Green drinks, chemo and my aunt’s journey
In the summer of 2004 my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a total of 8 tumors and they were growing in size each week. Doctors told her that surgery followed by an intense schedule of chemo were her only options.
This was the first time that anyone so close to me had been diagnosed with cancer. I was a little sacred, but I have to admit, I was also a little excited.
Since August 2001 I had been eating an exclusively raw food diet. I wasn't sick, I just wanted more energy, mental clarity and better skin. And boy did I get it! What I also got was an opportunity to see first hand how much of a difference diet can make for individuals who have a chronic or degenerative disease. My college roommate, who had really bad Asthma from the time he was a little kid, started eating raw with me and in less than 4 months his Asthma mysteriously disappeared. He also lost about 60 pounds of extra weight and got rid of at least two different types of allergies. His doctors couldn't believe or explain Mihir's transformation. They gave him the standard, "We have no clue what's up, but hey, if it works for you then keep it up!" It was then that I knew I was onto something powerful.
If the right attitude combined with a raw food diet helped Mihir with his asthma, what possibilities were in store for my aunt Hema?
Hema was well aware of my self-healing and raw food escapades. On our second conversation about her diagnosis she put all her cards on the table. "I have to live. I have to be strong and I have to thrive. Not just for my spirit, but for Neer and Namir (her children). I have to do this and I'm willing to get unconventional. I'm still going to go through with surgery and chemo because that's the doctors plan. But I want to make healthy eating and spirituality my plan. Will you help me?"
That was the first time in my young life that I had been asked of something so grand. But without hesitation I replied with a big fat, "Yes! Let's do this!"
A central part of Hema's healing journey revolved around a green drink. Very similar to the one Kris made for Dr. Oz on the Oprah show. For the first month after our conversation, in addition to eating exclusively raw meals, Hema was drinking two 8 ounce green juices a day. She was rocking and rolling! If this Crazy Sexy Cancer blog had been out then, she would have been on this page lighting up the comments with little tid-bits of how great she felt.
Four months into the plan Hema was doing amazing. She had already gone through one surgery (with an excellent and speedy recovery) and was now gearing up for chemo.
Out of the entourage of doctors that my aunt rolled with, it was the Oncologist who worried the most about her diet and specifically the raw greens. His biggest concern was bacteria. He was worried that an infection could occur while her immune system was vulnerable. He did his best to educate my aunt about the risks, but she was steadfast! After doing her own research and talking to a few raw food friendly docs, Hema new first hand that 1) the greens contained little to no bacteria and 2) staying raw and drinking her green juice would speed up her bodies ability to heal from the drugs.
Hema also took precautions to make sure that her food was totally free of anything that could harm her system:
* She bought only organic greens: Conventional and non-organic produce is more likely to contain bacteria because it has a greater chance of being grown next to conventional animal farms, (also known as factory farms).
All of the recent spinach-ecoli incidents occurred at non-organic farms that shared water with factory farms. Organic farms have very strict restrictions on how close they can be to conventional farms. For that reason organic produce is safer, better for the environment and better for your health.
* She called upon the power of hydrogen peroxide: Everyday Hema added a half a cup of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide (it is very important that it is food grade and NOT the stuff from a drug store) into a big sink and washed her vegetables in it.
Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, is a strong oxidizer and kills bacteria in a fast and safe manner. It is multi-purpose and has been used for many years by people in the health community as a non-toxic cleaner, mouthwash, toothpaste and vegetable soak. Before you start using it though, you may want to read up on the power of H202. A great book is Hydrogen Peroxide: Medical Miracle by William Campbell Douglass.
Chemo Session 1: Hema's oncologist at Lankenau Hospital (just outside of Philadelphia) reluctantly agrees to her staying on a raw diet, but is happy she is taking precautions. He gives her drugs to take to counter the nausea and vomiting that many people feel after chemo. Hema reluctantly takes them, but notices that aside from some slight discomfort, she feels fine.
When her oncologist called the next day to check-in, Hema shares that she has no nausea, hasn't vomited and actually feels okay - a little tired, but still okay. He's amazed! Hema even tells him that she's thinking about chucking the aftereffect drugs starting tomorrow. He doesn't think it's a good idea, but at this point is open to new possibilities.
Since my aunt anticipated that her recovery would be much faster than what most cancer patients experience, she opts for a speedy chemo routine. Session after session her diet stays the same and her green drink recipe taste better and better. Which is good, because it becomes tougher for her to stick with the routine as the chemotherapy continues. The chlorophyl and alkalinity from the green juice and raw diet encourages the body to continuously detoxify. And since the chemotherapy drugs are quite toxic, she goes through spurts of not wanting to drink her green juice. But Hema sticks it out. Her hair still thins and Hema has her rough days emotionally, but overall the doctors are amazed at her recovery and can't believe her blood work.
Fast forward 4 months and Hema is still feeling amazing. More importantly her spirit is thriving. She no longer feels at the mercy of a disease, she is in control and now sees cancer as exactly the thing she needed. It opened her eyes and become the calling that led her to drop all of her old stories. Stories of why her life was or wasn't a particular way and how she wasn't in control. Now Hema is at the driver seat and totally loving the ride.
At around the 1 year mark Hema receives some fantastic news. Her cancer is officially in remission. We throw a little raw food party to celebrate!
Fast forward to today, February 2008 and Hema is still great. Her diet has stabilized at around 80% raw food and 20% vegan cooked food. And of course, she still has her daily green drink. Cancer is still one of the best things that ever happened to her.
Thanks for being the crazy, sexy woman that you are Hema, I love you very much.
Dhrumil Purohit is team lead and editor of welikeitraw.com, a blog about the transformational power of raw food
Extra Special Guest Blogger (and cherished pal) Dhrumil Purohit
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Posted by cancer cowgirl xo at 9:40 PM