(My personal background with this topic: I had breast cancer and a double mastectomy back in July 2014. I felt the fear, but I have strongly moved on from that fear and you can too!)
If you or a loved one has just gotten a cancer diagnosis, I want to reach out to you with this article to let you know you don’t have to be afraid. Of course you will be in the beginning. We are conditioned to fear cancer because we think it means death. But, I want you to know that you have enormous hope for a high quality, healthy, even long, life in your future if you want that and are willing to listen to the message from your body and take action to heal it.
Let’s Face the Fear Factor First
I realize that having “death” in the title is a little scary, but it’s true: Cancer is not your death sentence. Being born is. At birth we are given our appointment with death, but the date is left open. We will all die of this physical body someday. This is the way of nature and our universe. Constant change.
Fear of cancer comes from our fear of death. And since we all will face death someday, there is actually great benefit from contemplating that in order to release some of the air (fear) out of that balloon. I’ll list a couple of good books at the end that can help you to take baby steps to liberate you from some of that fear. (I highly recommend everyone face this because when we have cancer we think “Oh I just want this cancer gone.” What is behind this is “I just don’t want to die and I certainly don’t want to think about it.” But even when your cancer is gone, we are still going to die someday. Facing that today will take the fear and panic away. A good mantra is “I will die someday. I will be ok. Today I am alive. Today I will live with joy.” For mantras to work, repeat them many times and throughout your day. They really work!!!!)
So in some ways, cancer is a gift that nudges us to stop running away from our fear of death and instead to face it, investigate it, and come to a place of acceptance about it so we can actually enjoy our life now while we are alive instead of having that nagging fear of death always over our shoulder. I’m not sure if we can release that fear completely, and I’m not saying surrender to death and give up on life. I’m saying to accept death so you can live more fully today!
(I will write soon about what I’ve learned about the “no-birth/no-death” concept that is very reassuring about physical death. Physical death is not the end of us. It is a transition point. To be discussed on another day.)
So What is Cancer Then?
Very simply, it is a message from your body. It is a message that you need a cleanup in order for the soil of your body to support healthy cells. That’s all. Cancer is a message and an opportunity to recapture your health.
Is Cancer the Boogeyman?
We have been lead to believe that cancer is this very complicated bad guy who is out to get us, and who so far has eluded modern science in terms of eradicating it. And while, yes, our body is an extremely complex machine, if you understand some very important basics about the body, and if you take action based on those facts, then you can transform your body back to health as our bodies’ main drive is always healing and regeneration.
If you have cancer, the environment of your body is currently not conducive to thriving health and so you have a breakdown in health in one part of your body. In fact it probably hasn’t been conducive to health for quite a while. But the good news is you can change that.
Even if you are seemingly healthy and fit, there are likely areas that you have been unaware of that you can change to improve the landscape of your body so that healthy cells thrive and unhealthy mutant cells can’t find a place to grow.
Processing Your Diagnosis
When you first learn that you have cancer, most people are overtaken with fear, panic, and worry. This is understandable. Give yourself the time you need to go through these emotions and then when the dust has settled, transform the energy of fear into action to improve your health. It is possible to move past the fear and walk forward in your life with great hope and joy.
How Is It Possible to Leave Fear Behind?
Once you fully realize that cancer is a message and not an unbeatable foe, you will see that you simply need to take action to clean up your body. This includes both your body and your mind. Often the mind/emotional/spiritual side of our being can be causing the greatest problems. We’ll address this too.
How Did Cancer Start?
Everyday we have cells that have copying errors occur when they divide to regenerate new cells. (copying errors can happen from radiation, toxins, and an acidic/low oxygen environment) In a healthy body, if those cells are rendered unhealthy from that copying error then the immune system eats them, discards any toxins and recycles the good materials.
In a body that is overly acidic, has a toxic burden, and where cells are not getting the oxygen they need due to the trans-fats in our diets, a collection of these unhealthy cells can start to grow. Continue with this environment in your body day in and day out and you can end up with a detectable cancer tumor.
The Good News
Just as you were able to create a toxic and acidic environment in your body, you have the same power to do the opposite creating an alkaline healthy body. How do you change the environment of your body?
The Basics of Getting Healthy
- Improve Nutrition
- Increase Alkalinity
- Improve Elimination (Detox and removal of digestive and metabolic waste)
- Avoid Toxins
- Spring Clean Your Emotions, Mind, and Spirit
Whether you decide to treat and heal your cancer using conventional allopathic methods (surgery, radiation & chemo) or alternative methods (nutrition, detox, gentle non-toxic natural treatments, and emotional detox) or a combination of both, it will be important to begin today to change the environment of your body. This way once your chosen treatment eliminates cancer, it won’t grow back in the future. You want to not only erase your cancer but remove the causes of your cancer.
You will want to establish an environment where healthy cells thrive and cancer cells can’t find a cozy “dirty” (highly acidic, toxic, inflammatory) place to grow.
Each person has to choose the cancer treatment path that feels right to them. Most of the time you have time to research all your options. My only direct advice is to do all your research first. Don’t rush into any particular treatment unless of course your life is in immediate danger. Most of the time, taking a couple weeks to understand all your options, is not going to make a huge difference in a tumor that may have likely been growing for 8-10 years or more.
So let’s take a quick peek at these basics along with some references for you to get more in depth information. (Please also see my Breast Cancer Prevention article for specific things you can do to prevent and keep recurrence away.)
Our bodies are the same as all living things. We eat and we eliminate. All living things do this. Plants, animals, and single cell organisms. Input and output. If one fails, the organism dies.
Your inputs are:
- Eating for fuel (energy) and nutrition (for cellular regeneration and metabolism)
- Breathing – oxygen to burn the fuel for energy
Input delivery system:
- Blood – this is the fluid system that delivers the inputs to your cells.
Your outputs are:
- Colon – digestive waste and lymphatic waste from cellular metabolism
- Kidneys, skin, lungs – removal of cellular metabolic wastes and removal of toxins.
Output Removal system:
- Lymph System – this is the body’s sanitation department removing metabolic wastes, toxins, and unwanted microorganisms. The lymph drains different types of waste into each of the above outputs: colon, kidneys, skin, and lungs. The lymph fluid has 3 times as much volume as all your blood.
The Chemistry of Your Body
A healthy human body maintains a blood pH of 7.35 which is slightly alkaline. (0-6.9 = Acid, 7= neutral, 7.1-14 is alkaline) Deviate too much either way from this pH level and you will die very quickly. Because of this the body is constantly taking or giving back minerals from your body’s tissues in order to maintain this critical pH balance of the blood.
Here’s where problems begin. If our diet is not providing enough alkaline minerals, the blood is going to take them from your other tissues, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. This will leave your tissues acidic. When tissues are acidic, the body responds with inflammation from the lymph system. When this goes on chronically for years you can develop all sorts of physical ailments from arthritis to osteoporosis to cancer.
The Standard American Diet is an acid forming diet. It leaves you with tissues that are acidic. We know this is bad, so what should you do to fix this?
Your Inputs: What to Eat
To keep things very simple you should eat (mostly raw) fruits and vegetables. (aim for 80%)
Most fruits and vegetables will leave your body alkaline. You want this for good health. We don’t want to be too alkaline, but since that is very difficult to have happen, it’s not something most people have to worry about.
The reason to eat mostly uncooked is that you will be getting the live enzymes from these foods. This aids in digestion. As with all changes, take it slow. Add in changes over time to ensure success. Be patient and kind with yourself. I’ll repeat this many times: life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s good to pace yourself and find a way to enjoy it.
Goal: Eat 80% or more alkaline forming foods and 20% or less of acid forming foods. (50%-80% raw)
Remember: work your way up to this goal. Don’t give up because you can’t get to 80% right away. Build up over time to adjust and you will succeed!!
Acid forming foods are meats, dairy, grains, some legumes, alcohol, coffee. Some foods are more acid forming or more alkaline forming than others.
Jumpstart Your Diet Change
Start small and change your eating over a period of time. Here are some small changes you could make to your meals. Try changing just one meal for a week, then change the next meal the following week and so on.
- Watermelon (very alkalizing) or whole oranges (med. Alkalizing)
- Hummus with lemon (mildly acidic)
- Flax seed crakers (alkalizing)
- Lemon water (very alkalizing)
- Green tea (low alkalizing)
- Green smoothie (kale, berries, banana, water) (alkalizing)
- Mash: ½ sweet potato with almond butter + smidge of raw honey (alkalizing)
- Vegan Pesto with spaghetti squash or zuchinni spaghetti
- Large Chopped Salad Recipe:
- Guacamole with celery sticks or flax seed crackers (link to Mary’s)
- Pre-cooked Sorghum (link) (gluten free grain) and/or chickpeas.
- Chopped fine: Brussel sprouts and/or broccoli, carrots
- 3-4 cups mixed salad greens including baby kale
- Chopped basil
- Sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 garlic cloves chopped fine
- 1 T Flax Oil or Olive Oil
- Juice from ½ lemon
- Blueberry smoothie
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries like Wymans
- Blend in a Vitamix or other blender
- Add 1 T chia seeds and stir well.
- Eat with spoon or straw. So yummy you won’t believe it’s good for you!
Important Note About Taste
You don’t have to give up yummy taste and food satisfaction when you make this diet change. Nature has some incredibly yummy foods that are amazingly tasty. You may need to eat a little more volume than you’re used to. You may need to eat a little more frequently. Luckily nature prepackages things pretty nicely. Think apple, banana, and orange. These are easy to carry with you for a snack keeping you from reaching for less healthy options.
Utilize fruits, lemons, lime, garlic, onions, avocados, carrots, sweet potatoes, herbs and spices and more to make delicious combinations. Give yourself time to adjust your palette and pretty soon you’ll notice how bad tasting processed food actually is.
Buy as much organic produce as you can afford. Pesticides are really not good for you. There’s no better place to spend your money than on your health.
Avoid/minimize milk/cheeses as much as possible because in addition to being acid forming, they also are inflammatory/mucus producing. This is a problem because this is the environment where cancer exists.
Low acid = low inflammation= low mucus = smooth flowing lymph system = clean body environment = healthy cells thrive = cancer can’t survive.
The body is always seeking to clean itself and regenerate new healthy tissue. Give it the building blocks it needs and the environment it needs (alkaline) to grow healthy tissue.
Vegetarian (Raw) Recipe Book Recommendations:
As I keep saying in this article, take it as slow as you need to in order to successfully change.
Your Inputs: Skin and Lungs
Your skin absorbs most of what you put on it. Your lungs absorb gases & toxins from the air. So it is super important to become very choosy about what you touch, what you put on your skin, and what you breathe in.
Toxins from cleaning fumes, vinyl & other products gas-offs, cosmetics you put on your skin and hair get into your body on a daily basis.
Toxins in Your Body
When toxins (your internal garbage pile) build up too high then your lymph system gets backed up and overwhelmed. Toxins are usually acidic (corrosive) and therefore cancer and disease causing. Cancer grows in an acid environment. And the inflammation your body produces to protect from these acids, when they are chronic, they can cause damage to all kinds of tissues with symptons like arthritis, auto-immune diseases, kidney stones, etc.
Why Garbage Pileup Is Bad
When your elimination system – the lymph system – is too busy with large piles of toxins then it is not able to adequately arrest and remove mutant cells. When these cells are left to further mutate, they can learn to become invisible to your immune system by forming a fibrin coating around themselves.
Without adequate enzymes available in your body for breaking down that fibrin, tumors are able to grow. Low enzymes come from a mostly cooked and high protein diet. Your body must use more of its enzymes for digestion leaving less for other body needs such as breaking down fibrin on cancer cells so they can be spotted and eliminated by your immune system.
To-Do: Cosmetics, Cleaners
To be frank, you will eventually need to replace most of your cosmetics & cleaners in order to clean out your body. Why? Because most of them contain parabens which are highly disruptive to your hormones and cancer-causing. Spray sunscreens are exceptionally toxic in terms of the level of xeno-estrogens they contain. There’s no surprise that a higher percentage of women than ever are developing breast cancer. These parabens and benzones build up in your body as they aren’t eliminated very easily. Early warning signs of build-up are fibroids, breast cysts, severe PMS, endometriosis, and prostate problems. Here is some info on sunscreens:
And just what are the risks? According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are two major types of sunscreens available in the U.S. “Chemical” sunscreens, the more common kind, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s endocrine system, as their active ingredients (e.g., octylmethylcinnamate, oxybenzone, avobenzone, benzophone, mexoryl, PABA or PARSOL 1789) mimic the body’s natural hormones and as such can essentially confuse the body’s systems. Quite a risk to take, considering that the chemical varieties don’t even work for very long once applied.
Meanwhile, “mineral” sunscreens are considered somewhat safer, as their active ingredients are natural elements such as zinc or titanium. But “micronized” or “nano-scale” particles of these minerals can get below the skin surface and cause allergic reactions and other problems for some people. EWG recommends sticking with “mineral” sunscreens whenever possible but, more important, taking other precautions to avoid prolonged sun exposure altogether. “At EWG we use sunscreens, but we look for shade, wear protective clothing, and avoid the noontime sun before we smear on the cream,” the group reports. (Source)
So get some new sunscreens. Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a good place to research safe ones.
For more info do a search on xeno-estrogens or here is a link: http://womeninbalance.org/2012/10/26/xenoestrogens-what-are-they-how-to-avoid-them/
Another hidden toxin is BPA. (BPA is a know carcinogen and hormone disrupter. It’s also implicated in other diseases as well such as diabetes) Most of us have switched to non-BPA plastic containers and water bottles by now, but what you might not know is that BPA in a couple other sneaky places – the lining of canned goods. So only buy canned products that are labeled “non-BPA lining.” The other sneaky place is thermal receipts.
“individual thermal receipts from retailers and restaurants can contain a mass of BPA that ” Source
These thermal receipts are EVERYWHERE! Apparently they have very high levels of BPA so don’t touch them if you can avoid it as the BPA in powder form is absorbed by your skin.
The Good News on Cosmetics
There are great natural (actually truly natural) products that work even better than the over-hyped synthetic chemical products we’ve been brainwashed into using. (Why do they make products with synthetic vs. natural ingredients? Simple: they’re cheaper, allowing higher profit margins. It’s up to you to watch out for your health.)
Here are some basic products to start using right away:
Coconut oil – in place of any moisturizer, conditioners you are using. I use it for my face, hair. I use it in place of petroleum jelly. You don’t need much and it works wonderfully.
Dr. Bronner’s veg soap – for shampoo, body soap, dish-soap, almost anything you need soap for. (Years of marketing make us thing that we need a different soap for cleaning different things. Not true. Soap is soap.) Get his plain version and you can add essential oils to make your own special scents. (I use peppermint for my dish soap, lemon for bathroom cleaner, violet in my shampoo.)
Vinegar/Baking Soda/Borax – non-toxic and effective for cleaning kitchens, bathrooms, and much more. Did you know that vinegar kills just as much germs as bleach? You can drink vinegar. Don’t try that with bleach though. Here are two articles on Green Cleaning and Uses for Natural Products you have around the house. (Get rid of all your toxic fuming cleaners. Natural non-toxic cleaners are absolutely as effective.)
Makeup – For healthy cosmetic choices check out my cousin’s blog on safe makeup, deodorants, and more. http://www.thegreenproductjunkie.com/ You don’t have to give up quality or functionality of your cosmetics. I’ve found these safe products to be actually better than common cosmetics!!! And they don’t give you cancer!
Toothpaste: Tom’s Of Maine: Toothpaste Botanically Spearmint (SLS free, flouride free)
Deodorant : MoM’s deodorant: Aluminum Free Mom (Milk of Magnesia) Deodorant (
Fragrance: Essential Oils. Be sure that whatever you purchase says that it is “100% Essential Oil” and not “fragrance oils” which are synthetic. Mix and match to make your own perfumes. You can add 2 or more essential oils to fractionated coconut oil to dilute it a bit and store it in a roller ball container for easy application. There are many uses for essential oils including medicinal, anti-bacterial and more. For more information on ways to use essential oils click here. My favorite combination is Sandalwood and Frangipani Essential Oil which makes the scent known as Nag Champa.
Your lymph system is your sanitation department and your police patrol. Together they work to eliminate bad guys (mutant cells and unwanted microorganisms) and toxins (chemicals, xeno-estrogens, heavy metals, etc), and metabolic waste from normal cellular activity. (Just like you as a whole, each of your cells eats and eliminates.” You want this system running well!
Think about what would happen in your home if your septic lines got clogged. You’d have a mess in your house right? Well your body is your house and you need to be able to flush out your wastes effectively. Your cells excrete metabolic waste all day long. Toxins need to be removed. And bad guys need to be escorted out. If not, toxins and overgrowth of microorganisms will be cutting into your health including the formation of cancer.
- Eat lots of fruits/veggies – especially fruit. (This is easy because this was already on our list. Raw is best. But some cooked is ok too.)
- Ingest herbs and teas that support healthy liver and lymph elimination:
- milk thistle
- dandelion root
- Essiac Tea
- Consider coffee enemas. It is admittedly a strange concept but it is very helpful for eliminating cancer and cleaning up your body. There are three main benefits to coffee enemas:
- Coffee enemas help flush out bile which binds and carries out toxins.
- Coffee enemas stimulate the production of glutathione which is the master antioxidant in your body. You can’t get this as a supplement. Your body has to make it. This prompts your body to make a lot more.
- They flush the bowel of mucus buildup which supports the elimination function of your lymph system.
- Avoid Toxins. Eliminate synthetic chemical laden products (especially suncreens, perfumes, and toxic cleaning products). Read the labels and replace with truly natural products. You have to read the label. “All natural” doesn’t mean it doesn’t have bad chemicals.
Although coffee enemas may sound really weird and a little scary they are actually quite easy to do and are very relaxing once you learn how. The best resource for coffee enemas is Gerson. Here is the book on it: Healing the Gerson Way: Defeating Cancer and Other Chronic Diseases. Here is a webpage with a lot of information on them including the history, the benefits, and how to do a coffee enema.
Best source for organic enema coffee: S.A. Wilsons. ( you don’t want to use regular coffee)
Best enema kit: Gerson’s enema kit
Spring Cleaning Your Emotions Mind and Spirit
I personally believe this is greater than 50% of the cause and therefore how to heal cancer. Most of us have emotional patterns that are very acid forming (from the hormones they generate internally) and we don’t even realize it. It’s not just stress. It’s an ongoing stress where we feel chronic hopelessness, despair, sense of never winning, chronic anger, frustration, etc. Chronic is the key word here.
Stressful events are here to stay but your reaction to them is what you can control in order to change your internal weather from gloomy to sunny. When you improve your internal weather you improve your health. You CAN change your reaction to stress and experience a complete makeover of your life simply by changing your perspective and your emotional habits.
As with other changes take this as a long journey to enjoy and not a sprint. Look deeply into how you think about and perceive things in your life. What things are you clinging to? What are you avoiding? Where do you make challenges into bigger problems? What can you change to live the life you really want? What good things do you ignore and take for granted? How can you smell the roses more?
These are all habits and habits can always be changed to get a happier, more peaceful life. Sometimes making these changes may initially be painful and tough to face, but it will be well worth it.
Recommended Books for your emotional journey:
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
Scientific Healing Affirmations by P. Yogananda
The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing by Dr. Bernie Siegel
Inspirational Books of Cancer Healing
All Shook Up: My Natural Fight Against Cancer by Suzie Derrett
Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin
Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly Turner
Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing by Bill Henderson
The Truth About Cancer by Ty Bollinger
Inspirational Websites About Natural Cancer Healings
Books on Facing Fear of Death
Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh
Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani
Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences by Dr. Jeffrey Long
What To Do After Your Diagnosis
Take your time to research all your treatment options, both conventional and complimentary/alternative. Get a second opinion and even a third if there is any gray area in diagnosis or treatment recommendations. It can be very helpful to consult with a cancer coach to help sort through all your choices. In most cases you have time to research and choose the treatment path that feels right to you – whether conventional, alternative, or some combination of both.
Here are some cancer coaches you can check out:
Elyn Jacobs (all cancers, but specialty in breast cancer)
Chris Wark (used surgery and alternative treatments (no chemo/ no radiation) to cure his own colon cancer at age 26)
Listen to the message from your body. It’s saying “please clean things up in here!” You can do this. It may take time to:
- release fear
- make changes to your lifestyle
- heal your body
But You Can Do It!
Belief is a powerful thing. So is fear. Again, you have time. Slowly, as you research and learn that cancer is a symptom of a toxic/acid environment, you will start to realize that the same power you had to create that environment is the same power to clean it up and your body will respond. Cancer is reversable.
Your body’s natural drive is continual regeneration. Help it to stay clean, give it the building blocks it needs and the pH level it needs, support it, and then get out of its way.
If you do that your body will take over and heal. The best example is a simple cut on your finger. The body heals that cut. As long as it has what it needs and as long as impediments are kept away, the body will always heal. If you put acid on that cut, you keep ripping off the scab, if you impede circulation, that cut will have a hard time healing. Our current diet, toxins, and stress habits are the impediments to healing cancer. Fix them and you fix cancer.
Live Today with Joy!
We will all die from this physical body someday, but as long as you are alive – be alive, be hopeful, be joyful, keep searching and growing into your best life, and listen to your body and your heart. Face your fears. Learn from the tough stuff. Don’t regret the challenges. Learn from them and appreciate their value in opening new doors in your life.
And always keep this in the top of your mind: the magical healing power of your body! It’s there. It’s automatic. (But you need to support it.) Take time to learn about it and revel in it. Be patient and kind with yourself along this journey. It’s a marathon not a sprint. You have time to heal this.
So let’s enjoy this journey of life. What good can you take from this experience? How you see it can transform it’s meaning and value. Seek out others to help support you in your journey. Here are a few great Facebook groups where you can get support on getting your body healthy.
Flat & Fabulous (post mastectomy women who chose no reconstruction)
(Most of these are closed groups so you just need to request membership.)
The Bottom Line
Cancer is not a death sentence. It is a message. You CAN get well and you can start right in this moment by choosing faith and joy over fear and despair. It may take a little time to get there, but set your compass today walk on that path. Here’s to your happiness and good health.
Thank you for reading!
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