Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hello Again!

Hello!  It’s been a while.  Big thanks to all of you who have reached out.  I didn’t realize I had so many followers!  As I’ve read your e-mails, I’ve been thrilled to learn that so many of you are interested in Dr. Gonzalez’s work.  I always thought that I would be happy if my little blog impacted even one person but it appears that there are quite a lot of you who are interested in taking control of your health.  People from all over the world are questioning the conventional model and thinking twice.  I love it.  It is my pleasure and honor to serve you, so please keep the questions coming.

A lot has happened since I last wrote.  If you’re wondering how I’m doing, then the short answer is “terrific”.  I’m still on the Gonzalez protocol, eating healthy foods (including fatty red meats like grass- fed burgers and organic bacon five times a week), declining all drugs, and watching my cancer melt away each month.  I’m still tired and I have some eczema on my hands that is extremely irritating, but my cancer is decreasing and I’m getting stronger every day, so I’m pretty happy.  It has been a long journey and I still have a long way to go but I can finally see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s the long answer to what I’ve been up to…

The spring and summer brought a unique challenge with my oldest daughter.  She didn’t want to have much to do with me.  If I tried to touch or hug her, she pulled away.  If my husband was anywhere near, she would cling to him as if I didn’t exist. 

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my life is not exactly balanced these days….my world pretty much revolves around my therapy and my family.  So, when my seven year old expressed such strong animosity towards me, I didn’t take it well.  Certainly, I expect this type of behavior to occur when she transitions to adolescence but I was really bothered to see this from my sweet, little seven year-old.  Once my husband realized that this was really upsetting me, he asked Madelyn about it and she explained that “she didn’t want to be too close to Mommy because she didn’t want to catch cancer”. 

Well, I breathed a big sigh of relief when I heard her explanation because I then knew that her hostility  was based on a misunderstanding.  Once we explained that she can’t catch Mommy’s cancer, my little girl returned.   She began sitting in my lap, holding my hand and was generally happy to be around me again.  Whew.

The last couple summers, I had babysitters to help with the girls, with juicing, etc.  Because I was on the Gerson Therapy, I was doing enemas all day long (four or five a day) and my time with my daughters was limited.  So, this first summer on the Gonzalez Therapy was really about re-connecting.  I didn’t hire any help and that made me really happy.  I’m a do-it-myself, hands-on kind of gal and I generally love spending time with my daughters.  We had a great summer together.  

As the season progressed, my energy rose and fell.  In July, I had a few weeks when I felt fantastic.  Then, in August, due to an event unrelated to my cancer, I lost a lot of blood and my energy plummeted.  Unfortunately, I didn’t rebound from that very quickly.

In September, Dr. Gonzalez called me and said that my disease was progressing and he suggested that I consider taking a small amount of conventional medicine to stabilize things.  He said it’s very rare that his patients ever need conventional drugs but he didn’t want my disease to continue progressing.  So, we agreed that I’d head into the local cancer hospital and see what the oncologist recommended for the least toxic way to stabilize the disease.  Dr. Gonzalez and his colleague had  analyzed my hair sample results and felt strongly that I was on the right protocol but that stress was the culprit behind the increase in my disease (Note to all: stress matters.  Make an effort to minimize it.).  He asked if I was following the program and if I had experienced any unusual challenges.  As a matter of fact, we had recently experienced some extremely stressful events….things I won’t divulge here.  So, once again, it appeared that stress was hijacking my health. 

The good and most important news is that Dr. Gonzalez said that he still felt very good about my long term prognosis.  We’d use a small amount of conventional drugs for a short time to get me over this hump but long term I’d still be okay. 

When Dr. Gonzalez tells me I’ll be okay long term, I don’t take it lightly.  I believe he is optimistic but I don’t think he’d offer false hope.  I’m sharing this because I’ve heard so many stories about conventional oncologists offering treatments that never have any chance of working.  Maybe the  conventional doctors want to be optimistic – I don’t know - but we patients need to know the truth. 

So, I headed into Boston to see the oncologist.  Within twenty minutes I felt myself being sucked into the cancer industry.  They wanted me to return the next week to see a hematologist and to have full body skeletal x-rays.  In addition, they agreed to only prescribe two drugs but encouraged me to take six.  They also encouraged me to participate in a clinical trial (I found this surprising since I’ve told them that I don’t want to be part of an experiment).  This appointment which included a blood draw and a 25 minute meeting with the oncologist cost $3,000 ($1,000 out of pocket).  A one month supply of the two drugs, which includes a total of 24 pills, costs $8,400. 

Now I know how they funded that brand new building, complete with floor to ceiling windows, rocking chairs, and a pianist.   While I waited, I had the opportunity to use an Ipad and I could take a library book or magazine home with me, free of charge.  I guess that once you’re in the myeloma ward, they know you’re a patient for life. 

At any rate, when I walked into the waiting room and saw the sea of surgical masks and wheel chairs, I felt a little better than I had during past visits.  I knew that this would not be my future - I was only there for a temporary fix. 

During my appointment, I learned that the myeloma drugs are so damaging that it is normal for patients’ red and white blood cell counts to be out of range.  As a result, myeloma patients on conventional therapy are chronically anemic.  I guess I find it surprising that these drugs are so widely accepted and celebrated.  I’ve been anemic for a long time now and I don’t feel it’s a good way to live.  My brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and it affects my mood and ability to think clearly, not to mention it makes me tired.  I’m hopeful that my anemia is temporary. 

I had a conversation with a nurse practitioner about cancer and the great progress that is being made.  This particular NP worked in breast cancer and was excited about the fact that some of her patients were using conventional therapies that were killing off the breast cancer.  She explained that these patients were typically dying a few years later of other causes, often heart disease.  

I feel I should point out that I really like this NP.   I sense that she cares about her patients and that she genuinely believes the industry is doing good things.  But I had to scratch my head at her enthusiasm.    If a patient takes chemo and radiation to reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer, and that treatment damages the heart and lungs so that the patient dies of heart disease a few years later, is this “great progress”?  It kind of reminds me of that pass the hot potato game we played when we were kids.    

During this time, I was grateful to have Dr. Gonzalez as a resource.  I was pretty sure I didn’t need the full six drug chemo cocktail that the oncologist recommended but I didn’t know how to discern exactly what was and wasn’t critical.  In the end, Dr. Gonzalez said that I didn’t need the appointment with the hematologist or the full body skeletal survey.    

The drug that I was going to take is called Revlimid.  Years ago, its’ cousin drug, Thalidomide, had been administered to pregnant women without being tested.  As a result, the pregnant women taking the drug bore children without limbs and the maker of Thalidomide lost millions in law suits. (This is eerily similar to what’s happening with vaccinations.  Our children are the guinea pigs for much of what is being administered).  Because Revlimid has a biochemical make-up that is similar to Thalidomide, I was required to have two pregnancy tests prior to taking the drug.  In addition, I would be required to have weekly pregnancy tests once I started.  Under no circumstances will Revlimid be administered to pregnant women.

So, I headed off to the lab to have my pregnancy test.  Though I wasn’t due to have my blood drawn for another week, I asked the nurse to draw it anyway.  I was hopeful that my myeloma numbers would hold steady and show signs that things were leveling off.  Then, maybe Dr. Gonzalez would tell me that I didn’t have to take the drugs.  I figured it was a long shot but worth a try. 

So, the next evening I received a call from Dr. Gonzalez with my results.  The first question he asked is if I had begun taking the drug.  I explained that I had not begun taking it because I didn’t have it yet and then he told me that I had “crested”.  Um, okay – what’s that?  He explained that when patients heal on his protocol, it is normal for them to get worse before they get better.  In his blood cancer patients (like yours truly), he typically sees a patient worsen and then have a dramatic improvement in blood work.  This is all part of the normal, natural healing process.  He shared the story of a leukemia patient whose white blood cells dropped 100,000 points in a month and a myeloma patient whose IGA dropped several thousand.  He said that all of my numbers improved and that my IGA dropped 2,000 points.  My IGA is now the lowest it has been in about three years (this is very, very good news and indicates that my disease is dying off).    He said that, given these improvements, there’s no need for me to take any drugs.   

Dr. Gonzalez explained that when he saw my blood work trending in the wrong direction, he suspected that I was cresting and would be fine, but he had no way to know for sure and he thought I should take the drugs and play it safe.  He’s conservative and I like that.    

I’m glad to be able to share this experience.  Many of you are reading this blog because you’re interested in Dr. Gonzalez’s work and, although it’s rare that his patients need to use conventional medication, it’s good to know that he will use drugs when necessary.     He’s not hung up on dogma or ego – he’s focused and committed to getting his patients well and he’ll recommend whatever it takes to make that happen.  At least that’s my impression and experience. 

So, in the end, I didn’t need to take any medicine after all.  I’ve spent three years detoxifying, so the thought of gunking up my body with poisons is not exactly appealing.

A couple weeks ago, I had my appointment for my annual (13 month) check-up with Dr. Gonzalez.  Overall, my results were terrific.  Here are the highlights from my hair sample analysis:

1.       CT Mass – cancer tumor mass - measures the amount of cancer in my body.  Normal is 10 or below.  A year ago I was at 27 and now I’m at 17.  I have a much less serious amount of disease.  The average patient improves about 6 points in a year so, although my results have jumped around a lot, I did improve 10 points in 13 months.  Dr. Gonzalez says that 15 is a “safe” amount of cancer and I am really close to that goal. 

2.       TBF – total body function – measures how well my body is functioning overall.  Normal is 90 or above.  A year ago, I was at 74 and now I’m at 84.  I am thrilled about this.

3.       DNA –measures the health of my DNA.  Normal is 10 or below.  A year ago I was at 18 and now I’m at 15.  Dr. Gonzalez says that as long as I have DNA damage I’m at risk for cancer, so I’m happy to see my DNA repairing and re-building.  The good news here is that DNA damage is reversible.  Note to all: your DNA is not your destiny. 

4.       Toxicity – measures the amount of environmental toxins trapped in my cells.  Normal is 10 or below.  A year ago I was at 13 and now I’m at 10 for the second month in a row.  Dr. Gonzalez says that a score of 10 is difficult to maintain and that the number is based on the environment.   What I find most interesting is that after doing the Gerson Therapy for two years, which involved 12 glasses of vegetable juice a day and 4 or 5 coffee enemas a day, I was at a toxicity level of 13.  After two years of so many juices and enemas and an all organic fruit and vegetable diet, I really didn’t think I could get any cleaner.  On my current therapy, I do fewer enemas and drink much less juice.  I also do some other things to detoxify that are much easier than what I did on my first therapy.  Yet, my toxicity level has decreased significantly.  I’m glad I was wrong. 

5.       For the first time, all of my digestive organs and glands, including my parotid, liver, stomach, gall bladder, small intestine and colon are all in the normal range.  Yay!  Many alternative doctors believe that cancer and all diseases begin in the gut and Dr. Gonzalez is no exception.  If you’re body can’t break down food, absorb the nutrients, and filter out the waste, then you’re setting the stage for disease.  Finally, my digestive system is working the way it should.  It’s nice to know that my body is able to process all the healthy food I am consuming.

6.       I had about a dozen improvements overall.   Three numbers moved in the wrong direction and they were the ones affected by stress: systemic  arteries, adrenal cortex and hypothalamus.  Nothing to worry about. 

 Throughout these challenges, I’ve continued to pray for the patience, perseverance and discernment necessary to heal.  So far, it’s been tough but I feel I’m getting what I need.  Thanks and big hugs to all of you who have kept me in your prayers.  It’s working and I couldn’t do it without you!

Last, for any of you who are reading this and thinking that this all sounds interesting but you  want some studies….some proof.  I understand where you’re coming from because there was a time when I felt the same way.  Actually, I’d still like to see it happen.  However, I’ve come to realize that clinical studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies and there’s simply no incentive for one of these companies to spend millions on a study for an alternative therapy, particularly one that is more effective than the conventional treatments they are selling.  If this topic interests you, you may want to read Dr. Gonzalez’s recently published book “What Went Wrong”.  It’s a detailed account of his experience working with the NIH and NCI in a clinical trial.  After reading it, you just might think twice the next time your doctor or a scientist tells you something was “proven” in a clinical trial. 

I’ll leave you with this: I recently met with a dermatologist who was quick to point out that alternatives don’t work in his field and that he prefers to use things that are PROVEN.  Initially, I was annoyed with him but then I just felt kind of bad for him.  He seemed so threatened that I was successfully using an alternative cancer therapy.  I’m thinking “why can’t we all just work together?”.  I promptly left his office and went to Whole Foods to purchase a topical gel that dried up my impetigo in about four days.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Test Results

Hi All,

I hope you’re enjoying every moment of this glorious day.  I recently received more blood work and hair sample test results that I want to share with you.  But first, I thought I’d share a cute story.

The other day, I was sitting down to dinner with my family, and I was telling my husband about an acquaintance of ours who was recently diagnosed with late stage cancer.  I was expressing my concern for this woman and her family when my oldest, Madelyn, chimes in with “Don’t worry Mommy!  Just give her your blog.  She’ll be fine.” 


Aaaaahhhh….to be seven again.  But the funny thing is, she’s not all that far off.  This whole scenario gave me the opportunity to explain to my daughter that although this person’s life could be saved if she would read my blog and visit my doctor, most people simply don’t understand the power of good nutrition.  Heck, I’ve been a wellness junkie for almost ten years and even I didn’t really understand the impact of a whole foods diet until I changed to this new protocol last fall.    

The great thing is….she really gets it.  My little one certainly likes her fair share of honey but she is usually mindful of what she consumes and that’s what I’m hoping for at this stage.

So, on to the point of this post.  I’ll stop bragging about my daughter….at least for now.    

I had my blood and hair sample tested last week and both tests indicate that my disease is continuing to regress.  There were several improvements but the most notable one was my hair sample CT (cancer tumor) Mass improving from 20 to 19.5 (10 or below is normal).  Though it’s a small change, achieving a number under 20 is an important milestone and shows that I have much less cancer than I did when I began the program in September with a CT Mass of 27.  I’m really happy about this achievement and my doctor is too. 

On another note, I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been a little “off”.  Nothing major.  Just don’t ask me about some serious, personal topic like the weather because I might start crying. J  After discussing this with Dr. Gonzalez, he said that this may be due to my anemia as my brain is not getting enough oxygen.  This makes sense to me because in the first quarter of the year, I was pretty high on life and my hemoglobin was very close to the normal range.  Since then, it’s been bouncing around a bit and it directly impacts my mood. 

The thing I find most interesting is that a few months ago, I wouldn’t have even noticed that I was “off”.  I thought that having brain fog, moodiness and ADD tendencies was just normal.  After all, every other 40+ woman I know suffers from the same traits.

The only reason I notice this now is because I felt SO good in February and March.  These days, I feel relatively happy but not like I felt a few months ago and that’s how I know I’m not at my personal best.

As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that I have spent the majority, if not all, of my life somewhat depressed or “off”…..not living even remotely close to my authentic self.

This, of course, makes me wonder, how many people out there are living subpar lives simply because their brains aren’t receiving the nutrients needed to help them think clearly and be happy?

This whole experience has made me, once again, just feel really lucky to be on this program.  I consistently realize that this untimely cancer diagnosis is really a gift, an opportunity to live a fantastic life.

That’s all for now, dear friends.  Enjoy your day!   

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Test Results

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."

- Marcus Aurelius

Hi All,
Just wanted to let you know I received test results last week.  Both my hair sample and blood work showed significant improvements which indicate that my disease is continuing to regress.

My hair sample CT (cancer tumor) mass decreased from 21 to 20 which felt good.  Twenty is the number I was at back in December before my teeth and disease started acting up so I’m really happy to be back at that marker.  Trust me when I say I’ll never take those improvements for granted again. 
Live, laugh, love.  Life is good.      

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On the Road Again

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.

-Mother Theresa

Dear friends, a lot has happened since my last post. 

I went to NYC at the end of March for my six month check up.  This was an important meeting to me because we repeated the entire hair sample analysis from August and I was hoping to learn (1.) what’s changed/improved and (2.) why my IGA was increasing.

The results were mixed.  The good news is that I had fourteen improvements in my organs, etc.  I was pretty excited to hear this.  It’s nice to know that so many things are functioning better than they were in August, despite my disease.  It showed that the program is working really well for me.  The bad news is that we confirmed that the reason my IGA was increasing was because my disease was growing.  We weren’t 100% sure about this (or at least I wasn’t) going into the meeting but the hair sample confirmed that my disease was indeed increasing.  Dr. Gonzalez called me about a week before my NYC appointment to review the detailed analysis of my blood work he had received and implied that the results weren’t what he wanted.  I went into the appointment somewhat expecting bad news but it was still hard to take.  Really hard.

So, in summary, my disease regressed significantly my first three months on the program and increased  a little the second three months.  As of March, I was still better than I was when I began the program but I had begun trending in the wrong direction.  Dr. Gonzalez explained that it’s good that I improved so much the first three months because I had room to move; as a result, this trend in the wrong direction wasn’t too damaging.  He explained that it’s important that we not just throw additional enzymes at the problem but, instead, figure out what’s changed and address the issues.
After careful analysis and consideration, Dr. Gonzalez explained that he believed that the change was due to stress.  We spent a lot of time discussing various stressors in my life but there was one that really stuck out to Dr. Gonzalez as a significant problem and that is tooth pain.  Last winter, as part of the Gerson protocol, I had a mouth full of mercury fillings replaced with composites.  As a result of all the drilling, I lost tooth structure and, a year later, began having issues with my nerves.  I can’t chew on one side of my mouth because the pressure is too painful and it’s challenging to chew on the other side due to sensitivity to hot and cold.  Dr. Gonzalez explained that tooth pain can throw the autonomic nervous system (ANS) out of balance and that one of our main goals on the program is to balance the ANS.  It has to be in balance for my organs and systems to work right and for my body to fight the disease.  If I'm throwing the ANS out of balance every time I eat, the protocol isn't going to work.
At the time of this appointment, I had been using special sensitive  toothpaste for a couple weeks and it was helping.  In addition, Dr. Gonzalez suggested I add three new supplements to my regimen to help with the inflammation and pain.  He also suggested that I walk daily to clear my head and wear special glasses at night to block out blue light rays which suppress melatonin production and inhibit sleep (by the way, these glasses are working wonders helping me fall asleep quickly and sleep more soundly through the night
Interestingly, Dr. Gonzalez does not recommend that his patients replace their mercury fillings.    He doesn’t believe that anyone should have mercury in his mouth but once it’s there, he says you leave it be.  His patients are able to work around the toxic effects of the mercury with detox and supplements.

So, I responded to the growth of my disease the way that any sane, mature woman would – I panicked, cried and hyperventilated for the next day or so as my mind raced with all the possible “what if” scenarios.  Mainly, “what if” controlling my stress wasn’t enough to turn things around? 
Meanwhile, my husband and sister, who attended the six month visit with me, were confused “um, Theresa, what are you so worried about?  You’re still much better than you were in August.  Dr. Gonzalez seemed pretty confident that you can manage your stress and turn this around”. 

So…..I took a few deep breaths and got rational.  Over the next couple weeks, I remembered three things that helped to keep me calm and sane: 

1.      I am utilizing the single best cancer doctor and cancer protocol on the planet.  (I recognize that some would disagree but I believe this wholeheartedly)

2.      My doctor didn’t seem all that bothered by my results.  In fact, he was totally calm about the whole thing and seemed kind of been there, done that about it.  He said that “patients don’t heal in straight lines” and encouraged me to “be patient”.  He also explained that the important thing in this scenario is that we not just throw more enzymes at the situation but rather understand what has changed and address the issues.  Once we address the stress, things should reverse.  His explanation made perfect sense to me because I was responding so well to the protocol the first few months.  Then, in December, my tooth pain flared up and my IGA increased right along with it.  I also began writing this blog in December and set deadlines and goals which were probably too much for me.  In addition, my oldest daughter started having some problems at school which I found really hard to take.  So, a lot of stress was added to my plate in December that could have affected my results.

3.      God is with me.  Yes, I know I have to show up each day and do my therapy but the reality is that I don’t have complete control over every single thing - not even close. 

I found that when I kept these truths in mind, I did pretty well.  I also used EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique, to manage my anxiety and that seemed to help with the little things that popped up.

Two weeks after my appointment in New York, I had my blood drawn.  Although my IGA moved a small amount in the wrong direction, I had significant improvements in some very important numbers such as hemoglobin, kappa lambda ratio and free light chain.  Dr. Gonzalez thought that things were leveling off and would likely begin to reverse. 

Once I heard that news, I started to feel really good about things.

A month after my NYC appointment, I sent in another hair sample and my CT Mass (cancer measurement) improved by two points.  This was terrific news.  I would’ve been happy if it remained stable and thrilled if it improved by one point, so, to hear that it improved two points was pretty exciting.
The good news continued last week when I had my blood drawn again and heard that I had several improvements in all the important numbers, including IGA which finally moved in the right direction by almost 600 points. 

So, after several months of some bad trends, I am back on track.  I recognize that I hit a speed bump and it served its’ purpose – it slowed me down so that I could take more walks, get more sleep and control my stress and these were all things that I knew I should have been doing anyway.  I was ignoring the little woman inside me who was pointing her finger and shaking her head “tisk, tisk, haven’t you figured out by now that your sleep and stress management have to be your priority?” 

The funny thing is that I’m enjoying these changes.  It feels great to wake up rested and I realize that I am a much happier, balanced person if I take time each day to get outside, breath in the fresh ocean air and clear my head.  I’m a better mom and wife.  When I make wellness a priority, everyone wins.

The other big news I learned at my check up is that I gained twelve pounds.  Twelve pounds.  This wasn’t exactly a surprise.  My five year old saw me changing the other day and scrunched up her cute little face, pointed at my mid-section and said “Mommy, do you have a baby in there?” Um, no honey, Mommy’s just really enjoying eating real food again.  J 

My little Sierra bear….she keeps it real. 

So, all is well here and I’m back on the road to optimal health.  This time, I’m listening to my intuition and driving a little more cautiously….

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Test Results

Hello All!  I’ve been so busy living that I’ve fallen a little behind updating you on my health progress.  As I’ve mentioned, I don’t spend much time thinking about my disease any more.

Last week, I had my blood drawn and my results continue to improve.  My white cells, hemoglobin and platelets all increased.  At this point, I think the only number that is out of range is my hemoglobin and each month it continues to move in the right direction.  Why do we care about all these numbers increasing?  We care because these improvements indicate that my bone marrow is functioning and that most likely means that I have less cancer.  If my cancer was growing, there wouldn’t be room in the marrow for these new cells to exist.  That’s what happens with myeloma – the plasma/cancer cells crowd out the good cells such as red and white blood cells.
My IGA, however, moved in the wrong direction again.  It’s not what we want to see but, considering my other improvements, Dr. Gonzalez is optimistic.  We discussed my energy level (good) and a few other things and he thinks I’m fine.  He said IGA will often bounce around on his myeloma patients and he shared the story of another myeloma patient who came to him with advanced disease 18+ years ago whose IGA has fluctuated by several thousand points over the years.  For those of you reading who have myeloma, you may be interested to know that this patient had advanced disease and his oncologist was recommending a bone marrow transplant.  The patient declined and decided to do the Gonzalez protocol.  Almost 20 years later, his hemoglobin remains in the normal range while his IGA jumps around like a ping pong ball.  Dr. Gonzalez has mentioned that my IGA will likely never be in range but it’s not a concern - I can live a long, healthy life with an elevated IGA.  When IGA is elevated it can mean the patient has cancer or it can simply mean that the patient’s existing plasma cells are over-active. 

Next week, I’m heading to NYC for my six month check-up.  I’ve already sent in my hair sample and I am looking forward to seeing if the hair analysis provides some insight as to why my IGA is increasing.
 Wish me luck! (a few prayers wouldn’t hurt either)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Test Results

Hello All!  Wow, time is flying by.  Hard to believe I’ve been on the new regime five months. 
I’m writing to update you on my recent blood draw and to let you know I’m going to take a break from blogging for a while.  I’ll still post my health updates but I’m finding it challenging to find time to execute my therapy, care for my family and write/research.  I don’t want you to worry when you don’t hear from me for a few weeks.  The truth is that I feel better than I have in years, both physically and mentally.  I still can’t get over how dramatic and quick the shift has been.    
As far as test results go, I continue to have improvements.  Hemoglobin increased from 10.1 to 10.3 and hematocrit increased from 32.8 to 33.1, which means it is almost in range.  Red and white blood cells continue to be in range.
For the second month in a row, IGA moved in the wrong direction.  As I mentioned before, I don’t like it when that happens but I know that we patients don’t heal in straight lines.  Cancer recovery is a bumpy, windy road and both Dr. Gonzalez and my conventional oncologist have informed me that IGA can be fickle and is not necessarily indicative of the truth.
So, that’s all for now, friends.  Take care.

p.s. Thank you for all of your e-mails and comments about my posts.  I know that many of you are enjoying the nutritional pearls that I am gleaning from my conversations with Dr. Gonzalez.  Don't worry, I will be reporting more of this type of information in one way or another down the road.  I am excited and committed to share the truth about good health. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Eat Fat, Lose Fat

As long as we’re on the topic of dietary myths, I thought I’d write about the one food group that we are all programmed to avoid: fats.  We’re told that eating fat, particularly saturated fat, will make us fat and sick. 
Before we dive into the truth, let’s stop and think for a minute.  Ask yourself, how long have we been advised to eat a low fat diet?  How long have we been told that eating saturated fat will make us fat and sick?  I know I’ve heard this message for the last 25 years; before that I was too young to notice.  Since Ancel Keys (more on him later) first suggested a link between saturated fats and heart disease in the late 1950s, the food manufacturers have jumped on board and produced everything and anything in low-fat, non-fat form: chips, yogurt, chocolate, you name it.  We, in turn, began doing everything we could to avoid fat.  I know there were years when I survived on pretzels, pasta and saltines because they were cheap and low fat; I thought they were healthy choices. 
Now, let’s ask ourselves another question: since we’ve begun reducing fat are we getting skinnier and healthier?  To answer that question I’d suggest you simply look around.  Considering the epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, I think it’s fair to say that we are not healthy or thin.    
Which leads me to the point of this post: certain fats, including saturated fats, are essential to your health.  You read it right.  A non-fat diet is not only less than optimal, it’s downright destructive.    
Saturated fats form an essential part of the cell membranes throughout your body.  In addition, these fats partner with cholesterol to compose about 80% of your brain.  Cholesterol is the main precursor to all the major hormones: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and the stress hormones like cortisol.  The bottom line is this: saturated fats and cholesterol are essential nutrients and you need them to thrive.
Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are a disaster.  When you eat too many unsaturated fats, like those found in vegetable oils, the fats adversely affect the chemistry of the cell membranes.  Consuming these unsaturated fats will cause your cells to be nutritionally starved and set the stage for chronic disease.    Your energy drops, your nerves don’t fire, your hormones and metabolism quit functioning properly.  You’re tired and hungry and you gain weight. 
Consider the fact that mother's milk, nature’s perfect food, provides a higher proportion of cholesterol than almost any other food.  It contains over 50% of its calories as fat, mainly saturated fat. Both cholesterol and saturated fat are essential for growth in babies and children, especially the development of the brain.  Yet, the American Heart Association is now recommending a low-cholesterol, low fat diet for children! I cringe with concern when I think of all those kids’ brains being starved and how that’s affecting their mental health, not to mention their IQs.
When Dr. Gonzalez reviewed my diet with me, he told me I can eat an unlimited amount of fat; that is, an unlimited amount of natural, saturated fats.  He said “the more, the better”.  Well, I almost jumped up and hugged him right there (I probably would have but it would have embarrassed my husband, not to mention my new doctor might have thought I was a bit strange :) ).  After two years of not eating any fat, he made my day because I love eating fat.  That’s right…..butter, avocados, coconut and red meat.  Bring ‘em on. 
If fat is so good for us, then why are we told to avoid it?
Ancel Keys, a researcher in the 50s, first suggested that a diet high in saturated fat causes heart disease.  When Keys published his analysis, it was discovered that he used data from only six countries and ignored the data from the other 16 countries that were included in the study.   When a country with high fat intake had no heart disease, he excluded the data.        
As a result of Keys’ fraudulent misrepresentation, Americans were soon encouraged to substitute vegetable fats for animal fats, and to avoid red meat completely.  Government agencies began bombarding the public with advice to eat a low fat diet.  In 1960, The American Heart Association changed its position on dietary fat to support Keys’ theory. 
The vegetable and food processing industries were happy to jump on the low fat bandwagon.  After all, they don’t want us eating whole, unprocessed forms of fat such as butter and cream.  If we did that, we’d be so satisfied with our diets, we wouldn’t have any need for their junk.  They want us to stay ignorant and continue eating out of packages loaded with vegetable and hydrogenated oils.  These oils extend the shelf life of packaged foods, so good press about these oils directly impacts the bottom line.
What about the subsequent studies that connect fat and heart disease?
The problem with the studies that link fat and heart disease is that they do not differentiate between saturated fats and trans fats.  Saturated fats are those whole, unprocessed fats that make everything delicious: eggs, butter, full fat cream, red meat, coconut oil, etc.  Trans fats are the vegetable (think: canola) and hydrogenated oils that are in packaged foods and bottled salad dressings.  Trans fats will clog your arteries and cause diabetes.  They will make you fat. 
There have been several studies that have proven there is no correlation between saturated fats, cholesterol and heart disease but these studies are largely ignored.  The vegetable oil and processed food manufacturers don’t want you to think that their products are making you sick and they spend lots of money on lobbyists to ensure that the studies that support their businesses are the ones promoted.
What actually is linked to heart disease is polyunsaturated fats which became wildly popular during the late 21st century.  As we decreased our intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, we increased our intake of polyunsaturated fats which are particularly prone to free radical damage and oxidation.  These damaged oils will impair the arteries, lead to inflammation and cause heart disease.  Saturated fats and cholesterol are not the problem; our bodies need these essential nutrients and they are protective.  If you’re like most, you may not know that the majority of people with heart disease don’t have high cholesterol.
If you’d like to read a good book about cholesterol and saturated fats, you could check out “The Great Cholesterol Con” by Malcolm Kendrick.  Or, if you only have a few minutes, go to and search on “cholesterol”. 
But won’t eating fat make me fat?
The idea that eating fat will make you fat is total nonsense.  If you doubt this, once again, I’d encourage you to think about how fat and unhealthy we’ve become since we began adopting low fat diets several decades ago. 
When we eat a diet low in fat, one of the problems is that we are constantly hungry.  Our brain knows it needs fat so it sends out hunger signals when it doesn’t get enough.  In turn, because people are programmed to not eat fats, they load up on carbohydrates to address their hunger pains.  In fact, the epidemics of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in America correlate with the decrease in the intake of fat and increase in the intake of carbohydrates.    
Lately I’ve noticed that when I eat a substantial amount of fat at a meal, particularly coconut butter and red meat, I feel satiated; I don’t crave sweets and my meals hold me for hours.  What a revelation!  What a gift!  I’ve craved sweets my whole life and to think I may be able to feel satisfied without them is liberating. 
For years we’ve been told to eat low fat this and low fat that.  “Eat tons of carbs, reduce your sugar but whatever you do, don’t eat fat.”  This piece of advice, along with many others, is the result of dogma, not facts.  As Dr. Gonzalez says “So much of science is not science, it’s religion.  The low fat obsession is really a fanatical religion.  When you look at the scientific studies you find that it doesn’t report what the low fat fanatics claim.”
I’m sharing this information to blow out the myths that have become adopted here in the west.  It seems that with all of our technology and our brilliance and our universities, we’ve gotten so much horribly wrong.  Let’s work together to change that, shall we? 
Shopping tips:
1.      Quit reading the fat content on labels.  Fat is great for you; you need it to survive and thrive.  Instead of being so concerned with fat, focus on reducing your sugar intake.    
2.       Don’t buy anything that has hydrogenated oils or vegetable oils in it: canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower/safflower oil, margarine, shortening, anything with “partially hydrogenated in the ingredients list.  These foods are poison and they will make you fat and sick.
3.      Enjoy saturated and animal fats: olive oil, full fat yogurt, raw full fat milk, butter (especially grass fed), coconut oil/butter, palm oil, ghee, animal fats, red meat, avocados, eggs and red meat and other fatty meats, lard, tallow, nuts and seeds.  Tune into your body, if something makes you feel bad, don’t eat it.
4.      When purchasing animal fats, try to buy organic.  The doses of hormones and antibiotics in the conventional food won’t serve you well.
5.      Try the recipe below made of full fat, organic ingredients.  You’ll be glad you did.

You-Can-Thank-Me-Later Macaroons
2 C almonds
2 C coconut
1/3 c coconut oil
1/3 c honey or maple syrup
¼ t sea salt
½ t vanilla
Process all ingredients in food processer.  Use a small scoop to scoop cookies onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment.  Freeze for 15-20 minutes and store in the refrigerator.
*This recipe makes about 24 cookies and each cookie contains about 2/3 teaspoon of syrup or honey.
*The title of this post “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” is also the title of a book by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.  Check it out if you’d like to learn more about healthy fats or try out some healthful recipes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where's the Beef?

In my last post, I promised you some information on red meat.  So, let’s start by reflecting on what the “experts” say.  We’re told that consuming red meat is the ultimate sin.  “Animal fat is bad”, “It’ll raise your cholesterol”, “It’ll give you cancer!” is what we’re told. 
Many of you know that I have been interested in wellness, particularly nutrition, for several years.  Often times, when the topic of health arises, friends will proudly announce “I don’t eat red meat!”.  It seems that many believe that as long as they avoid red meat and other fatty animal products, they’ll be healthy.  I’ve noticed that many caring, health oriented moms will feed their children corn chips, tofu, goldfish crackers and packaged mac ‘n cheese and think their children are eating healthy because they’re avoiding the devil, otherwise known as red meat. 
The confusion is understandable.  Every few months, a new book is published that tells us exactly how to eat if we want to be healthy.  I have many of these books: The Zone Diet, Atkins, Eat to Live, The China Study, New American Diet, Living on Live Food, and Skinny Bitch, to name a few.  Each of these authors has facts and statistics to back up his case and prove that his diet is the right diet for everyone.  How are we laymen to know the truth?  For that matter, how are the experts to know the truth? These authors can’t all be right as their suggestions totally contradict each other….or can they?
I’ve been telling people for years that red meat can be a healthful option but it needs to come from cows that are humanely raised and allowed to graze on grass that has not had a chemical shower.  I went to great lengths to ensure my children consumed products from clean, healthy animals when they were very young, including raw, unpasteurized milk from grass fed cows.  When I tell people this, I receive a number of reactions: head shaking, eyebrow raising, looks that say “are you crazy? Everyone knows that animal products are bad for you!”.  Some will go so far as to explain that we don’t have the intestinal track of a carnivore, we don’t have the teeth and digestive enzymes necessary to break down meat, so on and so forth.  They quote a never ending litany of facts and statistics and, if I didn’t know better, I’d think that red meat was the devil too.
Fortunately, though, I do know better (thank you, Dr. G). 
Now that I’m using red meat to reverse terminal cancer, I’m hoping you’ll open your mind and reconsider.  At the very least, take a few minutes and read the rest of this post.  The reason I’ve been a proponent of animal products for so long is because I know about a study conducted by a dentist in the 1930s named Weston A. Price.  Now that I know that Dr. Gonzalez uses the findings of this study to reverse terminal cancer, I’m convinced that this information is fundamental to optimal health.                     
Weston A. Price                                                                                                                       
Dr. Price was a dentist in Cleveland, OH who set out to travel the world and study the epidemiology of dental decay.  Back in Price’s day (1930s) and today, medical and dental students are taught that we are extremely fortunate in the western world to have high tech dentistry to help treat all types of dental disease.  Those poor, primitive people who didn’t have access to dentists would supposedly get dental decay and commit suicide from the pain.  This theory, although widely accepted, has never actually been proven.  
Price recognized that no one had ever done a study to analyze the epidemiology of dental disease and determine if these theories about the primitive cultures were true.  So, he and his wife set out on a seven year journey.  Price traveled the world to live with and study 14 isolated cultures including but not limited to the Eskimos, the Incas, the Masai, the Pygmies, the Polynesians and the Aborigines. He was an impeccable researcher and kept meticulous records that he backed up with thousands of photographs.  He studied the peoples’ dental arches and decay and would interview these people and speak with  doctors or health officials  that were available.  He also reviewed any medical records that existed.  Although he began the expedition with the intention of studying dental health, he eventually became interested in other diseases.    
In addition to studying these isolated cultures, Dr. Price traveled to the westernized towns and villages and observed their descendants; people who initially lived in an isolated region and moved to adopt a more western way of life.
What Price discovered was that these isolated cultures didn’t have dental decay.  In fact, they had perfect dental arches and no need for orthodontics. 
He also studied the incidence of other health issues and he found that they were in excellent health.    There simply was no asthma, allergies, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or hypertension.
Equally shocking is the fact that these indigenous peoples didn’t suffer from mental illness.  When asked about depression and life’s challenges, the Eskimos would break out laughing.  They said “with all the bounty of earth, how could anyone feel like that?”  Note that these were people living in the Arctic with ten months of darkness and no vegetation; yet, there they were, celebrating “bounty”.  They had a word for mourning; when someone died, they grieved.  But when feelings of depression and despondence were described to them, the Eskimos just couldn’t relate.    
Fertility issues that are so common today weren’t an issue for these indigenous peoples.  They  produced healthy offspring with ease, generation after generation.  (When I asked Dr. Gonzalez about the possibility of me having another baby, he said we’ll have to get rid of my cancer first and then we can talk about it.  He mentioned, though, that I have plenty of time; women on his program don’t go into menopause until they’re in their 50s.  Wow.  I hear that conventional doctors these days are telling women that it’s “normal” to begin menopause in their thirties.  Once again, I find myself so grateful for this opportunity to optimize my health.)
When Price studied the groups of people from these isolated cultures who moved into “civilized” towns  and adopted a westernized way of eating loaded with canned goods, preservatives, chemicals, additives and white foods such as flour, sugar and rice, he noticed a catastrophic change in health within only one generation.  Dental decay became rampant; gingivitis and periodontal disease became epidemic.  There were epidemics of asthma, allergies, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.  Cancer, too, exploded, even in the 20s and 30s.  Mental illness such as depression, bi-polar disease, and schizophrenia became very common amongst these isolated peoples who adopted a westernized way of living but these diseases simply didn’t exist in the isolated cultures. 
If you read Price’s book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” you’ll see, in mind-boggling photos, how healthy, disease-free primitives look; the ones who have been subsisting on their own diets for generations have beautifully formed faces, palates, jaws and teeth that are totally devoid of cavities (these people weren’t even brushing their teeth, let alone flossing).  Then there are pictures of these same peoples where white man and their modern foods have taken over.  Children (and the adults they become) with birth defects, deformed palates, rotted, missing teeth and ill health.
So, what are these healthy people eating?  
Because each of these isolated cultures was living off the land, each had its’ own unique diet.  The Polynesians consumed lots of fish and fruit while the African Masai lived on raw cow milk and cow blood.  Although they all ate differently, there are some similarities that can be summed up in the following six principles:    
1.      No human group ever lived on one diet that all humans followed.

Each group ate what was available.  For the Eskimos, that meant whale blubber, seals and fatty red meats.  They lived on an all meat diet that was 80% saturated fat and 20% protein with no vegetation.  The traditional Masai lived on raw cow milk and cow blood; all animal based, about 70% fat, yet completely different from the Eskimos.  The Pygmies in the Congo had more of a plant based diet although they did eat animal products when they could catch them.

2.      No traditional group followed a vegetarian diet nor did any of these groups think that made sense.    

Even the groups that thrived on a diet that was largely plant based saw value in eating animal meat and fat. 

3.      No traditional group followed a low fat diet.

Some of the groups ate animal fat while others thrived on plant based fats but none consumed a low fat diet.

4.      The diets were natural, local and whole.

There was no access to processed foods of any kind, including white products (rice, flour, sugar and pasta) and canned, preserved and chemical “food”.  Is it necessary to mention that their produce wasn’t sprayed with pesticides?  Now, when people eat this way, they are such standouts that we have a special name for them: locavores.

5.      All traditional groups consumed some raw food.

The amount of raw versus cooked foods varied from group to group but all had some raw food that they thought was health promoting.  The Eskimos would take raw fish and bury it.  Eight weeks later, after it had fermented, they would dig it up and feast.  Not only did they enjoy it, they actually considered it dessert!

Note: Initially, I was a little nervous to try Dr. Gonzalez’ program.  What if I had to eat raw meat three times a day?!  Bluck!  When I first met with him, he asked me a couple of times if I was willing to eat red meat 4-5 times a week.  I had no problem with this but after he asked a second time, I said “may I cook it?”  He laughed and said that was fine.  Whew.  (LOL)

The truth is that I would’ve eaten my arm if that’s what it took to get well but I’m glad I didn’t have to. J

6.      Traditional diets produced enduring good health.

No matter what the diet, as long as these groups stuck to their traditional diets, they  experienced excellent health for the rest of their lives. 

Modern “food” choices constitute a radical change from the way man has nourished himself for thousands of years.  As a result, each generation is getting progressively weaker.  Dr. Kelley (who created my therapy) said that he would rather treat an 80 year old man than treat a 20 year old one because each generation is getting weaker and the younger man may not respond as well.  Dr. Gonzalez says that he finds this to be true; in his practice today he receives calls from people in their 20s who have very aggressive cancers that used to be reserved for the elderly.  Multiple myeloma, my disease, used to affect mostly elderly men, especially those who were African American.  Somehow I, a white female under the age of 40 (when diagnosed), was able to contract it.  It seems to be gaining prevalence because I continue to hear about more and more people who are diagnosed with this disease.
One of the most important things we can take away from this study is that, although it’s extremely common to be sick in one form or another, it is not our normal state.  Our bodies are wired for health but it seems that we have forgotten that our normal state is one of balance and vitality.  If we’ll just feed ourselves whole, organic food and detoxify, we’ll dramatically increase our odds of living a life of excellent health.  All of the chronic diseases that are so common are diseases of a civilized world.  Unknowingly, it  seems we are participating in our own demise.      
There’s some truth in all of the nutritional books.   The reality, though, is that everyone has different needs.   I’m not suggesting that everyone eat red meat.  I am, however, proclaiming that some of us need it.  If you don’t like the taste of it or if it sits like a rock in your stomach, then you should avoid it.  But, if you’re like me, and you love it and feel good eating it, then you could begin including it in your diet because you probably need it to thrive.  Dr. Gonzalez always says that your body is smarter than any doctor, including him.  Some of his patients need red meat three times a day while others are vegetarians.  The moral of this story is this: listen to your God given body, not the academic "experts", to tell you the truth about what diet works best for you.