“I had no idea that there were so many quack ideas about how to fight cancer!” I exploded at Rob. “It is ridiculous. Everyone I speak to seems to have a cure for the disease. Why don’t they market some of them and make a fortune?”
It was so difficult to sort out the truth from the fiction.
“Eat a raw potato every day.”
“You must eat a whole avocado pear daily.”
“Eat at least three apples a day.”
“Only drink ionised water. That is very important.”
“Stay out of the sun.”
“Get plenty of fresh air.”
“You need a lot of rest. Stay in bed as long as you can in the morning, and don’t forget to take a nap in the afternoon.”
“Don’t allow yourself to be lazy. Force yourself to get up and moving in the morning. Keep active.”
“Learn relaxation techniques, and spend time alone, quietly meditating.”
“Don’t allow your mind to dwell on things. Keep focussed.”
“Drink lots of milk. Build up your calcium stores.”
“Don’t drink milk. Calcium increases your chances of cancer."
"Avoid animal fat.”
“Don’t eat red meat. Eat soya.”
“Don’t eat soya. It contains oestrogen.”
“I have brought you some tapes. If you will only listen to these regularly, they will help you to conquer cancer.”
“Take massive doses of Vitamin C every day.” And they meant massive!
“This company has the answer. They can cure cancer.” So why doesn’t the world know about this?
"Use this powder twice a day."
"Drink this mixture first thing in the morning.”
“Take these tablets before every meal.”
No doubt each of the companies advertising their products really believed in them. But how could you ever decipher the healthy suggestions from the harmful?
Every person giving me advice believed what they were saying. They meant well, and the trouble is there was probably at least an element of truth in everything I was told. But I began to dread those words, “What you need to do is . . .”
A widely recognised health book by a very well-known health expert gave me a formula to fight cancer. It stressed the need for the following supplementation in addition to a healthy diet:
- Beta-carotene capsules
- Vitamin C (4,000mg. per day)
- Vitamin E capsules
- Selenium capsules
- Multivitamin capsules
- Multimineral tablets
- Antioxident complex
- GLA tablets.
These would probably have been very good, if I was financially able to buy them all. But if I was to purchase all these supplements, which were not covered by my medical aid, I would not be able to afford to eat. Where did it end?
So I decided, probably wisely, to stick to my oncologist's prescription of one shark-liver oil capsule three times a day, and a specific multivitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant combination, both of which were available from his staff.
One day I received a letter from a dear friend, telling me to take Barley Green, a powder that she sold for a company.
“Denise don’t do this to our friendship!” I groaned. She explained how this would help my immune system cope with the treatment I was about to embark on. I put the letter to one side, saddened that she would try and make money out of my plight.
A couple of weeks later, I received a parcel through the post, containing two jars of this very expensive powder. Denise, certain that it would help me, sent them as a gift. Included in the package was the name and phone number of the representative in my area. Shamefaced, I picked up the phone to thank her. How could I have thought she just saw me as a potential client?
The jars sat unopened for a number of days. It looked so revolting. Eventually I felt guilty. They had cost my friend a lot of money. I reluctantly started taking it, following the instructions. It tasted every bit as repulsive as it looked. I determined to take it just long enough to prove it didn’t help. I mixed the powder with fruit juice which made it a little more tolerable. Eventually, I came to the end of the jars and stopped with a feeling of relief.
A few days later, I reached for the telephone to order more. I hadn't realised how much it had helped to build up my energy. Praise the Lord for persevering friends! I took Barley Green for the rest of my year on treatment.
As a result of all the unwanted advice, I stopped reading about diet and nutrition. Each time a book reached a chapter about what I should or shouldn't be eating, I turned the pages. It was only much later that I realised I was ignoring a major part of the healing process, and giving my poor overworked immune system even more tasks to cope with.
But food wasn't the only issue . . .
* Some names have been changed to protect identity.