Tag Archives: cancer

Binding up Broken Bones

Oh, come, Divine Physician, and bind up every broken bone.
Charles H. Spurgeon, C. H. Spurgeon’s Pulpit Prayers

Several of my friends invoked the Divine physician to bind up my broken bones recently through laying-on-of-hands healing techniques. I sustained three fractures in my left hand after falling off a galloping horse in mid-November. I am grateful to energy workers Brecka Burton, Mim Grace, Patricia Garry, Julie Loewenstine, and Laura Dailey.
On Monday the doctor seemed quite impressed with how well my hand was healing. With the type and location of the fractures, he often sees fingers balloon to enormous sizes. Mine never did. Also, the bruising had hardly been noticeable.
Along with the energy healing, I attribute this excellent progression to the following:
– An anti-inflammatory diet so I did not already have a lot of chronic inflammation to make it worse.
– Icing my hand faithfully the first three days after the injury, before I knew I had broken bones.
– Using arnica homeopathic ointment on my hand until I found out the bones were broken. Then I switched to comfrey cream.
– Taking arnica homeopathic pellets.
– Doing exercises several times a day once I was allowed to bend my fingers again.
Part of what inspired me was when my dad, Dr. Charles D. Bright, broke his wrist falling on ice decades earlier. He faithfully followed his recovery routine. He regained more use of his wrist than anyone else the doctor had seen in his practice.
As a writer, I depend on my fingers a great deal. I am grateful for his example and for the healing balm and guidance I received.
This week, a friend told me about a woman we both know who has cancer yet who is not taking care of herself. Her cancer is getting worse. This doesn’t mean if she took better care of herself, the cancer progression would be different. However, I believe self-care is important when our bodies need extra support. Asking for assistance from friends also is a good idea. They usually want to help anyway.
Getting help and doing all we can doesn’t necessarily mean we will get better, yet why not give our bodies every chance we can? It can only assist the Divine physician with binding us up in healing ways.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:
Before taking comfrey for broken bones, read about its uses and precautions here: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/comfrey

Source:
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) was an English Particular Baptist preacher. C. H. Spurgeon’s Pulpit Prayers, http://www.spurgeongems.org/chs_prayers.htm

IGF-I, the Key Factor in Cancer Growth

Note: I am largely off the internet at the moment. Guests have graciously offered blog posts that I believe will be of interest. Today’s post is by Robert Cohen, the NOTMilkMan. He heard my interview on the CBS NYC station’s Bob Salter Show and called me to connect. I love his sense of humor, though this post is scientific in nature.

By Robert Cohen

There are hundreds of millions of different proteins in nature, and only one hormone that is identical between any two species.  That powerful growth hormone is insulin-like growth factor, or IGF-I.  IGF-I survives digestion and has been identified as the key factor in breast cancer’s growth.

Women between the ages of 25 and 65 have been successfully targeted by the marketing representatives of the dairy industry’s milk promotion board. What the dairy industry neglects to advertise is the fact that cow’s milk contains a IGF- I.

If you believe that breast feeding “works” to protect lactoferrins and immunoglobulins from digestion (and benefit the nursing infant), you must also recognize that milk is a hormonal delivery system.  By drinking cow’s milk, one delivers IGF-I in a bioactive form to the body’s cells.

When IGF-I from cow’s milk alights upon an existing cancer…

“Human Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) and bovine IGF-I are identical. Both contain 70 amino acids in the identical sequence.”
– SCIENCE

“IGF-I is critically involved in the aberrant growth of human breast cancer cells.”
– Journal of the National Institute of Health

“Estrogen regulation of IGF-I in breast cancer cells would support the hypothesis that IGF-I has a regulatory function in breast cancer.”
– Molecular Cell Endocrinology

“IGF-I is a potent growth factor for cellular proliferation in the human breast carcinoma cell line.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“Insulin-like growth factors are key factors for breast cancer growth.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“IGF-I produces a 10-fold increase in RNA levels of cancer cells.  IGF-I appears to be a critical component in cellular proliferation.”
– Experimental Cellular Research

“IGF-I plays a major role in human breast cancer cell growth.”
European Journal of Cancer

“IGF-I has been identified as a key factor in breast cancer.”
The Lancet

“Serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in milk drinkers, an increase of about 10% above baseline but was unchanged in the control group.”
Journal of the American Dietetic Association

“IGF-1 accelerates the growth of breast cancer cells.”
SCIENCE

“Poor absorption of lactose may more than double the risk of ovarian cancer in women.”
– American Journal of Epidemiology

“Galactose is linked both to ovarian cancer and infertility…women who consume dairy products on a regular basis, have triple the risk of ovarian cancer than other women.”
– The Lancet

“Interest in the role of the IGF axis in growth control and carcinogenesis has recently been increased by the finding of elevated serum (IGF-I) levels in association with three of the most prevalent cancers in the United States: prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer. IGFs serve as endocrine, autocrine, and paracrine stimulators of mitogenesis, survival, and cellular transformation.”
– Journal of Cellular Physiology

“IGF-I reacts in a synergistic manner with estrogen, and plays a role in the growth and proliferation of ovarian cancer.”
– Journal of Clinical Endocrinology

For more, please visit http://notmilk.com/drharris.html

See also http://notmilk.com/drlarsen.html

Thriver Soup Thursday: Go Ahead–Walk on Water

So Peter went down from the boat and walked on the water, to come to Jesus.
Matthew 14:29, Christian Bible

peter jesus walking water copyOne night Jesus strides on the surface of a lake toward the boat containing his disciples. One of the passengers, Peter, also wants to walk on the water. For a short time Peter has the faith to move across the choppy surface. He steps completely outside his comfort zone, completely outside his way of perceiving the world, and does something extraordinary. He is truly alive for that brief moment.
I want to fully live my life, which is a longing that springs from years of deadly uterine cancer treatments and threats of hospice. This attitude has helped me face down many things I previously had feared, and to try new experiences my former self would have done anything to avoid.
Prior to 2009, I would never have considered driving in downtown Manhattan, New York. Especially during rush hour.
Well, in June I chose to drive through Manhattan to get to Long Island. After getting lost and rerouted, guess what time I pulled onto the Big Apple? 4 p.m. Just in time for rushing waves of traffic.
Ahead of me there was not a single accident on my route to the Queens–Midtown Tunnel. There were two.
My sister suggested I take a Zen approach and simply allow. So I did, settling into the fact it could take hours to traverse a handful of city blocks. Yet I also decided I was going to be something new, something different, something I had never tried before. I chose to be a bad-as_ behind the wheel.
My brother-in-law had demonstrated how to drive in Manhattan when he helped me get around for my visit to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center during 2009. Be pushy. Honk plenty. Don’t give any room. So I picked up his procedures.
I’d already blared my horn for several minutes to get my sister’s attention so she could find me sitting in a traffic lane. I didn’t budge out of anyone’s line of driving until she was safely buckled in next to me.
At one intersection I crossed only partway and sat in a traffic lane, blocking the perpendicular flow. A man in a big black SUV in an oncoming turning lane honked at me, trying to inch his way in front of my little gold Prius. I crept forward. He yelled at me through his open window and tried again to edge me out. As I was able, I moved forward a little more. This scene continued for several heated minutes.
Finally he gave up. He called me an as_-hole (worse than bad-as_), pulled back and passed behind me. “Oh, Ohio! No wonder!”
I chuckled. I had been enough of a bad-as_ to rouse swearing in another driver. I had stood up to a big bad truck with a driver who might well have rammed my little car. I had played with a Big Apple Boy and hadn’t let him cow me.
Like Peter, I followed someone’s example of living life more fully, and moved completely out of my comfort zone. I faced my fear. And I didn’t sink.
Buoyed by my little personal triumph, I trickled my car forward, eventually got through the tunnel, and made my way to our accommodations.
I had lived fully in those moments. I have no desire to repeat them, yet I have added fresh, new experiences to this adventure called life.
Thriver Soup Ingredient:
Is there something you’re afraid of trying, yet know you would be glad you did? Don’t focus on the fear. Focus on the end result—the feeling of satisfaction of having faced the fear and triumphed. I see this as a way of walking on water ourselves.
Sources:
Lamsa, George M. Holy Bible: From the Ancient Eastern Text: George M. Lamsa’s Translation From the Aramaic of the Peshitta. Harper & Row, May 8, 1985.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMielno_witraz_Piotr_chodzi_po_jeziorze.JPG

Thriver Soup Thursdays–Atop Notmilkman’s Recommended Reading List

Guest column by Robert Cohen of notmilk.com

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

There is a phrase which keeps reverberating within my mind: “The New Bible”. I am appropriately worried that if I refer to a new book by assigning such a reverential subtitle, I will antagonize some people who read only a single book in their lives, so I will change my review to “A New Bible” while still believing it to be one of the most, if not, THE most significant book ever written.

This past week, I read three books; Once a Cop by Corey Pegues, once a New York City drug-dealing thug who never got caught for his crimes, and became a police officer, rising to one of the highest ranking officials of the New York City Police department.

Five Presidents by Clint Hill, the secret service agent who was splattered with the blood of John Kennedy whose assassination he was unable to prevent.

Mary’s Mosaic, by Peter Janney, the son of a top CIA agent who gained access to convincing documentation regarding the killing of Mary Pinchot, JFK’s lover (confirmed by her brother-in-law, editor Ben Bradley of the Washington Post). Janney knew the woman quite well during his growing up years and was best friends with Mary’s son.

Finally, the point of today’s column. I have been learning from my fourth book of the week, and while the first three were fascinating and enjoyable reads, I’ve had to readjust my usual “publication attack” mode of “speed reading” to the “savor, enjoy, and digest every word” mode.

The book that I have just finished is Thriver Soup by Heidi Bright. I first heard Heidi promoting that book on the public access radio show of WFAN, New York’s largest-heard radio station. One Sunday 7:00 a.m. morning, host Bob Salter interviewed Heidi and I could not turn the show off and could not wait to read her book!

I heard of a new phrase recently: “Radical Remission”.

I read about a new cure recently: “Thriver Soup”.

I made a new friend recently: “Heidi Bright”.

You want to read and refer back to Heidi’s inspiring book in case a loved one (you are included in this group) ever becomes challenged by a cancer which requires banishment. As one book reviewer recently said:

“She’s written Thriver Soup with 250 tips for remission.”

I cannot put my finger on any one of those tips by labeling it more important than the others although the advice given on page 269 is brilliant, and a way to avoid a trap many victims fall into:

“If a person suggests something is a cure for cancer, skip it. If it truly cured cancer, everyone would know about it quickly enough”.

Although the greatest part of this book explores the spiritual, you must also demand the practical. If you should be diagnosed with a cancer, do not hesitate as others do. Instead, do what Heidi suggests on page 94:

“I think obtaining at least a second opinion-if not more-is essential.” On every step of her journey, Heidi insisted on three opinions. If and when insurance companies do not honor a request, “appeal your case”.

Reading the book in its entirety can turn a one-way journey to the land of cancer into a roundtrip from “hell and back again” to “health and healing”. This is a book to have and to hold for when it is needed, just as one might hoard healing medicines.

Unlike most books, which I end up giving to friends after finishing, this one is a keeper. My friends must purchase their own copy and can do so by saying hello to the author and picking up a copy of THE book:

http://www.ThriverSoup.com

or emailing Heidi: Heidi@ThriverSoup.com

I just know that I will continue sipping “Thriver Soup”.

* * * *

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

– Oscar Wilde

A Rosary for Healing

TS rosary webHail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Portion of a Hail Mary prayer, Western version

 

For the past nine months, my prayer life had succumbed to grief after losing my son.

Recently I visited with Vince and Connie Lasorso, owners of Whatever Works Wellness Center. Vince had written a special healing rosary prayer for me to use while I was in cancer treatment. The rosary is a necklace of beads used for meditative prayers. One Hail Mary prayer is said for each bead, and the beads are strung on Catholic rosaries in groups of ten. Those who pray the rosary use the beads to track where they are at in their prayer process.

Vince had expanded his rosary into a book about Mother Mary and the rosary. He talked about how persistent use of the rosary can take us into new areas of consciousness and can open us up to healing energy.

I badly needed this conversation. During cancer treatment, I had no energy for prayer. Then for years I poured intense prayer energy into my son Tristan, yet still lost him to a heroin overdose. Deeply discouraged, my prayer life had withered. Vince could tell—so he reminded me that for years people had been pouring their prayers into me, and here I am healthy with my third published book, Thriver Soup, to share what I learned about healing during cancer.

Synchronistically, my friend Gay had given me my first rosary as a Christmas gift this past year. It is beautiful—she had purchased it from an international healer from Brazil called John of God. The prayer beads are made with lavender-colored amethyst. Amethyst is believed to be sacred to the Buddha, so Tibetans make prayer beads from the purple quartz. The crystal has long been associated with healing.

Okay, time to return to prayer.

The next day, for the first time, I prayed the healing rosary Vince had developed for me years earlier, using the gift from Gay. Before I even finished, a call came in from a cancer patient wanting to know where I would next be presenting my talk about the ABCs of healing.

Mother Mary was already extending her healing blessings through me to a cancer patient. I only had to be available and faithful.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

The word “bead” comes from the old English noun “bede,” which means “prayer.” Prayer beads are used in most religious traditions. Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs use 108 beads; Eastern Orthodox Christians use prayer ropes with 100 knots; Muslims use 99 or 33 beads; Baha’is use either 95 or 24; Catholics use 59. Each number has significance, yet the main point is to meditatively pray using the garland of beads. For example, if you want to say ten Hail Marys, use ten beads. By moving your fingers from one bead to the next with each prayer you repeat, you don’t have to keep track of how many you’ve said; you can simply focus on saying the prayer from your heart. If you don’t have prayer beads and want something quick, tie knots in a piece of string to use for meditatively praying.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amethyst

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_beads

 

 

A Return to Exercise

… (Krishna) drove that best of chariots to a point between the two armies, in front of Bhishma, Drona, and all the rulers of the earth, and then said: “See, Partha (Arjuna), this gathering of all the Kurus!”

The Bhagavad Gita, 1:24-25

 

The Hindu god Krishna drove the best of chariots into battle. The chariot can be a metaphor for one’s body. If one’s chariot, or body, is not in the best condition, it can seriously hamper every aspect of one’s life.

I had let my chariot lose some of its fitness recently. My exercise life had succumbed to the excuses of grief after losing my son and the move into my new home. Later I listened to my guided visualization CD, “A Conversation with Dis-ease,” and received the message that it was time to let go of regularly walking for exercise due to a lifetime of issues with my toe joints.

Yes, they were excuses. My psychotherapist called me on it, then encouraged me, once again, to exercise regularly—preferably 150 minutes per week. I was only doing about 60. Time to ramp it up.

choco truffle webAfter I got home, I felt nudged to get my exercise for the day by walking to a nearby grocery store to pick up more onions. While in the store, I took a look at the clearance shelves in the back. I was shocked to find my all-time favorite chocolate-hazelnut truffles there at one third the usual price—expensive chocolates I had only ever seen in two other distant stores in town.

Was that nudge from my son to make sure I had these special Italian chocolates for celebrating Valentine’s Day? I’d like to think so.

I took home two bags of the sweet treats.

What a wonderful gift for following through and doing my part to get my chariot back in shape. Just in time to enjoy some luscious truffles for Valentine’s Day.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Exercise is important for numerous reasons. A common recommendation is 30 minutes of exercise five times each week. Some people use pedometers or download exercise apps on their phones. Some tips for getting started include parking at the far ends of parking lots, taking stairs if and when you can, or simply tensing and loosing muscles while lying in bed if that is what you can do.

 

What is your favorite form of exercise?

What is your favorite kind of chocolate?

Kindly Christmas

Those who act kindly in this world will have kindness.

Qur’an 39.10

I was in need of much kindness.

I was a single mother whose firstborn had recently passed away and whose only other child was spending Christmas with his father.

Dread filled my heart when I thought about the upcoming holiday. Christmas 2014 had seemed horrible enough. My 19-year-old had purchased a one-way ticket to hell years earlier–turning to substance abuse, most likely in part because of my end-stage cancer diagnosis in 2009–and he was dragging us along. We spent three long hours in a drug rehab facility. A thick blanket of pain hung heavily around each person as we ate, played bingo, and strained to make small talk. Anger, hurt, sorrow, fear, and powerlessness pervaded my being.

My son ended up doing what most heroin addicts do—he overdosed in June. Then a friend of his overdosed before Thanksgiving, bringing another cascade of grief.

What to do for Christmas this year? I wanted to avoid sobbing into a cup of tea all day. Lovely friends invited me to join them, and I am grateful, but it still would have been a horrible holiday. I knew I needed to get completely away from the memories for awhile.

Heidi by tree 1 webThen I had a conversation with one of my sisters-in-law, followed by an invitation to Seattle for the holidays.

It was perfect. I left a week before Christmas and stayed well into the new year to avoid emotional triggers. They piled my lap with more gifts than I have received in decades. My sister-in-law cooked amazing meals and showed me the treasures she had been collecting for a museum she plans to open in Astoria, Oregon, in June. I also disappeared into my deceased parents’ past, scanning hundreds of old family slides and transcribing German letters.

My brother and his family acted with great kindness, and I am so grateful. I actually had a really nice Christmas.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you know someone who has suffered a great loss, your kindness is deeply appreciated.

Special Delivery

Give thanks in all circumstances…

1 Thessalonians 5:18, Christian Bible, New International Version

 

A large package appeared on my front porch a week before Christmas. I hadn’t ordered anything, and didn’t expect any gifts from anyone.

lville stoneware web.jpgThe label included an unknown name above my address. Hmmm.

I called the delivery company, the former homeowners, the return address phone number. After two hours on and off the phone, the originating company representative told me the package was mine.

Excited, I cut through the tape and pulled out a large red stoneware container holding potpourri. It featured an embossed fleur-de-lis.

My son Tristan’s favorite color was red. Fleur-de-lis is French for the lily flower, which is used to symbolize resurrection. The Boy Scouts, an organization to which Tristan belonged for years, uses the symbol.

Was it somehow, through a series of small errors, sent to me by Tristan’s energy? No one can say for sure. My friend Kay, who lost her son, taught me to see these unusual events as signs from our loved ones. She would say, “Thank you, thank you, send me more.” Because she is open to the possibility and watching for it, she notices what others might readily dismiss, and she feels a precious sense of connection with and gratitude toward her son.

So I am going to accept this gift as if my son sent it to me and give thanks for this unusual and wonderful circumstance.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

If you have lost a loved one to cancer, watch for interesting and unusual signs that this person is communicating with you. If something happens, give your loved one thanks and ask for more.

Thriver Soup Article: Special Delivery, by Heidi Bright

Mary Celebrates Sarcoma

​Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.

Psalm 103: 1, Christian Bible, New International Version

 

Mary Connolly shares from her heart her journey through a devastating cancer diagnosis to celebrating sarcoma with a thankful heart.

At age 21, while still a college student, synovial sarcoma was found in her leg. Meanwhile, her sister was undergoing gamma knife surgery for a brain tumor.

Mary had surgery that left her unable to lift her right foot upward. She had to get her car modified with a left foot pedal. Away went all her beautiful, beloved shoes. That was just one of numerous challenges she faced, including in her relationships with family, friends, and potential boyfriends.

Mary turned these challenges into opportunities. Now when people ask about her foot brace, she uses that as an opening to raise awareness about sarcoma.

Mary’s faith played a huge role in her healing journey. Her book, Celebrate Sarcoma, is filled with her prayers and Bible verses reflecting her struggles with her understanding of God.

Eventually she came through to the other side of depression. Mary wrote, “I decided that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. Something that would not just benefit my family and close friends, but an even wider circle of people. I decided that I could be nothing but thankful for how the cancer brought about positive change in my life…. God has blessed me with a maturity and insight that many don’t have even after experiencing successful careers. For this I am grateful.”

Reflecting back on her experience, she writes, “As much as I have despised cancer for the havoc it has wreaked on me, I have reached a place where I can’t imagine my life without this experience and the journey on which it has set me. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, the relationships I have built, the experiences I have had—some that have brought tears of sadness or joy, others that have brought laughter or mourning.”

Through it all, Mary has reached a place where she can celebrate sarcoma. She looks forward to working with young adult cancer survivors.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

The sale of Mary’s book will benefit orthopedic cancer research at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. The book is available athttp://www.amazon.com/Celebrate-Sarcoma-Mary-Connolly-ebook/dp/B00Q9X5EHG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449889641&sr=8-1&keywords=celebrate+sarcoma .

Thriver Soup Article: Mary Celebrates Sarcoma, by Heidi Bright

Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back.

John O’Donohue

The soul of Patricia Moreira-Cali has been stirred into full life by a purple dragon known as leiomyosarcoma. It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and for women it usually starts in the uterus.

On April 23, 2013, Patricia’s uterine “fibroids” were found to be cancerous, and she began a perilous journey that continues today. She bravely talks about her first year after the diagnosis in her book, My Journey with the Purple Dragon. She goes into vulnerable detail about her emotional experiences and her search for a cure.

“Friends and family are not with you at all times of the day and night,” she wrote. “You are alone when the tears seem endless, when the sorrow is so painful that it’s hard to breathe, when the grief cuts through your core, when you long for the freedom to feel healthy, and when you are introduced to death, and somehow you befriend it.”

She experiments with a variety of complementary treatments while doing conventional chemotherapy. “I have no doubt that the treatment of cancer, and many other chronic diseases, requires a holistic approach,” she wrote. Among her choices were to visit John of God in Brazil, and she describes her experiences there.

Gradually, the reader witnesses Patricia’s inner transformation. “A new me is emerging, growing and flourishing, somehow,” she writes.

When she reaches the end of her first year of treatment, she finds an enviable place of serenity. “I have detached from much illusion, and I feel mostly at peace within.”

The book is self-published and could benefit from professional editing, yet overall it is a moving story of courage and a roadmap for others on the journey with cancer.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Profits from Patricia’s book sales go to leiomyosarcoma research and to support a poor child with cancer through her non-profit Helping Children Heal (HCH). Her book can be ordered at http://www.purpledragonjourney.com/order-now/

 

Sources:

Patricia Moreira-Cali, My Journey with the Purple Dragon: Living with a Rare and Aggressive Cancer. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2014:78,100, 105.

Thriver Soup Article: Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon by Heidi Bright