Friday, December 16, 2011

Cancer Thriver: Cortney from Green Drink Diaries

This week I had the opportunity to speak with Cortney of Green Drink Diaries. She is a holistic cancer survivor and she gave me permission to print her story. I think you'll be impressed.

How I Beat Cancer

3 months before my cancer diagnosis.
In October of 2008 I was diagnosed with Stage II Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After weeks of testing and the staging confirmed by PET/CAT scans and a bone marrow biopsy, my husband Kevin and I had to make a decision. Were we going to go with the oncologist’s recommendation of R-CHOP chemotherapy and radiation? There were so many unsettling factors. The type of Hodgkin’s I had was very rare and there were no conclusive studies on what type of conventional treatment was MOST effective. The chemotherapy that was suggested by my oncologist had many side effects, but the one I found completely unbearable was infertility.
On the same day we received my official diagnosis and were given our tour through the chemo room and the wig shop, Kevin and I came home feeling unsettled and bewildered.  While I was lost in my thoughts of whether to freeze my eggs or agree to have embryos frozen, he began research on alternative cancer treatment. Neither one of us had any experience in the alternative cancer world. He began discovering other people who felt similarly as we did. They believed there had to be another way, a better way to treat cancer. We also found several survivors who treated or were treating naturally, such as Jerry Brunetti and Kris Carr.

Over the next few weeks, packages arrived at our door on a daily basis. Kevin began to read about the reasons that conventional medicine was not always the best way to approach treating cancer. He became more and more educated on the effectiveness of alternative cancer treatment. I had difficulty having faith in his new alternative cancer philosophy. How could this “natural” treatment be so effective, but yet doctors continue to treat almost exclusively with c​h​e​m​o​t​h​e​r​a​p​y​, radiation, and surgery? It must be because modern American medicine was superior to diet change and supplementation? I needed to educate myself on it. I focused on a book by Bill Henderson called “Cancer Free: Your Guide to Non-Toxic Healing” and in November began the protocol he lays out in his book:
1. Beta 3-D Glucan Immune Boosting Supplement
2. Raw Organic Vegan Diet, No Meat, No Sugar, No Processed Foods, No Cooked Food
3. Budwig Protocol (Cottage Cheese/Flaxseed Oil)
4. Vitamin C/ Green Tea Supplement
5. Barley Power Supplement
6. Dr. David Williams Daily Advantage Vitamins
7. HcG Urine Test to monitor progress

After many heated arguments and tears, I had finally agreed to give alternative cancer treatment a 3 month trial period. Our next step was to find an oncologist who supported us in our journey. After leaving the first oncologist, we found a holistic M.D. at first who knew of an oncologist, Dr. Stephen Szabo who she heard was more-open minded to patients trying alternative treatments. After one visit with him he confirmed that he believed I had “time to try alternative therapies” and agreed to monitor the cancer while I continued my nutritional protocol. It was shortly after this I began to notice the cancerous lymph node in my neck drastically reducing in size, almost to the point of non-detection after only a month on my new diet.
In January of 2009, I attended the 12 day detoxification and raw foods course at the Living Foods Institute here in Atlanta. It was there I was introduced to new ways to enjoy raw foods.  I also received 7 colonics to detox my colon in order to allow proper assimilation of the cancer-fighting nutrients I was putting into my body. I did many other things to detox my body also, such as drinking Essiac Tea, reflexology, drinking Alkaline water, sweating in a dry heat sauna, and exercising on a Cellerciser rebounder. During this time I also kept my anxiety levels calm through prayer, reading biblical scripture, and reciting positive affirmations.
My January HcG Test showed improvement from my November score. I was set for another HcG test in March when I discovered I was pregnant. It was a scary and uncharted territory for us. My oncologist seemed confident and we worked together along with my OBGYN through the next few months of morning sickness and blood tests to make sure my body was handling the pregnancy well and the cancer wasn’t acting up.

Finally, on May 4th, 2009, Dr. Szabo gave us the surprising news that I was in “clinical” remission! He believed that CT/PET scans were NOT a superior way to monitor the form of cancer I had because of its indolent nature. Instead, I am monitored via bloodwork and physical examinations.  Following several months of excellent health reports, I received “clinical” remission status. I went on to have an unmedicated and natural birth to Ruby-Claire Campbell on November 19th 2009.

As of this writing in October, 2011 I remain in clinical remission. I have chosen to address my cancer through lifestyle change. This is a lifelong commitment. My diet is not as extreme as it was in the beginning, but I still stay completely away from sugar, processed foods, and conventional foods. I eat a TON of nutrient-dense, organic vegetables: a big, colorful salad and 64 ounce veggie smoothie everyday. I rarely eat meat, but when I do, it is grass fed, free-range meat or wild-caught fish. I still drink green tea, take Vitamin C, and Dr. David Williams’ vitamin supplements each day. I eat the Cottage Cheese/ Flaxseed Oil mixture at least 4 days a week.

I think there is a place for conventional medical treatment and intervention/monitoring. For my husband and I, it was a PRAYERFUL decision to approach the cancer the way we did. We believe that God gave us a fully functioning, self-healing body that when brought back to its original state can fight off the malfunctioning cell growth of any form of cancer. It will be a journey to keep the cancer away, not a destination. That is how we hope Americans will begin to look at their health care.
For a more detailed version of this story, please click HERE.
My Series on Fighting Cancer with Alternative Therapies
Part 1: A Day in the Life On My Alternative Cancer Protocol
Part 2: 5 Tips for Alternative Cancer Confidence
Part 3: You Need an Advocate to Support You!
Part 4: Facing the Critics of Alternative Cancer Treatment: Friends, Family and Forums Who Mean Well
Part 5: The Three Day “Eat For the Cure!”


  1. What a wonderful story of natural healing!

  2. After treated for cancer there should follow-up after treatment for cancer is must and should because of the high rate of recurrence in patients who have been treated and because of the high risk of developing a second cancer in patients with severe condition. holistic cancer treatment centers promotes outine follow-up care should be performed every 3-6 months for several years following treatment.


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