Short intro about the blog

This blog is about our journey to healing with Grade 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma

Monday, October 29, 2012

Juice it Up

After last week's controversial post on coffee enemas, I would like to woo you back to Healer in Your Heart with something a bit more benign. We bought a juicer back in January right after Adam returned home from the hospital, and we started out juicing every day. Then after the Burzynski treatment took over our lives, the juicer started collecting dust. I would try to bring it out from time to time, but just couldn't get into a routine with it. Now that Adam is on a new protocol, I am making the effort to juice twice a day, every day. I would love to get up to three times a day, but for now I'm just glad we are using it regularly. And I tell you, it really does make a difference. The few times that I was unable to juice, I felt so tired and yucky. I know that juicers don't come cheap, and you really need to be motivated to prepare the vegetables and clean the juicer after every use. But, it really really is worth it. And it's absolutely essential for Adam's cancer treatment.

It's common knowledge in the nutrition world that the nutrients in freshly-made vegetable juices are more easily absorbed by the body. Commercial juices from the store are mostly reconsituted concentrates devoid of vitamins and with additives and preservatives thrown in. With fresh home-juicing there is no additives and the active enzymes and vitamins are readily available. Fresh vegetable juices also have a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body which is they key to a successful cancer protocol.

I have read a LOT about cancer, and there are varying theories about it. Why does it develop? How does it develop? There is a lot the medical community still doesn't know, but many researchers have a pretty good idea how cancer works in our bodies. One theory in particular stands out in my mind, and seems to be confirmed by recent research. In a very simplistic non-medical sort of way, here is cancer in a nutshell. Our liver is the primary detoxing agent in the body. All the crap (official scientific term) gets filtered through the liver, and the liver produces chemicals that capture toxins throughout the body and flush them out. In our modern society we are absolutely innundated with chemicals all day long. Over 80,000 new chemicals have been developed and added to our cleaning products, toiletries and foods in the last century. Our livers are maxed out! There is only so much they can handle before they start to give up. Here is where cancer comes in. Nothing happens by mistake in my opinion, especially cancer. When the liver starts to wave the red flag, the immune system calls a board meeting. The liver needs help, and the body knows exactly what to do. They begin to plan a toxin depository elsewhere in the body to take the burden off the liver. Sometimes the body is so overloaded, it needs lots of depositories. So the body starts stocking away all these toxins in these holding areas known as tumors. I can just imagine the immune system board meeting. “You know that lung we keep having to repair? I think that would be a GREAT place for that new rubbish facility we've been talking about!” I think the body intentionally chooses weakened places in our bodies to start storing the toxic overload. For someone with undiagnosed celiac's disease, that may be a damaged colon. For a smoker, a tar-filled lung. Some people are particularly suseptable to damage from radiation, so the skin might be a target or the brain from cordless phone use (both of which apply to Adam). The body knows exactly what it's doing, and this cancer project is carefully planned out and executed beautifully. Did you know that when cancer cells are threatened by chemotherapy, the healthy cells in that area actually rally together and protect the tumor? A recent study in the U.S. shocked researchers when they discovered that as healthy cells are being destroyed by chemotherapy, they excrete a protein that protects the cancer cells from damage. Can you believe that? They figuratively throw themselves over the cancer cells to protect them as they go down. Kinda like secret service agents. The body knows exactly what it's doing. It NEEDS those depositories, and by God they are going to make sure they stay open. Especially when the body is being attacked by chemotherapy agents. The body knows it's going to need a lot more tumors to handle the toxin overload after the chemo treatment is over. Maybe that's why cancer always comes back.

All is not lost, however. What if you could detox the body and take the load off the liver? What if you simply removed the toxic overload and gave the liver a tune-up? The body wouldn't need the extra depositories anymore, and the immune system would be directed to take them down. And that is exactly what happens. There is a term out there called “spontaneous remission” that is floating around the medical world. It's how they explain someone with aggressive progessing cancer that suddenly presents without active cancer in their bodies. There have been numerous cases in medical literature of cancer patients suddenly turning up healed and with no trace of cancer remaining. The doctors scratch their heads and can't figure out why this happens. Call it God or call it good luck, but the medical community believes that spontaneous remission just happens. Guess what. It doesn't “just happen”. Dr. Harold Foster of the University of Victoria in British Columbia wanted to study what factors may be at play in cases of spontaneous remission and chose 200 cases to analyze. Far from being miraculous, most of these healings were due to drastic lifestyle changes and complimentary therapies. Many of these patients followed the Gerson diet and employed parts of the Gerson protocol, namely the juicing and coffee enemas. Other dietary regimes represented in the study were very similar to the Gerson diet. I have studied the numerous cancer diets out there and they are all remarkably similar. The Halleluja Diet, A. P. John, The Crazy Sexy Cancer Diet, Gerson... they are all either vegetarian or vegan, and low-fat. That is why we are doing what we are doing with our family's diet, and it explains why different cancer patients following different protocols can have similar degrees of success. The conclusion that Dr. Foster was able to reach is that far from being spontaneous, these patients were only categorized as such by orthodox medicine because the impressive results were due to alternative and complimentary therapies.

So back to juicing. Now you understand why feeding vegetables through a juicer, and the hassle of cleaning up afterwords is so worth it when you are fighting the cancer battle. If you want to watch a fantastic testimony on the power of juicing, watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It's on Hulu, and it's fabulous. You will run out and buy a Breville juicemaker immediately! I can testify, the Breville is really good, and it's available on Amazon. If and when you decide to harness the awesome raw power of the home juicer, try our two favorite concoctions:

The Morning Green Juice

1 cucumber
2 leaves of kale
2 stalks of celery
1 Granny Smith apple

Feed these foods through the juicer. Kale and apples are supposed to be done on “low” but I find they clog up the juicer if you do that. I feed them all through on “high”, except the cucumber which is done last and on “low”. Squeeze half a lime into the finished juice and serve. Makes enough for two.

The Evening Detoxifyer

1 beet
3 carrots
1 Granny Smith apple
either 1cm piece of ginger or ¼ of fennel

Again, feed all these through the juicer on “high”. I squeeze half a lime into mine, because I find this a bit too sweet. Adam loves it straight up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Got Coffee?

I'm so excited, I just had to share. Today, folks, I will be telling you about my new favorite detoxing method. I wasn't sure about it at first, and we put it off as long as we could. But, now that I've been doing this every day for over a week, I just can't hold back. I need to tell all of you about... the coffee enema. And, whoosh! I just lost half my readership in one moment. Hopefully I can keep the other three of you interested and convince you that coffee enemas are the wave of the future.

Let me start by telling you a bit about WHY they are so good for you. If you are battling cancer, the coffee enema is a very powerful weapon in your arsenal. That's arseNAL for those of you giggling right now. I don't blame you. Adam and I did a lot of giggling when we first got our enema kits in the mail. Anyway, we first read about coffee enemas when we were investigating the Gerson protocol for fighting cancer. We have implemented some aspects of the Gerson protocol along side Adam's current treatment to maximize his chances of success. The Gerson therapy is an intensive detoxing protocol involving a strict diet, juicing every hour on the hour, and several coffee enemas a day. Many many people have successfully survived cancer utilizing the Gerson therapy, and it would be foolish to ignore it without doing a bit of research first. Coffee enemas are the cornerstone of the Gerson treatment and are used to detox the liver and gallbladder. Let me tell you why. The introduction of diluted coffee into the colon triggers the bile ducts to dilate, which allows the liver to release toxins. A study from the University of Minnesota showed that rectal coffee administration stimulates an enzyme called glutathione S-transferase in the liver which removes free radicals from the bloodstream. The study found that the activity of this enzyme is increased by up to 700% after a coffee enema. A six-year clinical study at the District Hospital of Graz, Austria confirmed the advantages of implementing coffee enemas in oncological protocols. The researchers discovered that two active ingredients of coffee (cafestol and kahweol) increased the activity of glutathione S-transferase sevenfold. When one is using any treatment to attack and kill tumor tissue, conventional or alternative, toxins are accumulated in the body either from the medicine itself in the case of chemotherapy, or from the immune system breaking down the cancer. This process carries the risk of taxing out the liver, which in cancer patients is already debilitated. This is why it is important to consider a good detoxing method. Now for a bit of history. Water enemas have been used in medicine since Hippoctrates introduced them 2,600 years ago. Only in recent times has the routine use of enemas lost its popularity. The use of coffee as enema material began in Germany during World War I when morphine was in short supply. In desperation, nurses began pour leftover coffee into the enema buckets to ease the pain of wounded soldiers after surgery. They found that it was a very effective method of pain relief.  This accidental discovery came to the attention of two medical researchers in Germany who went on to test the effects of coffee enemas on rats, and found that when caffeine travels up the hemorrhoidal vein to the liver, it dilutes bile ducts and allows the liver to release accumulated toxins.

So now that I've given you a few points to ponder as to why we decided to do this, I will now go onto the specifics. I know the look of horror on your face. I've been there. But, I promise you it really really isn't all that bad. I had read testimonies online of people gushing about their daily coffee enemas. They all swore that they looked forward to them every day, and felt so amazing afterwords. I didn't think it could be true. But, I'm now a convert myself, and I actually do look forward to it every morning, and I do actually feel amazing afterwords. I start the process by boiling the coffee. I boil just over a liter of water, and add 3 heaping tablespoons of coffee to the pot. I'm working up to 4 scoops, but I'm not quite there yet. This boils for 3 minutes, then I put the lid on, turn down the heat to a simmer, and let it cook 15 more minutes. Once it has had a chance to cool a bit I strain it with muslin and pour equal amounts of the coffee into two jars. One for Adam and one for me. I usually end up with 16oz of coffee each. Then I dilute it. I add enough warm water to total 24oz of enema material for me, and Adam does the full 32oz. Then I'm off to the bathroom! I actually skip up the stairs.

I set up my little “enema den” with a towel lining the bathtub, and another towel rolled up as a pillow. The coffee gets poured into my enema bucket, and I unclamp the tube to let the liquid pour all the way to the end. Then I clamp it tight, and lubricate the tip a bit. The next part was the most horrifying the first day, and now is just so second-nature I can't believe I was ever anxious about it. I lie down in the tub on my right side and curl up into the fetal position. The tube goes in, which was a bit weird the first time but is a total non-issue now. I have the bucket hanging up on the little washcloth rail in the tub, so I just unclamp the tube and let the coffee run in. You don't feel a thing! You might hear a little gurgling from your intestines, but there is no sensation whatsoever of the coffee going in. Once the bucket is empty, I clamp the tube and gently remove it. Then I get to lie still for 12 minutes. Actually I haven't made it to 12 minutes yet, but I'm getting close. I've read, played Bejeweled on my iPod, and I have every intention of praying the Rosary... starting tomorrow. I promise. Anyway, when the time is up it's time to “evacuate”. I suppose that part is self-explanatory. Then I just wash out the bucket (remember there's only been coffee in there!) and rinse out the tubing. Voila! All in all, it takes less than 30 minutes of my morning, but boy is it worth it. I swear you feel about 5 pounds lighter afterwards. And you really do feel clear-headed and ready to start the day. Adam goes in after me, and he is loving his enemas. His short-term memory issues that plagued him after the surgery have totally cleared up, and he's convinced it's the enemas that are doing it.

So I hope you don't feel that this has been too much information, but I really strongly feel that more people should be using the coffee enemas in treating their medical problems. I have the hopes that it will help me with my migraines, and the occasional detox is definitely useful even for the healthiest among us. Watch some colonoscopies on YouTube and you'll see why. Next up, I'll be writing about my other favorite part of Adam's protocol... juicing!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thoughts on Protein

Wow. Two posts in two days! It must be a holiday weekend. Anyway, I wanted to address a comment I keep hearing everytime I mention to friends and family that we've gone vegetarian. “What about protein?” “Make sure you're getting enough protein!” “What are you doing for protein... lots of beans?” Because of these well-meaning questions, I wanted to do some research into protein and find out how much a body really does need. My findings surprised me, so I'd like to share.

It looks like the recommended daily intake of protein for a man is 56g. Now Adam is on the slim side, so he probably doesn't require that much. I need far less being a women, closer to 46g. So I decided to do a “protein audit” of our current diet, looking closely at what we are consuming and how it measures up to the demands of our bodies. We are getting far more than we need, and we aren't even trying. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of beans, and mental images of having to shovel forkfuls of rinsed kidney beans into my mouth to keep up with “protein demands” made me feel a little low. Thank goodness that is completely unneccessary. To look at an average day, here is how the protein grams add up:

oatmeal with walnuts, flax seed and a banana – 9g
leftover vegetable pot pie with cabbage salad – 14g
pumpkin soup and green salad with quesadillas – 26g

That comes to a total of 49g already, and I haven't even added up the snacks yet. Throw in a rice cake with peanut butter, a cheese stick, fruit, and a handful of mixed nuts and we have consumed a whopping 68g of protein in one day. Some days we'll be having fish (between 20-30 grams per 3 oz. serving) and occasionally I make eggs (6g per egg). On those days, we might even total 70 or 80 grams. And that's on a vegetarian diet! What would we be taking in if we were still on meat?!

You might be asking what the concern over protein is all about. Well, I have researched a ton of cancer diets, and the vast majority of them have one key thing in common. They are vegetarian. They are also sugar-free for the most part. Why? Cancer feeds on sugar and protein. I was under the mistaken impression that cancer requires only sugar to grow. That is why Adam was on a carb-free diet while on the Burzynski treatment. But, if cancer only grows on sugar, it should have starved to death. Unfortunately, it didn't and that's when I read the fine print.... cancer can also thrive on excess protein. Yes, we do need to make sure that Adam has adequate protein to fulfill the needs of his body, but too much protein floating around in his veins gets lapped up by cancer cells and makes them happy. We do not want happy cancer cells. We want them to be miserable, groaning and writhing with agony. So for that reason, Adam needs to watch his protein intake in addition to completely avoiding sugar. The easiest way to do that is to avoid meat. The great thing about vegetarianism is that by removing the meat from his plate, Adam can fill that empty space with more vegetables. The mistake many vegetarians make is they replace that missing meat with white starchy carbs, or horrible imitation foods like soy ice cream and vegan protein bars. Unfortunately those people are missing the point, and will not reap the benefits of “Going Veg”. I'm still a big fan of meat, as long as it's grass-fed and spends it's life frolicking in rolling pastures. Commercial meat will never find it's way into our home again. But, I do now fully believe that meat should be eaten in moderation, and vegetables need to take center stage in one's diet. And for the time being, Adam and I are really enjoying our new healthy lifestyle, and hope that we can inspire others to do the same. It feels really great over here!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The First HIYH Recipe!

I had originally planned on writing about my forays into the depths of psychological despair. It's been a rough couple of days. But, it never ceases to amaze me how I always seem to spiral down into a puddle of woe immediately before starting a new menstrual cycle. I'm honestly surprised every month. You'd think that at my age, I should be used to this by now. Anywho, Adam suggested I take the blog in a different direction this week. We've been vegetarian for a couple of weeks now, and I must say, it's going really really well. I really don't miss meat at all, and I love how NOT bloated I feel after every meal. Satisfied, but not splitting my jeans at the waist. It's great! Tonight I attempted a vegetable pot pie, and it was a massive hit. Adam exclaimed (he really did... he actually “exclaimed”), “You have to put this recipe on the blog! Try taking the blog in a new direction!!” When he's that enthusiastic about something, I simply cannot ignore his advice. So here's the recipe for tonight's smashing success!

Vegetable Pot Pie:

1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
5-6 small potatoes, cubed
½ butternut squash, cubed
½ turnip, cubed
1 Cup frozen peas
2 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
1 Cup white sauce

Saute onion, carrot and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add potatoes, squash, turnip and peas and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Put into a casserole dish. Pour white sauce over vegetables and top with cheese. Top with your favorite crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Eat your heart out.

If you are looking for a gluten-free pie crust recipe, here is the one I use from The Gluten-free Gourmet:

1 ½ Cups white rice flour
½ Cups potato starch
¼ Cups tapioca flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
¾ Cups lard
1 egg
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. cold water

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Cut in lard until crumbly. Mix egg, vinegar and water in small bowl, then add to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and knead until it forms a dough. You can't knead it too much! Makes enough dough for two pie crusts.

I hope you enjoy this new and improved version of the Healer in your Heart blog... perhaps more recipes will follow, I don't know. So far we've enjoyed Tofu and Cashew Stir-Fry, Falafel, Pumpkin Lasagne, Vegetarian Chili, Fettuccine Primavera, Salmon & Potato Scallop, and Tilapia with Cherry Tomatoes and Leeks. I also make quite a few good soups, and a mean quinoa tabbouleh. Maybe Adam is onto something! I could start sharing my recipes! This could be a vegetarian-health-cancer-nutrition blog peppered with personal tales of our cancer-fighting adventures. Occasionally I could go off on deep reflective and spiritual tangeants to showcase my deepening faith and wisdom. Or I could just complain a lot about how hard it is to be me. In any case, the gears are now turning, and I'm getting excited about future blog posts! Hurrah, I think my funk is officially over!!