Ten years ago I was diagnosed with stage IV Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As I reflect on these last 10 years, I have profound gratitude for being alive today and have stayed in remission for the past 9 years.
Though western medicine allowed me to reach remission, it’s alternative medicine that has kept me in remission.
I’ve gone through many phases in the last 25 years of being a healthcare provider. My education in western medicine led me to denounce all other disciplines as quackery. A diagnosis of cancer ultimately led me to take off the blinders to allow me to delve into other disciplines. I dove into integrative medicine graduating from a fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil as my program director. I applied much of what I learned to my own health and saw considerable benefits, but I didn’t feel complete.
Again, I stood high and almighty with my degree in hand ready to service people and their health needs. I again thought I had all the answers.
I then dove head-first into psychedelics and decreed that this was the source of all healing and that everything else was bullshit. I had my shit handed to me for years with psychedelics as I released decades and decades of trauma and found the root of all my issues. Certainly, I had the answers and knew exactly what people needed, right?
Then, the VID came which totally crushed me, more so than cancer. At the time I didn’t know that it was vid related because my issues began months after I had the vid.
Over the last 2.5 years, I’ve been stripped down to my bare essence. I spent months in severe pain due to meningitis-like symptoms, with constant headaches and neck pain, not knowing what was going on in my body. I would wake up with severe panic attacks, sometimes lasting 2-4 hours. I would experience severe brain fog to the point that I couldn’t follow a TV show, read a paragraph, or even have a conversation with someone. I was in fight or flight 24/7. My mind was stuck in a never-ending loop of pending doom and worst-case scenarios coupled with constant fear and anxiety. My nervous system was shot. I spent the first 6 months seeing practitioners to try to help my condition. Long covid wasn’t something really known to people at that time and I would often get that look, the look of being that crazy patient. Mentally, I had pretty much lost it. I had given up. In the early stages, I was fighting this battle alone. It felt like I had early-onset dementia. The persistent anxiety was intolerable and I’d be lying if said I didn’t contemplate suicide. I had tried to journal during these panic attacks to get out of my head and put things down on paper. It didn’t really help because my mind was left to only be able to write nonsensical words and streams of consciousness. I went back to re-read my entries and it brought me to tears as even now I couldn’t understand what I was trying to communicate.
It took several months before I could see some improvements. Much of the initial improvements could be attributed to many sessions of cranio sacral therapy, Reiki, bodywork, and physical therapy. It was a combination of calming my nervous system, moving negative energy out of my body, and rebuilding my body that served me best. I remember how the touch of a practitioner was so soothing and comforting to me. It was in such contrast to those glaring eyes of those other practitioners I experienced early on.
Later improvements were more attributed to a combination of old and new technologies.I got significant relief of pain from the usage of Tesla coil. A practitioner and friend offered to help me for free and it was the first time in over a year that I had felt hopeful.
I then saw a huge improvement with stem cell therapy. It was like the lights went back on in my head. I went from not being able to read to being able to read multiple pages in one setting. That was huge progress for me!
During this time, I also started and maintained personal practices of meditation and breathwork and exercised when I was able to tolerate it. My strength and conditioning was a joke from what it used to be. I started peptides to help with my inflammation and to help boost my endogenous growth hormone and testosterone production. This helped boost my vitality and well-being. All my hormones were sub-normal since my brain was full of inflammation. I couldn’t even push out the necessary hormones to maintain my body composition.
I had to constantly adjust my diet to match my inflammatory status and allergies. I was seeing practitioners to help figure out what my body needed based on real-time information acquired using muscle testing and applied kinesiology. Simple changes in my diet were able to help ward off seasonal allergy symptoms that were causing my nervous system to be hyperactive.
As I thought things were improving, I again was humbled greatly by dealing with an intestinal infection. Somewhere in my life, my body was infiltrated with yeast, abnormal bacteria and parasites. Western medicine couldn’t figure this out. I sought out multiple GI specialists who made me submit multiple stool specimens which all came back negative. Meanwhile, applied kinesiology showed that I had pathogenic invaders. I sought out another practitioner of Chinese medicine, who was able to confirm with their specialized stool testing that I had indeed had pathogens. Prior to this discovery, I was struggling with fatigue, sleep disturbances, lethargy and weight loss. I lost 15 lbs in 6 weeks. I had also taken several rounds of anti-parasitics through herbal remedies and western medicine. None worked.. I had to take specific botanicals prescribed by this Chinese medicine practitioner that started to give me life and help me heal.
I ended my botanical treatment today, it’s so fitting, as it is the 10-year anniversary of my diagnosis of cancer.
The last 10 years was indeed a personal battle with health as it was a spiritual battle. I had to go into all of my personal issues and own trauma and experience it deeply for me to be able to release all of it and experience true healing. I had to experience so many conditions on a deep and personal level: cancer, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, loneliness, delirium/dementia, gut dysfunction, hormone imbalance, musculoskeletal issues, fatigue, insomnia and probably so many others that I haven’t thought of. I don’t ask myself why me, I just tell myself that this was all in my best interest to be able to serve others in ways that I couldn;t have before.
Some of the most simplest and effective therapies that helped me were free or administered from people who just wanted to help and didn’t want any money. I was so humbled by the kindness that people extended to me and yet horrified at those people who wouldn’t give me the time of day or rolled their eyes at me. Incidentally, it was the western practitioners that treated me the worst, that didn’t have empathy and made me feel like I was crazy and inhuman.
Going through such hard times gives you perspective. It humbled me immensely and as a recovering entrepreneur, I can say that I look at money and success a lot differently now. Without health and community, money and economic success means very little. Going through hard times also showed me people’s true colors. Some people stepped up while others bailed and failed to deliver on empty promises.
I can go into a whole rant about how our healthcare system is broken and needs a complete overhaul. I can also talk about how the US and New Zealand are the only 2 countries in the world that allow big Pharma to advertise directly to the consumer and how they heavily influence how western medicine is practiced today.
I don’t fully believe that all of what I endured over the last few years was strictly due to the vid. I believe I had some severe side effects from chemotherapy that affected my brain and immune system. Once I had the vid, my system was more compromised, making it easier for other pathogens to enter my system.
It wasn’t the most expensive drug or the latest clinical trial or latest fad diet or biohack that helped me, it was actually going back to the simplicity of mindfulness, using ancient traditions, and restoring my body with strength, aerobic conditioning and rest that had the most impact. What used to be an aversion to different philosophies of healing is now central and integral to how I see true healing can be achieved. Using the best of these wonderful old and new traditions is how we should embrace how healing is practiced.
Going into the dark night of the soul was/is painful but I know there is a reason for all of this. Some of those reasons have manifested and I look forward to further insights, but I do understand that all of what I endured is not done to me, it was done for me…