Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How I Reversed Cervical Dysplasia Naturally (Part 1)

As a women, the words "Your paps smear came back abnormal" are definitely in the Never Want To Experience bucket. Yet, it is more common that we think. Even more common is the culprit: HPV.  The Human Papilloma Virus is the most common STD in the world.  It is basically the flu of STDs.  

The thing is that just like other viruses, there are many strands and only some cause cancer.  90% of infections are asymptomatic and resolve spontaneously within two years. So, most of the time your body gets rid of it naturally.  That is, if your immune system is working properly.

When I got the call from the nurse practitioner in June 2014, I was devastated.  I wanted to understand why but they never really gave me an asnwer. They said, "Oh, some people just get it.  It has nothing to do with you specifically. It's just...bad luck."  After the colposcopy, in which they took a closer look at my cervix and took biopsies, they told me to come back in a year.  "A year? But isn't that dangerous?" The truth is that it takes years for cancer to form so the paps is meant to catch the beginning stages of cells turning from normal to abnormal, then precancerous to cancerous.  As general knowledge, it can take up to about 10 years from one single cancer cell to turn into a detectable tumor (by modern medicine means such as a MRI).

But this post is not about that, it is about taking action.  See, the "You are just unlucky." talk is actually BS.  I didn't really understood this until I got the second abnormal paps smear in 2015.  By that time someone close to me had gotten cancer and I dove head first into educating myself on cancer and why it happens.  Through research I learned about many people curing cancer on their own, without the use of radiation and chemo.  It was an eye-opener. See, the body is a self-healing mechanism and with the right care, it can cure itself, even from cancer.

So what did I do when I got my second abnormal paps smear in May 2015? I decided to give my body what it needed to reverse the abnormal cells and heal.  After intense research reading reputable sources, like this one, I came up with a regimen.  Since the next step was to get a colposcopy (a biopsy), I asked the doctor if she could give me two months.  I didn't tell her what I was doing, I just told her that I needed this time. Like I mentioned before, because changes in your cervix move slowly it wasn't a risk for me to wait just two months. I was at low-grade CN1.

Below is the regimen I followed for 2 1/2 months before my colposcopy.  I have to advise that the time I took to heal (temporarily) was awfully short and I encourage more time, especially if you are more advanced than CN1, which was my diagnosis.



Diet

Mostly Vegan:

I had been adopting a more plant-based diet in 2015 so I decided to increase my intake of vegetables and some fruit.  I tried to have a cruciferous salad almost every day.  This included shredded cabbage and broccoli with onion and tomatoes.  Cruciferous vegetables have a phyto-chemical called Indole-3-Carbinol.  "Studies have shown that increasing the intake of this substance significantly increases the conversion of estrogen from cancer-producing forms to non-toxic broken down products." Blueberry smoothies were also a huge part of my daily diet.  They are the #1 anti-cancer fruit.

Fresh Pressed Carrot Juice:

There is a link between beta-carotene intake and the risk of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. However, a lot of studies supplementing with beta-carotene pills havn't seen any correlation with cervical regression. During my research I had reach about cancer patients using carrot juice as one of their ammo.  Some swear that they cured their cancer with ONLY carrot juice!  This is where nature is unmatched.  When you take your nutrients from nature, especially in juice form, it comes with a number of phyto-nutrients, antioxidants and vitamin that the body recognizes.  As a result, it assimilates it.  Remember, your body is organic, just like food, and food is communication.  That is what food is!  You eat food that gives your body what is necessary to create chemical reactions in your body.  There is fear that carrot juice has a lot of sugar, and when you juice you are basically injecting insulin into your body with no fiber, creating a sugar spike. Sugar feeds cancer if you don't know.  But the thing is that if cancer cells are eating the sugar from the carrot juice, that sugar is binded with all of its goodness. The cancer cells eats up the sugar but also the antioxidants and phyto-nutrients that help kill it.  This is my theory and seems to have worked for many people.  But I digress.  The point is that since carrot juice is high is Vitamin A/beta-carotene I tried to juice 3-5lb of carrot juice A DAY.  I bought mostly organic but I think conventional would work as well.  Just make sure to clean it well with vinegar + water or a non-toxic vegetable cleaner.

Supplementation

Indole-3-Carbinol: Yes, I doubled down on the I3C and took a pill form. You can read a bit more about its anti-cancer effects here.

Pancreatic Enzyme: I took 1-2x every time I ate to help assimilate nutrients from my food. Everyone should be using this at all times.  Buy a bottle, carry it around, and take one before every meal.

Probiotic: I woke up every morning and took a probiotic to help repair my stomach. Remember, 70% of your immune system lives in your gut! Probiotics are one of the most healing and important supplements out there and should be taken regularly by everyone, even babies.  I was just reading about a new study in an acclaimed medical journal that found that probiotics improved cognition in Alzheimer's patients.  AMAZING.  Like Hippocrates said, "Disease begins in the gut." That is why it is crucial to have a healthy and functioning digestive system.

Folate: Folic Acid is one of those other vitamins that is directly correlated with cervical dysplasia. Low levels of folic acid have been linked to cervical dysplasia. For this I took a high quality, high dosage folate.  100000mcg to be exact.  This was the ONLY supplement the nurse practioner (not even the doctor) told me to take when I first found out I had cervical dysplasia.

AHCC: This mushroom extract is definitely not cheap but it has also been linked to reversing cervical dysplasia.  There is currently a government-sponsored clinical trial going on to see if this can be proven.  Of course, if it is, big pharma will quickly work to create a patented form of AHCC by changing the molecules and making it synthetic.  Did you know that Valium is basically a frankestein chemical laden version of VALerian root?  I wonder which ones have most side effects...Profits over health, always.

Multi-Mineral:  Although vitamins are important, minerals are often overlooked even if they are actually more important.  Basic minerals like selenium, magnesium and zinc are crucial in essentially every function of our bodies. The reason the body becomes acidic is because the body lacks minerals so your body has to basically leech them from your bones, creating an acidic environment.  An acidic pH is a hot bed for disease to take form in the body.  If you are acidic, it is a huge warning sign.  I wish I knew this a long time ago.

Lifestyle

I've never done a lot of exercise (not proud of it) but, during this time, I started jogging more and being more active.  It doesn't take me or a doctor to tell you that exercise if basically the MOST important "pill" in the fight against disease and premature aging.  It takes consistent effort and discipline.

Mental Health

During this time I was going through perhaps the most difficult time in my life.  I was going through a major family crisis and it had taken a toll on my mental and physical health.  I tried to stay calm during this time but it was hard.  The good thing was that I felt I had a good game plan this other unprecedented issue in my life. That gave me hope.

Stress is now scientifically acknowledge as one of the leading causes of disease, including cancer.  I am going to be honest, I am horrible at managing stress.  I've lived a very high anxiety life for really no reason other than feeling lost.  Well, to be honest, I've had pretty traumatic experiences happen in my 20's. So I am not here to tell you to just relax.  I know it is not as easy for some people.  But I will tell you that you can find outlets.  Meditation is amazing.  Yoga.  Running.  Listening to music. Painting.  Anything that calms you down is therapeutic.  Please, always take time for yourself, to love yourself and give it short breaks.  Even three deep breaths can completely change you cortisol levels.  If you don't believe me do it right now.

So what happened after my 2 1/2 month regimen:  MY BIOPSY CAME BACK NEGATIVE. CLEAR! I had reversed my cervical dysplasia BUT I still had HPV.  I cried because I knew this was the result of hard work and showed me the body is amazing.  Unfortunately, I didn't stick to the regimen for more than a month after that and 6 months later, the abnormalities came back.  What did I do then?  I'll write that in another post.

The moral of the story is this: Health is not a sprint, it's a marathon! Don't think that just because you healed yourself, that is it.  IT TAKES MAINTENANCE.  Health should be a lifestyle, not a quick fix. It is never a quick fix. You need to work at it every single day. Perhaps the hardest pill to swallow.





How I Reversed Cervical Dysplasia Naturally (Part 1)
Friday, April 3, 2015

What Does Good Friday Mean To You?

Life and faith has taken a new meaning since I learned that my mother had cancer.  All my life I've heard the same sermon being told by priests.  "Jesus died for your sins."  That is the number #1 thing I dislike about the Catholic church.  There is so much guilt. Always.  It is all about how much you've sinned and how bad you should feel and how much you should repent.  But I digress...

For the first time, I feel like I understand the meaning of Good Friday.  On a day like today, Jesus died.  He was crucified on the cross that he himself carried.  He sacrificed his life for love.  That is what I think the meaning of Good Friday is: Everyone carries a cross sooner or later in life in the name of love.  The question is: What will your cross be?




What Does Good Friday Mean To You?
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Smart is The New Skinny: The Art of Doing Everything


The other day I saw this old issue of Fast Company lying around the office and took it home to indulge in a little bed side reading.  I have to admit, I am not the most productive person outside of my 9-5p (or 9-9p if you work in advertising), mainly because I love to do many things at once, hence makes it hard to concentrate in the 2-3 really important tasks.

So stumbling upon this article was great timing, considering I have some pretty hefty goals coming up.

The article featured Pharell and a slew of highly successful people, all providing insight on what they do to stay productive.  Some surprised me (lack of sleep) and others were pretty obvious.  Regardless, it was a great read to stay motivated and FOCUSED.

Here are the main takeaways from the article, which you can also read here.

1.  You can sleep when you are dead.

Other than two outliers that were night owls, most woke up between 5-6:30am and went to bed after midnight.  Yikes.

2. Routine is key.

Alexa Von Tobel, CEO of LearnVest, has the same routine where she works out in the morning and eats the same thing for lunch every day.  That way she is not bogged down on making decisions that are not important and an energy suck.  Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, wears the same thing every day.

3.  Long meetings are a waste of time.

How many times have you been in a meeting that either people are chatting for at least 10 mintes and/or the reason of the meeting isn't really clear?  I lost count.  Focused meeting spanning 15 minute intervals are smarter.  Always strive to cut down the meeting, even if you've scheduled a whole hour.

4.  Work is the main goal, but working out keeps you sane.

Wendy Clark, SVP of global marketing for none other than Cocal Cola works out at 11pm, after spending time with her children. She calls it her "mental stability".

5. Maximize your mornings as much as possible.

Work the hardest in the morning so that you can get as much done and not fall behind.  It also makes your entire day less stressful.  Anthony Bourdain is a huge proponent of this as he "only gets slower and stupider as the day progresses."

Smart is The New Skinny: The Art of Doing Everything
Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Tale of Two Grandmothers

My two grandmothers are like oil and water. They are in the extreme opposite sides of the spectrum and, because of that, they've taught me a lot about how my life can play out.

Abuela Tati, my mother's mother, grew up in a small rural town in Puerto Rico, where she led a very secluded life.  Her mother died at the age of two and my great grandfather was a strict man.  She married at 15 and never studied again.  My grandfather had a bad temper and became someone else when he drank.  She was submissive, as most women would be in that situation, and dedicated her life to being the best mother she could be.  I always saw her as someone fairly sad, quiet and always feeling sorry for other people.

On the other hand, you have Rosa, or how I call her: Abuela Tata.  My father's mother.  She also grew up in a small rural town, not too far from where Tati lived.  She grew up with a strict mother but a lenient father.  A father that showed her immense love.  She was a good kid but never followed instructions.  "From as long as I can remember, I've done whatever I've wanted," she told me once.  She finished school early at 16 and worked at a naval base close to her house.  From a young age, she made her own money and claimed her independence.  She married young and had my father and my uncle, who passed away when I was one month old.  She remembers her married life as a great one, road tripping to other towns, going out to dinner and spending days at the beach.  She "separated" from her husband and from money that was her own, she decided to travel the world.  As a child, every few months, I used to get cheesy t-shirts and plastic figurines with locations I still dream of visiting.  Hong Kong, New Zealand, Chile and Norway to name a few. 

Both endured pain, as age grants us all, but Rosa had a fighting spirit since birth with self-confidence to boot.  Tati didn't.  

Both are still alive.  Rosa is in her 90's and recently told me how she had saved all of there vinyl records to listen to them when "she was old" but it still hadn't happened.  She laughs every time I see her, to jokes that sometimes only she hears.  She remembers her life from A to Z, still telling stories like when she got chased by a bull and had to climb a tree to save herself.  She recently overcame a one month stint in the hospital and is eagerly looking forward to celebrating another birthday on a cruise, a tradition she instilled on herself more than a decade ago.  She knows death is near and wish she can live more, but she is patient about everything. I'm not saying she has been submissive in any way.  She has been a tough cookie to swallow and is quite opinionated.

My dear abuela Tati is also alive. About six years younger than Rosa, she is physically healthy but her mind is slipping away.  Last time I saw her, she asked me the same question about ten times.  I patiently answered each time, but felt bad for her.  Everything she says is in a tone of pity and nostalgia.

The lessons they've taught me are simple, but for many, including myself, hard to follow.  Have a strong sense of self, appreciate the now and do what makes you happy (among many, many others).  Most of all, they have taught me that I can either live the life chosen or the life assigned.  I want to live the life chosen.


The Tale of Two Grandmothers