Saturday, May 28, 2011
Enemas, colonics and juice fasting oh my!
Ok so I've been researching some info on diet and cancer, and well there's some interesting theories out there. But the one I'm looking into in particular, and mind you, I've only just started to research it, but it's basically about the raw food movement and vegetarianism.
Now one of thing about being a pagan is that many are vegetarians or vegans. Why is that? Because the first rule of paganism is "harm none". And well it isn't "harm none unless they are really tasty on a bun", it's just plain "none". So, it's something I, and many other pagans have struggled with for a long time. And I'm always amazed at how vegetarians/vegans get a bad rap for being pushy or having an agenda or something. I've known a number of vegans in my life and not one of them has ever tried to push their lifestyle on me or been condescending, they just happily enjoy the fact that at the end of the day, they are WAY healthier than the rest of us!
So the theory is that if you eat 75% of your diet raw (and we're talking about veggies here, not sushi, though if anyone reads about sushi curing cancer, please forward me those links!) The reason is that raw food contains enzymes that are lost once they reach a certain temperature in the cooking process and your liver needs those enzymes to function optimally. And there is some evidence that the liver can help rid your body of cancer cells. Now I know what you're thinking, it sounds a little desperate. And yeah the idea of me going vegetarian would totally count as desperate for me, ha! But no, desperate would be hopping a plane to meet John of God in Brazil and that eyeball scraping does NOT look like fun.
The other part of the theory is that if you keep your body oxygenated, cancer is less likely to thrive there, because apparently cancer can not survive in such an environment.
There actually may be something to this theory not because so many people have claimed it "cured" their cancer. But because the new wave in cancer treatment is "targeted therapies". I'm on one of them, Tarceva. And do you know what Tarceva does (besides cause my face and bowels to explode on a daily basis)? It blocks certain enzymes and right now the Germans are studying enzymes' role in cancer spreading. Then again I could be completely misunderstanding it all, especially since my brain is currently being fried.
But here's the deal. The books I'm reading by no means offer this up as a cure. The first I read about it was in Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Tips, Kris Karr, the author has an extremely rare form of cancer (the name of which escapes me) and she was diagnosed as Stage 4 in 2003. Now the weird thing about her cancer is, it's malignant, it's sitting in her liver and lungs, but it isn't growing or attacking her in anyway...yet. She literally has to be scanned every few months and she just waits for this cancer to activate (told you it was rare, only 100 people get diagnosed with it a year). So she chose to do the whole vegan/raw food thing. And guess what? Are you ready? She still has the damn cancer, it hasn't budged. But she feels better in other ways so she's an advocate of the diet plan. She learned about it from the book The Cancer Battle Plan. So I picked it up.
Now the author of The Cancer Battle Plan, Anne Frohm, was diagnosed with a rare form of Breast Cancer that invaded her bones and brought her very close to death several times. She had a double mastectomy, several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a dangerous bone marrow transplant. But she was ultimately sent home to die because her doctors felt there was nothing more they could do for her. She decided as a last resort to try nutrition as a treatment and she eventually was cancer free and has been cancer free for almost 20 years.
Now what I love about Frohm is she thinks it's all those things combined that cured her, not just the diet. But she feels the diet is the one thing you won't learn about from most doctors so she decided to write a book about it. She is, of course, not the only one, there's a ton of books out there about this very topic. But some of them stop just short of encouraging you to avoid all western medicine and I think that is irresponsible. I think these things can work together, not against one another.
But here's the icky part, it's not just about turning to a vegetarian diet. There's another part to it. Well two parts to it. The first is the juice fast. Which she advocates for 2 weeks. I think I could do it for a couple of days, but 2 weeks? Um no. Also there's a lot of herbs and supplements involved and I'll have to run them all by Dr. Krug. Sloan's policy is if you do it with food, go for it. But if it is in pill or liquid form you have to tell them because there are herbs and supps that can work against chemo, radiation and pills like Tarceva.
And then there's the enemas! Twice daily my friends. One with water and one with coffee. PLUS they want you to go for regular colonics. The reasoning? Because we carnivores apparently have lots of meat particles that live in our colon for years and just rot into carcinogens. Hey I said it was icky. So that's part of the diet plan too. Now truth be told I'm having trouble accepting that my ass is the key to the cancer riddle. But I think I might give the raw food portion of it a try.
But mind you I'm not doing any of this until radiation is over and I have had a chance to talk this over with Dr. Krug and the Sloan Nutritionist. I'm sure they'll have no problems with the vegetarian part of the equation, but they might have something to say about the juice fasting and certainly the supplements.
We'll see. This is not a matter of small lifestyle changes for me, this is an entire diet overhaul. And truth be told, I don't know if I can do it. I know it's a great choice for me (the vegetarian thing I mean) cause it certainly can't hurt. In fact it'll improve everything else that's wrong with me. But it will really require me to think differently and well, eat differently. And since food is a major source of comfort for me, this will require a lot of will on my part. And I'm not gonna lie, I don't know if I have it in me. But I will keep you posted on it all (well except for the enemas...)