By Nicolette Richer
Two years ago my mom brought our family together for what we thought was going to be a fun family dinner in Whistler.
But no one knew cancer was on the menu that evening.
As we casually made our way through the hotel lobby, mom casually announced that her doctor had told her she may have bladder cancer… but of course, this couldn’t be confirmed until further tests were complete.
An unappetizing start to dinner
Mom’s health history leading up to this point was spotty – 20 years of arthritic pain, ankle and leg swelling, heart conditions, waking up four to five times a night to use the bathroom, more body pain, sleepless nights, low energy, the list goes on and none of it is fun.
Despite these challenges mom had an intensely happy, youthful, energetic side. She can be found hauling loads of topsoil into the garden all day long, planting large apple trees, racing her children to the beach, and insisting on wearing her grandchildren on her back African-style whipping up delicious Thanksgiving feasts for 20-plus people (my mom is African, born and raised in Malawi).
Back in the hotel lobby, mom's announcement created a surreal feeling. Time stopped, the air stood still, I could hear blood pounding in my ears. Then my brain snapped back to reality, to now, and the questions started flooding in. How do they know? Could they be wrong? They must be wrong. How bad is it? What now? Anxious feelings and unanswered questions were serving themselves up.
Now for the main course
1 in 2 Canadians now get diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and knowing that thousands of loved ones experience similar feelings to what I felt is what drives me every day to teach people how to prevent and reverse chronic illness. But cancer doesn’t own us, we own it. The choices we make to prevent and heal from this chronic degenerative disease is what we all need to work together on.
There are some great books that will inspire and empower you to take back your health: The Brain that Changes Itself, Brain on Fire, and How Doctors Think. These great reads share two themes – 1] the human body has an incredible capacity to heal itself and 2] you will most likely be considered a quack for trying to heal yourself if you don’t succumb to your doctor’s mantra – “your illness is incurable” or “we can’t find anything wrong with you”. Often it just takes the right person, the right piece of missing information, and the willingness to push beyond what science dictates is possible.
“There’s nothing more we can do for you.” If ever you hear those words, just climb over them and keep going until you find the answers you seek. This drive and knowledge may just help you overcome your health challenge. It’s imperative that you do not buy into the myth that chronic degenerative diseases are incurable, because as soon as you believe it, you will stop asking questions.
Back to my mom. Weeks after our family dinner, further tests revealed mom didn’t actually have bladder cancer or any type of cancer – turns out her previous doctor had run the wrong tests which often produce false positives. But this didn’t mean that she wasn’t out of the woods.
So instead of jumping for joy at this great news, mom decided that there would be no more sleep studies, blood work or doctor visits. Like a bucket of garden soil, mom grabbed her own health and started lifting.
A just dessert
After eight years of hearing me go on about the health benefits of the Gerson Therapy and seeing the success my clients had in reversing their chronic illnesses, avoiding surgery and healing themselves with food, she asked me to teach her how to do it. And she stuck to it.
After only 72 hours of adopting a plant based, nutrient-rich diet and implementing the liver detox protocol (coffee enemas) to support her liver, she slept through the night for the first time in years. Her knee pain disappeared. That pesky ankle swelling, gone. She hadn’t felt better in decades.
It was heart-warming, watching my mom throw veggies from her garden into the juicer, smelling veggies slow cooking on her stove ~ gentle heat breaking down the fibers so her digestive system could have a break and heal itself. Noticing her take her “coffee breaks” meticulously, and watching her make huge delicious life-food meals was music to my ears, magic to my eyes, and filled my heart with love. After all, the greatest gift we can give to others is self-love and self-care. If my mom is healthy then I’m happy knowing she’ll be around longer to grandmother my daughters.
So many of us will watch our mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, brothers and sisters deal with cancer this year – many of them will die. It’s an epidemic, but an epidemic that has always had a cure – it’s inside us. Our bodies have the natural built-in ability to prevent and beat cancer. We were designed that way. Ask any biochemist or doctor - they were taught that in their first year science courses. But we need to feed and protect our healthy cells instead of feeding the disease. And there’s no better time to start than now. Just ask my mom.
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