Updated 20 April 2019
Clickbait title! This is how I hope to heal my cancer – or at least hold it in check as long as I can.
One thing I’ve learned is that each person’s cancer is incredibly unique. The below outlines my personal treatment approach as feels right for me right now. This doesn’t apply to anyone else’s cancer but I hope it might spark ideas for others.
Cancer, or a concern about cancer, can act as a messenger bringing a strongly worded invitation to explore how your life may be out of balance.Dr. Nasha Winters, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer
The one thing I do believe is universal, however, is the idea that cancer healing requires treatment at many levels: Fixing the actual physically broken cells is critical but it’s also necessary to treat the physical, mental/ emotional and spiritual environment that allowed cancer to take root and thrive in the first place.
The core of my physical treatment strategy is to leverage traditional treatment to debulk my tumors and reduce the load on my immune system so that my body can dedicate all resources to healing the cancer. At the same time, I’m strengthening my immune system while depriving cancer of the fuel it needs to grow by following a plant-centered, ketogenic diet.
Gently debulk the tumors
- Targeted treatments – I’m very lucky to have many Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) targeting my cancer. Crizotinib bought me some time and now I’m looking into lorlatinib to squeeze out a few more months or, hopefully, years.
- Radiation – Stereotactic radiosurgery has been successful keeping my brain tumors in check.
- If it’s ever the best option, I’m open to surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Reduce dietary sources of cancer fuel
My primary goal is keeping a blood glucose-ketone index of around 1.0 by eating a plant-focused, very low carbohydrate and somewhat low protein diet while making use of therapeutic fasting.
- <35g net carbs (total carbs – fiber) per day average from raw vegetable sources
- 45-50g protein per day average from vegetable sources, wild-caught fatty fish, or, rarely, pasture-raised organic eggs and chicken bone broth
- 18/6 intermittent fasting daily
- one 36-48 hour fast per week
- one 72-hour fast every other month
- longer duration fasts when needed to potentiate radiation, TKI transitions, and chemotherapies. Usually 3 days before and 1 day after
Strengthen my immune system
- Fasting, as above. A 72-hour fast has been shown to regenerate the immune system.
- Immune-boosting food – raw garlic, medicinal mushrooms, leafy greens, turmeric, ginger, selenium-rich Brazil nuts, fermented foods, oregano
- Immune-supporting supplements – beta glucans, zinc, echinacea, ginseng, vitamin D3, vitamin C
- Avoid inflammatory foods including alcohol, sugar, dairy, trans fats, anything processed or fried.
- Control blood sugar, covered above
- Exercise – I walk an average of 45 minutes a day and spend time on the rebounder
- Eliminate distractions so that my immune system can stay focused on the cancer – avoid sick people; wear a mask in public; replace amalgam fillings; remove my infected root canals; drink only pure, filtered water
- Rest – this has never been an issue for me but I make sure I get as much sleep and rest as my body wants
- Reduce stress, see mental
Support my detox organs
- Exercise and use a rebounder to help circulate lymph
- Take a sauna 5 times a week to cleanses the pores and stimulate circulation (in addition to reaping the other cancer fighting sauna benefits)
- Dry brush before and during the sauna to help circulate lymph
- Take kidney and liver-supporting herbs like silymarin and dandelion root
- Avoid new toxins such as alcohol, chemicals, pesticides, etc.
This one is simple: I simply must reduce my stress and anxiety levels. After six months of reading about the physiology of cancer and working on myself I’ve come to the conclusion that stress was the biggest contributor to my disease.
Reduce mental stress and anxiety
- Exercise regularly, as above, and incorporate yoga into that exercise regime
- Meditate regularly
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) seems to be helping so keep that up
- I’m already fortunate to have switched to a lower stress job but I need to keep work in perspective – launching on time is less important than staying alive
- Care less about what people think and, at the same time, be more forgiving of others
- Make use of adaptogenic herbs like ginseng, holy basil, ashwagandha, rhodiola, licorice root, etc
- Enjoy regular massages – this one has been easy to stick to
This category of healing is uniquely personal but in my case it requires getting in touch with my emotions. I honestly have no idea what they’ve been up to the past decade but I’ve been making progress: I know I have some resentment to let go of and a need to experience more compassion and empathy for others.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cancer of the lungs is caused by unprocessed grief and anxiety. That is irritatingly on the nose in my case. It’s embarrassingly hippie-woo-woo to say but I do think I have a blockage of the lung meridian/ heart chakra/ whatever your flavor of emotional crippling that needs to be dealt with.
I don’t have a well-defined plan to address this yet.
- Introspection is of course central
- I sense meditation is helping
- Acupuncture seems like an obvious choice but I can’t find a practitioner willing to treat someone with chest tumors
- I’m also looking into talk therapy and energy healing techniques
The most personal healing aspect of them all and one that those with cancer can’t ignore. In my case, I’ve always had a strong relationship with God and the universe so my focus is to continue to nourish that relationship and clear those energy blockages, described above.