On July 28, 2012 my soulmate Kahuna drove me to the ER after 3 days of abdominal pain, crushing fatigue, and nausea. I thought it was appendicitis. By the end of the day, we knew differently. Cancer. Stage IV melanoma that had spread to my lymph nodes and brain.
Doctors said I had only months to live.
This could have been a crushing diagnosis. Doctors offered little in the way of medical treatments — let alone cures — for advanced (TERMINAL) melanoma patients. No. It was time to take my life into my own hands. This was my opportunity to radically change my life for the better — and become healthier and happier than ever. Life changed. Out went salt, sugar, wine, and processed foods. In came truckloads of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, and meats. Our war on cancer began. More than two years later, it continues.
We chose these therapies and treatments because they offer solid science and clinical results. Some choices I made just because they felt right. I believe it’s important to trust one’s inner wisdom. Our bodies are amazing. Mine only needs the chance to do what it already knows how to do — heal and thrive.
[Note: below are the main parts of my program. Details about my program, cancer-healing in general and our approach in particular, dosages, and the costs of my protocols are available at my soulmate Kahuna’s website The Paradox Cure.]
Nutrition (Food = Life)
Many of us take the food thing for granted. We “eat healthy”, we try to avoid snacks, we count calories. But what I once thought of as healthy eating — whole grains, organic produce — was a far cry from what my body REALLY needed to thrive.
Everything changes when you start thinking of food as medicine. Rigorous care in what we take into our bodies is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Common wisdom on eating is mostly just plain wrong for most of us. Everyone benefits from eating high-quality proteins, organic fresh vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats. We need the right combination of proteins, fats, and carbs in order for our bodies to function properly.
Gerson Therapy. To buy time to find something better and because it was the best program we could find at the time, I did Gerson Therapy for the first eight months after my diagnosis —13 fresh vegetable juices daily to alkalize and flood my body with concentrated nutrition, 5 daily coffee enemas to support my liver in detoxing and breaking up my tumors, plus masses of supplements to support the pancreas, liver, and overall function of all organs. Gerson is a lot of work. It requires a huge commitment — usually up to two years. And it’s far from perfect. It doesn’t fit everyone’s body and quite honestly, it doesn’t work that well. But I had few options at that point. I do not recommend making Gerson a primary treatment but I love much of its basic structure:
1. Lots of quality nutrients including fresh juices
2. The end of all sugars, alcohol, junk food, and processed foods
3. Coffee enemas for detox
4. Smart supplementation to support systemic processes
Metabolic Typing. After the first hard eight months of Gerson, I still juiced in quantity but changed the composition of my juices to fit my metabolic profile. We did professional medical testing through Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) to determine my metabolic profile — optimal foods and how to combine them — and reactive foods (that cause inflammation in the gut if eaten). I added high-quality meats and eggs to my diet but still avoid sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and large quantities of salt. Oh, and after this transition to super clean eating I found I’m violently allergic to gluten.
Typical eating for a day:
Breakfast: 1 Applegate Farms organic chicken/apple sausage; 2 pasture-rasied organic eggs; organic grass-fed cow’s milk cheddar; organic gluten-free english muffin; ghee made from grass-fed organic butter; carrot juice
Meal: organic pastured chicken; vegetable juice made to my metabolic specifications
Meal: organic full-fat yogurt; fruit
Meal: tostada made with sprouted organic corn tortilla, organic grass-fed cow’s milk cheddar; organic avocado; grass-fed organic ground beef; vegetable juice made to my metabolic specifications
Plus: about 3 more vegetable juices; nuts; a raw macaroon made with coconut oil, coconut, and nuts; fruit
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN)
What is it? A way of rebalancing imbalanced bodies after years of dietary, environmental, lifestyle, and other stressors take their toll. Eating the right fuel combination (protein, fats, and carbs) for my individual metabolism is only a part of FDN. Even more important is medical testing of the functions of the body and supplementation to help regain natural health and rebalance the body’s systems. It’s magic based in solid science.
No two bodies are the same, and no two diets work the same for everyone. Eating the foods that are right for me is helping me heal and become stronger and gives my body what it needs to do the massive job of healing that it needs to do. FDN is about getting my body back in balance.
FDN Update: My beloved Kahuna believed so strongly in FDN, having experienced a big shift in his well-being and energy through using its concepts, that he is about to become certified as an FDN practitioner and now helps people regain their health through his Life Genesis Program. His specialty is cancer patients and people with big health challenges.
What does it do? FDN uses medical lab testing to find out what foods to eat and which to avoid, and what supplements are needed to get back in balance again. Most of us think we are healthy but in fact have become so far out of balance that we are just accustomed to feeling bad. It can take months or years to rebuild the body’s systems and to find balance again. What’s at stake? More energy, better sleep, no more cravings, improved mood, longer life, better quality of life.
Why did I choose it? It’s the best and most comprehensive health system I’ve ever run across. Period.
What is it? 160+ pills every day.
What does it do?
- aid digestive function
- help heal gut
- work directly on cancer
- synergize with cancer treatments to amplify their efficacy
- brain health and healing
- help balance hormones
- add needed minerals
Plus I take hormones directly that help balance my system, again to get my body back online and help it do what it knows to do.
Why did I choose it? Because my body obviously was not able to function properly; hence the cancer to begin with. The supps I take help me feel better, digest food better, heal me from the inside out, and work directly on cancer. WIN.
What is it? Prescription pharmaceuticals approved for one use that actually are proven to work for other uses (in my case, cancer).
What does it do? I take several different pharmaceuticals plus several different herbs known to amplify their efficacy. The pharmaceuticals mostly act as a cancer cell cycle disrupter to halt cell division.
Why did I choose it? I chose drugs with low negative side effects and with the greatest known positive scientific and anecdotal evidence of efficacy against cancer.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)
What is it? 4.5mg LDN in capsule form taken at bedtime.
What does it do? Stimulates the body’s immune system and activates endorphins and enkephalin levels by blocking the tumors’ opioid receptors and perhaps induce apoptosis (cancer cell death). In addition, it is believed that they act to increase natural killer cells and other healthy immune defenses against cancer. Effective for a variety of conditions including HIV/AIDS, MS, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Crohn’s Disease.
Why did I choose it? Safe. Clinically effective. Minimal to none negative side effects and potential positive side effects of increased sense of well-being.
What is it? Powder made from the the inner bark of the South American Tabebuia Avellanedae or Tabebuia Impetiginosa (Taheebo) tree. Pau d’Arco has been used for many centuries by the Indio tribes of South America. We buy the powder in bulk and encapsulate it. Many people prepare a tea from it. I take about 9gm/day.
What does it do? Medical practioners in South America have used Pau D’Arco tea as a primary treatment for cancer for decades. It inhibits cancer growth and even kills cancer cells.
Why did I choose it? It’s safe, effective, easy to find, and inexpensive.
Rick Simpson Oil
What is it? Cannabis oil. Hemp oil. Cooked-down mary jane. I eat a small amount before bed, about the size of an uncooked grain of rice.
What does it do? Cannabinoids inhibit tumor growth (see studies here). Raises melatonin levels and promotes full body healing. Tastes terrible. Helps ease pain. Bonus: I sleep like a baby. A baby who sleeps all night.
Why did I choose it? Side effects nil if taken at night. Possibly very effective. Large numbers of positive anecdotal reports.
What is it? Immunotherapy. Extract of European mistletoe, developed for use in helping heal cancer in 1920 by Rudolf Steiner. I injected myself with this solution every other day for about 6 months in late 2012 through early 2013.
What does it do? Mistletoe is a poison, but in very small amounts it stimulates the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Treatment lasts months to years.
Why did I choose it? I read encouraging statistics about Iscador. I believe in anthroposophical medicine (Rudolf Steiner). Side effects are bearable (pain/swelling/redness at injection site, body temperature fluctuations, headaches).
Vitamin C IVs
What is it? 50g Vitamin C in 500ml sterile water every 3-4 days, given intravenously. I did this for a year.
What does it do? Cytotoxin — this is nature’s chemotherapy! Vitamin C creates H2O2 that kills cancer cells via oxidative stress. high-dose Vitamin C is also thought to improve quality of life by reducing severity of symptoms like fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain, and appetite loss. I usually felt much better the next day: more energy, less pain.
Why did I choose it? Safe. Simple. Effective.
What is it? Yoga performed in a heated room. I go to Core Power Yoga, a vinyasa-flow style yoga (not Bikram). Rooms are heated to close to 100 degrees. I get a workout and sweat at the same time. It’s awesome. I started yoga a year into my healing when I was at about 94 lbs and very weak. After a year of yoga (4-5x/week) and healing, I’m up to 111 lbs and my body has filled out with muscle.
What does it do? Cancer hates heat. This is a way of heating the body that supports cancer healing. Heat also works as a synergist with many of the meds I take.
Why did I choose it? Builds my cancer-emaciated body back up, regains strength and flexibility, and helps win cancer at the same time.
Oom Yung Doe
What is it? 8 martial arts styles taught as one. This isn’t all kicking and punching. Rather, it’s a complete system of working with body and mind to become a better person. It’s a path for mental and physical development and well-being plus full conscious development as a human being.
What does it do? Opens energy channels. Promotes strength and flexibility. Floods the body with oxygen. Connects mind and body. Helps you go from meh to awesome.
Why did I choose it? In 2010 I saw videos of experienced Oom Yung Doe students and saw how the energy moved through their bodies. I had never seen anyone move this way. I wanted that for myself! Luckily I had been practicing for over a year when the Stage 4 diagnosis came, so I changed my practice to one that builds my system and works with energy channels to boost my internal energy and help my body heal itself.
Environmental Toxin Removal
What is it? Reduced exposure to harmful chemicals of all kinds. Purified water. Purified air. No plastics of any kind, especially in the kitchen. No makeup (well, a little and only occasionally). Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste) free from chemicals and perfumes. Soaps and detergents as chemical-free as possible. Nothing with added fragrance.
What does it do? In our world we are all constantly bombarded with toxic chemicals and substances. Eating whole, organic, chemical-free food is one thing and helps a great deal, but what about water? Air? Everything I come in contact with? It was essential to remove as much toxic burden as I could, to stress my body as little as possible and support its healing.
Why did I choose it? I’ve lived a low-chemical life for years but stepped it up even more for this program, partly because I’m way more sensitive now and partly because it makes so much sense.
Gamma Knife Stereotactic Radiotherapy
What is it? Targeted dose of gamma radiation delivered with surgical precision to the cancer that spread to my brain. I had this done twice to several locations in my brain.
Side effects: extreme fatigue, brain swelling (which I treated naturally with boswellia acid, not with steroids), brain fog, difficulty remembering or thinking. After more than a year since the second treatment, most of my symptoms have subsided.
What does it do? Kills everything in its path. Because this therapy is so targeted and precise, we could be confident that it only would kill cancer cells, not surrounding brain tissue.
Why did I choose it? Buy time. Cancer in the brain is super serious. I knew I had a low chance to survive if it was left alone. Because of the blood-brain barrier, it was unclear whether my other holistic therapies would heal the two tumors in my brain in time, or at all. Gamma Knife bought me time to get my body’s healing capacity online. As hard as it was to heal from, I would do this again.
Examine and Release Old Harmful Beliefs
What is it? Our reality is created from our beliefs. We unwittingly assume beliefs about the world and how it works from the moment we are born, often taking on beliefs from our parents and caregivers. Most of us go through our lives not knowing that we have choice in how our world looks and feels. I believe that my cancer originated in part from my beliefs.
Fortunately, I was able to work several times with a master at helping people uncover and heal their limiting beliefs.
What does it do? Once I opened to the idea that everything I hold to be true isn’t actually True — that I just believe it to be true — then I became free to dig deep and uncover beliefs I hold about myself, other people, my life, and the world in general that haven’t served me very well. Once I uncover a belief, I can choose to have a different belief instead. Change enough beliefs and my experience of life, myself, and the world will change as well.
Why did I choose it? It kind of chose me. I feel like crap most of the time. I spend a lot of time doing not a whole hell of a lot, which leaves me a lot of time to think. I think a lot about how I got here, the choices I made up to this moment, and the kind of life I want to have. Examining my beliefs seemed second nature to my healing experience. I doubt I’ll ever stop the process of looking at my beliefs and releasing the ones that no longer serve me.
Energy Healing + Visualization
What is it? I’m a Reiki master and developed a unique shamanic energy healing modality. But so what? I don’t have the energy or focus to do healing on myself right now. Friends — powerful energy healers and medical intuitives — have graciously and generously offered their time and expertise to help me. They worked with me at a distance once a week for months. Plus, people all over the world send me thoughts, prayers, and hopes for healing. I meditate and do visualizations several times a week.
What does it do? We don’t yet have ways of measuring this kind of thing. But I can tell you that I feel loved, and love is a powerful healer. Plus? My friends report things they see in my body that correlate with aches and pains and lumps and bumps, with no way of knowing about them. That certainly feels “real” to me!
Why did I choose it? I’d be a fool not to. Just because the medical community doesn’t have an adequate method of measuring such tools doesn’t mean they do nothing. I have full belief in spontaneous healing and seemingly miraculous cures.
I’m doing many more things — B-12 injections, superfoods, targeted mushroom extracts, resveratrol, chlorella, krill oil, royal jelly, flax oil, CoQ10, oxygen therapy, hydrotherapy, fresh air and sunlight.
So far, my soulmate Kahuna and I are doing this entire program pretty much by ourselves. And when I say “by ourselves” I mean it’s mostly Kahuna! When I said “grueling regimen,” I meant it! Gerson Therapy alone is a FULL TIME JOB. Most people who do this have to hire help. We need to hire help, but lack the money.