Carrot Juice or Chemo?

They say there are two things you should never talk about at the dinner table: politics and religion.  I beg to differ.  I’d argue that food has become almost as controversial as politics or religion.  Think of all the nutrition information out there, and how confusing it is, yet everyone has a strong point of view on the subject:  Lean meat protein is good. No, meat is bad.   If you know where your meat comes from, it’s ok to eat it.  No, plant based protein is the only healthy option.  Fish is healthy. Fish is toxic, etc.  Then, there are the confusing terms and labels like farm raised, free-range, grass fed, omega 3 added, organic, fortified, ‘natural’, and on and on and on …

I have gluten sensitivity (celiac), which can be tricky in a social environment.  Although I always try to be subtle when asking the server for gluten-free options, I inevitably end up in a conversation about gluten.  People always like to know how it affects you.  Well, if you look up the main symptoms, it doesn’t exactly make pleasant dinner conversation.  For me, it was throwing up.   Yackity-yak-yacking after gluten-filled meals.  Mostly, people get BAD gas.  I’m not talking garden-variety gas; I’m talking peel the paint off the walls, asphyxiating green gas bombs!  Do you still want to know the symptoms?  The worst affect is the villi in your stomach lining get damaged and lie flat, which doesn’t allow proper absorption of vitamins and minerals.  This can lead to a host of other ailments, including fibromyalgia which I suffer from.

Since I’m not a big pill-taker, I prefer to find natural alternatives whenever possible.  This has led me to have a fascination with the link between food and wellness.  I’ve done some research on various therapies including The China Study, which is a plant-based vegetarian diet said to reverse heart disease and cancer.  The Gerson Therapy, a very controversial cancer therapy that involves heavy juicing, coffee enemas and the like.  I’ve also looked into Ayurveda, veganism acupuncture, etc.  I’m not endorsing or following any particular protocol, but I like learning about different approaches.

At our house, we strive (don’t always succeed) to eat organic and local products, within the balance of a fast-paced lifestyle, and a love of good restaurants and eating out.  Yes, that means we eat fast food sometimes.  I’ve had great success with keeping my symptoms at bay when I’m eating well.  This means clean, mostly organic whole foods.  However, I’m not doing so well with that this year and wow, can I tell the difference!

So … when Lulu was diagnosed with cancer, it made me question a lot of things including the food she eats.  She’s a notoriously picky eater, and has battled our food choices since I can remember.  I’m sure having an undiagnosed infected appendix affected her digestion as well.  I’m sure it wasn’t any one thing, but I’d like to try control the elements I can to help her heal.

That being said, people have suggested we try some alternative therapies including heavy vitamin therapy, juicing, and even ingesting silver as of recent.  I like my alternative therapies to have science backing them up, but with the amount of free-floating information out there, it’s more than confusing.  What I know for sure is that Lulu’s cancer was so fast moving there was NO WAY we would ever consider an alternative therapy.  If we hadn’t gotten her started on chemo immediately, she wouldn’t be here today.  Within a week after diagnosis, her bone marrow had been so overloaded with leukemic blasts that she couldn’t walk and was in extreme pain.  Do I wish I could give her some carrot juice and a coffee enema to cure her?  YES!  But the science simply isn’t there.  Do I hate giving her toxic medication every single day that may cause long-term harm to her?  YES!  Do I worry she won’t be able to conceive?   That her OCD is mostly caused by the drugs?  That she may never be the same little girl we had before?  You guessed it, yep.  It’s awful feeling like you are poisoning your own child with the very thing that is saving them, knowing there is no alternative to treat her.  Aside from horrifying cancer itself, it’s devastating to see children die from the side effects of the drugs, not the disease.

What I hope for the future of medicine is that we can help fund studies to incorporate some less toxic alternatives into cancer treatment.  Nutrition related or not.  It’s not simple, it’s tragically difficult, and I truly believe in the sincerity of our caregivers. I’m not preaching, but I am wishing, hoping and believing.

We’ve been honored to find some brilliant scientists right here in our own state that are doing just that.  Yesterday, we donated the $3000 from Lulu’s lemon-aid stands to The Blood Research Institute.  They are on the brink of a huge discovery, which could make enormous strides towards a cure, and in reducing toxins during treatment.  We know that our donation is small compared to what they need, but we hope it will inspire others to do the same.  With kids like Lulu (Love 4 Lulu), Bo (Go Bo Foundation) our new friend Emma Rose (Emma Rose, A patient Helping Patients) and others, these gestures can add up to some real change.

Who knows, maybe in the near future we will take our chemo with a carrot juice chaser?


a.l.l. of us

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  1. yourothermotherhere

     /  November 20, 2012

    I hope there is a blanket cure for cancer soon. I am a survivor of throat cancer and right now my oldest sister is dying of cancer of the plasma cells. They say that 1 out of every 2 people will get cancer now at some point in their lifetime. I think that is going to go up to every single person with all the toxins we put into every aspect of our lives. I worry now about Japan and the reactors leaking radiation even now into the oceans, air and soil. Eventually that is going to affect everyone with cancer. How sad that we have poisoned the Earth and ourselves in the process.

    All the best for you family.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m so sorry to read about you and your sister. Cancer is an ugly beast. A blanket cure would be a dream come true! I certainly don’t have the answers, but I hope posing the question will inspire more questions, and solutions that involve prevention, modern medicine and continued research on alternatives.
      I wish you a good holiday, and most of all, health to you and your family.

  2. I hope that the future of medicine is more integrative. We know that diet and exercise can contribute to good health and that some nutritional supplementation (i.e. viatmins) can prove effective. I don’t think that one branch of health care, natural or conventional has all the answers, but I think that these two sides can learn from each other and thus offer the best of both worlds to patients.

    And a little PS for you my gluten free buddy. Almond flour with an egg mixed together and pressed into a pie crust is a great alternative ro wheat flour pie crusts…think pumpkin, I’m just sayin’. Big hugs and happy holidays to you and your family!

    • That really is the perfect word: Integrative. I wish I would have put it in my post! It’s true. There are so many ideas to explore, and I wish I could have addressed them all! So true too, that no one idea has all the answers.
      Of course you are gluten free too, my sister from another mister! I’ll try that pie crust for the holidays. Thanks Steph, happy holidays to you and yours!

  3. Amy

     /  November 27, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your very personal perspective on such a sensitive and heated issue for many. You are brave, honest and articulate and I am proud to be your friend.

    • Sensitive and heated are perfect words to use here! Thanks for your support, and your enduring friendship Amy. I adore you!

  4. Bobbie Ruehling

     /  December 1, 2012

    Here’s my thoughts on this horrible subject, I myself have cured myself from a different disease not cancer but a bad one. I did this by eating organic foods. I figure that if I get rid of all the chemicals and preservatives from my body I’m one step ahead because I won’t get the double load of chemicals if I ever do get cancer. Do you see what I mean. A person that eats today’s foods, GMO’s, chemical fertilizers, preservatives, growth hormones, need I go on. They already have all that stuff in their body and then it just gets overloaded with more from the medicines they have to take to save their lives. It’s a hard decision to make. I’ve been looking into organic methods to cure cancer but like you say there is no proof. I

    • Hi Bobbie,
      Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I’m thrilled to learn that you cured yourself naturally! I agree that this is a wonderful preventative measure. We too, do our best to eat in the same way. I hope there will continue to be much more research into natural medicine that will prove a valid alternative to chemotherapy within our lifetimes. I truly, truly do!
      Continued good health to you,
      T. Marie


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