When I learned in 1972 that I had cancer of the breast,
groin, stomach, pancreas, and liver, I immediately started
to research the physical causes of the disease.
But—since I maintain that most illnesses stem from
psychological sources—the emotional causes concerned
me even more.
I also knew that the effects of nutrition on cancer would
be of prime importance to me since I had—20
years earlier—used nutrition therapy as a self-cure
for an extreme case of hemorrhaging and edema.
In fact, I've never believed in the treatment of symptoms
instead of causes, and I had decided years before
that—if I ever had cancer—I would not submit to
the brutal surgical, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments
I had watched a close friend endure.
My friend had first gone through a complete mastectomy,
then had both of her healthy ovaries removed to
prevent the production of female hormones. She suffered
through a long series of cobalt treatments and became
horribly ill from the side effects of chemotherapy,
only to eventually die of lung cancer. If at all possible, I wanted a natural cancer cure.
The Cancer Personality
When I had to face my own illness, I finally
acknowledged that I fell into a category known as "the
cancer personality." I had first heard of this "type" of
person through Dr. O. Carl Simonton, a young radiologist
from Fort Worth, Texas.
Dr. Simonton wanted to help cancer patients with something
more than radiation, and he developed a biofeedback system
that employs the power of the mind to change the body's
processes. (Biofeedback works. It is widely used in many
applications today.) But, when the doctor taught this
technique to his patients, he discovered that it
also put them in direct contact with feelings that
had been repressed for years, and that the cancer victims
who faced and worked out these negative emotions were the
ones who eventually recovered. With that knowledge, the
radiologist began to prescribe private and group
psychotherapy for his patients.
There are (according to Dr. Simonton) three main attributes
of the cancer personality: First, the person has a poor
self-image—his or her identity is bound up in seeking
the approval of others. Second, the typical cancer
victim—even before the onset of
disease—feels sorry for him-or herself, because that
person is apt to be living in latent despair. And, finally,
the "cancer type" is unable to forgive and forget, and is,
therefore, unlikely to have long-term successful
The theory is that there's a core of helplessness and
hopelessness at the center of every cancer
personality. And all of these subconscious, negative
feelings have to be discovered, dissipated, and
reprogrammed into positive feelings of self-worth,
into the ability to laugh at oneself and one's predicaments, and into learning to love—despite weaknesses
and mistakes—both oneself and others.
Experts in the field—including the late Dr. Gotthard
Booth, a New York City psychiatrist—believe that
"overcoming cancer is overcoming despair." Dr. Booth's
research showed that a cancer-prone person often
experiences this latent anguish because of a childhood
devoid of a nurturing relationship with one or both
parents. The person never learned to trust,
and—consequently—developed a personality that
felt secure only when in control of life's situations. When
such a man or woman loses control of a main goal (whether
that goal involves spouse, child, or career), all the
buried despair and helplessness rise to the surface and the cancer process begins.
Helplessness to Self-Confidence
The more I studied the cancer personality, the more I
identified with it. And, within six weeks of the discovery
of my illness, I finally tapped the core of my personal
problem and was completely inundated by waves of
overwhelming helplessness. I realized then that I had felt
this way all of my life, but that—like many other
cancer personalities—I'd covered these emotions with
a great show of self-sufficiency. If I hadn't repressed
such feelings, I probably wouldn't have been able to get
out of bed in the morning much less cope with life.
It took a lot of hard work to reprogram my emotions. I
spent 10 to 15 minutes three times a day telling myself
that I was no longer a child at the mercy of sick, neurotic
parents, that I was an adult now and capable of taking
care of myself. I even made a cassette tape, on which I
said things like: "You can do anything you want to do, you
are strong, you are intelligent" etc, and listened
to it every day.
The therapy which enabled me to uncover the blocked
emotions is called "Psychosynthesis." The treatment has
many techniques not only to put patients in touch
with their repressed feelings, but also to
reprogram those feelings and restructure and
integrate the personality. And, from the time I made my
"breakthrough," I've progressed rapidly in emotional
I also used biofeedback for almost a year as a means to
reactivate my immune mechanism. Space doesn't permit a
detailed discussion of that technique except to describe
what I did three times every day:
First, I would picture—with my creative
imagination—a light in the form of white, bullet-like
radiation going to the cancer sites and killing the cancer
cells. Then, I would "see" the white corpuscles rush over,
pick up the dead cancer cells, and carry them out of the
body through the waste system—just the way the immune
mechanism is supposed to work (but doesn't) in the cancer
Detoxification With Diet
Meanwhile, for my physical treatment, I was led to a book
by Dr. William D. Kelley called One Answer to
Cancer (available for $3.25 postpaid from the
International Association of Cancer Victims).
This volume taught me that the first thing I had to do was
detoxify my body in order to get rid of the poisons
that had accumulated for years while I ate the wrong foods.
(In addition, the cancer itself throws a lot of toxins into
the bloodstream.) I eliminated these poisons with juices,
fasting, coffee enemas, saunas, deep breathing, massage,
I became a vegetarian and swore off meat, poultry, fish,
and dairy products with the exception of yogurt. In
addition, I stopped eating all processed and refined foods,
and I also cut out caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol, soft
drinks, white sugar, white flour, and any products made
with the last two items.
Since cooking destroys the enzymes which we need so badly,
I ate mostly raw food, and drank gallons of fruit and
vegetable juices. I ate apricot kernels, too, because they
contain B-17 (also known as laetrile or amygdalin),
which has been shown to help cancer patients.
A typical day's physical regimen went like this.
Early morning : one teaspoon of chia seeds which
had been soaked overnight in fresh grape juice. (These
seeds were a staple of the Aztecs and are still popular in
Mexico and the American Southwest.)
Breakfast (30 minutes later): raw cereal made of a
combination of wheat berries, buckwheat, rye, barley, oat
groats, millet, sesame, brown rice, flax, corn, alfalfa,
lentils, mung beans, and almonds (I would grind three or
four tablespoons of this mixture, soak it in water
overnight, and add raisins or date sugar for flavor, but no
milk). My breakfast also included 16 apricot kernels, 16
almonds, and one tablespoon of acidophilus.
After breakfast : coffee enema.
Mid-morning : the juice of two oranges, one
grapefruit, and one lemon in an equal amount of water.
Before lunch : swim at the club, sauna twice
weekly, sunbathe when possible.
Lunch : fruit salad and yogurt with ground sesame
seeds and more almonds.
Afternoon : one quart of carrot juice and one pint
of celery juice.
Dinner : green salad with sunflower, sesame, and
pumpkin seeds, and whole grain toast spread with
My food supplements—which were the same for all three
meals—included two hydrochloric acid tablets, two
capsules of chelated minerals, two potassium tablets, three
kelp tablets, and 400 units of vitamin E before each meal.
Then after each meal I'd take 1,000 mg. of vitamin C,
20,000 mg. of vitamin A, 800 mg. of vitamin D, one
high-potency vitamin B capsule, six predigested protein
tablets, two pancreatin (pancreatic enzymes) tablets, and
six dessicated liver tablets. (I became quite expert at
swallowing up to 10 pills at a gulp!) I also took two
comfrey-pepsin tablets between meals—an herb mixture
which Dr. Kelley says clears the mucus out of the small
intestine—and extra pancreatin tablets in
midafternoon and between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. so they
could attack the cancer when there was no protein to be
I purchased a vegetable juicer, so I could have my nectar
fresh, and—in between juices—I drank herb teas
such as chaparral and red clover.
As you can see, my diet was almost totally raw. For some
ideas and inspiration I bought Raw Vegetable
Juices by N.W. Walker (O'Sullivan, Woodside & Co.) and John H.
Tobe's "No-Cook" Book (The Provoker Press),
plus a couple other vegetarian cookbooks.
After the first 30 days on my diet, I cut the daily coffee
enemas down to twice weekly, and—after nine
months—I felt so good that I eliminated most of the
food supplements. Now, I only take vitamins C, E, B, A, and
When I had been on this regimen for several months and most
of my symptoms had disappeared, I went to see a nutrition
doctor and had some tests run. They showed that—even
though my blood was still in a toxic condition—I was
completely free of any malignancy.
That didn't really surprise me, for I had learned in my
research that—if you have 50"% use of your vital
organs—you can recover from cancer. And, according to
Dr. Max Gerson and other cancer experts, it's a fairly
simple matter to get rid of a malignancy. However, it takes
time, hard work, and lots of discipline to build the body
back to health and to reactivate the immune system.
The Lessons of Cancer
I'm actually grateful that I had this deadly disease,
because of the tremendous changes it made in my life.
First of all, I feel better physically, emotionally, and
mentally than I have ever felt before. When I got rid of
that core of helplessness, I found it possible (at age 55)
to launch a career in writing, lecturing, teaching, and
private counseling in Psychenutrition, a wholistic
approach that combines therapy for the body, mind, and
spirit. And I now feel so physically vibrant that I go to
the beach every day, jog a mile, and then swim in the ocean—summer and winter.
I've also discovered that many folks have healed
their cancer and other killer diseases through nutrition
and various unorthodox methods. And, that there are
dedicated, courageous doctors, professionals, and laymen
who work hard to get this information to the public.
There are also organizations that aid people with cancer,
and these groups led me to the books that helped me. The
International Association of Cancer Victims, for example,
has been working with cancer patients for 14 years and has
a tremendous bibliography of information. The Association
also provides referrals to doctors who treat cancer by
natural methods . . . instead of the "usual" surgery,
radiation, and chemotherapy.
And, finally, the main thing that I've learned is
that I'm responsible for my health. (Good health is so
simple really, if you take the responsibility and do a
Today, I put nothing but pure and nutritious food into my
body and mind, because—to add a little of my own to
the famous quotation—"As a man thinks and
eats ...so is he".
Additional information on nutrition therapy for cancer
can be found in "Vitamin Therapy Provides Hope for Cancer Victims" and "Dr. Harold W. Manner, The Man Who Cures Cancer."