At the beginning of January, I had some alarming symptoms that sent me rushing to the Emergency Room. It was cancer.
I was shocked. Being the one person in the world who has probably lived the most nontoxic life for the longest period of time (more than 40 years now), I went through life feeling sure my body would never develop cancer because I was avoiding all the usual known chemical carcinogens.
But even doing that and not smoking and eating organic food and drinking filtered water and everything else I’ve done to be healthy, my body still developed cancer.
The professionals didn’t know. They could identify the tumor was cancer, but not what type. And they still don’t know. But they knew it was a “rare” and “aggressive” type of cancer and that was enough for me to decide to have it surgically removed.
So that’s what I did. Last Friday I had my surgery, then I spent two days recovering in the hospital room, and today I am home sitting up at my computer. I won’t be able to sit here all day, but enough to finish what I need to finish today.
There are two things I want to share with you as a result of this experience.
First, I was 1000% happy with the hospital experience. The building itself was LEED certified to be completely nontoxic. It was fragrance-free, organic food…you can read more about the hospital at LIFELY: My Recovery From Cancer in a Lifely Hospital.
The other thing I want to be really clear about because this was a big lesson for me.
I spent forty years of my life devoted to finding hidden toxics in consumer products and shopping for nontoxic products for myself and others so we could all be safe from these toxic substances. And I thought that would protect me. It did, but only to the degree that it could.
I think there is a thing that happens—I know this happened to me—when people find out toxic chemicals are making them sick, and that you can get well by avoiding them, you begin to think there are only two worlds: the toxic world and the nontoxic world. The toxic world is dangerous and the nontoxic world is safe. It’s easy to be lulled into thinking that all you need to do is avoid toxic chemicals and you will never be sick or get cancer.
But that’s just not true.
What IS true is that toxic chemicals in consumer products make people sick. And eliminating your exposure to toxic products can help your body be healthier. But it’s not the whole story—it’s only the first step.
Last June, I retired from my toxics work because I had a feeling there was more I needed to do and I wanted to give myself the space and time to find out what I needed to do to have a high level of wellness in my body. Obviously I needed to do this because they removed a tumor that was large enough that it may have taken months, if not years, for it to grow.
My first months after toxics I spent researching and writing and developing a viewpoint around adding more Life to our individual lives, and moving away from industrialization.
But only this past week I found there was something else that we all really need to focus on. Not instead of toxics, but in addition to. And that is food.
I’m going to be writing a lot more about this, but I just want to start by telling you that certain foods can be even more harmful to health than toxic chemicals.
The night before my surgery I started reading a book called Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author of The China Study. I read parts of The China Study about five years ago and I remember it saying “eating meat causes cancer” but I was so convinced at the time that toxic chemicals were much more probable carcinogens that I didn’t pay attention to this.
Yet, the very night before my cancer surgery, I open this book and it says
The food we eat is a much more powerful determinant of cancer than just about any environmental toxin…
Animal protein intake determined cancer development far more than the dose of the chemical carcinogens.
Animal protein is more powerful as a cancer-causing agent than chemical carcinogens. Dr Campbell writes about how his laboratory studies showed how they could turn cancer on and turn it off using nutrition only.
So where did I get cancer? I would say most likely from the years I spent eating a Paleo diet and later a Keto diet filled with animal protein of all types. Both at the insistence of my medical doctors who insisted I each this way to control my elevated blood sugar. I finally stopped eating these diets when I lost my left eye to diabetic retinopathy. After switching to a China Study type diet, my remaining eye has only grown stronger and my blood sugar is now normal, which I had never been able to achieve on the animal protein diets.
I had already planned to start a new food blog, but now it’s on the front burner. Apparently, nutrition affects health even more than most of us thought it would. I’ll be writing more about exactly how animal protein causes cancer and how we can create satisfying meals that eliminate this danger. And many other food and health and nature related topics as well.
My surgery was 100% successful, so I am now cancer-free. Thank goodness. But I can see there is much more to learn and do, while standing on my firm foundation of living toxic-free.