I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people ask, “Cheryse, what advice would you give someone who’s just been diagnosed with cancer?” I think it’s time I articulate my answer in this blog. Hopefully it will help many others in the future. If you’ve been given this link by a friend you may be wondering, “What does she know? Why is she giving out advice on CANCER?” Well, my about me section gives you the cliff notes–are those even a thing anymore?—of my own cancer journey. Suffice it to say, I’ve had cancer for 4 years and am stage IV. Despite that, I have researched, emailed researchers, made so many contacts, and have a good understanding of cancer. I understand how it works, how it mutates or becomes resistant to treatment, I know there are a myriad of ways to “starve” it and poison it beyond just chemo, radiation, and surgery. I have 4 years of experience and research invested because well, my life depends on it.
As a disclaimer, the links I have included in this post are affiliate links. If you click on something and choose to purchase it, Amazon will pay me a small “advertising fee.” You get a great product that will help you and I get a small fee to help me pay for my medical care! It’s a win-win!
That being said, everything I say here is not to given or taken as medical advice. This is simply information I have learned that I would suggest you research. One of my first pieces of advice is to get a second opinion—always. I don’t care if you feel you have the best doc available, get a second opinion. Doctors are not infallible nor are the people reading your pathology reports. There have been instances of pathology reports being misread and people treated for cancer when they didn’t actually have cancer. Other instances of pathology reports being wrong about cancer subtypes and the wrong treatment being administered. Please, get a second opinion.
While you wait for that second opinion, I want you to know you are not helpless. You don’t have to wait with trepidation, knowing these nasty cells are growing within you. While you wait, you can be PROACTIVE. You can ARM yourself with information and knowledge and ACT to starve your cancer! I would recommend EVERYONE, diagnosed with cancer or not, buy the book How To Starve Cancer. It is written by a friend of mine who is 16 years (currently) free from cancer after a Stage IV cervical cancer. She did the hard research and discovered how her cancer works to starve it! The first half of the book is her cancer journey, the second half is the science behind starving your cancer (the metabolic theory of cancer). There are Facebook groups dedicated to this book and theory of cancer that are also a wealth of knowledge. Basically, cancer uses not only glucose but also glutamine (amino acids) and fatty acids as fuel sources. It is possible to understand which fuel sources your cancer uses and to block those sources using repurposed medications (medications designed for a different purpose) and supplements. Sometimes, low dose chemo and or radiation are necessary too, depending on the cancer but these meds/supplements are invaluable! I have given this book to most of my doctors an lent it out to countless cancer patients. Many of my doctors and naturopaths are now using these metabolic therapies on their other patients and have thanked me for sharing this information with them!
Please, please get this book, read it, join the FB groups, and get yourself AT LEAST the supplements in the book to block your cancer and bring the info to your doc (general doc or oncologist) to ask them to prescribe the off label meds!!! For more info on 4 of the very basic repurposed meds, check out the Care Oncology Clinic. I worked with them to get my first meds but thankfully my oncologist and Naturopaths are totally on board now so they write my prescriptions.
Another book I recommend to everyone is Radical Remission. It is written by a Dr. who discovered that no one was studying patients who had experienced radical (scientifically unexplained) remissions of cancer. She has made it her life’s work to study these people and understand how they achieved remission. She didn’t find any one cure but rather 7 commonalities among every patient used to heal (nutrition, supplements, support system, healing past hurts, etc). It is a very empowering and enlightening book that is invaluable in my opinion.
A few other books that are equally empowering and hold to similar topics about the author’s own healing cancer journeys are: The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, Anticancer: A New Way of Life, Beating Cancer with Nutrition, and Surviving Terminal Cancer. Additionally, these are my FAVORITE recipe books. They explain the anti-cancer properties of various foods/herbs and the recipes contained are DELICIOUS! The first two have a lot of hearty, healthy, anti-cancer recipes and the last two are smoothie recipes. There are some days I want a hearty meal or soup and other days I just want a smoothie or fresh pressed juice. It is helpful to have some tried and true recipes that you know will help your body heal! The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, Cooking Through Cancer, Anti-Cancer Smoothies, and Healing Smoothies. Remember, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. If you eat processed foods, that is what is fueling your body, and your cancer. Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food! This doesn’t mean you can’t have an occasional treat but that should be the exception, not the rule.
In addition to all the books I’ve mentioned above, I personally think EVERY cancer patient should research the amazing healing benefits of mushrooms. One of the most notable and studied mushrooms as it pertains to cancer is Turkey Tail. You can read about it’s benefits and some of the research done here. To put it simply, Turkey Tail contains an active component called PSK that has been used in China and Japan as an adjuvant cancer therapy for over 30 years. It is proven to increase the level of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the body. NK cells are special white blood cells that KILL tumor cells. Upon my stage IV diagnosis with mets to the liver, my NK levels were nearly zero. A year later (last year) despite a year of oral chemotherapy (chemo and radiation deplete our NK cells), my NK cells were back in a normal range thanks to taking 6 Grams of turkey tail and a blend of other mushrooms daily! In addition to the turkey tail, I take a mushroom blend that contains a number of mushrooms that also boost the immune system. Here is the turkey tail and here is the other blend. For normally healthy individuals, I believe 2 tablets a day are sufficient. For me, I take 8 capsules of turkey tail and 6 capsules of the blend daily. I use the brand I linked because it is the brand that was used in the NIH turkey tail study. It is from an amazing company called Host Defense. The owner/CEO’s own mother was diagnosed with terminal, HER2+ breast cancer 10 years ago, given months to live. She only passed earlier this year, 10 years later, after taking the turkey tail and blend daily. I don’t know that she was cancer free when she died but she lived 10 more years, to 93!!!
In addition to the mushrooms, I would recommend a low GI diet. The books above will help you with that but basically, you want to keep your blood sugar levels low and even. This will reduce inflammation and starve the cancer cells of glucose. Focus on foods that are anti-inflammatory. Adding a quality, organic green tea or matcha tea into your diet once or twice daily will give you for caffeine fix and is anti-inflammatory AND blocks at least one metabolic pathway. The key to green and matcha teas is not to use boiling water or it scalds them, making them taste bitter.
If you find yourself having a hard time with a quality, low GI breakfast/lunch, I personally love Vega Protein and Greens chocolate or vanilla flavors. I’ve been having a harder time finding it locally so I have used Orgain Plant Based Protein Powder (chocolate) and it’s devious but doesn’t have the greens. I usually add in an extra scoop of chocolate green powder. You can mix this with water or almond/other milks. You can blend it with greens/berries, etc.
A few more beneficial and easy things to add to your diet/routine is pomegranate juice daily and I use and love this Cell Food supplement. I just put a small squirt in my water every time I fill up my water bottle. It helps oxygenate the body and support healthy cell function.
Another thing I recommend to everyone, not just someone diagnosed with cancer, is to look up your area’s water report. Go here and put in your zip code. Your tap water reports should be available. For instance, the town I grew up in has EIGHT contaminates detected above health guidelines (most of which are cancer causing) and 12 other contaminates detected below health guidelines. I will write up another post on how to mediate this but in the meantime, you may want to invest in large bottled water or a QUALITY filter that will actually filter out any contaminates.
Speaking of filtering water, I lOVE this shower filter and this bath faucet filter. You really don’t want to be washing yourself with fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals. Then regarding chemicals, I encourage EVERYONE to remove chemicals from your home. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products, get rid of air fresheners and use essential oils instead. Stop using scented dryer sheets and buy yourself a bag of wool dryer balls. The dryer balls will soften your clothes and cut the drying time. They will last YEARS which will save you money too!!! I personally LOVE biokleen household products. I’ll probably do another post dedicated to laundry and cleaning products in the future.
Also important is proper rest! Get enough sleep. Limit stress in your life. Practice forgiveness. Meditate…..pray. Give your cares and worries to God. Honestly, this piece is HUGE. Giving my anxiety, stress, worries to God has freed me to live a life filled with peace and joy, even with a stage IV diagnosis. The peace that the God of the Bible provides is indescribable. I pray that each person who reads this will know God and know His peace as I do.