I often wondered if all the stress from the last few years had contributed to this new lymphoma diagnosis, if I had manifested it from fear of cancer all these years, or if it was simply from my immunosuppression. I picked up the phone and made a consultation with Donna Gates, the founder of the Body Ecology Diet. I wanted to know how I should tweak this diet while on chemotherapy. My doctor had wanted me to start drinking multiple bottles of a popular meal replacement shake per day starting now and all the way through my treatment. I didn’t know anything about this product and was shocked to find that it was all sugar! The doctors seemed so clueless, prescribing something that would feed the cancer when they were trying to kill it. At the next appointment, they wanted to verify I was drinking the shakes, and when I told them I wouldn’t, they threatened me with a feeding tube. I felt saddened and angry that all these other cancer patients would be drinking something so toxic. I decided to continue with our family's diet and consume my green smoothie every day (cilantro, parsley, green apple, avocado, and romaine lettuce), adding lots of potatoes to add extra pounds.
Donna had told me to start reading Awakening to the Secret Code of Your Mind by Dr. Darren Weissman (The Lifeline Technique) to help me, which teaches us that our symptoms and disease are actually gifts to awaken us to create change. I bought the book but was in such a whirlwind of emotions and stress, I didn’t have it in me to read it—and it was exactly what I needed.
I did undergo some harsh side effects from the chemo and it was a rough time for me. Because the radiation therapy would be directed at my neck and mouth area, I was told it would cause pain, make it hard to eat and swallow, and would require heavy pain meds as it got worse, and that I may need a feeding tube. I remembered how awful the chemo was, and I had to try something different this time in order to cope, so I started reading about The Lifeline Technique. My eyesight was slowly doing better after the chemo stopped, so I could read the gist of what I was supposed to do: choose love and gratitude in any situation, including radiation. I implemented these techniques and low and behold, I was the only patient my doctor had that never even got the slightest sore throat! Would it have been different without The Lifeline Technique? I will never know. But maybe, just maybe, if you walked into the pain and the fear and didn’t resist anything, the situation and symptoms would be better. And after the 4 year mark I was considered “cured”!
Tula was still doing great throughout my treatments. Although she was freaked out when I went bald, plus the fact that Mike, my dad and brothers sympathetically shaved their heads too. She would call down in the mornings and yell “Does everyone have their wigs and hats on before I come downstairs??” She was finally able to sit through the whole day in kindergarten without wiggling, fidgeting, or moving some part of her body, although at times it was hard for her to transition from one thing to the next, and she could be distracted in between (the teacher would tell me). It wasn’t until 2nd grade that Tula was totally focused. She was smart, she had friends, she was happy and peaceful—and she was extremely flexible, more so than her sister! If something didn’t go Tula's way, she rolled with the punches. If the dog chewed up her favorite toy, she would smile and say, “Well, that sure made him happy!”
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