Alternative Treatment

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I began seeking natural treatment options, even before the extent and type of my cancer was known, because I suspected that my condition was serious and life-threatening. Therefore, it made sense to move ahead with life-changes that might help improve my chances. My wife Eddy was eager to assume the role of my health advocate and she has been involved in consultations with all the alternate health and conventional medical providers.

Nutritionist

We contacted a certified nutritionist, who had experienced a remarkable remission from cancer, based on self-administered treatment. His story is recounted in Alternative Cancer Therapy – A Step by Step Manual.

We implemented several nutritionist recommendations before the medical diagnosis and treatment plan was complete.

  1. Diet: Ketogenic diet
  2. Vitamins: C, B-Complex, D-3
  3. Supplements: Ground flax, Curcumin, Enzymes (MegaZyme)
  4. Minerals: Magnesium, Zinc
  5. Heat Therapy: infra-red heat lamp

The ketogenic diet lowers blood sugar, to deny cancer cells access to sugar, their preferred fuel. Unfortunately, compliance with the ketogenic diet is difficult, because it drastically reduces carbohydrates and eliminates sugar, relying on vegetables and proteins. The diet forbids all processed foods, most fruits, breads, pasta, rice and alcohol. It recommends fish and fowl, but not red meats. The goal with the ketogenic diet is to enter and maintain a state of ketosis, where the liver is breaking down fats for metabolic energy. Reaching ketosis requires a fasting glucose level below 80.

My experience was that after a month of ketogenic dieting, I had lost 25 pounds, but was not able to reach nor maintain the ketogenic state, because my fasting glucose level remained in the range of 80 to 100.

Naturopath

We decided to consult a naturopathic physician, because of the problem with weight loss and frustration with the glucose measurements and disappointment with my failure to reach the ketogenic state. Our Naturopath commended my effort and  recommended changing from the Ketogenic diet to a Mediterranean diet as described by Good Food Great Medicine. He said, “Compliance with the ketogenic diet is too difficult and is not well-supported as an anti-cancer diet in the research literature. You will do much better with the Mediterranean diet.”

In addition, our naturopath recommended adding fish oil. “Fish oil will help you avoid weight loss; take twice as much to regain some of the weight lost,” he advised. (Our nutritionist had recommended fish oil as well, but we had overlooked that since we were already eating an abundance of salmon.) Our naturopath also recommended probiotics to help maintain a healthy gut biome. This seemed sensible since the IL-2 medical treatment does require prophylactic antibiotics to avoid the chance of infection at the central infusion line.

I’ve been much happier with the Mediterranean diet, as it is less restrictive, doesn’t require daily glucose measurements and encourages eating whole grains and whole organic foods.

Family & Friends

Cannabis

A family member directed us to Rick Simpson, who presents anecdotal evidence for hemp oil as curative for lung cancer. I found the evidence inconclusive, but decided to try hemp oil. My primary physician helped me complete the necessary application to secure the Oregon state medical marijuana card to legally purchase and use hemp oil.

I found that purchasing medical marijuana is not straightforward. There is no standard compounding for hemp oil. At one local dispensary, I asked for hemp oil for cancer and was guided to purchase a product labeled RSO Hemp Oil (Richard Simpson Oil).  The product was labeled at 56% THC and 15% CDB.

I was told to take a drop about the size of a grain of rice each day. I took the drops and held them under my tongue. After three or four of days, THC built up in my system and began to interfere with my grip on reality. Driving a car was very unsafe, because of disorientation and attention problems.

I tried another dispensary and was advised to purchase another version of hemp oil that was labeled at 31.4% THC and 51.3% CBD. The second dispensary advised that this was much more appropriate for an anti-cancer medical application. I was also advised to swallow the dose with a cracker. Taking the second version of hemp oil in this way avoided the problems of overdosing on THC.

In summary, I found that hemp oil was helpful for reducing my anxiety and improving sleep. But, I stopped taking it on the advice of my oncologist, who was concerned about confounding the IL-2 treatments (which sometimes may induce neurological problems).

Mushrooms

A family member also referred me to information regarding the curative power of compounds found in Turkey Tail mushrooms. She provided a trial bottle of turkey tail mushroom extract from Host Defense. I’ve added these pills to my daily regimen of supplements.