Here's something I never thought I'd say in a million years: I thank God that I got cancer.
It was two weeks before my 37th birthday that I (reluctantly) went to see a Urologist about an "abnormality" in one of my testicles. I first noticed it 9 months prior and like a typical male, I shrugged it off as a non-issue. As the weeks and months progressed, I noticed the size of the testicle increase and change in texture. It was now unusually firm. I had spent countless hours trolling every medical website in a desperate attempt to self-diagnose. As I searched every possible outcome, one was a constant and distinct possibility: cancer.
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Its a great city and a fantastic place to raise a family, but it has also been consistently ranked in the top 10 of the nation's "fattest cities". I used to fit into this paradigm perfectly, eating an unhealthy diet of Mexican food, fast food and binge drinking soda. At my heaviest, I weighed in at close to 220 lbs. I'm 5'7...you do the math. Did I know it was wrong at the time? Absolutely! Did I care? Maybe a little, but I was young. I was invincible. I had all the time in the world... or so I thought. What I failed to realize at the time is a little thing called consequence.
So there I sat nervously in the waiting room, desperately trying to convince myself that what I had was normal, probably some sort of infection that would go away with antibiotics. Upon a physical inspection, I began to come to the realization that things would not go my way. I could see it on the Dr's face. He immediately sent me across the hall for an ultrasound. Still, I held the faintest hope that it could be something else, but soon that hope would be gone as well. (Let's just say the ultrasound technician didn't have the best poker face) The Doctor saw my ultrasound and immediately ordered a CT scan, blood-work and scheduled me for surgery. "Cancel your business trip", he said. Wow. It was 5:00pm on a Friday afternoon. I was the very last patient in the office, and I just got the Cancer bomb dropped in my lap. Not the ideal way to start the weekend. I had now reached the lowest point of my life. I felt lost. I felt hopeless. I felt numb. I felt like a victim.
After my surgery, I went back to see the Doctor to go over my pathology report. I was diagnosed with stage IB Seminoma Testicular Cancer. Still caught relatively early, but there were complications. The cancer had spread to the epididymis and there was "Vascular Invasion", meaning a greater likelihood that the cancer would spread to other parts of the body. He then proceeded to go over survival rates and statistics and talk about my treatment options. The next week, I went to see an Oncologist who reviewed my prognosis and then urged me to undergo a few rounds of chemotherapy. So here I was, caught in the brutal grips of the thriving cancer industry. What choice did I have? This is what you have to do. There are no other options, right?
After speaking to my wife, I decided to go ahead with the chemotherapy. I was first sent to talk to a financial counselor who urged me to get as many chemotherapy sessions in as I possibly could before the new year, before my insurance deductibles reset and I would have to pay out of pocket. How could she know how many rounds of chemo I would need? She wasn't a doctor! My next stop was back to the area of the office where they administered the chemo for an education class. The nurse proceeded to tell me every possible thing that could go wrong (loss of hair, loss of appetite, loss of feeling in fingertips, etc.) , and that I would most likely end up in the emergency room multiple times because chemotherapy lowers your white blood cell count, leaving your immunity shot. (Shields are down, Captain!) This was a classic case of the side effects being worse than the symptoms! I quickly decided against chemotherapy.
So there I was at a crossroads. I had a choice to make. Should I follow the herd and do what the cancer industry and society says we should all do, or were there other options I could explore? It was at this point that I delved into research. For the next few weeks, I lived, ate and breathed anything and everything related to alternative cancer treatments. I read books, articles online and watched documentaries, most notably "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead", "Run From the Cure" and "A Beautiful Truth". What I found was a treasure trove of information. Countless testimonies of people being healed of late-stage cancers by nutrition and other natural herbs and oils. I've always been something of a risk taker in life, and the thought of "sticking it to the man" appealed to me greatly. More importantly, during all this research I noticed that the cancer rates in this country had spiked to epidemic levels. Every day on social media sites, my news feed was inundated with people either getting cancer or knowing someone who had cancer. I knew at that point that I wanted to use my story to help people. I decided to forego traditional cancer treatments and pursue natural cures because God forbid, if any of my friends or family ever got cancer, I wanted to be able to help them through it. More importantly, I wanted to show my kids that I could overcome adversity and do it my way. (Just like Ol' blue eyes!)
So here's how I did it: A raw food diet.
Every morning starts out with a glass of Kombucha. (Fermented tea with natural probiotics for digestive health because all disease starts in the gut). An hour later, I juiced copious amounts of organic vegetables and fruit. I typically drink anywhere from 20-48 ounces throughout the day. For later stage cancers, I recommend consuming at least twice that amount daily. What kinds of fruit and vegetables do I juice? Lots of green, leafy vegetables like Kale and spinach. I also juice beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, parsley and Swiss Chard. I like to mix it up every day. I also drink alkaline water throughout the day. I drink the "essentia" brand because it has the highest PH level at 9.5. Raising your internal PH is vital because cancers thrive in an acidic environment and by increasing your internal PH, it makes it really hard for cancer to live in your body. So make alkaline water your best friend! Consuming organic vegetable and fruit juice also help to raise your PH level a great deal! Next, I take supplements. Tumeric and Garlic has been proven to be effective cancer fighters. I also take Moringa, which is also fantastic and loaded with key vitamins and minerals. Now lets talk snacks. (One of my favorite subjects) I typically eat lots of raw nuts: Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds. I used to eat organic yogurt, but I realized that dairy can promote cancer so I cut it out. When I travel for work, I stock up on organic trail mix. These are just some of the methods that I used to treat cancer. There are other things that I did that I cannot mention here, but if you research alternative cancer treatments thoroughly you will find them.
Since my initial diagnosis I have had several clean blood tests that show that I no longer have cancer. I don't like to use the word "remission" because that implies that it could come back. I am here to tell you that cancer can be beat naturally through a complete transformation of the mind, body and spirit! You truly have to change your life to overcome it. This means getting off processed foods and GMO's. As a society, we often choose to take the easy way out. To me, chemotherapy seemed like taking the easy way out. I realized that surgery and chemo doesn't really cure anything. You could cut off a tumor and have it grow back. What really needs to be addressed is the root cause of the problem: diet and lifestyle. The only cure for cancer is a lifelong dedication to clean eating and to health and wellness. This is not something that any Oncologist would condone or recommend. It is my sincere hope that the medical community will fully embrace alternative medicine so that patients can have honest options to treat cancer, and not feel pressured by a billion dollar industry to perpetuate treatments that suit their interests over the patients'.
So yes, I thank God that I got cancer because it gave me the cosmic wake up call that I so desperately needed. Now, I am in the best shape of my life and I feel great! More importantly, my children have now established a healthy lifestyle, and that is possibly the greatest gift I could ever give them.