Part 4 of 5: Our cancer journey continues – the search for answers to life and death questions

Photo by Wonderlane (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)

Photo by Wonderlane (courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons)

When my wife was first diagnosed with cancer I’d done some half-hearted research on various approaches to dealing with cancer. Circumstances had now forced me to kick my search into high gear. I read through descriptions of dozens of book on Amazon looking for books that sounded like they had some scientific basis in their approach. I scoured the Internet looking through dozens of web sites, searching for clues as to what help me extend my wife’s life.

One of the the great blessings of the Internet Age is the sheer volume of information that  masses of people now have free access to. Ironically one of the great curses of the Internet Age is the sheer volume of information that masses of people now have free access to. I once Googled the phrase “cancer recovery” and got a tsunami of search results–of over 106 million. Imagine scouring through that mountain while the cancer clock ticks in the background. With few options I started at the bottom of my mountain of possibilities and examined each book, article, and website, looking for the ring of truth and for the clues for a way to keep my wife alive as long as I could. I knew somewhere in this mountain there were answers to, at the very least, extending my wife’s life, and maybe more.

From the dozens of book descriptions I pored over at Amazon I chose several and ordered them. They arrived in the mail one by one and I quickly scanned through them, trying to decide which one had the best chance of helping us as quickly as possible fight this battle.

I started reading a book titled Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Dr. Patrick Quillin. His bio stated that he was VP of Nutrition for Cancer Centers of America for ten years and his name was followed by an impressive number of letters of the alphabet (PhD, RD, CNS). The book came with a CD which I repeatedly listened to for things I could begin doing immediately. For people who, understandably, might be too weak to read, the 406 page book has a ten page summary at the beginning which I found very helpful.

Being in a big hurry I skipped on ahead reading chapter titles and section titles and looking for things that would be of immediate help. One chapter section was titled “Dragon Slayer Shake”. Dr. Quillin wrote that Cancer Centers of America had good results using this nutritional shake for patients that were slipping into cachexia (i.e. losing their appetite, losing weight, becoming weaker). While the cachexia sufferer may have no appetite their body is starving to death and desperately in need of good nutrition to stave off the cancer and recover from the toxic effects of chemo and radiation and repair surgical wounds.

The recipe in the book offers several ingredients to choose from to comprise a liquid portion, a protein portion, a vegetable portion, a thickener and other ingredients. Basically it allows you to build your own unique shake. I started immediately concocting our own unique “Dragonslayer Shake” and giving them to my wife, one every morning and one every evening.

While I continued to read and significantly change the ingredients of her shake over time (I now give her a special anticancer “green smoothie:” morning and evening) I partly credit what I read in Dr. Quillin’s book to starting the long slow climb out of a deep emotional hole (not to mention the health hole my wife was in). For the first time I felt I might possibly be able to do something to influence the outcome of an increasingly chaotic and hopeless situation.

(Continued in next post)

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