Monday, July 13, 2009

An Overview of Healing

This post is in response to a comment left by Amanda who requested that I give a summary of my healing journey, including the ups and downs, over the past two years. It's been quite a trip and it's not over yet, even though I've been cancer-free since January 2008. As I've achieved a greater state of health I've become more in-tune with the needs of my body and I have a better understanding of the connection between my physical and spiritual well-being. This journey is not a temporary phase of my life, as I once thought it would be, but rather a lifetime committment to reach my greatest potential on all levels of body, mind and spirit. This opportunity wouldn't have presented itself had I not been diagnosed with cancer and chosen an alternative natural path to healing.

I've remained faithful to a plant-based diet since early 2006 which I believe is the most important contributor to my healing. It wasn't always easy to stay the course but my desire to reverse the cancer kept me motivated. My exams at three-month intervals showed that the cancer had stabilized and the tumor markers were slowly declining. Despite all my good efforts there were a few times when the markers were unpredictable - up a little, then down a little on the next visit, then up again. That sometimes felt defeating, but I understood that this type of bloodwork isn't always reliable. It's more cause for concern when the tumor marker continuously rises by many points at a time. That didn't happen for me but I still sometimes had doubts, and that's when it was tough to remain patient and faithful to my protocol. Keeping a possitive outlook was at times tricky but it became much easier when my tumor markers started to plumet.

I didn't start to see an uninterrupted downward trend in my tumor markers until I started fasting one day each week and then switched to a high-raw diet. (80-100% raw). I believe this helped my body to detoxify on deeper levels than were possible with mostly cooked food. Fasting once a week wasn't easy but I felt it was important to periodically divert my body's energy from digestive tasks to deeper healing. With habitual practice fasting became easier. I've since gotten out of the habit of regular fasting but I keep trying.

It took a period of several months for me to switch to 100% raw. My first attempt at 30 days raw was a huge struggle. I felt deprived mainly because I missed the grains. I continued to research, learning more about how to prepare raw foods, what to have on hand, etc. and in early 2008, after several months of being high-raw, I transitioned to 100%. It's now my preferred way of eating.

Here's a picture of the residual nodules on my neck that was taken about a year ago.

...and this was just a few weeks ago.

It's hard to tell if there's much change since the lighting is different.
These nodules may be scar tissue, I'm not sure. They were noticeably larger and brighter pink when the cancer was still active and spreading. This is about all that's left and they're stubborn. I've tried therapeutic doses of enzymes, daily infrared sauna sessions, and countless other attempts to dissolve them, but they're not yet ready to budge. They are a reminder to me that my body has other important rebuilding work to do and will get to these later. Stay tuned for my next post when I'll write more about raw foods, my dry eyes and supplements.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting- I needed to hear what you had to say about staying the course despite those erratic tumor marker numbers. You have inspired me.

Mary Laredo said...

Hi Sheila -
So glad I could inspire you. I've read a bit about your own journey & I'm rooting for you. Gerson's therapy is the way to go. My best to you. - Mary

Anonymous said...

I am very inspired by what you have accomplished. I want to know a little bit more about the one-day-a-week fasting. Was this a juice fast or just the water/maple syrup/cayenne combo? I am really interested in incorporating this into my routine. I have recently added green smoothies to my already full day of juicing but I have noticed a difference in how I feel. I just need to bring my markers back down. Thanks so much for sharing your road to recovery!

Mary Laredo said...

Hi Sheila -
I did the Master Cleanse once a week. There's some controversy with this fast for cancer patients because of the sugar in the maple syrup and I considered it long and hard before starting because at the time the cancer was still active. It makes sense to me that the sugar acts as a transport vehicle into the cancer cells which are then vulnerable to the antioxidants in the lemon juice and the capsicum and other healing properties in cayenne. The maple syrup is mineral-dense and the sugar supplies energy to all the body's cells so there's no fatigue on the fast. I'm no expert but I intuitively felt it was doing my body good based on how I felt. I hope this information helps you & I wish you the best. - Mary