Here are some key things I’ve implemented or used as a part of my personal stage four cancer navigating strategy. You should understand that I attribute improvement in my health to the power of God, and His kind willingness to use some of the choices I’ve made to impact my body’s ability to fight disease at this time.
Keep in mind that I did 1) surgery, chemo and radiation, and cancer came back; so I 2) began juicing while 3) examining whether or not I would accept more medical treatment (meaning I was being urged to immediately get a permanent colostomy, after going through reversal previously, and to have more chemo – I was not into jumping, again, on that particular bandwagon, without a lot of exploration of other options). I wanted to find what the best options were for me. You can see my personal cancer timeline by Clicking Here.
I did accept a more targeted radiation and chemo pill the second time, to shrink the mass threatening the blood flow in my iliac artery, but I 1) wondered if I had already done too much damage to my immune system from the first round of aggressive treatment, and 2) I don’t trust that medicine alone will keep cancer in check. That’s where the food thing comes in – and it is hugely important to me personally. The choices you make are yours. But maybe some of the information I found helpful will help you make decisions too.
Please note: I do not endorse all of the opinions offered on every site referenced below. Even though I share sites listed below where I’ve found information that I have chosen to implement into my personal well-being plan, every person must make their own decision and filter the information and its application based on their particular needs. These links are included as a part of a well-rounded list of health information and nutrition internet resources that may be of personal interest to people fighting long term illness such as cancer as they consider various opinions, options and information. This information is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is purposefully intended to help people understand there are more options than just medicine to help our bodies heal from life-altering and life-threatening disease after medicine has failed. Is that an alarming statement? Well, discovering your stage three colon cancer has returned as stage four cancer, after life altering medical treatment over a nine-month period, is alarming. Being told, “Your cancer has returned and you need a permanent colostomy immediately,” is alarming if, the first time, you were told, “If you go through this tough treatment, we feel you won’t deal with this cancer again.” The possibility that there was still hope for someone like me to recover my health using nutrition was and is… hopeful.
In a nutshell: My immune system was broken. I was interested in finding ways to repair my broken immune system so it could help me fight cancer. How? By, among some other things, radically changing what I ate. What does that mean? It means that if I can’t pick food off a tree or pull it out of the ground, I really shouldn’t be eating it while I’m trying to fix my immune system. There is so much information available if you really want to research natural methods. Here are plans I looked into and pulled information from to try and heal my immune system (and therefore survive stage IV cancer) along with some other wonderful options. My personal notes are below about those plans and some other really good stuff that appear to have rebuilt my immune system and put me on the road to recovery over a period of about 18 months. Does that mean I’m “cured” from facing death? Of course not… I’m still human, which means some day I will encounter the end of this life. But for now, God has allowed the choices I’m making to heal my immune system so I can live life. Abundantly. I’ll take it, gladly.
Get Well Plans Built Around Juicing to Fight Cancer, Build Your Immune System, and Help Your Body Recover:
Dr. Day Health Plan Package (Sharon’s note: This is the exact plan I followed as far as raw foods, juicing, basic recipes, and steps to pursue wellness – three months before and fifteen months after more medical treatment – when my cancer came back as stage four colon cancer. I appreciate the fact that the information shared by Dr. Day is pretty blunt and matter-of-fact. She had breast cancer. As with anything, YOU must determine whether this information is right for you. I also do not agree with every opinion expressed on this website – but as far as the information about why and how to use juicing and raw foods and steps to wellness, I completely agree and am thankful for this resource.)
McDougall Program (Sharon’s note: This is very similar to the plan I followed as far as daily how-to’s on food/juicing/pursuing wellness. Remember, this journey is not just about food and juicing; it is an entire wellness plan addressing a number of things in one’s life.)
Gerson Therapy (Sharon’s note: This is a protocol very similar to the one I followed. It has a few variations and this site has excellent information if you are serious about using nutrition to help fight and heal cancer. The information in this book also helped me evaluate what medical treatment to accept the second time around for my personal needs. Coffee enema anyone?)
Hallelujah Acres Recovery Diet: Vegetarian Recipes, Healthy Eating Hallelujah Diet (Sharon’s note: I would use a MultiGreens Capsule from Young Living now, but while going through round two of treatment for stage 4 colon cancer and about 12 months after, I used the BarleyMax green drink from Hacres.com for the juicing regimen. I also have used their fiber cleanse product for the initial detox phase of the juicing plan. The fiber cleanse is a nice alternative if you’re not into coffee enemas [see Gerson Therapy above]. This site is very similar to the day-to-day plan I followed, and has very easy how-to videos to get started on juicing, recipes, FAQ’s, 90 day plan, testimonials about juicing, and more.)
Chris Beat Cancer: This site contains excellent videos, information and strategies if you’re looking for information from people who beat cancer without surgery, chemo or radiation. Chris has a Healing Cancer Coaching Program that is phenomenal. I wish it had been around when I first was diagnosed! You can watch the entire first module for free right here: Square One Healing Cancer Coaching Program Module One. Grab a copy of Chris’s book on a comprehensive approach to healing naturally here.
A Cancer Battle Plan (Anne and David Frahm) (Sharon’s Note: I read this book and the Sourcebook listed below early on in my first cancer diagnosis; the information became more helpful to me after the return of cancer when I was committed to incorporating natural strategies.)
- A Cancer Battle Plan Sourcebook: A Step-by-Step Health Program to Give Your Body a Fighting Chance (Anne and David Frahm)
A Resource to Consider if You Can’t or Don’t Choose to Juice (ie Supplements):
Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients (Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.) (Sharon’s note: I followed recommendations in this book during my second round of radiation and chemo. Why? Because 1) I did not know if my innards could handle juicing during radiation – I had already allowed them to be zapped 28 times previously; so I 2) wanted to help protect my body when I could not tolerate juicing and 3) help medicine hopefully be more effective during this time. If you think radiation and chemo sounds like misery once, being told you have to go through it again is… well… the reason I wanted to find ways to protect my body.)
The first time I went through chemo and radiation locally in 2011, my oncologist said, “I don’t care what supplements you take when you’re not in treatment. While you’re in treatment in my care, I don’t want you taking ANY supplements.” I obeyed his request.
The second time I went through chemo and radiation in 2013, I told my oncologist the supplements I would be taking. To her credit, she said, “I’m okay with you doing that. We don’t know everything there is to know about cancer.” The book above, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, was the resource I used to decide what supplements I would take during chemo and radiation in 2013 at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City.
Other Good Stuff:
Coconut Oil: Your Source for Research and Information on the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil (Sharon’s note: I use coconut oil for many things. For cooking it is excellent in place of canola/vegetable oils, which in my understanding can cause inflammation in the body. During my second round of treatment I included it daily as a healthy fat. I put it in my coffee every morning now (for a year I did not drink coffee while following the wellness/recovery plan) and I use coconut oil in recipes. Click the link to learn more about the wonderful ways to incorporate coconut oil into a healthy living plan.)
Jack Lalanne PJP Power Juicer Pro Stainless-Steel Electric Juicer (Sharon’s note: This speaks for itself…love love love this juicer and used it daily to process five pounds of carrots plus apples. There are many other great options. This one didn’t break my budget and worked just fine.)
Living Clay Company: Living Clay All Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay (Sharon’s note: Bentonite clay has many wonderful properties. It has a high alkalinity level; it helps detox the body; it is not absorbed by the body if used internally but it helps remove harmful toxins. Because I’ve gone through radiation treatment twice, and have periodic tests that involve radiation, the clay baths and drinking clay daily are important because I believe the bentonite clay helps remove radiation from my body. During my second round of radiation treatment, I chose to drink the clay daily to help protect my colon.)
Living Tree Community: Living Tree Community Foods – Raw, Organic and Kosher Food (Sharon’s note: Their walnut, almond and pumpkin oils are wonderful additions to my diet as a cancer patient. These healthy oils help carry oxygen right to the cells to help them – and therefore me – heal from cancer and treatment.)
MD Anderson Cancer Center Protocol for Bowel Management: (Sharon’s note: I found and used some of these recommendations in this PDF file after my colostomy was reversed, to help my body learn to work again. I found it after desperately wondering if I would ever function normally again, and it gave me a strategy and some hope. Particularly the information about taking small amounts of Metamucil after every meal. It’s not rocket science, but if you’re going to reverse or take down your colostomy, this may be helpful information for you to know after the surgery when you’re trying to figure out how to have a life outside the loo.)
Ostomy Alliance: United Ostomy Associations of America – Ostomy, Colostomy, Ileostomy, Urostomy, Continent Diversion Support Groups (Sharon’s Note: I don’t have a colostomy or ileostomy anymore, but when I did, this site was a great help. There are discussion boards where you can ask other ostomy patients questions and you will get very honest answers.)
Marcy Cardio Trampoline Trainer (Sharon’s Note: Rebounding is a great way to gently get your lymph system moving. It helps remove toxins from my body by encouraging the lymph system to get moving and drain (just like any exercise). I used this after my second round of treatment was complete to get gentle exercise. It is excellent as a weight-bearing exercise to help bone density. I still use it. It makes me happy.)
Tropical Traditions: America’s Best Source for Buying Coconut Oil (Sharon’s note: You can find virgin coconut oil in most grocery stores. While I do buy coconut oil locally to save money on shipping, this is one of the best sources. They have great specials and a number of other products I love.)
My Journey Today:
Young Living Essential Oils: Oils have become a powerful part of my journey as a cancer treatment survivor. Specifically I discovered plant-based support for happy hormones after chemo and radiation through Young Living products. Chemo and radiation put me into early menopause and I did not want to use hormone replacement therapy. When I discovered there were essential oils that could support my personal wellness goals as a stage four cancer survivor I was thrilled. I wish I had known more about using the oils to support my cancer journey much earlier. I boldly invite you to learn more by joining my team of oil users, learners and sharers. Contact me through my website: www.myyl.com/sharonoconnor
YoungLiving.com – use this link to get your Premium Starter Kit with 12 oils, product samples, and a diffuser. Includes your wholesale membership for life (save 24%, get rewards points on Essential Rewards, join our Facebook learning community, and so much more!).
Happy Hormones: Click the link to enjoy great information on Hormones for Her. This information changed my life as a stage 4 colon cancer survivor put into early menopause courtesy of chemo and radiation. (Here is another link to information on Hormones for Him – the guys can benefit from this information too!)
iTOVi Scanner: The iTOVi is a wellness support scanner that uses bioimpedence to measure the frequencies in your body, and matches those frequencies up with Young Living essential oils and supplements. It is a complete wellness support game changer for me, as a cancer survivor! To get your own scanner please Click Here for my referral link.
The Truth About Cancer: Excellent information about cancer and options to consider.
The choice is up to you – make sure you give yourself the chance to truly know what choices exist. In my personal experience the medical community simply was not trained in knowing how to harness nutrition to support my personal healing and recovery wellness goals. How can I say this? I lived it. *I did go through medical treatment twice. I did incorporate nutrition the second time.*
Even though I don’t know what the future holds, and even though I’m not naive enough to think cancer can never return to my body, I am empowered with information and tools and experience to decide what cancer battle options I will be comfortable embracing. There is always, ALWAYS, hope!