Question for Bernie:
Hello, Bernie. I heard about you on a cancer blog. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Dukes C colon cancer in Oct 2010. I had surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy, completed in March of 2011.
I recently had my checkup and while the colon and liver look normal, they have discovered nodes in my lungs. They are small but after a second checkup, they seem to be getting somewhat larger and spreading. I just found out this morning that they believe the cancer has metastasized.
I thought this was all behind me, and as much as I am trying to be brave, I feel scared and not sure what to do next. As I feel fine they are just going to keep an eye on things. I live a very healthy lifestyle already but will entirely switch to being vegan. My question is, does anyone survive this kind of cancer? It seems that in the best case scenario I have five years. Where should I start as far as holistic medicine? Thank you for your time and for your help.
Yes, people do survive. To induce self-healing, love your life and body. Seeing yourself as statistic only results in living in fear of the future. Instead, focus on your healthy, positive life. You are unique—not a statistic.
Do what you love and what makes you happy. Eliminate the “shoulds” from your life. Prioritize humor in your life—see if you can laugh out loud a few times each day. Think about things that have made you laugh before. Sometimes just bringing those times back to mind is enough to enjoy another good laugh. I have been saying that laughter really is great medicine for a long time now, but recently more studies have shown that the immune system really does benefit greatly from humor.
If you don’t already have a loving pet, and if it is something you can comfortably have in your life at this time, I highly recommend getting a pet. Dogs are great because, since you are living a healthy lifestyle, you have built-in exercise in taking walks with your dog. If you can’t have your own pet, then volunteer to pet-sit for a friend or take their dogs for walks. Anytime you can be around the unconditional love of a happy pet, your healing energy increases.
Make sure you have a doctor who does not kill with his or her words. Surround yourself with positive people—most importantly your physician!
Ask yourself what words you would use to describe your experience of the disease right now. Now think about relationships or other things in your life that you could use the same words to describe and if they are negative, eliminate them.
Be good to yourself and nourish your life with positive, supportive, loving thoughts. You are already paying careful, loving attention to your food diet—pay as much or more attention to your “self-talk” to nourish your emotional diet. And yes, see a naturopathic physician and look into nutrition and supplements giving yourself high marks for already being so good to your body in that area.
http://www.lef.org/ is a good resource for info and products which have anti-cancer effects.
Question for Bernie:
What would you advise a 60-year-old man suffering depression who has not responded to a wide variety of SSRI’s? It’s really taking a toll on my marriage and all the things I care about. Thank you.
Act like you are not depressed and you change your body chemistry. When you get up in the morning act like the person you want to be. Your wife can coach you if she is willing to be open to criticism as your teacher.
My prescription includes laughing every four hours for no reason that is obvious to others. I recommend thinking back on times when you really did have a good, out-loud laugh, and usually just thinking about such a time again results in another good laugh. I am serious about the laughter because it changes your body chemistry. For example, those body chemistry changes have been shown to lead to longer survival in cancer patients, and since depression is a function of brain chemistry (neurotransmitters), we can influence the condition within the Mind-Body Connection.
Also contact http://www.lef.org/ and see if they have any natural supplements to help with depression. There are many substances which can help change our body chemistry in healthy, non-drug ways.
Please see my answer to the question above, third paragraph, regarding the amazing effect pets can have on healing.
Question for Bernie:
Our 42-year-old daughter has had a return of cancer, originally diagnosed in her breast and liver. Instead of working with her medical doctor to get back into remission, she and her husband are in an alternative care place. The person treating her is not a medical doctor and we are very worried about her. The tumor she has now is small and is in her brain. Is this a valid cancer cure? She is being treated with hot/cold showers; massage; enemas and who knows what all. Thanks.
I can’t answer you about what she is doing because I have no way to evaluate it as a treatment plan for your daughter. Sometimes, however, people get well because they believe the therapy will work.
Remember, it is her life and she has the right to choose her treatment. You do not have to go through it, so do not tell her what to do.
You can offer her my books and CDs, and you can listen to her so she can hear her own words. This will help her choose what is right for herself in terms of treatment.
In choosing therapy, we can view it as the labor pains of giving ourselves new life, or we can view it as lethally toxic. People who choose to see their therapy as a life-enhancing process will often have few if any side effects. The opposite is true of those undergoing treatment they regard as life-threatening. In my experience, patients who believe in their therapy as the most life-enhancing choice will almost always do well.
You could ask her to draw pictures of the various treatment options and see what they look like. Send them to me and I will help interpret them. You could also draw pictures of how you see these various options. I have found that this is a powerful way for both patients and families to get in touch with their inner thoughts on the therapy process as well as the disease itself. Be sure to clearly label who drew the each picture.
Some patients depict chemo as the devil giving them poison but for others it is drawn as a gift from God. You can imagine which patients might do better with this particular treatment approach.
We also have seen some tumors shrink when people think they are being treated but due to medical errors are actually receiving no treatment. The Mind-Body Connection is truly powerful as the very recent study on the power of placebos has shown in the treatment of depression.
Please help your daughter focus on the present—live for each day at a time. It is important that you not bring fear and doubt into her life now, but instead be genuinely positive and supportive. Respect her decisions and ask her to tell you about the therapies she chooses—to explain them to you. Then listen with an open mind and do not argue. The stress you bring into her life at this point will take energy from her immune system at a time when it needs to be strengthened.
Help your daughter love her life and her body.