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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beauty in Graced Endings

Just when a year seems to be heading for long and dreary...

We are graced with a gift, pure and sweet...{God is good like that}

Great-Grandpa Poppy is smitten!

And so is Grandpa Steve...

Welcome to the world sweet little Violet

You make our hearts smile...
and assure that new beginnings are always possible!

God is all about new beginnings.
{He is good like that!}

Happy New Year...
May you find Grace in the Journey
from Beginning to End.

My Love, Always,

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hope for a Weary World

Praying Hope and Love over all our loved ones
near and far...

May you feel a Mighty Peace holding you close
this Christmas night!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A New Christmas Wrinkle...

Losing Mom right before Christmas has become a complicated part of our journey.

Pancreatic cancer didn't care about our wonderful Christmas traditions, nor the pain her death would cause each year as we faced the season without her... these past 5 years have seen our traditions change in many ways as we try to balance the beauty and grace of Christmas with the aching loss we will always feel.

And this year the tightrope of balance has been shaken hard, for after much agonizing, too many health  scares, and oh, so much prayer, Dad has made the decision to move into an Assisted Living Home.

This past month has been an emotional cauldron.

Decisions, questions, tours, talking, praying, discussing... and finally deciding...

Deep breath.  {It will be ok}

Dad has chosen a beautiful new facility just down the street.  And he moved in with a smile born of equal amounts grace and grit. This has not been easy.

We are calling it his apartment... and decorating like mad... making it home... learning new names to go with new faces... developing new routines... finding our footing...

It would seem that Christmas in our family is destined to be colored by change.  Even as I long for those traditions that comfort and soothe, we are breaking from the old and preparing for the new...

And a lightbulb blinks on in this weary head of mine... for that is exactly what Christmas is all about... yes?

A Christ-Child born to us... come to make all things new... for the old will pass away in the light of his wholly transforming gift of Grace.

 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new."
 II Corinthians 5:17

Amen... Amen... Balm to this aching heart...

{It will be ok!}

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

It's Ok to "Lean Out" this Christmas...

Every now and then a word can bring peace to a troubled soul...

And if you are feeling the weight of this special season {and not the magic}, then perhaps Laura's story from over at The Grief Toolbox will resonate just a bit:

When It's Not 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.' 

"Ten years ago, while grieving the sudden loss of my father, I decided to actively avoid the build-up leading to Christmas. Thanksgiving had nearly done me in, and I couldn’t handle an entire month of cheer accompanying another grief milestone.

My plan? Avoid the mall. Or any store that might play Christmas music. Only buy presents for my immediately family. No wrapping — just gift bags. Don’t open any mail that looked like a Christmas card. Don’t decorate. Definitely don’t watch any Christmas movies. And for the love, avoid any and all versions of “The Christmas Shoes” at all costs.

My plan worked for about a day. But then my coworkers started listening to Christmas music at their desks. I started receiving e-mails about holiday parties. The stores below my loft were decked out with tinsel and lights. Everyone else was leaning way in to the magic of the season, and I could hardly breathe. What was once my favorite time of year slowly but surely threatened to destroy me.

My grief and depression didn’t manifest itself as sadness. At least, not all the time. It mostly manifested itself as a blackout rage.

The month of December made me furious. For the first time in my life, it was not “the most wonderful time of the year.” It was a mirror, reflecting everything I’d lost.

Every gift from my secret Santa was a reminder that I had one less person to shop for. Every Christmas card a reminder that my family had a gaping hole that would never be filled. Every party was hours of torture for me, trying to appear festive and light while swimming in darkness. I hated it.

Every minute of it.

For many of our friends and family, the holiday season will be the final highlight of a year that included unimaginable joy: a wedding, a birth, a promotion, an exciting new chapter in life. And for just as many, the new chapters might be painful: an illness, a divorce, depression, grief or death.

There are times when “leaning in” to the holidays really can help change your mindset. You fake holiday cheer long enough and eventually you experience the real thing. If that has worked for you, wonderful! I’ve done that, too, and I’ll honestly do quite a bit of that this year.

But for some of us, December might be the most painful month we’ve experienced in an already painful year. It might feel as if there’s nothing worth celebrating, and we’ll feel guilty, feeling like we’re dragging others down. The contrast of joy around us and despair within us will be too confusing. Too bittersweet. Too devastating.

For some of us, this might be the one holiday season in our lives we simply can’t handle. If that’s true for you or someone you love, my message is this: it’s OK to “lean out” this year.
  • You don’t have to decorate your house or put up a tree.
  • You don’t have to send holiday cards.
  • You don’t have to accept any holiday party invitations.
  • You don’t have to buy presents.
  • You don’t have to honor family traditions.
  • You don’t have to be festive and cheerful.
  • You don’t have to succumb to the pressure to make the season magical for everyone else.
Your one job this year is to make it through the season.

Maybe that means December just looks like any other month. Maybe that means you only accept a few holiday invites instead of over-scheduling yourself. Maybe you forgo gift giving and instead volunteer your time. Maybe you reach out to someone else who is hurting, and you quietly acknowledge the season together. Maybe you schedule a vacation and spend the holidays in a new city. If you are religious, maybe this is the year you strip the season down to its origin.

It’s OK to simplify. It’s often crucial to simplify.

This holiday season might just be one painful struggle after another. And it’s OK to acknowledge that and operate accordingly.

It might not be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but you will get through it. And there will be the promise of a new year."

~ Laura Coward, The Mighty

Yes... this magical time of the year isn't always the most wonderful, especially for those walking their own grief out.

Praying we can all be gentle with each other as we navigate this minefield of loss and pain.  God chose to enter into our lives during the darkest of nights in the most lowly of places... he understands our dark and heartache.  And He comes to give us Hope.

May you feel loved wrapped around you this night.

There is Grace enough for this too, Always,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Hallelujah Christmas

Preparing my heart this Christmas season...

Beautiful lyrics, swelling chorus... for a baby born to us...

May your spirit be lifted this night, as we begin to celebrate...

A Hallelujah Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Leaping into Brave...

The Grief Journey

5 years ago... Can it really be?

5 years ago, I watched the sun come up through a hospital window as mom lay behind me, still and small, machines beeping, iv's dripping.  I didn't know it would be the last sunrise I would ever see with her...

And we've wandered this grief journey like a rag-tag bunch of homeless pilgrims.  Always seeking our way back to the familiar, the normal, trusting in a God of Big Grace to guide our steps.  We are finding home in a very new normal, with lessons learned, often upon our knees, torn and tear-stained, along the way:

Life goes on... whether we want it to or not.  That's the hard.  In those early days and weeks how we wanted life to stop. {It did stop... without her.}   We were broken, grieving, a mess.  And Grace pulled us back into the land of the living, with tears and love, laughter bubbled again.

Death is final... we can't go back and undo things we've said or done.  How we've longed to turn back time.  No one is ever ready to say Good-bye... we've learned to rest in the gift of those final months, knowing we said a million I love you's... knowing it will be enough to bridge the long walk until we meet again. 

Compassion is the heartbeat of Grace... my heart grieves more tender with those suffering loss.  I have learned to just be there.  Words are so inadequate when a world disintegrates, but arms to hold, shoulders for endless tears and hearts grieving together... this, I am finding, is the language of compassion and love and God's Grace.

Surprising, I have learned to live larger, take chances, find a little brave... This past cruise with Dad found us all on an adventure that simply slays me!  We, literally, leapt into brave...

Truly... Me, afraid of snakes and speaking in public and jumping off high dives... yes, that fearful, cowering me... she leapt off canyon walls and over thundering waterfalls... Seriously {!}  I did that!

Leaping into Brave... perhaps you would enjoy a picture (or two) of our Extreme Canyoning Adventure??

Did I tell you that our Extreme Canyoning Adventure took place on the beautiful Island of Dominica, home to Pirates of the Caribbean film???  Beautiful I say!

First we got suited up... 
{a lot of gear I'm thinking... hmmmm...}

Ready for Adventure

Crash course in rappelling...
{Think I've got this.  Sort of...}

Gorgeous hike thru the RainForest to get to the, ahem, jumping off point.
{Nervous yet?}

Yep, nervous now,
well, actually getting a little freaked out,
that rappelling tutorial back at home base left a few things out!

This is getting real.
{I might have been trying not to throw up... just saying}

Holy Cow!  I made it!
{In one piece... and I'm smiling!}
And you may notice that the group made me go first...What?!
Yes, they figured if I could do it then they could too... Ha!

I may have needed a push for the first Leap into Brave...
{that was a 20 foot waterfall}
No, No, No!

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

I just did that!

Navigating the current...
We think the water was cold, but none of us can remember.
We were just so happy to have survived the first two challenges!

Our happy and amazing guide!

More Leaping!

More Climbing!

More Waterfalls!

More Amazing!

{That Smile}

We got this now...

Gorgeous RainForest Canopy
High Above Us...

Last one... and it's a beast!
Getting our Brave on in the most spectacular way!


We just did that!

Leaping into Brave
And we survived!!!!

It's very symbolic of the past 5 years... the cliffs, the waterfalls, the hard,
the pain, the fear, the push, the pull of so many loved ones cheering us on...

It is so like our Grief Journey,
and we are making it, one cliff at a time.

5 years of missing... Time and Grace have woven their way through out our days, slowly, but surely walking us home.

Missing mom... I will always, always miss her.  Time has eased that intense yearning to hear her voice and feel her hugs, but I'm learning to allow myself to grieve those moments when nothing will do but to feel her near.

Today is one of those days... the grief digs in... and we know tomorrow the memories will swamp.

Giving ourselves permission to feel her near, and let the tears fall, and miss her so very deeply... and rest in memories forever ours.

My Love, Always,

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Wedding...

Joyful, Glorious, Happily Ever After!

This weekend past we celebrated love and family and grateful
All Together
with our niece, Stacee, and her beloved, Casey...

Beautiful advent welcome to this Thanksgiving season,
especially because dad was able to attend!!

He has missed too many celebrations this past year...
A wedding, filled with happy laughter and hallowed love was just the thing to put us in the Graced Grateful mood!!

A few pictures... Yes?!!

(my bursting-at-the-seams-proud brother... Father of the Bride!)

{Joy Bubbling Over}

From our Family to Yours,
Happy Thanksgiving,
May Love Grace your Table in Abundance!

Congratulations Stacee & Casey!!
Love you both to pieces!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

In It Together...

And the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is honoring our Pancreatic Cancer Heroes in a beautiful way...

If you are an Instagram follower, check out the #InItTogether hashtag.  Or click on the following link and be humbled and amazed at the outpouring of support from all around the world:

I am sobbing and cheering all at the same time.

If you are in the trenches with this nightmare of a cancer, please, please know, you are not alone.

We are truly In It Together.  And one day soon, the pancreatic cancer battle will be won!  When all your fight is gone, know that so many others are holding the line and standing in the gap for you.

Graced to Wage Hope Together,

My Love, Always,

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Elaborate Conspiracy Theory?

I know this 31 Day Challenge hasn't been easy for some (me included)... 

I bet you're asking "If it is so good, then why haven't I heard of it before now?  Why isn't my doctor prescribing these successful therapies for my cancer?"

Right?  {Me too}

And here's the thing... I don't like conflict.  I hate debates.  I never win an argument.

So everything about this 31 Day Challenge on Alternative Therapies flies in the face of all that I am.


I am more passionate about finding a cure for pancreatic cancer than I am about being politically correct or making someone that I don't know happy.

Through these last 5 years with the website and this blog, we have "met" hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones.

Roughly 99.9% are using conventional, traditional therapies to fight their cancer.

Less than 1% of those we've met on this pancreatic cancer journey will survive the onslaught with conventional treatment.

I am slowly waking up to the fact that conventional, traditional therapies, those Gold Standard Treatments, are failing the pancreatic cancer patient, simply failing in the most horrendous of ways.

And so, when you ask "If it's so good, then why haven't I heard of it?"

My answer is, now you have.

These are options.  Not mandates.  Take the time to research, ask questions, seek answers...

The Truth About Cancer documentary resonated deeply for me.  Perhaps it will for you as well.

Chris Wark at Chris Beat Cancer shares the following:

"For anyone who says, “You can’t use anecdotal evidence” or “You were just lucky”, or “How dare you question science-based medicine” or “Shame on you for telling people not to do chemo”  etc.

... There are two ways we can learn. We can learn from scientific research and we can learn from experience, our own experience and the experiences of others. This is why survivors stories which are often dismissed as “anecdotal” should never be ignored. In my opinion survivors trump science.

I find it funny how critics of me, who claim to be all about science-based medicine, describe me as “lucky”.

Really? Lucky? What branch of science is luck exactly?

Newsflash: Using the word “luck” in a scientific argument makes a very weak argument.

So no, I haven’t been lucky. “Luck” is a shallow, unscientific, godless view on life. It has no place in scientific discussion.

Science is not truth. It is a method of discovery. It is man’s attempt to understand the infinite complexities of the universe that God created. And while man’s knowledge and understanding has certainly expanded throughout human history, at no point in history has the totality of science ever been correct. There is vigorous debate within the scientific community on thousands of points. Science is full of errors, unknowns, and in some cases deliberate fraud when specific outcomes benefit the researchers. Pharmaceutical science is the worst in this regard. When billions of dollars of profit are at stake, you better believe there’s some fraud going on. Google the term “publication bias” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Scientific “truth” is constantly changing, because we are constantly discovering new things.
Science is not a religion to be worshipped. Believing in science is like believing in the weather. Today it’s sunny and 70 degrees in Memphis, but what’s true today will not be tomorrow. As much as the scientific community claims to understand about cancer and the human body, they still really don’t understand it at all. If they did, they could cure every cancer every time.

Science-based medicine is deception.

Touting conventional medicine as “science-based medicine” or “evidence-based medicine” is industry propaganda for the masses. Conventional science-based medicine is most accurately described as “patent-based medicine” or “profit-based medicine”, because it only includes scientific research that leads to patented highly-profitable pharmaceutical drugs.

Over many decades, thousands of published peer-reviewed scientific studies on nutritional science and lifestyle medicine have been largely ignored by the medical and pharmaceutical industry, despite the fact that these studies perpetually demonstrate that the leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) can be prevented and reversed through simple diet and lifestyle changes. So yeah, there’s a whole lot of science you aren’t hearing about. FYI: Some of the top nutritional science MDs of our day are Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Banard, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Michael Greger, just to name a few. Again, there are over 40 scientific journals devoted to nutritional science!

Nature exists in perfect order.

The human body, just like nature, is Intelligently Designed to work in perfect order.
You have trillions of cells in your body, each cell is more complex that anything man has made!
Do you think that these trillions of cells work together in perfect harmony on accident, by chance?
Cancer is the body’s NATURAL response to overwhelming toxicity and suppressed immune function.

It is the body’s brilliant attempt to save your life.
The earth was created for us by God.
Everything the body needs to thrive and heal can be found in nature, specifically whole plant and animal foods from the earth.

The body is designed to heal.

Look at Newton’s Third Law of Motion:

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.That’s a SCIENTIFIC LAW OF NATURE, just like gravity.

Only by working WITH gravity can man fly. Any attempt to ignore or defy gravity will result in failure.

When you go against the Laws of Nature you will reap sickness in your body.
When you abide by the Laws of Nature you give your body the ability to heal.

What I am doing here on this site is intentional.

If you do even the smallest amount of research you will find that chemotherapy is for the most part ineffective in curing most epithelial (solid-tumor) cancers. The cancers that it does work pretty well for are childhood leukemia, CLL, testicular cancer, and lymphomas. This information is on my site and it abounds in hundreds of published medical industry studies. Go to pubmed and learn something from the scientific evidence that you have not seen.

When an oncologist tells a patient that their particular cancer has been shown to “respond” to a particular drug, what that really means is it that the drug has shown to shrink tumors. That’s it. No remission. No cure. Just tumor shrinkage. That’s what the industry calls “responding”. Look it up!
Every oncologist knows this, but most are trapped in a system that pays them HIGH six figures to keep doing exactly what they are doing, despite the dismal results.

There are many courageous MDs who have left the brutal and barbaric “cut poison burn” cancer treatment and are getting phenomenal results. Dr Nicholas Gonzalez, Dr. James Forsythe, Dr. Leigh Erin Conneally, and Dr. Rashid Buttar, just to name a few.

Nutrition and natural therapies will NEVER be used instead of pharmaceutical drugs. For one simple reason: They cannot be patented and are not profitable. Wake up ! There are over 1,000 drug company lobbyists in Washington DC alone. It’s a conspiracy of greed with continued concerted effort to maintain control over a trillion dollar medical industry.

With the exception of trauma care, the entire medical industry is built on three lies: that you have no control over your health, that you are essentially a victim of good or bad luck, and that you cannot heal yourself."

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In Chris' opinion, Survivors Trump Science... I think I would have to agree.  This 31 Day series is not some elaborate conspiracy theory, but an honest look at what is working in the field of pancreatic cancer treatment...

And that has been my desire these past weeks, to share the pancreatic cancer success stories.  To share their therapies and treatment plans.  To give you options in the fight.

To allow Hope to rise up...

It has been grace to travel this 31 Day Challenge with you, exploring The Truth About Cancer... Praying your journey continues on to places of Beauty, of Healing and of Hope.

My Love, Always,

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Are We Confused Yet?

Ok... Honest. 

From one cancer warrior to another... do all the options on this 31 Day Challenge sort of make your head spin?

{Me too...}

Not only are we talking about the option of alternative cancer treatments as opposed to traditional, conventional methods.  We are also opening up a whole new world of natural, non-toxic cancer therapies... with lots of options!

So, what might be best for your specific journey?  Your particular cancer? 

Should you try the Gerson Therapy?  What about Chemotherapy?  Or perhaps the Hoxsey Formula?

Maybe it should be the Cellect-Budwig Diet... Then again, what about radiation, or even surgery?

Too often on this cancer journey we are torn by recommendations, urgent and dire, that cause panic and debilitating stress in the midst of an already nightmarish situation...

What if we could combine the best of both worlds?  Not have to choose one over the other?  But instead be treated as an individual, integrating many of today's top cancer therapies, both conventional and alternative.

I wish I could tell you that place existed. 

The cancer world is still very divided... between conventional, traditional treatments and alternative, natural therapies...

Each camp paints the other with an ugly brush.

The conventional wisdom would have us believe that all alternative doctors are quacks and can't be trusted.

The alternative holistics would have us believe that conventional doctors are in Big Pharma's pockets and, likewise, can't be trusted.

Who do you believe?  Making my head spin I tell ya...

It would seem that it is very much up to the patient to make the overwhelmingly difficult choice of a primary course of treatment.

But the tide is gradually turning and The Truth About Cancer documentary has resonated for many.

This would be my very humble take on the world of integrative medicine... it is a powerful, potentially revolutionary force in the cancer world.

And here's why I believe that so strongly.   When mom was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her symptoms were pronounced and urgent... the mass on her pancreas had grown large enough to press in on her bile duct and pancreatic duct, effectively closing them off, trapping bile and digestive enzymes.

The pain was intense, and the jaundice was terribly alarming.  Doctors performed an ERCP (surgical procedure under anesthesia) and inserted stents (small plastic tubes) to open the ducts and keep them open. 

Mom's physical relief was almost instant.  Even as our emotional world was collapsing with the news of her cancer diagnosis.

Her cancer treatment consisted of conventional treatments, chemotherapy and radiation.  It was a year-long study in how not to battle pancreatic cancer... the  nausea, vomiting, weight-loss, abdominal pain, complications... all signals that we were losing the fight, inch by excruciating inch. a nutshell, mom benefited immediately from conventional surgery to open her bile and pancreatic ducts... We believe she would have died if not for that life-saving surgery.

The truth is, however, that she did die of the cancer, while receiving the very best conventional treatments available to her doctors.

Mom's story is not unique... pancreatic cancer treatments just have not been able to breach the wall.  Too many precious ones are losing the fight.

Yet, there are some pancreatic cancer survivors... Kathryn Hahn, Felicity Corbin Wheeler, Pamela Kelsey... all using alternative, natural therapies.

Perhaps that is why The Truth About Cancer and this 31 Day Challenge have kept me up at nights... What if mom had tried one of these therapies?

Could she have survived while integrating the best of both worlds?  Surgery, yes... the stents saved her life... the Gerson therapy, or perhaps the Cellect-Budwig treatment to fight the cancer instead of the chemo?  Perhaps...

Integrative Medicine...the best of both worlds... there is a Hope that pulls on our hearts... for each cancer warrior tonight, fighting when the news is grim, when their bodies are weak, when they just want to give up...

Holding you close in my prayers, knowing that Grace will be sufficient for every moment of the journey, don't give up...

Shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart, journeying together,


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tea Time!

If you've been around the pancreatic cancer journey long enough, you will have heard us mention Essiac Tea... 

And recently, we shared the story of Kathryn Hahn, a pancreatic cancer survivor, who has included Essiac Tea as part of her disciplined regimen...

So what exactly makes this tea so extraordinary?  The Truth About Cancer shares a little of its history and its use as a natural, alternative therapy for cancer patients:

"Cancer is the second leading cause of death (behind heart disease) in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The western world spends trillions of dollars each year on conventional cancer treatments with limited results. Natural and inexpensive herbs and botanicals such as Essiac tea have great promise to help many who are suffering from cancer and other chronic diseases.

Powerful and effective natural cancer treatments that aid the body in healing have been discovered and utilized for years. Unfortunately, many of these natural strategies have been opposed by public health agencies and the medical mainstream. One natural approach that has been used successfully with cancer is Essiac tea.

The History of Essiac Tea

Essiac tea is said to have been an ancient recipe made by the Ojibwe tribes of Native Americans who populate areas of Canada and the northern United States. It was referred to as the “Ojibwa Tea of Life.” A Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse, was the first to use it to help her patients who were recovering from various forms of cancer. (Essiac is “Caisse” spelled backwards.)
Caisse began to see remarkable results with her patients and wanted to make this elixir available for widespread usage. In the 1920s she began working with Dr. Charles Brusch to formulate an herbal mixture similar to the original drink that could be studied in a laboratory setting.1,2
Caisse and Dr. Brusch began promoting the use of Essiac tea as an effective and affordable alternative cancer treatment. This caught the attention of the mainstream medical industry who went about spreading rumors about health risks associated with consuming Essiac tea. Due to this pressure, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Essiac tea for use as a cancer treatment.3 Currently, the FDA  lists Essiac tea as a new drug that is not generally recognized as safe.4
In spite of the negative attention they got from the public health agencies, Caisse and Dr. Brusch saw numerous patient testimonial stories using Essiac tea to overcome various forms of cancer. In 1938 (long before the internet), Caisse had over 55,000 people sign a petition to allow her to continue to treat cancer patients after she was accused of practicing medicine without a license. Thousands of patient testimonials lead to the popularity of Essiac tea far beyond Caisse, who passed away in 1978 at the age of 90. This herbal remedy can now be found in health stores all over the US and Canada and is a popular product sold in online markets.3,5

The Essiac Tea Recipe

There are four primary herbs that make Essiac tea so effective.1,5 These herbs help to destroy overgrowth of bad bacteria, viruses and parasites, and detoxify the colon, liver and kidneys.6,7
These major herbs include:
  1. Burdock Root
  2. The inner bark of slippery elm
  3. Sheep sorrel
  4. Indian rhubarb root
A newer recipe named Flor Essence contains this original recipe and includes the addition of 4 more herbs:1
  1. Watercress
  2. Blessed thistle
  3. Red clover
  4. Kelp

Essiac Tea Enhances Immune Function

Conventional cancer treatments increase the body’s toxic load and they destroy the individual’s immune system. Essiac tea, on the other hand, has shown the ability to strengthen the immune system and improve its ability to respond to infection. It also helps the body to eliminate toxins and provides pain relief which is welcome to anyone suffering from a chronic disease.2,6,8
Some of the companies that make Essiac tea recommend that the tea should not be used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments. This is based off the idea that the immune system gets so damaged through conventional treatments that Essiac is unable to resuscitate the body’s immune response.
Many others believe that all cancer patients or immunocompromised individuals will benefit from the use of Essiac tea due to its powerful immune supportive nutrients.8 Clinical data remains limited, however, due to lack of research-based funding for the elixir.

A Concentrated Source of Antioxidants

Oxidative stress is a condition characterized by free radical damage within the body that causes cellular instability and chronic inflammation. This state of high oxidative stress is a major player in the formation of cancer cells and other chronic disease states. Anti-oxidant compounds neutralize free radicals and quench oxidative stress and are therefore key components in a cancer prevention strategy.
Essiac tea is rich in phytonutrient antioxidant flavones, anthraquinones, and tannins. It is also rich in immune supportive polysaccharides such as beta-sitosterol that feed and strengthen immune cells.5 Studies have shown that varying concentrations of Essiac tea reduce free radical development by up to 84 percent.9
Pharmaceutical drugs make cancer drugs from these same antioxidant sources. Adriamycin, a chemotherapeutic drug approved by the FDA to treat 13 forms of cancer contains these same anthraquinones.5,10
The anti-oxidant cocktail within Essiac tea is also a potent defense against superoxide free radicals. Superoxide radicals activate other free radicals and create a nightmarish storm of oxidative stress within the body.9 Immune supportive beta-sitosterol help to neutralize the dangerous superoxide radicals.5,11

Essiac May Reduce Cell Mutations

Burdock root is the major ingredient in Essiac tea and it is rich in the anti-oxidant anthraquinone which has been shown to reduce cell mutations and prevent tumor growth. Several case studies have been written up that have reported claims that Essiac tea helped see a regression of tumor size and severity of symptoms. These patients suffered from different forms of cancer including uterus, prostate, and bowel cancer as well as growths on the skin’s surface.2,5,6
Several animal studies have shown that Essiac tea usage decreases the ability of tumor cells to multiply. The researchers did note a decrease in growth of normal cells in these cases but the herbal extract was effective at preventing the proliferation of cancerous cells at a higher rate.8

Using Essiac Tea Safely 

The use of Essiac tea has been a very effective strategy for thousands of people over the last century. The herbs are safe and typically well-tolerated by the body. Using Essiac tea may be a great therapeutic tool for you in your cancer prevention and immune supportive health plan.
The typical dosage that is recommended is 1 fluid ounce (30ml) once daily, diluted with 2 fluid ounces of hot water. This should be sipped slowly like a hot tea and should be done preferably before bedtime and at least two hours after eating. Food should be avoided within at least an hour after drinking the tea.
It is always advisable to consult with your physician and holistic practitioner before starting any sort of new treatment."

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As we get Back to the Basics, and tend our cancer diets, Essiac Tea may be a strong contender as a potential cancer fighting agent.

Always, always talk to your healthcare provider.  I can't stress this enough... many people just assume that herbs are harmless. Not So!  They can be powerful and potent and interact with other treatments that your doctor has already prescribed.  Please check before adding Essiac tea to your cancer diet...

But please don't let these warnings discourage you, Essiac tea has shown promise and should definitely be considered in your cancer regimen.

On this 31 Day Challenge, we are choosing honest, we are choosing brave and we are choosing to open the door of research and discussion as we wrestle with the nightmare of  this cancer journey.

Graced to be walking together,

My Love, Always,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

White Crack... The Sugar Connection

That's mom and our happy place... with a plate of sugary, chocolatey goodness in front of us.

We come from a long line of chocolate lovers.  It's true.  Chocolate was our tribal language...

When mom began chemo for the cancer, we gauged her well-being by her appetite for dessert... Is that weird?

Did she feel like a small piece of cake?  Or perhaps an after dinner chocolate malt?  Then she's feeling better, stronger!  She's gonna make it, no matter how hard the chemo is... It was our matter how crazy that sounds.

Here's a post from 2011 where we "medicated" our chemo infusion with dessert from Mimi's cafĂ©... and another post late in her journey where we "celebrated" just getting thru the day with Fannie Mae truffles...

The more weight she lost... the more we plied the calories...

When she ended up in the hospital over and over again, the nutritionists and nurses and aides all valiantly tried to tempt her appetite with ice cream and milkshakes, urging her to pick the richest of foods to make her meals/calories count.

And it makes me cry.

We were feeding the cancerWith every sugary bite.

White Crack.

It's an addiction.  And I believe we are too comatose from the sugary-sweet high to recognize the insidious depths of the Cancer-Sugar Connection.

Watching The Truth About Cancer Documentary revealed the glaring dis-connect so many of us are experiencing.

Scientific study after scientific study point to the ravaging effects of processed sugar in our diets.. and yet, if I may be so bold, what was on your plate for lunch? for supper? for dessert?

White Crack has invaded nearly every food form... SugarScience notes that added sugar is hiding in 74% of packaged foods.

And that is not alright.

One of the most eye-opening studies that was shared on The Truth About Cancer showed that cancer cells are obligate glucose metabolizers... Plain English?  They gobble up sugar much, much faster than normal cells allowing the cancer cells to grow and spread.

As a matter of fact, one of the Dirt Cheap Protocols, called the Three Honey Protocol, uses honey to get herbs and spices (turmeric, ginger root, cinnamon and black seed oil) into the cancer cell where they can proceed to destroy the cancer cell from within.

Did you get that?

Cancer cells gobble up sugar faster than normal cells so they can grow and spread.

And what are we feeding, actually encouraging our pancreatic cancer patients to eat???

My heart breaks... for every sugary, chocolate, milk-shake, sweet, processed calorie we fed mom.

If we had only known.  How we might have done things differently.

With everything that is in me, I choose to start a new journey today.  One that can make a difference in the road we walk... a journey not strangled by the addiction of all things sugar.

Yesterday we learned of the many, many advantages to eating clean, raw, whole food... that's a good place to start.

As we struggle daily with the cancer epidemic in our world, I know that mom would approve...after all, she was the one who always told us to "Eat your vegetables."

And that's real truth for today.

Grace and Love to every sugary, chocolate lover... this post has crippled me, for sure.  Lifting each other up as we let the Grace-Giver heal our wounds and hold us close until we are strong enough to take that first step.

My Love, Always,

Monday, November 7, 2016

Back to the Basics

{A little humor to take the sting out of this post}

Because it's about to get real...
really real.

And I'm thinking I might lose a friend or two...

So, here's the deal.  As a whole, in our society, we eat like crap.

And we know better.  Or at least our mamas did. 

"Eat your vegetables."  and  "No dessert until you finish your broccoli." 

I'm sure there were more healthy admonitions, but I usually blocked them out with chocolate...

I have eaten like crap for a long time.

I never liked veggies, couldn't stand salads and barely tolerated orange juice with pulp in it.

Pitiful... I know... 

Somewhere on my way to adulthood I started to grow up and realized that grownups do indeed eat vegetables.  Healthy choices made more sense.  That college degree in biology helped a little too.

Having my own kids was the final wake-up call.  I needed to find a way to clean up my diet and eat those healthy foods.

And we did a fairly good job, sort of... at least I learned to eat salads.  And we raised two kids that eat broccoli and carrots (win-win)

But I don't think I ever truly understood the vital importance of putting healthy food into my body until The Truth About Cancer Docu-Series.

Over and over, the point was driven home that the food we eat has a fundamental role in disease, cancer and our overall health.

We are what we eat!

Back to the basics.  It doesn't get much simpler.

Putting processed, chemical-laden, artificially-colored, fake food in turns our bodies into a toxic dumps.

Putting clean, raw, whole food in turns our bodies into a healthy, energetic treasures.

There were so many valuable interviews and information thru-out the series.  Here are some of my favorites:

John Robbins: Diet for a New America:

So Much Compelling Information!

The Farmer Husband and I have adopted a much cleaner, healthier lifestyle in the past months.   Neither of us have cancer, we are just realizing the importance of pro-active choices.  And we truly have come to believe that We are What We Eat...  And for all our fellow cancer warriors, we emphatically believe that nutrition plays a powerful role in the healing process.  Read the links above and keep on researching, talking and studying... You have so much to gain.

Do I still love chocolate?  Seriously??? 

But, can I make healthy eating a priority?  Definitely!

And, yet, there's more on the nutritional front ... Tomorrow we tackle the biggest nutritional sabotage of all... White Crack...

You don't want to miss it!

Love and Grace, Always,