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Where's the Beef!!!

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hey Semi-colons,

I noticed a few posts recently discussing “red meat” and if us semi-colons should avoid it. Now first let me warn you that this will all be my own personal opinion derived from what I think was valid research on my part. It is not intended to insinuate anything, it is simple what I have thought and done to help me get to where I am today, 5 years NED from stage IV rectal cancer.

Nana B tried to ask for those of us that have been fortunate, blessed, and lucky enough to have been NED for awhile to “talk” about lifestyle changes we each have made if any, that we feel have attributed to our success fighting the ******* cells. This is my story and I’d like to see others that have been NED at least 2 years give theirs.

I will warn you that this will be long but I feel like it has to be so read on at your choice.

I have to tell you that this is hard for me because so many of you are in the middle of your fight and I KNOW it is almost impossible to make dietary and other changes to one’s life while you are just trying to endure and survive. I don’t expect you to and hope you don’t read this to think I do. I’ve almost been to where each of you are and respect you for being on this site trying to do all you can do for yourselves and help others as you do. Hang in there and as my friend Bruce says, never give up.

Now back to the topic of lifestyle changes. I was 49 in 2004 when I was diagnosed with stage IV CRC. I am the second to the youngest of 6 kids with no family history of CRC or any other cancers or diseases, we were all a healthy lot including my 80 year old mother and 81 year old father. I was eventually tested for any genetic link and there has been none to date so please those that have genetic strains should take that into consideration while reading this.

My only symptom was a perforated colon and then the peritonitis that followed it that almost killed me twice and put me in the hospital for a month. It weakening me greatly but the docs missed my cancer then (have no clue how but they did). It was found 4 months later when I was probably 80% of my usual self after the bout of peritonitis. It had spread to my left lung (never biopsied) and my liver (comfirmed with biopsies) and I was given 2-3 years to live with only a 1 in 10 chance of being alive in 5 years. I did as much chemo as my not so vibrant body could handle, 8 months of folfox with avastin until it just got to be too much. In the meantime I had been on this site the whole time and read about a few others brave enough to discuss alternatives and felt the awesome support we all get here.

I can’t explain it but I felt like the chemo had taken my spirit and was coming after my soul so I decided to take a break from it and try other things. I knew exactly what my risk was and that was okay with me, it was about quality of life not quantity back then. I also knew I couldn’t just stop chemo and that I had to make many, many other changes in my life to try to make up for it. That included diet and many other day to day things and it took several months for me to make them and I find myself still making them today.

I had read of all the many things that were considered “cancer causing” and knew there was NO way I could avoid them all. But I also knew there were some I could control and I CHOSE to limit them. The majority of my decisions were based on foods and other products laced with chemicals I could not pronounce. The list included meats and dairy products derived from animals injected with growth hormones and fed antibiotics, produce sprayed with pesticides, processed foods, white sugar and white flour products, anything with MSG and/or a multitude of others additives and health and beauty products with stuff in them that made no health sense to me other then to make more money. All of my decisions were made based on reading labels, researching words I didn’t recognize and several book references that I respected.

That was over 5 years ago and I am still around doing pretty durn good and there is no doubt in my mind that my changes helped me get here. Today when I do eat meat, I still only eat it from healthy animals, never injected with hormones or fed medicines to make more for less. I follow the fruit/veggie to avoid list (from pesticides) and am still picky over the health, beauty and housecleaning products and supplies I use.

I’ve read some of the other posts about grandparents living until they were 100 eating meat all day every day BUT the meat they ate wasn’t anything like what we eat today, unless you are very careful. I made my choices and I know others will make theirs. I’m just glad I had options to make and had the wherewithal to learn about them.

When I chose to stop chemo a year before the docs wanted me to I talked to God every night. I never asked to be cured or anything that drastic. I talked a lot and the only thing I remember asking him for was helping me to make the right decisions and for me he did that or so it seems.

I'm sure there are others out there that are more than 2 years NED that would be willing to talk about lifestyle changes they did or did not make. Come on folks, this is to help, remember people did it for us in our day.

Lisa P.

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

I'm so glad you shared your story.

As to where the beef is, I'm always promoting abstaining from red meat while healing cancer, but I believe that we should be abstaining from ALL animal products until health is obtained. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman who wrote Eat To Live, it's not just red meat that's implicated in cancer but poultry and fish as well. Meat is meat as it sits and rots in our intestines. Our intestines are colorblind. They don't know if it's white or red or well done. It's meat. Period.

Now, I happen to LOVE meat. But if and when I eat it, you can be sure that I take a digestive enzyme with it to help break it down and I eat A LOT of veggies (for fiber too) along with it so as to move it along as quickly as possible. Also, I'm over 8 1/2 years out with being cancer free. Makes a big difference in my book, but that's my book. I'm not in "treatment" or with active cancer. According to Dr. Fuhrman, also, getting cancer depends a lot on what we ate as children too. Too late for that!

I like radical, so for me when I got cancer, going radical (vegan macro) made sense and it worked. I'm just always surprised when others aren't so comfortable with radical and think it's a positive action to remain the same**....ie, work full time while on chemo, not change diet or exercise etc. I've learned a lot on these boards, but mostly it's underscored that my route was completely right for me. We all need to find our path to health. And I surely don't want anyone to feel judged that I get passionate about my path. I'm sure some have and for that I apologize.

So if you decide to eat meat, no matter the color, please look into taking digestive enzymes to help it break down and move on through so it doesn't sit in there and rot. And make sure you balance it with some alkalizing foods since meat is acidic.

peace, emily

**what I mean is that getting cancer was such a HUGE slap to my face that it shook me to my core and I cannot imagine staying the "same" and not having it affect my lifestyle or my choices. Cancer is a symptom of a deeper issue so digging to the ROOT problem became my cause celebre. I'm still digging BTW and finding answers. And still changing! :-)

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Thank you so much for writing (again) and sharing your stories of hope with us. Dick will finish his 24th round of chemo in 2 weeks. We hope and pray that he will be NED when they scan him at the end of the month. We have been talking a lot about his (our) lifestyle once chemo is done and he knows he will have to go "radical". The good news is he has kept in great shape during chemo (he is out running 4 miles right now.) He started with a healthy diet but goes off it when he needs to eat and only a pizza sounds good. I have told him about both of you and he is going to read your stories when he's done. You are in inspiration to us.


lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for posting this! Thanks, Emily, for your reply too.
I've really been trying hard in the past almost-two weeks to give up sugar. I had a headache most of last week & I really think it was a sugar withdrawal. I've given in a couple of times, but I'm determined and know that I've greatly reduced. Anyhow, on the topic of red meat... Emily, what is the name of the meat digestion enzymes you take? Do you get them at a health store or online? I've never heard of taking enzymes when you eat meat. I'm interested in hearing more on that.
I do have a question for you both (or anyone else)on alkaline water... Do either of you drink alkaline water (I think also known as ionized water)? I was about to go out and buy some, then when I googled it more negative articles came up than positive. Most were claiming it's all a scam and that what kind of water you drink will have no effect on the acidity or alkalinity of your body. This is what I read in a couple of online articles against it. One said that when you drink something alkaline such as alkaline water, your stomach will just produce extra acid to balance it out again & that the alkaline water is just a hoax and does nothing to your acidity/alkalinity. I'd like to hear your thoughts on that. If you do believe it affects the body's overall alkalinity, have you been able to show that- do you use ph test strips to find out if it's working or not?
A woman in my cancer center about a year ago had some ph strips with her & mine came out good, meaning not too acidic. If I were to test my saliva in one of these ph strips and it showed fine, would I then benefit in any way from alkaline water? I know most "regular" doctors are biased against anything natural, but at the same time I do also wonder about some of their claims in relating to alternatives and natural healing. Interestingly, several doctors lately are talking about diet and its importance.
I'm very willing to try it, but don't want to be scammed either.

Have either of you ever taken any laetrile (apricot seed kernals)? I've been reading up on different sites about that too. I've read about all the controversy there, too. I am at the point where I want to boost my own immune system and also would love to find natural cures. I still haven't heard back from my insurance on whether the next drug recommended for me to take (Gemzar) is going to be approved or not. Thinking it may get rejected and knowing there isn't anything else approved left (except oxi- that's another story), I have definitely been checking into all the natural and alternative things that I'd heard about over the past couple of years, but never gave much thought to until recently.
I have started juicing, but honestly have only done it once a day, about 3-4 days a week. I know that really isn't enough to do anything & I want to do it more, but figure that combined with cutting out red meat, sugar, and most milk products is a good step in the right direction. I figure, it certainly can't hurt, and probably will help! I don't know if I truly believe it will actually cure my stage IV cancer, but it just might and I do definitely believe that it will make me feel better and I'll be healthier overall. I just may also lose the spare tire around my middle too!

Any extra advice or thoughts would be appreciated- thanks!


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robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi Gracie,

I personally tend to think in terms of "complementary" care rather than "alternative".

"Complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine. Alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine." National Cancer Institute

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The difference for many is whether you are going to use diet, massage, meditation, supplements, Reiki and other treatments ALONG WITH surgery, radiation, and chemo or INSTEAD OF surgery, radiation, and chemo. I use a lot of complementary treatments but continue to rely on things like surgery, RFA, radiation, chemo, targetted growth inhibiters, etc. I have excellent oncologists and surgeons. I trust their knowledge and judgement and am satisfied that they have my best health interests at heart. I also have an excellent "Holistic Doctor" who guides and advises me regarding complementary treatments.

I despise chemo too. But also recognize that it is helping me to stay alive!

Be well... Rob; in Vancouver

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I think about you all the time!!!

Alkaline water products were just coming out back when I started this and my naturopathic dr thought they might be a rip off since there wasn't that much data on them. Lemons, believe it or not, are very alkaline as they are metabolized so I always squeeze fresh lemon juice in my water (has to be fresh). I still do the alkaline strips to help me stay on track. Back when I was fighting the hardest and I was on a 90/10 alkaline diet I tried to keep mine right at 7.0. Now I strive for 6.75-7.0. I tested my saliva a few times but found it was too easily influenced by what I had just eaten or had to drink so I always test my urine now BUT never test it the first few times you go in the morning!!!!

I have a brother who is an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor who told me "all I was doing was feeding my cancer expensive food" in 2004 that now only eats organic and/or locally grown. He doesn't seem to mind having to eat crow since he has come full circle. My oncologist told they (docs) aren't really taught about diet and are careful with what they tell patients. When I asked him what kind of diet he followed, he slyly smiled and said that he and his wife "eat like I do". Find out what your docs actually do or ask them what they would want their grandchildren to eat. You know the saying "do as I say, not as I do" well reverse that!!!

I never did laetrile (B-17 I think) but know 2 prostate cancer survivors that chose to do it instead of chemo back when I was starting my "thing" and they are both cancer free and doing just fine today.

Check out astragulus, manganese, and heavy duty B complex vitamins for help boosting your immune system. Your juicing will not only help your alkaline levels but will boost your immune system too.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can help you in any other way.

Lisa P.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I'm not NED so I have no NED stories. You brought up a good point Lisa, I do think that the "problem" with the collective diet of Americans are the so called "Franken-Foods" that are out there. So much of our food is f-ed with by either hormones or other genetic alterations. We ARE the guinea pigs in this experiment and the food industry does not even allow us to know who has messed with what.
I have to go, my bacon and fried eggs are ready!

kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Thank you Lisa and Em for your stories. They help me to continue making lifestyle changes.

I've found a farm about 30 miles from us that produces organic (hormone free,grass fed, etc) beef, chicken, pork and lamb. They also produce raw milk. I've been looking into the benefits of these. The cost is daunting,but so are my healthcare costs.

I know this isn't info most will be interested if they are eliminating meat and dairy from their diets. I, however, have a unique situation. I need 100 - 120 grams of protein a day. That is very hard to do without meat and dairy.

Does anyone have any FACT based info on raw milk? I want the good and the bad, but not antidotal.

Thanks for your help,

Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009


tons of references at the bottom of the page

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I didn't as often while I was fighting the hardest. The cost is higher but they are coming down with more and more farms converting over. I have a creamery near me that sells milk and other dairy products including the BEST ice cream that will sell frozen ground beef from dairy cows they have to put down. I can get it a dollar cheaper there than in other places. I have a large farmers market about 30 miles from me that has a place that sells all the meat products too that is also more reasonable than others. I learned how to shop around over time.

Also all of my local grocery stores now sell some of the meat products and they do go on sale and Mondays are great days to shop and get marked down products that have expiring dates coming up. I have a small freezer that pays for itself in spades with freezing fresh produce and meat picked up on sale. Monday I found several 2 1/2 lb packs of skinless, boneless chicken thighs (6 to a package) for half price making it cheaper then the injected mass produced ones. I also will buy the largest packages of thighs they sell and split them up into individual servings and vacuum seal them. I can get chicken thighs (my fav) for 79 cents a lb about once a month or so.

I exercise quite a bit and need protein too, so that's why I eat meat and cheese but I also have fallen in love with my protein smoothies and have always liked peanut butter.

I know nothing good or bad about raw milk.

Thinking about you!!!

Lisa P

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Throughout my working years, I came into contact with quite a
great variety of individuals that ran business' and farms.

What stood out in my memory were the farm stands and farms
that sold "natural" items; items that are now called "organic".

It was more than interesting to learn that the "organically farmed"
fruit, produce, and animals came from the same farms as the
foods that were not labeled as such.

Some of the farms used land that was no longer useful to produce
crops that were plentiful enough to sustain a living, and the land
was used for the odd items instead. The idea was, that those
that sought "organic" food, wanted to see it look "natural", and
that included brown spots, worms, etc. The worn out land
managed to work well for that!

One apple orchard farmer showed me trees that produced apples
that looked pretty bad. "They sell great at the whole food market".
(We laughed, but my wife didn't when I told her about it).

Apples that don't look good, were put into the baskets for the
"organic" group and the good looking, shiny apples went to the
less expensive market! Gee, what a wonderful world we live in!

The land is saturated with chemicals from years and years and years
of spraying and misting, and a soil sample will indicate it. Using the land.
even after not spraying, for years thereafter, will still produce food
items with chemical content.

I feel safer with my White Castle Hamburgers. They may produce
toxic gas, but that's a story for another day....

A town we once lived in, turned down a water bottling company that
was interested in buying a very large tract of land to use for their
pumping station and bottling plant. We learned later, that the reason
for denying the company was due to some soil samples that indicated
a highly toxic situation from the years of farming. The town was
afraid of the ramifications if and when the water bottling company
found that out. The EPA would have been very interested also....

Does any of it cause cancer? Maybe. But cancer has been around
for a lot longer than these chemicals, so what can be blamed during
the stone age? Radon gas from living in caves? Dinosaur feces?

The reason we have cancer growing inside us, is simply due to our
immune system not getting rid of the cells that have stopped hearing
our body's signals, and have started to live by the fermentation
process instead. It's a damned simple concept, well proven and
accepted by every damned biologist and scientist I've read about.

Trying to stop getting in the way of what might or might not harm us
may sound good, but each day, the list of what may harm us gets longer.

Eat as well as you can, and try your best to build up your immune system.

And.... petition the powers that be, to start looking for a way to get our
own immune system to fight cancer the way it is supposed to.

Insist that donations go to that cause, instead of the "business as usual"
mentality that continues to fund research using the same drugs that do
more harm to our immune system, than to the cancer it was intended
to harm.

It's time for a change.

Better health to all!


Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

I don;t think there is any unpolluted water, air or soil anywhere. If in the '60s chemicals were being found at both north and south poles, what do you think is in the environment now? I truly don't think "natural" exists anymore......Steve

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I was diagnosed at age 46 in August 2004 with stage 4 (liver mets). I have no family history of colon cancer. Before Cancer (BC) I had a conventional North American diet with a lot of red meat, mostly barbequed! I had smoked for about 15 years but had quit 12 years prior to diagnosis.

In deciding what to do after diagnosis (AD) I was very much inspired by these words from Treya Kilam Wilber after her diagnosis with breast cancer...

“I’m certain I played a role in my becoming ill. A role that was mostly unconscious and unintentional. And I know that I play a large role, this one very conscious and intentional, in getting well and staying well!” TKW

Personally, I was prepared to accept that my lifestyle, including diet and smoking, had probably contributed in some way to my colon cancer. I don't "blame" myself since the contribution was "unconscious" and "unintentional". What is empowering about Treya's wisdom is that my role in getting well and staying well is "conscious" and "intentional". This means taking some responsibility, becoming informed, and being proactive.

I eat much less red meat now. At home we eat mostly organic foods. I try to do all that I can to eliminate toxins from my diet and from my environment, including psychological toxins like CNN style "news" and conflict-ridden communities or forums. We drink reverse-osmosis filtered water and use non-toxic cleaners. I take supplements as advised by a holistic physician, practice meditation and tai chi, receive healing touch, walk the beach, and take plenty of naps. And yes... I do still enjoy the ocassional Guinness and lamb stew!

In addition to eliminating toxins these measures all help to support the immune system. I have had recurrences but have generally enjoyed good health and good spirits through most of this ordeal.

Peace and Blessings... Rob; in Vancouver

"Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food." Hippocrites

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