start a new project.

Before I start something new, I want to post photos of this challenging little quilt that will be sent up to FAWN in the historical district of Sanford so someone can make it their own! As much as I love it, I can’t possibly find a use for all of the quilts I want to create.

For those of you that quilt, I thought it might be fun to show some of the steps in putting together this quilt. It’s a different approach than “normal” quilting. In some ways it was easier, but in others it was much more time consuming. Not sure if I’ll tackle this style again for a while – except for maybe a pillow – something much smaller.

“Sweet Annie”, this quilt’s name. It’s from the book “Cut, Sew, Quilt as you go.” The first page reads: “Looking for a fast and fun quilting project? Our wonderfully cozy lap quilts and throws with ragged, exposed seams are just what you’ve been waiting for! They’re a cinch to make using our easy techniques for frayed-edge patchwork and simple machine applique.”

“Just cut, sew and quilt one section at a time and clip the exposed seams as you go. Then machine wash your finished quilt and tumble it dry to create the soft, fluffy three-dimensional texture. The more you wash, the softer the seams become.”

Sounds like fun, right? I guess it was, but I got board with the layering of each piece with quilter’s spray adhesive – no pinning, but lots of spray adhesive. Not crazy about the mess, the fumes, and the cost of the spray. There is no batting in these quilts. You layer like this: one piece of fabric face down, one piece of osnaburg, and one piece of fabric face up – with spray adhesive between each layer – you end up with a small layered piece to applique and quilt. You do this with each piece, before you piece them together. I didn’t photo the assembly line of spray basting the layers together, but here’s a picture of some of the pieces before they became a quilt:

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Each of these little pieces are layered as described. These smaller pieces did not need quilting or applique, they just were sewn together in strips to make sashings:

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The clipping of the seams comes after you start assembling the quilt. This particular quilt pattern has applique in the main blocks. By appliqueing and quilting each block before assembling into a larger piece, it was easier to handle under the machine needle. Next picture shows the larger blocks being assembled to the sashings. You can see the clipped seams here.100_4664100_4660100_4659And here’s the finished project – after machine washing and tumble drying with tennis balls. Nice look, I think. But, as I said, a tedious project over all. Hope you enjoy it. You can see it at FAWN in downtown, historical Sanford, Florida.100_4671100_4675

Well, I’m going to check on the weather to see if the cool air has arrived yet! :)

1/4 inch seams & moleskin

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On the supply list for my first quilting class (Starting From Scratch on quiltuniversity.com), the instructor, Carol Miller, recommended “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Padding or Moleskin” under “miscellaneous”. It wasn’t until the very end of lesson two did we get to actually sew – after extensive instructions about fabrics and colors and patterns… and then measuring and learning to cut with a rotary cutter… and then cutting all our pieces. Finally we were ready to sit at our machine to attempt a perfect 1/4″ seam, but first a long explanation on the importance of an accurate 1/4″ seam. Since this was my first quilting experience, I took every detail seriously – but somehow thought that the 1/4″ seam thing should be easy enough to do by just running my fabrics under the pressure foot at the 1/4″ line. Well, it turns out that’s not as easy as it looks. So I used the moleskin to line up my seams and my squares were much more accurate. It’s amazing how a tiny, fraction of an inch will cause your quilt square to no longer be square!

Then, my mother bought me an amazing new sewing machine for my new quilting passion. It came with a 1/4″ foot – so I didn’t use the moleskin any more. This week I started a project that required my squares to be square (some projects you can get away with them not being exact) and was having trouble getting them to come out to the required 8 1/2″ square. I remembered the moleskin trick, so drug it out and stuck it on my new machine. And now each square is just right… such an easy trick. And really takes the stress out of trying to stretch your fabric into a square!

Moleskin for 1/4" seams

Moleskin for 1/4" seams

Here’s my project that requires perfect 1/4″ seams…

Batik squares for baby quilts

Batik squares for baby quilts

Born2fly.org and Human Trafficking

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My dear friend, Linda, forwarded an email to me this morning. Just what I’ve been looking for. An organization( in my area) making a difference in the lives of children all over the world – specifically children that are sold into sex slavery. Please take a minute and watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHro8wJFVqg and then go to www.born2fly.org and get involved. During the time it takes to read the next few paragraphs—about 30 seconds—another child will be trafficked for sex somewhere in the world.

My daughter and her husband are working to bring awareness to human trafficking in the San Francisco area. Their church family has a series of workshops each year to help others understand the reality of this in our world today – they call it the “Abolition Project”. This is a huge issue in their part of our country. It’s also about buying your stuff from companies that are “Fair Trade” and that do not use slaves (children & adults) in the production of their goods. Have you ever noticed the “Fair Trade” label on coffee, chocolate, etc? Those are common items we enjoy everyday that, often, are harvested by human slaves. Become aware and find out where your food, clothing, and other items were made. And how were they made?

October is Fair Trade Month: learn about fair trade – Day 18: Fair Trade, the Market, and YouFair Trade Certified producers are also empowered by the Fair Trade system to form cooperatives that enable them to create sustainable working and living conditions within their communities.

Poster by Derek Hansen (my son-in-law)

Poster by Derek Hansen (my son-in-law) http://abolitionsf.reimagine.org/

Janelle is crafty

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Janelle is my lovely daughter who is currently living and studying fiber & art in southern France with her college – Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, GA. She is a senior now and will graduate in May 2010! Be sure to check out her blog and see the interesting embroidery diary she just finished for a class.

Today we were able to skype – always fun!

Janelle - skyping from Lacoste, France

Janelle - skyping from Lacoste, France

Another picture with Kara – her sweet roommate:

Kara & Janelle!

Kara & Janelle!

They are so cute & fun! Always make me smile.

Later this week they head to Paris for a few days of sightseeing and learning more about all the arts in Paris! Wish I were there too.

Stay warm, my little Janelle. Je t’aime et profiter de Paris!

Daughter’s Wedding Quilt

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My daughter, Melody, was married this summer on August 8. It was such a lovely affair and I still cherish the wonderful feelings from seeing my daughter marry the man of her dreams with the wedding of her dreams. I miss her a lot – as she lives in San Francisco and I live in Orlando. Yes, the name for my blog and quilting business, “Quilted Melodies”, is named in her honor.

I had a lot of fun creating a quilt for her wedding gift. She and Derek live in a typical San Francisco flat – with that vintage air. She has definite design/decorating tastes and I had to choose fabrics that I thought would fit her style – vintage looking, but contemporary. I spent hours searching for fabrics online and in the end chose Charisma by Chez Moi for moda. I am waiting for my daughter to photograph the quilt for me (she’s a professional photographer), but here are a few photos of it in process and when it was presented to them before the wedding:

Charisma fabrics

Charisma fabrics

WIP

WIP

The wedding quilt

The wedding quilt

So… I’m waiting for some photos of it in her SF apartment! It was a fun one to make – especially since it was for their wedding gift!

Have to include some photos of the lovely bride and handsome groom on their wedding day:

Mr. & Mrs. Derek Hansen

Mr. & Mrs. Derek Hansen

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