No one covets the thought of having cancer, or living with someone who does. If you find yourself in this situation, your hope for the future may be undermined by thoughts of death, despair, depression, and hopelessness. You may withdraw from life, and be unwilling to discuss the situation with friends, neighbors and relatives. Once you were in control of your life, but now you aren’t: you are forced to depend on medical resources, and hope against hope that a breakthrough will come.
I assume you have read my previous blogs, and know that we lived through that chapter of life. Though Fran and I knew of my son’s condition though chemotherapy, which was a vicarious awareness, we saw him deteriorate into a thin, bald, lethargic soul. None of this was good.
My ongoing questions during this season of life were, what caused it? Could it have been prevented? Could we (or JD) do anything to help cure his situation? Short answer: we were caught off guard, and did little except pray and take him to his weekly chemo sessions.
So, if you find yourself in this situation, what should you do?
There are many products and publications which can gave you hope: consider reading Suzanne Somers’ book, Knockout, and Tanya Harter Pierce’s Outsmart Your Cancer. You will learn there are physicians who have successfully treated patients for all sorts of cancers. Some cancers can be cured, and this should be welcome news.
We did not have these resources when JD contracted cancer. Obviously, we sought treatment options which did not involve radiation or chemotherapy. During this same period of time, I was trying to rid myself of diabetes. The thought of losing my eyesight, developing neuropathy in my fingers and toes (and possibly facing amputations later in life), and living with a weak cardio system, weren’t what I had bargained for. All I read suggested that it was up to me to control the situation (was I supposed to enroll in med school at age 61, to learn how to control my diabetes?). As I read interesting books on diabetes, such as Julian’s Whitaker’s Reversing Diabetes and the authors of The New Glucose Revolution, the light slowly came to me – I needed a deeper understanding of physiology and biochemistry.
As fate would have it, my son visited with a lady who had beat cancer by changing what she ate. She learned that her pH was out of balance, and once she got her system on track (which took a long time to achieve, and after that, a long time before the cancer disappeared), she discovered “the cure” for cancer.
Our problem was, we didn’t know much about pH “balance”, and we opted for a quick fix (chemotherapy). That said, let’s examine what she was advocating.
There is no standard definition for what “pH” means, but let’s use this concept: pH measures your body’s “potential for hydrogen”.
- In chemistry “pH indicates whether a solution, fluid or compound is (a) acidic, (b) alkaline, or (c) neutral.
- pH can be measured in our bodies by testing saliva and urine or blood (pH strips are available so you can test yourself, using saliva or urine).
If you have a heavy concentration of hydrogen in your system, you are “acid based” (which promotes development of free radicals, which in turn can turn into cancer cells).
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; to be healthy, you should have slightly alkaline, oxygen-rich arterial blood (7.365 to 7.45 is ideal) – a reading of 7.0 is neutral.
If your body is rich in oxygen (indicating an alkaline based system), the oxygen neutralizes formation of acids which might prove to be harmful (acids do not stop the growth of free radical cells, which are the precursor to cancer; if you have a good intake of oxygen, the acids are neutralized, as are free radical cells).
Most Americans eat foods which leave us with an acid base systems, and acid is destructive. Fortunately, our bodies are chemical labs in action, so our systems combat over-acidity by taking existing calcium and protein from our bones, and possibly other places, so as to produce more alkaline. This neutralizes formation of acids, and for a season, our bodies will be in balance.
After the passage of time, if we do not keep our systems in balance,
- we become more acid based;
- our bone formation will be reduced and depleted;
- and we will lose calcium in our urine (which may lead to kidney stone formation).
Our proteins will breakdown, which in turn causes our muscles to waste away. Our systems will be unable to repair cells, tissues and organs fully, and age at an accelerated pace. More free radicals will be produced, and we will be subject to increased fluid retention, and so forth. None of this is good.
So how do we reverse this situation? We have to change what we eat.
Today’s American diet is built on foods that breed acid-base systems. You must learn what foods to avoid. Consider reading The Acid Alkaline Food Guide, by Dr. Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr., Squareone Publishers, © 2006. There is a list of about 70 pages of foods we eat, and the foods are rated as being either alkaline-forming or acid-forming. The first time I read through their list, I determined that I could not eat any food without running the risk of producing more acids in my system. To remedy this, my choices were limited: I would have to become a vegetarian, or I could eat more dark green vegetables, exercise more, and perhaps mix “green drink” powers with water (these green drinks are pretty nasty tasting; it’s easier for me to load up on kale, collard greens, and other vegetables I either like or can tolerate). So my solution was to eat more green vegetables and exercise more.
So what happens if you continue to eat processed foods, glucose producing foods (gluten rich breads, chewy pizza crusts, Krispy Kreme donuts, etc.), drink lots of Dr. Pepper and Cokes, and so forth? Your body will become an acid based system, which will cause harm in one form or another. Remember this, however: your body will do its best to rid itself of acid forming foods, through its filtering system
First, your lungs supply your body with much needed oxygen (as you breathe in), and dispel (exhale) carbon dioxide (the “burned” waste from your system – an inference might be made that aerobic exercise helps cleanse your system, because it requires lots of heavy breathing, which gives you a double dose of oxygen; in turn the CO2 expels the oxidized stuff you don’t need). Your job: exercise more.
Second, your kidneys filter unwanted sugars, and other waste products you don’t need (you rid your systems of sugar and other waste products through urine). Your job: drink lots of pure water, which is hopefully ionized or ozone rich. This will help keep your kidneys healthy, as well as supply your body with needed oxygen.
Third, your skin filters out other things, through perspiration (which is also produced through exercise).
Now the bad news, if you do nothing – here’s a partial list of what to expect with an acid based system:
- Being overweight
- Developing allergies
- Undue fatigue
- Mood disorder
- Blood glucose extremes (hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, or diabetes)
- Vaginal infections
- Respiratory problems
Most of us don’t like anything on the list. That said, you can control your pH balance. This doesn’t guaranty you won’t have problems, but if your pH level is in balance, you will be healthier for it.
There are quite a few books on how to “fix yourself”. Consider The pH Miracle for Diabetes, Robert O. Young, PhD, and Shelley Redford Young (or the pH Miracle, by the same authors); the Acid Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, Christopher Vasey; or The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet, an Innovative Program for Ridding Your Body of Acidic Wastes, Felicia Drury Kliment.
Where to start: Begin by buying a few pH strips, and test yourself to see what your pH level is. When you wake up in the morning, put one of the strips on your tongue. In 30 seconds the strip will change colors, and you will then compare the color on the strip with the color chart which comes with your testing strips. If it matches the color associated with “7”, then your pH is at a satisfactory level. If your pH level is 4 or 5, your system is acid rich, and is not in balance (your level should be at 7, which is halfway between 0 and 14). Conversely, if your level is 8 or 9, your blood and body fluids have more alkaline than they should.
As I conclude this part of the blog, let me tell you about JD’s treatment: he elected not to use the long term pH fix, which had to potential of ridding himself of cancer. Though he avoided radiology treatment, he was given 12 weeks of continual chemo treatment (described in the previous blog on the Big C), and thereafter, he slowly gained the weight he had lost. His hair grew back and is now about the same color as before, but it is curlier. He has given up caffeine (and Dr. Pepper), and watches what he eats (most of the time). He tries to eat “healthy”.
This is a test strip I used: note the color is somewhere between 6 and 7 (not particularly good). My BG (blood glucose) reading was not very good (112) when I tested it after checking the pH balance. Too many potato chips the night before.
This recipe uses kale, a dark, green vegetable (which will help your system to become more alkaline). Keep in mind that kale is high in fiber content. It is also a nutrient dense green food, which is alkaline producing.
Two years ago when we bought a Big Green Egg charcoal barbecue unit (and mortgaged our house to do so; they are not cheap; and yes, this is a joke), I agreed (after 46 years of marriage) to prepare all meats on the grill (we abandoned the propane Weber grill for the Big Green Egg). When we recently switched to preparing meats using the sous vide technique (described in the blog on Sous Vide), I continued to prepare the entrée as I had done when I barbecued at night. Fran continued preparation of salads and vegetables.
2 cups grape seed oil
1 bunch curly kale
2 Tbls minced shallots
1 tsp Dijon mustard
114th cup red wine vinegar
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp honey
3/4th cup olive oil
1 bunch Tuscan kale
½ cup almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup Pecorino Romano shavings
Cut kale into edible bite sized pieces.
Fry ½ the curly kale leaves in grape seed oil about 2 min. to make chips. Transfer to paper towel and salt. In shallow bowl, whisk shallots with next 4 ingredients. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt to taste. Mix the remaining curly kale with the Tuscan kale. Add enough dressing to coat leaves. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Just before serving, toss in the kale chips, cheese and almonds.