Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday – December 26, 2010

It has been a busy life changing couple of weeks. 
As I've mentioned I've been doing a lot of reading about cancer, nutrition, lifestyle changes, alternative treatments etc...
I started with Bill Henderson's book "Curing Cancer Gently" - and learned about incorporating blended cottage cheese and flax seed oil into my daily diet.  Coincidentally a week and a half after starting this regimen my red blood cell count was in normal range for the first time in 5 mos. Don't know if there is a correlation or not - but thought it was interesting to note.
Ron is also doing some of the same reading and has agreed to try a vegetarian diet with me for 8 weeks to see if Bill Henderson's regimen will really work for me.  I've agreed to finish my last couple of treatments for him and to see the surgeon for my reevaluation.  We are going to start the diet officially on the 10th.  I'm going to begin "practicing" before that.  I'm also going to add in the supplements that have been suggested which are supposed to: rebuild my immune system, rebuild my cells, stop the metastasizing, improve my nutrition, and facilitate an akaline system (cancer can't live in an alkaline environment)... see Bill Henderson's book for the regimen I will be undergoing.
The other big change over the last 10 days is my changing attitude towards my cancer and the way I’m beginning to look at my treatment regimen.  If it were solely up to me I would stop my treatments today.  I know that is a radical shift and my family is certainly having some difficulty with it.  Let me say I haven’t lost my mind.  In fact I think I’ve found it again.  The book I’m currently reading which is really making me rethink my approach is called “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, Phd, and his son Thomas M.Campbell, MD.  The book is a 35 year study on the link between nutrition and cancer and it is really making me take a look at the way I’ve been eating.  Colin Campbell was raised on a dairy farm in N.VA and became a vegetarian 15 years ago because of this study.  It is an amazingly thorough book on exactly how an animal based diet and a plant based diet impact cancer.  He comes with some pretty hefty credentials and did not arrive at his conclusions lightly.  In fact I find the book easy to follow and quite methodical.  I read until 3:00 am this morning and was so inspired (or scared) I started researching vegetarian and vegan diets and foods.  The amusing result is that I have a large helping of Christmas ham left in my fridge and I don’t know what to do with it.  Yesterday it looked really good to me, today...not so much!
I would say the bulk of my diet over the last 15 years has certainly been animal based and in fact with my conversion to “zone” eating back in the late 80's I have routinely made sure that I eat protein at every meal. What I am beginning to understand as I read this book is that an animal based protein diet can actually turn on or turn off cancer and the data from the study appears to unequivocally support that hypothesis.  Can I really "turn off" my cancer by changing the way I eat? 
That is an amazing concept to me.  Could it be that by changing my diet I can do what 5 months of brutal chemo is trying to do? 
Now before you all go – STOP – think about this……don’t worry I have agreed to finish at least the last two treatments in my taxol cycle. 
As I sit here with a daily bloody nose, numb toes, numb ankles, and numb fingers, sore red rimmed eyes, chemo taste on my tongue, and heart flutters in my chest – that is a pretty big commitment to my family but I get that this is not just about me. They are impacted here as well. I know they love me and they are afraid to lose me. I also know they have not been doing the same reading that I have.  Conventional medicine is a tough system to buck. 
I have also agreed to go and have a conversation with one of Majorie's scientist's - they are connected to Duke's integrated medical center and a couple have recently gone through breast cancer as well.  It will be interesting to at least be able to voice my questions and hear what they have to say.  I am prepared to stop the Herceptin treatments unless someone convinces me otherwise.  There are long term effects with this drug in that it can damage the left ventricle of my heart.  Not a risk I'm willing to take.  I want the opportunity to at least try a diet change and see if there is any impact.   


Anonymous said...

MaryJo, you sound calm and you are searching your options while doing what you should be. I am very proud of the way you are dealing with this. I know deep inside there are a mixture of emotions (part of you wants to scream I'm sure). You are doing all you can do to fight this and I am praying for you. I believe you will beat this and will be able to help someone else in your path. God bless and keep up the good work...
Cindy ~~~~

Anonymous said...

tried to download the book to my kindle w no luck...want to chk out diet/ do I do this??

Anonymous said...

the comment was from your sister:0 learning how to navigate this site!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story, MaryJo. I just finished treatment -- lumpectomy and radiation (no chemo!) -- and I read every post. I'm so sorry you had to go through so much, but it sounds like you have a great attitude and support network. Wonderful news that you are feeling more energetic and in control of your life! Wishing you well as you continue this journey. You will make it!

Pam said...

MJ, vegetables and fruit are always a good diet, in any situation. No drinking and no smoking. And writing is good therapy. You're doing some really great stuff.

I believe in the power of Prayer as well. You'll be in mine every day.

Anonymous said...

I think it all sounds good to me, if you think it will help you, why not give it a try, I somehow missed out on how the treatments have been going w/ you. Are you happy w/ the results or not. Anyway, I don't see how changing your diet can hurt. I Love the rbc count, being normal after trying the flax seed oil & cottage why not keep it up & try the other things you've read about. I think & pray for you all the time..just been so darn busy lately. Love Deb