This blog is a description of the alternative protocols I have used to treat my lymphoma and avoid chemotherapy, it is not a prescription or recommendation for what another should necessarily do. I’m writing about my personal experience so people know that there are successful alternative methods for treating lymphoma other than chemotherapy. There are numerous books on this subject, such as Suzanne Somers book, Knock Out or the book Fighting Cancer by Robert Gortheir, MD, Ph.D and Erik Peper, Ph.D. Both of these books were recommended to me, and I have read them.
Please read Dr. Diane’s story, this tells my personal story of multiple brain injuries and Lyme Disease. What it does not include is my history of Epstein Barr virus in college or my bout with H. Pylori Bacteria. I did write a blog on that and how cranberries really helped me to feel better.
On my website, the story ends in May 2014 when I received the great news that my brain tumor (Meningioma) had not grown. This continues to be true! I directly attribute this to all I do to take care of myself through my brain rehabilitation program and a brain healthy diet. Alternative methods are viable (when done under the guidance of an experienced physician) and it can be a great relief to avoid or minimize the nasty side effects of many common drugs and procedures.
Brain surgery was recommended, however I chose NOT to have brain surgery because it involves general anesthetic that affects the brain’s cognitive functioning. For a person with no prior brain injury of any type (including concussion, stroke, MS, Parkinson Disease, Autism, ADD and ADHD) the effect of cognitive impairment from anesthesia can last from a few days to over a month. For a person with any type of brain injury, the effects can last for months, years to indefinitely, resulting in what is seen as dementia. I personally have seen numerous patients diagnosed with dementia that had a prior history of brain injury, and had an operation that involved general anesthesia.
Personal Decision about General Anesthesia
Having seen these results and conferring with my neurologist and neurosurgeon about the possible long term effects, I decided not to have brain surgery for my brain tumor.
Journey continues: Coping with the Unexpected
In my blog: Blast Injury: Coping with the Unexpected I shared that in May of 2014, an MRI found a tumor on my liver that indicated the possibility of liver cancer. I dismissed this at the time thinking it was a benign growth and was willing to watch and wait. In November 2015 I had another MRI and my doctors insisted that I have a biopsy, which I did on December 22nd. The results showed I had lymphoma, yet one of the strangest forms ever seen. It was so strange that a second biopsy was done on February 19, 2016.
The results of both biopsies were almost identical. I did have lymphoma, however my presentation was unusual, to say the least. If you look up the definition of lymphoma, it is a blood cancer of the lymph system, which includes your lymph nodes and spleen, none of which I had. I had a tumor on my liver. This type of lymphoma would be called a primary hepatic lymphoma, which in and of itself is extremely rare. Then if you did further research on lymphoma you would find there are T cell and B cell lymphoma and of the latter there are specific Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Any of these types can be either slow growing or aggressive (meaning fast growing.) The usual situation is a person with one of these presentations. It is extremely rare to have more than one type of lymphoma being presented, however I did. I read both the December and February pathology reports. What they clearly showed is that I had a tumor on my liver with 4 types of lymphoma with the majority being aggressive. My oncologist wrote the following to me:
“This lymphoma looks aggressive under the microscope, but has acted slow growing. It is similar, but not the same as Hodgkin, treated a little differently. I guess you could say that this is a primary hepatic lymphoma because it is primarily in the liver, but that is not a specific entity.”
Both the oncologist at Beth Israel Hospital and my current oncologist at Dana Farber recommended chemotherapy. The oncologist at Beth Israel recommended a six month regimen that would have put me out of work and required a caretaker for the whole duration. The oncologist at Dana Farber recommended a less intensive, yet highly effective method of chemotherapy, called CHOP. In both situations, I declined treatment, because I’m keenly aware of the side-effects of chemotherapy that affect cognitive functioning, often called “chemo brain.”
Personal Decision about Chemotherapy
I had to make a quality of life decision. Many chemotherapy patients I know have experienced months of cognitive (memory, thinking, judgment) problems after their regimens. I lived with these symptoms for almost 7 years as a result of my initial brain surgery and concussion, as well as with subsequent concussions and Lyme Disease. I had NO choice in those situations. Since there was NO doctor who was willing to say I would not have some form of dementia from the chemotherapy, I chose not to risk such an experience again. Yes, the chemotherapy might stop or cure my lymphoma, but I might not be able to function again: I might not be able to write another blog, see patients, or remember my children and grandchildren. I had reached the point where quality of life was far more important than the quantity of years lived.
Other Methods that are working: Plus Hypnosis
It dawned on me that maybe what I was doing for my brain injury, Lyme Disease and brain tumor might be keeping this aggressive cancer growing slowly or not at all. I told my oncologist that I wanted to continue what I was doing for the above condition along with doing hypnosis. I suggested this since I’ve been using hypnosis for over 38 years with cancer patients. In fact, I’m published in the Handbook of Hypnotic Suggestion and Metaphor for the use hypnosis in the treatment of cancer. My oncologist had never heard of its use, yet agreed to my program, which I called my “Concoction.”
I asked him if I had chosen chemotherapy how would I know if it was working. He said by a PET scan. I asked could we do the same for my treatment, and he agreed.
PET Scan results
I’ve had two PET scans since my diagnosis. The first shows stage 1 with the tumor and cancer only on the liver and nowhere else on my body. The second shows the same results with a slight decrease in the tumor. This decrease came as a result of absolutely no chemotherapy, it is due solely to my method of treatment (aka my “concoction.”) My oncologist said my next appointment for a PET scan was in 6 months and a blood test in 3 months. They were very surprised, and I was definitely a happy camper, doing a happy dance.
My Treatment Program for My Lymphoma
This is not a recommendation for anyone else, yet I know it has worked for me.
I start my day with a 4 oz. glass of Essiac tea from Haverhill, MA on an empty stomach. Then I take one 8 oz. glass of lemon juice along with blue green algae (Mind) and (Body) by New Earth along with Probiotics, Ultimate Flora 100 Billion – Flora 2-14- by Innate. I follow this with
2 oz. of Organic Elderberry Juice from either Maine Medicinals Inc. and/or Honey Gardens. I wrote a blog about the benefits of elderberry syrup. This is followed by 2 oz. of Ningxia Red by Young Living Oil and 2 oz. of Siberian Pine Nut Oil- Extra Virgin- by Siberian Tiger. Then, I take a variety of Nature Sunshine or Standard Process whole supplements that our Nutrition Educator, Martha Lindsay has approved for me to take.
Essiac Tea has been documented as a powerful herbal cancer remedy (which I can certainly attest.) It was formulated by a Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse, who treated thousands of cancer patients that had seen little success with any conventional methods. The foundation herb, sheep sorrel, is a common wild herb that was recommended to Rene by a Native American man. He told her that the herb had been used by northern indigenous tribes for centuries to treat illnesses with symptoms similar to cancer. The other herbs in the formula are Burdock, Slippery Elm, and Turkey Rhubarb. It is not the best tasting tea I have ever had, but I strongly believe that it is a cornerstone of the formula that is helping me to get better. I highly recommend this Essiac company (they use whole-herb sheep sorrel!) in Haverhill MA.
Prayer and Positive Thinking
Another foundation of my “Concoction” is prayer and positive thinking. Science has begun to document the power of positive thinking in healing. Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than in the “Placebo effect.” If a doctor tells a person that a pill will make them better, and the person believes this is true, often they will show significant improvement over a control group, even if the pill is simply sugar. Our minds are intimately connected with our bodies, and positive thinking and positive moods are beneficial to health.
Prayer is more a matter of personal belief. There have been some interesting studies on the power of prayer to help others heal, but more data is needed. Personally, I feel that it is a powerful help to my well-being. When I was diagnosed I asked friends and family to pray for me. Even if it is only helping my positive thinking, that is something in itself, but I believe there is more to it. It is up to the individual.
The supplements are the following:
Gabba- from VitaCost- (This is for my brain injury), while the next three are for my Lyme Disease. (I’m allergic to antibiotics.)
Nutri- Calm- by Nature Sunshine
Golden Seal- by Nature Sunshine
Olive Leaf- by Nature Sunshine
Norwegian Kelp– Country Life
Resvertrol Golden– NutriGold
Bromelain- Vita Cost
Vitamin E by – Dr. Mercola
Milk Thistle – by Wild Harvest
The following are more general nutritional supplements for my whole system, from a company called Standard Process.
EHT by Nerium International – This is for cognitive enhancement- brain injury and Lyme Disease
Prince of Peace Red Ginseng Royal Jelly 30 Vial(s) – Amazon – for Lyme Disease and brain injury
Essential Oils from Young Living Oils
Myrtle, Frankincense and Sage
Wobenzym N – by Garden of Life, LLC. This is for the joint pain from the Lyme Disease
I recently found out it is very effective for lymphoma too.
Claritin – for allergies. Also for the rash and itchiness on my body.
(For over 4 years, I went to my PCP, allergist, and dermatologist about this rash on my upper body that caused itching.) No one could explain it, only to take Claritin, which worked. I only discovered after being diagnosed with lymphoma that one of the major symptoms of lymphoma is…itching.
Neurofeedback and Reiki
Final Diet Remarks
When I can, I exercise 3-4 times per week, either in the pool or walking in the woods.
In conjunction with all of the above, I’m on a brain diet and now a cancer diet. Both are very similar, meaning no Cane Sugar, no wheat, oats, or barley. I can eat fruits including papaya and all berries, and of course my cranberries. No juices or smoothies are allowed. I can only eat foods I can chew, except green tea and lots of water. There is a priority for lots of vegetables, especially artichokes and asparagus and protein from fish and grass fed animals. You can go on many websites and get what foods to eat and what not to eat. Dark chocolate is a definite yes. Dairy is extremely limited. Raw, unprocessed Honey from our local bees is approved to use. Along with this all my offices have wide-spectrum lights.
I may have missed something. I hope not. I can’t tell you what item or thing is working or if it has to be together. All I know is……My tumor is slightly smaller and I do not have to see my oncologist for 3 months and another PET scan for 6 months. And there is NO, absolutely NO side effects from what I’m doing!!!
On August 2, 2016 I received more great news when I was given my latest test results. It turns out that all of my tests are better than normal, which is due to my healthy lifestyle and diet. These results mean that I do not have to see my doctor or have another PET scan or blood test until November. Doing a Happy Dance!
UPDATE November 2016:
The tumor is 3x smaller. My blood work is better than normal. I am feeling great and optimistic. I am still here and continue to provide Solutions and Resources™ and help and hope to others on their own journey’s.
There is a Way!™
Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.
Copyright© May 2016 (updated 12/20/16)