Dealing With Any Type of Cancer - WHAT TO DO? - October 11, 2009

 UPDATED in March, 2014.  
(Changes from original post noted in red text)

I will begin with the answer to the question implicit in the title. How should someone, or ANYONE, deal with a cancer diagnosis? All the answers start in one place. YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE NOT TO DIE FROM CANCER. That is the front line defense and the bottom line of any treatment regimen. If you accept that your cancer is a death sentence, then ultimately it will be.

Don't get me wrong - I am not going to suggest using willpower for self healing and other miracle working. I intend something much more practical. Here's the deal. If anybody I know has cancer, or any of their friends or family, I hear about it. Same goes for my family - if any friends or relatives of friends have cancer, they hear about it, and then I hear about it from them. Generally the situations described are grave, and people will imply that there is little hope. Occasionally some will ask, but more often the question is unspoken - what should the person who has cancer DO about it? Since I have cancer and I have done some things that have been successful to date, one presumes that I am somehow qualified to answer the question. I don't know about that, but it's a semi-free country and a free-ish internet, so I do have the forum if nothing else. (As they say on emails, texts, and other electronic media these days - LOL.*)

Here is an example. My mother recently attended her high school reunion - we won't mention how many years. I asked about the class valedictorian, the coolest guy from her small town, who I had met once or twice when I was very young. She said he looked good and was doing fine, but that his wife had cancer and it was terminal. I hear this a lot (this was the second one that day), and it really makes me angry. Perhaps cancer will kill you, but to just accept that it will seems to me to be fundamentally and morally wrong. This fellow's scenario is typical. His wife has cancer of some type, it is a strong one (i.e. malignant), it has spread (i.e. metastasized), and there is really no hope. Of course they are getting the best doctors and choosing all the best treatments, but the odds are poor and really it is just a matter of time. Perhaps this will really be the case. My opinion is that it may not necessarily be so, and accepting the fait accompli is needless and dangerous. Often these cancers are treated with surgery plus chemotherapy and/or radiation therapies, which could kill the cancer - if they don't kill the patient first. Other cancers (like mine) have some thankfully easier treatments (albeit still unpleasant). My particular 10 year survival prognosis with treatment for T1 G3 non-invasive bladder cancer was 70-80%, which is VERY high compared to most. So yes, I do count myself blessed and fortunate for that, and for the success to date.

Back to the main point here - we have been trained (especially in America) to ONLY do what the doctor says and hope for the best. I know a lot of doctors and count some of them among my best and most faithful friends. They are some really smart people. I also know that they are human beings - trained in specialized skills to the exclusion of nearly all else. As such doctors are quite valuable resources for the things that they know about. We should pay attention to what doctors know and recommend, and we should work together with them to defeat the cancer. Let me repeat that for emphasis - WORK TO DEFEAT THE CANCER. This is step one. If you cannot take this step, then
you have already decided to die from cancer. Anything you do after that is a simple matter of "just going through the motions." I will develop this logic thread more later. Step 2 is a combination of following the doctor's advice while educating yourself and your support team, and adding to that everything that you can to help your medical treatments to be successful. This last area is one where your doctor has had zero formal training, so he or she probably cannot help you, and most likely cannot even make an educated comment about any of it.

In addition to the "doctor knows best" conditioning, we also tend to accept that there is nothing else that can be done. Just surrender to the doctors and hope/pray for the best. Please do not misinterpret me - I heartily recommend most things that doctors will suggest. I also think there is plenty more that can be done, and these things lie outside the areas of your doctors' collective training. They are not particularly weird or strange, and they certainly should NOT be viewed as ALTERNATIVE therapies. They are simply ADDITIONAL therapies. This whole nomenclature of "alternative medicine" has been a tremendous disservice. It's really wrong-headed from every angle. It's not medicine, and it's not an alternative. These are reasonable and proper actions that can be taken
in addition to taking conventional medical actions. Together they form a multi-pronged attack on the cancer and provide the basis for a healthy and longer life. After all the goal is not to die FROM CANCER. Which gives you the privilege to die from something else, hopefully much later in life. Say something like a skydiving accident on your 100th birthday, having too much sex, or other happy pursuits. (LOL* again)

How does all of this work together? I have developed a logic model that shows how many actions can play together to secure the desired result: CANCER-FREE STATE. The actions one can take (including conventional medicine) are listed on the left, and the logical outcomes are traced out from left to right, resulting in the final desired goal - the cancer-free state. The model is still in draft form, but it's now mature enough to make sense to the few logical readers out there in cyberspace who may choose to pick through it. My mother's friend from high school is a very smart guy, so perhaps this will appeal to him and others like him. One further disclaimer - the software I used to create the model is designed to make the chart attractive and easier to read, so the actions at left are not necessarily in priority order. And you WILL need to click on the diagram to get a much larger and readable version.  Note: I have not updated the chart to include baking soda (#4 below), but it falls in the same area as FOCC.


Please Click on Diagram to Enlarge!

Apologies to any who have found the discussion so far (or the diagram above) to be confusing. It was not my goal, and I shall try to summarize more succinctly. All of the actions at the left side of the chart are actions that I, myself, have taken and continue to follow. As a group these actions logically appear to be much more effective towards reaching a cancer-free state than conventional medicine alone. They boil down to a radical lifestyle change in terms of attitude, diet, and exercise. Seems so simple, but...

When I give some of these ideas to people whose family and friends have severe forms of cancer, the suggestions are generally met with derision and perhaps a roll of the eyes. Even if they pass them on, the cancer sufferers tend to have the same reactions. I accept that I cannot help anyone who does not want to be helped. But if you are willing to CHOOSE NOT TO DIE FROM CANCER, then you might also be willing to choose to do some things you would not otherwise do. Certainly I would choose NOT to have a tube of bio-cooties jammed up my favorite private part, yet people tend to accept this type of thing more readily than something simple like, for example - stop eating sugar. I find it very odd, but a good friend pointed out that it actually took 3-4 months for me to come around to my current point of view. Thankfully I had that much time!

Attitude is the key. Whether you have the herculean strength to draw it from yourself like some have, or whether you are content to draw from an outside source (i.e. God, support group, relentless spouse, etc.), having the attitude that it is possible to survive renders all the actions more effective. I described in a previous post how David Eliot from New Zealand noticed the same phenomenon and applied it in his own case with some degree of success. I think he went about it the hard way, yet the results are there. So if you believe that you can survive, the next step is to decide what you will do to survive. Many follow only their doctors' advice and do OK, but many more still die of cancer. So I believe that something more can and must be done. Here is the list of 10 things I have done in priority order:

  • #1 - Surgery and Biotherapy to remove and attack the cancer
  • #2 - Stop eating sugar, simple starches, and micro-processed food to avoid glucose spikes to feed the cancer
  • #3 - No chlorinated water or drinks made with chlorinated water or ice to preserve intestinal function
  • #4 - UPDATE 2014: On an empty stomach and well before your next meal, take 1 teaspoon (5 g) per day of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) dissolved in 6 oz (175 ml) of water or more to maintain body alkalinity (does not affect blood pH which stays in a very tight range, but will increase the pH of lymph, saliva, urine and other bodily fluids and environments).  In addition, eat Flax Oil & Cottage Cheese (FOCC) daily weekly to boost cell respiration (aka Budwig protocol - see my FOCC post) I now have FOCC only once per week, because it tends to spike body acidity.  Despite this fact, all of the positive benefits are still there.  For people with active or recent cancer - who have been recently diagnosed or within the first two years after surgery, I still recommend FOCC daily, along with the baking soda.  Just don't take them together!
  • #5 - Avoid potential carcinogens (eat organic, all-natural, and wild foods - avoid bottom feeders and artificial sweeteners of all types) to avoid triggering new cancers
  • #6 - Eat foods with beneficial compounds (see Beliveau book or cookbook, Servan-Schreiber book, or read this post of mine) to add to the assault on cancer cells
  • #7 - Consume natural enzymes and pro-biotics to improve digestive function
  • #8 - Eat more fiber and less protein very few carbohydrates to improve digestive function and general health
  • #9 - Take immune-system boosting and other supplements and vitamins just in case
  • #10 - Exercise regularly too keep the whole system operating and lubricated - ranked last because I still HATE it
Do I need to do every one of these things? Probably not. Will I experiment on myself by deleting them using a cleverly designed experiment to see which factors are the most influential in cancer prevention and risk a recurrence? No thanks! Are there other things I can or should do? Perhaps. The beauty of the internet is the wealth of information available. The curse of the internet is the fact that most or all of this information is buried beneath and surrounded by a nearly insurmountable pile of absolute bullshit. So I decided to go with the list above.

I promised to come back to the thread about folks who have already decided to die. For many years at work I sat beside a brilliant man. It would be reasonable to describe him as a "rocket scientist," or perhaps more accurately a missile engineer. He is also a neighbor who lives 2 blocks away. Six months ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that was found to have metastasized. His condition is grave. I went over and shared what I was doing. I even made a small batch of FOCC and showed his wife how easy it was to prepare. She and I both thought it tasted pretty good. He tasted it, made a face, spit it out, and said, "Yech! I will not eat that. It tastes like pancake batter!" I was quite taken aback - standing before him as living proof of success (so far) in battling cancer, a person he knows to be of some intelligence, offering a simple recommendation to follow - yet he chose to ignore my input. It later became clear that he had (at least subconsciously) chosen to die and was not going to be inconvenienced by any extra unpleasantness or hassles suggested by me. Certainly what the doctors are doing for him is unpleasant enough. For whatever reason I find that many otherwise intelligent people abandon reason, almost as if they have operant conditioning, to accept that medical science is the only existing reaction for any recourse against cancer. The hard truth of the matter is that the results for medical success are staggeringly low. Any logical person must therefore realize that the odds are stacked against them. Since they know the probability is that they will soon die from cancer, they are not willing to do anything unknown or "unscientific". Deep down inside they believe that since they are going to die anyway, why should they give up their favorite foods or take pills that their doctor did not recommend? And they accept that they will inevitably die from their cancer. If this is your situation, you should also face up to the reality of your attitude. By choosing not to do anything extra or potentially difficult, you have chosen instead simply to die, especially if the doctors have told you that there is little or nothing that they can do for you. At least you can help them make a few boat payments on your way out...

Perhaps people like David Eliot, Dr. David Servan-Schriber, myself, and countless others who have chosen to do other things in addition to the medical approach are fools. But to "just go through the motions" and then die a slow and painful death from cancer? I say "To hell with that!!!" Let it instead be said that we are just stubborn - too stubborn to die of cancer.

*Laughing Out Loud


Mike said...

Steve. I started reading your blog after being diagnosed with 3 tumors in my bladder. I have had the surgery and tomorrow I go for #4 BEG. After reading your post I decided that what you said made good sense and started doing lots of the things you spoke about. I take the Beta-1,3/1,6- D Guten 100mg. 1 a day----Broccology 2 a day -----oncovite 2 a day maitake 30mg 1 a day -----Soy Isoflavones 2 a day-----Kyolic Garlic Extract 1/2 teaspoon in V 8 daily----! garlich pill daily.
I do these things that I have learned from reading your post. I think your research in this matter is very much apprecited from my point of view. Thanks a lot and if you can see anything you would change in my treatments please let me know.

A Dived Ref said...


I have read this post a number of times and once I got past the sheer force of the writing (no criticism - just how powerful I found it) I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with the sheer volume of work you have done but you scared the bejeebers out of me on some of this and even as far down the line as I am it has made me "sit up and take notice".

I doubt this is every-one's "comfortable read" and neither should it be. Well done for rationalising the information you have researched and what it means to us all.

I'm taking a long hard look at some of the stuff I have been "thinking" was good for me and you might like to look at for some equally interesting information - especially on sweeteners that replace sugar. I thought that cutting that out was a good thing but it may appear that the replacements are even worse!

Well done, well researched, well crafted and as always so useful. Continued best wishes for sharing your research for the beenfit of us all.

Steve Kelley said...

Hello Mike and thanks for your kind words. Looks like you are well along the way following #1 on my recommended list and you have a version of #9 that seems to work for you.

What could you change? Add in #2 through #8 plus #10 above, in order. That is what I would recommend.

Steve Kelley said...

David, thanks for the support and the challenge. The website you recommend is jammed full of useful info. Of course Dr. Mercola has his own biases. Even so, the information there has challenged some of the things that I thought were OK, even though I thought I was being fairly conservative in what I allow myself! Further study will be required, as always...

Hang in there and congrats on your positive results!

Amber said...

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A Cancer diagnosis demands so much from us; emotionally, physically and mentally. The MedTrakker was created to save patients and care givers the anxiety of "Starting from Scratch".
The Organizer allows the patient to record Important Contacts, Health and Treatment History, All of your appointments with a 1 year Calendar, Chart your daily or weekly Blood Counts. Side Effect Management, Insurance Discussions and more.
The Organizer also provides Nutritional Support, Physical Support and Motivational Support. Each section of the MedTrakker is designed to fit the needs of every Cancer patient and their Care Givers. Patients will interact with many health care providers aiding them in there treatment care. MedTrakker is a valuable resource tool in an easy-to-use format. Please visit us online
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Ruth said...

Hi Steve. I "bumped" into your site while searching for a blog on bladder cancer. I was diagnosed 3 years ago, underwent surgery to remove 4cm tumor which was just beginning to penetrate inside bladder wall. I did not require any additional treatment which is great but sometimes I feel that what appeared to be an easy route keeps me from participating in support group type activity. While the journey has not seemed easy for me, I have overheard comments from "friends" similar to 'oh, it is nothing, she did not even need chemo or anything'. My "Judgement Days" I LOVE that term) were every 3 mos, just switched to 4 mos and with last weeks scope,lo and behold, we might have a little action going on again in my bladder. So I am going into surgery tomorrow am to see what's up and I am so surprised that I feel more concern/nervous than 3 yrs ago. Maybe because, at 1 week short of 3 yrs clean, my head jumped the gun on long term cancer free status. I havd truly enjoyed the information about your journey and advice for additional actions...I am going to take some of those actions! FYI, I thank God for many things, but one of them is that I am a female - EVERY time I go in for another scope....

Rapid Iq said...

Extraordinary piece of work ! Keep going steve...we are reading.God Bless us all !

Anne said...

I must agree with everyone..Excellent advice. Thank you for taking the time to share such beneficial information.
Since my diagnosis of bladder cancer this past January, reading your post has not only offered me hope, but the blog is the most comprehensive information I have found.
Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...


Even 5 1/2 years after this post, it is still a great post and very relevant. It should be read by every single newly diagnosed cancer patient, regardless of the type of cancer that they have. They all should:
1 - choose not to die
2 - fight back with every weapon at their disposal.
As you've stated, anything less and they are consciously or unconsciously choosing to die. As a recently diagnosed bladder cancer patient (S1 G3), I have chosen not to die.
For me, making the choices every day is easy, you just have to change your view. Every time I think about eating something, I say to myself, "Live or Die?" With everything that I put in my body, that is what it boils down to. Will this item actively help me to fight cancer and live? If it doesn't, it will do the opposite and I avoid it. It makes finding the will power to make the right decision very easy.
Keep blogging . . . .
Scott from the Carolinas

Anonymous said...

Thank you Steve! Great information, great research shared!

You can't easily help those who don't want to be helped but then that leaves millions of people who are willing to do what needs to be done to win this war. Cancer is not your average adversary so if addition tools are available to use in this fight then the mindset has to be, let's utilize at least some of them!

Good nutrition plays a major role in your overall health and wellbeing. It is nutrition that will provide the resources your body needs to repair itself after conventional surgery/treatments and in the fight against cancer directly. Yet for all the wisdom afforded to doctors and the majority of current conventional US healthcare good nutrition is almost always completely left out of the conversation as complementary. Surgery, radiation, part removal are the common themes.

From my own research there is a reason why nutrition and some of the less expensive options are rarely if ever mentioned. It's because they are less expensive and in the case of good nutrition, a lot less expensive. The current US medical establishment has built up a framework over the past 50 years whereby all competing options were discredited. You can't patent natural foods. As a cancer patient it definitely helps to have an open mind and to see the bigger picture as opposed to having a doctor knows all mentality.

There are other tools we can use in this fight against cancer! Like Steve mentioned, a multi pronged attack has the potential to yield us better results. So hypothetically speaking if 60% were your potential for success in winning this war whether you agree with these additional supplementary approaches or not the big question is you can't really loose anything with these approaches but you could potentially have a lot to gain in terms of your chances for success.

Wishing everyone well in their battle with cancer!