Six year recovery from stage IV mantel cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.July of 2005, at the age of 68, I found an enormous mass in my abdomen. PET and CT scans showed my spleen spleen, soft, purplish-red organ that lies under the diaphragm on the left side of the abdominal cavity. The spleen acts as a filter against foreign organisms that infect the bloodstream, and also filters out old red blood cells from the bloodstream and decomposes had grown to the size of a football. I had my spleen removed and a biopsy showed a diagnosis of stage IV mantle cell, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. My oncologist at Dana Farber recommended a cocktail of four different chemotherapy drugs, including a trial drug, to be infused weekly into a Mediport surgically implanted in my upper chest for six months. He hoped these drugs would put my cancer into remission for a couple of years. If the cancer came back, different chemotherapy drugs would be needed the next time around because the same drugs wouldn't work a second time.
I learned about Dr. Max Gerson's therapy 30 years earlier when we lived outside of New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. where he used to have his office. As a longtime subscriber to the Gerson newsletter, I always planned, if ever I were to get cancer, to immediately start Gerson Therapy Gerson Therapy is a controversial, holistic, nutrition-based therapy. Developed by German-born physician Dr. Max Gerson (1881-1959), believers in the therapy say it is effective for most chronic (degenerative) diseases. . I turned down the chemotherapy and told my oncologist that I would do Max Gerson's holistic cancer therapy instead. He reminded me that my cancer was stage IV and, while nutrition wouldn't hurt, it wouldn't help. I had read Dr. Gerson's book and the many patient cases in the newsletters over the years, so the oncologist's warnings were no deterrent for me.
Now retired, my husband Pete and I felt up to the task of rebuilding my body with hourly fresh vegetable juices and all that is required by the therapy. Along with the hard work involved, there were lots of chuckles, like when Pete reported to me that the grocery clerk, ringing up a 20-pound bag of carrots, commented, "I know. You have a horse." We were both overjoyed as my lab results began showing the healing taking place.
I had not been on Gerson Therapy long when I took my latest lab reports with me to an appointment with my oncologist at Dana Farber. I asked for the name of an oncologist in Florida who could oversee my case for the next six months while we were away. My oncologist took a look at the lab results and exclaimed, "These are absolutely fantastic!" then added, "I don't think you'll need an oncologist while you're gone." I soon received a letter from him saying I should keep doing whatever I was doing, adding that the chemotherapy would not have cured my cancer.
Although the lymphoma specialist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston was in charge of my case, CT scans, blood tests and cancer marker tests were done at our local cancer center and I met regularly with my local oncologist for interpretation of the results. The local oncologist told me at the end of five years that there was no need for me to keep coming to see her; however she said she didn't want to lose touch with my case. She said she thinks of me often as she prescribes for others the drugs that had been recommended for me. She doubts that I would be so healthy today if I had taken the chemo che·mo
Chemotherapy or a chemotherapeutic treatment. offered. She asked if I would be willing to send her a copy of the annual lab results ordered by my internist internist /in·tern·ist/ (in-ter´nist) a specialist in internal medicine.
A physician specializing in internal medicine. for my future physicals. She would look over them and then we could talk on the phone, or, better yet, she'd prefer that I meet with her in person without charging for the appointments. I told her I'd welcome that. "One last thing," she added. "Make one last appointment with your oncologist at Dana Farber and share with him the details of your case. When you leave, give him a bill." We chuckled. "Seriously," she said, "we doctors need to know about your success."
The following week, I went to my internist for my annual physical. After the exam, she commented, "You could be a poster girl for how a woman of 73 should be eating." This same internist wrote in my annual report, "Mrs. Forsythe has cured her own cancer following Gerson therapy to the 'T'."
People often ask me about the financial costs of Gerson therapy as opposed to the treatment I turned down. The Gerson Institute in San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. is non-profit, and the only check I sent them was for $17 to buy Charlotte's first book plus $2.50 for a booklet specific to healing lymphoma. I followed the book and did the therapy in my home. About three times during the entire six years, I consulted by telephone and e-mail with a Gerson-licensed naturopath naturopath
a practitioner of naturopathy.
naturopath A person who practices naturopathy, a drugless system of therapy using physical forces–eg, heat, water, light, air and massage . Her fee was $200 and I was free to contact her any number of times during that month for no extra charge.
Had I not chosen Gerson therapy, the chemotherapy infusions over a period of six months were to have cost about $6,500 weekly. Of course, the costs of CT scans, blood work and appointments to follow my progress were the same whichever program I chose. A friend was diagnosed with similar lymphoma the Same time as my diagnosis. Within two years of her first surgery and chemo treatment, she had to have a dozen blood transfusions as well as surgery to remove numerous tennis ball-sized lymph nodes. Chemo depletes the immune system immune system
Cells, cell products, organs, and structures of the body involved in the detection and destruction of foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. Immunity is based on the system's ability to launch a defense against such invaders. while the Gerson Therapy enhances it, reducing the risk Of the illness returning. The sooner Gerson Therapy is started, the better the outcome.
While in the waiting room of the Dover Cancer Center, Pete and I noticed a medical journal on the coffee table with a cover story about alternative cancer treatment. Several alternative programs were featured in the article, including Dr. Gerson's. The author wrote that following the Gerson Therapy is very expensive, adding, "Anyway, it's illegal in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ." It certainly hadn't cost me much and it was hard to believe that what I chose to eat in my own kitchen could be against the law.