August 25, 2017

Cancer + Care Packages for Sick Loved Ones

Cancer + Care Packages for Sick Loved Ones

While I have been so fortunate to have avoided cancer in myself and my immediate family, cancer stretches its evil fingerings vastly. Be it extended family, friend of a friend, or workplace acquaintance, it seems no one can escape its wrath. Here is just a glimpse of some books I’ve read on the topic, with amazing, amazing input from a gladiator named Greta, who conquered Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this past March. She has both a beautiful soul and spirit and the most kick ass set of eyebrows I’ve ever seen. Her story, along with recommendations for putting together a thoughtful care package for someone recently diagnosed is below.

Each recommendation is a bit different, the common denominator amongst them all is an anti-inflammatory diet with tons of plants. In both test tubes and animal studies, photochemical compounds (those found in plants) exhibit the remarkable ability to disrupt the formation of malignant and benign tumors. Most also include the cancer inhibiting quality of brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and certain other cruciferous vegetables rich in the chemical called sulforaphane. This boosts the production of the body’s phase II enzymes that remove dangerous residues of cancer-causing precursors capable of damaging cellular DNA.

not to freak you out, but stumbled across this list of things that contribute to cancer. This is likely why everyone knows someone who is currently battling from the dreadful monster:

  • everyday factors that contribute to rise of cancer: atmospheric cosmic rays and X rays, sunlight’s UV rays, chronic electromagnetic field exposure, geopathic stress, sick building syndrome, ionizing radiation, microwave oven radiation, nonionizing electromagnetic radiation from domestic appliances, overhead power lines, nuclear radiation, pesticide/herbicide residues, industrial toxins, drinking or bathing in polluted water / chlorinated water / fluoridated water, tobacco and smoking, hormonal therapies, immune-suppressive drugs, consuming irradiated foods, ingesting food additives, mercury toxicity from any source, toxic metal syndrome, dental amalgam fillings, dental root canals / cavitation, dental metals of any type, steady use of stress drugs / prescription drugs / nonprescription drugs, nerve interference fields, diet or nutritional deficiencies, consumption of synthetic nonfoods, chronic physical or mental stress, destructive negative emotions, depressed thyroid action, intestinal toxicity or digestive impairment, parasites, viruses, bacterial infections, fungal infections, blocked detoxification pathways, free radical pathology, cellular oxygen deficiency, adverse cellular terrain, oncogenes, genetic predisposition, miasm, physical irritants, alcohol consumptions

According to some, nutrition, life style, and everyday environments create the most common cancer risks. Diet and nutrition are factors in 60 percent of cancers in women, and in 40 percent of cancers in men. The Gerson Therapy as well as a book titled “How to Fight Cancer and Win” both spotlight some nutritional and lifestyle interventions for battling cancer.

***The overviews of the two books below are simply that: overviews. I have not tested either for efficacy and quite honestly don’t know much about them besides reading the books themselves. My own opinion is not inserted into the synopsis of each. I am not a proponent of either because I don’t have any experience using them, and this post is not meant to endorse either treatment plan in any way, but rather to present literature that is available on the subject matter. Please please please consult your doctor or oncologist when determining the best personalized treatment plan best for you or your loved one. This is especially difficult when patients have little to no appetite and don’t want to eat anything at all. I cannot pretend to know the awfulness that is cancer treatment, but it is my sincere hope that at least some of this research or Greta’s contribution below will be helpful. To be used in conjunction with traditional treatment under the supervision and advice of your dietitian or oncologist.***

The Gerson Therapy ( 1 )

  • The goal is to regenerate the ailing body and bring it back to health by flooding the sick patient with nutrients and reestablish homeostasis and balance. This serves to stimulate metabolism, eliminates toxins, and restore sluggish waste-removal functions of a patient’s liver and kidneys. The high quality nutrition increases a  patient’s oxygen availability, and reinvigorates the entire organism with a well-functioning metabolism. It’s also intended to harmonize patient’s biochemistry, elevate workings of a suppressed immune system, correct the malfunctioning of essential organs. Rather than focusing on chemotherapy, it emphasizes chemoprevention: the use of micronutrients or macronutrients, phytochemicals, nutraceuticals and other organic compounds often found in foods that can prevent stop or retard process of illness.
  • Gerson therapy manages the body’s potassium, sodium, protein and water intake. It also strengthens the immune system, enzyme system, and hormone system along with correcting the functioning of all essential organs.


  • diet focus: the focus is hyperalimentation, or using vegetarian foods like raw fruit, well cooked vegetables, salads, a special soup, oatmeal and vegetable juices. When active minerals and enzymes are restored to the tissues, these nutrients release the excess sodium and toxins that have accumulated during the course of years of faulty nutrition.
    • low salt, fat free program of food consumption to supply the body’s cells with easily assimilated nutrients for strengthening one’s natural immune defenses
    • includes: organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables and thirteen glasses of freshly squeezed juices daily, taken at hourly intervals – this provides the patient with elevated levels of minerals, enzymes, beta carotene, vitamins A and C and other antioxidants that scavenge free radicals as well as naturally occurring phytochemicals that scientists have discovered are true preventers of chronic degenerative diseases
    • superabundant intakes of macronutrients and micronutrients through regular hourly preparation and drinking of raw, organically grown fruit and vegetable juices
    • protein restriction: at least for 6 or 8 weeks – this stimulates T-lymphocyte activity and cell-mediated immunity
    • reduce calories by limiting fat intake: only fats allowed are from oatmeal, flaxseed oil and fatty acids in some vegetables and fruits (90 calories of fats per day)
      • allowed:
        • flax: omega-3 fatty acids in flax kill human cancer cells in tissue culture without destroying normal cells in the same culture
        • all vegetables freshly prepared, some stewed in their own juices and other either raw or finely grated – stewed in their own juices to avoid loss of minerals easily dissolved in water during cooking – cooked slowly for one and one half to two hours without water
        • all vegetable except mushrooms and cucumbers may be used
        • breads made from whole rye, oat, or rice flour
        • organic popcorn (dry-popped, unsalted, and without fat)
        • brown or wild rice
        • yams and sweet potatoes
        • maple syrup, honey, raw brown sugar and unfulfilled blackstrap molasses up to a daily combined maximum of all sweeteners of 2 tsp
        • herbs and spices: allspice, anise, bay leaf, coriander, dill, fennel, mace, marjoram, rosemary, sage, saffron, tarragon, thyme, sorrel, summer savory, chives, onions, garlic, parsley
        • essential for patient eat as many raw vegetables as possible: apples, carrots, watercress, green onions, knob or brach celery, lettuce greens, caluiflower, endive, chives, chicory, radishes, green peppers, tomatoes
        • 104 oz of fresh organic juice in 24 hours – orange juice, green leaf combination juice, and apple/carrot combination juice
      • occasionally allowed:
        • organically grown, frozen vegetables (if prepared without added salt, fat, or other prohibited veg)
        • sprouted vans or seeds (lentils / beans) other than alfalfa sprouts which hare forbidden
      • not allowed:
        • meat
        • salt and water intake management through sodium restriction and potassium supplementation
        • all manufactured (processed foods), dairy products of all types such as milk or milk products
        • alcohol
        • pineapples and berries
        • avocados (too high in fat)
        • cucumbers (difficult to digest)
        • spices: black pepper, paprika, basil, oregano
        • soybeans and soy products
        • dried beans and legumes
        • sprouted alfalfa and other bean or seed sprouts
        • oils and fats (except fresh, raw, organic flaxseed oil)
        • refined white and brown sugars
        • wheat flour
        • beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood, and all other meat or animal flesh products – high in protein, preservatives, hormones and salt
        • black tea, green tea, and other nonverbal or caffeine containing teas
        • candy, cakes, muffins, pastries and the refined sweets
        • drinking of water is not encouraged – dilutes the stomach acid and doesn’t allow maximum GI tract capacity for nutrition from fresh foods an juices – fruit contains natural distilled water and is easily digested without causing any toxic residue and so body doesn’t need additional liquids
        • mushrooms (hard to digest proteins)
        • nuts and seeds (too high in protein and fat)
        • hot peppers
        • mustard and carrot greens
        • baking powder and baking soda (contain sodium and alum)
        • fluoride components (water, toothpaste, mouth gargle, hair dyes, beauty parlor permanents, cosmetics, deodorant, lipstick lotions


    • coffee enema enables cancer patients and all others suffering form the life threatening metabolic illness to eliminate toxic breakdown products of rapidly dissolving tumor masses or from the healing reactions of formerly dysfunctional cells generated by the effects of gerson therapy – caffeine rectally stimulates liver activity, increases bile glow, opens bile ducts so that liver can excrete toxic waste more easily
    • helpful: hydrotherapy, oxygen, antibiotics, radiation, certain surgical operations
    • harmful: deep massage, vigorous exercise, saltwater swimming
    • relaxation techniques: sit comfortably in a chair or lie on the floor, close the eyes and relax, take a deep lung-filling inhalation, during exhalation, relax the body eve more, count slowly backward from 100 to 1, daydream about some peaceful place you know; mentally verbalize a strong affirmation such as “I will always maintain a perfectly healthy body and mind”
    • engage in simple meditations, repeatedly use affirmations (every day in every way I am getting better, better, and better / I am vibrantly healthy and radiantly beautiful)


  • total healing for almost any degenerative condition is not complete until the patient’s liver and essential organ functions are all restored to full normal activity – healing like this takes at least two years on the full Gerson therapeutic program, including the ingestion of thirteen glasses of freshly made juices a day, organically  grown vegetarian foods, regular coffee enemas and the taking of potassium as well as digestive enzyme supplements
  • often impossible to heal a specific disease such as cancer while the body continues to suffer from diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and most other chronic disturbances – all other afflictions also disappear when the gerson therapy is utilized for healing cancer

How to Fight Cancer and Win ( 2 )

  • Cancer fighters:
    • retinol (vitamin A and zinc): essential for normal growth and development, for maintenance of skin, and for good teeth and bones)
      • Green and yellow-orange vegetables; fruits (prunes, pineapples, oragnes, limes, and cantaloupes); liver, cod-liver oil, butter, milk, egg yolks
    • riboflavin and niacin, both B vitamins
    • vitamin C (essential for formation of connective tissue all over the body – get from citrus fruits and vegetables) and molybdenum (required to activate enzymes – whole grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables)
    • antioxidants
    • fiber: blackberries, fresh apples, dried figs, dried dates, broccoli, caulifower, parsnips. pumpkin, rutabaga
    • B complex vitamins: help support growth processes, appetite, gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system, and the endocrine glands (adrenals) – reduce blood-sugar levels in diabetes, necessary for carbohydrate metabolism, and are useful in treating tuberculosis: whole grains, brown rice, yeast, legumes, nuts, green vegetables, poultry, eggs, fruits, fish, and meats
    • wheat sprouts, leaf lettuce, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach
    • epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that attacks cancer-producing “free radicals” in the body green tea
    • Using juice and herbal teas will sometimes encourage the body to simply consume and eliminate tumors
    • Beets provide the key cancer-fighting ingredient in the diet
    • Chlorophyll is the green protein pigment found in plants: has more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than spinach
      • The high magnesium content of wheatgrass is particularly effective for drawing out toxins from not only the colon but also the liver and kidneys. Wheatgrass is also beneficial for supplying the body with missing nutrients, beause the soluble ingredients from the wheat grass juice can be absorbed by the portal circulation inside the colon – introducing energies of the life force and the sun into one of the mose diseased areas of your body
    • Carrots are a source of beta-carotene: in one cup of carrots, taken daily, cuts the incidence of strokes and clears the body of cancer-causing free radicals
      • body uses beta-carotene to manufacture vitamin A – shown to effectively destroy cancer cell’s protective layer of mucus, opening it to the body’s natural defense mechanisms
        • fat soluble and  can only be absorbed and assimilated by the body in the presence of a fatty emulsion – assist in detoxifying and cleansing the liver wheat sprouts, leaf lettuce, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach
    • Linseed oil: THE REAL POINT OF DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO BOOKS: Essential fatty acids: both lineleic acid and linolenic acid are essential to life, as they transport oxygen throughout the body. This controls chromosomes during cell division and are necessary to the formation of new cell membranes after a cell has divided. Without lineleic acid, the body can’t produce hemoglobin. Without hemoglobin, the blood is unable to carry vital oxygen to the suffocating cells and tissues. If we feed the body the highly unsaturated and oxygenated essential fatty acids it requires, along with the high-quality protein that makes fat easily soluble, it will counteract toxic and poisonous accumulation in the tissues. It is only when the body is well supplied with the essential fatty acids and essential amino acids in proper balance that the metabolic system can function as nature intends that it should. Because the natural fatty acids present in crude linseed oil easily bind with oxygen and protein, the blood of the cancer patient improves within four to six hours. The activity of these natural lipids in the bloodstream can actually be microscopically observed


  • fluoride, sugar, chemical food additives, “enriched” breads, coffee / tea, animal fats, cow’s milk
  • get adequate calcium through vegetables, fruits, and seeds

Recommended additions:

  • Carrots – 1 cup per day
  • Wheatgrass – chlorophyll to water: introducing energies of the life force and the sun into one of the most diseased areas of your body – brings new oxygen to the body cells
  • Beets
  • Oranges / other citrus fruits – vitamin C = the most effective antioxidant in the human blood
  • Garlic: Garlic slows the growth of tumor cells while it speeds the growth of healthy tissue – garlic and onion consumption plays a significant role in the reduced number of cancer deaths
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: suppress some cancer-promoting substances – best sources is salmon
  • Linseed oil: The very best and richest source of essential fatty acids is linseed oil – 58% linolenic and close to 20% linoleic acid: rich source of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins, major minerals, fiber, prostaglandings (heart function, regulate blood pressure, assist in arterial functioning); assis in oxygenation of every cell in the body
  • Bee pollen:  contains all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids (proteins), hormones, enzymes, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and trace elements known to be needed in human nutrition
    • Worker bees leave the hive, they have a slightly negative or neutral electrical charge – register a positive charge of electricity as great as 1.5 volts – live energize bee pollen they carry is also electrically charged
      • Has regenerative properties for the body – contains all the amino acids, mineral salts, vitamins, and enzymes in perfect proportion as needed by the organism
  • Macrobiotic diet: Anyone eating only plant foods grown in the region where he lives is following a macrobiotic diet – based on the theory that all degenerative diseases are the result of a way of life that is out of harmony with the universal order of things
    • Advocates with physical and mental exercise: physical activity needed to stimulate circulation of the blood and lymph in order to eliminate the toxins p resent in the stagnant fluids of the body
    • Provide perfect balance of nutrients required for healthy cells: help elimination systems of the body to dissolve an remove the toxins, fats, and mucus that can clog cells and tissues, leading to disease
    • Eat: cabbage, carrots, dandelion, burdock root, turnips, onions, squash, cauliflower, swiss chard, bok choy, radish, watercress
    • Avoid: tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, asparagus, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, yams, avocados, green / red peppers
  • Visualization therapy: cancer will flourish in a body when the owner is in a state of deep despair – psychological forces in the innermost recesses of the mind can actually assist the growth and development of a malignancy
    • Imaging: stimulate the immune-defense system by imagining a fierce internal battle proceeding in the areas of their cancers, with the healthy cells conquering the malignant cells
    • Acknowledge your disease, but let your subconscious know that it is an unwelcome invader that should be eliminated. Imagine the “good guys” (lymphocytes and macrophage cells of your immune system) attacking and defeating the “bad guys” (diseased or cancerous cells) – develop a mental image to give it reality
    • Have two daily sessions, each of 20 minutes

Other Research

  • adaptogens (for stress response and regulate cancer cells)
      • cordyceps: decrease in number of T-helper and T-suppressor cells, enhance natural killer cells, inhibit formation of melanoma in lab animals – direct toxic effect on cancer cells – chemotherapy: taking orally following cancer chemotherapy improves quality o life and cellular immunity / continuous administration of cordyceps along with chemotherapy or radiotherapy improved tolerance to chemotherapy or radiotherapy 3-9g/day
      • coriolus: inhibit growth of certain cancers / antiviral (PSK and PSP have inhibitory effects against HIV-1 in lab settings)
      • whole maitake powder / MD fraction of mushroom was associated with rumor regression or symptomatic improvement in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 63% of lung cancer patients  4-7g/day
      • turkey tail: taken orally improves response and survival in some patients with cancer – given as biologic response modifier as adjunct to standard chemotherapy – used in Japan for several decades for breast cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer lung cancer, hepatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and leukemia – 20g 3x/day
  • other supplements:
    • black cohosh:  breast cancer: associated with prolonged disease free survival – .9-6g per day
    • replacement of CoQ10 mitigates damage to normal tissues and reduces adverse effects of cancer therapy
    • selenium!!!! – brazil nuts are good sources. also reduces mercury toxicity and lessens breakage of chromosomes in breast cancer genes


  • Music therapy modulates various immunological and physiological responses depending on the subjects. Music therapy induces:  a reduction of anxiety in children with cancer, and ( 8) the alleviation of pain in adult patients with advanced cancer

Building a Care Package for those with cancer (don’t give things with heavy sugar that you think will taste good. Instead, equip your friend, coworker, or loved one with things that will decrease inflammation and help FIGHT the cancer)

  • buy them books: How to Fight Cancer and Win, The Gerson Therapy, Dying To Be Me, May Cause Miracles, Crazy Sexy Cancer, F*&# Off Cancer
  • brazil nuts
  • cordyceps (I like Root and Bones – code lemons for 15% off)
  • green tea
  • bomb ass play list or music therapy CD
  • subscription to meditation app (I like headspace)
  • subscription to hypnosis app (I like HelloMind)
  • crystals (kind of silly but sometimes effective)
  • palo santo sticks (I get mine from either Imogene and Willie or Philosophie)
  • epsom salts
  • wheatgrass shots
  • essential oils
  • a healthy weed brownie lolol (with no refined sugars – cancer feeds on glucose)
  • make them soup: 4 quart pot. 1 medium celery knob (3-4 stalks celery), 1 medium parsley root, garlic as desired, 2 small leeks, 1.5 lb tomatoes, 2 medium onions, 1 lb potatoes. Do not peel any of these special soup vegetables; just wash and scrub them well and cut them coarsely. Simmer slowly for 2 hours, then put them through a food mill in small portions – only fibers should be left. Vary the amount of water used for cooking according to taste and assured consistency. Keep well covered in refrigerator no longer than 2 days. Warm up as much as needed each time.
  • nontoxic makeup! Just make sure it’s free from parabens and other yucks, as that could exacerbate symptoms. check out Follain for all things nontoxic products. -Greta’s suggestion (below)
  • put banners on their houses welcoming them back home -Greta’s suggestion (see photo below) 
  • buy the patient a journal and suggest they use it for affirmations (maybe buy a card deck of positive affirmations and thoughts…Gabby Bernstein just came out with a beautiful one). Or if the patient is not ready for that yet in their journey, then suggest for them to use the journal to keep track of appointments and or symptoms. Another suggestions maybe to compile a list of naturopathic oncologists that would be able to give them specific advice on supplements and vitamins to be used for their speicifc cancer journey. So that they can help their body the best way possible.” -Mona – first diagnosed at 27, and now 31

Greta Dylus: badass human and cancer conquerer

Hi! My name is Greta Dylus, I’m 20 years old and just finished chemotherapy and antibody treatment for Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this past March. However, I am in remission!

During my treatment this past fall and winter, I kept a blog for my family and friends to follow my journey and I have included some excerpts to help explain my story.

As a freshman in college, I neglected my health both in my diet as well as my activity. I was eating foods that made me feel sluggish and bloated. I was eating far less vegetables and healthy fats, and a ton of junk food and sugar. Growing up in a close Italian household, food was very family- oriented. My mother would cook every meal, and we would sit down at the kitchen table every night and eat healthy, organic, and wholesome meals. At school, I became a mindless eater, eating when I was bored; mainly, it became a coping mechanism for stress. My diet changed when I returned home after my first year, when I realized that I had gained over the freshman 15. However, I was frustrated with myself and I was still a closet eater, with extreme sugar cravings. I felt horrible about my myself and my body, letting my weight gain get out of hand, and no matter what I did, I tended to fall back to my stress- eating habits because I was not seeing any results.

On top of that, towards the end of the summer, I soon found that I was diagnosed with Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and realized my body needed to be strong for my treatment, so I need to treat it with respect and prepare myself for this battle.

During my treatment, I stuck to fairly nondescript foods the day of (and a few days after) my chemotherapy treatment, including many homemade soups and salads, oatmeal, and lean protein. My mother and I had a lot of time on our hands and we bonded over “healthify-ing” recipes on pinterest, following heathy food instagrams and making soups; including asparagus soup, red lentil soup, and smashed pea and barley, and other non-dairy soups.

I had a routine for every chemotherapy day: first of all, I chugged water all day (and every day during my whole treatment), since the faster the drugs were flushed from your system, the better you’d feel. One of the drugs I was receiving, Adriamycin, actually turns your urine redish orange, which was unnerving but would show if I was hydrated enough, causing me to pee about every hour. This drug was properly nicknamed the “Red Devil.” On chemo day, my normal breakfast was oatmeal with frozen blueberries and flaxseed meal. Chemo would take about 4 1/2 hours, where I’d have pretzels, almonds, apple slices, and a homemade healthy muffin such as blueberry or lemon chia, instead of lemon poppyseed of course ;). My dinner would be a baked potato with lots of steamed broccoli and cheddar cheese. All pretty easy foods to keep down so to speak.

I continued to exercise every day, whether it was just going on walks with my mother, which usually ended up being about 2- 3 miles long, or I would work with a personal trainer at the gym to build muscle that was being deteriorated by the chemotherapy drugs. I began to lose weight during chemotherapy, not because I wasn’t eating, but because the drugs caused muscle loss and loss of an appetite. I would always eat every meal, but sometimes I would only eat to fuel my body for the rest of the day. On my worst days, I would eat, but I would actually get exhausted from chewing. I never thought that I could get so fatigued that even chewing would be taxing on my body. This caused me to eat much slower, and I became extremely aware of when I was full, and would never over eat.

I found that I would associate certain foods with certain events, such as the first day I went to chemotherapy treatment, I ate a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese as I was sitting in the chemo chair, and now I can’t even think about eating one of those bagels. Not the worst thing to be repulsed by, thankfully it wasn’t one of my favorite foods like salmon or pickles. The most repulsive ingredient/ food item to me is definitely ginger. The nurses recommended that I buy ginger chews to steady my nausea, but I can’t even think about one of those ginger chews without feeling nauseous now. Even writing this, I get a yucky feeling about it. I like to call it “food PTSD.”

Here are some blog posts that help describe my story, written while I was going through treatment:

Blog post from August 20th, 2016: On August 8th, 2016 I was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with absolutely no symptoms. This unexpected and overwhelming news was an unbelievable shock to me and to my family and friends, but with their love and support I have come to a conclusion: this may be the hardest obstacle that I face in my life but in order to overcome it, I must approach it with firm resolve, confidence, and positivity. Yes, I will lose my hair and I will have rough days, but I am confident that I will be able to continue living my life by doing things such as staying active and taking a college course. Throughout the biopsy and diagnosis process, it has felt like somewhat of an out-of-body experience, almost like living in a body that isn’t mine. I want nothing more than to be able to return to school and live the life of a normal, healthy nineteen year old, but I know that this experience is merely a test of my strength and will only make me a stronger person. I see this as a bump in the road, another chapter added to my life story; it is going to take a level of strength unimaginable, but I know that I will be able to beat this.

Blog post from September 2nd, 2016, after my first chemotherapy treatment: The first day of the fight! In a matter of 4 hours, I completed my first injection of the poisons that are eliminating this unwelcome guest that lives in my bloodstream. My treatment is composed of 4 different drugs, AVD + Brentuximab. First I began with the Brentuximab, which is a drug that is specialized for Hodgkin’s patients, administered through my port by IV drip near my left collarbone.

Blog post from September 16th, 2016: Whether it was soccer, cross country, outdoor track, or ballet (which consumed about 90% of my life), exercise has always been a priority to me. When I ran cross country in high school, one of my teammates introduced me to my favorite quote “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” That quote has resonated with me ever since. Exercise is now keeping me as healthy as possible, despite the toxins that are flowing through my body. I am all about the “your body is a temple” mindset; eat well to live well, health is your utmost priority. Take it from me, someone who has shifted their view from exercising to look better to exercising to be strong. Every day I move forward and I realize that I have become a different person than I was yesterday. When my teammate introduced me to my favorite quote, I thought running cross country was going to be one of my hardest challenges; now I realize that every challenge that we face is meant to prepare us for when life puts us to the test.

Blog post from November 11th, 2016: I used to think this cancer was putting my life on hold, but ironically, I now see it as somewhat of a catalyst. It has opened my eyes to a new way of thinking, a new appreciation for my life, and a gratitude for the people and little things that make me happy. I have a life to get back to; surviving cancer gives me purpose and perspective to make the most of that life.

Blog post from January 3rd, 2017: Not many teenagers can understand the impact of cancer. Once you know your life is precious and potentially temporary, you are definitely changed. While I have faith in being cured and living a long happy life, I know it will be hard earned. My mother tells me that my sadness is grief of losing my ‘naive innocence’ that life is reliable and fair and I genuinely believe that. Once I set my old way of thinking aside, I will live with new purpose and clarity. While I wasn’t able to drink champagne this new year, I did propose a toast. Here’s to a hard-earned new life. Goodbye 2016, and hello 2017.

Today! I have been cleared by my doctors to return to school next fall and it could not come any sooner! As for now, I am recovering and working to get my body back to its full potential. My hair has begun to grow back, I am feeling much more energetic, I can see that my exercise is becoming much more bearable, and I have a new perspective on what (and who) is important in life. I have become addicted to cycling classes, and my outlook on food and nourishment is completely different. I regard food as fuel for my body. I also see food as a way to bring people together, to spend time with my friends and my family, the people who are the most important to me. However, with all of this new growth and positive thinking, there is still room to grow in self-confidence and emotional and spiritual healing. The past year was the best and worst year of my life; it was without a doubt a horrible year, but I had a complete lifestyle change and I think that has been overwhelmingly beneficial, and I have grown as a person, both mentally and emotionally. I have realized what is important in life and I have my priorities straight. Besides my Blog during my treatment, I am also a writer for Spoon University at William & Mary responsible for writing articles on healthy eating, wellness, and food trends. I hope that this is helpful for whatever you choose to write or research about  regarding young adults and cancer/ nutrition/ wellness, please feel free to contact me about anything and everything!

Thank you for reading my story,

Greta Dylus

(@gretadylus and @gretaeats)

****Before implementing any new radical diet or lifestyle protocols, please consult your doctor or oncologist****


( 1 ) Gerson, C. & Walker, M. 2006. The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses. Kensington Publishing Group. New York City: New York.

( 2 ) Fischer, W.L. How to Fight Cancer and Win.

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  • Leslie

    Thank you for this post! I am now following Greta and have several of the books mentioned ready to buy in my amazon cart! I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 27 and have felt such a mind shift in every aspect of my life. I was told I’m in remission as of a week ago but my whole outlook on what I put into my body, how I take care of it, and how I deal with stress is so different–it was great to hear a similar story to feel less alone in that world altering experience! Thank you Greta for sharing your inspiring strength and struggles throughout your journey! Also, thank you Katie for bringing humor and knowledge of all things nutrition to so many people. This was so great to read to kick off a beautiful Saturday! Love to you ladies ❤️

  • Anne

    Hi Katie!
    I love your blog, I’m a frequent reader. However, I do have to say I am a bit disappointed by this. My beautiful and healthy mother battled cancer this past year, and is doing wonderfully thanks to her oncologists, and the scientists who devote their lives to creating evidence based treatment. When she was first diagnosed, we both spent a lot of time researching alternative treatments before she ultimately decided to do chemotherapy. It was best for her, it may not be best for everyone. However, I spent a lot of time reading about Gerson Therapy in this period. I really don’t think it responsible to promote it any way, especially on your blog which is filled with such wonderful, thoughtful research. While everyone ultimately makes the decision for themselves, unbiased evidence for this treatment working does not exist! There are too tragic sad stories about its failure for it to be promoted in any way.
    Thanks for reading,

    • Katie

      Hi Anne! Thank you so much for the thoughtful message. As I noted in the intro, I definitely do not claim to be in expert in this field in any way. As someone entering into medicine, I hugely value evidence based treatment, especially in the realm of cancer. Including the book was just meant as a brief synopsis and to offer individuals books and ideas that they can then discuss with their oncologists and doctors to figure out the best personalized treatment plan for them. This book came highly recommended to me, and this is the first I’m hearing of such adverse opinions of it. So I’m incredibly grateful you took the time to read the post and bring this to my attention! Including notes from a book isn’t meant to show they are my own thoughts or opinions or research, but rather provide overviews of what authors have written for those who may not have the time or resources to read it on their own.

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