In 2013, Terriren was diagnosed with Parotid Gland Squamous Cell Carcinoma. After experiencing doubt when doctors recommended aggressive, traditional treatments, Terriren decided to go another route. She has been cancer-free since July 2016 and continues to help others on their healing journies as well.
Here’s her story:
In the fall of 2013, I was diagnosed with Parotid Gland Squamous Cell Carcinoma. I had a small one-inch tumor near my ear that never bothered me. My daughter noticed it one day and asked me to see a doctor. I saw an ENT doctor and he said he was certain it was benign, however, we should do a fine needle biopsy. We did the biopsy and he told me the tumor was benign. I did not read my pathology report. Several months later, the tumor had doubled in size and become painful. I asked this doctor to remove the tumor. Three days after surgery he called to tell me the tumor was cancer. He told me that I needed to see a radiation oncologist — however, to wait for a couple of months for my face to heal. In a couple of months, the tumor was back.
The spring of 2014, I saw several oncologists all over the country including MD Anderson. The majority of the oncologists recommended surgery and radiation. I had watched radiation and chemo kill so many people I loved, including my brother, and I was very leery of radiation. I ended up going to UCHealth in Denver where I lived and had the second tumor removed in May of 2014. The surgical oncologist told me I had to have radiation. The radiation oncologist at UC Health recommended 37 radiation treatments and was preparing me to accept that I may be on a feeding tube, and would need to work with a speech pathologist. I hated going to radiation therapy and would be in tears every time I had to get on the table for my treatment.
After only four treatments, I woke up on the fifth day unable to lift my head off the pillow due to the headache I had — plus, I had already lost four pounds. I continued for another four treatments and then stopped treatments because I knew I was being over-radiated. At this time I was working in a very low-stress sales job, not my normal job, and doing hot yoga; plus, I was meditating and eating a keto diet. There was no sign of a tumor.
In November of that same year, 2014, I took a very high-stress job running a tech support organization for a start-up firm. By February of 2015, the original tumor had come back, as did an additional tumor along my jawline. At this point, I had been researching supplementation plus diet and did not believe in traditional treatments like radiation therapy, chemo or surgery. I was getting Vitamin C IVs and also doing some ozone therapy with a naturopath. I was also working with an energy healer, doing Reiki and using the Rife machine three times a week — plus essential oils, and I was taking cannabis. However, I kept up my stressful work and life. The tumors got bigger and came to the outside of my face. I hid them with my hair. As they grew bigger they started to bleed and every day I was becoming weaker and weaker. I continued to work and was not eating or sleeping well.
At the beginning of October 2015 I was tired, weak and depressed but continued working — or trying to work. I had given up hope and was ready to give up. What I did not know was that I was anemic and that brought on the depression. October 14, 2015, I got up early to get ready for work. I touched one of the tumors and it began to bleed and would not stop. I woke up my daughter and told her we needed to go to the emergency room. The ER doctor could not get the bleeding to stop if we were not applying tremendous pressure to the tumor, which was very painful.
I called a friend who was a surgical oncologist who had just moved here from the East Coast. She could not get the bleeding to stop and at one point told me she was afraid I was going to bleed out. She said she needed to get me to another hospital which was fairly new, where they did an embolization surgery. This involved going through the groin and putting the matter into the blood vessels leading to the face to stop the flow of blood. She wrapped me up very tightly and I was transported to the hospital where I was given several blood transfusions and put on a ventilator to prepare me for surgery. During the time I was wrapped up tightly, my blood pressure rose to the point where I was told later that I almost had a stroke.
After surgery, I woke up in ICU on a ventilator. The surgical oncologist had saved my life. However, there were still the tumors to deal with. After I got stronger, the surgical oncologist came to see me and said we would need to get me as strong as possible — but we only had a short time. She said she was going to perform a 15-hour surgery to remove the tumors; one was the size of a tangerine and the other was the size of a grapefruit. She was also going to remove my cheek and jaw bone and go into my throat, and she told me that I would probably be on a feeding tube for the rest of my life. She also said I would have 5-7 additional surgeries for reconstruction and I would have to have radiation therapy as well. She did her best to put a lot of fear into me.
However, by this time my faith and spiritual connection had kicked in and I knew there was a better way. I went to a very popular cancer treatment center outside of Chicago for another opinion, however, I did not feel comfortable with their recommendations either.
In December of 2015, my energy healer saw a radiation oncologist on a morning talk show. He had pulled out of the hospitals and had radiation treatment and surgical centers. He was doing Brachytherapy and was the only oncologist in the state of Colorado and one of the only ones in the country at that time performing brachytherapy. The tumors had started bleeding again and I knew I needed to find a solution.
Began External Radiation Mid December 2015 – 37 treatments
Keto Diet – Kept Net Carbs at 12Grams
Took a natural supplement to pull excess radiation out of my body
Meditated every day
Worked with Energy Healer Three times a week – Reiki and Rife Machine, plus emotional work
Find many reasons for living – My kids and grandkids
Found my way back to a spiritual practice
Took cannabis (THC and CBD) Zeolite, Vitamin C, Fish Oil
Felt Empowered to make all decisions related to my health
Continued to Trust my intuition
Did Brachytherapy March 2016
Started Oxygen Therapy May 2016
Started Practicing Hot Vinyasa Yoga October 2016
July 2019 Remain cancer free helping others.”
Terriren believes a host of factors contributed to her cancer. She cites:
Grief – Lost mom and brother within 5 weeks apart, three years before diagnosis
Living In Fear
Not enough exercise
Not having a spiritual connection.
Editor’s Note: As of May 2022, Terriren is thriving post-diagnosis.
I remain in fabulous health. No recurrence or adverse effects in any way. From a healing standpoint, I have incorporated more advanced meditations and working with a Pranic Healer and group. This is helping me connect with The Divine and feel connected to all, we are all one. I started a movement, terrisflowers, http://terrisflowers.com/ In 2017. I have handed out over 300 flower bouquets to demonstrate the importance of connection for our overall health and longevity. Social integration is the number one predictor of longevity and I have gathered some incredible stories from handing flowers to a random stranger. I am working on making this a nonprofit and continuing the movement in a bigger way as we come out of COVID-19. I continue to help as many individuals with cancer as I can!
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