Around ten years ago, I became extremely weak and coughed so hard for months that it felt like I might turn inside out. I thought I had pneumonia. My doctor thought I had cancer. It turned out I had both, pneumonia and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was terrified of chemotherapy treatments, so I decided to cure myself. I had read that eating meat causes some cancers to grow, so I became a vegetarian.
I also decided to give up all the sweet goodies I had craved and eaten voraciously for years. I used to make two batches of chocolate chip cookie dough, eat one batch raw, and bake the rest. Sometimes I’d even eat half of them when they came out of the oven. At the grocery store, I’d put “vanilla angels,” my favorite doughnuts filled with yummy white goop, into a waxed paper bag, and happily eat every one of them while I did the rest of my shopping. Then, I’d hand the empty bag to the person at the checkout counter and say, “There were seven doughnuts in there, but I ate all of them.” I’m ashamed to admit that I’d get a big, childish, kick out of the person’s grossed-out reaction. Oddly, I never felt sick after those big binges.
Over the next four months, I went from 125 pounds to 75 pounds, and became so weak that I could not walk as far as our mailbox. One morning, my husband Harley sat down next to me crying, and said, “If you don’t let me take you to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, I am going to leave you because I can’t sit here and watch you die, and that’s just what you’re doing.”
Thanks to Harley, and smart doctors, chemotherapy, support from acupuncture, herbal medicines, visualization, a healthy vegetarian diet, and love from my family and friends, I am still alive. Believe me, I am grateful every day!
Once I got through my cancer treatments and knew in my heart that I was cured, I again became an “eat-meater” as my son Storn called carnivorous dinosaurs when he was little, but I have not gone back to eating sweet things the way I had.