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Jenny Hrbacek is a registered nurse and was diagnosed with breast cancer. All she knew was traditional treatment. But she soon discovered that treatment often meant something worse down the road. What she found out and did next changed her life, and it might help someone you love!
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Scott: Jenny, you have a book, right here, it's called Cancer Free, Are You Sure? Your personal story was a big part of writing this book. Can you talk about that experience?
Jenny Hrbacek: Yes. It was life changing. In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have to say I'm a registered nurse, not practicing at the time. Just raising my family. And all of a sudden, I thought I was a perfectly healthy 47 year old. I went to the doctor every year, had good physicals, my lab work was fine. But then, all of a sudden I had this life threatening disease and I need to go in for surgery and chemotherapy and potentially radiation. And being a registered nurse, that's all I knew to do so of course I went along with that. And I actually had two plastic surgeons bidding on who could get me in first, because I wanted it out and I wanted it out quickly, because I thought that was the answer. After that, I decided, wow, I think something's wrong here. I need to build up my immune system. If that faltered, you know, I need to fix that. So what led me to this, the information that I think is life changing... I really think the information in my book can change the way the world detects cancer if people will just listen. That's the key.
But anyway, so I went to a breast cancer support group. And it was a first meeting of this group and there were about 50 ladies there. And each lady went around and told her story, you know what kind of cancer she had, what treatments she had. And as the evening went on at this meeting, I realized that half of these ladies had a recurrence. And I thought, my goodness, do I have a target on my back or what is going on here? I was told I'm cancer free. I have clean surgical margins, a clean PET scan, these ladies have the exact same thing. But yet, they're on chemotherapy again, they have no hair, they're wearing wigs, they have pink mugs with pink ribbons on them, they're wearing pink blinged out t-shirts. And Scott, these ladies were thrilled with their doctors and they were thrilled with the care they were giving, being given. And I just wanted to get up and leave. But I kind of helped get the group together, so I was kind of stuck. But I walked out in the parking lot and thought, dang, I've got a target on my back. There's got to be more to the story. I knew at that point I was not being told the truth.
Scott: So what did you find out from there then?
Hrbacek: So from there, I was on a mission to not be like those women. Because I could just see myself moving my chair over with them and I thought, this is not happening to me. So I got in my car, I live in Houston, Texas. I have been to the finest, you know, medical institutions in the world, you know what's in Houston, Texas. So I went to Dallas. I went and saw... I went to an integrative clinic there and I walked in and I said, hey, I would like to help build up my immune system, do some detox. The first thing the doctor said was... and he's actually a chiropractor and a naturopath. He said, well, lets make sure you don't have cancer. I said oh no, I'm cancer free. And he said are you sure? And I'm like, yes, I have clean surgical margins, I have a clean PET scan, I don't have cancer. So he said, would you please bear with me? And lets just check and make sure you don't have cancer and know what we're dealing with. He said I'm going to help you build immune system. So, he sent my blood over to Greece for a circulating cell count. And that's the first time I learned about, that any tumor over about 2 millimeters has this blood profusion and cells get swept away into the blood stream and that chemotherapy doesn't kill all those cells. If it did, it would be the cure, it would be in the newspaper. I mean, that's not earth shattering news, but the thing is when people are given chemotherapy they believe that it is a cure, they want to, they're told this is what we have to do. The doctor doesn't ever say its a cure, but he gives these wonderful statistics, that are relative instead of actual. And so you want to believe they're a cure but actually I tell people you have to realize it's just a treatment. It is not a cure, it's a treatment.
So anyway it came back and I had 14.2 per 7.5 cc's of blood were cancer cells. Which the easiest way to make that understandable is if anyone has ever seen a little insulin syringe, which is 1 cc or one milliliter. For every, if you put all of my blood, lined it up in little insulin syringes, I had two cancer cells in each syringe. And so all of a sudden, the light bulb clicked on, how someone could have colon cancer, had the tumor removed, clean margins, the doctor says they have no evidence of the disease, sends them back out into their life. And the tumor shows up later in their liver. It's because of those circulating tumor cells. And I knew why I had that terrible gut feeling at that meeting. Because I had those cells, I just didn't know about it. So that was the first test I found about. And from there, I started going to medical conventions. Actually the first one I went to was put on by the Best Answer for Cancer. Great foundation, led by Amy Brandt. You can go on their website and find a doctor. Tab and find an integrative oncologist who will look at all the tools in the tool bag, not just surgery, chemo and radiation. But I called her and they were having one of their annual conferences, and I said, well can I come? I'd love to volunteer, and whatever, and she says come on. So I went. And I got there Scott, and I walked in and I was in the big ballroom. And I look at the slides on the screens, there were a lot of people and they were dressed very nice. And it was like mTOR pathways, and I thought, wow, these slides are really advanced, for just the public. You know I'm a nurse and these are a little advanced for me. Well it turns out it was a medical convention for physicians. It was actually put on my Best Answer for Cancer, but it was the IOICP, which is the International Association (Organization) for Integrative Oncology Physicians. But the best part was, they had a huge exhibit hall, the public could not get in, we were in a hotel, they had people standing at the door. I walked in and the first booth I went up to, was one of these tests, so, the information just started to flow.