Natasha's

Friends,

It has been over 14 years since we lost our very special family member, Natasha.  However, we want to point out that all the information contained here is still valuable today, although certainly new supplements, nutritional guidelines, medical technology, and other scientific break-throughs have continued over the years. One of the most important developments has been in the area of advanced, much more powerful anti-oxidants, like "Astaxanthin". We could only have dreamed of such supplements in 1999.

Natasha's spirit will always be with us, we know.  Shortly after her passing we were somehow directed to a retired AKC Show breeder in Fort Worth, Texas and by March 1, 2002 "Sasha Natasha's Hope" had been added to our family.  We have placed Sasha & Nikolai - a Love Story here on our site.  Nikolai passed on in March 2008, but Sashs is still with us, at age 14 years and 7 months (as of July 2016), along with her and Niki's daughter Anya, who is now 13 years and 7 months old. This just shows you what a good diet, with proper nutrition can do for our canine family members.

Please visit this web page and see how the joys of life have continued for us.  As long as we are able to we will maintain the information here at Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter for all to see and use.  We are grateful to everyone for your support over the years.

Thank you all,

Ron & Family

Snowmate's Natasha born April 19, 1988

* In Memoriam *

This site is dedicate to the memory of "Natasha"

April 19, 1988 - January 26, 2002

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we must inform you that Natasha lost her battle with cancer around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26, 2002.  Our brave little girl fought the fight with courage and dignity for 3 long years. That is 3 years more than anyone else expected her to live.  Had we not tried the alternative treatments listed below we would have lost her in February of 1999.  We have been blessed and now dedicate this site to her memory and in hope that others out there, like Natasha, will find some benefit to the information presented here.  It is too painful for us to repeat the story of her last hours with us, over and over, via email.  However in the interest of informing everyone who has followed her story these past 3 years and cared for her and our family we have chosen to leave the web site in tact by chronological order - at the bottom of the page you will find excerpts of an email sent to one of our friends today.  Thank you for caring and being there for Natasha and for us.  God bless you all.

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Cancer treatment for pets can be done at home.  This site will discuss what you need to know about how to treat cancer naturally in both pets and people. Natural ways to fight cancer at home using non-invasive therapies and treatments. Many people have shown an interest in keeping up to date on Natasha's condition and how we obtained information on her successful treatments which is why we are publishing this weekly newsletter. This will keep you informed regarding Natasha's breast / skin cancer progression and treatment with Flax Oil / Birch Bark Poultices / supplements and diet modification. Pass this information along to anyone who is interested. This web site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For treatments of pets with serious diseases, like cancer, or any form of tumor you should always consult with a licensed veterinarian first. If we keep trying we can make it over the rainbow someday.

Please visit our other sponsored web sites:

 

Jesse's Story fighting Fibrosarcoma by Michele Tarlo (Mom)   "Vaccinosis" & problems associated with "Over-Vaccination"
Shilo's Tale - a struggle against Leukemia by Kirk Heckel.   CRF - Canine Renal Failure or Kidney Insufficiency
 
Misty's Journey - the story of a dog fighting Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC)   Anatomy of a Doggie Dinner - a tutorial for making a homemade BARF dinner

 

Nikolai's Odyssey

 

Natasha is our family's 10 3/4 year-old female black/white Siberian Husky. Around the first of February 1999 we noticed a mass about the size of a small tomato under her breasts and at first thought nothing of it since it had a fat like feel to it. By mid February Natasha had developed a kiwi-fruit sized tumor under her left breasts. A similar sized but elongated growth under her right breasts was also present and there was a small skin growth on her inside left thigh about the size of a dime which appeared to be somewhat fluidic in nature (cyst like). Overall she was in good spirits and got around fine. Her energy level appeared to be down and by the end of February she had lost weight (3 lbs. from a starting weight of 50 lbs.). Later we assumed that this was the onset of the 'Cachexia' or wasting phase of the disease. 

How we started: From all the information that we could garner from cancer sites on the web and from pet owners experienced with the disease, we became convinced that Natasha had metastasized breast cancer and melanoma. At the end of February we took Natasha to our local vet. Our vet uses standard veterinary practices as well as alternative medical treatments where warranted or requested. After briefly examining Natasha he agreed that Natasha's tumors did, on a cursory exam, appear to be breast cancer and if the skin eruption was melanoma then that might indicate that the cancer had metastasized. Since Natasha had not been spayed it was possible that her female organs might also be involved. In our opinion (not our vet's) standard treatments like chemotherapy and surgery would greatly harm Natasha's quality of life while offering little or no hope of recovery if these are indeed malignant tumors. Being over 10 3/4 years old (Siberian Huskies seldom live past 12 years we've been told) there is also a greater risk of renal failure during surgery (we went through all this with Micha, Natasha's mate, 2 years before with a different vet). Natasha was still quite active and in good spirits with no indication of any bleeding (a symptom we were told to look for). This appeared to be a very aggressive stage-three or stage-four breast cancer and Natasha's life expectancy might be as short as 30 to 60 days. All her tumors apparently developed in just the last 3 months (since her annual doctor's visit in November 1998). At this point we had strong feedback, from those experienced with this disease in canines, that virtually no treatment would stop the disease, if it had metastasized, and 'quality of life - pain management' programs were best suited. We did consult with our vet briefly regarding diet / supplements / and Flax Oil. Several vets on the web strongly believe in cancer diet modification and in supplements, but none had any knowledge of Flax Oil treatment for cancer. Our vet said that he would like to continue to stay abreast of Natasha's condition to see how she responds to this treatment.

After the first week of February 1999 (after our first suspicions) we put Natasha on a 'Cancer Diet' and vitamin - herb supplements for cancer. The diet and supplements are listed below for those of you who are interested in this. Through this time period the tumors appeared to be growing. 

The Start of Natasha's Flax Oil Treatments - Week 1

Treatment Day 1: March 1, 1999 started Natasha on Flax Oil (see <http://home.usit.net/~spinner/Flax1.html>).

The following is a recipe for the Flax Oil mixture that we are giving her. The mixture fills one 24 oz. cottage cheese container and is equivalent to ten 1 tbs. doses of Flax Oil:

Cream together in a blender: 2 cups of cottage cheese with 1/2 cup of sweet buttermilk. Add 10 tablespoons of Flax Oil (preferably with Lignins - or High Lignan formula). 

When blended on high for several minutes this makes a very creamy mixture and after refrigeration it has the same consistency as yogurt and the Flax Oil does not separate from the mixture even after several days. 

One 1/4-cup of the mixture equals one dose.  Dosage schedule = 8 doses per 100 lbs of body weight. 

We currently give Natasha a 1/4-cup dose of the Flax Oil mixture 3 times daily. Natasha thinks that the mixture is some type of fabulous dessert and eagerly awaits each and every dose - always licking the bowl completely clean. The vitamin - herb supplements are likewise divided into 3 daily doses. Natasha is only permitted her Flax Oil mixture after swallowing all her supplement pills (which is a handful, believe me). Some people have asked about a dog swallowing so many pills. We have seldom had a problem with this. We drop the pills into the back of her throat while holding a treat in one hand, then hold her muzzle closed until she swallows. She is immediately rewarded with a jerky treat and then her Flax Oil mixture dose. I will not say that she enjoys the pills - but the treat and Flax Oil mixture make it all worth while to her. 

Treatment Day 2: Twenty-four hours after administering the first dose Natasha was visibly more energetic and played with the family and our 4 1/2 month old Siberian Husky puppy 'Niki' just like her old self. She had not been playful like this in over 2 months. 

Treatment Day 4: Natasha's energy level continues to improve. I let her out in the backyard this morning with the puppy. After one hour I let her back in the house and let me tell you she was so excited to be back inside that she ran 4 laps around the house before her batteries finally started to run down! This type of energy level hasn't been seen in a year - since 'Micha', Natasha's mate, passed away in June 1998. There has been no noticeable change in the size of her breast tumors or skin cancer tumor. That is to say that the tumors are not getting larger or smaller. Up until this time (before administering the Flax Oil mixture) the tumors had been growing at a fairly noticeable rate, therefore no further growth may be an indication that some type of change has occurred. Even if the treatment does not stop Natasha's cancer - do you realize how expensive treatments are just to improve a pet's energy level and quality of life? At present we are starting to believe that the Flax Oil treatments have paid for themselves regardless of the effect on the cancer to date.

We will keep you all informed about once a week regarding Natasha's condition. Thank you for you interest, concerns advice and prayers. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Week 1 ***

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Natasha's Chicken/Cabbage Cancer Diet: (50% protein)

1 whole RAW chicken leg quarter (thigh and leg) pureed in a food processor bones and all. Season with 'Low' Salt (half sodium / half potassium), Italian Herbs, Sage and Turmeric plus Red Clover (good cancer fighters). Add 1/2 cup of diced broccoli-stems, cabbage hearts, celery hearts (whatever leftover raw veggie parts you usually throw out). [We have found another way to soften bones: cook them 24 hours in a crock-pot (slow cooker) submerged in half black-eyed peas / half kidney beans covered with water. Remove the bones and add to the meat mixture - the leftover chicken flavored bean soup you can eat yourself. Remember do not feed your dog extra carbos. We don't know how this works but the bones turn a dark color and crumble easily, this probably destroys a lot of the nutritional value though.] 

NOTE: DO NOT GIVE A DOG ONIONS - THESE ARE TOXIC TO CANINES IF GIVEN IN A LARGE ENOUGH QUANTITY! DO NOT GIVE A DOG WITH CANCER FRUIT OR CARBOS LIKE RICE, WHOLE GRAINS, BREADS, POTATOES, ETC. 

Cook meat mixture over med./high heat until meat is done then add 1/2-cup water and simmer 2 minutes more. (Makes about 2 1/2 cups)

Add meat mixture to 2 cups raw shredded cabbage and broccoli tops. Add to this 1 or 2 crushed egg shells (which we save after rinsing out) or add 1 tsp. Calcium Carbonate (available from most shops that sell bakery supplies). Blend thoroughly. 

Wait until mixture has cooled to serve. We serve 2 cups of this at dinnertime and reserve 2 cups for breakfast. If your pet has stomach problems serve mixture cold and/or reduce seasonings.

(Some local breeders informed us that chicken bones are soft when raw and can be included as a good calcium source in the diet if they are thoroughly pulverized (bone meal) and added to meat before cooking). 

Please note it is not good to over feed pets with cancer. Over feeding will impair immune system functioning. It is better to feed your pet slightly less food than you believe that they need on a daily basis to boost the immune system. Split meals into smaller servings and feed several times daily instead of once a day - but be certain that the total cups of food per day are still slightly less than the pet's normal feedings. The above 4 cups of Chicken/Cabbage diet is more than enough for a 50-lb. female dog with cancer. If your pet gains weight on this diet you should reduce the serving sizes. What you want to do is maintain your pet's optimum weight level. 

Natasha's Cancer Supplements: (all available at your local Wal-Mart or iHerb.com for a lot less $$)

Blood purifiers:

Echinacea/Golden Seal (900 mg) , Red Clover - fresh ground (1 tsp. Added to food)

Renal boosters:

Cranberry Fruit Extract (950 mg),

Energy builders: 

Kava Kava (200 mg), Ginseng Complex (850 mg; includes B12 (300 mcg); Ginkgo Biloba; Ginger Root; Gotu Kola), Vitamin B Complex (50 mg), 

Cancer Fighters:

Vitamin C (3,000 mg), Vitamin E (400 IU), Fish Oil Concentrate (1,000 mg), Folic Acid (1,600 mcg), Garlic (750 mg), Dulse Iodine (.2 g), Melatonin (3 mg), Pau D'Arco (510 mg), Pycnogenol (100 mg), Alpha Lipoic Acid (100 mg), Turmeric (1 tsp. Added to food)

Tumor Absorption:

Super Enzyme Caps (Amylase 50,000 USP; Protease 50,000 USP; Lipase 8,500 USP; Betaine HCL 324 mg; Pepsin NF 1:10,000 130 mg; Ox Bile 130 mg; Bromelain <pineapple> 250 mg; Papain <papaya> 250 mg). 

Attitude Adjuster:

LOVE, ATTENTION, BACK RUBS AND LOTS OF IT!

The supplements are divided up into 3 daily dosages. It's better and more economical to purchase large dose pills and then break them up into pieces to serve several times daily for better absorption instead of giving one large dose. Capsules and pills may be crushed and added to the meal, but remember that some of these supplements have a very noticeable taste. We found that Natasha wouldn't eat any food with these supplements added to it - or she would attempt to eat around them. The old 'hold the muzzle and swallow' method works best for us. If your pet has stomach upset when given supplements reduce supplements to a minimum. Gradually add select supplements back one at a time until you determine which supplement is causing the problem. Eliminate or reduce dosage of any supplement causing stomach upset. 

Please keep in mind that we did a lot of research on the Internet regarding diet and supplements for Natasha and her specific needs with cancer. The things that appear to work for us may not work for you and should not be considered medical advice - please consult with your vet first. You're best weapon against cancer is KNOWLEDGE. If you truly love and care for anyone (pet or human) with cancer it is to your / their advantage to arm yourself with all the knowledge that you can get. Doctors and nurses can be essential in the treatment of serious diseases like cancer - and should not be ignored, but when all else fails it is up to each of us to help ourselves as best we can if we really want to beat this or any other disease. After all, each of us is only human and we all make mistakes, but the individual or family suffering through this terrible disease has the best motivation to seek a cure and solutions if they want to keep their families and themselves intact. 

The Basic Cancer Diet

Guidelines for Basic Diet - see: http://www.altvetmed.com/Cancer.html

The supposed 'Cancer Fighting Diet' and its various incarnations have been popularized recently. The principles behind this diet are simple: lower carbohydrates, raise fats, and use good quality protein. Researchers theorize that tumor cells utilize carbohydrates (found in sugar, grains, starchy vegetables and the like) more readily than energy from other sources such as fat. This diet is not yet available commercially, but it is easy to cook one for your pet. The diet described below is purposefully vague and designed only to get you thinking. The diet is not balanced for long term health maintenance and should be constructed only under the supervision of your veterinarian.

In general, a good quality protein source such as poultry, fish, or cottage cheese should comprise anywhere from 30-70% of the total diet volume. Another excellent protein source is soybean, so tofu may be substituted for meat on occasion. The remainder should be a mixture of vegetables, which should be provided in variety. Animals tend to like the sweet taste of carrots, corn and green beans, but an effort should be made to provide vegetables with fewer sweet carbohydrates and more of the suspected cancer fighting indole-3-carbinols and other phytochemicals (such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, radishes, tomatoes, red peppers, carrots, etc.). Many owners like to feed pets fruits, but you should remember that the sweet taste comes from simple carbohydrates, so fruits should be somewhat limited.

Most pet owners find that their animals do well with no starches added to the diet, but if your pet seems to lose energy, consult a veterinarian and find a low percentage to add to the diet. Carbohydrates come from grains like wheat, oats, barley, rice and corn. These can be added in the form of cooked oatmeal, barley, pasta, brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, etc.

The easiest way to ensure that the pet is getting the balance required is to blend all of the above ingredients in a food processor, so that a picky dog or cat doesn't throw out a vegetable that he or she dislikes! Many people make a large batch of food, and then freeze meal size portions so that it is fresh when thawed and fed to the pet. Animals eating home-prepared diets should always receive a multivitamin mineral supplement, as well as bone meal - be sure to consult your veterinarian for help with these additives.

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Week 2

Treatment Day 9March 9, 1999. We stopped the Vitamin C (3,000 mg) daily supplement. The chief immunologist's office at Sloan-Kettering recommends that their melanoma patients not take Vitamin C. (see < http://westbyserver.westby.mwt.net/~ctustis/melfaq.html>) They said this in an unpublished report based on findings in their lab that Vitamin C accelerates melanoma. Vitamin C provides a channel for melanin and for the amino acid, tyrosine. Tyrosine is under suspicion as a "bad guy" in melanoma. Other major cancer centers, including JWCI, see no problem with Vitamin C. We also stopped the Echinacea/Golden Seal (900-mg) because it should not be given for extended periods of time. Echinacea is an immune system booster which increases the production of white cells and antibodies that fight bacteria and disease, but you do not want to continuously boost these immune responses because this will over-stress the immune system. Natasha had been taking this supplement for several months - much too long. After keeping Natasha off the supplement for 6-8 weeks we can then add it back to her therapy if needed.

Treatment Day 10Natasha's breast tumors have lost the definition and shape that they had 10 days ago. The tumors are approximately 30% smaller now and feel much softer (like fat tissue). The 'Kiwi' shaped/sized growth has completely collapsed into the underlying fatting tumor growth now. Where there were 2 large elongated fatty growths under the left and right breast lines now there are 4 smaller elongated fatty deposits. In our (lay person's) opinion it appears as if this change may be due to the erosion or absorption of tumor mass. If anyone out there has more information on this phenomena please reply to the newsletter. We are obviously new at treating breast cancer and would appreciate any and all help and guidance. Unfortunately Natasha's melanoma tumor has increased in size 3-fold over the same period and now extends approximately 3/4 of an inch under the skin. This tumor does not appear to be attached to the thigh muscle underneath (Thank the Lord for that miracle). Every article we were able to find on metastic melanoma (if that is the kind of skin cancer Natasha has) indicates that attachment to muscle tissue would be a serious progression of the disease and indicate a further spread of disease was underway. I credit the Flax Oil treatments with at least preventing the spread of the melanoma. We have clipped and gently shaved the area to make it more accessible for application of oils and/or ointments. We have been applying Flax Oil and Aloe Vera Gel 5-6 times daily, unfortunately Natasha and Niki are constantly licking it off despite our best attempts to add unsavory herbs - etc. to try to discourage this habit. I am thinking of going to the store to purchase Alum to add a bitter taste to the mixture and thus minimize licking. 

Treatment Day 11: After much Internet searching and a lot of networking (emailing) with various melanoma cancer survivors we have come across a fairly new and highly effective natural treatment for metastic melanoma. It involves the use of White Birch Bark, Birch Bark Extract, Slippery Elm and DMSO. There is an active ingredient called Betulinic Acid in White Birch Bark that has consistently killed melanoma cells in preliminary trials at several prestigious medical schools over the last two years (see <http://www.uic.edu/depts/ovcr/ipo/cn43.htm>). After a great deal of fruitless searching locally at health food stores we finally located a local shop Deep Woods Apothecary in Arlington that can supply the necessary raw materials to make a poultice to apply to the skin tumor (see <http://www.mpip.org/bb/messages/8256.html>). There is a supplier on the Internet, Viable Herbal Solutions, which does sell a 'Black Salve' with Betulinic Acid in it which they name HerbVeil 8 - Escharotic Salve (see <http://www.viable-herbal.com/prod04a.htm>). The supplier wants $49 for a 1/2-oz glass vial of the product - which is too rich for our blood. Instead we have elected to make a poultice ourselves for approximately $25 and should have several more applications per $'s spent than the refined product sold by Viable Herbal Solutions. I have added several articles below, which outline the treatments and usage of Betulinic Acid in treating melanoma for those of you who are interested. We have added 1 oz of Wheatgrass juice, 2 tsp. of Essiac Tea powder, 1 tsp. of GreenZone powder (spirulina / amaranth flour / soy lecithin powder / Wheatgrass / barley grass / alfalfa / lemon juice powder / and many herbs), and 1 tsp. of ground Red Clover to Natasha's daily diet. We are also using a 'Black Ointment' with Chaparral, Lobelia, Comfrey, Plantain Root, Red Clover, Mullein, Chickweed, and Myrrh as a topical on the skin cancer tumor. We want to thank everyone that has been responding to the newsletter with new information on treatments, herbal remedies and supplements to assist us in our fight to save Natasha from these terrible diseases. Natasha continues to maintain her overall good health and better energy levels. If we could just get our 4 1/2 month old puppy 'Niki' to quit bugging the poor old girl to play 100 times daily we would have it made in the shade. We are continuing with the Cancer diet, daily supplements (except as revised above), and 3 doses daily of Flax Oil mixture per our last newsletter. 

Special Thanks to Cliff Beckwith, Martha Hoff, Sue Norris, Judy Merin, Dr. Juergen Buche, N.D., and Mindy at Deep Woods Apothecary for their contributions, suggestions and support, without which we wouldn't have made it through all these trials and tribulations. We still have a long way to go, but with the Lord's blessings and family and friends helping and praying I have faith that we can succeed and endure through it all. 

Our hearts and prayers go out to the friend of Teresa Weicht, and her family who recently learned of her diagnosis with stage IV breast cancer. We forwarded all the information we had to Teresa for her friend hoping that this information would help her friend and her family through this difficult time. Teresa has informed us that her friend has decided against chemotherapy or surgery and will only use natural treatments to fight the disease.

Our hearts and prayers also go out to the family and friends of 'Jeff' in San Antonio Texas (a close friend of my parents) who lost his battle with bone cancer yesterday. Jeff was an outstanding man and a fine Christian Brother and will be greatly missed. We had also forwarded all our information on hand regarding natural treatments for cancer to Jeff, but he decided to leave his treatment up to his doctors only. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Week 2 ***

Special Birch Bark Poultice Recipe:

This poultice is made with DMSO, Slippery Elm, White Birch Bark and White Birch Bark Oil that contains the active anti-cancer compound Betulinic Acid. White Birch Bark contains 20% Betulin. 

Puree the following dry ingredients in a blender: 2 parts Birch Bark, 2 parts Whole Wheat Flour, 1 part Slippery Elm. 

To this mixture add enough water to moisten. 

Mix over medium heat on the stove until creamy. 

Add 1 drop (at most) of Birch Bark Oil (which should NEVER be taken internally). 

Add 2 teaspoons DMSO. 

Mix thoroughly and remove from heat to cool. 

Clean the affected areas of skin gently but completely. 

Apply the poultice and wrap with clean gauze then tape in place and leave overnight. 

DMSO is a solvent that takes anything it touches down to the bone so DO NOT PUT THIS MIXTURE ON DELICATE SKIN AREAS OR AROUND EYES, MUCOUS MEMBRANES OR ANY BODY CAVITIES! 

For a daily herbal tea take 1 oz. of birch bark, add three cups water to boil, let sit overnight then drink.

Special Notes regarding Natural Treatments for Melanoma:

This article addresses treatment of melanoma with natural betulinic acid (see <http://www.uic.edu/depts/ovcr/ipo/cn43.htm>). The present invention is directed to a method and composition for inhibiting tumor growth. Preparing an extract from the stem bark of Ziziphus mauritiana (African tree - Rhamnaceae) or white birch tree bark to mediate a selective cytotoxic profile isolates the active compound (betulinic acid) against human melanoma. An important aspect of the present invention is to provide a method and composition for inhibiting tumor growth and, particularly, for inhibiting the growth of melanoma using a natural product-derived compound. An aspect of the present invention is to provide a treatment method using betulinic acid to prevent the growth or spread of cancerous cells. The betulinic acid is applied in a topical preparation. Another aspect of the present invention is to overcome the problem of high mammalian toxicity associated with synthetic anticancer agents by using a natural product-derived compound and to overcome the problem of insufficient availability associated with synthetic anticancer agents by utilizing the readily available natural betulinic acid. Related links for this compound can be found at the Betulinic Acid Link Pages (see <http://www.gis.net/~dwalzer/relinks.html>).

Viable Herbal Solutions - HerbVeil 8 Escharotic Topical Salve often referred to as "black salve" (see <http://www.viable-herbal.com/prod04a.htm>).

HerbVeil 8 - Escharotic Salve - is an alternative medicine botanical formulation having remarkable anti-tumor properties when used as directed. The topical ointment, when applied externally to dermal or epidermal lesions, necroses (kills) the aberrant tissue and creates an "eschar" on the skin shortly after application. The body's natural rejuvenation system expels the resultant "scab", leaving a cavitated "pit" area where the lesion had existed. And over a period of several weeks (perhaps months for severe cases), the body continues to heal the cavitated area, usually leaving a slight depigmentation of the skin. No residual cells from the original neoplasm will remain, and there will be no "recurrence" of the ailment in the area of treatment. HerbVeil 8 has been used in the successful removal of carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and melanoma.

PURPOSE OF FORMULATION: Topical lotion belonging to a class of compounds known as "escharotics" for effective treatment of all varieties of skin conditions. 

OTHER APPLICATIONS: All external skin conditions. 

FORM: Salve (1/2 oz. glass vials) 

HERBAL INGREDIENTS: Standardized extracts of Chaparral (Larrea tridentata), Zinc ChlorideCayenne (Capsicum frutescens), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Red Clover (Trifolium pratence), Birch Bark (Betula alba), DMSO (dimethyl suloxide), Burdock Root (Arctium lappa), and Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus). 

RECOMMENDED USAGE: Intended for a single, self-application by using a standard household cotton swab. The salve should be applied directly to the lesion, or neoplastic tissue, in a thin coating, almost lightly 'caked', with a slight overlap onto the surrounding healthy tissue. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly both before, and after, applying HerbVeil 8. Properly discard the cotton swab after use. 

CONTRAINDICATIONS: None. In some cases, there may be a 'burning sensation' associated with initial use of the product, and this is acceptable. Normal over-the-counter (OTC) products such as Viable Herbal Solutions' Herbagessic - A Formula for Pain, or other non-prescription pain killers, can be used to minimize this affect. This product is not intended for oral consumption. Apply to the lips, if necessary, but not directly into the mouth. Never apply the product near mucous membranes. HerbVeil 8 is not intended for use on skin-burned tissue, nor open wounds that are caused by puncture or penetration by an intruding object - that is, a cause other than the invasiveness of the neoplasm itself. 

Studies on Aloe Vera Gel and the amino acid S allyl cysteine, or SAC, from garlic (see <http://www.commonwealhealth.org/herbs.html>) also shows promise in treating malignant melanoma. So we have continued Natasha's Garlic Extract supplements and added topical applications of Aloe Vera Gel and Flax Oil (which we were already doing, but with little success against the tumors growth rate).

Viable Herbal Solutions, P.O. Box 969, Morrisville, PA. 19067-0969, Phone (800) 505-9475, Phone (215) 337-8182

Viable Herbal Solutions understands today's issues regarding better health and well-being, and we offer you the benefit of our personal, technical & professional experience through the various products we provide. This brief overview is designed as an introduction to the well-known benefits of common herbs and plants that are used to produce our HerbVeil 8 Escharotic Salve. 

CHAPARRAL is undoubtedly beneficial for some people with certain types of cancer in certain stages of development, but it is not clear who may benefit, which cancers are most susceptible, or at which stage of cancer development the herb is most effective. It has been repeatedly shown that NDGA (nordihydroguaiaretic acid); the active principle in Chaparral is poisonous to some kinds of cancer cells while not affecting normal cells. The herb's effectiveness against other forms of skin diseases may be attributed to its anti-microbial properties, its ability to increase ascorbic acid levels in the adrenals, or its tonic quality. 

ZINC CHLORIDE, also called "Butter of Zinc", is a compound occasionally used in escharotic skin creams & salves for the treatment of skin cancer and other dermal / epidermal conditions. Zinc chloride assists in the absorption of the herbal nutrients & active ingredients of this formulation through the dermal layer and into the bloodstream. 

CAYENNE is primarily a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process. Cayenne has positive effects on circulation, the heart, the stomach, and all other systems of the body. But it is not usually thought of as a tonic. It is generally considered a carminative (expelling gas from the stomach & intestines) and a stimulant. The stimulant property, however, is so prevalent that increased tonus of nerves & glands is a major end result of its action. It stimulates the vital organs to greater activity levels, and promotes cardiovascular efficiency, while lowering overall blood pressure. Additionally, Cayenne acts directly as a diaphoretic, stimulating excretion of wastes in the sweat. By increasing the circulation of blood to peripheral tissues, Cayenne helps ensure that nutrients (including those obtained from this and other herbal preparations) are effectively delivered to inflamed and infected areas. Cayenne also helps regulate cholesterol and lipid levels. 

BLOODROOT is a small perennial plant, about 6 inches high, found in shaded, rich soils in the northeastern states of the U.S. The finger-thick rootstock contains red juice when fresh; when dried it is yellow inside and brown outside. Bloodroot has been used as a diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, and tonic. Bloodroot has been used historically in numerous topical preparations for the treatment of various skin cancers, and also for sores, warts, eczema, and other dermal & epidermal problems. It has also been used internally in herbal preparations for congestive lung conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. 

RED CLOVER has been used in America for over 100 years to treat and prevent cancer, and also as a sedative for whopping cough. In Europe, Red Clover has been used as a diuretic to treat gout, and also as an expectorant. Because of its high content of several important nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, Red Clover has become a dependable nutritive supplement in all forms of degenerative disease. Antibiotic tests on Red Clover have shown it to possess activity against several bacteria; the most significant of which is the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. 

BIRCH BARK is considered both a bitter and an astringent. A leaf tea made by infusion is said to eliminate gravel and dissolve kidney stones when taken daily for a time. This herb has also been used successfully as a cream, salve, wash or bath additive for the treatment of skin problems, including Melanoma, resulting from the action of the betulinic acid occurring naturally in the bark of the tree. Also, the inner bark contains oil, which is sometimes substituted for wintergreen in various over-the-counter (OTC) skin liniments. 

DMSO (Dimethyl suloxide) is a by-product of wood. DMSO has been reported to relieve pain, diminish swelling, reduce inflammation, encourage healing, and restore normal function. DMSO is typically used for a variety of disorders, including cancer, arthritis, stroke, mental retardation, and various sports injuries. 

BURDOCK ROOT is your all around blood purifier, its action being simple, yet profound. It produces gradual beneficial changes within the body by improving general nutrition and by gradually altering the health of the blood. It is both a diuretic (increases the secretion and flow of urine) and a diaphoretic (induces perspiration). Burdock has also been shown to enhance liver and bile functions. Bacteriostatic principles have been isolated from Burdock root, and it has been found to inhibit tumor growth. Documented effects include treatment of scurvy, venereal eruptions, leprosy, and other cankerous skin conditions. 

IRISH MOSS is used as a stabilizer in such dairy products as ice creams, sherbets, chocolate milk, yogurt and whipped cream. In its raw form, Irish Moss is used as a bulk laxative, which also coats and soothes the entire gastrointestinal tract. In various forms, it alleviates peptic and duodenal ulcers in humans while having no adverse effects on the colon. 

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Weeks 3 & 4

Sorry that we missed Week 3's Newsletter so I am combining Weeks 3 and 4 for this Newsletter. 

Treatment Day 12: March 12, 1999.  I took Natasha back to our vet's office to weigh her and allow him a chance to see how Natasha is doing.  Natasha weighs 50 lbs., which means that she has regained all the weight that she had lost at the onset of the tumor growths.  Dr. Dittrich made several comments that I would like to pass along to everyone.  Regarding a cancer diet - Hill's does make "Canine n/d" formula food which is their recommended prescription cancer diet food for dogs which should be available through most vets.  I stand corrected after stating that "no one I was aware of produced a cancer diet formula".  I prefer not to use this formula food since it contains carbohydrates from rice (Soluble carbohydrates comprise less than 22% of the food on a dry matter basis). I would rather leave these carbos out of Natasha's diet, using cabbage and broccoli  instead, after all the information that I have read regarding natural cancer treatment in pets.  Dr. Dittrich did agree that Natasha's tumors do indeed appear to be shrinking, but on this point he wanted it noted that since no biopsy was performed on any of the tumors we cannot state that her tumors are malignant regardless of appearance, growth pattern, location, etc.   Everything that we have come across regarding breast cancer and skin cancer in dogs still reinforces my belief that these tumors are malignant cancer and not simple benign growths.  Whether the tumors are malignant or benign they do appear to be responding to the Flax Oil / diet / supplement treatments.  Micha, Natasha's former mate, was subject to 'fat tumors' as I myself also have been, but their growth patterns and general appearance is different than the tumors present in Natasha.  The skin tumor also had a very mottled appearance on the surface of the skin before spreading deeper below the skin - which follows the examples of melanoma that I had found at the National Cancer Institutes and educational web sites.  At this time Natasha's tumors have lost (by my calculations) about 35 % of their previous mass - with the exception of the skin tumor which appears to have stabilized its growth at about 1 1/2 - 2 inches in diameter. 

Treatment Day 15: The Birch Bark we ordered came in at Deep Woods Apothecary so we have discontinued the use of the prepared 'black salve' on the skin tumor in favor of Birch Bark / DMSO poultices.  Natasha's breast tumors appear to have lost approximately 40 - 45 % of their original mass and continue to break up.  This is very exciting!  Natasha's energy level continues to improve and she takes every opportunity to show up Niki.  We have run out of Pycnogenol and Melatonin and at this time we cannot afford to continue with these supplements.  I plan to discuss this further with the family. Hopefully there is something we can do to restore these supplements to Natasha's regimen.  I truly believe that the Pycnogenol, at least, is very important to Natasha's treatment and would really like to continue this supplement if we can find the funds somehow.

Treatment Day 17After just 48 hours the Birch Bark / DMSO poultices have apparently caused a 25 % reduction in the diameter of Natasha's skin tumor (below the skin).  The surface of the tumor has lost much of the mottled appearance that it had and is much more 'pink' like normal skin tissue.  This gives us hope now that there is some type of treatment that appears to be having an affect on the skin tumor growth. 

Treatment Day 21:We took Natasha and Niki to the farm south of town for a day out in the country.  Natasha was much more vocal and active than the 5-month-old puppy was which astounded everyone that was along.  Her love of life and family is very strong and on days like today that is very evident to all concerned.  She is the light of our lives and we are so very grateful to everyone that helped to make this day possible - THANK YOU.  Most of Natasha's breast tumors appear to have lost at least 50 % of their original mass and now are broken into at least 6 - 7 small groups of fatty appearing growths along both lines of nipples.  Chris and I thoroughly examined Natasha for any spread of growths to other areas of her body but have found no evidence of any other growths outside of her breast areas or left thigh as previously noted in the other newsletters.  There is one growth in the lower breast area that has started to concern me - it is located under her left breast line approximately 2 inches above her genitals.  This growth is fairly oval in appearance and about 1 1/2 inches in length and somewhat detached from the other fatty growths.  I have not really noticed this growth outside of the other tumors but cannot believe that it has always been present with the other tumors.  We continue to give Natasha 3 doses of the Flax Oil / Cottage Cheese mixture per day.  I am considering increasing this to four doses per day - does anyone have any feedback regarding giving too much Flax Oil to a cancer patient?

Treatment Day 22: The skin tumor continues to loose the mottled appearance in favor of more normal 'pinkish' skin coloring.  The skin tumor has not lost any more mass.  The new breast tumor above Natasha's groin indeed appears to be growing and now I am getting worried if this is an indication of a turn for the worst in her disease - no other tumors are growing.  I really would like feedback on Flax Oil dosage adjustment vs. tumor growth patterns if anyone has any information.  I may be worrying about nothing.  We will continue to keep everyone posted.  It does appear that Natasha's treatment is settling in for the long haul. 

A couple has recently written to me regarding natural treatments for their 6 year old Rottweiler named 'Levi' who has been diagnosed as having advanced lymphoma.  She has several very large tumors in her neck and chest.  I have not researched lymphatic cancer. We would appreciate any feedback that anyone has on treatments for this form of cancer as opposed to the treatments for breast cancer and skin cancer.  If any human lymphoma survivors are out there please respond as well since treatments for our canine family members usually is very similar to treatments for humans - especially in natural treatments.

I'm sorry this week's Newsletter was so short in new Internet Links and Treatment Information but after many more hours of Internet searches I have not come across anything new.  If anyone has some new treatment information please pass it along to us and we will make every attempt to relay it to the interested parties. 

The Lord bless and keep you all until next time,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Weeks 3 & 4 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Weeks 4 & 5

Treatment Day 24March 24, 1999. Natasha's tumors appear to have stopped shrinking. The one tumor in the lower breast area, under the left breast line and approximately 2 inches above her genitals has continued to grow slowly.  The growth, oval in appearance, is now about 1-3/4 inches in length and detached from the other fatty growths.  We have agonized over this resurgence for several days now. After further emails with respected friends we have decided, as of today, to increase the Flax Oil mixture doses from 3 per day to 4 daily doses. We have also received several emails urging us to attempt using coffee enemas to help purge Natasha's system of dead cancer cells and toxins that may have built up in her system (by cleansing the liver). We are not quite sure how to accomplish this feat without a great deal of mess and significant stress on our old girl. I found the following site which outlines the procedure for a coffee enema: http://www.lowfat4life.com/articles/enemas.html#anchor154323 (more complicated than the method I use, but thorough).

Treatment Day 25: Natasha has had no problem accepting the additional dose of Flax Oil mixture. Several individuals have voiced opinions that most animals will not eat more of a supplement than they need. I found no scientific information to back this up but it appears to hold some truth in Natasha's case. Natasha craved the Flax Oil in the beginning - licking excess oil off spoons and bottle caps that were at hand during mixing but no more. Natasha also frequently ate grass from the backyard but stopped this practice after we added the Wheatgrass Juice (Dr. Ann Wigmore) and Essiac Tea to her diet. By the way a good web site for unconventional herbal therapies is http://aorta.library.mun.ca/bc/uct/herbal.htm. Received a new email from Cliff Beckwith at the Flax Oil web site today with information that I would like to pass along to everyone. Cliff wrote, "Bruce Barlean has done a lot of research and recent writings related to pets. I have just read it for the first time. I would suggest that you go to their web site and click on their pet studies. The web address is http://www.barleans.com/guide.html". Another great web site, non-commercial, with a great deal of information (including Flax Oil), is "Gateway to Health" from Lillian and Dusan Stojkovic at http://www.geocities.com/~dusan_s/index.html.

Treatment Day 26: All of Natasha's tumors have again seen some fairly significant loss of mass! I am starting to wonder if this yo-yo affect is normal? From peak size the growths have lost 60% - 70% of their mass. Of the breast tumors we can now only locate four, 2 on each breast line. Of these tumors the 2 nearest the top of the abdomen are approximately 4" long x 3/4" wide and the two closest to the genitalia are now both approximately 2" long x 1" wide (oval shaped). The skin tumor is 1" long x 3/4" wide x 1/2" deep on the inside left thigh. The surface of the skin tumor is now much pinker than purple/white mottled. The Birch Bark Poultice has become quite a chore, which the patient would prefer we curtail. Natasha smells of DMSO on her breath now and we are becoming concerned that there may be a buildup of the chemical in her system from the poultices. We will stop applying the poultices for the next several days until this problem goes away or can be solved. Energy level is still very high and appetite if extremely good. The need to have constant attention and petting is at an all time high! For our old reliable girl the need for constant attention used to be very typical. 

Treatment Day 27: After concerns regarding a buildup of toxins, we took Natasha to the farm in Mansfield and with a lot of help managed to administer 2 coffee enemas to her. The patient was extremely dissatisfied with the whole family (since those not participating in the procedure likewise did not render aid to a pup in distress). As only the Siberian Husky owners on the mailing list will know, Huskies can sing or in this case howl their heads off. If a stranger heard this racket without knowing what was going on they would assume you were killing your dog. In the past people have assumed we were beating our Huskies to death when all we were doing was refusing to give them a treat or take them on a trip. Niki stood watch - from a safe distance, with no desire to come anywhere close for fear of a similar fate. After the treatments we washed Natasha off, cleaned her up and made certain she drank extra water. There were no ill effects that we could tell from the enemas and after it all Natasha was certainly one frisky Husky. This is NOT something I would care to do on a regular basis! Amazingly within 3 hours of administering the enemas Natasha no longer had DMSO breath. As always the farm was invigorating for all and by the time we came home there were 2 pooped out pups sound asleep in the back of the truck cab. 

Treatment Day 29: The tumor masses continue to shrink though at a slower rate. 

Treatment Day 31: The patient is still doing great. It has been one month since we started the Flax Oil treatments and I must say that when this all began we had no idea the progress that could be made in such a short time. Natasha continues to thrive on a daily basis. The only real problem is with her gait. Occasionally falling down or tripping when attempting tight maneuvers - I believe this is most likely stiffness due to some arthritis in the joints. Appetite is still good, attitude is great, and eyes are clear and bright. Who could ask for more. 

Treatment Day 33: Natasha's tumors appear to have stopped shrinking again. The tumors have lost 75% of their original mass. We had quite a scare today; Natasha refused to eat the Flax Oil mixture for the first time. In desperation we decided to simply mix 1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with the 1 tbs. Flax Oil instead of blending this all together along with the added buttermilk. Natasha ate the simple mixture. We don't know if she now dislikes buttermilk or simply dislikes the texture of the concoction when it has been blended. For now we will stick with the simple mixture. 

Jeffrey & Ann Williams < JCW8422@aol.com> are still having little success treating their 6 year old Rottweiler, 'Levi', with advanced lymphatic cancer.  The Flax Oil treatments have greatly increased Levi's energy levels and assisted her in day-to-day activities. Levi is taking 5 doses of Flax Oil mixture daily. Unfortunately Levi's tumors are still growing and Jeffrey and Ann are concerned that the largest of these tumors in Levi's neck may soon press on her throat & interfere with her ability to eat, drink and breath normally. Jeffrey and Ann would appreciate any feedback that anyone has on treatments for this form of cancer.  If someone out there has information regarding treatment for human or canine lymphoma (or knows someone who does) please contact the Williams by clicking on the link above. For those of who that did respond to this request in the last Newsletter we send our gratitude - Thank you for all your help.

The Lord bless and keep you all until next time,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Weeks 4 & 5 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Weeks 6 & 7

Treatment Day 36April 5, 1999. Natasha's condition is unchanged and we are continuing her increased modified Flax Oil mixture doses at 4 per day. During the last few days Natasha appears to be somewhat lethargic and "run-down". After several emails back and forth to some of our networked friends, we have come to the conclusion that she is possibly dehydrated from the constant doses with sulfurized proteins. We have added several cups per day of low-fat milk to her diet. Natasha is drinking plenty of water, but a friend on Flax Oil doses informed us that she likewise became run down and dehydrated even while drinking lots of water - and for her only milk seemed to help. 

Treatment Day 41: The low-fat milk appears to have taken care of the dehydration problem. Natasha certainly had no further problems with lethargy today. We did as is our want on a Saturday and spent the day out at the farm taking down and then putting up a new pole barn for livestock and storage. The puppy dogs had a swell time playing with the kids and just generally taking in the smells and sites. The dogs have started shedding their thick winter coats now so shortly we will have to curry out all the loose fur and bathe them - but not today. Kodiac (Chris' Siberian Husky) got out of the fenced yard in town early this evening so we are heading back in to round up this 100-lb. varmint. 

Treatment Day 42: All the wayward animals are corralled again. Natasha has shown no significant changes in tumor size so we are adjusting her Flax dosages back down to just 3 per day. We were back out at the farm today with the pups. We had lots of mesquite trees to fell and burn. Natasha and Niki took this all in stride as long as they could roam around Micha's Grove (where we buried our beloved pet under a stand of trees at the farm). This place seems very special to all our dogs that were close to Micha. We don't know how they remember where this spot is, but needless to say all our Siberians love to come to this stand of trees and splash their paws in Micha's old water bowl that we keep out here for the dogs. Micha would always splash his paws in the water bowl when he was mad or feeling neglected - but he was the only dog to pick up this bad trait. After Micha passed away, on their first trip to the gravesite, Natasha and Kodiac both did the splash the paw routine they're first day in Micha's Grove - even though they had never exhibited the trait before. To say that we were stunned would have been an understatement. Most of our Siberians have at one time or another manifested behavioral traits that were unique to Micha when they are in the Grove, and just as quickly forget them when we leave. To those people who believe that animals have no spirits I'd like to say "explain this one". They may have no souls but their spirits soar. We had a narrow escape today. Chris had just cut down a mesquite tree with the chain saw and I was about to haul it off to the pile we were stacking to burn. Suddenly Chris was very excited, yelling at me to keep my distance. I was stopped just 2 1/2 feet from the felled tree branches and was staring straight into the eyes of a copper head snake that was hissing at me while wrapped around one of the branches. This snake was 5 feet long! Normally we would leave snakes alone out in the country - they eat mice and rats, etc. With children and dogs present we decided to take no chances and quickly dispatched the problem. The huskies just sat through all this like it was a common place occurrence. At the end of a long day the pups and kiddies were loaded up and we all had a quiet ride home

Treatment Day 47: Measured Natasha's tumors this evening and imagine our surprise - there are now only 3 noticeable breast tumors and the ever present skin tumor on the inside left thigh. The skin cancer now is 1" (long) x 3/4" (wide) x 1/4" (deep) - a significant decrease in size! The purple color in the skin is almost completely gone. Natasha had so hated the Birch Bark Poultice that we stopped applying them more than a week ago. Apparently either the poultices had already done their job or the Flax Oil treatments are finally working on it. The left breast line now has only one remaining growth - approximately 3" (long) x 3/4" (thick). The right breast line still has 2 growths - a twin to the one on the left side, which likewise is approximately 3" (long) x 3/4" (thick). These two tumors were 4" long three weeks ago! The remaining growth on the right breast line is the one closest to the genitalia and now is approximately 3/4" (long) x 1/2" (wide) x 1/4" (deep) and no longer oval in shape. This growth is less than 1/2 the size it was on Treatment Day 26! The companion tumor on the left breast line has all but disappeared! This is fantastic news and warrants a celebration. We were all but resigned to the idea that the tumors, while in check, would never go away. We will be out at the farm again this weekend and I think we will plan a special campfire dinner for everyone to celebrate. Several of you are aware that I (Ron) have been searching for a new job contract in my computer field for the last few weeks. This has made family planning difficult especially with the constant care needed for our sick puppy dog. After a lot of prayer and long hours emailing, and posting resumes the Lord answered our prayers. I have a new contract with a great firm in Fort Worth Texas. We are truly blessed since this position will again allow us to be able to maximize Natasha's treatment without fear of cutting into any essential family budget plans. 

Once again we have to gives thanks to all our good friends out there, without whom we would not have been able to reach this point, a well deserved resting point in our Natasha's life. Thank you all for your constant support, advice, emails, and prayers!

At this time I'd like to pass along some wonderful news regarding Kirk Heckel and his dog "Shilo". On May 18, 1999 Shilo was diagnosed with Myelogenous Leukemia with suppression of red blood cells and platelet production. The University of Minnesota in St. Paul (according to Kirk, one of the best veterinary medicine hospitals in the country) did a bone marrow on Shilo who is only 3 1/2 years old and a CBC and found a high volume of cancer cells in Shilo's blood. Kirk said that all the staff could offer was to place Shilo on Predizone to buy him a little time. While extremely depressed and sad, Kirk began searching the Internet and with the Lord's help he found Cliff Beckwith's Flax Oil web site and read the testimonials. The next day Kirk started Shilo on the Flax Oil mixture at 3 doses per day and almost immediately began seeing results. Four days later Kirk took Shilo back to the doctors and they did a CBC blood work up and were amazed because Shilo's white count was now normal (after having almost no white blood cells at all showing on the first tests). Shilo's platelets were clotting normally and he was producing red blood cells at a good rate. All this baffled the veterinarians. Tuesday, April 13, Shilo had another blood test at the vet's office and they could not find any cancer cells at all! This is fantastic news and I'm sure everyone will be happy for Kirk and Shilo. 

Also, once more I'd like to remind everyone of Jeffrey & Ann Williams and their pet Rottweiler 'Levi', with advanced lymphatic cancer.  Jeffrey and Ann still need all the feedback and encouragement that they can get in treating Levi for this deadly form of cancer.  Anyone out there with information regarding treatment for human or canine lymphoma please contact the Williams by clicking on the link above. Kirk you might want to talk with Jeff and Ann about "Genistein". And Kathy & Bekka you might also want to share your experiences with Nicodemus (your kitten) and your treatments using "SeaSilver" that led to the clearing of Nicodemus' throat tumors. For those of who that did respond to this request in the previous Newsletters we send our gratitude - Thank you for all your help.

The Lord bless and keep you all until next time,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Weeks 6 & 7 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Week 8

Treatment Day 49: April 18, 1999. We have had another fantastic weekend at the farm in Mansfield.  Natasha and Niki unfortunately were not much help in erecting a new pole barn and lean-to.  Both, however, constantly 'sang' their raucous Siberian Husky songs to keep everyone on their toes and eager to finish the job right the first time.  Natasha is once more able to put Niki (the pup) in his place if he shows to much enthusiasm for her tastes.   Typical Siberian female - never lets the boys have any fun!  Natasha showed no indication of lethargy or depression anymore and was in great spirits overall as well as very active physically. 

Treatment Day 50Natasha's condition is unchanged since Treatment Day 47.  The tumors have once again stabilized and are no longer shrinking.  After some discussion we have decided to decrease Natasha's dosage of the modified Flax Oil mixture back down to 3 doses per day. We will keep up this dosage level for the next week to see if the tumor's growth rate is affected. If there is no decrease in tumor size after one week we will restore the dosage level to 4 daily doses. 

Treatment Day 54: The tumors show no indication of either a further decrease in tumor mass nor any increases.   Natasha and Niki continue to stay in high spirits especially now that their wadding pools in the backyard have been refilled for the hot Texas summer.  Natasha loves to swim and wade in her pool and has eagerly returned to staying outdoors with Niki when no one is home.  In the past (before cancer) Natasha loved being outside so much that you could only get her to come indoors for dinner or bedtime.  After the onset of cancer Natasha gradually became a home body, refusing to go outdoors except to use the privy or for an occasional territorial survey.  We are excited to see the old girl returning to her old familiar routines and take this as a sign that there are still other types of good changes taking place in her body and mind even though the tumor masses are not disappearing completely at this time. 

Because of the web site we have received several emails from people who are currently fighting their own battles with cancer.  Several people have had some concerns about possible interactions between chemotherapy and flax oil consumption.  I have contacted Cliff Beckwith regarding this and would like to include some exerts from the email response Cliff sent in an attempt to clear up any questions some of you may have on this subject:

(Please note that '...' indicates paraphrasing to prevent passing along personal or non-relative information.)

"Ron, ... I was very excited about not having to die right away, but a lot of folks are very skeptical. We want to trust doctors to have our best interest at heart and truly attempt to get us well as a first priority. So, when the oncologist says "jump" we say "how high?" because he is an angel in human form and our existence depends on his knowledge and experience. Some people used the flax oil and got well. Others used it but stayed with chemo also and they died.  If a person were in the latter category, there were those who could say, "Look at uncle Joe. He used flaxseed oil and he died. Flaxseed oil really isn't much good." They didn't mention that uncle Joe had been letting the oncologist poison his system under the illusion that his life was being extended. [Maybe it was, but there is evidence that it wasn't.] We hated to see people die of chemo and then have someone use that as evidence that the Flax oil wasn't effective. 

Being totally honest, we have learned recently that the flax oil is effective even though the patient stays on chemo. They may not get well, but they will do considerably better than would have been the case without the oil. There is no conflict with anything else that is being used. ... there is an account of a lady who was given no hope except that there would be a slight chance with a stem cell transplant. She used six tablespoons of flax oil a day along with the chemo and the Omega 3 eliminated the cancer in spite of the chemo. Of course, the oncologist guaranteed the cancer would return. He is "fighting it with a drug that will boost the immune system". That can't hurt her so she is going along with that and staying with the flax. ...  I have heard that there is a study nearing completion at the Cleveland Clinic that will condemn chemo completely. ...   friends should get Al Carter's book, "The Cancer Answer" and read it and then make up their minds. It is not at most bookstores. The AMA condemns it as controversial. It is. People follow it and get well.  It can be ordered at 1-888-464-5867 from his business in Orem, Utah. They have a web site athttp://www.healthbounce.com. They also have an excellent video on cancer entitled, "The Immune System." 

I hope this clears things up a little. ...

Our best to you. Cliff & Mary Anna Beckwith"

From these statements I believe that we can all safely conclude that there is no problem with taking flax oil during chemotherapy.  However there are certainly risks involved in chemotherapy itself.  Weigh your choices and then make the decision that you and your family are most comfortable with and pray a lot about it as well.  That is the best that any of us can hope for.   God give us strength and guide our hands, thoughts and hearts.

Several of you have also asked where we buy our Flax Oil.  We do not want to endorse any particular distributor's product over that of any other.  However with that said our last purchase was from Nature's Distributors whose web site is: http://www.naturesdistributors.com/price.htm.   If you call them at 800-624-7114, ask if they are running the special on 2 - 12 oz. bottles of Flaxseed Oil with Lignans for $13.36.  That was the best price around that we could find a few weeks ago.  There are several other good distributors, and you can get their information from Cliff Beckwith's Flax Oil web site

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Week 8 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 3

Since Natasha's disease has stabilized we are converting the Cancer Fight Newsletter to a monthly format with updates by week.  As time permits we will post additional mail and web pages from individuals who are also fighting their way through this terrible ordeal with cancer.  If you have a compelling story regarding your pet and how you are fighting or have fought this deadly disease please contact the web master Ron Conley to have you story posted on  Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter web site.

Week 9: April 26, 1999. The tumor masses have more and more begun to lose their customary tumor-like shape.  The breast tumors on the left and right breast lines have almost completely merged into what appears to be just an ordinary elongated layer of fat under the breasts.  The skin tumor has likewise lost much of it's definition.  We had shaved the hair around the skin tumor site to allow for ease in apply poultices.  Since we have completely stopped apply poultices the fur has started growing back and the skin discoloration has continued to diminish.  We took the pups to the farm on Saturday, May 2, and as has been the case lately, Natasha was very active, alert and playful.  Natasha does appear to have gained weight - but since we have not taken her by our vet recently we have not been able to verify this. 

Week 10:May 3, 1999.  Natasha's condition is unchanged since last week.  We've decided to drop her Flax Oil dosages back down to 3 doses per day.  After maintaining this dosage level for one week we will evaluate her condition again to determine if there has been any significant changes.  Natasha continues to be alert and active (if not more active). 

Week 11: May 10, 1999.  The tumor masses have continued to lose their shape and have now completely flattened into two long layers of far along the breast lines.  We've decided to drop Natasha's Flax Oil dosages down to 2 doses per day.  Again after maintaining this dosage level for one week we will evaluate her condition again to determine if there has been any significant changes.   We took another trip to the farm and as usual Natasha and Niki were extremely active and playful 

Week 12:May 17, 1999.  No further changes in weight, demeanor, or tumor mass have been noted.  If it is possible Natasha is even more active and energetic than she was last week.  Natasha appears more like she was 3 years ago than 3 months ago.  We are very excited about these results and feel that the Flax Oil and diet modifications and the main contributor to Natasha's continued good health.

We'd like to welcome Michele and David Tarlo and their 9-1/2 yr. old cocker spaniel, Jesse.  Jesse was recently diagnosed with Spindle-Cell Fibrosarcoma in one of his legs and has a heart murmur.  Surgery removed most though not all of the tumor mass before it appears to have spread and Michele said that they are looking into at home treatments (like Flax Oil) and diet modification for Jesse.  Michele herself is a Hodgkin's Disease / Lymphoma survivor which she was diagnosed with 7 years ago at the age of 22.  Michele is in good health now.  Michele, David and Jesse, our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Let's take a moment to discuss the approach that we have taken regarding cancer treatments and diet.  We must stress that before starting any at home therapy you should take your pet to a qualified veterinary doctor to have a complete medical evaluation of your pet's condition.  Listen to you veterinarian and then talk with your family and decide on a course of action.  Frequently by the time cancer is noticed (especially in older pets) the customary cancer treatments and/or surgery no longer offer hope of a complete cure.  Likewise is many cases the affect of cancer surgery or treatment would be extremely hard on  quality of life for your pet.   This does not mean you should rule out surgery or chemotherapy - but rather weigh these choices carefully before making you decision.  Ultimately you and your family must live with the choices you make for your pet.  Be well informed before making up your mind.  Several individuals have emailed us regarding cancer treatment web sites that promote or directly sell products for at home cancer treatments or diets.  With few exceptions we try to avoid posting any information that might promote one particular company or person who is selling a product or treatment on a for-profit basis.  Yes, we have remarked on some Flax Oil distributors and suppliers of some hard to find treatments from time to time.  In each of these cases Flax Oil or the treatment ingredients outlined were available from other local sources (health food stores, or supply houses).  If you are interested in a specific product you should certainly price shop first before buying.  We must stay open minded regarding any possible new treatments for this disease but would prefer not to be involved in profit making endeavors or corporations. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 3 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 4

Regarding Levi - we heard from Jeffrey & Ann Williams on May 24, 1999 and wanted to simply post their email so everyone can know what has occurred:

Ron, I'm sorry to say that we had to put Levi down about two weeks ago. She responded pretty well when I put her on the cancer diet you recommended and kept up all the flaxseed oil and vitamins, and we think we probably bought her a couple of extra weeks of life with pretty good quality, but our girl just couldn't fight the cancer that had taken over her body. The last two days of her life she wouldn't eat or even drink water, she had to struggle just to stand, and the look in her eye was one that said please help me put an end to this and go out with a little dignity. She was always a proud and dignified dog and we couldn't bear to see her just withering away like this. We had some friends help us dig a grave on our land in the country that we are building a house on, and she will be under a beautiful old 100 year old oak tree in our backyard. It is a very peaceful and quiet place. We all miss her terribly, but we know we did the right thing. We want to thank you for all the help and concern that you and your family have shown, it gave us strength during our fight with this terrible disease. We will always remember Levi though and she will have a place in our hearts.

Keep us posted on Natasha's health, we will pray for her continued well being and if we can do anything for you please let us know. Jeffrey, Ann, Nicki, & Cortney Williams.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Williams family.  It is always difficult to lose a cherished pet, most of us have been through it all before.  Jeffrey and Ann did what most of us would do - everything we can, and they are to be commended.

For better or worse I feel that we need to report honestly what is reported to us regarding all the home treatments outlined in the Newsletter and the results they bring for our friends struggling with this tragic disease.  Since starting the Newsletter we have had quite a few remarkable recoveries - this loss emphasizes the true nature of the struggle with cancer. 

Week 13: May 24, 1999. This has been just miraculous, there are no longer any breast growths that are easily discernable.  A point of note however is that there is now a layer of what appears to be ordinary fat under the skin over most of Natasha's tummy.  I hate to think that our old girl has lost her washboard stomach, but all things considered we are very happy with the results.   Energy levels are through the roof and Niki has been repeatedly informed who the new-old boss is.  We replaced the old central air conditioning system (a necessity in North Texas) and believe me our Huskies were just as excited about this as we were.   Natasha spent much of the weekend on the kitchen tile floor (the coolest spot in the house with the A/C working). 

Week 14:May 31, 1999.  Got a spur under our saddle this week.  Niki has tried several times to assert his role as the lone male Siberian Husky of the house, but the Grand Dame left little doubt who was in charge in the romance department.  This doesn't mean that the personal attention was totally discouraged - at times Natasha was almost inviting  the looking, nosing and play.   Is it possible that Flax Oil treatments are an aphrodisiac to older dogs?   Only time will tell.  Everything else continues as it has. 

Week 15: June 7, 1999.  Natasha continues to gain some weight so we are reducing her Flax Oil dosage to 2 doses per day.  In light of her current great condition I hope this will suffice.  Next week we may consider offering Natasha some regular dog food again instead of the cancer diet meals (chicken/cabbage).  This weekend some of the old mood swings were back.  The old girl appeared a little dejected and down - Niki is getting some special puppy attention and this isn't going over well at all.  She hasn't been eating her meals as she usually does.  More attention and some trips out may resolve these issues.

Week 16:June 14, 1999.  Natasha obviously misses her 3 doses of Flax Oil mixture per day - now we only give her a dose in the morning and one around dinner time.  At bedtime she looks at you and then paces back to the kitchen waiting for her bedtime dose.  We just keep reminding her that there are no more late night treats.  Twice this week she was fed some of Niki's "Nature's Recipe Puppy Food" instead of her cancer diet food.  The puppy food was apparently quite a treat and she ate every bit in her bowl.  The dogs are outside during the day when no one is home and play in the 2 wading pools to keep cool or rest under the back porch for shade.  This summer the temperatures have ranged as high as 99 degrees, and the dogs are tolerating the heat very well.  Niki chewed up one of his steel cable run leads in the backyard!  We will have to find a solution to this problem.  Siberian Husky puppies can be very destructive if they are bored and up until they turn 2 1/2 years old.  We put an old sofa out in the backyard under the eaves of the house where no one can see it.  Niki has almost completely, single handed, destroyed the whole thing.  Natasha watches it all with keen indifference, this kind of puppy activity is just too juvenile for her. 

Week 17:June 21, 1999.  Changed back to cancer diet this week.  Natasha quickly tired of dry puppy food and wanted the fresh cooked chicken and cabbage back.  There's no fooling this old girl when it comes to realizing people food vs. dog food.  The only tumor like mass remaining is where the melanoma was - that growth is about the size of a dime and very fatty in texture and overall appearance.  The mottled skin coloration disappeared weeks ago and all the fur has grown back.  Natasha was on eye drops for some cataract like slight glazing on her eyes, we stopped using the medication a month or so ago and just noticed that her eyes are as clear as ever.  We don't know what to attribute this secondary benefit to, Flax Oil, supplements, diet? 

Week 18:June 28, 1999.  Hung mini blinds this weekend.  The pups were lots of help (or at least they thought they were).   Natasha held down the blind containers so they wouldn't run off (can't image how that was comfortable).  Niki repeatedly took off with screwdrivers, blind parts, and was even found chewing on a 3 foot steel square?! Offered to let the dogs play outside at least a dozen times over the weekend but they decided it was better to celebrate the Fourth of July indoors where it is a cool 74 degrees.  No one will argue with that.

We'd like to welcome many new friends to Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter.   Most everyone is struggling with cancer in a beloved pet.  Our hopes and prayers are with you and yours.  I want to specifically welcome Mary and her Rottweiler, Bear.  Bear has Degenerative Meylopathy (basically like MS in humans) and was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma.  Welcome to Pam in Chicago and her pet Casey.  Casey is 14 and has a cancer growth on his hip which has been removed once and has grown back after 14 months.  A warm welcome for Mary Syslo and her pet which has a growth on the muzzle - obviously difficult to treat.  Welcome also to Bernadette and her Lhaso Apso, Scruffy.  Scruffy has malignant melanoma and cancer growths in the throat (sounds like Levi all over again).  Scruffy had some pretty severe oral bleeding, but this apparently has improved after putting him on supplements, cancer diet and Flax Oil.  Finally lets all give a big Texas Howdy Y'all to Shirley Lipschutz-Robinson, Hollywood, California - SHIRLEY'S WELLNESS CAFE.

To keep the fight real for everyone we've decided to publish the stories of other people struggling with pet cancer.  For better of worse the individuals who have consented to publish their stories through the Newsletter will keep us all up to date on their progress fighting against the monster we call cancer.   The first of these is Jesse's Story , the story of David, Michele & Shawn Tarlo of Gurnee Illinois and their dog Jesse.   In case you need to see the url it is: JessesStory.html .  Visit Jesse's Story and let us know what you think.  By the way this site is not for the faint of heart - it is heavy with graphics and can take 6 minutes to load at 28.8 baud.  The story is told from a child-like perspective, which was requested by a little person, and follows up with Michele's journal entries. This story is on-going and will be updated every few weeks.  If you'd like your story considered as one of our featured ones please drop a line to let us know. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 4 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 5

Important Bulletin:
Regarding whether or not you can take Flax Oil alone without mixing it with anything, the following information is from Cliff Beckwith's Flax Oil web site "Tips on using Flax Oil": http://home.usit.net/~spinner/usage.html :
"Cottage cheese contains sulferated proteins which are essential for the successful metabolism of the Flax Oil. If you cannot tolerate cottage cheese you can use EFA Companion Nutrients available from Nature's Distributors. Some people have reported good results using plain yogurt, though you need to use 3 times the quantity".
Remember to mix well 1/4 cup cottage cheese (or 3/4 cups yogurt) per 1 tablespoon of Flax Oil, this is one dose.  Please excuse us if we gave some of you the wrong information regarding using yogurt.  Please contact Cliff Beckwith at his web site if you have questions regarding how Flax Oil is absorbed by the body - he has much more information on the subject than we do.

Week 19: July 5, 1999.  The day we were dreading has finally come.  Natasha has what appears to be a new growth along her abdominal wall just above the female genitalia.  It is difficult to determine the nature of this mass since it is possible it is just a drooping of the abdomen or it could be a fatty growth or something else entirely.  If the old girl were younger we might think that she was carrying a litter.  However at nine months it is doubtful that Niki could sire anything let alone that an 11 1/2 year old female Siberian Husky could be pregnant.  Natasha's appetite is off and her energy levels are down.  She has had problems all week with coordination, falling down several times.  The old girl has the most difficulty with her rear legs - sometimes she just can't keep them up.  We have her back on 3 doses of Flax Oil daily and of course she loves this (really).   The dogs are in the back yard during the day and we have been into the high 90s during July in Dallas - Fort Worth.  There is a lot of shade on the back porch and we keep a wading pool filled just off the porch so the puppies can cool down frequently.   If Natasha's energy levels continue to decline we may decide to bring her indoors during the weekdays for a while.  Niki and Natasha are both indoors during the weekends and yet this does not appear to help Natasha's energy levels. Natasha has also been moody all week and is refusing to sleep on the foot of the bed - she prefers the carpeted floor beside the bed.

Week 20:July 12, 1999.  Natasha is still having difficulty with her coordination.  She frequently has to drop her rear legs and sit and has trouble standing on the tile or linoleum floors since they are somewhat slippery.   We don't know if this is due to fatigue, arthritis, the cancer or something else.   Her overall energy level appears to be down even more.  Discovered another new growth on the inside of Natasha's right thigh where the right leg joins the right hip - very discouraging.  This growth is ovoid in shape and about 1/2 inch in diameter.   A thorough check up found no other new growths or abnormalities.  We put Natasha back on ALL the supplements again. It cost $88 for all her pills for one month. We kept her on some of the herbals all along like Pau D'Arco (510 mg) and Chaparral (500 mg every other day), Garlic (750 mg), Essiac Tea (2 tsp. powder), and Glucosamine Chondroitin (1,500 mg / 1,200 mg). Once again we are giving her Vitamin B Complex (50 mg), Vitamin E (400 IU), Folic Acid (1,600 mcg), Melatonin (3 mg), Pycnogenol (100 mg), Alpha Lipoic Acid (100 mg), and Super Enzyme Caps (Amylase 50,000 USP; Protease 50,000 USP; Lipase 8,500 USP; Betaine HCL 324 mg; Pepsin NF 1:10,000 130 mg; Ox Bile 130 mg; Bromelain 250 mg; Papain 250 mg). We will also try adding back Kava Kava (200 mg), Ginseng Complex (850 mg), Ginkgo Biloba (40 mg), and St. John's Wort (300 mg).  We'd like to give her Co-Q10 as well but  just can't afford it. This new development does not suit Natasha one bit.   When she sees me coming with her morning/afternoon/or bedtime pills she drops her head and turns around.  She is smart enough to know that walking away won't save her from this ritual and she does get a treat afterward which makes it somewhat worthwhile.   After 2 days back on the full supplement dosage she is perking up some. We will have to wait and see if this has any affect on the new growths. It usually take 2 months to see any significant results, but energy gains should keep steadily climbing. 

Week 21: July 19, 1999.  The new masses have stopped growing and Natasha's energy levels are improving.  Naturally she hates taking all these vitamins, but considering the alternative I'm certain she wouldn't object.  We give Natasha a reward immediately after every dose of vitamins.  Flax Oil is wonderful but in the case of older dogs like Natasha vitamin therapy gives that additional boost that appears to be necessary to fully curb the cancer's progression.  The heat index this week has climbed as high as 111 degrees (101 + 50% humidity).  Due to the heat we are keeping Natasha indoors as much as is possible.  Niki has been terrorizing the old girl more often lately, so in retaliation she has started raiding his food bowl (he steals her food if she steps away for a drink of water).  We have kept up the cancer diet (chicken/cabbage) since Natasha started these treatments in February.   Unfortunately it has been too hot to go down to the farm these last few weeks. 

Week 22:July 26, 1999.  Received some wonderful news this week.  The niece of close friends (Paul & Angie) of my parents (Dub & Joyce Conley in San Antonio) was diagnosed several months ago with widespread cancer. Basically this young 32 yr. old woman, mother of 3 children, was told there was nothing that the doctor's could do for her and she was sent home for whatever time she had left.  My parents told Paul & Angie about Flax Oil and they talked about it with their niece.  She had lots all her appetite and was losing weight as well as have no energy at all.  Shortly her appetite came back, her energy level was almost back to normal and she was eating regularly again.  It has been 2 - 3 months since this young woman started taking Flax Oil (Thank you, Cliff and Martha, because of you two she was one of the first people to get the news shortly after I started treating Natasha).  At her last doctor's visit all the tumors seem to have disappeared and everyone is calling it a miracle.  I feel certain in this case that I can name the miracle "The Lord and Flax Oil".  This has really stirred up everyone in San Antonio.
Natasha is doing much better this week the mass growths have stabilized (1st step) and may have begun to shrink (2nd step).  Natasha's energy level is back up again and she is falling down less frequently now.  She still hates the vitamins but is more accepting about taking them.  Thursday Chris & Natasha played for quite a spell while Niki was held out of harms way, Natasha loved the attention, Niki hated it.  For now we are keep the Flax Oil dosages, supplements and diet as they are.

Let's welcome some new friends to Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter.   A warm Texas 'howdy' to Karen Collins and her Akita Mojo, Mojo was diagnosed with intraductal mammary carcinoma around the end of May.  Welcome also to Linda Anderson, herself a cancer survivor.  Linda joins several other Newsletter members in this category, Michele Tarlo, Martha Hoff, Cliff Beckwith and several others besides. 

Received an email from Bernadette which I want to post to the group in it's entirety:

"Scruffy - a note to the newsletter group"

    I'm sorry to say that my best friend, Scruffy, decided to leave this planet last Tuesday at about 11:50pm. Scruffy was an 18-pound Lhasa Apso who was going to be celebrating his 13th birthday this October.  In June, I took him in for a routine dental, thinking at worst, he would be having a tooth pulled. There was a little lump in his far right jaw and his breath started smelling a bit so I figured he had a rotten tooth. When I got home that day after dropping him off at the vet, the vet called me and said they were sending a tissue sample in for a biopsy for cancer. Needless to say I was stunned, cancer wasn't even in my mind! I thought he was going to be needing a tooth pulled!  Three days later the results came back and he was diagnose with metastic melanoma. The doctor said he didn't think the cancer had spread to his lymph glands so he was a prime candidate for surgery - they wanted to remove half his jaw in order to remove the tumor, but there were no guarantees. The alternative was to let him live out his life and to help him have the best quality of life possible.  Well, I just couldn't picture my little guy with half a jaw so I told the doctor I'd think it over. That night, I checked his lymph glands in his neck and found a very small lump. The next day, I told the doctor I was going to pass on the surgery but thanks anyway.
    For the following two weeks I was just depressed. I couldn't imagine life without my little pal, you know? He was everything to me. He'd seen me through most of my adult life. We've been through a lot together. For those two weeks, I just dreaded the day that would eventually come. But after two weeks of mourning, I decided to surf the net and see if there were any other people out there like me who had a little friend with cancer and that's when I happened upon the Conley's web site. It gave me hope. And that very day, I went out and got Scruffy vitamins, the flax seed and cottage cheese mix (which he hated!) and wheatgrass juice which really helped stop the bleeding in his gums.
    Well, we did this for a little over two weeks and I thought Scruffy was getting better. His energy was okay. He was still eating and drinking. But two weeks ago, about a month after he was diagnosed, the tumor started growing. Within a week, it had actually tripled in size. A friend kept telling me that I should put him to sleep and save him the pain but I just couldn't do that unless I had a sign from him, a SURE SIGN that it was TIME. I just didn't want to be second-guessing myself about whether or not I did the right thing-- was it really time? What if I put him down too soon?  So every night, ever since I had found out about his cancer, I prayed for God and for Scruffy to give me a sign as to what to do and how to help him each and every day. And every day, I did what I was "guided" to do. I fed him, I gave him plenty of love, I gave him his anti-cancer treatments, et cetera.
    Well, last Tuesday, July 20th, after he had finished dinner, he was drinking water out of his bowl as usual and then all of a sudden, he kept licking the side of his jaw where the tumor was. I thought maybe he'd gotten a piece of food stuck between his lip and his jaw like he sometimes does. I checked and there was nothing. Then all of a sudden, he started pawing at his face in a frantic way. Well, needless to say, then I became panicked. My boyfriend and I rushed him to emergency and the doctor took him in the back to give him a pain killer since the hospital was very busy.  Then, 20 minutes later, she told me the bad news. Scruffy had managed to dislocate his jaw, right where the tumor was and there was no repairing it. The doctor said she was amazed he was still eating given the size of the tumor, let alone that he WANTED to eat. She also said that it looked like he was just hanging on for me, as most of our animal friends do when they're faced with an illness and we're not quite ready to let them go yet.  Well, I knew that was my "sign".  Scruffy was at the point of no return and he was ready to go. When they brought him to me in the examination room, Scruffy's lower jaw was skewed to the left, about an inch off center because the right side was unhinged. I knew that even though it would be painful for me to see him go, it was time.
    I spent about 45 minutes alone with him in the exam room, telling him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me and how much he'd helped me in my life just being him and being there with me. I told him that I would miss him terribly but that it was okay for him to go and that I didn't want him to suffer anymore. I said that I was sorry I couldn't save him, and that I was so sorry that he had cancer and that this was it. It was the most painful experience I'd ever had, saying goodbye to him. Number one, I've never known anyone who's passed away before. And number two, I was never close to my family growing up, so when I met Scruffy, that was the first time I felt I had a family.   When I called the doctor back in, she explained what was going to happen and that it was going to be easy and painless for him. When she stuck the needle in his arm, I held my breath. I didn't think I would survive it. I held Scruffy in my arms while the pink fluid from her needle disappeared. In less than a minute, he was gone. He was free.   The doctor said he was ready to go because he left his body so easily and quickly. He didn't gasp for air. He didn't tremble or anything.  He was just gone. And finally, he was at peace.
    It's been a hard week since Scruffy left. It's been 9 days now and I still can't believe it. For almost 13 years, my days have been scheduled around Scruffy's days. I'm sure all of you can understand - every morning, first thing, Scruffy had to be walked, then played with, then fed. Then when I got home, I was always welcomed with a smiling face and a wagging tail. Again, we walked, we played and we ate. Then, right before bed, we walked, we played, then we slept. First thing in the morning, as soon as I'd get up, there was Scruffy's wagging tail, expectantly awaiting his walk! And so on and so on.  I still dread going home at night and sometimes, even waking up in the morning to see Scruffy's empty bed and to come home to an empty house.  It's a moment by moment thing right now. And my boyfriend, Kirk, has been so great about it. Many nights, I just cry myself to sleep and then cry first thing in the morning and Kirk has been there to hold me and comfort me. And I know it will get easier with time.
    One thing that I am very grateful for is the Conley's and Natasha's newsletter. Those first two weeks I found out Scruffy had cancer, I felt so alone and felt completely helpless, like I was just waiting around for him to die. And I hated it! After I found Natasha's newsletter, I had hope. And today, I can say that no matter the outcome, I know that I did everything possible to help my little guy live the best life he could given the circumstances, all the way to the very end. And that gives me some piece of mind - I did everything I could do for him. And in the end, he just couldn't hang on anymore and it just wasn't up to me. That's something I'm still having a hard time with - acceptance. Acceptance that life isn't up to me, ultimately. I just have to live life the best way I know how. And with Scruffy, I did. And for that, I am thankful. I am also thankful for the Conley's and everyone who supports the newsletter. You all helped me get through a very difficult time in my life and I will always be grateful you were there. Thank you one and all. If there's anything I can do for anyone - send prayers, give you support-- please don't hesitate to e-mail me at joy_bug@yahoo.com.

Peace, Love and Light,
Bernadette aka Scruffy's mom

I know that everyone in the Newsletter group sends our condolences and prayers to Bernadette.  As we keep saying cancer is a never ending war, sometimes we win a battle, sometime we lose.  The best we can hope for is to live each day to it's fullest and keep fighting for those we love and who are given into our care. Bernadette you did more than your share in that.

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 5 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 6

Week 23: August 2, 1999.  Natasha is unchanged this week.  The growths under the breast lines have not changed.  We still cannot determine if this is the cancer returning or just fatty tissue.  Natasha and Niki are both struggling with the heat but holding up well.  I am looking into adding MGN-3 supplement to her daily regimen.

Week 24:August 9, 1999.  Found a web site this week that sells MGN-3 (Arabinoxylan Compound) and other vitamins a supplements.  The site is http://www.mothernature.com. MGN-3 is made from rice-bran and shiitake mushroom fungus.  Arabinoxylan is an ingredient that occurs in significant quantities in true grasses such as rice shoots, wheat and corn. It is the principal ingredient of hemicellulose, which creates cell walls. Hemicellulose is a type of dietary fiber. Recent studies have identified its role in digestion and the absorption of nutrients, its contribution to the healthy excretion of body wastes, and its
usefulness in increasing the growth of intestinal bacteria.  Among the various dietary fibers, 1 kilogram of rice-bran contains a rich 3 to 5 grams of hemicellulose B, which is regarded as a valuable material for strengthening the immune system. We have started Natasha on 250 mg of MGN-3 per day.  She is still taking all her other supplements and vitamins along with 2 - 3 doses of Flax Oil mixture per day. 

Week 25: August 16, 1999.  Family came into town from San Antonio this week.  We still have several remodeling projects going on at the house and so everyone was pitching in to help where they could.  Natasha and Niki had a great time visiting with everyone.  Natasha was very excited to see so many faces that she hadn't seen in quite a while. Our old girl was in great shape and weathered the storm in stride.  Everyone commented on how good she looks and this really made us all feel a lot better.  Sometimes when you are so close to a situation - as with cancer - it is difficult to see how much progress you have really made.  Natasha was very very ill just a few months ago.  Even though she still has problems with coordination and mood at times, I guess, overall she is really doing fantastic.   After the hot summer is over I'm really hopeful that we will see an even more energetic Natasha than we have seen so far this summer. 

Week 26:August 23, 1999.  No change this week either.  Natasha really loves her Flax Oil doses.  She eagerly awaits every single dose each day.  I know many of us who are pet owners feel that this is a strong indication that our pets are trying to tell us this is something their body needs when they crave these things as much as they do.  More company was over again this week and as she has for the last 10 days, Natasha was in rare form.  Renee did complain that she was getting too many kisses several times, but she says that she doesn't mind if it makes Natasha and Niki feel better. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 6 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 7

Week 27: August 30, 1999.  Again the growths under the breast lines have not changed (which is probably good news).  We went shopping this week to refill the family (and pet's) vitamin/herb supplies.  The bill at Wal-Mart or iHerb.com for everyone was about $228.00, that will keep us all in vitamin/herb doses for the next 2-3 months.  Currently our vitamin/herb bill averages about $100.00 monthly - which for those American's regularly buying them is under the national average, if you can believe it.  Thank heaven for Wal-Mart or iHerb.com, I don't know how we would make it financially without them.  We have added 1 x 380 mg dose of Yucca Root to Natasha's daily herb doses.  I have been informed by several individuals with arthritis that this herb will further boost the effect of the Glucosamine / Chondroitin that Natasha takes for her stiffness and joint problems.  Natasha is showing some signs of constipation of late.  After discussions with the pharmacist we are adding a single dose every other day of Surfak to try and clear this up.  We cannot tell that the addition of the supplement MGN-3 has made any change in the fatty tissue growths under the breast line.  After the supplement runs out in 2 weeks we will most likely discontinue the MGN-3 (it is just too expensive since prices are now over $1.00 per dose!). 

Week 28: September 06, 1999.  Natasha and Niki went too the farm this weekend!  This was their first trip out since the hot part of the summer started.  Natasha and Niki played all afternoon with Kodiac and Avalanche (three Huskies and a Mountain Dog).  Kodiac attempted to boss around Niki a couple of times and Natasha quickly let Kodi know that she alone would handle that department.  After that encounter Kodi (who outweighs Natasha 2 to 1) decided to spend the rest of the afternoon under Camille's legs (which distressed Camille to no end).   Niki on the other hand spent several hours patiently obeying every single command that Renee could think of (what a patient pup!).  Trust me when I tell you there is no more demanding individual than a five year old girl that has decided she is the boss.   Natasha was bright eyed and bushy tailed all day, but was happy to get home to her own bed at days end.  The old girl didn't fall down once that I saw - she really had a great time.  We are continuing with 2 - 3 doses of Flax Oil mixture per day (sometimes we forget the 3rd dose).  For some reason Natasha's black/white coat has really started to shine lately - sure would like to know which supplement or food addition has sparked this change.

Please join with us in welcoming Deon and Rhonda Tollstrup and their 13 year old Yorkshire Terrier, Max. Max was diagnosed with oral malignant melanoma in August.  Deon and Rhonda took Max in to have his teeth cleaned, and did not suspect that he had any other problem other than a slight odor they attributed to his teeth. The vet found the melanoma and surgically removed as much of it as possible. The biopsy proved to be positive for cancer, although the melanoma is in the early stages.   As with Bernadette and Scruffy, the Tollstrups decided not to have Max's jaw removed.  Max also suffers from chronic kidney problems.

Week 29: September 13, 1999.   Nothing new to report this week.  Natasha a Niki are still suffering through the summer and frolicking on the weekends.

Week 30: September 20, 1999.  A cool spell this week has been a welcome treat.  Natasha's fatty tissues have not changed in size, proportion or location.  She is still struggling with stiffness in her joints but is otherwise in good health.  We have finished the usage of the MGN-3 supplement.  As far as we can tell it made no difference is Natasha's condition.   That is not to say that this supplement was of no value to others - only that it did not have any effect good or bad on Natasha.  There have been some really wonderful articles out on the possible uses of MGN-3, but with a cost of almost $1.00 per dose I think we will pass on it for now.  Maybe someday the price of this product will reach a reasonable level.

Week 31: September 27, 1999.  This week was distressing.  Natasha has been grumpy through the end of the week.  A thorough check shows nothing obvious that we can discern that might be causing her problems.  Her appetite is off and she is very restless.  I don't know if this could be further indications of thyroid problems, cancer, arthritis or just old age.   Chris sat and played with her for quite a while and she even turned her nose up to him which is very unusual. 

I am sorry to say that we received a sad not from Deon and Rhonda Tollstrup September 28, 1999 which I want to post for the group:

We have sad news to tell you. Max was having a difficult time breathing last night, and it was obvious that the mass on the base of his tongue had grown to the point that it was causing him a lot of discomfort. We took him in to the Veterinarian this afternoon, and he confirmed that the tumor had grown to serious proportions. He said that Max could not be expected to live more than two or three days, and might die of suffocation. We did not want the little fellow to suffer any more pain and discomfort, and therefore made the very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. I know that it was the best thing for Max, but it hurt us deeply to have to let him go like that.
    Cancer is a very hard disease to understand. Max was responding well to the special diet and the vitamin/herb treatment. Until yesterday, he seemed to have more energy and felt better than he has in weeks. From outward appearances, he looked great, but inside the horrible tumor continued to grow and choke out his life.  We appreciate the information we received from you. It has left us with a better knowledge of the value of proper diet in preventing and controlling ailments such as cancer. It served as a wake up call for me. I hope that it will change the course of my life, and that Max will not have died for nothing.

Best regards,
Deon and Rhonda Tollstrup

Speaking for the Newsletter group I want to express our heartfelt condolences to the Tollstrups after their loss of Max.  Cancer is a terrible disease and a fight that we sometimes lose, but it is one we must continue to struggle against for the sake of those we love.

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 7 ***

Melissa holding Natasha & Matthew holding puppy Nikolai at Christmas in San Antonio 1998

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 8

Week 32: October 04, 1999.  Well this is very disturbing.  Natasha went into heat this week.  Natasha will be 11 1/2 years old next week.  The normal life expectancy for the Siberian Husky breed is between 12 - 14 years (depending on which experts you listen to).  At her age who would ever believe that she could go into heat.  To make a long story short, Natasha has become overly affectionate with family members and very antagonistic toward Nikolai.  Niki on the other hand whimpers constantly and follows Natasha around everywhere (if she's not biting him).  This is one very moody dog.  We have not changed Natasha's vitamin / herb supplements, diet or the Flax Oil dosage.  Her appetite is up and so is her weight.  We are starting to get concerned that she is getting over her weight limit.   She must weigh over 50 lbs. now which is too heavy for her frame size.  We have her on 2 cups of cancer diet food daily which is really all she wants to eat.  However this week she has started stealing food from Niki's bowl since he has no appetite.   There has been no change in any of the fatty breast tissue deposits or lumps.  Natasha has shown some symptoms of stomach upset lately so we are putting her on small doses of Colloidal Silver for a while.  Several family members have had great success using this homemade product for rather serious stomach and digestive problems.  If you want to read more about Colloidal Silver you can visit the following sites: http://www.pclink.com/sarakawa/files/silver.txt or http://www.millennium-ark.net/news_files/Colloidal_Silver.html

Week 33: October 11, 1999.  Natasha is doing well, with the exception of the in-heat issue.  Her cycle does appear to be coming to an end.  Hopefully things will now get back to normal. No change is the fatty tissue deposits.  Nikolai on the other hand is ecstatic!  On Friday, October 15, 1999 Niki turned ONE year old. Everyone went down to the farm in Mansfield for a big birthday celebration.  Niki didn't know quite what to make of it. We consider are dogs just another member of the family and so they often get their own birthday parties just like everyone else.  For his birthday Niki received: 4 bags of jerky treats, 1 big container of Pup Corn (cheese flavored), 3 squeaky stuffed animals, 2 rubber chew bones, 1 dental floss bone, 1 latex squeaky ball toy, 4 bags of prepared turkey, and more.  There were over 36 balloons strung up, with party favors, white cake with whipped cream icing (cute paw prints and bones decorated the cake), ice cream galore and over one dozen pork bone appetizers for Niki and his puppy guests.  Renee (who's 5 now) said it was the best puppy birthday party she has ever attended.  Renee was so excited by the whole thing that she wanted to know when Niki's next birthday party was being held (after all pups really a 7 dog years at the end of the first human year and then 5 dog years on each subsequent one) - that could make birthdays a little confusing for anyone. Natasha went around behind all the the puppy dog guests and licked off their whipped cream icing when no one was looking.  By the end of the day Natasha and Kodiac both had frosting / ice cream muzzles.  The site made everyone laugh a long time.  It was a great day for the family and friends that attended.  Thank the Lord that we still have Natasha around for such great family events!

Week 34: October 18, 1999.  Well the holidays are coming again and winter fast approaching.  The weather here in Dallas-Fort Worth has really cooled down. Natasha is still doing great.  We are preparing for a hard winter here in North-Texas so we've decided to build the pups a dog house for their daytime stays outdoors.   Hopefully a large 3 foot x 4 foot house will do for 2 Huskies.  Heat provides some help for arthritic dogs, but cold on the other hand makes life difficult when arthritis is an issue.   We'd like to announce the construction start of another new sponsored story site!  "Shilo's Tale" will hopefully launch sometime in November.  This will be the story of Kirk Heckel and Shilo, his Golden Retriever, and their fight against Leukemia.

Week 35: October 25, 1999.  No change in Natasha for now.  Her appetite is still a little off but she is maintaining her weight.  Continuing work on the mother-in-law apartment for the folks and the pups dog house (lot's to do).  We'll keep in touch with everybody.

Please welcome: Denise Kennedyand her 6 year old Shar-pei, Tei-Pei.  Tei-Pei was diagnosed in October with a rectal tumor that   turned out to be T-Cell Lymphoma.  This cancer does not respond well to chemo so naturally Denise is concerned about Tei-Pei's quality of life, etc.  I'm sure we all send our best hopes for the future to Denise and Tei-Pei.  Also welcome: Jennifer Polk and her Golden Retriever, Buddy. Buddy was recently diagnosed with both Lymphoma and Leukemia.  Kirk I know that you and some others in the newsgroup can relate to Jennifer's struggles right now.  Once again the prognosis is not very encouraging.  I'm know that we all can relate to that issue.   Also welcome Jane Williams and her Rottweiler, Jenny, who was recently diagnosed with bone cancer.  Denise, Tei-Pei, Jane, Jenny, Jennifer and Buddy you are all in our prayers. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 8 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 9

Week 36: November 01, 1999.  Work continues.  There have been no significant changes in Natasha's condition.  She is still very active and alert with lots and lots of energy.  Her appetite has started to return so we are giving a sigh or relief for that.  Niki is a holy terror these days (the terrible ones!).  Newsgroup emails just keep coming in non-stop it seems like.  Lately it seems that I'm just swamped all the time (Cliff however do you manage?)

Week 40: November 29, 1999.  We're becoming more and more concerned about Natasha's fear of storms and spells of lethargy.  On the whole she is very active (when Niki bugs her) and her stamina and energy levels are very good.  Unfortunately there are frequent periods when no one is giving any attention to Natasha and during those times she just lays down and sleeps or just does nothing.  It is time to take Natasha back in for her annual shots and checkup.  We plan to run the full gambit of tests normally prescribed for older mature dogs: a chemistry profile and CBC blood test along with a urinalysis.  These tests will indicate current kidney function, liver function, and presence or absence of cancer cells (based on calcium levels in the blood).  We are also planning to a thyroid screening for T3 and T4 hormone levels and a stool analysis for parasites. 

Another sad note for our Newsgroup readers from a friend: Wed, 10 Nov 1999
I just wanted to thank you for the information that you sent me to try and help my dog Tei-Pei. Unfortunately we had to put Tei down today. The cancer had returned in his rectum and one was bigger than his first one. He was only out of surgery for 3 weeks.  This T-Cell Lymphoma had spread very fast...We couldn't let him go through another day without good quality of life.  I hope and pray for you, that Natasha is doing well and I will watch her progress on your page..
Again thank-you for your help..
Sincerely, Denise Kennedy

I know that I speak for all of us in sending our sympathies and condolences to the Kennedy family on their loss of Tei-Pei. 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 9 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 10

Week 42: December 13, 1999.  Took Natasha and Niki in for their annual shots and checkup.  Dr. Dittrich performed a urinalysis, CBC blood test, chemistry profile, stool analysis, and T3/T4 thyroid screen.  Overall Dr. Dittrich said that Natasha and Niki both appeared physically fit and in excellent health.  Dr. Dittrich also checked the previous tumor locations and stated that it did indeed appear that all the tumors were gone.  On further examination he said that he found no indication of any tumor growths or apparent malignancies!  Dr. Dittrich told me that whatever we did does appear to have reversed the course of the tumors - and said to keep doing it!  We now must wait for the test results to come back for the final diagnosis on Natasha's condition.  Dr. Dittrich also performed B12 acupuncture on Natasha which really perked her up.

Week 43: December 20, 1999.  The test results are back.  Natasha's calcium levels are NORMAL - NO CANCER INDICATED!  Thank the Lord - we now have the final proof that the treatments have indeed stop the cancer, reversed the tumor growth and prevented an early death for our beloved pet!  This is a great relief.  The test do indicate reduced kidney and liver function but Dr. Dittrich said that this is what you would expect to see in an older dog like Natasha.  Dr. Dittrich has recommended "Albaplex" and "Liverplex", 2 herbal formulations to help Natasha with the reduced kidney and liver functions.  Dr. Dittrich was surprised by the T3/T4 test results which did indeed indicate that Natasha's thyroid is not producing adequate thyroid hormones.  Natasha has been placed on a thyroid replacement hormone treatment which we hope will resolve her problems with lethargy, depression and panic.

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 10 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 11

Week 45: January 3, 2000.  Well we successfully entered the new Millennium (or entered the last year of the old one depending on your definition).  Since I (Ron) work for the ISS (Information Systems) department for Burlington Northern Railway - it was a very uneventful Christmas and New Years.  Everyone was very thankful.  For the first and likely last time ever time in recorded history the BNSF Railway stopped all train operations from 11:30 pm New Years Eve through 2:30 am New Years Day as a precaution to any possible Y2k glitches which might affect train operations.  There were none.  BNSF is the 2nd largest railroad in the US - unless the merger with CN (Canadian National) is approved by the STB (Surface Transportation Board) then it will become the largest US railroad and the first transcontinental railroad ever.  Natasha and Niki spent the holidays at our home with Nana and Popey (Ron's parents) who graciously offered to baby sit during the frantic holidays with all the weird Y2k schedules.  Natasha is doing great and so is Niki.  Hope everyone had Happy Holidays!

Week 47: January 17, 2000.  Natasha is doing fantastic.  Her panic problems with storms are virtually gone and the lethargy and depression are no longer an issue! We have to apologize to everyone for not being able to get the Newsletter out on our usual monthly schedule.  The Y2k problems have played havoc with family schedules and after long discussions with Ron's folks and siblings we've decided to ask Nana and Popey (Ron's parents) to move into our home.  We have already started work to convert the back of the house into a mother-in-law's apartment, complete with private bath (including a Jacuzzi whirlpool tub), full kitchen and living room with a dining area.  Popey has had 2 heart attacks in the last 8 years (although there has been no permanent heart damage, gratefully) and everyone was concerned about the stress that caring for a large home (3,300 sq ft./ 2 stories) might be placing on his health.  This is really a great opportunity for us to repay the years of care and love that they have shown to all their children and family members as well as countless other children and friends.  More and more these days everyone is gone for long hours during the weekdays and Nana and Popey have agreed to watch over Natasha and Niki during the daytime when they are home.  This is a godsend as well since Natasha's age and arthritis will continue to take tolls on her mobility and health.  It will be fantastic to have someone her to look out for her.  Natasha and Nikolai love Nana and Popey dearly - which is amazing considering that Popey believes most dogs are just dumb animals (several people have noticed him repeatedly petting Niki when no one is looking!). 

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 11 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 12

Week 52: February 21, 2000. WE'VE MADE IT - ONE YEAR SINCE NATASHA'S CANCER DIAGNOSIS AND THE START OF HER FLAX OIL TREATMENT - AND NOW GOOD HEALTH AND NO CANCER!We want to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped us pass this monumental milestone.  One year ago Natasha was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer which later would metastasize to include skin cancer.  Fifty two weeks ago we began our incredible journey through Flax Oil treatments, diet modification, and dietary supplementation to fight off this terrible disease.  During those long months we have made many friends and shared many stories of the fantastic joys of recovery and also great losses from this terrible disease called CANCER.  We want to take time to give special thanks to Martha Hoff, without whom Natasha would not be around today.  Martha is a human breast cancer survivor and cancer advocate who has tirelessly assisted countless individuals struggling with this terrible disease.  Thank you Martha for your efforts on Natasha's behalf and for directing us to Cliff Beckwith.  Thank you especially Cliff for all your support and assistance with Natasha's Flax Oil Treatments - without which we are certain Natasha would not be alive today.  Cliff has managed one of the most prolific web sites for Flax Oil information on the world wide web and has been a constant pillar of strength for hundreds of people in their fights against cancer.  At Cliff's urging we have never stopped fighting against this horrible disease.  Always on the look out for new and improved information to arm ourselves with the latest weapons to keep cancer at bay and to stay in control of our lives and our destinies.  The Lord has indeed blessed those of us who have known Martha and Cliff and have benefited so very much from that friendship.  Thank you also to all the rest of you who have been so supportive and have guided us and taught us so much in our daily struggles with cancer in our homes and our lives.  God bless each and every one of you and keep you safe and well! 

Natasha continues to stay strong and well.  The cancer is still in remission and her health is excellent.  We have reduced Natasha to the maintenance dosage level for Flax Oil - one daily dose in the evenings.  She still loves her Flax mixture and would eat more if we gave it to her.  We monitor her condition every day with a full body exam, watching for any new tumor growths.  So far there are none.  Occasionally she has taken to eating grass - on those days we give her an extra dose of Flax Oil and some WheatGrass juice.  Her supplements have also been reduced to include just Albaplex, Liverplex, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Pycnogenol, Garlic Concentrate, B50, Folic Acid, Glucosamine-Chondroitin, and Thyroid Hormone.  We will continue to update the Newsletter on a quarterly basis.  Please continue to write if you have questions or information or just to stay in touch.  Please bear with us through June when the remodeling of our house will be complete and Nana & Popey have moved into our home. 

We know that cancer remission is just that "remission" not "cure".  We continue our fight against this disease and urge each and everyone of you to fight on as well.  Be ever vigilant and constantly on the offensive.  We truly believe that hard work and dedication in the fight against this disease will payoff in the end - if not for your beloved pet then perhaps for another family member or friend.  Keep up the fight!

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - Month 12 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 2nd Quarter 2000

Month 13: March 13, 2000.  Natasha is doing great.  It's really hard to come up with anything new or interesting to say when all you have to say is "in excellent health and full of energy".  So I guess we've said it all.  Last reports from Kirk and Michele indicated that Shilo and Jesse also doing great.  The remodeling continues - and some days you just get really tired of it.  In case everyone didn't know we are doing all the remodeling ourselves.  2 baths, 1 kitchen, 1 bedroom, 1 living/dining room and 2 attics - oh joy! 

Month 14: April 8, 2000.  Once again Natasha and Nikolai are in excellent health and doing well.  Natasha had a little spell of stomach upset, but that was easily remedied with some extra special love, care and a little extra Flax Oil mixture.  We tried putting her back on regular (high quality - expensive) dog food - boy was that a waste of money.  Natasha refused to eat for 4 days before we finally gave in and went back to the ground chicken / cabbage diet plan.  She and Niki ate every last drop of their 1st cancer diet meal in under 60 seconds and then were asking for more! Some pups are very spoiled!  Niki also refused to eat most of his food since he was getting 1/2 cancer diet and 1/2 dog food.  Oh well, you can't win all the time.  For the last 12 months we have been grinding up chicken leg quarters into ground chicken and bone meal.  The habit has gotten very old!  Unfortunately it looks like we've created 2 monsters so I guess we'll continue at the ole grind. * Special Note: We celebrated Natasha's 12th birthday on the 15th - she officially turned 12 on April 19th.  It was a quiet party at home with a few friends and relatives.  And YES Natasha and Niki both enjoyed white cake and Blue Bell Ice Cream (their favorite and mine)! It was a wonderful time - and one we have to give thanks for everyday.  We hope there are still many more to come.

Month 15: May, 2000.  Nothing new to report.  We are still preparing for the folks to move in at the end of June.  Almost have the apartment ready to go.

Month 16: June, 2000.  Again nothing new.  Natasha and Niki are just running right along and helping with the remodeling by staying clear of all LOUD tools (gratefully).

The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 2nd Quarter 2000 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 3rd & 4th Quarter 2000

Month 17:July, 2000.  Natasha is still in full remission.  There are some hard lumps that concern us a little, but they are not sensitive and we have no indication that they are cancerous.  Natasha is having some difficulty getting up and down with her rear legs.  This is worrisome because that was the first indication that Micha (Natasha's mate) had started his final decline due primarily to kidney failure two years ago.  As with most older pets, Natasha does have some bad breath.  Although no one here would ever turn down any free kisses.  We will continue to monitor the situation.  Moved in Nana & Popey into the mother-in-law apartment in the back of the house.  We're running low on remodeling funds so we are going to wait a couple of months to complete the new bathroom in the apartment.  Unfortunately that means sharing the front bathroom for a few months.  Otherwise the move went fine and amazingly everything fit in place!

Month 18:August, 2000.  The problem with getting up and down is still the same.  Contacted the vet's office and increased the Glucosamine/Chondroitin to 2 max dose pills per day.  For those of you who are wondering the following is Natasha's Supplement Schedule at this time:
50 mg. Alpha Lipoic Acid twice daily
50 mg. Pycnogenol
400 mg. Garlic Concentrate
400 IU. Vitamin E
500 mg. Glucosamine / 400 mg. Chondroitin - twice daily
1/2 tablet Soloxine (Thyroid Hormone) twice daily (equal .6 mg. daily)
1 Livaplex Vitamin Supplement
1 Albaplex Vitamin Supplement
1/4 Cup Flaxseed Oil Mixture twice daily

Month 19:September, 2000.  Still cancer free.  However Natasha has started drinking more water than we usually notice.  We are really starting to become concerned about possible kidney insufficiency or CRF (Canine Renal Failure).  Natasha has no pain in the area of her kidneys and is urinating normally.  Have no idea what is going on with the hind legs - she permits manipulation of the hind legs when standing or laying down with no apparent problems with pain.  It may be a strength problem when pushing up on the back legs.  Natasha has continued to pace often at night, but lays down during the daytime (normal for thyroid problems).  It's wonderful having Nana & Popey here because they are able to watch Natasha & Niki during the daytime while the pups are outside.  They say that the dogs play frequently during the day - with little indication of mobility problems in Natasha.  They wonder if she isn't just milking sympathy.  Who knows?  By the way Kayla Brook was born this month (That makes 2 for Chris and Camille).  Renee is just tickled pink to have a new little sister.  Mom and Dad are just beaming, don't you know!

Month 20:October, 2000.  The Flaxseed Oil treatments continue at 2 doses daily - sometimes Natasha gets it into her mind to be a little difficult about taking the mixture.  We have noticed that when this happens, altering the way the mixture is made (like mixed by hand instead of blended) usually gets her back into the mood of taking her medicine.  You trying taking the same stuff day in and day out and see how you feel about it!  The getting up and down is a little worse this month.  If there is no significant improvement soon we will have to take Natasha in for a complete physical and blood workup.  We have decided not to get Natasha her annual shots this year or next.  With all the information about over dosage of vaccinations causing cancer and thyroid problems (both of which Natasha has) we have consulted with some friends who are breeders and show folks and decided against giving Natasha anymore vaccinations.  We would like for our little girl dog to live forever, but we have to face facts that statistically speaking it is highly unlikely that she will live past 2 more years.  We are prepared for whatever the future holds.  We know that we have been blessed by having her for the additional time that we probably wouldn't have had if it were not for the Flaxseed Oil treatments.  We can only hope and pray about the future.

Month 21:November, 2000.  We celebrated the usually group birthday for Don, Chris and Ron (myself).  Had a great time, especially since Don (my twin) brought his new fianc? Mary to the party.  Don and Chris both got AMD Athlon 900 Mhz CPU Processors, courtesy of Ron (me), so now they will certainly be bragging about how much faster their computers are than mine - Oh well.... I could only look and sigh.  Chris had the nerve to ask why I didn't get one for myself - my reply?  I was just too broke, bubba!  Well Natasha had another episode of falling down and was unable to get up with her rear legs without assistance.  This was just too much so we went to the vet for a complete physical and total blood workup.  After all the concern over the possibility of CRF, we spent hours and hours on the Internet and did a lot of research about the best approach to CRF and home treatment vs. veterinary treatments.  We decided to put all the documentation we gathered into a new web site and would appreciate your feedback regarding this information and any suggestions you have that relate directly to CRF. By the way, one of the vet assistants at our vet's office said she owned a Siberian Husky who survived cancer and lived to be 16!  That was amazing and gives us real hope for a little longer future than we expected for Natasha!

Well we went to the vet and the results are in.  Compared to last year's tests more things have improved than deteriorated!  No explanation for the weak hind leg problem.  Dr. Dittrich wants to take x-rays to see if Natasha has bone spurs in her back around the spinal cord affecting her rear legs.  Or if the x-rays are normal he can perform chiropractic or acupuncture on her to see if that alleviates the problem. He also suggested a teeth cleaning since the bad bacteria on the teeth can cause liver or kidney problems to become worse. As for the blood tests please click on the following link to see the full results of Natasha's Blood Tests, then click on your browser's BACK button to return to the current page.  To make a long story short there is no evidence to support the idea of CRF.  At this time Natasha's renal function appears to be fairly consistent with that of a older (12 year old) female Siberian Husky and has improved considerably over last years results.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that due to the high volume of Alkaline Phosphatase, ALT (SGPT) and Lipase in the blood stream there appears to have been some type of "insult" to Natasha's Liver & Pancreas in the last year to two years.  No one knows how this may have occurred - it could have been caused by infection, duct blockages like stones or running into a fixed object, etc. After consultation with the veterinarian we have decided to take his advice and make some modifications to Natasha's diet and supplementation.  The high blood levels of these amino acid / enzymes indicate that they are not where they should be, namely in Natasha's digestive system rather than her blood stream.  Natasha has been having gray/white colored, compact ash textured bowel movements of late - this is due to the lack of these substances in her digestive system.  We are adding the following supplements to counteract these affects:
Adding the following to the cancer diet: 1 cup of ground rice blended with 2 tbsp olive oil (only advisable while she is cancer free), 2 tbsp bacon grease, 1 ounce raw liver plus 500 mg Vitamin C, Super B Complex, Amino Fuel with L-Carnitine & Branched Chain Amino Acids, 595 mg Potassium Gluconate, 1200 mg Calcium Carbonate and Digestive Enzymes (Amylase, Protease I - II - II - IV, Lactase II, Cellulase I, Lipase II, Maltase, Sucrase).
Additional Supplements: Digestive Enzymes (Same as above), 1200 mg Licorice Root, 200 mg Milk Thistle Extract, 40 mg Acidophilus Extra, 100 mg Docusate Sodium (Surfak - stool softener) - all once daily.

We are still making the same cancer diet except with the additions outlined above and the same supplements from last month along with the Flaxseed Oil mixture.  It should be noted that the vet believed last year that Natasha was suffering from the early stages of kidney insufficiency - but those test results from last year looked normal this year.  We can only assume that the Flaxseed Oil with it's Omega Fatty Acid therapy must be responsible for these improvements, since several vets in our documentation noted that Omega Fatty Acid Supplementation slows the progress of CRF in many canine patients and can even reverse some damage.  That apparently happened in Natasha's case. 

Well that's all for now.  If anyone has any advice regarding dogs with reduced or impaired liver or liver duct function and impaired pancreatic function, please drop us a line with your advice or suggestions.  Also if anyone has any ideas regarding what may be going on with the problems in Natasha's rear legs and the weakness there, we would greatly appreciate your help and advice in that area especially.

The Lord bless and keep you all.  And have a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday too!
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Kayla, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 3rd & 4th Quarter 2000 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 1st & 2nd Quarter 2001

December 2000 - June 2001.  There is once again (gratefully) nothing new to report. Natasha is still in full remission, and for now mobility problems have stabilized. Niki continues to terrorize the old girl at will - until she is motivated enough to blindside him and put him in his place. Then it's back to the porch or pool to cool off and relax again. In mid April we celebrated Natasha's 13th birthday. Wow what a party it truly was for our special girl. About 15 friends and family members from around the state showed up for the party. You have never seen so many presents in your life! Nikolai had to be held down by some of the younger folks, because he just couldn't stand seeing the old girl getting all the attention - not to mention the presents. Needless to say most of the gifts were generously shared with Niki after Natasha had her 1st pick of the bunch. We have been so blessed in being able to keep Natasha around for as long as we have. Natasha has now lived longer than any of our other Siberian Huskies, past or present. Happy Birthday, Natasha! Starting in June we will begin a trial of the BARF (Bones And Raw Foods) Diet for both Natasha and Nikolai. See additional web sites: BARF FAQ by Jane Johnson, BARF Discussion, Doggie Connection's site which is opposed to the diet, and VetMedicine's site by Dr. Janet Crosby, DVM and Dr. William Pollack, DVM who are in favor of the diet. We've heard a lot of folks, breeders in particular, who really believe that this can improve a pet's quality of life. We will see and then let you all know how the pups fared. Always proceed cautiously and gradually when radically altering your pet's diet!

Natasha's 13th Birthday (April 21, 2001)From Left to Right: Renee, Matt, Natasha & Chris

Natasha’s 13th Birthday – From Left to Right: Renee, Matt, Natasha & Chris

Natasha gives 'Daddy Chris' a few BIG WET ONES for the gifts!

Natasha gives 'Daddy Chris' a few BIG WET ONES for the gifts!

On a sad note, our family lost Kodiac, our nine-year-old black/white male Siberian Husky. Kodi was the 3rd Siberian Husky given to Chris. Micha was the 1st and Natasha 2nd, they were also gifts from Ron. When Chris and Camille married, Kodi eventually came to live with them. In late January, Kodiac - at the age of 9, contracted "Mesenchymal" cancer (a form of liposarcoma). Two different veterinarians misdiagnosed Kodiac originally with a hematoma from a blunt trauma injury to the side. * Kodi had been on Flaxseed Oil treatments twice daily for about 6 months prior to this medical problem due to an infection and during this period as well. Five weeks after the initial diagnosis and after learning on a 3rd office visit that the correct diagnosis was metastasized Mesenchymal cancer the decision was made to euthanize Kodi. Kodi was in some pain and 2 attempts at surgical removal of the mass had proved fruitless. With this form of cancer, radiation and chemotherapy are not effective, only early radical surgery can stop it - we were too late for that option. Our family had Kodi placed on morphine patches for the pain and so we were able to keep him at home for 5 final days. He was able to sleep indoors with Niki and Natasha and play outside when he liked. On Saturday the family (Chris, Camille, Renee, Kayla (6 months) and Ron) spent all day with Kodi and Avalanche (Chris and Camille's Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog). Kodi, Chris and Ron took a final trip out to the ranch to walk around with the cows, horses and sheep and just generally have a long lazy afternoon to say goodbye. Around 5 p.m. Kodi passed away in Chris' arms as had Micha before him. We buried him at the ranch beside Micha and then went to our separate homes to have a good long cry and remember all that Kodi had been. Here is one of the last photos taken on Saturday of Kodiac and his family.

Left to right: Camille, Kodiac, Chris and Renee

From Left to Right: Camille, Kodiac, Chris & Renee on their last Saturday together.

The Lord bless and keep you all.  Hope you all have a great Forth of July holiday with your friends and family!
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Kayla, Natasha and Niki)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 1st & 2nd Quarter 2001 ***

Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 2nd & 3rd Quarter 2001 through January 2002

July 2001 - December 2001: Overall we are very satisfied with the BARF Diet.  Natasha really likes it and Niki also seems to prefer it as well.  Unfortunately Natasha's mobility problems continue to deteriorate at a very gradual rate.  She is starting to lose weight which has us somewhat concerned.  During August Natasha started eating less of the Flaxseed Oil / Cottage Cheese mixture.  To our woe we allowed this to continue to decline until October when we noticed that some of the breast tumors had returned.  The tumors are along the right breast line, irregular in shape and very hard - also firmly attached to the skin.  In November we were forced to begin force feeding Natasha her Flaxseed Oil dosages (2 doses daily).  By December all the tumors except the one large one had improved, but now there are about one dozen small tumors at or just under her skin in multiple locations (scalp, side, around the ears, etc.).  The growths are about the size of a bee-bee pellet and are extremely hard.  The large breast tumor has not changed.  We've have decided to up the forced Flaxseed Oil Mixture dosages to 4 - 1/4 cup doses per day (or 8 large syringes worth).  By the end of December there is still no further progress on the status of the tumors - other than to say that the number, size and distribution has not changed for 4 weeks.  Natasha is extremely week on her feet now.  Her weight is about 30 lbs (down from 45 6 months ago).

January 2002: January 25, 2002.  Dear Friends,
We came home from being out late Thursday afternoon and discovered Natasha on the floor - immobile.  We had left her indoors with Niki since it is so cold and wet here in the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex.  Her breathing was extremely shallow and she could not lift her head.  An urgent call was placed to Chris at work.  After some family consultations - we decided to increase Natasha's thyroid hormone supplementation level.  (Since a severe drop in thyroid could cause coma and death.)  Chris came home from work and decided to spend the night on the sofa bed in the great room with Natasha.  A last night together.  At 2:30 a.m. this morning and again at 4:30 a.m. (Friday January 25) Natasha was able to sit up and give her old daddy a lot of sugar kisses, which thrilled him greatly.  By this morning at 6:30 a.m. with everyone up, Natasha had perked up, but was still unable to stand up on her own.  We are able to stand her up ourselves and at least for now - she can walk once up, but falls frequently.  Natasha is in some discomfort due to the falling, but not in any apparent pain that we can tell.  (She is not clenching her teeth, nor is her jaw rigged as we have seen before in other dogs in pain.)  We had hoped Natasha would make her 14th birthday in April, but we now know that will not happen.  We have been so blessed.  Natasha has now survived 3 years after her initial diagnosis of "terminal metastasized breast/skin cancer".  By all accounts she should have passed on 30-60 days after that diagnosis, instead she has lived a very lively full 3 more years at home with her loving family and friends.  Natasha is almost 14 and that is extremely old for any Siberian Husky.  Our family and Natasha want to take this time to thank all of you for all your love and support over these years.  It has been such a great joy to us all.  We do not know if Natasha has just hours or maybe a few more days.  We will take each moment one at a time.  For now please remember that she is with those who love her and who will care greatly and constantly for her until it is time to pass on.  If she could speak, we are certain that she would wish you all her love and give you too "wet sugar kisses", until we meet again.  We will keep you informed as things progress toward their inevitable conclusion.  Tomorrow (Saturday) Chris, Renee, Niki, Natasha and Ron will all be going out to the ranch in Mansfield to see and play with the cows, sheep and horses one last time.  Chris and Camille have finally started construction on their new home at the ranch which should be completed by June, but unfortunately Natasha will not be there to see the wonderful new house.  We plan to visit with our precious departed Micha and Kodiac as well while we are there in "Micha's Grove" tomorrow.  These are times for remembering and joining together as a family to share our strengths with one another (and our love).

Thank you all again, for everything.  The Lord bless and keep you all,
Ron Conley (Camille, Chris, Renee, Kayla and Avalanche, Dakota, Nikolai and Natasha)

*** END Natasha's Cancer Fight Newsletter - 2nd & 3rd Quarter 2001 through January 2002 ***

Chris, Kayla, Renee, Avalanche and Natasha on Saturday afternoon

A LETTER TO OUR DEAR FRIENDS IN THE NEWSLETTER GROUP

(* Please note this is an excerpt, and slightly modified copy of a letter to a friend. We would like to dedicate this to all our friends here.)

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your comforting words.  From 1:45 - 4:45 p.m. Saturday Natasha was surrounded at the Mansfield ranch by her family.  At one point "Rocket" a large white stallion that Chris & Camille have pastured at the ranch came over to Natasha as she lay on a blanket put out for her.  Rocket licked her face several times and repeatedly nuzzled her ears.  This is a very gentle horse who somehow recognizes when other animals are passing and gives what comfort he can.  Natasha didn't mind at all.  Rocket had done the same for Kodiac when he was passing.  Then "Dakota", Chris & Camille's one year old male Siberian, came over and tried to do the same - and immediately was rebuffed with a weak low growl.  That's our old girl all right - she always hated 'fresh' boys!  Renee's goodbyes were the hardest I think.  Renee is now 7 and Natasha was the last of the "old" pups that belonged to her daddy and have been around Renee all her life and since before she was born.  Her face is a little puffy from all the crying (picture above). She repeatedly hugged Natasha and just lay at her side - I think trying to get a good picture in her mind of how her friend and companion appeared on their last day together.  Everyone except little Kayla was crying at this point.  Avalanche, through it all, stayed mostly by Natasha's side.  Once rivals, now kindred spirits, just 2 old girls who can't get around well at all anymore.  Niki also came by, but he seemed to think that Natasha would just get up and be normal again at any time. 

Chris is my younger "foster" brother who lived with me during his high school years (and afterward).  We lived initially in a large 2-bedroom apartment here in Arlington where I gave him Micha when Chris was 17 (almost 18).  Three years later we traveled together to Oklahoma where Chris picked out Natasha and shortly thereafter moved into the present home here at 1501 Riviera Court in Arlington, Texas.  While living here I "stumbled" across Kodiac - a year old Husky that had been abandoned.  Chris wouldn't let me turn him over to the animal shelter but insisted we keep him.  I agreed provided he did an extensive search for the owners.  Chris searched for a month or more and I finally gave in and agreed we could keep Kodi - Chris' 3rd Siberian Husky!  Chris lived with me for 10 years through high school and college and afterward when he entered the permanent job market.  It was at UPS (his employer) where Chris met Camille and they later married.  Camille loved Chris' pets - but after they were married they decided that 3 Huskies were just too much to handle.  Chris left all three dogs here at home (which, except for Micha, was really the only place they had ever known as home).  Eventually Chris & Camille took back Kodiac shortly after Camille "stumbled" across a lost Great Pyrenees they kept and later named "Avalanche".  Then Renee was born and 6 years later Kayla was born.  Two of the most precious little girls you could imagine and the apple of their "Uncle" Ron's eye.  During this time Chris and Camille also acquired 25 acres of land outside Mansfield that they refer to as "the property" and I (and others) call the "ranch" or "farm".  Next month construction starts on Chris & Camille's new permanent home at the ranch.  Two years ago my family moved our parents, Nana & Poppy, into the mother-in-law's apartment Chris and I had remodeled into the back of our home.  My father had 2 heart attacks (blockages) in the last 7 years, and a year or so after the 2nd one Nana & Poppy decided that it would be best if they lived with a family member rather than on their own.  Since I had an empty mother-in-law apartment (after Chris left) I was the best choice for them.  Here the folks have their own space (separate living area, bedroom, bath with Jacuzzi whirlpool and kitchen as well) and I and the pups have our own space with plenty of room for company when Chris, Camille and the girls or other family come to visit.  We put Poppy & Nana on the same Flaxseed Oil / Cottage Cheese mixture that Natasha has been taking.  Today Dad's heart doctors have said that he has made a complete 100% recovery - which they find hard to believe - and cannot tell that he ever had one heart problem let alone two.  Our family really believes in the power of these types of "wonder foods". 

This is the environment our pups came from and live in.  Now there is Dakota and Nikolai the 2 newest at 1 year and 3 years, and shortly I will be adding another new Siberian female yet to be found and named.  She will be a red and white female with blue eyes (and registered AKC) - that much I already know.  Chris and I plan to breed our Huskies at least once.  We did that with Micha, but unfortunately failed to keep any of that litter because it was so small (only 2 pups).  Natasha was not neutered, but refused to breed - which is not uncommon among dominant Husky females living together with males.  Siberian Huskies bond closely with a family unit, but unless you have a large attentive family they are difficult to keep entertained without a companion animal.  That much Chris and I have learned the hard way. 

I really don't know why I have carried on so, but somehow it helps to remember these last 17 years.  The family left Chris & Camille's ranch around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, by that time Natasha was barely breathing.  Chris and I took her to a nearby Animal Emergency Center where Chris is well known (after the family's experiences with Kodiac).  A vet checked out Natasha and told us that the cancer had spread to her lymph glands and from there throughout her body - most certainly including the kidneys.  The vet said we had done a fantastic job with her - since she didn't appear to be in any pain.  Again we thank the flaxseed oil - which we believe helped with that as well.  I did give Natasha 2 Rimadyl 100s yesterday morning as well, just in case.  The vet told us that Natasha had very little time left and would be mostly comatose and eventually in great pain toward the end.  At this time, she was still somewhat lucid and recognized us both.  We had planned for this possibility and so spread a blanket on the floor where Chris laid down with Natasha in his arms and I also got close to her so she could see us both.  We choose the 2 shot method (one to take away the pain and the other to end the suffering) rather than the instant one shot.  This way we were able to spend another 15 minutes with her alone.  Around 5:30 p.m. yesterday Natasha passed away in her "Daddy" Chris' arms with her "Uncle" Ron by her side.  She passed very peacefully and without any duress or pain.  We took her home to the ranch and gently laid her to rest beside her beloved mate Micha and near her friend Kodiac as well.  Chris, Dakota, Avalanche, Nikolai and I (Ron) stayed with her until well after dark and Chris burned a large bonfire to light her way over the Rainbow Bridge and home.  I know in my heart that God is gracious and believe he will allow us to see our precious pups again some day.  I await that time, whenever it may come.  After the fire died out, and we had exhausted talk of the past and times we had with our little girl, Natasha, we took ourselves and the pups present and went home to Camille and the girls where dinner was waiting. 

Today I am still remembering, and yet already the fog of grief is causing so much to begin to fade.  Niki is not having a good day. He was present when we buried Natasha, so I know he realizes that she is not coming home.  Yet still he sits at my side and whimpers quietly or sits outside staring at the horizon without moving. His once adopted "mother" and later companion is gone now and he knows this and grieves in his own way.  Several times he has curled up into a fetal position and then I have held him close and hugged him tightly and spoken quiet words of love and understanding in his ears.  He finally ate some breakfast after much coaxing so I know he will be alright in time.  Earlier this morning as I lay in bed with Niki beside me I briefly looked for Natasha at her place near my feet - then remembered she was gone.  That was when I knew it was time to get up and get on with daily life - as she would want us all to do. 

Thank you for listening and being our friend.  You are correct that there is little comfort most people can give to those of us who are overtaken by these tragedies of life, but just being one who listens, I think, is the best comfort anyone can give.

God bless you and yours,

Ron, Chris, Camille, Renee, Kayla, and Nikolai, Dakota, and Avalanche

And of course Natasha who now waits for her beloved family along with Micha and Kodiac...

Natasha (Left) & Nikolai (Right)
Natasha (left) and Nikolai (right), my hasn't he grown! - April 8, 2000

Our family has personally experienced 3 cases of pet cancer out of 4 pets in the last 4 years. Two of those cases were extremely rare forms of cancer that, according to our vets, are seldom seen. Natasha, as you know, contracted the more common breast cancer. More and more these days we keep hearing about these seldom seen forms of cancer occurring with greater frequency than ever before. Three of our 4 Huskies also had additional health problems such as: Asthma, Arthritis, Allergies, undiagnosed Fever, Fatigue, Chronic Ear Infections, and a host of other medical problems from puppyhood through adulthood. The dogs lived in varied environments and ate varied diets according to what family member they lived with at the time. The one common denominator of the 3 pets with cancer was their annual vaccinations - given each and every year in full and on time (we thought we were responsible pet owners). After a great deal of personal research into the hows and whys involved in these occurrences of cancer in our family. We have decided now to alter our method and frequency of vaccinating our family pets. Nikolai has received his puppy shot series and his 1st year booster shots - he will not receive any further shots until his 4th birthday (and then only after titer testing). This, according to some advocates, is an extremely "conservative" choice - many pet owners are questioning whether or not to vaccinate their pets at all. Natasha will not receive any further vaccinations for the rest of her life due to her age and the fact that she is a cancer survivor! You should draw your own conclusions and do your own research into the murky topic of Vaccinosis and the hotly debated area of pet over-vaccination. To aid you in beginning this journey we want to offer you the following web site. Please be sure to click on each of the links on the page and visit the additional sites noted. Make sure that you notice each recommendation that is coming from veterinary medical school sources and established veterinarians. Our family firmly believes that every single case of cancer in our family pets can be attributed to over-vaccination. Heaven forgive us for the poor choices we made in the past and the suffering those choices caused. 

Launched December 7, 2002:

Sasha & Nikolai - A Love Story

 Launched October 17, 2006:

Anatomy of a Doggie Dinner - a tutorial for making a homemade BARF dinner

Launched February 21, 2007:

Nikolai's Odyssey

Misty's Journey - the story of a dog fighting Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC)

Shilo's Tale | Jesse's Story | Misty's Journey | Niki's Odyssey | Doggie Dinner | CRF Canine Renal Failure | Vaccinosis Story

Sasha & Nikolai | Sasha Blows Coat | Niki Turns Five | Our Past Siberian Huskies

This page was last updated on July 4, 2016

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