My PSA level was elevated to 4.7 prompting the physician to recommend a prostate biopsy. Going through the rectum, 12 samples were taken. I was shocked when the results showed Cancer in five of the twelve samples. The most invasive sample showed cancer in 70% of the specimen, 3+4 on the Gleason Scale. Cancer is a scary word. People die from Cancer.
Before I left the doctor's office he had scheduled appointments for me at the University Hospital. The big meeting with a surgeon and radiologist was weeks away. I could not wait. I went into research mode and became totally immersed in the process. I was on the internet hours each day and thoroughly explored the literature on every diagnostic procedure I encountered. I found Yana to be one of the best non-bias sites for information. I created a notebook, a type of journal and it grew to an almost two inches thick by the time of my appointment at the cancer clinic. The floor nurse greeted me and told me she was available if I needed anything. I did not see her again. A nutritionist did confirm answers from my research, but did seem more focused on signing me up for a comprehensive appointment. My next visitor invited me to join a weekly support group for a modest fee. Both the surgeon and radiologist had doctors in training who came to discuss my prostate cancer. They were unable to provide any information beyond what I had learned in the first days of my research. Both the surgeon's assistant and an intern (she looked about 16 & I was her first) performed a rectal exam. A good part of the day had passed when the surgeon finally enter the room. He performed another rectal exam and then sat on a stool in front of me, looked me straight in the eyes and spoke non-stop for twenty minutes. In my case he did not believe "watching waiting" was an option. He did answer my two questions. None of the thousands of dollars spent for diagnostic procedures since the biopsy actually measured the extent of my cancer or could detect microscopic migration. He agreed with only the slightest hint of embarrassment. With a tiny shrug of the shoulders, "The tests were a precaution." Fully back to his power, "We will know the extent of the cancer from the biopsy after removal." The Radiologist also did not recommend waiting, but he was a much better listener. He used conformal radiation therapy. He acknowledged the dangers of incontinence and impotence and yes he would need to cover enough area to ensure that he got all the cancer. I did not buy that day. It felt too much like they were not addressing the cause of the problem. Fortunately I had the internet, a library of information at my finger tips and plenty of experience conducting research.
Are you old enough to remember when President Nixon declared the war on cancer? Since then the American Cancer Society has become one of the wealthiest nonprofits in the world. While they claim that the death rate from cancer is steadily dropping, the World Health Organization is predicting a 50% increase in cancer within the next decade. Books have been written about the "Cancer Industry" pretty much supporting the quote by Linus Pauling, "Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them."
Dr. Max Gerston claimed to have a Cancer Cure decades ago. The traditional argument from the medical establishment appears to be that there is no "science based research" to support Gerston's claims. Indeed, Gerston Therapy is illegal in the United States. Apparently in Japan however, Gerston Therapy has found a home and they have being doing science based research.
My integrative medicine physician mentioned that everyone has cancer cells in their body. He said a healthy body destroys these cells on a regular basis. I wanted more information.
Conventional western medicine uses pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or processes of disease. My father was a general practitioner. We had "drug" salesmen visiting often, giving free samples. The father of modern medicine, Sir William Ossler, had a rather strong opinion, "Drug companies are not here to bring health to the population but to scam them on one level for vast amounts of money, by treating the symptoms and not addressing the cause."
It is very difficult to walk a path that does not conform to the mainstream. A close friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer a month after I was. He immediately had his prostate removed. He is quick to use pharmaceuticals. He calls it "better living through chemistry!" I have used pain medication and let traditional doctors help me with broken bones and major injuries, but when it comes to disease it is not so clear to me. The US Preventative Services Task Force says up to 20 percent of men screened every year for 10 years will get a result that sends them to the biopsy suite. When cancer is found, nearly 90 percent will have surgery, radiation or hormone therapy, and up to one-third will end up with urinary incontinence, impotence or bowel problems. I did not like the numbers nor the side effects or any of answers the traditions approaches were giving, so I decided to reframe the scenario.
As a professional counselor, I often told my clients to reframe when they do not like what they see. I decided the cancer was there because I needed to learn a lesson and chose to consult with a cadre of health professionals. My Integrative Medicine MD believes there is a relationship between diet, supplements, meditation and health. My homeopathic physician believes cancer is caused by parasites in our bodies that migrate to the weakest places in our body and thrive when our body is out of homeostasis. My chiropractor aligned my vertebrae and used detoxifying foot baths and Pulsed Magnetic Therapy. My massage therapist is a skilled in Reiki Healer. She moves energy through my body and works to release negative energy.
My diet became pristine. I consumed no processed foods or cane sugar. My chickens were free range, beef grass fed and vegetables all organic. Every day I drank green juice, green tea and organic fruit smoothies with raw nuts and seeds. I took extra vitamins and explored orthomolecular medicine. The literature does not show any conclusive case of someone dying from taking too many vitamins. The traditional medical system would be hard pressed to make such a claim for their procedures. I used a homeopathic formula three times a day and visualized the destruction of the parasites. It took me six weeks to rid my body of cancer. My PSA; dropped to 3.1 and I was a happy camper.
I listened to a public broadcasting show about a resurgence of young organic farmers not in the business to get rich, rather in the business to contribute to a healthier planet. It was a joy to heart and the just the opposite feeling I experienced watching Food Inc. , "an indictment of the corporate greed currently controlling the food business in this country."
The father of western medicine told us the value of what we put in our body.
"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." ~ Hippocrates
Research suggested that a Vitamix blender was a wise investment. I find it very easy to clean which is a big consideration. There are many sources that proclaim the benefits of Juicing.
Why Organic Food ? The short answer is that non-organic fertilizers are composed primarily of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. There are considerably more nutrients in living organic soil. Vegetables begin to lose their nutritional value as soon as they are plucked from the soil, hence the value of growing your own or at least buying locally grown products. Freezing is an acceptable alternative. There is also considerable literature on the value of fermented foods.
Of course, there are publications from the traditional medical establishment & corporate farm sources and supporters trying to argue that organic food is not better. I do not believe them. They fund the researchers and we are well aware they are in the business to make profits for shareholders!
What do I put in my fruit smoothie in the morning:
All Organic or pesticide free fruit:
Blue Berries (Wild pesticide free)
Okay, you know what fruit is and it is merely a matter of taste. I buy frozen organic fruits and fresh organic fruit when available.
Sprouted Raw Sunflower Seeds - I just put them in a bowl, add water and rinse every day. I make enough for several days.
Raw Punkin Seeds (pepitas)
Raw Brazil Nuts
Raw Almonds I soak my Almonds overnight then rinse them off and get rid of excess water. Gets rid of toxins. They plumb up. I usually soak enough for several days.
Flax Seeds Not oil- I did see some research that suggested that the oil may contribute to the growth of cancer. The raw seeds are fine.
Organic Apple Juice, Water & Ice to get the right consistency for drinking.
My green drink: I normally do not mix fruits and vegetables because some combinations use different digestive juices. Apples can be combined with vegetables.
Kale is very hardy. It survives the winter in my garden and hot house.
Collard Greens are almost as hardy as Kale.
It is easy to learn how to grow sprouts any time of year.
Wheat grass from my garden. I planted seeds last fall. The grass survived the winter easily.
Aloe Vera Juice
Organic Apples for sweetness
Organic Lemon for tartness
Organic Carrots for sweetness
Also, growing wild in my garden – Violets, Lamb's Quarters, Chickweed. Many "weeds" are edible and filled with nutrition. Do some research.
Since my Cancer was diagnosed in 2006, my PSA; has gone up and down. It is difficult to stay on my diet when I am away from home and I do stray during the holiday season. It was difficult to deviate from the normal paths people choose. It is less difficult seven years later.
My PSA has slowly gone up to 7.2. It was higher and dropped. My physician is not concerned. He feels that if there was a problem it would continue to rise and a lot faster.
I continue to do research and maintain a great diet. My homeopathic physician tells me I remain cancer free. This past year I found a network chiropractor who works with energy. I am exploring Intentional Healing. I feel teriffic.
It is now almost a decade since my prostate cancer diagnosis. I still remember the surgeon sitting on a stool two feet away, looking directly into my eyes, suggesting that I needed to take immediate, aggressive action to remove the cancer from my body. As the years pass the fear has lessened and I am stronger in my convictions.
My PSA had been slowly climbing during the past decade reaching a high of 9.8 ng/mL during August 2013. While I eat fairly well from my organic garden during the summer, I also eat the food prepared at the golf course where I play in a league every Monday evening. Actually, I eat away from home more often during golf season so my diet is less than ideal. By November 2013 my PSA was down to 7.7 and by March of 2014 it had dropped further to 7.5 ng/mL. When it began to climb again and reached 9.0 late in 2014, I opted for a 3 Tesla MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Since my PSA was not increasing at a wild pace, and actually fluctuated up and down, my physician felt it was unlikely that I had out of control cancer. But, I wanted more information about what was happening. The results were quite comforting. My prostate is slightly enlarged 5.4 X 4.2 X 4.1 cm., not unusual for my age (68). The Capsule (outer fibromuscular band) is "Intact and smooth without bulging." The Neurovascular Bundle is "Intact with no evidence of invasion." The Seminal Vesicles are "Symmetric and within normal limits." My physician feels everything looks "quiet."
My August 2015 PSA showed a decrease down to 8.8 ng/mL. and some conventional wisdom suggests that under 10 is really not a problem when we do not see rapid increase. Others suggest that All Men Have Prostate Cancer, certainly by the age of 60, it is just a matter of whether or not the immune system has it under control!
I've read articles by Lissa Rankin M.D., author of Mind over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself. I like her ideas. They seem to be a direct opposite of the concept that we will become ill if we dwell in an environment of negative words and thoughts ( Believing that we are going to die from Cancer increases the possibility.) I have been exploring Positive Psychology and Energy Medicine, extensively. Recently I have been engaging in a morning Guided Healing Meditation. There are many available over the Internet. I do practice Qi Gong on occasion. I do my best to stretch and exercise my body and I see a massage therapist on a fairly regular basis.
I turned 70 in March. None of my health advisors believe I have any active Cancer growing in my body. I feel incredibly healthy. I continue to do research. Clearly we are all unique and there are many different types and forms of cancer. What works for one person may not work for another. I have accepted the idea that the Prostate Gland which is heavily involved with reproduction, becomes a weak place in the male body after our prime reproductive years and more susceptible to disease as we age. My thoughts today are to "treat" cancer holistically from many different directions.
Western Medicine was greatly influenced by Louis Pasteur. Western Medicine gives him the credit for discovering Germs. Following the idea that something is attacking the body, traditional approaches to Cancer in the United States "attack" the culprits. Surgery attempts to remove Cancer from the body. Unfortunately urinary incontinence (being unable to control urine) and erectile dysfunction (impotence; problems getting or keeping erections) are likely side effects with prostate removal. Radiation burns and they do kill healthy cells around the Cancer site, "to make sure they get it all." Chemotherapy attempts to poison and it does that well throughout the body. Unfortunately, along with long lists of side effects for both, Radiation and Chemotherapy also have been accused of causing Cancer.
Antoine Bechamp, a contemporary rival of Pasteur, lost the debate, hence he is not well known. His research suggested that disease happens and pathogens attack when there is an imbalance within the environment. Today, while talking about genetic mutations and cancer, the Mayo Clinic writes "A number of forces can cause gene mutations, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and a lack of exercise." Actually, the 21st century environment is filled with toxins and many have suggested that we all will get cancer cells in our body many times during our lifetime. Fortunately, the human body is constantly regenerating cells, repairing cells when possible and blowing up (apoptosis) those beyond repair. Unfortunately as we age an increasing number of cells become senescent, which means they do not finish the regeneration process, become inert, clog up systems in the body and contribute to the aging process. The traditional Western Medicine approaches (cutting, burning and poisoning) can add to clogging the system by making healthy cells inert. Their methods may miss small pockets or not be effective against more virulent cells. While initially it appears that the Tumors are gone, they may return with a vengeance.
Following my understanding of the Mayo Clinic list, I believe too much smoking is bad because the tar from the paper and other additives are carcinogens and clearly inhaling less oxygen is not healthy. Radiation continues to increase dramatically with ever increasing cell phones, computers and electronic devices, cell towers, electric wires and radio waves. Apparently we have only touched the surface of understanding viruses which are very tiny entities that become dangerous if they get inside our cells and are able to use the cells to replicate themselves. If they do so unchecked, we die. Cancer causing chemicals are on the rise. Humans as a group continue to put pesticides, fungicides, plastics and synthetic drugs and additives into our soil and water supplies. Obesity has a lot to do with food cravings associated with inadequate nutrition and becomes quite insidious for those with slower metabolism. Hormonal imbalances occur naturally as we progress through life stages and can also come from physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stress. Chronic inflammation occurs when we experience a particular injury more often than the time needed for the body to repair whatever is inflamed. Exercise helps prevent the loss of muscle mass which normally comes with older age. We need to move the body, circulating fluids and energy to keep everything functioning in the best possible manner, more simply put at "use it or lose it."
By treating Cancer and all disease holistically from many different directions I am talking about incorporating ideas I have encountered that deal with the physical, mental and spiritual realms. I do believe they are intrinsically interwoven, meaning they all affect one another. The body has an amazing ability to enter survival mode to deal with catastrophe. It is equally effective in more pleasant environments to find homeostasis and optimum self healing. The dangers of chronic stress and the "healing" in a positive bedside manner and the placebo effect, have long been concepts in western medicine. When I read about them I see the power of thoughts, words, beliefs and emotions influencing chemical reactions. I know there are illusions. I know there are entities marketing ideas for profit. However, simplistically interpreting our experiences, there are clues to tell us whether or not the expressions of reality we personally encounter are toxic or healing. Furthermore, we have access to an incredible amount of information allowing us to explore the thoughts of others to help us determine if anything they have investigated has anything to do with our existence.
I am very careful when consuming food. I like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables grown in "live" organic soil as close to their time of harvest as possible. I do eat fermented food to refresh my gut bacteria and will choose raw food, lightly cooked or slow cooked at lower temperatures foods as healthier preferences. I limit seafood consumption and meat consumption paying attention to where products come from to lower the possibility of consuming toxins. Small cold water fish are better than large warm water fish high on the food chain. Pastured animals or those living in natural free roaming environments are clearly healthier to consume than factory farmed. I have my own organic garden and identify everything that grows because many "weeds" are exceptionally nutritious. I buy additional fruits and vegetables in season to freeze and store for off season consumption. I believe the human body is very good at processing toxins so I am not afraid to eat a little bit of everything I encounter to allow the full experience. However, when we eat too many toxic substances the body gets overloaded, cannot properly eliminate and we do get ill. Too many aches and pains, over weight and low energy are all signals that we are not eating properly for optimum health.
To build muscle and "pump" my heart I have a Pilates Physical Therapist and attend a group class. I do work in my yard and garden, stretch and incorporated "energy" movements into my daily activities. I often start the day with a guided healing meditation (free over the internet with earphone when using binaural beats). I often do a detoxing sauna (I own an infrared sauna) and I often employ intermittent fasting (extending the period of time between the last time I ingest food at night and the next time I ingest food the next day). Eating too much too often, steals your energy, causes digestive reactions and increases storage in fat of what the body is unable to fully process and eliminate. Indeed there is considerable literature about fasting help the body detox and heal from Chronic diseases. I care for 3-1/3 acres, on the river in the woods and reach meditative states of consciousness in the garden, in the water and in the woods. I practice gratitude, forgiveness, positive affirmations and love.
I get a massage with a certified Reiki therapist on average once a month. I see an ART (Active Release Technique) Chiropractor. I employ a biological Dentist who heals the body through the mouth. My primary physician and I analyze the composition of my blood and utilize diagnostic tools to determine my general health. I discuss discuss vitamin and mineral supplements and healthy foods with all these individuals.
I research virtually every day. I read, I write and explore as many different perspectives as possible. I take personal responsibility as the author of my life and as the primary person responsible for my health. I consult with my cadre of health professionals and people I trust for their opinions and do my best to hear the wisdom of the universe.
Michael's e-mail address is: mlazarchick AT yahoo.com (replace "AT" with "@")