After voraciously reading everything Stage IV on CancerTutor, I also purchased and read “Beating Cancer Gently”by Bill Henderson.  I kept it by the computer so I could read and cross check all I wanted.  That blasted book got so dog-eared!  In it, he talked of many “cures,” but the one that kept calling to me was the Budwig Protocol.  This was a nutritional protocol created by the late Dr Johanna Budwig.  She was the leading lipids researcher in Eastern Germany in the 1950s. She was a scientist and author and her truth declared “how highly unsaturated essential fatty acids (like those found in flax oil), when combined with high-quality protein (which makes essential fats easily soluble), will counteract toxic and poisonous accumulations in all tissue.”

There was a Yahoo group called FlaxSeedOil2 and there I was able to meet and talk with living, breathing cancer patients who were having success with the protocol.  I think this is one of the most important things of all.  If you’re considering using something alternative, don’t buy into marketing hype.  Research in PubMed or Google Scholar to see if their claims are substantiated and find someone else who has had success with it, whether on a forum or referral or something.  Also, when researching, realize that in vitro means in a petri dish.  In vivo means in a host animal like a mouse.  And keep in mind that most alternatives have not been “studied” on humans because most of them are very cheap and there’s no profit to be made to mention.  So it’s kind of an enter-at-your-own risk of a thrill ride. But with the forums and communities online, it makes it really easy to do.  You can talk to others and ascertain who is having success and who isn’t and if you even want to go down that path.

Anyway, this was a nutritionally based protocol and boy did it ever involve major lifestyle changes!  It was not an easy thing to do but I wanted to beat this thing that bad. You don’t take any supplements whatsoever. It is entirely based on nutrition, sun, and stress reduction.  You make and eat certain things at certain times of the day, but the cornerstone of the protocol is a homogenized mixture of organic cottage cheese and flax oil.  I know, I know … it sounds horrific.  But that stuff is like a chameleon, like tofu!  It can be dressed up as just about anything.  Breakfast was a wonderful parfait with the cream, flax seed, berries, and stevia.  At lunch, I mixed the cream with salsa and spices for a salsa ranch type salad dressing over my lunch salad.  And daily fresh juices.  Pineapples and papayas and buckwheat … oh my.  Lying in the sun every day for Vit D3.  We even went on vacations while I was doing this.

This of course, was before the baggage charges and we carried a taped-up cooler with dry ice … all of our supplies that we would need when we first got there.  And before we went, I would have lined up, and had on order, enough organic cottage cheese to get me through the end of vacay.  Or if I had to go run errands all day, I would take a portable cooler with me so I could stop and eat whenever I was supposed to.  Made family functions unbearable, so I stopped going.   I had always loved food and going to those big family Christmas buffets and such were just too much for me and made me feel like I had lost so much.

English: Brown Flax Seeds. Français : Graines ...

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That’s not the mindset I like to keep, but honestly, all of us cancer survivors feel that.  This disease takes so much from us to begin with body parts and confidence.  Add sexuality.  Then mix in a little terror, on your and your family’s behalf.  Include the financial drain that lasts for generations and activities you can no longer do.  Yeah, it doesn’t escape our notice from time to time, but I try not to dwell on it.  It recently dawned on me that I need to stop focusing on what I’ve lost.  Because my body is not the same body as it used to be … it is barely a size 6 when I’d always been an 11 and I can’t eat enough to make a difference.  My hair is not the same hair it used to be … it looks like a plush toy and I’ve never had this hair in my life.  I no longer have breasts or nipples and my chest looks like a frightening Halloween torso one would wear as part of a costume.  But here’s what I am learning … I’m looking at all that too much.  Looking backward and longing for the old way to come back to me.  I need to shift my focus to the new life I am creating.  That’s one of the big lessons in this for me … not to long for what was but to embrace a whole new life!

So the Budwig Protocol was what I did for the first year-and-a-half and, during that time, was ever reading, talking to people, finding out what worked for them and what didn’t.  I felt awesome while doing that protocol, and my previously hyper-thyroid returned to normal range during this time for no explainable reason.  While it did good things for my body, it didn’t seem to do much for to stop the cancer, despite the fact that I personally knew others for whom it had worked.  See that’s one thing to remember whether you are doing alternative or conventional or both:  no one thing works for every person every time. There are no magic bullets.  Repeat after me:  no magic bullets!  This was no longer the fit for me; it was time to move on. Cancer kept marching along.

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