I have “One Life to Live” and in “Search for Tomorrow” to be with “All My Children.” That’s what it seems like when you are diagnosed with acute appendicitis and colonic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer that affects 3 percent of patients between 20 and 40 years old.
When I learned what acute appendicitis and colonic carcinoma could do to the body, I thought about Mr. Efrain Ramos, who was told there wasn’t much that could be done to prolong his life. It had been nearly an impossible journey to health and wellness, but he wasn’t ready to give up – not yet.
I had been working with cancer patients and others with chronic health problems for weeks at the resort in Spokane, Wash., but I was hired last week to go to San Diego, Calif., to assist Mr. Ramos in reversing his stage IV cancer. He had surgery six months ago to remove a large mass in his colon, but opted to refuse chemotherapy.
Mr. Ramos pointed out to me that his family and friends had nudged him to get the treatment to sustain his life. But let me say here in this column that, knowing the side effects to chemotherapy, if he had yielded to their wishes while his body was in its weakness state, the “poison” could have — and would have — altered his life completely and possibly end in death.
After talking to Mr. Ramos — who is 35 years old, 5 foot 5 and weighs 204 lbs — he indicated to me that he wanted to develop a nutrition program; he wanted to try natural therapies to fight his cancer. He said he’d known all along that a change in diet could reverse his cancer if he approaches nutrition the right way. That’s why he asked for my assistance.
I’d noticed the look in Mr. Ramos’ eyes after I agreed to help transform his life. He was like a child being dropped off to school for the first time, not knowing what the outcome would be, but expecting something good to happen nonetheless. There was uncertainty on his part, but we went right to work.
When you’re part of a large family and looked upon for support while you’re fighting for your life, it can be quite devastating. That’s what Mr. Ramos was facing, along with fighting cancer. But dreaded diseases can be overcome with the right diet. It depends on what you eat and how well you take care of your body.
Taking care of your body is paramount and no different than changing the filters in your automobile and home. We do this seasonally, but do we check our own filters around the clock? We’re even too busy to get a yearly physical to see what’s going on with our mind, body and spirit.
We must listen to the voice inside because it talks to us all the time and gives us a warning. In talking to 10 to 15 cancer survivors, the number one thing that gets them back on the road to recovery is realizing that their life matters. They cannot please their family and friends, though.
Now, Mr. Ramos’ family and friends are happy that he chose the path to nutrition, because it reversed his cancer and extended his life. Now he’s cancer free. His life is impacting so many people, including family and friends, who are now making important health decisions.
“At first I wasn’t sure what I’d get, but I’ve gotten so much more,” said Mr. Ramos, giving me a thumbs up for helping to turn his life around. “I wanted to share this great resource … the person who had allowed me to nurture my body.”
We must make our own choices in life, of course. Some are good, some not so good. But when it comes to our health, we must make simple changes and decide what is more important to us. If we neglect our body, just like anything else, it will break down.
A health crisis usually arises, for example, when we consume processed food and don’t get enough exercise. Walking would be a start. These are simple tasks. However, when faced with death, how would you cope knowing that your death sentence was imposed by your fork and spoon?