Thanks so much for speaking with me about your heartwarming journey through Buttons’ cancer, healing, passing, and, lastly, your continued, spiritual connection to her.Thank you, Debbie, it’s great to talk with you, thanks for having me!
Buttons reminds me of Opal in so many ways! I don’t think I have to tell you how much I cried as I watched the video; not only tears of sadness, mind you, but tears of joy for the love and happiness that Buttons brought to your life, reminding me of the love and happiness that Opal and Dixie bring to mine.
How was Buttons' cancer discovered?
One day I found a hideously ugly, red, horn-rimmed tumor at the base of her tail. It was terrifying. I rushed her to the vet and had him do a biopsy.
What were the symptoms that alerted you to the fact that there might be something wrong?I was caught completely by surprise. However, in retrospect I saw that there were some telling signs like loss of energy and lethargy. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to document ALL my 20/20 hindsight in the hopes of helping other pet parents avoid the same mistakes and oversights I made.
When Buttons was diagnosed with cancer, what gave you both the determination and the confidence to bypass the traditional, prescribed “medical” treatments in favor of holistic care?
I had the advantage of having been raised in a family that practiced some alternative health care methods. I was already well-versed in the difference between Western/allopathic medicine’s way of focusing, squelching and treating the symptom versus the holistic method of removing all toxins from the body and environment, cleansing the body of all residual toxins, and strengthening the body nutritionally so it could heal itself. The EMOTIONAL turmoil I faced and overcame prior to my choice of treatment is described in detail in the story (it’s a good one- don’t want to ruin it for anyone here :).
Did you put her through any of the prescribed protocols at all, or did you stick to holistic-only?
The vet was insistent that without amputation, chemotherapy, and radiation within 48 hours of receiving the (twice done) lab results, Buttons would be dead in 6 weeks. However, I knew that wasn’t the route for us, and instead, I enlisted the help of several alternative practitioners. Combined with my own knowledge and experience of treating the cause (emotional and physical toxicity placing an unmanageable burden on the immune system) rather than the symptom (cancer), proceeded to implement a purely holistic, cleansing regimen.
Did you consult with a holistic vet prior to embarking on your treatment plan for Buttons? Or did you create your own treatment plan based upon your extensive knowledge of alternative and holistic healing?
Buttons’ diagnosis was in 1992. At that time there were no holistic vets in Tucson where we were living.
What did Button’s diet consist of prior to her becoming ill?
A dry kibble prescribed by her vet.
What changes did you make to her diet after she was diagnosed?
I immediately began home cooking organic food and treats. Eventually what in my opinion became the best diet for her was home cooked organic ground turkey, organic quinoa and millet, grated raw veggies and sea meal.
What were some of the things you did to clear her environment of toxins?I stopped using commercial flea products, air fresheners, and any cleaning products other than vinegar or lemon juice. I switched to an all-natural laundry detergent and stopped using all fabric softener and dryer sheets. I made sure her bowls were nowhere near an electrical outlet and gave away my microwave."