In July 2012 I found out I had Stage 4 cancer. In a single moment my life changed forever. Cancer — melanoma, a killer — had spread to my brain. Doctors expected me to live only a few months. They sent me home to die, with a wad of prescriptions in my hand. According to doctors I should be dead now. But I’m still here. You can’t get rid of me that fast, cancer! MUAHAHAHA!
If doctors didn’t believe I could reverse cancer’s seeming-inevitable march toward death, who would? There was no time to sit and meditate on it all. I would be dead soon without A-C-T-I-O-N. Radical intervention. The best of allopathic medicine (chemo-chemo-chemo) would buy me a few months’ time. Not fucking good enough. I want a lifetime. A good life. To love and be loved. To heal what created the cancer to begin with, and to become the person I was meant to be. My soulmate Kahuna and I became my healing team. and together we combed the internet for ways to heal cancer. The answers are out there. The Gerson Therapy. Intravenous Vitamin C. Iscador. Low Dose Naltrexone. Paul Stamets’ mushroom medicinals. Rick Simpson Oil. 12 juices a day? Enemas? Cut out all salt, sugar, flavor and basically anything that tastes good? I can do that.
Nine months have gone by since doctors told me I was dying. We created an entire radical healing program, and it worked! After nine months I’m pretty used to this new way of living. An oyster makes a pearl to deal with a little irritation. I can be a fucking oyster. This is what my days have been like.
UPDATE: My healing program isn’t working as well as I need it to (new brain tumors — FUCK), so we are making massive changes to what I eat. I am still drinking about 10 juices a day but what goes into the juices is changing to align with my individual metabolic profile. (Sadly, the new juices are vastly more vile than the old ones.) More on metabolics later. I started writing this post back in February when I was fully doing the Gerson Therapy and drinking juices made with Gerson formulas and I’m too lazy to rewrite the parts about the juices, so you’ll just have to suck it up and deal and imagine that I have it way, way worse now.
9am. My soulmate wakes me up.
(I know, right? Sleep in until 9? Great life, eh?)(cough)
Kahuna loves this time of day (“She’s still alive!”) but it sucks for me. Going from yummy dreaminess to actually feeling my body and all the hurty parts is my most unfavorite time of the day. Fine. Kahuna sits on the edge of my bed and holds my hand. Once I’m standing I get a penguin-style hug from my Mated For Life Penguin. He brings me my first juice (carrot-apple — only 11 more juices to go) and a quart jar of coffee, because it’s…
Enema Time! (aka Sacred Time)
Things I am thankful for:
- portable heater for automagical bathroom sauna creation
- soft blanket on the floor
- iPhone to check email and Facebook and see what’s up in the world
I was VERY squeamish about doing enemas when this all started (I have to stick WHAT into my WHERE?). This was the part of the Gerson program I most did not want to do. Not a problem any more — once you’ve done more than 1000 you get your Expert badge in enemas. (Yes, I proudly display mine.) Sacred Time is my rest time, my wake-up time, my self-nurturing time. Root chakra FTW.
10am-ish Breakfast + Green Juice
Breakfast = oatmeal, day in and day out. Oatmeal with nothing on it. And a spoonful of flax oil on the side.
Green juice = nasty green sludge in a jar. Each 8 oz green juice is an entire Very Large Salad. Add a large double handful of supplements.
We lost our old coffee ritual the day I went to the ER last July, so now we have our ritual while I eat my oatmeal. Kahuna + me + sometimes Kitty, sitting together by the window. My feet on his lap. We tell each other our highlights from the day before. We talk about the day to come. We speak words of love and encouragement. And then we go to our respective work. Kahuna makes phone calls for things needed on my program (ordering bulk amounts of produce for all the juicing; following up with doctors, prescriptions, medical supplies; dealing with government agencies for my SSI or food stamps — it’s astounding how much is involved) or starts on juicing or shops for supplies/food. I do what I can. Frequently that involves getting up close and personal with the couch. Eating oatmeal is exhausting.
11am Making Up for The Juices Not Drunk Yet = Carrot-apple + Carrot Juice
This is when I try to reconcile the Gerson schedule with my daily reality. Gerson says I should wake up at 6am and do an enema and THEN GO BACK TO SLEEP. This is physically impossible after having retained a quart of coffee in one’s butt for 15 minutes so I skip that part and do the coffee thing when I wake up, which is the West Coast Laid-Back Wake-Up Program. Still, in this hour I challenge myself to try to squeeze in a carrot-apple juice and a carrot juice. Usually I fail, but it amuses me to try. I can win cancer! I can!
(Carrot juice has the mouth-feel of chocolate milk but somebody did an unfortunate switcheroo on the taste. Also I have to drink it with liver pills that taste like liver, so there’s that.)
In this hour I do whatever it was I was doing in the hour before. Championship Resting. Kitty Petting. Crying (if things are bad). Paperwork, writing, and phone calls if I’m feeling particularly good. Did I mention my whole body hurts?
12pm Green Juice + Sacred Time #2 (heh. I said Number Two)
Another salad-in-a-jar. This sounds way better than it is.
Let’s talk supplements! In the course of a single day, I take 50+ pills. Acid to help digest food. Pancreatic enzymes to also help digest food. Niacin. Chlorella. Krill oil. Boswellia. IP-6. Mushroom medicinals. Pau d’arco. A tablespoon of flax oil. Every other day, I inject myself with Iscador, a cancer-killing medicine made from mistletoe that HURTS LIKE A MOTHER. Every few days I inject myself in the butt with B-12. On good days I don’t hit a nerve back there. So maybe that’s what I do in this hour besides drink a juice and down a handful of pills and run a quart of coffee through my posterior section.
1pm Carrot-Apple + Lunch
Lunch on Gerson is supposed to be:
- a salad
- a cooked vegetable
- a baked potato
- a cup of Hippocrates Soup (more on that in a bit)
Isn’t this excessive? Who can eat all that? So I just do part of it. Potatoes. Some days soup. Most days a veg. I was eating salads the past couple of months but found out I’m reactive to lettuce (srsly??) so salads are out now. Eating in general is a struggle. I’m trying to think of food as medicine but mostly it just tastes meh at best.
EXAMPLE OF HOW ALL MY FOOD SUCKS NOW:
Hippocrates Soup is touted as “delicious” and “high in potassium”. Yeah, whatever. I just call it “sludgy melange of celery root, onion, leek, tomato and potato made without fat or salt and totally devoid of flavor”.
2pm Green Juice againnnn
Can there be a nap now? Why yes, there can. Or some kind of work or phone calls or
wasting time important research on Facebook or writing or a walk because I am supposed to get fresh air and sunlight every day hahaha but the Gerson people didn’t know about Seattle, did they?
3pm Sacred Time! Yay! Also Carrot Juice
Aren’t you tired of this yet?
4pm Carrot Juice againnnnnn
Don’t forget those tasty-wasty liver pills!
So maybe my soulmate is also tired at this point and we head upstairs to watch an episode of Battlestar Galactica since we are still waiting for the rest of this season’s Doctor Who to come out. Last winter we saw all 87 seasons of The West Wing. I heart Netflix.
On Martial Arts days we used to leave in this hour to go strap on a fetching white baggy uniform and get “corrections” on our “movements”. (Don’t you love how inserting quotation marks around random words just changes the emphasis of everything?) These days we go later or earlier. Going involves crossing a toll bridge, which makes the trip much more of a commitment since you know you are spending $3.67 each way to walk around barefoot on a red carpet with a bunch of sweaty people wielding weapons.
But wait! There’s more!
Stay tuned for Part Two, because EIGHT MORE HOURS TO THE DAY! CANCER EXCITEMENT ABOUNDS!