After two years of sarcoma treatment, I had just used up my last chemotherapy option. Now what? I felt so screwed.
Five weeks later, when surgeon Patrick Ross operated, that bugger had swollen to 2.5 inches.
That’s aggressive growth.
I can’t tell from the surgical report if he even got clean margins. Who could, with such a dangerous location?
During my post-operation appointment, the nurse practitioner told me she’d seen situations like mine for thirty years. “You need to get back on chemotherapy or get ready for Hospice.”
My mouth went dry, my throat constricted, and my pulse raced. If the nurse was right, I would probably be dead within a few months.
OMG, NO… I had boys to raise and books to write and life to live.
I soon saw my psychotherapist, who witnessed and guided me as I allowed the terror to simply be in my body. Then it flipped into anger, and I stopped breathing, except for quick gasps. Finally, she returned my mind to the room. I shook and shuddered, then relaxed. My chest tingled and emotionally I felt nothing. Then I moved into peace.
Tai Chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso later pointed out to me how easy it is to slip into feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, emptiness, loneliness, and being forsaken. No one can face death with you—it’s a solitary assignment. A dark depression, induced by the chemicals of medicine and mind, can extinguish all faith.
“It’s during these times when one must look to the light,” he wrote. “Reliance on God can change your course at any second.”
He was right.
Despite the dire warning, I continued healing my life in every way I knew how, clearing out emotional garbage and removing what Vince called “bad thinks.” Generous and gentle people helped me every step of the way.
Ever since that terrible day in 2011, my scans have been completely free of any evidence of cancer. And I have also been completely free of all cancer treatment.
This month it’s the Perfect Ten (years)!
I find this truly miraculous, not only because of the deadly and persistent diagnosis I had, but also because I have remained healthy despite going through a divorce and losing my 19-year-old son to a heroin overdose in 2015.
Medical treatment bought me time. All the inner healing work I did, and my deepening connection with the Divine, kept me sane and safe.
I now offer what I learned through Cancer Survival Coaching. If you or someone you know would like a free initial consultation, feel free to call me at 513 444 0190.
I also will be speaking on “A Conversation with Dis-ease” at noon on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at the Body Mind Spirit Expo, Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati.
I look forward to connecting!
Are you looking for a little more guidance regarding cancer survival for yourself or a loved one?
Or maybe some suggestions for how to better manage a chronic illness?
I’ll offer short Cancer Survival Coaching sessions Sunday at the Universal Energy Expo, Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.
For a 50-minute session, including a discount on a copy of Thriver Soup, please feel free to contact me.
Sometimes I just want chips, dang it. Ever feel that way?
I don’t buy them except on rare occasions, so I make my own, thanks to a great tip Kathy Nace gave me a few years ago.
You can use pretty much any root vegetable. Add a leek, olive oil, salt and pepper, and it gets delicious.
All root vegetables are buried treasures, virtual storehouses of potassium, vitamin C, and other minerals. I don’t think I’d get any of those goodies from a bag of chips.
I mixed them in a bowl with olive oil. I am very picky about my oils. The seals on this bottle’s label tell what I look for when at the grocery store. You might have to hunt to find a bottle showing the California Olive Oil Council Certified Extra Virgin seal on the left of this label.
I added salt and pepper. You can try adding a variety of things to change up the flavor–herbs like thyme, spices like cumin, and garlic is yummy … this time I just wanted something quick and simple.
I roasted them for about 30 minutes, stirred, and roasted for another 20 or 30, until crisp-tender.
Source: Thriver Soup, pg. 143-144.
Heidi Bright of ‘Bright Concepts’:
“Exhale slowly through your right nostril”
When I feel good, I find it much easier to eat nutritious foods. When I feel like crap, I am drawn to crappy food to self-soothe, but it always backfires and I end up feeling worse. One way to circumvent this tendency is to allow myself a small amount of the junk food — like a small handful […]
Valentine’s Day gives rise the urge to eat sugary treats. Unfortunately, processed sugar causes inflammation, which is not good for those dealing with cancer.
Here’s a satisfying way around the sugar shackles that I enjoy. It’s naturally sweet, creamy, quick, easy, nutritious, and even color-coordinated.
And best of all, it can help fight cancer.
All it takes is a high-speed blender with a pusher, some frozen red berries, and a banana.
I consider my high-speed blender a vital part of my anti-cancer lifestyle. I use mine daily for green smoothies, and sometimes I’ll use it three times in one day. I am fortunate that my brother Walter gave me a Vitamix after my diagnosis. I believe using it provides my body with access to fresh, vital nutrients I might not get any other way.
Red berries are nutritional powerhouses. They boost the immune system and provide cell-protecting antioxidants. Raspberries and strawberries contain especially high amounts of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that interferes with cancer development. 
Bananas contain vitamin B6 (good for dealing with neuropathy), fiber, potassium (especially important during chemo, I found), magnesium, vitamin C, and manganese.
Cut your peeled banana in half and stick both halves in the bottom of your blender.
Measure out 2 cups of frozen berries and pour them on top.
Turn on your blender and use your pusher to get the fruit to mix.
Viola! A delicious, sweet, creamy, frozen dessert for Valentine’s Day.
 Thriver Soup, pg. 117
My father liked to say that scars are signs of a life well lived. As an Eighth Air Force B-17 navigator during World War II, he would know. He flew 32 missions over Europe, well beyond the “Lucky Bastard Club” level of surviving 25 missions.
I must have lived my life really well because I’ve got lots of scars to prove it. I have a long one on my bikini line from a C-section. Eleven years ago it got a connecting scar that runs all the way up to my sternum, a life-saving gift from my first cancer surgery.
I look like I have a big anchor on my belly. It reminds me of medieval anchoresses, who lived in deep seclusion to seek out their greatest possible happiness. My anchoress status bought me not only life, but a whole new life that includes deep and growing joy. And the scars don’t have to limit me or weigh me down anymore.
What to do about all that internal scar tissue? I have lost several non-essential organs and am lucky to still have my bladder. But my insides are packed, nevertheless, with loads of scar tissue.
I found the answer in fascia (body-wide connective tissue) release, which involves compression and then extension of scar tissue. My practitioner is Lauren Clark Cadman, who I met at a HIME wellness event in Cincinnati two years ago.
At the time I was looking for another option for healing my hand that had been broken in three places after falling off a galloping horse. Physical therapy was unable to help me with the long-term inflammation and swelling. I could not curl my hand, and typing was a painful issue—especially because writing is my “thing.” Lauren cleared it all up in eight sessions and I regained full, pain-free use of my hand again.
I decided to let her work on my abdominal scar tissues. I learned that during each session, it’s best to lie quietly, breathe deeply, and listen intently to my body while she’s working.
Recently she was compressing around my bladder. While she held one spot for a long time, I saw an image of a donkey nose. I chuckled and told her what came to me. As I talked, the scar tissue relaxed and let go. It was being stubborn like a donkey until it was recognized and given the attention it wanted. Then it no longer needed to hold on so tight. I could feel blood flow going down to my toes, loosening up more tissue.
During my most recent session, she was again working around my bladder and intestines. The right side of my body gave a big twitch. After the session, I went to my car and soon found myself crying. I cried off and on for the rest of the day. I understood more deeply how emotional pain is stored in the body, and it’s this kind of pain that can create digestive issues and chronic dis-ease. Lauren quotes a common saying that “the issue is in the tissue” because the subconscious mind stores painful memories in fascial tissue. It’s a way for the brain to protect us until we can safely process our feelings. When we are no longer in fight or flight mode, the body is able to let go of the pain. Crying is a normal and healthy result of this treatment.
I’m not expecting the visible scar tissue on my skin to disappear, but the internal holding is letting go, giving me more space on every level.
I now have more freedom of movement in my entire body–also in part because of practicing tai chi daily during the past couple of years. I used to be much more stiff and had to put a lot of effort into getting in and out of a saddle. Not anymore.
I ain’t done yet, though. This week I woke up from a dream in which I was taking the wooden covering off a mummy. Oh no, my cover’s been blown! More wrappings of myofascial scar tissue in my abdomen need to be released.
It’s time, I’m ready, and so is my body.
Anchor’s away! I’m sailing into my bright new life with good health.
Perhaps a good defense against Covid-19, and cancer, is a good offense: reduce inflammation in the body. https://thriversoup.com/2020/05/09/protecting-from-covid-19/ Here are my first ten ways, all found in my book, Thriver Soup.
#1 Tart Cherries
“Tart cherries are high in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 124
“The flavonoid #quercetin ‘has demonstrated anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Quercetin turns the twelve milligrams of vitamin C in the apple into the equivalent of 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C.’”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 114
#3 Moving Our Bodies
“Moving our bodies can help balance our hormones, reduce blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, decrease fatigue, protect our immune systems, and reduce the risks of recurrence.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 172
“Blueberries are high in flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 117
“Curcumin works against cancer development in at least ten different ways, affecting each stage of the disease. It offers powerful antitumor, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the immune system. It blocks the formation of blood vessels to tumors while promoting the flow of blood to wounds. Turmeric intensifies the anti-cancer activity of other plant-based nutrients, especially green tea and black pepper. It enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 119
#6 Bay Leaves
“Bay leaf contains parthenolide, shown to slow the appearance and growth of breast tumors in mice in a Russian study. This anti-inflammatory is a potent anti-oxidant.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 127
#7 Citrus Fruit
“Citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory flavonoids and stimulate the detoxification of carcinogens by the liver.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 124
“Pomegranates are full of polyphenols, are anti-inflammatory, contain antioxidants, and have other anti-cancer components.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 124
#9 Coriander Seeds
“Coriander seeds appear to relieve constipation as well as help prevent colon cancer. Their anti-inflammatory properties protect against nerve damage. They also might lower blood sugar and increase the release of insulin from the pancreas.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 125-6
#10 Flax Seeds
“Flax seeds are a rich plant source of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, and of lignans, which can retard the growth of cancerous cells. Researchers found that women who consumed the most lignans had the lowest risk of breast cancer. Lignans also appear to enhance the benefits of the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen. Flax seeds need to be ground and immediately consumed for humans to gain access to their nutrients. Eating cereals and chips containing flax seeds probably won’t provide the benefits for which you might be looking. They might, however, provide more fiber, which is useful.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 126
Almost every disease in older adulthood is made worse by inflammation in our bodies, according to Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice University. 
Inflammation appears to play a role in Covid-19. This virus turns deadly when the body overreacts to the invasion and creates a “cytokine storm.” According to Randy Cron, M.D., Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Cytokines are inflammatory immunologic proteins that are there to fight off infections and ward off cancers… But when they are out of control, they can make you very ill.” 
Therefore, perhaps a good defense against Covid-19, and cancer, is a good offense: reduce inflammation in the body.
In addition to my 26 tips for improving immunity to help prevent contracting the virus (which you can find on my blog, all from my book, Thriver Soup), I will next be offering dozens of tips for reducing inflammation in our bodies to help us all stay a little healthier.
Here is a primer on inflammation, which is one of hundreds of reflections I offer in Thriver Soup:
“When threatened by wounds, irritation, or infections, cells inflame to assist with the transition back to health. A molecule called nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kB), which normally resides in cell cytoplasm, moves into the cell’s nucleus (hence the name ‘nuclear factor’) and generates redness, heat, swelling, and pain. When the body heals, the NF-kB molecules return to the cell cytoplasm.
“NF-kB, however, also provokes the genes involved in creating chronic inflammation, which generally does not help the body heal. Instead, long-term heat and swelling becomes an open invitation to cancer. One-sixth of all cancers are directly linked to chronic inflammation. Most, if not all, cancers have unusually high levels of active NF-kB. This protein is considered their missing link. Researchers, for example, found that NF-kB regulates the inflammatory cascade necessary for breast cancer cells to proliferate and metastasize.
“Fortunately, inflammation can be smothered through diet and supplements. NF-kB can be suppressed by phytochemical-rich spices, vegetables, and fruit. Antioxidants can block the proteins so they don’t move into cell nuclei. Vitamins C, D, and E, curcumin (found in the spice turmeric), the herb ashwagandha, pomegranate extract, garlic extract, ginger root, green tea, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and isoflavones found primarily in beans can be effective cellular firefighters. I found such a diet helped reduce my discomfort during treatment, decreasing my need for pain medications.
“When brought back under control, NF-kB provides the body with important healing mechanisms…. Keep the chronic flames doused with an anti-inflammatory diet to help preserve your internal landscape.
“Thriver Soup Ingredient:
“Ask your doctor to measure inflammation markers in your blood (C-reactive protein and albumin). ‘Patients with the lowest level of inflammation were twice as likely as the others to live through the next several years,’ according to long-term studies by oncologists at the Glasgow Hospital in Scotland.
“Talk to your oncologist about what anti-inflammatory foods and supplements work well with your treatment choices.”
Thriver Soup, Pg. 174