13 Is My Lucky Number

Two years ago last Friday began one of the most depressing weekends of my life. My wife and I attended the Prostate Cancer Research Institute Conference in Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, they are good people trying to do good work. However, having been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer just a few months earlier and sitting through several days of sessions, I walked away incredibly depressed and totally devastated as to my options if they included surgery, radiation, cryotherapy or any other invasive procedure. The possible side effects of these alternatives just left me disheartened and miserable.

Photo courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had been spending the months up to this conference trying to build my immune system and get my health in a strong place for when it came time for me to choose a more invasive protocol. After that weekend – I was left more confused than ever. I didn’t want to pick any of the choices they were discussing and the conference offered virtually no sessions on nutrition as an alternative approach. Okay, to be completely accurate – they did have “one” session on nutrition (that’s right – only one in a three day conference). Beth and I both attended that session. However, after about 20 minutes, it became painfully obvious that my wife knew more about nutrition and cancer than the medical doctor running the session! She actually answered several questions that people asked when the doctor was stumped a couple times. I remember at one point someone asked if certain types of nuts were ok to eat and the doctor didn’t know. Beth stood up and said that “nuts that were high in Omega 3 oils and low in Omega Six oils like Almonds and Macadamia nuts would actually support an anti-cancer diet. The doctor looked to the audience and said, “Yes, that’s right, I believe she’s absolutely correct.”

I left that conference more confused and more miserable than ever. All the discussions by doctors were about cutting, freezing, or poisoning the problem (and the body). All of which – had really bad potential side effects for a man.

I was numb for a couple weeks after this conference. I went through my days keeping my head down and trying to focus on being healthy and doing my job. Then something interesting happened. On my way into an ultrasound exam I spoke to my medical doctor by phone and he told me that my PSA had actually declined a clinically significant amount (after it had been going up every year for the last 5 years)!  I went into undergo the ultrasound exam a few minutes later. After the ultrasound images were taken, the oncologist shook his head and said, “I don’t quite know how to explain this but, the tumor seems to be fading. I’ve never seen anything like this. What are you doing?” All of a sudden – I felt a lot better. Maybe, just maybe, this nutrition thing alone might work?

Three months later, my Urologist told me about a new exam. The PCA3 (which is much less invasive than a biopsy and much better at gauging Prostate Cancer than a PSA). Based on my biopsy (which was a Gleason 7), he estimated that I would have had a PCA3 result of between 40 – 50 (serious). However, after 9 months of my health protocol, I scored a 26 (which is just over the borderline of what is considered problematic). At the same time, my ultrasounds were becoming clearer and clearer.

About 9 months later, I had another PCA3. Interestingly, the doctor made me come back in again a week later because he felt the results were inconclusive (I think he didn’t believe them). After taking the test again – I scored a 17. Well within the acceptable range.

I tell you all of this because last Friday, exactly two years after the most miserable weekend of my life, I spoke to the Urologist’s office having taken the PCA3 test yet again. This time, my score was my new lucky number – 13, which is considered good.

Hippocrates is considered the father of modern western medicine. He is revered by the medical community. It is his oath they swear to relating to the study of medicine – and it is he who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Why then, is nutrition so under appreciated in the medical community today? It is a mystery to me. A few months ago I hesitatingly volunteered to speak to the PCRI conference about how diet affected my cancer diagnosis. I didn’t want to relive that weekend but I thought it was important to offer men some hope that involved something other than a scalpel. They politely declined to have me speak.

I have no products to sell, no paid coaching to provide, no money to be made. I donate all my profits from the book I wrote about my journey into health over to Cancer and health research. I am an unlikely proponent of diet and nutrition because I was at one point, the “poster child” for sodas and processed food. But results talk and mine is saying “13.” That has a much better ring to me than “surgery.”

For more information on how I tackled my journey with health, go to www.MisnerPlan.com.

I’d love to hear your comments.

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6 thoughts on “13 Is My Lucky Number

  1. That is terrific news Ivan. I am an education coordinator in the Business Master’s Chapter in San Antonio and also a “health nut” advocate. Your blog post really resonated with me and a website that I have had for years. Your right, it is demoralizing to hear the standard protocol of “treatment” being rattled off by physicians out there. We definitely need to take extra steps to be responsible for our health.

    Keep up the good work!

    Bert

  2. Ivan, first of all, I am absolutely thrilled for you and Beth – what amazing and wonderful news!

    We have been through a somewhat similar situation with a totally different disease – migraine headaches. Our daughter first experienced them at 15 – her crippling, debilitating, agonizing pain was dismissed by her own pediatrician as being “all in her head” (no pun intended) and our journey started from there. After trying pretty much everything available, we came across a relatively unknown but fairly straightforward surgery which she had performed 20 months ago – and she is now headache free for the first time in 7 years.

    Why did no one mention this before we discovered the option almost accidentally? Medical turf wars. Enormous drug revenues. Ignorance – not willful, but nonetheless, physicians who for one reason or another couldn’t offer anything other than chemical intervention.

    Our family has been truly blessed and our lives enriched and enhanced by the skill of some of the most amazing physicians in the country, if not the world, and we are incredibly grateful. But I talk to a lot of people about how they can become “set free” from migraines because it happens to be a field where all the options are not known to patients.

    Thank you for what you are doing. I wish you all good luck in fighting the good fight!

    1. This is Mary Funk posting for Dr. Ivan Misner…Susan, ironically Beth (my wife) also had serious migraine headaches. She went to the Center for Advanced Medicine and treated them through nutrition. When nobody else could solve the problem (including heavy doses of pain killers) food took care of her migraines. It was the Center for Advanced Medicine that she referred me to.

  3. Dr. Misner, thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy to hear your great news. As a colon cancer survivor, I did not learn about the importance of good nutrition until years after my illness. I now feel better than ever and continue to amaze my doctors. Unfortunately, I am not surprised that they declined your offer to speak.

  4. Hi Ivan,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a cancer survivor (thoracic spine tumor) and someone who has seen his PSA creep up over the last several years. As others have stated, I’m not surprised at the declination of your offer to speak. I guess the adage “when you are a hammer…” applies here.

    For some reason your personal story has struck a dietary chord with me. I have always had a “life is too short, I might get hit by a bus anyway” kind of an attitude when it comes to food. Hearing your story has seemed to be a bit of a tipping point for me. Since the second best time to plant a tree is now, I think I will wander over to the Misner Plan and see if i can put it to work for me.

    Thanks for sharing your story at such a personal level.

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