Told by Don & Mieke M. During the late summer of 2000
“I first noticed a sharp pain every few days in my abdomen on the right side. On our boat in British Columbia we went to a doctor in Canada who did X-rays and an ultrasound. They could not see anything and decided it was probably my gallbladder. A few months later after intermittent pains an X-ray and scan in Port Townsend, again only possibly indicated Gallstones. No other procedures were suggested and we went on our long-planned family trip to Europe, March through June 2001. In October 2002 the pains returned more often and stronger. By then we were back in California and the ultrasound at Carmel hospital showed two gallstones. Through friends I had a great surgeon and he decided to remove the stones laparoscopically. When he got in he said my gallbladder looked perfect and he saw a very red area on the outside of my colon, so he closed me up. I had a colonoscopy a few days later and they found a baseball sized tumor in my colon at the secum valve. Within twenty-four hours he operated, removed the tumor, eleven inches of colon, and for “good measures,” my gallbladder and my appendix. (The last two were removed so I wouldn’t have any troubles in the future out on the boat in the wilds of British Columbia.”
During the three weeks I was recovering in the hospital, the Doctor said I had to do at least two years of chemo because of one of the lymph nodes near the tumor was cancerous. Mieke, my wife, and I started investigating chemo and didn’t like what we found. The oncologist talked for forty five minutes about how wonderfully improved the new oral dosage was and that we could still travel. Then I looked around in his waiting room and every person there looked terrible, like death warmed over. When we asked him about alternatives he said there were none.
Mieke: At home we read and talked… all the possible side effects of chemo looked to just aggravate and worsen any and all of Don’s symptoms bothering him now. Most books dealt with helping to alleviate the side effects only, nothing to help rebuild a failing body. When my father died of duodenal cancer in 1984 I had learned enough that cancer wasn’t just the tumor, but that the whole immune system was involved. Some books introduced the idea of nutrition as the link to cure and prevention. This made more sense to us. (Though we did consider Sir Francis Chichester’s approach: sell all, change your life style totally. He moved from England to a beach house in France and survived cancer. We started looking at building a new boat in New Zealand …)
Don: Our daughter Torre asked if we would consider the Gerson Therapy and brought us books from Dr. Gerson and Charlotte. I phoned every person that had done the Gerson Therapy that I could find from the Gerson office list. All were solidly positive.
Mieke: We decided on Gerson because it made sense to work on rebuilding Don’s immune system with fresh organic live enzymes to nourish it and detoxify his liver to prevent any more tumors. We understood from talking with Charlotte that once starting, it was important to continue and not interrupt the therapy. We thoroughly disliked flying and our youngest daughter was still in school in British Columbia, therefore we did not go to the clinic in Mexico but drove north in January 2003 to Canada with our new Norwalk juicer, loaded with carrots and apples. Our Island hideaway has a weekly farmers market and weekly wholesale organic produce delivery from Vancouver, so we had plenty of fresh supplies to “blow out” over our ceiling and walls. The kitchen was revamped to only house Gerson-approved food items with a list on the fridge of foods and herbs allowed. The coffee and oatmeal canisters even got measuring cups in them permanently. All that we needed every day stayed out in easy reach – nothing else. Our well water had a minute amount of natural fluoride, so we bought a distiller to keep in the basement as well as an extra fridge next to the storage room. We had been easing toward the full regimen … but going full out, 13 juices for Don and six for me with all the preparations, was almost overwhelming the first week or two. Yes, I cried a few times on the phone to Torre, and Don groaned, “Not another one – it hasn’t been an hour YET!”
Don: I found it hard in the beginning to drink 8-10oz. of juice every hour and have three full meals too. Mieke: After about two weeks, the supplements enhanced our digestion and helped our metabolism “speed up”. Then it became easy to have 10-12oz. juices.
Don: I found the coffee enema was very hard (maybe it was because I didn’t want to do them) but I think it was mostly because I had lost 11 inches off my colon. I have never been able to hold a whole quart. At first I was able to do ½, and then the second ½ so that doing five enemas a day took up a lot of time (plus cleaning up the bathroom). The coffee breaks have never been easy, so I kept experimenting. I tried every different thing I could think of, including two, one right after the other. Then I tried letting just a small amount of coffee in, about % inch in the bucket, waiting about 2-4 min. Then I would get up, and let it out, and start again, managing about 80%, only if stopping for about ½ min, and then adding about 1/8th inche from the bucket at a time. I keep this up, waiting a bit, then adding a bit, until I found that I could take it all, usually, over time. I start timing after 80% is in, and hold, it for 14-15 min.
By the end of first year, I had reduced to 3-4 enemas a day, and-after two years I’ve reduced it to one each day unless I don’t feel well. For me, I have found that the coffees are best first thing in the morning. A friend of ours was diagnosed with melanoma about the same time I had my operation, and said he couldn’t make himself do coffee enemas. He died almost a year ago. Charlotte always told me not to worry about coffee enemas being addictive, or habit forming, but after doing a few thousand of them, I think they are, because you feel so good after doing one!
Mieke: Don never had chemo as he also never did castor oil. In fact, just mentioning the word brought back such vivid memories of childhood that he was practically on the toilet, just thinking about it. His Aunt used to use caster oil and soap bars to reprimand the boys about misbehaving and bad language. The coffee breaks were true “breaks” for me – a welcomed moment for the caregiver to STOP cleaning, cutting, prepping, ordering, bringing juices, doing laundry, keeping everything organized and on time. Don uses the time with eyes closed to visualize relaxing and healing. Initially I only re-read the handbook, 50 Cases, The Gerson Therapy, and other approved books to make sure I was doing things right. Don: After two or three months I began to see and feel some benefits, like no more bad headaches. I have had a few broken bones: shoulder, legs and ankles, which, for years, always had given me great pain, keeping me from sleeping soundly. On this Therapy I began sleeping better than I ever had.
Mieke: He even stopped snoring … a sound I didn’t miss after 25 years!
Don: All the residual pain disappeared. A scar on my right leg, that had been there since I was 15 years old disappeared! Little brown bumps (11 of them) around my neck disappeared. My finger nails improved in strength and the fungus reduced. My skin was smooth and soft, and an irritating, itchy, red, flakey condition I’d had on my hands (going up to my arms at times) for 45 years, also disappeared. I started feeling very good, with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
Mieke: After the first year, I’d hear Don on the phone, “I haven’t felt this good in 20 years”… Over the second year that went to “this good in 25”, then “30”, and finally, “I haven’t felt this good in 35 years!” Don: In1983 I had detached retina in one eye, and partially in the other. I’d used artificial tears all the time since, and after about six months of Gerson Therapy, I didn’t need tears any more. I also used to have “flashes” regularly in my eyes which are almost all gone. The eye specialist explained in ‘83, that flashes were indication of pain in your eyes.
After the colon operation, my hair was snow white, and with Gerson Therapy, it started to get dark again! I experienced all those benefits and never any “healing reactions” or flare ups that I could recognize as described. I worried sometimes that maybe we weren’t doing everything right. One day in conversation with Charlotte Gerson, she did mention that not everyone experiences reactions.
Mieke: I remember Don having maybe three different days in the first year of chills on his back (like a light fever) and there were about six days of moody, emotional dips from him. As for me, I had progressed from six juices at first to 13 at three months on. My only “flare up” was one week of herpes (cold sores) marching across my lips (after eight months on the Therapy).
Another interesting event related to our teeth: Don had the cleanest teeth he’s had in his life and I had the worst plaque ever (even with 2-3 times brushing daily)! Neither of us had any prior root canals to worry about and I had my amalgams removed before starting the Therapy. Luckily our local island dentist-on-a-boat was happy to use Aloe Vera toothpaste to do cleaning, rather than the standard chemicals.
Don: On December, 2004, (at 22-23 months into the Therapy) we drove to a clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the doctor specializes in examining live blood cells on the black field microscope. It was fascinating to watch the white blood cells “clean up” a red blood cell and move on to the next one that needed repair. She said I was the first person whose blood she looked at that she couldn’t tell I’d had cancer, and that my blood was good!
Mieke: At this clinic, we found a group of people who could actually talk about and use the word cancer- very refreshing. I remember back 35 years ago, when my grandmother died, they couldn’t even say the “C” word, let alone, “cancer”. (I learned it was colon cancer 15 years later, when my father died). When Don was first diagnosed, responses varied … chemo was mentioned but not cancer.
Some friends admitted last year they figured never to see him again – some could only ask, how was Don with “the …” or “the big C”. Some could talk about Gerson while others just labeled what we were doing as “quackery”. The most frequent thing asked throughout the two years was, “well how are you now?” in a tone that implied he was lying if he responded with “better than ever!”.
Don: I’ve also done the AMAS test by ONCO labs in Boston, Massachusetts, May and October of 2005. – A naturopath recommended this as a monitoring test for cancer, two times a year for the next three years and then one time per year after that. It is a very simple blood test which “measures serum levels of AMA, an antibody found to be elevated in most patients with a wide range of active non-terminal malignancies”. It is effective for screening and monitoring early (non-terminal, stage one and two) cancers. It is not appropriate for late stage (clinically terminal) cancer because 1) the antibodies a body produces, start sticking to the tumor and 2) your immune system is already shutting down – your body stops producing antibodies when it is overwhelmed and deficient.
Mieke: We have some very special, fun and fond memories of the therapy time … The whole family pulled together and participated when they were with us: for Don’s 75th surprise birthday party (10 months into the program). 21 family members and friends gathered for four days on Cortes Island and all ate “kosher Gerson”. The first summer we carried the juicer to the boat and hauled the groceries to the dock, – juiced and took coffee breaks afloat in the quiet bays of British Columbia a week at a time …
The second summer was more industrious. Eight family members filled the house all summer in order to build a cabin on our son’s land, across the bay from us. Don milled the lumber, I juiced and walked it to the sawmill while they built. Together we consumed 10,000 lbs. (5 tons!) of organic produce in 5 months! Thank you Torre and Charlotte, for helping us get over the initial hump when it was one juice, one hour, one day at a time. We could not have done it without you!
Don: Doing the Gerson Therapy is a LOT of work, but for me, feeling that it was okay to call Charlotte and having Mieke, made it just great. She kept me on schedule all the time no matter where I was.
Mieke: Today we are on a maintenance diet, doing 2-3 juices a day. Living in fresh salmon and berry growing country, we do enjoy having these as part of the fare.
Don: I feel today, that I’m here, happy and feeling better than I have in 35 years, is because of Dr. Max Gerson, Mieke, Torre, and Charlotte. To be without headaches, joint pain, and eye pain alone, is just great!