I can’t believe my left lung has collapsed again but these things happen in the journey of healing to make your life more interesting and definitely humbling. I am scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10AM to have my pulmonologist take a very expensive suction “straw” and try to get as much mucous out as possible and hope it inflates like it did on August 17th. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. For those of you that are LDS I would appreciate including me in your fast this Sunday too. I need another miracle so I can enjoy a normal quality of life. Life is possible with only one lung but the quality of life is greatly diminished. I know first hand because I have been doing it for the last few months.
The cause is from the radiation in Sept. 2009 but I still have hopes of more healing while I am still following Dr. Max Gerson protocol. I have exactly 3 more months before I can switch to maintenance mode which will still include several daily juices but not 10 and definitely NOT 3 coffee enemas per day. I can hardly believe I have made it this far and am on the home stretch. This is the hardest, strictest thing I have ever done and two years is a very long time to be so regimented. But I am getting ahead of myself. I just need to take one day at a time and focus on my lung surgery tomorrow. My pulmonologist says I am his “adolescent” patient since I am so much younger than the rest of his patients. This procedure is very uncommon. He & one other doctor perform approx 6 per year and they do the most in the whole state of Oregon. Aren’t I lucky…tee hee.
Love to all and please take good care of yourselves and eat better quality food and make more careful choices so you can enjoy the health & vitality that God intended for you to have. Cathy
Well, I got the miracle I was praying for…NO stent! Yippee! Also the doctor was surprised that he was able to unblock the airway enough that the upper left lobe and most of the lower left lobe of my lung reinflated. He was pleased and told me to deep breath and cough as much as I can to get the sticky stuff out. He thinks it is highly likely that it will collapse again but I am certain I will prove him wrong. Since my data is going into a world bank of info why don’t I blow them all out of the water and keep it reinflated forever.
I have a new best friend that will assist me in doing this amazing, difficult task and “her” name is butterfly valve. She is 7″ tall and blue plastic with a clear mouthpiece. I control the dial at the base to be more resistant or less and then blow into it 10 times per hour all day. It vibrates my lung and actually feels kind of cool. The purpose is to shake loose the mucous and “stuff” that shouldn’t be there. I am convinced that if I use this faithfully that my chances of keeping it inflated will be good. Feel free to email or call or ask me anytime if I am remembering to deep breath and use my butterfly valve. I need all the help I can get to remember to do this critical activity. Remeber that I am not always available to answer the phone while I am following the Gerson therapy. I find the coffee enemas to be especially comforting right now since they help to relieve pain…like the splitting headache I had from anesthesia and lack of sleep.
I don’t have my full appetite back yet after so little sleep in the hospital, 2 hours is not enough to function normally. Since I didn’t get home until 2:30 I had fewer juices but today I am back to the full 10 that my Gerson therapy calls for. The roof of my mouth is sore and I still have both my front teeth with no chips that I can see. It hurts really bad when I cough because my gut and ribs seem to be very sore for some reason. I just want to rest on the couch for now. The TV will come in handy this evening for passing the time away. I did go for a short neighborhood walk this morning with a friend that is visiting from Austria.
I have another request if it fits into your schedule…I need people to come to my house and MAKE me go on a short, slow walk. This would NOT be a fitness activity for you but it would be for me. I don’t expect anyone to make a regular commitment but if you have 20-30 minutes during the day just give me a call or email me. It is hard to believe I have done a 27 mile training run for a marathon all by myself but now I seem to lack the motivation to take a walk by myself. I know that healing is a process and my journey seems so very long right now (4 1/2 years to be exact)
Hopefully this answers most of your questions for now. If not, just make a comment and I will try to answer quickly. Enjoy the rest of your summer because this one was extra short don’t you think.
Love to all,
Today I am scheduled to have surgery to remove the “scar tissue” from my previous radiation treatment in 2009. (Just to refresh your memory, my stage 4 anal cancer in 2007 had returned as a metastatic lung tumor in 2009. The tissue is now blocking the airway to my left lung and it is completely collapsed. I have had two previous bronchoscopies but this is different because I will receive anesthesia instead of mild sedation. The doctor will use a rigid scope instead of a flexible one so he can use different tools and techniques as he sees fit. The procedure can take between 1-4 hours.
He said to plan on a chipped tooth and then if it doesn’t happen I will be pleasantly surprised. They use a tooth guard and gauze to protect my top 2 front teeth where the tools will rest but there is no guarantee that one won’t get chipped or even knocked out. The side effects should only be a sore throat but this is a rare procedure and a higher level of risk than I realized. This area is very vascular so bleeding can be a serious issue. They use strong suction so minimal blood gets into the lung. (Did you know that you can drown in only 150 ml? I am at greater risk of drowning than in bleeding to death. Wow!) I just signed a release form for my information to be entered into a world data bank to hopefully help others in the future.
The doctor may decide to put in a removable stent which I have already consented to. It looks like a tube of chicken wire. This requires high maintenance of 2-4x daily inhaling saline solution that is unpleasant along with other prescribed things to keep it clean etc. Sometimes it can be coughed up which would be very embarrassing at a restaurant with friends. The worst part is the need for additional bronoscopies every 2-4 months. UGH! I am already a high-maintenance girl in following the Gerson therapy the last 18 months. It is hard to imagine I could add anything more to my schedule but I will deal with that later if I have to. I well have the stent removed if the lung continues to collapse over & over again. So please pray that I don’t even need a stent because I need another miracle!
I have to spend the night for observation which isn’t typical for a standard biopsy bronchoscopy. This is considered pulmonary intervention although they will still biopsy the tissue on a regular basis. I haven’t had measurable cancer for over 16 months which is wonderful but this issue is rather scary. If my lung does not re-inflate then it will stick together permanently. I don’t want that because the quality of life is so diminished. I know already, because I have been doing it for the last 3 months or so. My oxygen levels are still good and the right lung is a little larger as it is compensating and trying to fill the empty space.
I can’t have any food or liquids for breakfast or lunch because my surgery is scheduled for 3:30 PM. I am so thirsty and I miss my juices and oatmeal already. I am taking a few juices and packing my dinner in hopes of enjoying them in the recovery room or whenever they allow me to drink again this evening. I had my morning enema and whenever they release me tomorrow I will hurry home to do another one and get back to my hourly Gerson juice schedule.
I will post the results of the surgery as soon as I am able. Thanks for your prayers and support. The thought I am taking with me into surgery is: “It is I, be not afraid.” My Savior has walked every step of the past 4 1/2 year journey with me and I know he will continue to succor me. Cathy
I am so sorry if I caused anyone to worry about me due to my lack of postings for the last 4 months. Tomorrow is my six month anniversary of following Dr. Gerson’s therapy. Yippee! That means I only have 18 more months to go.
Just as the Gerson book states, it is common to notice an increase in energy around the 6 month mark of following the therapy. I am finding this to be true. The main reason for my lack of posting was the time commitment and intensity of following the regime. Try to visualize a picture of a dog paddling in water just to keep his chin above water. The dog is not drowning but paddling like crazy to keep going. That would be me on this juice/enema schedule.
I have been told by those that have seen me up close that I look great (if that is possible to do without makeup then I think I do too). My skin is softer than ever and my skin tone/color is great too. I weigh 125 pounds and I don’t think I am too skinny or sick looking at all, even though that is 10 pounds less than when I got married 33 years ago.
I’ve had to buy some new pants since the others were falling off of me but that is a good problem to have.
As long as I bath regularly, which I do, I’ve had no problem NOT wearing deodorant or perfume or all the other things that are taboo on the Gerson therapy.
I promise to write more frequently and give you more of the details of my incredible juice journey. Thanks for your patience.
Wishing you good health and vitality,
I can’t believe that I have been home for 2 1/2 half weeks and haven’t posted an entry on this blog. Well, needless to say, it has been a very busy time getting settled into the routine. Before I left town to go to the clinic, I had hired 4 women to work part time Monday-Friday between the hours of 9AM-6PM. This was one of the smartest things I did. The transition went so much smoother with helpers to make the juices, coffee for enemas, and soup etc. Two of them also clean my home every other week. This allows me to use my energy, what little I have, for healing. This is very important when following Dr. Gerson’s protocol. It can be tempting to do too much.
The first few days were filled with purchasing items that I realized would make things run smoother. For instance I found an electric kettle ($20 at Costco) to heat water in my bathroom where I would be doing the enemas. This saved me trips up and down the stairs with thermos’ of hot water. I realize I haven’t mentioned enemas before and I will definitely be discussing them in greater detail in another post.
I also purchased two 1 quart saucepans to add to my collection since I am heating and reheating vegetables for lunch and dinner. I also got gloves for the workers since their hands turn orange after cleaning so many carrots for juicing. I got a new digital timer so I could know when my 12 minutes were up for holding the coffee enema. My favorite find were the pill boxes to hold all the nutritional supplements that I take throughout the day. I bought two by EZY-DOSE with push buttons. It is very sleek and compact. I found them at Target for $10 each. Since they are labeled with the days of the week one of my helpers, Gretchen T., made some new labels to fit my needs.
I love being organized!
On Fridays at 11:00, a yoga instructor comes to lead anyone that is interested in stretching and deep breathing etc. The first time I attended we met inside the TV room. Both patients and companions participated. Norma is the current instructor and very good at what she does. She is friendly and positive.
I noticed that I was a little winded when the class was over so the following week I only did part of the moves rather than miss the class altogether. I love yoga and what it does for me in so many ways both physically and emotionally. The second week the class was held outside by the pool in the warm sun. What a treat!
On Thursday afternoons there is a food preparation demonstration. One of the ladies that works in the kitchen usually prepares/demos 3 dishes. While I have been here they have showed us how to make the Hippocrates “healing” soup, salad dressing, Chinese cabbage, mashed potatoes etc. The demo usually lasts 30 minutes. Felix, the patient coordinator, acts as the interpreter, translating Spanish into English.
Every other Tuesday there is a Norwalk juice machine demo so we can see how to make juice when we get home.
On Saturday, weather permitting, there is an excursion to Rosarito a few miles south of Tijuana. There is room for 6 passengers only so not everyone at the clinic can go at the same time. The cost is $10 per person and lasts less than two hours.
Saturday afternoon, we meet as a group in the TV room while the doctor goes through the list of supplements that we are taking as a part of our therapy and how they benefit our bodies. This is helpful since we will continue to take these for the next two years for most of us.
That’s about for entertainment. There is a mini trampoline and a treadmill and and nordic track in the TV room. I haven’t used those since the therapy prescribes minimal activity so that my energy can be used for healing. 5 minutes of walking is about it. I usually walk for 20 minutes because 5 minutes seems too short but I understand the wisdom in holding back while I heal.
On the Gerson therapy, if you can handle all 13 juices, you will be consuming 104 ounces of liquid daily. That is more than most people drink in one day. There is also water in the two servings of the Hippocrates soup that is eaten at both lunch and dinner.
We are asked not to drink water since drinking a plain glass of water dilutes the digestive juices and can also cause gas. If you wake up in the middle of the night and are thirsty then you can drink organic peppermint tea which gently stimulates the digestive track.
At the clinic each patient has a thermos of tea on their nightstand. Everyone here seems to visit the bathroom frequently so I am sure none of us are dehydrated. I don’t miss water at all since I drink a juice every hour. Remember that my mission is to detoxify my body and then restore it. The juices are the key to introducing a large quantity of live enzymes to accomplish that very goal.
Part of the learning experience at the clinic is meeting new people and saying goodbye to friends whose stay has ended. A two week stay is required but 3 weeks is recommended. During that time you share 3 meals a day in the dining room with the other patients and their companions.
During my stay, all ages have been represented from the 20’s through the 70’s. The companions are sons, mothers, spouses, friends, daughters. Not all patients have cancer. One man, George, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. A young woman in her 30’s, Jodi, had digestive issues and could only eat 3 foods when she arrived. Sasha just arrived this week from Beijing and is hoping to nail down what is going on with her body…possibly thyroid issues.
I have laughed and cried and learned so much at these vibrant meal time conversations. You can’t be squeamish talking about enemas or any other issue. So far no one has left the table early to my knowledge. We talk about the challenges we face and tips and hints about how to make things go smoother when we get home.
Our group has been quite lively and bonding has been an unexpected result. We plan to stay in touch with a network group so we can continue to cheer each other on.
I especially miss one companion, Rudi, reading his poetry after dinner every night. His poems had a lot to do with our journey in life. Some made me cry and some made me laugh. There are so many unexpected gifts that are shared during our time together.
Another companion, Dana, from Connecticut, is an art therapist and led us in an exercise that was unique and insightful. Our time here is rich and rewarding if you are open and inquisitive.
I realize that everyone has something they can teach us if we are willing to learn. My new friends are amazing and I have learned so much from each one of them and I know I will continue to learn from them as we work to restore our health.
I thought I would let you know that this therapy allows you to eat as much as you want of the foods on the approved list. Eating a piece of fruit in between meals is allowed but I have not been hungry enough to do that.
At both lunch and dinner we are served cooked and raw organic vegetables and ideally you should have a little of both. EVERY meal ALWAYS has some form of potato but baked is best and offered most frequently. It is loaded with potassium and is also a source of protein.
One of the few vegetables that is boiled is corn on the cob which I love. Most others must be slow cooked at low temperatures in waterless cookware. No OIL or SALT of any kind can be used. Certain herbs are allowed, ones that don’t cause an aromatic response which could inhibit healing. (More about that in another post)
For spinach I could start by slicing a layer of onions to make a bed in the bottom of the pan, then add the spinach and even a chopped tomato or two. It is best if you experiment with different combinations of vegetables to find ways to add variety.
These slow cooked vegetables seem to be overcooked because they are so soft and sometimes mushy but they are actually eaten as “soft bulk” which our bodies need. The enzymes are gone but the vitamins and minerals still remain. Enzymes are lost once any food reaches 140 degrees so cooking something “el dente” is pointless. If you want the benefit of a foods’ enzymes then eat it raw!
Red beets have never been my favorite and I never serve them to my family but I have eaten them several times since arriving here. I have tried them cold with salads or hot with apple and onion. Delicious, try them you might like them.
P.S. You can have as much garlic as you want on anything. Yippee!
Many of you have asked me what ingredients are in my juice. In Gerson therapy, there are 4 different types of juice to drink during the day. One of the requirements is of course to use ORGANIC produce.
The machine you use can make a difference too. For healthy people using a centrifugal juicer is adequate. That is what most of the affordable ones on the market are. When you are seriously ill and need to detoxify your body then you can benefit from a two-step machine…grind and press. This will extract more juice and nutrients and make it worth the investment in good health.
Another important factor is preparing the juice fresh every hour and drinking it immediately. This makes a huge difference in the quantity of LIVE enzymes that will help your body to detoxify.
Now for the schedule and ingredients:
8AM or first juice of the morning is orange juice. My personal favorite! This is the only juice that is made using a reamer type juicer, hand or electric. The green juice is consumed 4 times at 9AM, noon, 2 and 7PM. The ingredients are very specific because it can’t be any vegetable just because it is green. Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, young beet tops, watercress, 1/4 green bell pepper, endive, escarole, some red cabbage and one medium apple. You don’t have to use all these ingredients but as many as you can find although you won’t want to leave out the apple because it makes it more palatable.
The carrot-apple juice is made with 3 carrots (6oz) and 1 large green apple (6 oz). This is consumed at 9:30 and 10AM and also 1, 5 and 6PM
Straight carrot juice is drunk at 11AM, 3 and 4PM
This totals to 13, 8 ounces glasses of juice daily for a total of 104 ounces. I have no trouble staying hydrated that’s for sure!
The green one is the hardest for me to enjoy but some days are easier than others.
I hope this helps you to consider juicing even if you enjoy great health.