My Friend Madeline Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Euro Cancer Travels, Part 6
Coming home from studying at 5 holistic cancer treatment facilities in Europe, we were met by the mother of my long-time friend who traveled with me to run my camera. Before we even got to baggage claim, Madeline (name changed) tells me:
“I’ve just had a lumpectomy, and the biopsy indicates Stage 1 breast cancer. Talk to me.”
Of course, I have a lot to say. Over the course of a couple of weeks, she meets with the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, and reads my blog, and we talk on the phone, texts, and emails.
A few weeks later, I get a text from her.
She says she is choosing radiation. She wants to live just 20-25 more years anyway and is just going to hope for the best. She says she can’t stand being hot, so hyperthermia’s out. And she doesn’t want to take a benzo to withstand it, which I’d suggested, and she feels she has “run out of options.”
Her daughter tells me, “Write my mom what YOU would do.” I refuse. Doesn’t feel ethical, I say. So a few minutes later, Madeline texts me, “Please tell me what YOU would do.”
So I write her the following email. I’m sharing it with you. I’m hoping you learn now about how many good options you have outside the cancer industry’s Slash / Burn / Poison trifecta. Because very frankly, it’s a 50/50 proposition, whether we face cancer in a lifetime. Might as well get educated early.
You asked what I would do if I were faced with your choices. I’ll answer that, only because you asked. But first, to some things you said in your long text to me this morning.
You’ve spent 100 hours reading. Unfortunately, the case studies you describe are heavily cherry-picked and manipulated.
If you live five years, in those clinical trials, you’re a success. If you die a day after that, of a heart attack caused by the treatment, you’re still a success. You count in their five-year survival stats.
If you die earlier, many studies have been documented to drop you from the study group!
If you live with many years of miserable side effects, and develop a secondary cancer in Year 6, caused by exposure to all those radioactive isotopes? You’re getting the idea: again, you’re counted as a success.
The studies generally do not track or report secondary cancers, and your risk rate of this is MASSIVELY higher, having undergone radiation.
Keep in mind that the radiation is burning and mutating every cell it touches. Those cells replicate copies of themselves, so mutated genes are highly likely to develop and organize as cancer clusters. Six months later, five years later. You’re often battling inflammatory side effects for years, after radiation.
Just this week, I was in Mexico studying at Hope 4 Cancer, with Tony Jimenez, M.D., Carlo Santiesteban, M.D., and Xavier Curiel, M.D. All traditionally trained docs who have left traditional medical practice because it does not work, and because it harms people.
I met a woman there, Karen, from Dallas, who did chemo and radiation for her breast cancer and deeply regrets it now. When the breast cancer came back, it was a large (5-cm) tumor right on the scar tissue that has never gone away from her radiation. Two weeks before finding the lump, she told me, she had a root canal on a tooth that is connected, via the energy meridians well documented in science, to that breast.
You mention you have “run out of options.” Far from it, there are many options, and neither radiation, nor doing nothing, are acceptable options to me, personally. Those are the two options compared in the studies. Radiation, or nothing.
But what about the people who do LOTS to increase programmed cell death (apoptosis), starve out the vascular system of the tumor, oxygenate the body, induce an artificial fever to burn out cancer cells and increase killer cell and white-blood cell activity, decrease sugars that feed cancer, alkalize the body’s tissues, and cleanse the blood of parasites, bacteria, and toxic undigested proteins? To rebuild the gut lining, eroded and inflamed in virtually all cancer patients, to restore the immune function there and metabolize foods. To juice-fast, so the body can take the 35% of its energy resources it normally spends in digestion, to neutralize cancer cells instead.
Those people are not in your studies, compared to those few who “do nothing.” Those who do nothing are also heavily pre-treated with prior radiation and chemotherapy. Those who do nothing tend to be the elderly. You see how this manipulates the statistics that you are presented with, making it appear that burning your body is a sensible treatment? Those who do radiation are women in their 20’s to 60’s. Those who do nothing are in their 70’s to 90’s, and may have many other health problems.
The studies do not EVER compare those who seek other, holistic treatment. Treatment that understands the true nature of, causes of, and modus operandi of cancer. If you accept that you virtually ALWAYS have metastasis, because cancer isn’t a lump or a bump, but rather the general failure of your immune system, then we have to wonder why cancer-causing, lethal burning rays, directed at breast tissue where they told you the cancer was GONE, will help anything? Either it’s NOT gone, as they told you it was–they say it’ll come back if you don’t radiate, so why WOULD it come back, if it’s gone? (Their own logic is circular, or contradictory.)
Or it IS gone, so why would hitting the spot with cell-mutating radiation help anything? And why wouldn’t supporting and rebuilding your immune system to manage future cancer cells we always produce, be the answer?
We have come to accept them because those are the only things offered to us by very smart guys in white coats. But their education was provided to them courtesy of a few major industries—highly profitable, who will be out of business if they “cure” cancer. They aren’t bad people, the docs and nurses. They’re good people who have no idea that the system they’re working in is chasing its tail.
I know that hyperthermia would be very difficult for you because you are always hot, when other people are cold. Because you have a low core body temp. I suggested taking a benzodiazepine drug rather than writing that option off. Because hyperthermia is a very helpful process, as getting a fever is, when you have the flu. It’s how your body burns out the bad guys. Your immune cells function best at 104 degrees. A one-time use of benzodiazapene, which you say is “like Prozac,” is far, far less toxic than the permanent effects of the radiation you are considering. Radiation has a very long half life and continues burning and mutating cells and creating inflammation for a very long time.
You asked what I would do. I wouldn’t do chemo, ever. I wouldn’t do radiation either. Radiation may burn cancer cells for a while, out of a specific area, but they also make it far more likely that you’ll get a far more virulent secondary cancer later.
I would hop on a plane Jan. 1 and go to the Swiss Mountain Clinic (which used to be called Paracelsus al Ronc). Dr. Petra’s my favorite doc of all the docs I’ve worked with. I feel that she is evidence-based, uses lots of careful, precise diagnostics, and is very well-educated in the best alternative therapies.
I like Dr. Tony’s Hope 4 Cancer in Tijuana, too, and they have an interesting photo-bio-dynamic therapy. They have BX Anti-Toxin. Lots of interesting treatments are available.
Every place I’ve been, when I ask, “What do you have the most success with?” they say, “Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer.” Every single one has given me that answer. They qualify it by saying their success rates go down significantly when a patient has been treated with chemotherapy or radiation. Because now the body, instead of putting its energy into fighting the invader, any cancer cells anywhere in the body, is desperately fighting the insult via burning gamma rays, and the further compromised immune system. Keep in mind that the recent surgery already sets your immune system back. The many drugs in the anaesthetic cocktail, plus the knife scattering cancer cells (higher probability of them spreading), is something the body must recover from. You probably have felt that your body has needed recovery time after your surgery.
I would completely immerse myself in learning the Coy diet there at the Swiss Mountain Clinic, and also ask them for 4 glasses of green juice a day. I’d come home and eat, and juice, tons of organic, alkaline green foods. Cucumbers, celery, leafy greens, etc. Get that Norwalk Juicer, or at least a Breville, and make it my new best friend.
I’d eat NO SUGAR for two years. No refined sugar at all. Only small amounts of right-turning (unrefined) sugars in the form of fruits. Lower-carb grains like Spelt, Kamut, amaranth, quinoa, millet. No animal protein, except SMALL amounts, but only grass-fed, organic meat or sheep/goat cheeses, if you really feel you can’t live without it. No dairy products.
It’s hard to give up a sugar addiction. BUT! You’ll have a young, happy, thin body you haven’t had in decades–and get rid of inflammation in joints, aches and pains, mood swings, and energy lows. Those are the side benefits of the treatment you’ll get there. There are only side EFFECTS (bad ones) of the radiation treatment.
You’ll see your blood improve massively, with your treatment at the Swiss Mountain Clinic, under darkfield blood microscope—you can see it all!
That is what I would do. As I told you, I support and love you no matter what you choose! I feel compelled to share with you my conclusions after 20 years of reading cancer books and studying this subject and interviewing hundreds of cancer patients, and knowing MANY who survived and thrived after opting out of the modern cancer machine (Slash / Burn / Poison). It’s not that they did NOTHING; it’s that they chose OTHER treatment. I promise: the studies you read followed NO PATIENTS who tried other, holistic modalities. They can’t find or track them, plus they have no motivation to do so.
(Even though the studies you saw say radiation decreases your chance of recurrence, I’ve already told you that non-treatment of breast cancer involves a much OLDER study group. And, a well-known study of hundreds of ovarian cancer patients age 80+ in Sweden showed that those who did NOTHING, lived more than a year longer than those who did chemo or radiation. Like I said, it’s not ethical in the U.S. to not treat cancer at all. Even Medicaid and Medicare pay for the $100k – $1 million cancer treatments for the poor and the elderly. The only people who DON’T get treated in America are the very old who don’t want it! Keep that in mind as you review those “case studies” your text refers to, of those who do NOTHING versus those who do RADIATION. That comparison creates a false expectation of success from radiation.)
So we have the same death rate, from cancer, that we did in 1974 under Nixon. That’s widely known, widely reported. Why, then, are your doctors convincing you that radiation is going to save you from recurrence of breast cancer? Have we seen gains in breast cancer survival rate? No we haven’t. I’ve sent you articles about that. All we’ve seen is that the diagnostic industry is catching Stage 0 and Stage 1 tumors. So we’re putting women into dangerous, deadly treatments earlier. Of course they survive it at a higher rate. They were healthy people. They would likely have not seen any health issues from that tiny cluster of cells for many years, if ever. In many cases, the body would have broken down and metabolized that growth, as it usually does.
So our data is skewed by early detection, and more healthy women in the treated group. But the overall death rate remains the same. So please don’t over-invest in the one-sided reading of case-study medical journal articles. Most if not all of the research is paid for by the drug and tech companies. Their goal is not to cure cancer. They are companies. Their goal is to TREAT cancer. Their goal is to PROFIT. They have repeatedly shown, and many books are published about this, by insiders, that their motives are contrary to the interests of public health. Why else does our oncology industry, in the U.S., do absolutely NOTHING or even LOOK at any other options, that aren’t high-profit technology and drug approaches?
You say hyperthermia won’t get deep enough into your tissues, since the tiny tumor they removed was very deep. Why, then, would radiation not have the same challenge? That’s lots of HEALTHY tissue it has to burn through, to get to the FORMER cluster of cancer cells. I don’t think that argument points to radiation as a solution.
Hyperthermia is the most STUDIED, and the most clearly efficacious, “natural” or “holistic” treatment. It being uncomfortable for you, maybe even intolerable if you’re totally awake for it, can’t be the reason to choose radiation. Choose radiation if it feels RIGHT to you based on all the evidence, and your gut. Because that’s a high-stakes decision to make.
You don’t want to take the benzo drug to survive a few hours of hyperthermia. But guess what—you had benzo drugs during your lumpectomy.
Just think on these things. Frustratingly, there is no giant industry to pay for publishing lots of papers on the effects of radiation. Those industries essentially own the medical journals, the medical schools, the residency programs, and continuing education. They must be looked at with a most critical eye.
Nor are there dollars to study the multi-faceted holistic approaches. However, Dr. Contreras at Oasis of Hope in Mexico, whose father was the first-ever integrative oncologist, published his own study of his patients’ five-year survival rates, compared to the published U.S. traditionally treated rates.
His survival statistics—apples to apples, since he used Stage 4 patients only—for ovarian, breast, lung, and colon cancers—are RADICALLY better. I point to those studies on my blog. Everywhere I’ve been in my holistic cancer research, they quote 80-95 percent success rates with Stage 1 and 2 breast cancers.
Congrats on losing 16 lbs! What you’re doing is a great weight-loss diet! It’s because you’re cutting out processed food. It’s not the greatest as an anti-cancer diet. You said green smoothies, fruit, fish, chicken, beef. Beef and chicken are full of hormones and antibiotics that are harmful to you, so I would cut WAY down on meat if cutting it out seems too hard, and eat ONLY organic / range fed / wild caught fish / chicken. Lots of metals and chemicals in farmed fish.
Eat the low-gluten or no-gluten organic grains in small amounts and make GREENS and VEGETABLES your #1 and #2 mainstays. That’s a great cancer diet. Remember, a cancer cell has 19 sugar receptors, and a normal cell has only 2. So sugars feed cancer. And, undigested proteins in the blood for the Standard American Diet practice of eating 20 percent animal proteins, is at the root of a lot of cancer, very well documented. So, greens, sprouts, vegetables, legumes, gluten-free grains, nuts and seeds, and a little fruits. That’s the best cancer diet! As much juicing of greens and vegs as possible!
Posted in: Health Concerns
27 thoughts on “My Friend Madeline Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Euro Cancer Travels, Part 6”Leave a Comment
Thank you for posting your letter. It was very eye opening and enlightening. As I was reading this I couldn’t help to think about what you would do for a child? If you would recommend the same treatment?
Amy, I believe I answered that question in a blog series several months ago, when I was reporting on another cancer research trip I took.
I am filing this away in my brain and hoping I never have to pull it out gain for myself or my family. Thank you for sharing your candid thoughts and your extensive research
I have to admit I was 100% on board with this natural approach for a long time, but I don’t know anymore. A good friend of mine with breast cancer made it a full time job to do all of the above and more after I handed her a stack of literature on natural remedies, though she did do a lumpectomy first.
After that, no other treatment besides holistic – she had a far infrared sauna she used daily, skin brushing, daily meditation, I gave her my Norwalk juicer and she lived on a mostly raw, very balanced plant based diet, modified Gerson’s because she didn’t want any animal products, all the recommended supplements, she did a ton of research, went several times to Oasis in Mexico, went way beyond anything I had ever read about.
She felt the best she ever had in her life for about 4-5 years, all tests showed it looked like it was gone, then it spread to lumps under her skin and non-vital organs. She got it to mostly regress, still felt well for another few years, then it went everywhere, ovaries, liver, and she was gone within a few months. That was 3 years ago. She had been working on a book about her success, and to this day I think she died surprised.
She has a couple of older sisters who have had cancer and outlived her, we just saw them at a reunion dinner and they’re all doing well. Her ex-boyfriend was diagnosed with a later stage colon cancer around 12 years ago, he would never do the alternatives she wanted him to, he did chemotherapy and has a colostomy bag. Saw him at her funeral and still keep in touch, he’s doing well (all things considered) with no signs of recurrence and still does Aikido and trains daily.
The woman I get colonics from is a raw food proponent for many years, she’s in her 60s and has worked with many cancer patients. She admitted to me that from what she’s observed, it’s the ones who do a combination of conventional and holistic treatment who seem to survive the longest with quality of life. I’d like to know about more long term natural approach success stories, I’m sure they are out there, but I haven’t read much on the 10, 20+ year survival rate.
I have worked for medical doctors for many years despite my personal natural health approach, and I’ve met many long term cancer survivors who took a conventional approach. I totally get that the data is skewed and that it’s a huge industry, but sometimes it seems so individual who survives and who doesn’t. I think if it were me, quality of life balanced with what was best for my family would be at the top of my priority list in choosing a treatment and would include the most rigorous natural health regime I could afford to spend the time and money on.
I still want to believe that a totally natural approach geared toward detoxification and cellular support is all you need to let the body heal itself, but I don’t know that it’s that simple anymore, I think all the crap we’ve pumped into the environment has affected our DNA, and it’s not as easy to recover from serious disease. Even people who teach Gerson’s are saying that many of the cancers being found now have changed since the time that book was written and it’s not usually enough to do just that approach. We know a local family who own a health food store, hold seminars on natural cancer treatment and have pretty much lived on a Gerson diet for many years, did hyperbaric oxygen therapy and a bunch of other stuff, and the mother died a few years back from breast cancer.
My friend felt really well the 8 years she lived past her diagnosis, but her approach cleaned them out financially and was a lot of work, she was an artist and had less time to create as a result. She was involved in some public projects and there was much more she wanted to do. Maybe the lumpectomy was an early critical mistake and it caused it to spread an encapsulated tumor.
Maybe it was her time, or maybe if she’d done conventional treatment she would have died anyway and been sick all the years she had left. I can’t help but wonder, anyway, if she’d still be here if she’d taken her doctors’ advice and basically gone the route her sisters did. She would have if I hadn’t introduced her to the natural health approach, so you can understand why this keeps me up at night. Her boyfriend has said to me several times since her death that “she tried SO hard!”
Diane, very thoughtful. Very frankly, I have had ALL of the same thoughts. If you were someone who knows nothing about the alternatives, and didn’t develop your thesis here, I might have disregarded this comment somewhat. But you clearly know a lot about all these subjects. I, too, have seen people die who used “alternative” or more natural means to combat disease. I also saw them have much higher quality of life than chemo patients do. I wouldn’t completely rule out a very specialized, low-dose, targeted chemo or radiation approach for one of my children or family members, if I were responsible for the decision, but I personally WOULD rule out the vast majority of what is given most cancer patients most of the time. Just not worth it. As a couple of my cancer patient friends have said, “There are things worse than death.” One of them may be living with chemo brain, a massively damaged digestive system and neurological and endocrine system, terrible skin problems, and so much more.
You hit on a lot of things I am fairly convinced of. For instance, Charlotte Gerson’s statement, which many other docs have agreed with when I ask them in interviews, that cancer is a different beast than it was 30-50 years ago. Not as easy. Probably thanks to 80,000 chemicals in our environment as you alluded to.That said, this does not lead me to accept chemotherapy as the oncology profession continues to administer and defend despite terrible outcomes.
It’s still a logical fallacy to say that because some survive chemo, and some die after holistic / non-toxic efforts, that the first is good and the second isn’t. I’m aware this isn’t what you’re saying—and you, yourself, are committed to a path that honors the whole organism.
But, and this is an important point, there are no guarantees. There is no perfection. When you have cancer, sometimes TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE.
However, I’ve seen SO many phenomenal things, positive results, in counterpoint to these examples you give, that have led me to pull away from far more lucrative ventures to create resources for those faced with cancer who don’t want the devastation of modern medicine’s cancer machine. Please look at Dr. Contreras’ five-year clinical trial statistics. You have to take your chances somewhere. I would not stake my chances on the 28 different recipes for chemo for breast cancer patients. There are 28 because NONE OF THEM WORK.
So true that there are things worse than death. I heard an interview on NPR some months back with a woman who was diagnosed with a late stage cancer, and she elected to take a “palliative” approach. She seemed really at peace with the whole thing and had already outlived her doctors’ life expectancy prediction, spending quality time doing things that were important to her and feeling well while doing so. If I was going to do anything involving toxic substances, it would, as you said, be a very careful, well thought out and targeted approach. I already know I couldn’t handle anything really aggressive, the “treatment” would be worse than the disease, and I’ve wondered too how many long term cancer survivors are still here not because of the treatment, but in spite of it. I guess at this point in my mind, that goes for both approaches. I hope it’s a decision I’m never faced with, but I’m doing all the prevention I can. I’ve been eating and living pretty clean for the past 20 years, so hopefully that helps some. I think we humans are on the path of figuring out too late what we’ve done to ourselves.
Incidentally, a few years ago my father had a new, experimental treatment done for prostate cancer in the Bahamas by American doctors who can’t do the treatment in the states because it isn’t approved yet. I’ve forgotten the specifics, but it’s got something to do with blasting it with ultrasound waves or something, no long term side effects that we’re aware of, nothing like they often have with surgery, and so far everything looks good. Not exactly holistic, but far less invasive than chemo/radiation or surgery. He recovered pretty quickly.
Diane, “I’ve wondered too how many long term cancer survivors are still here not because of the treatment, but in spite of it.” That’s critical thinking in action that most people don’t have or exercise. I have had the same thought many times, as someone is telling me that chemo is the reason their loved one is alive. How do we know?
Can’t count how many times someone has said to me, “The chemo got it all, but then it came back three months later, out of control.” Or, “The chemo cured him.” How do we know chemo cured anyone? How many people would LIVE WITH CANCER for years or even decades with cancer, without even knowing they had it, if we weren’t so aggressive about diagnosing it?
I’m not saying we shouldn’t diagnose it. Just waxing philosophical here. My grandfather, when diagnosed with cancer, was told it had been growing very, very slowly, for over 30 years. Photos prove this. You could see it, bulging behind his eye, for DECADES before it was discovered. The M.D. who found it told him, ‘It grew so slowly because of the diet you went on with your wife.” My granddad wasn’t totally rigid about it, like my grandmother was while she was dealing with her own cancer—-but he did most of it, most of the time. He had an outstanding plant-based diet for many years.
It is hard to isolate a factor with any human being. People who absorb anger, negativity, stress, and fear, have massively higher rates of cancer and poorer outcomes, according to some research. Saying that someone juiced vegetables and got in a sauna daily post-diagnosis doesn’t tell the whole story. I had a close family member who was obese and I never saw her overeat, not once. I lived with her once for a while, and was raised with her. Finally her family told me. She got up after everyone else went to bed, and sat in front of the TV late into the night, eating a whole package of bologna every night. (Yes, she got cancer later—thank you, nitrates in processed meat. But that isn’t my point. My point is, you don’t know what someone is doing. Maybe they’re doing some good things with their public face, but what about the things they’re doing when no one’s looking? Seems crazy to think people sabotage themselves, but look around—people are doing it everywhere. I’m not saying that’s what your friend did, but my point is, there are so many factors here.
My grandmother did not do chemo or radiation. However, she did cut the melanoma out of her arm. She blamed that on the quick spread to her breasts and lymphatic system. It was the one thing in her treatment she deeply regretted. She maintained a lifelong complete distrust and avoidance of the entire medical system after her diagnosis and original prognosis by M.D. Anderson’s oncologists, and her subsequent 25-year survival.
As always, I so appreciate your candid honesty. Thank you for your self-less investigative work to benefit us all. Side note on new website: I find the vivid wallpaper background very hard to read through…any chance of dulling it all down a bit?
Jan, I don’t have that. Wallpaper for the blog, or the homepage, or all? Describe it, and tell me what browser and version you’re using? That is usually the culprit…..weird stuff we have to troubleshoot for specific browsers. It has made putting up a new site really thorny! Thanks for the feedback.
Nice Robyn! Very nice of you to care so much. You are my hero for real! It takes a lot of guts to go against the grain but I know you are right in the things you’re saying! It will be interesting to see the outcomes of everyone you’ve talked about. Keep us posted! And THANK YOU!
My dad died when I was a baby in 1971 of melanoma cancer – he was 39 years old. My mom said that after watching the traditional cancer treatment that she wouldn’t go through it if she was ever diagnosed with cancer. I wish there were more statistics for the success of alternative treatments. I would be curious if those with aggressive cancers like pancreatic cancer die quickly like most patients but have a better quality of life or if they actually do live longer when using alternative methods. My husband said he would opt for traditional treatment because he said Steve Jobs used alternative treatments and look where it got him! I told him that Steve Jobs ignored his cancer and did minimal alternative treatments. I guess its not worth the argument. I love the post before about your mother writing out her wishes – I think I will add my wishes to my health care directive regarding cancer treatment.
Thank you so much for sharing this! In your letter, you mentioned eating low- or no-gluten grains. Is there a reason you recommend a low gluten diet for cancer? I’m sorry if you’ve already posted on this and I’ve missed it. It’s piqued my curiosity.
I learned something today that you might share with your husband regarding Steve Jobs … according to this article, Steve Jobs was a fruitarian. Apparently, he only ate fruit; no veggies, no greens, nothing but fruit. With little or no lower GI foods, that’s a huge tax on the pancreas. I’m not surprised he had pancreatic cancer!
Lynne, is that good information? Seems like Steve Jobs would be smarter than that…..to eliminate important classes of foods like greens, vegetables, legumes, nuts/seeds….
Gluten proteins in the vast majority of our grains nowadays are very difficult to digest. That’s thanks to generations of hybridization, where those changing our food supply increased the gluten in grain to make fluffier bread, to the detriment of the human gut’s ability to digest.
Thanks for the information about gluten! Very interesting. I’m guessing that finding heirloom wheat (if there is such a thing) and sprouting it makes all the difference in the world.
Yes, I believe it is good information about Steve Jobs. Acording to the article I read, Ashton Kutcher is playing him in a new movie and to prepare for the role adopted Steve Jobs’ diet, eating nothing but fruit for a period of time. It landed Ashton Kutcher in the hospital because his pancrease levels went all out of wack. You can do an internet search and find several articles about it. I don’t normally read “movie news” but this particular story popped out at me.
Thanks for sharing this, Robyn. It is such a personal decision.
There have been a couple of cancer deaths recently in my extended family. Both were late diagnoses and lived less than two years. One had colon cancer, the other brain cancer. They both opted for a combination of conventional and alternative treatments. Both experienced a short burst of incredible quality of life as they embraced a healthier lifestyle than ever before and had more openhearted communication with friends and family. This was followed by steep decline in physical condition and really painful, drawn-out last months. I don’t know if either of them had regrets about the treatments they chose, because I wasn’t close to them. By all accounts they kept loving right to the end.
Chances are that more and more people I know and love will receive a cancer diagnosis. What would I do if my husband or I were diagnosed? We are in our mid 30s. If the cancer were detected in early stages I would probably lean heavily toward holistic treatment. If it were a late stage diagnosis I would be more likely to consider chemo or radiation as well. We would look at the possibility of surviving invasive treatment and living with a severely reduced quality of life. It would be a tough decision. Would I rather have my spouse around at any cost? I know a couple who survived her chemo 20 years ago. Precious, priceless years. She does have a somewhat reduced quality of life, with chronic symptoms like asthma and migraines. But I bet to her it is totally worth it. Her daughter is about to be married and my friend has been part of her life all these years and will be there for the wedding. I also have seen a darker side of cancer survival: In my early 20s I had a job caretaking a woman who had survived brain cancer a few years previously. She and her husband were in their mid 30s. She had been severely brain damaged by chemo and radiation and was now blind and in a wheelchair, frequently screaming in hallucinations (a result of the brain damage or a side-effect of her current meds?) I watched her 10 hours per day, three days per week while her husband was at work. I won’t go into all the details of the job situation, but after 3 months I felt so drained and depressed that I quit working for them. Personally, I think I would rather live like Diane’s friend and die surprised than go on for years with the quality of life of the woman I took care of.
I may think I can decide now what I would do if I were diagnosed, but I can’t guarantee that I won’t change my mind if cancer actually stares me in the face. For now, I want to take care of myself and my family, keep learning, and choose happiness rather than fear and stress.
Robyn, I am so grateful for the work you are doing, and grateful that you have such a wide audience. Keep up the good work!
AnnaJ, that was provocative, thanks for the food for thought. One of my closest friends raised her boyfriend’s son as he was a teen going through chemo. He is disabled now, and mentally unable to hold down a decent job, because of the number that chemo did on his brain. It appears to be permanent. She says, “It kills me, because I knew that boy when he was bright and vibrant—totally normal.”
There are simply no guarantees. I want to go with the option that has the highest possibility of success and the fewest risks of long-term devastation.
I “stumbled” across your website last night when I was trying to find out more about these green smoothies I keep hearing about. As I started scanning over the site, I came across this entry and started to cry…I’m still crying as I type. My mom died of cervical cancer three weeks ago. She was diagnosed last May… Stage 3. As her health began to deteriorate, my family left to take care of her (me, my husband and our four small children.) I have to admit, I’m scared. I think about how I feel right now… not so great. I think about my kids’ eating habits… also, not that great. And I think about how fast this horrible disease ravaged my mother. I don’t want this for me, my daughters. Thanks for giving me something to contemplate. I wish you did clinics in the Northeast! I’d sign up today. But, I guess I’ll just stick to the site for now.
Deirdre, I’m so sorry this brought up such a sad and fresh experience and for the loss of your mama. I did classes in the NE in October (ten cities). I’ll be back, I’m sure, as I have a Delaware and New York coach. Do stick around and keep learning and contributing here. Much love,
I would like to find out more about the Coy Diet, but am not finding anything through my library system and little through the internet. Any ideas where I can find out more about it? Also, is hyperthermia good for other health conditions besides cancer? If so, I wonder if there are some health centers around Seattle that might offer hyperthermia?
yes, I learned next to nothing from the internet about the Coy diet, too—it has found no traction in the U.S. but is mostly in Europe, but the dietary principles are very sound.
Angela, few places in the U.S. offer hyperthermia, but you can find it if you really look. And yes, hyperthermia helps other conditions too.
Great information! Thank you so much.
I’m currently on the modifed gerson therapy for chronic neuro lyme and ovarian cysts. 4 months into it , I’m feeling much worse. I was previously on a high raw low fat vegtan diet with cooked veggies for dinner for the previous 15 months. What are your thoughts on Gerson? If Gerson truly does work for cancer ( I do know someone who recovered from uterine/colon cancer with no surgery, chemo or radiation) how does it work if cancer feeds on sugar? The gerson juices have alot of sugar with the green juice having an apple per 8 oz serving, carrot juice, and carrot/apple also includes 1 whole apple per/8oz. Has oatmeal, white potatoes, and fruit as snack-alot of sugar I would think. I know hippocrates has the opposite view. It is very confusing.
Such important information and so well written. I will share this with many people I know. Sometimes I feel like most of the world is brainwashed about cancer treatment. Thank you Robin.
I seriously could make this a very extensive comment, but I really will try not to. I will have to start by admiring Diane’s bravery in writing your comment. I can”t even remember how many times have I felt so confused by all the contradicting information found in the alternative approaches to cancer treatment.
As someone who had always been a very strong advocate for natural approaches to medicine, I still find myself very deeply confused by all these information, especially after my own diagnosis in Nov 2011. Surprisingly, prior to this diagnosis, I was a very rigid raw foodist for a few years.Yes, I found myself in the very difficult situation that many of you describe and fear so much.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. And yes, not stage 1, not stage 2, but stage 3 breast cancer, which means it was already in most of my lymph nodes. I wish mine would have been stage 1 or 2. I found myself trying to make the most difficult decisions I ever dealt in life. Of course i thought about doing a natural treatment for cancer. that sounded the most easy to be honest.
Most of my friends practically begged me to and told me that if I opted for chemotherapy I was going to die. Unfortunately, this just made it harder to deal with all the emotions I was already dealing with.. I thought about it a lot, but I just couldn’t picture myself following pretty much the same diet I was following and see my cancer go away. There obviously was something very wrong about the way I was eating.
After a lot of research, praying, I considered all my options and opted for what I thought was best for me and my family,a conventional treatment for my cancer.Yes, unfortunately at the stage it was I was recommended a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and and one more chemo drug for a year. Yes, it was the hardest year of my life for a number of reasons. Yes, chemotherapy was very hard ( I had 6 rounds of very aggressive 3 chemo drugs), I had 35 rounds of radiation, and a year of herceptin, and a mastectomy. Absolutely a very difficult year, I supported my treatment with the help of a naturopathic dr. To make a long story short, I felt that I recovered quickly from each treatment and didn’t experience all the side effects that I saw other patients experience.
I run a couple of 5K during that time, I have been doing yoga for a few months again. And, most importantly, I am cancer free. I am not a practicing raw foodist anymore. It just wasn’t working for me. I absolutely believe in eating a healthy diet free of processed foods, but obviously a vegan diet wasn’t the right one for me, although I tried really hard to believe that.
I feel better now than I did before. Of all the anti cancer diets I have read about, the Coy diet is the one that makes more sense to me. Lesson, learned: every body is different, and what works for some may not work for others.
We just have to follow our heart and listen to our bodies to see what we really need. Every body has a different biochemistry and many radical changes may shock certain organisms. So please lets be careful with what we preach and what we believe and practice.
I have bought a blender from your site, your 8 week meal planner, and four other books of yours, but (and partially due to where I’m located, but only for three more months) I’m having difficulty finding good produce or organic anything.
Also, the time to prep and make healthy meals is quite time consuming; shopping especially when considering the number of different stores I have to go to, and the time it takes for “unusual” items to ship. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, healthy eating wasn’t a priority.
I have eaten processed foods all my life and have grown a taste for them; especially sugar, which I know I am addicted to. Cancer is one of my biggest fears because I do know that diet plays such a huge part in a person’s health.
I have been blending, but I find I feel quite ill after drinking a smoothie. I’m calling my doctor to be tested for hemochromatosis (high iron levels), if that is the case, what is your suggestion? I have been trying to incorporate leafy greens into my diet but I am not feeling well after eating them. Do you have any alternatives in instances of high iron levels? I really think that maintaining a healthy diet is key to preventing cancer in the first place (and it’s something I’m working hard on, and plan on making major changes in once I move to Texas). Do you have any suggestions for making the transition to eating healthier easier for someone like me who has eaten so unhealthily their entire life?
Thank you for your voice in alternatives for cancer treatments. Cancer really has turned into a business; a way to make a profit, and I think it is important to take that into consideration when looking at traditional cancer treatments and statistics. I appreciate that you back up your information with studies, and look deeper than the face-value studies we’re presented with. I feel the words “holistic” and “alternative” have been given a bad image as some tree-hugging, hippie nonsense, and it’s important to have informed people being the voices that bring to light the information about deviating from the usual cancer path that leads to chemo and radiation.
II have to agree with Diane, as a cancer survivor myself I can tell you that I know I am alive today because of a combination of holistic and chemo/radiation. I was on a very heavy dose of chem and radiation daily for 1 month at the end of the chemo. During all of this I ate organic, little to no meat, exercised daily, meditation and herbs/homeopathic remedies. While I did feel somewhat yired I could still function daily and was never really sick. My sisters mother-in-law did alternative only and had a very difficult time and did not survive. The fact is that modern medicine can be very useful in conjuntion with us doing all that we can to be healthy. Cancer is not choosy and despite all of your efforts you can still get it. I did, and that made me realize that there is a place for modern medicine in our lives. Please don’t discourage anyone from either type of treatment there are success stories on both sides of the coin. And you can never really know what you will choose until you are faced with the decision yourself, after watching two uncles I never would have thought I would make the choices I did, but I am glad I did. I was 38 and healthy as can be when I was diagnosed, now 5 years later I am fine with no real side effects. The homeopathic/holistic is absolutely what helped me be strong through it all…I was walking 3-5 miles a day. Both can have a place in our lives 🙂