Healing Metastatic Cancer with Diet
By Janet E. Vitt, R.N., B.S.N.
As a practicing nurse since 1971, I knew how ominous my future appeared. My options included experimental “trial” chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, all of which were considered palliative since my disease was so widely progressed.
A second treatment was not an option. At this point, my primary care physician offered me an opportunity to investigate alternative healing. For as long as God allows me to remain here on earth, I will be grateful t to this physician for his openness to complementary methods.
By this time, my condition had rapidly deteriorated and my sister had taken charge of caring for me. She contacted Francois Roland, a macrobiotic counselor in the Cleveland area where I live, and he came to my home. Observing my face and the palm of my hands, Francois asked questions related to diet. I will never forget the words he said to me, “you could be healed.”
Francois didn’t promise a miracle cure, but he did give me hope. He told me it would be difficult and that many people who have cancer die, even on the diet. I listened to every word he said. I embraced the philosophy of being responsible for my own healing and again and again replayed his words-”you could be healed’- in my head.
Hospice was very much a part of my life at this time. I was using oxygen; I needed pain medication, cough medication, a wheelchair, and a shower chair; and I had signed my DNR (do not resuscitate) papers. I had told my two teenage sons that I would die and they were not to call 911 if I should stop breathing. The hospice nurses and social workers were wonderful in helping me. I didn’t realize how much forgiving I needed to do-of others and myself. I now know forgiveness is a big step in healing.
My parents came from Florida to be with me. I wanted to die in my own home, and they had every intention of staying until the end which we felt would be quick. My sister and eight of my dearest friends started cooking for me. (even my ex-husband was supportive and participated in the meal preparation.) Francois returned to my home and gave a cooking class to this group as well as to my physician. My sister completely gutted my kitchen of anything that remained of the Standard American Diet. She filled it with whole grains, beans, organic vegetables, , sea vegetables, bancha twig tea, umeboshi plums, and macrobiotic cookbooks.
Looking back, I think the main cause of my problems was cheese. I was obsessed with cheese. Not a day passed when I didn’t eat it. I loved cheese omelettes, I enjoyed cheese on hamburgers, and I added cheese to all my vegetables. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, after aerobics class, I would come and eat cheese and crackers. I was a cheese-a-holic.
My healing was very basic. Today I believe that the dietary fast that was induced by the chemotherapy treatment and the basic healing diet were both a great advantage in allowing my body to rid itself of toxins.
I had several episodes of discharging. First of all was a terrible odor of my skin and body. As a nurse, I knew the smell the body takes on when it approaches death. I feared that this was what was happening to me. I called my counselor and he recommended I start doing a body scrub. It was unbelievable what happened. As I scrubbed my body, a tan-colored film was present on the washcloths. This smell and film continued for almost 8 weeks.
Now my skin is clear and as when I was 18. The second discharge consisted of thick, white mucus from my throat and lungs. Even as I slept, this copious mucus continued to be released. My friends and sister continued to cook for me. It was an uphill climb. My lungs filled with fluid. My left lung collapsed and spontaneous fractures developed in several ribs. I was admitted to the hospital with dehydration. There were days that I didn’t think I could continue. But my family and friends continued to cook and encourage me. They gave me massages, prayed, and shared their lives. Ten months on the macrobiotic diet, exactly one year from my diagnosis, I was tumor free.
There were several positive side effects of practicing macrobiotics. The migraine headaches I suffered from for over 20 years were gone. The joint pain in my knees and ankles, which I attributed to playing tennis and growing old, disappeared. My restless nights of sleep and waking to go to the bathroom became a thing of the past. My physicians were amazed at my recovery. At the hospital, the Tumor Board met to compare the new scans with my originals and couldn’t believe they were taken from the same person.
It has now been three and a half years since my cancer was originally diagnosed. I am completing level III of the Macrobiotic Career Training Program at the Kushi Institute in Becket. I continue a macrobiotic lifestyle and teach other survivors the importance of taking responsibility for their healing. One of the oncologists who originally opposed me is now referring his patients to me for dietary advice and guidance. Without God, my family, friends, physician, and this beautiful lifestyle, I know I would not be alive today.
Source : One Peaceful World Newsletter, Winter 1999 issue.
Janet E. Vitt cooks now full-time for others and offers cooking classes in the Cleveland area. She can be reached at 893 Spicers Lane, Sagamore Hills, OH 44067, (330) 467-6739
For One Peaceful World subscription information, write O.P.W., Box 10, Becket MA 01223, or call (413) 623-2322. For information about the Kushi Institute programs, visit their web site – macrobiotics online at http://www.macrobiotics.org