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Integrative Non-Toxic Stage IV Colon Cancer Treatment Plan

In the past few months, I’ve had a number of people ask me,What did you do to reach remission of Stage IV Colon Cancer?” Well, truth is, I did quite a lot to get me to where I am now. But honestly, I didn’t do anything the average person couldn’t duplicate.

I’m going to attempt to outline what I did so people in a similar situation have a blue print. I will have to provide a few caveats though:

  1. We are all different. What works for one, may not work for another. I had previous health issues that may have set me up for my unlikely radical remission.
  2. I am not a doctor. I am simply speaking from experience, accompanied by the knowledge many doctors have imparted to me. It is likely in your best interest to have a doctor (naturopathic/allopathic/etc) that you trust and can speak to about supplementation as well as any other medical related treatments I share.
  3. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis/GERD at age 23. I spent years on immunosuppressive medications trying to correct my chronic illness. I was never able to control it, never found remission and cancer was my result. I was never dedicated to a radical lifestyle change and wish I could go back and change it. If you have IBD, Be Radical. Be Greater. I no longer have GERD after changing my diet and have no symptoms of Crohn’s Disease or UC.
  4. No one is perfect. I learned as I went and made changes as I went. Even though I am quite the perfectionist, I am far from perfect.
  5. I am still healing. I have stage IV cancer. I use present tense to remind myself that treatment doesn’t end when a doctor says you’re in remission or cancer-free. I will always be healing. This isn’t just a treatment plan, it’s a lifestyle plan.
  6. I have a 13.5% chance to live 5 years (on conventional standard therapy). I am still part of the 5-year survival group. My number is lower than that because I chose not to do standard-of-care therapy, but not too much lower. The numbers change all the time, and Adjuvant Online tool that I once used to determine my survival rates with and without standard-of-care is unavailable and in a redevelopment process. The last time I checked, I had an 11% chance to live 5 years, as opposed to 13.5% on standard-of-care therapy.
  7. I am 7 months into a Radical Remission/No Evidence of Disease period. I live one day at a time where cancer is concerned (or more like one scan at a time). These next three months will feel like one long day.
  8. I stopped Chemo after 9-rounds because I wanted to heal and not live longer.  This is hard to explain to people. I didn’t stop Chemo because I’m against conventional doctors. I don’t think there’s a cure being suppressed (unless you count prevention as the cure like I do). I DO think scientists don’t understand cancer and are treating it incorrectly (which more and more are seeing that enhancing the immune system and not crippling it is the right direction to go with cancer research) Chemo DOES kill cancer. Did it help kill my cancer? It’s definitely possible. However, if it was the main reason, why isn’t 9-rounds standard-of-care for Stage 4 colon cancer patients? For me, at Stage IV disease, the benefit of living longer versus being absolutely miserable on treatment for the rest of my (short) life swayed my decision to stop. I know it is a reason I’m here today, as surgery wasn’t ever presented to me as an option prior to going to CTCA. In fact, my Beaumont Oncologist told me surgery was NOT an option.
  9. I have a permanent Ileostomy. A tum-bum. I jokingly called it the “flux-capacitor” to the ostomy nurse and she laughed and said she’s never heard someone call it that, and so quickly embrace it in that way. It ended up not being the end of the world and there’s no stigma to be worried about. Cancer hit me hard, but I found my way to my feet and I have learned to embrace it and live with the changes that have come with it. I am not limited in any way and my quality of life from what it was like during Crohn’s Disease has improved. And I’m convinced it does indeed makes time-travel possible.
  10. I opted for surgery because my large intestine was too diseased from disuse colitis, It was detached for too long, as I was told it wasn’t an issue to worry about now that cancer was diagnosed and shrinking the tumors via chemo was my next step. A colonoscopy prior to surgery led to the discovery that my large intestine was atrophied. It was too inflamed to scope or ever reattach. It also contained tumors that had supposedly grown, so I opted to remove the dying organ, as it was really my only choice. Life happens. I also opted for HIPEC, however, unlike systemic chemotherapy delivery, which circulates throughout the body, HIPEC delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells in the abdomen during surgery and is then washed out. This procedure was hard to agree to and the doctor never pressured me to do it. But after researching it and consulting my naturopath, I thought it would be beneficial.
  11. 12 of 13 tissue samples removed from my body during my debulking surgery had gone through apoptosis or programmed cell death. Cancer was dead everywhere but in a (previously unknown) small intestine tumor. The doctor was able to remove that with clear margins. My gallbladder was also removed (unfortunately unnecessarily), as the previously unknown golf ball sized tumor they found there was benign. So, my body had healed cancer AFTER stopping chemo. The integrative treatment plan I will detail below DID heal stage IV colon cancer. Surgery was still necessary for my large intestine and it also proved healing cancer without chemo is possible.
  12. I am unique and my results may be as well. But if you’re in the same predicament I was, please use this as a way to research your own path through your own cancer journey. I still truly believe this result can be copied, but there are never any guarantees in life.

Cancer Diagnosis

I was rushed into emergency surgery for an obstruction in my large intestine that led to a perforation of my large intestine near my appendix. 14 inches of my intestine was removed, and I was left detached with an ileostomy. A few weeks later the pathology report came back as Stage IIIC Adenocarcinoma. A follow up CT scan showed lesions on my liver, and after biopsy, I was restaged to Stage IV.


Ileostomy

I’m adding this as a part of my Radical Remission treatment plan for a few reasons.

  1. I’m anatomically different than many other people. It may play a role in how I’ve managed to heal stage IV disease. I’m not a researcher, so I won’t pretend to know.
  2. When you are diagnosed with cancer, you reach out to others in your same situation. I met a woman from England who had stage IV colon cancer, but had not perforated and had not had surgery. Doctors where she was would NOT perform surgery to remove the large tumor in her intestines without seeing it shrink first using chemotherapy. She was not having good results on the chemo, but they kept insisting that surgery was not an option (much like my Michigan Oncologist told me). From what I’ve learned is first, an oncologist wants to see the tumor shrink during treatment, and when it’s small enough, do surgery to remove it. There are exceptions to every rule, but that’s what she was told as well.

She’s no longer with us. They never performed surgery. Maybe they couldn’t. It’s likely there were other reasons she wasn’t telling me. I have no idea. I had surgery to remove my tumor before they knew it was cancer. It may have saved my life. I’ll never know, but it’s worth noting. I didn’t know her well, but her death stung. Thank God I wasn’t in pain like she was every day. Thank God I had surgery, which allowed me to be able to heal.


FOLFOX Chemotherapy with Avastin

I’m including this because I did 9 rounds of it, and even though I was told I’d die if I stopped, I can’t remove it from my treatment plan. Is 9-rounds is enough chemo to start killing cancer cells before it really starts wrecking your immune system? I don’t think we’ll ever know. FOLFOX is made up of three drugs ( FOL=Leucovorin Calcium (Folinic Acid), F=Fluorouracil, OX=Oxaliplatin). Avastin is a targeted liver chemotherapy. When you really start researching these drugs, it becomes terrifying to know what was happening to my body. Ignorance is bliss, but when it’s cancer, ignorance can be detrimental.

How Often was I doing this? Once every 2 weeks with the 48-hour pump at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.

Am I still doing it? No. I chose to stop after 9-rounds because I thought I was going to die. Other people I’ve talked with colon cancer and on FOLFOX/Avastin did not feel as bad as I was feeling. After I stopped, I started diving head first into natural therapies, starting with getting a more comprehensive blood test than the standard CBC/CMP.


Blood Test

The first naturopath I went to had me get a comprehensive blood test for immune related functions. This page of the test results showed the levels that were abnormal.

initial_blood

High Homocysteine: Blood levels of homocysteine tend to be highest in people who eat a lot of animal protein and consume few fruits and leafy vegetables, which provide the folic acid and other B vitamins that help the body rid itself of homocysteine. An inadequate intake of B vitamins, as well as genetic factors that affect the body’s absorption and use of folic acid, can lead to elevated homocysteine levels. Other contributors to elevated homocysteine levels include stress and coffee consumption: the more coffee you drink, the higher your homocysteine levels are likely to be. Source

High VEGF: The over-expression of VEGF is a contributing factor to the development of disease. For example, solid tumors require an increased blood supply if they are to continue growing beyond a certain size and tumors that express VEGF are able to continue growing because they can develop this enhanced blood supply, a process referred to as angiogenesis. Cancers that express VEGF are therefore able to grow and spread (metastasize) to other organs and regions of the body. Source

Extremely High C4a: When I originally researched this, I thought I had Lyme Disease. After speaking with my naturopath, c4a is more of an inflammation marker, and elevates when cancer is involved as well. I had both going for me. Source

Low Zinc: Zinc is so essential to so many functions in the body. Low Zinc can bring on so much disease. Zinc is an essential mineral with over 300 enzymes reliant on it to help heal wounds, maintain fertility in adults, protect against free radicals, promote healthy growth in children, boost immunity, synthesize protein, preserve good vision and help cells reproduce. Deficiency is very common (especially in the Third World) and can cause major health complaints, zinc deficiency can be over come by consuming the right diet full of foods that are high in zinc and by supplementing the diet with chelated zinc. Source

After seeing that these levels were really abnormal, My naturopath oncologist prescribed the following lifestyle changes.


Diet

I jumped 100% into a radical diet change.

No Dairy.
No Gluten.
No Processed/Refined Sugar.
No Alcohol.
No Coffee.

Unless by accident, I have avoided all of these like the plague since November of 2015. Luckily, I’ve never liked or drank alcohol very often, as it always made me sick. There have been very few instances that I can count on my hand where I’ve eaten anything with Organic Cane Sugar in it. I simply made this decision and the cravings just slowly vanished. I literally never crave these foods anymore. I was in the elevator at work with a whole delivery cart of pizza the other day, and even though the smell was amazing, it wasn’t a craving and my salad was more than enough.

Why do I avoid these foods? All of them are inflammatory. And alcohol is poison. Dairy is inflammatory, chemically made for another animal species to feed their children and is full of bovine hormones and antibiotics. Gluten is inflammatory to the digestive tract. Sugar is inflammatory to the body. Inflammation leads to disease. Disease leads to cancer.

Coffee was a personal choice as I switched to tea. Coffee does dehydrate you, so make sure you are replacing what you lose. Sugary coffee drinks do not count as allowable coffee.

No Meat or Eggs

About 6 months ago I decided to follow a Whole-Foods-Plant-Based diet. I have had chicken and fish within these 6 month period, but only around Thanksgiving and Christmas and 2 or 3 family dinners. And halfway into eating the meat, I stopped and realized that I just don’t want to eat meat anymore.

It has nothing to do with veganism (although I do love animals), but it has everything to do with health. Eating meat causes disease. Diabetes and Heart Disease are directly related to meat consumption. After watching Forks over Knives, I decided to switch to a no meat diet. And I honestly don’t miss it.

Nutrition Facts: Can I Eat a Little Meat?
Grilling and Smoking Meats: Is Grilled and Fried Food Bad?

I could list so many links here and if you love meat you’ll just ignore these facts. The truth of the matter is, eating meat is not overly nutritious. Let me ask a question…

How much meat do you consume on an average day? Do you eat animal protein with every meal?

I did. Before cancer, I would, on average, eat animal protein 3 times a day. Eggs for breakfast. Lunchmeat for lunch. Chicken or Steak or Fish for dinner. And all that was with cooked veggies, which reduce the nutrition of veggies 10 fold. And fruit rarely entered my mouth. My sugar was all from sugary drinks or sweets or coffee.

If you eat animal protein, are you destined for cancer? No. But there is a lot of information you can find about how reducing/eliminating animal protein can prevent and even heal disease. Research it for yourself.

Challenge: Reduce your meat intake to at most once a day. Better yet, reduce it to once a day only 3 times a week. Have a smoothie for breakfast. Or maybe simply do fruits/smoothie until noon and then whatever you normally eat the rest of the day. Start small. Reduce the animal protein little by little. You will feel healthier, I promise.

We truly are what we eat.

What do I eat now?

I follow this Dr. Michael Gregor’s Daily Dozen App and eat these portions every day. Here is an article about what we should eat/do EVERY DAY if you don’t want to use the app.

I eat a strict, routined breakfast, lunch and snacks every day. Dinner changes every day, so I won’t be including it in this breakdown. My routine is easy and it tastes good. And I’m getting enough calories AND PROTEIN. 

Breakfast Smoothie: 2 Bananas + 1 cup berries + 1 cup mango + 1 avocado + 1 spoon hemp seed + 2 cups almond milk smoothie.
Calorie count: 105+47+99+322+40+80 = 693 Calories
Protein count: 2.6+1+1.4+4+5.3+2 = 16.3g Protein

Lunch Salad: 3 cups spring mix + 3 cups Spinach + 1 cup Arugula + 1 cucumber + 1/2 tomato + 4 baby bella mushrooms + 1 avocado + 1 cup red pepper + 1/2 cup green onions + 1 spoon hemp seed + 1/4 cup sunflower nuts + 1 spoon flax seed + balsamic vinaigrette
Calorie Count: 24+21+3+47+11+16+322+60+16+200+55 = 775 Calories
Protein Count: 3+3+.3+2+.6+2+4+1+.9+5.3+7+1.9 = 31g Protein

Trail Mix daily snack: 1/4 cup sliced almonds + 1/4 cup sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/4 cup cashews
Calorie Count: 170+200+170+170 = 710 Calories
Protein Count: 7+7+9+5 = 28g Protein

Protein Bars: I found a product I enjoy that I don’t mind enjoying. I eat a GoMacro bar almost every day. Their products are as close to “sweets” as I get. Occasionally I have a small piece of dark chocolate, but not very often. And I just found out GoMacro bars are sold at every 7-11! Kroger, Whole Foods and Trader Joes sell them too.
Calorie Count: 290 Calories
Protein Count: 11g Protein

After Dinner Smoothie (usually the same as the other smoothie): 2 Bananas + 1 cup berries + 1 cup mango + 1 avocado + 1 spoon hemp seed + 2 cups almond milk smoothie.
Calorie count: 105+47+99+322+40+80 = 693 Calories
Protein count: 2.6+1+1.4+4+5.3+2 = 16.3g Protein

Total Calories (excluding dinner): 3161 Calories
Total Protein (excluding dinner): 102.6g Protein

To put that in perspective: Someone weighing 150lbs who wants to train for crossfit should get 150g of protein a day. A regular person doing recreational exercise should get 61g of protein a day. I’m doing light exercise, so I’m getting plenty of protein.

Someone who is 5’11 and weighs 150lbs, who exercises 3x a week needs 2254 calories a day to maintain their body weight. Because of my ostomy, both these numbers are likely very skewed. That’s probably why my weight gain is so slow/non-existent. I may need to eat even more, but I still may never gain weight easily.

And, if I start exercising more, which I am wanting to do, I’ll need to increase my intake.

Fermented Foods are also something I ate (begrudgingly). My wife loaded the Sauerkraut on my plate with every meal. I hated it, especially while on chemo. But fermented foods are very healthy for you. I wouldn’t consider them a vitally important reason why I healed, but they are good for the body.

 

Question: Where do you get your fiber? Do you get enough?


Juicing

When I was first diagnosed, Heather bought a juicer and she started making me juices every morning. It consisted of mainly carrots, with celery, beets and ginger root thrown in. It was disgusting at first, but my body adjusted and I started to like the taste. Once I started to juice for myself, I was able to play with the ratio and make it taste even better. If I wanted it sweeter, I’d add an apple.

Recipe: 4, 1-pound bags of carrots + 2 stalks of celery + 1 large beet + 1 inch of ginger root + 1 apple (optional)
Method: I bought a masticating juicer and a large glass carafe to hold all the juice. I would juice first thing in the morning and drink 8oz glasses throughout the day until it was gone.

Why did I juice?

Beta-Carotene. I read many studies very early about how beta-carotene naturally suppressed colon cancer. I was on the opposite end of the spectrum, as I already had colon cancer, but I figured it could help reduce it anyway. Beta-Carotene does three things very well:

  1. It is an immune system booster
  2. It can act as antioxidant
  3. It can convert in the body to vitamin A, a proven anti-cancer agent.

It also helps with anemia, acidosis, inflammation and builds the immune system. I was about to start chemotherapy, so all this helped ease some of my fears about what it would do to my body. On chemo, it was very difficult to juice every day, but I still did it. On some days, it was the only thing I ingested. After I stopped chemotherapy, I continued to juice and I know it played a role in my healing.

Why can’t I just eat whole veggies?

You can and you should. Juicing eliminates a step in your digestive process by already separating the fiber from the the juice/nutrients. But fiber is very important as well. If you ask a doctor, juicing is not any healthier than eating whole veggies and fruit. The different is, I would never be able to consume 5 pounds of veggies a day. Juicing proponents argue that the amount of nutrients you get while juicing can have a profound impact on healing your body. I chose to juice as supplementation to my diet. I wanted living foods in me all day.

I juiced (almost) every day from March 2015 until June 2016. 13 months of juice. Every Day.

Today, I don’t juice as often as I used to. Recently I started blending more than juicing, as living with an ostomy is difficult when you drink too much vegetable juice. As a family, we are going to start juicing again a few times a week. Being back to work full-time puts a hamper on diet perfection, but I can still fit in a juice or two a day.


Exercise

If there’s one area I struggle in, it’s exercise. But as soon as I stopped chemo, we bought a mini trampoline and I would get the lymphatic system moving every day.

What is the lymphatic system?

I’ve heard it referred to as the “sewer system” of the body. “The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.”

The thing about the lymphatic system is it needs exercise to help pump the lymph throughout the body and out through your blood. If you aren’t moving enough, you aren’t eliminating the toxins stored in your body. When I stopped chemo, I was on a trampoline at least once a day for 30-minutes. There were some days I missed, but I was pretty consistent for a good 6 month period. It was a simple way for me to get some exercise when doing anything more vigorous was still difficult.

Today, it’s still difficult for me to find the time to exercise. I’ll be the first one to admit this is where I fall the most, but I’m getting better. This year I am making an effort to get back on that trampoline every day, run outside a few times a week, and hopefully start Yoga at Gilda’s Club. Being back to work takes away from free time to do yoga, but I’m hoping to find it.


Supplements

Supplements were a big part of my healing. A lot of people will say supplementation is “quackery”, and they’d be right. Over the counter supplements and Multi-Level-Marketing companies typically do not sell quality supplements, and they cost way too much. If you want to take supplements, you should get direction from someone who knows about various supplements and has research behind why you should take them. My naturopath Oncologist was a huge help in this area and prescribed me these supplements based on my blood tests and my diagnosis of colon cancer.

Super Strength Coriolus (Turkey Tail Mushroom)

Why did I take it: This supplement strengthens the immune system and is FDA approved for use with cancer. It’s widely researched and used.
How much did I take? 600mg, 5x day
Brand I used: JHS Natural Coriolis (I bought them from my naturopath’s office for about $10 cheaper)
Do I still take this today? I take NOW Beta Glucans currently. It is part of the same family. Coriolis contains beta-glucans, which help support and enhance the immune system.

Metatrol Pro (Fermented Wheat Germ Extract)

Why did I take it: It has anti-cancer properties. Source
How much did I take? 2 capsules a day
Brand I used: Metatrol Pro
Do I still take this today? Yes

Melatonin.

Why did I take it: Melatonin is one of the more researched supplements for cancer. Melatonin has been shown to stimulate the production of the immune cells, particularly T-cell, Natural Killer and cytokine production, and its use as a supplement during chemotherapy and radiotherapy reduces damage to the precursors of both white and red blood cells. In a 2015 meta-analysis by the University of Copenhagen over the course of one year, the chances of cancer survival rose from 28% to 52% in patients supplementing with melatonin. Source
How much did I take? 20mg every night
Brand I used: Source Naturals Melatonin
Do I still take this today? Yes.

Cannabis Coconut Oil

Why did I take it: The endocannabinoid system is part of our body for a reason. Researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors: CB1, predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs; and CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and its associated structures. Many tissues contain both CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to a different action. These receptors help regulate your cytokine function, or the immune cells ability to communicate with the body to find inflammation or infection.
How much did I take? 2 capsules a day. 12 hours apart. My caregiver made these so the mg count wasn’t something I was concerned with.
Brand I used: I used Rick Simpson Oil first, but then went to a more organically prepared product combined with coconut oil. The fatty acids in coconut oil help the body absorb the medicinal properties of cannabis.
Do I still take this today? No. I stopped because I was back to work and feeling well and didn’t want to be using it while working. Ingesting cannabis oil is not like smoking it. There is no psychedelic effect. It does reduce anxiety, make you tired and stimulates the appetite. I have never smoked it, so I can’t compare the high, but I’m told it is mild compared to smoking it. If cancer comes back I will start this again.
Note: In my opinion, smoking it is still unhealthy, as the lungs weren’t made to inhale smoke. Ingesting it is medicine, but I never drove a car within 4 hours of taking it. If I had to drive somewhere or watch my kids, I skipped my morning dose. And if I had to be somewhere early the next day, I skipped my bedtime dose. THC is still present in these capsules and you need to be responsible.

Turmeric/Circumin

Why did I take it: Turmeric is another supplement heavily researched. It has been proven, that when combined with other conventional therapy, to kill cancer cells more effectively than with the conventional therapy alone. Source
How much did I take? 500mg, 6x day
Brand I used: Source Naturals Turmeric with Meriva
Do I still take this today? Yes

EGCg (Green Tea Extract)

Why did I take it: It is so beneficial for cancer prevention AND treatment. I overdose on it. Tea polyphenols have also been shown to inhibit tumor cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in laboratory and animal studies. In other laboratory and animal studies, tea catechins have been shown to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor cell invasiveness. Source
How much did I take? 200mg, 6x day
Brand I used: NOW Foods EGCg
Do I still take this today? Yes.

Grape Seed Extract

Why did I take it: Even though studies are inconclusive in human trials, if something can kill cancer in a test tube (which most of the things I take can), adding them to your body can’t be a bad idea. Studies have found that grape seed extracts may prevent the growth of breast, stomach, colon, prostate, and lung cancer cells in test tubes. However, there is no clear evidence whether it works in humans. Antioxidants, such as those found in grape seed extract, may help reduce the risk of developing cancer. Grape seed extract may also help prevent damage to human liver cells caused by chemotherapy medications. Source
How much did I take? 100mg, 6x day
Brand I used: Now Foods Grape Seed Extract
Do I still take this today? Yes.

Milk thistle

Why did I take it: I take this primarily for my liver. I had tumors on my liver, as most people with stage IV colon cancer end up having. The research showing that it helps the liver is inconclusive in human trials, but they do see some instances where it helps with liver cancer and liver diseases. It is used as a detoxifier in eastern medicine. Source 
How much did I take? 750mg, 2x day.
Brand I used: Life Extension European Milk Thistle
Do I still take this today? Yes. I open these capsules up and add the powder to my morning smoothies.

Resveratrol Acai & CoQ10 (all in one supplement)

Why did I take it: Resveratrol has anti-cancer benefits. However, the studies are inconclusive in-vivo. Research has shown that resveratrol supplementation could potentially have many positive health benefits including decreased cancer risk. Source; Acai is a potent anti-oxidant. A recent study found that the antioxidant capacity of freeze-dried acai berries have the highest antioxidant activity of any food reported to date. Source; CoQ10 does help decrease the effects of chemotherap, but has inconclusive anti-cancer properties. It does however boost the immune system. Source
How much did I take? 400mg, 2x day
Brand I used: LifeTime Resveratrol Acai & Co-Q10
Do I still take this today? Yes.

Fish oil

Why did I take it: Fish Oil helps prevent cancer and inflammation. A 2013 study falsely accused it of increasing the risk of Prostate cancer, but it was debunked. Source
How much did I take? 2 tablespoons day
Brand I used: Barleans Mango Peach Fish Oil
Do I still take this today? Yes.

Boswellia

Why did I take it: Boswellic acid, the active ingredient in Frankincense, inhibited an enzyme that is important in the process of inflammation, and it therefore reduces swelling caused by chemicals or arthritis. It also slowed down the replication of cancer cells and caused cell death of some cancer cells in the laboratory. It has not been proven to work in human trials. Source
How much did I take? 500mg, 2x day
Brand I used: NOW Foods Boswellia Extract
Do I still take this today? No. This is one I’ve since stopped since remission.

Vitamin D3

Why did I take it: We are all deficient in Vitamin D. I’m especially deficient because I live in Michigan and I’m indoors the majority of the day and for 8 months out of the year. Numerous epidemiologic studies have shown that higher intake or blood levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Obviously, getting outside is the preferred option, but life doesn’t always allow it. Supplementation was necessary for me.
How much did I take? I was doing 1,000 IU drops; 3-4 drops 3x day or 10,000 IU/day (based on my blood work).
Brand I used: The one I’ve always used has been discontinued at luckyvitamin, so I’m looking into a new product. I may buy this NOW brand D3/K2 spray.
Do I still take this today? Yes. I do 5 drops twice a day, even in the summer.
Note: Too much vitamin D (40,000 IU per day for a prolonged length of time) can be harmful. And getting sun everyday does not mean lay out for hours and get a tan. Everything in moderation. Getting the right amount of Vitamin D is very healthy for us.

Zinc

Why did I take it: I was deficient in Zinc, as many people are. A simple blood test can help see if you need to boost this important mineral. Being low in Zinc can cause so many problems in our bodies.  Zinc not only improves cell mediated immune functions but also functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation have been implicated in development of many cancers. In patients with head and neck cancer, we have shown that nearly 65% of these patients were zinc deficient based on their cellular zinc concentrations. Natural killer (NK) cell activity and IL-2 generation were also affected adversely. Source
How much did I take? 22mg, 2x day
Brand I used: MegaFood Zinc
Do I still take this today? Yes.

B-complex

Why did I take it: According to my recent Nutreval Blood Panel, I was still deficient in B-vitamins. I was taking only a B-12 supplement, but I should have been taking a complete B-Complex. B Vitamin deficiencies can cause a lot of health issues.
How much did I take? 
2 capsules, 1x day.
Brand I used:
Life Extension Complete B-Complex
Do I still take this today?
Yes.

Klaire Labs Vitaspectrum Multivitamin Powder with Apple Cider Vinegar.

Why did I take it: This is just a really good multivitamin powder and ACV has many health benefits, including anti-cancer properties.
How much did I take? 1 scooper mixed in a show of Apple Cider Vinegar. No synergistic value here… I just needed to take both, so I combined these.
Brand I used: Klaire Labs Vitaspectrum Multivitamin Powder. I usually pick this up at my naturopath’s office, but you can get it at Walmart surprisingly.
Do I still take this today? Yes.

Klaire Labs Vital 10 Probiotic

Why did I take it: A lack of certain good bacteria in your gut increases your risk of cancer. Source.
How Much did I take? 1 pill, 1x day
Brand I used: Klaire Labs Vital 10
Do I still take this today? Yes. This is a newer supplement I added late last year. I was not taking this since diagnosis. I have to be careful of Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), but my diet is an anti-SIBO diet in and of itself, so getting some good bacteria every day was a good idea.


Nutreval Blood Test Results

Attached are my Nutreval Blood Test Results, which my naturopath said were the best results she’s ever seen. These are blood levels of someone on a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet. This is why I take supplements and make sure everything I eat is healthy for the body to ingest.


IV Medicine:

EGFR inhibitor protein (Erbitux/Vectibix)

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a protein that often appears in high amounts on the surface of cancer cells and helps them grow. Drugs that target EGFR can be used to treat some advanced colon or rectal cancers. I didn’t have any mutations of my cancer genes, so I was a candidate for the non-toxic targeted therapy. EGFR was described to me as instead of throwing rocks at a light bulb in order to shatter it (like chemotherapy does), targeted therapy looks for a light switch. I had a serious side effect to Erbitux, but not Vectibix.

How Often was I doing this? Once every 2 weeks at CTCA in Chicago.

Am I still doing it? No. If cancer comes back, my oncologist will put me back on this therapy.

Vitamin C

There’s a lot of research showing IV Vitamin C helping heal cancer. The studies are usually combined with chemotherapy. Intravenous Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress on the body, which is linked to cancer. It is a great prevention, as it improves the microenvironment of your cells. The research is still out there for whether or not it is a treatment for cancer alone, but if it helps in conjunction, it must help alone as well. Treatment with high-dose vitamin C slowed the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, malignant mesothelioma, neuroblastoma, and other types of cancer cells. Source

How Often was I doing this? Once every 2 weeks at CTCA in Chicago.

Am I still doing it? Yes. Every other week. I get the infusion at a local naturopath office.


Other Medicine

Iscador (Mistletoe Extract Subcutaneous Injection)

Mistletoe Extract as a cancer treatment is not FDA approved and is used in other countries. It does show promise, but the research is said to have flaws. The idea behind mistletoe is that it boosts the Natural Killer Healing T-cells of your immune system. Here’s a good story of how it helped someone heal their colon cancer as well as more information about the clinical studies.

How Often was I doing this? Treatment starts slow (one shot every 3-4 days) and gradually increase to a shot every other day. The mg count increases as well.

Am I still doing it? Not currently, but I may be starting another series to keep my immune system boosted.

GcMAF (Gc Protein-derived Macrophage Activating Factor)

This one is controversial. It is a new therapy for a range of disorders, but mainly in other countries, specifically Japan. The manufacturers of this protein claim it can do wonders, but the clinical trials are hard to come by. But the amount of controversy this new treatment has generated peaked our interest. Why the banning? Why the outrage? Why the suppression? Where there is smoke, there’s usually fire – so I decided to give it a show. I have no idea if it helped or not.

How I used it: I put a dime size of cream on my neck and rubbed it into my lymph nodes. I aslo put a dime size on my liver and rubbed it into my skin. It can cause swelling of the lymph nodes if you use too much.

Am I still doing it? Yes. I only have on jar left though. I use it once a day before bed.

Here’s a link to more information.
Note: This is the manufacturers website. Take it all with many grains of salt.

Low Dose Naltrexone

Naltrexone is typically used to ween people off opiates, but researches have started to see a link in cancer treatment. Many articles will debunk it and say the research is inconclusive, but many times scientists find unlikely treatment options when they aren’t looking for them. Using this drug in a low-dose showed improvements during cancer treatment. Source

Am I still doing it? No.


Spiritual/other:

Reiki

I wrote a blog on a powerful Reiki experience I had last year. Reiki is an Eastern Energy Healing.

Reiki is a Japanese practice with a name meaning “universal life energy.” This technique is based on the idea that the practitioner can encourage the flow and free circulation of the client’s own spiritual energy through touch or close proximity. Reiki was largely brought to the west from Japan in the late 1930s by Mrs. Hawayo Takata. Over time, Takata passed her knowledge on to others, and the technique spread throughout the western world.

During a Reiki session, the practitioner gently touches the patient lightly with both hands in specific hand positions or holds his or her hands slightly above the patient. Reiki sessions typically last for approximately one hour. During the session, the practitioner will place his or her hands in up to 15 different traditional hand positions over or on the patient’s body, holding each of the positions for two to five minutes at a time. The treatment is completely non-invasive and requires no tissue manipulation or painful pressure.

I was raised very religious and old me would have thought this was some cultish practice. I’ve since realized that way of thinking is harmful. I’ve never had an experience like I had that day at CTCA. Here’s some more info an Reiki as a Cancer treatment.

How Often was I doing this? Once every 2 weeks at CTCA in Chicago

Am I still doing this? There is a Reiki Master who lives near me that has offered to treat me, I just haven’t had the opportunity yet to start. Writing this now shows me what priorities I need to take to get back into a healthy routine.

Acupuncture

There is way too much to say about acupuncture. I wish I could do it every day. It is so beneficial. I could spend days blogging about this. And my Belarusian acupuncturist in Chicago is simply the best.

Here’s more info on acupuncture and how it relates to cancer treatment/prevention.

How Often was I doing this? Once every 2 weeks at CTCA in Chicago

Am I still doing this? Because I don’t go to Chicago every other week now, it’s hard to afford all these beneficial things, but I am hoping to start going to my Michigan acupuncturist every month. You really should go more often if you can afford it.

Chiropractor

Another beneficial “alternative” therapy for a host of diseases/issues. There are people who hate chiropractic care and others who swear by it. I believe it is very beneficial. CTCA believes it is beneficial for cancer treatment.

How Often was I doing this? Once every 2 weeks at CTCA in Chicago and back at home in Michigan. Dr. Dave is the best.

Am I still doing this? My first few adjustments after surgery were very painful, so I haven’t been back in a while. Now that I’m feeling better again, I’ll be going back (as money allows).

Prayer

As I said before, I was raised really religious, and that tends to stick with you. When I was first diagnosed, I was in this mindset of begging God to heal me. It wasn’t until I broke out of the diagnosis depression that I realized that wasn’t helping anything. Instead, I just started to believe it was possible to heal from this, regardless of the stage. Faith replaced everything.

I believe in God.

I have a VERY hard time understanding God. I have an even harder time understanding this conundrum.

Sometimes I doubt. Sometimes I don’t even know if God can heal cancer (because cancer is 90% environmental and only 10% genetic). Even so, couldn’t he heal it all? Or are we damaging the thing that can heal itself?

I’m not a miracle. Our complex, amazing bodies are already a miracle. If they can create cancer, they can heal cancer.

Anyway, I think the definition of faith is believing amidst all the doubt, that you still can heal.

Prayer is energy healing too. It’s a spiritual experience in and of itself. If Reiki can be proven using science, than prayer falls into the same category. You can affect people on a spiritual level through prayer. So I still pray for myself and others and I encourage other to pray for me and anyone with cancer.


Surgery

Surgery played a significant role in my cancer healing journey. Surgery is considered a “cure” for colon cancer, even some rare stage 4 cases. However, my cancer was already dead before surgery. That means that all of the above treatment synergistically combined to kill colon cancer in both my colon and my liver. I don’t believe I was lucky or that I’m some miracle that can’t be reproduced. Surgery gave me the best shot at remission and I wouldn’t change what I had to do based on my specific circumstances.


Prevention

My main purpose for writing this is for the true cure for cancer: Prevention. I hope to explain to people that you can avoid what I went through if you take the necessary steps to take care of your body now. Most cancers are preventable. A very small number are genetic.

Think about what you’re eating or medications you’re taking. Research the Whole Foods Plant Based Diet. Watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix. Learn how many diseases can be overcome by a radical diet change. Download the Forks Over Knives app and get meal plans.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis and GERD before Cancer. I used to take meds to control inflammation and daily perscription acid-reducing meds for heartburn. Today, I have no symptoms of either. If I had Crohn’s rather than UC, my disease can come back. I’m not going to let that happen.

If doctors and patients would stop treating symptoms and get to the root cause, we wouldn’t need a new medical complex on every corner in America.

Be informed. Research. Change your life now, not after a terminal diagnosis like I had to.


Still Healing…

I’m still healing and still doing the majority of these things. My next CT Scan is in April/May.

I will always be healing. That will always be my mindset.

I have no idea what my future holds. Stage 4 cancer is the end of the road. I have to simply live aware that I’m always healing. Truthfully, anyone who has ever had cancer should be living in this state. It’s not fear. It’s empowerment.

Feel free to email me with any questions.


Read This Book!

radical

Radical Remission by Kelly Turner.
It changed my mindset and gave me hope.
The Radical Remission Project

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