Skip's Cancer Journey
A Plant Based Lifestylediet Approach
I have been wanting to write this article for a while now. You see, I have, or had, Cancer; prostate cancer to be specific and the ‘doctors’ and specialists I visited all said I needed this or that treatment but I was “too fat” for surgery. Yea, I was pretty bad and my blood work was horrible so they gave me less than 2-3 years to live if I didn’t follow their ‘doctors orders’. That was back in 2010 and I was just 64 years old and getting ready to retire! Not the best way to enter retirement, heading to your casket.
Fortunately, my lovely wife, Nancy, and I had been watching a series on PBS or some station called “The Incurables” that told a series of stories of ordinary people who had ‘cured themselves’ of all sorts of deadly diagnosed diseases; mostly by holistic, natural methods. That got us thinking, if They could do it, why not me; and with Nancy’s help we started a period of intense research into Prostate Cancer and how/if anyone had survived without the diabolic surgery/treatments proposed for me.
Interestingly enough we found Hundreds of cases where ordinary people had, not only survived, but Thrived with their diseases and yes, even some with prostate cancer. That gave me/us some hope and our research continued. We found the Gerson Clinic, then managed by Charlotte Gerson, daughter of Max Gerson, who had refined her father Max’s approach to a holistic dietary approach to many diseases. The video is called “The Gerson Miracle” and is widely available. Then we discovered T. Collin Campbell and his video “Forks Over Knives” and they too offered a very similar dietary approach to many illnesses. This coupled with our other extensive research over several weeks, solidified my/our decision to ‘Go Plant Based’ and see what would happen.
Remember, I was too fat for surgery, lousy diet, horrendous blood results etc. I had nothing to really loose except my steak dinners! While daunting, when weighed against living or eating steak, I decided to choose LIVING. So out went ALL the meat, fish, dairy, eggs, derivatives and such. Yea ALL of it. We either gave it away or tossed it OVERNIGHT. Actually it took a couple of days because we had two full sized freezers and two commercial refrigerators. It pained me a lot but given my choices of Life or Death, not so bad at all.
Nancy and I then looked at the empty refrigerators and freezers and sort of said, “Now What?” so Nancy searched and found a cookbook by Robin Robertson called 1,000 Vegan Recipes. She opened it up and the first thing she said was: “There aren’t any pictures!”. But my darling girl kept on going and made a list and we hit the farmer’s market and grocery stores. We really had no clue what the hell we were doing but I kept telling us that this was it or I was gonna die; I didn’t want to just sit and wait.
So Nancy started on page one, recipe one of those thousand and we were OFF to the Recipe Races. Frankly, all that was a long time ago and I don’t remember every detail; I wrote a book that has my daily diary included but am too lazy to look. The thing I want to stress here is that I was Willing to DO Something. I also started an ‘extreme juicing’ regime, alternating a ‘green juice’ with a ‘carrot juice’ ever hour for eight hours every single day for several months to “Cleanse” my body. THAT was a lot of work; juicing all those carrots and green leafy things! It takes a LOT of spinach to make an 8 ounce glass of juice; not as many carrots. I got used to it and kept going and Nancy kept turning those pages, conquering one ‘vegan’ recipe at a time.
All this time our families truly thought I was CRAZY, but I had always charted my own path. I had started my own IT Consulting Company many years previously and been reasonably successful and no one ever understood what I did for all those companies across the USA, Canada, Europe and even Hong Kong. But I digress…
After several weeks of all this juicing and eating wonderful (who knew?) vegan meals Nancy was preparing, we both started to sort of feel ‘better’ with a bit more energy and we were even loosing weight. Nancy was 100% in this WITH ME, but not the juicing. After several weeks, these meals, well just started tasting better and better. Like our taste buds had evolved and they truly had. It takes about 14 days for your taste-buds to naturally be replaced and as they rejuvenated we began to Truly Taste our FOOD, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds contained in the marvelous meals Nancy was learning to prepare. This was getting GOOD!
After a few weeks, Nancy began to explore other sources of meal ideas from many venues. Online webs and YouTube and other videos we explored together. She mixed in other items from other sources as she continued to complete her way through Robin Robertson’s book. All the while I was drinking my juices every hour and we had developed a pattern in/around the kitchen. Every day we both were feeling better, more energized and continues to loose weight. Oh, I forgot to mention, that I had also begun taking twice-weekly yoga classes for the very first time and we both had begun walking our neighborhood when it was cool enough. I’m sure that helped!
As we continued to explore this seemingly miraculous lifestyle we came across a Caribbean cruise that featured an ‘All Plant Based’ section with speakers and a curriculum. It left out of Ft. Lauderdale, was a little pricey, but was an educational cruise so we decided to give it a shot. Besides it had T. Collin Campbell teaching and we loved his movie, Forks Over Knives! Now this was 2011, so we had been on this Gastronomic Adventure for about a year and ready to continue. We signed up for the “Holistic Holiday at Sea” leaving February 27th 2011 out of Ft. Lauderdale. Now we had been on cruises before, even took the whole family on a Disney Cruise a few years before but this one was different. It was truly going to be focused on Education, not just pleasure. So off we went.
That cruise was AMAZING and cemented our decision to completely follow a livelong Plant Based Lifestyle. We met so many wonderful people and heard so many wonderful educators. Some we are still in touch with. I often tell the story about most meals, where you sat with several other people (mostly couples) and the fist topic of discussion, after introductions, was “What are you dying from?”. It got to be sort of a standing joke but helped direct the discussion and support each other as most of the 450 people WERE dying of some disease, thought to be incurable or where the person had, like me, decided to refuse a traditional ‘treatment’ and give Plant Based Nutrition a try.
That was many years ago and we actually went on another Holistic Holiday at Sea a couple years later but sailing out of Miami. It had gotten so popular that they needed a bigger ship. We did visit a lovely lady who we had met on our first cruise at her home in Miami Beach. Wonderful time!
So my friend(s), this is my attempt to give a consolidated overview of how I am living With Cancer; as I never say I am cured. You see, I never returned for any treatment, or much of anything. Over the years as I change ‘doctors’ they usually want to run a lot of tests and as long as they are passive (no radiation) and covered by insurance, I go ahead. It is always fun to see their faces as they look at my older records, scan the new tests then scratch their heads and look at me; trying to figure out “Why the hell is he still alive???”. As much as I try to explain that Health is ALL about Nutrition and what you put in your body/eat, they refuse to accept that simple fact. They make little money from helping people eat better, avoid medications, treatments and crap; so have no interest in that approach.
Has it been easy? Oh Hell NO; not at first but NOW? Hell YES. It is just how we choose to live, eat and Thrive! So much cheaper too and we even grow a lot of fresh greens and veggies on our patio. Over the years I have built many web sites focused on a Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle with our main site being "Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living". Before I close, I must add that Nancy, who is now an accomplished and well known Plant Based Chef, fully reversed her severe (56%) arterial blockages; and again, those same doctors, just look funny, scratch their heads and can’t figure out how a 77+ year old woman can have such a healthy circulatory system! And we again just tell them, it is ALL ABOUT NUTRITION and a Holistic Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle-diet!
This book is Skip & Nancy's attempt to help others defeat disease (not just cancer) and gain/maintain a Healthy, Long Life by describing just HOW they did it and how their ‘protocol’ was developed over many years. This book covers the period from initial diagnosis to the successful healing a 10-year period and beyond.
This is my diary that I kept from the beginning of my cancer journey until 2019. I stopped the frequent entries because, well no one was reading them anyway and it was work to keep the web site up to date. Many folks wonder just ‘how I did it’ so this is a sort of blow-by-blow diary.
If you jumped here from the introduction,