It’s been eight years since I first heard the words no one ever wants to hear, ‘You have cancer.’ As has everyone knows who’s experienced hearing those words, your life changes forever in that single moment.
In my case, I had studied quite a bit about diet and healing, and knew many people who’d had success with natural and supplement and food-based therapies. I also knew a few who’d not made it. I decided in the next moment that I was going to do everything I could to heal.
What I didn’t know for almost three months from the first diagnosis was that I didn’t just have run of the mill cancer. No…that would have been too easy! I had a killer form of it that impacts only 1 in 200,000 women and had a 100% mortality rate, usually without treatment in 2 years, and with treatment not too much more than 5 years.
In my case, ignorance at that early point was bliss. I went into self-healing mode, but was not completely serious about my healing. During that time, even with the specter of ‘cancer’ waiving over my head, I still cheated and ate sugary and wheat-based foods that I knew could aggravate my healing, or cause inflammation. For me, those foods are sugars, wheat and dairy, and ANY form of yeast. I figured I had lots of time and would soon ‘reverse’ the damage done by the cancerous cells.
The one thing I did do right away was start to eat more raw foods. When I found out 3 months later that I had the most serious, aggressive and deadly form of adeno-squamous cells, I had already been eating relatively well for that 3 month period. But I knew I’d have to up my game and really get serious. Really, really serious about pushing the virus out of my body, and killing off any and ALL of the wonky cells! Time had now become of the essence. And it was no longer an option to mess myself around.
I’ll talk more about that experience in future posts and what I did, because it’s a pretty involved and integrated healing process. But there were three foods that from the moment I first heard the words, “cancer” and my name used in the same sentence in an active tense, that I began to eat with gusto. Every day I’d find a way to eat:
o one raw organic tomato
o one raw organic onion
o 1/2 bunch of organic parsley (yes, half a whole bunch of flat leaf Italian or curly leaf!).
I wouldn’t always eat them together. But I would find a way to include all three in my daily meals – seven days a week. Sometimes, the onion would be included with an organic scrambled egg on weekends. Often, I’d slice the tomato and have it as a whole side vegetable with dinner.
But most often, I’d take all three of them with me to work in the office via a little teal blue cooler bag. Part of my ‘routine’ came to be that I’d cut them up with other veggies in the lunchroom. One day they’d be chopped and mashed with avecado – which I found to be delicious. A second day, I’d eat them farmer-style with a half a red pepper. I literally ate the flat leaf Italian parsley right off the stalk. I often wondered if I looked like one of Jane Goodall’s chimps dining on bamboo shoots or something.
A third day, I’d have my troika of vegetables chopped up and added into a mug of Imagine Tomato Soup right out of the tetrapack (I could not eat Pacific because it contains too much citric acid and other ‘spices’ that inflame my body). I’d make homemade hummus with loads of garlic because I knew the parsley would keep my breath fresh. Or I’d have a cup of fresh organic yogurt with sunflower seeds that I’d grind in a food processor that morning, with lots of fresh thyme and/or oregano, and then I’d chop the onion, tomato and/or parsley into the yogurt. It became a very thick mixture with all the veggies. I’d pour the whey, or liquid, off to make it even thicker.
I’d have a slice of yeast-free sour dough bread, a small serving of brown rice with them, or 3-5 small boiled red potatoes. It was very simple fare, but I could always add a tasty hit of proven healing spices and herbs such as turmeric, curry powder, oregano, thyme, basil, crushed fennel seeds, cardamom, anise, star anise, or even a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime and a bit of zest.
And I know it sounds like foodie heresy, but I really remember that I ENJOYED eating those meals. What surprised me was that the eating experience throughout my healing didn’t turn out to be a hardship. In so many ways, it was a joy! I took the time to enjoy every bite…every burst of flavour….every nuance of the difference between the tomato I’d eaten the day before and the one I was ‘now’ eating. What was more interesting was that I did this not because it would be one of my last meals, but because I could look forward to another tasty bite or meal soon enough. The act of eating became a big part of a process of re-engineering my head to reinforcing hope in all its colors and flavors into my life.
Food was also a simple, fast and darn effective energy-booster for me. I had done my research, and ‘knew’ and even felt my body heal as I was eating. Plus, the simplicity of my diet was making me less anxious about what I would eat or have to take to work every day. And I was not only saving myself from the ravages of cancer-promoting, arterial-clogging, diabetes-linked processed foods (transfats were still ‘in’ production most everywhere) and junky cafeteria pseudo-foods. I was eating foods that I realized had a depth of flavors and even more nutritional and live enzyme punch. Achieving food nirvana doesn’t HAVE to be complicated.
Even better, I was eating foods that would support my body’s need to balance itself. The tomato, raw onion and raw parsley were known and proven cancer fighters. By eating them, I was giving myself three to five chances every day to heal, re-energize myself, remineralize my blood, support my body with the minerals and vitamins it needed. I knew that what I was eating would help me speed up the clean up needed of my lymphatic system. I was determined to get myself back to the healthy place that I knew I could attain. And good food was my drug and my salvation.
I’ll be a guest on Tommy Mischke’s show tonight. Aug 5, 2010, at 10 p.m. Central time on http://www.WCCORadio.com. If you don’t catch his show tonight, they may post it on the station’s online portal after it airs. This is the first time I’ll be talking about what for me was a very personal healing process. Thanks to my close friends for encouraging me to talk about what I went through. I hope the information proves to be useful. Hope you’ll tune in. Let me know what you think and what you’re doing to heal yourself.