A Book That Could Save Your Life

A Book That Could Save Your Life, and make you much healthier whether you are undergoing chemo or not. Stay Healthy During Chemo by Mike Herbert, ND, with
Joseph Dispenza

(This is the ninth post in a series about my past year. I moved to Mexico…my dream come true…and soon thereafter found myself dealing with cancer and in the middle of a nightmare. I chose to stay in Mexico for all my treatment, and I received great medical and alternative care. I am now well, cancer-free…and remarkably slim.)

By the time I got out of the hospital from the surgery I had pretty much snapped out of my initial state of catatonic shock and knew I had to take charge of what was happening to me. I used the time between the surgery and the start of chemo to put together a team of people in the alternative wellness fields who could support me as I went through chemo and radiation. I had no idea when we moved to San Miguel de Allende that it is a center for alternative medicine. I believe that I received guidance on just the right people to connect with. One of the very helpful people I found was Mike Herbert, who, with Joseph Dispenza, wrote an amazing book, “Stay Healthy During Chemo, the Five Essential Steps”. Mike lives in San Miguel and I was able to have several consultations with him about my diet and the other supportive steps outlined in the book. I read this book straight through, and immediately I felt a real understanding of the connection between cancer and nutrition, a subject that the author has researched thoroughly. He did not have to convince me to do this diet and the other things recommended. I was as highly motivated as a person could be. I really wanted to stay alive and nothing seemed too radical for me. I used this book as a reference throughout my treatment and I think that ANY PERSON WHO FACES THIS CHALLENGE OWES IT TO HERSELF TO GET THIS BOOK. It is available on Amazon. I can honestly say that the information in this book played an important role in saving my life, and it certainly made going through chemo much easier.
This book covers so many important things that can make the difference as to whether you get through chemo with relative ease or you are completely wiped out by it. The five steps discussed are attitude, methods that you can use to detox, diet, supplements, and the balance between exercise and rest. All of these important topics are discussed in detail, and in language that is clear and understandable.
Even if you don’t have an opportunity to meet with Mike Herbert personally, this book will be very helpful. The overall positivity of the book is contagious, and many ideas he shares about attitude are very empowering. One of the main points made is that while chemo can kill malignant cells, it is our job to make ourselves healthy. We can do this by following the program set out in this book. What a patient does during chemo will determine how well he/she will get through it. What a patient does after chemo will establish a lifetime of ongoing health. I intend to stay on this diet, with a few modifications, for the rest of my life. One side effect of all this is that I am now very slim, and I like that. (I will discuss my personal diet in a future post.)
One of the main thing a person has to deal with at the beginning of a journey like this is fear of the unknown. This book helps you to move through the fears, find a way to take charge of your own recovery, and to plan your way to move forward with your life after chemo is over.
“A very powerful book that will change your perspective forever on recovering from cancer. It provides excellent and sound guidelines on protecting your immune system while undergoing and recovering from chemotherapy. This groundbreaking book will help you conquer your fears and anxieties and replace them with healing and hope.” Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

The Short List for Staying Sane and Well in the face of Real Trouble

(This is the third in a series of posts about my own experience with cancer. The photos used in this series have no direct connection with the text. They are just random pictures taken during this time of my life. I claim no expertise. This is just about my own personal experience, and what it was like for me.)

After my previous post, When It Hits the Fan, I have had questions about what the alternative therapies were that I used in addition to chemo and radiation. I plan to write in more depth about most of this, but I am going to go ahead and answer that question for those who are curious, and possibly don’t have time to wait around for me to write about each specific thing.

I did many things, and I am not sure how it all worked. I do think that all the things I did worked together. I did 6 rounds of chemo that were three weeks apart. I started most of the alternative things in the four weeks between the surgery and the beginning of chemo. I can’t explain why I chose these specific things. I simply did what made sense to me. After the chemo, I had a scan that showed no cancer and my liver restored to health. I then had 25 rounds of radiation over a five week period and a two night stay in hospital for one last blast. I did the radiation as a preventative measure.
Here are the alternative things I did during chemo and radiation. Most of these things I will continue to do to maintain health. I will write more detail later, in future posts.
–I did a diet that is designed to starve cancer cells. I highly recommend the book that was written by Mike Herbert, Stay Healthy During Chemo. It is available through Amazon.com. Mike is a nutritional doctor who lives here in San Miguel, and his advise is extremely helpful. The diet was very strict and I followed it with no exceptions. Basically, I gave up all sugars (including alcohol and high glycemic foods) all dairy, and the only meat I ate was fish. I eliminated soy from my diet. The only fats allowed are healthy ones. No processed foods. No coffee. I will continue this diet permanently. I have added some more fruit since finishing all the treatments. Also, I eat a white potato now and then, if I want it. But no breads that aren’t whole grains. Brown rice instead of white. And, still, no processed foods. One side effect of this diet is that I have lost weight. I am presently trying to gain a bit of weight…never thought I’d be saying that in my adult lifetime.
–Acupuncture. I did this at least once a week. It really helped with any side effects I was having. I will continue to do this every other week for maintanence.
–I found massages to be very helpful for dealing with stress.
–Supplements. I take a very good supplement program, also put together by a nutritional doctor. Your healthy cells need all the support they can get. I will continue to work with this program, with whatever changes are recommended to maintain health.
–Craniosacral Therapy. This was extremely important to help me cope emotionally.
I have found this therapy so beneficial that I plan to continue with it.
–There is some herbal medication that I am sure you are aware of. It has been a mainstay for me and approved of by the all the traditional medicine doctors  I had, as well as alternative specialists. I have used it medicinally in the form of oil and also brewed as a tea.
–Blue scorpion venom. There has been a lot of work done with this in Cuba. It might be possible to buy it online if you live in the States. I get it from Mexico City. I take it 4 times a day. I will continue to take it indefinitely, as a preventative. It does not interfere with traditional treatments, and has no side effects.
–Soaking baths. These came from Mike Herbert’s book. It involves sitting in a hot bath for 45 minutes. I added  1 cup salt and 1 cup baking soda to the hot bath water. Sometimes I added a bottle of apple cider vinegar. The whole point is to sweat in order to detox. It always helped. I wasn’t allowed to do this during radiation, and I really missed it. The doctor was concerned about the hot water causing burns.
–Coffee enemas. There are videos about this. Make your own decision. I resisted this one, but I think it was very valuable. These work to detox the liver. I did this twice a week during chemo. I wasn’t allowed to do it during radiation, because of the location in my body of the radiation.
–Fasting. I fasted for 24 hours before and 24 hours after each chemo treatment. There is research that convinced me to do this. The point is that the chemo will work more effectively if your body isn’t processing food, and you will have fewer side effects. I did this for the first 5 treatments. I ate just a little with the 6th one, because I was concerned about losing more weight.
–Dealing with myself, also known as meditation, visualization, and prayer.  Lots of that. I also avoided (like the plague) any person or information that I found negative. This is a great time in your life to be very selfish. You don’t have to worry about hurting someone’s “feelings.” This is not about them. It is about you, staying alive.
I researched all the things I did and they made sense to me. I believed that they were what I needed to do, and that made it easy to do them. Once I “set my course” I stayed on it. I got through the chemo without any terrible side effects. I had a few days when I didn’t feel well but I was never incapacitated. I managed to maintain a reasonable social life, and was involved in getting settled in to a new home, not to mention a new country. The radiation was harder in some ways, because the food restrictions during radiation that affects the digestive system are rigid. No fats whatsoever. I did well for the first three weeks, but then for the last two I did experience being very tired. But, I bounced back pretty quickly. It has now been three weeks since my final radiation. I have a very healthy appetite and I feel very good. In fact, I feel like a brand new me.
Again, I am no expert. This is only my own experience and the things I did. I hope some of this is helpful to someone who reads it. It is a troubling experience, but not as bad, at least for me, as I had feared.