Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer--and How To Prevent Getting It In The First…

Paperback | October 5, 2010

bySuzanne Somers

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In Knockout, Suzanne Somers interviews doctors who are successfully using the most innovative cancer treatments—treatments that build up the body rather than tear it down. Somers herself has stared cancer in the face, and a decade later she has conquered her fear and has emerged confident with the path she's chosen.
Now she shares her personal choices and outlines an array of options from doctors across the country:
 
EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS
•without chemotherapy
•without radiation
•sometimes, even without surgery
 
INTEGRATIVE PROTOCOLS
•combining standard treatments with therapies that build up the immune system
 
METHODS FOR MANAGING CANCER
•outlining ways to truly live with the diease
 
Since prevention is the best course, Somers' experts provide nutrition, lifestyle, and dietary supplementation options to help protect you from getting the disease in the first place. Whichever path you choose, Knockout is a must-have resource to navigate the life-and-death world of cancer and increase your odds of survival.  After reading stunning testimonials from inspirational survivors using alternative treatments, you'll be left with a feeling of empowerment and something every person who is touched by this disease needs…HOPE.


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In Knockout, Suzanne Somers interviews doctors who are successfully using the most innovative cancer treatments—treatments that build up the body rather than tear it down. Somers herself has stared cancer in the face, and a decade later she has conquered her fear and has emerged confident with the path she's chosen.Now she shares her p...

SUZANNE SOMERS is the author of twenty-two books, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Sexy Forever, Knockout and Ageless, and the Times bestsellers Breakthrough; Keeping Secrets, Eat Great, Lose Weight; Get Skinny on Fabulous Food; Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away; Suzanne Somers' Fast and Easy; and The Sexy Years.  Somers can ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.3 × 0.7 inPublished:October 5, 2010Publisher:Potter/TenSpeed/HarmonyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307587592

ISBN - 13:9780307587596

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PrefaceAs I finished the final edits to this book, the New York Times featured an in-depth article about the failure of conventional medicine to cure more cancers.According to the New York Times, adjusting for the size and age of the population, cancer death rates dropped only 5 percent from 1950 to 2005.What other technology has performed so miserably over this fifty-five year period? Would you accept a medical therapy that has not improved much since 1950?In contrast, the death rate from heart disease dropped 64 percent in that time, and for flu and pneumonia it fell 58 percent.The New York Times was especially critical of expensive conventional treatments that subject patients to much mutilation and suffering, yet yield survival improvements of only a few months.Clearly, as the Times states, "we are not winning the war against cancer."This book is written to show another side of cancer treatment and what you can do now to prevent getting this dreaded disease.As a reader, you must know there are no guarantees. Cancer kills and continues to kill. Yet there are some who beat it. Some beat it with traditional methods, and some with alternative methods. No one can tell you what will work for sure. You need to gather as much information as you can and make your own decisions.But there is hope, and this book offers new choices. It is important you know that there are more methods than traditional chemotherapy and radiation available, and these are what this book attempts to bring to you, my faithful readers. Although I have always leaned toward alternative medicine, the testimonials of the "cured" patients made a believer out of me.It is a very brave choice to go against traditional medicine and embrace the alternative route. It's easier to try the traditional route and then, if it fails, go to the alternatives, but often it can be too late. My friend Farrah—would she have made it if she had gone alternative first? There is no way of knowing.When you receive a cancer diagnosis, you're more vulnerable than at any other time in your life. I've personally had the experience twice, as you will read in this book, and my only hope for survival was alternatives. But that was my decision, what I thought best for me.I cannot make up your mind for you. I can only offer you these incredible professionals who have chosen to go another way. Some are completely alternative, while some are more integrated, but all are having success, great success.Does everyone survive, though? The sad answer is no. Having cancer is a lonely experience. It is the one time in your life that you cannot ask those closest to you, "What should I do?" It's too heavy a burden to place on another person. This is your life, your decision, and cancer kills.Read this book carefully. See and feel if the information resonates. I know that for myself, after having interviewed all of these incredible doctors, scientists, professionals, and patients, my choice overwhelmingly would be to use only alternative treatments regardless of what kind of cancer I contracted.I am not a doctor or a scientist, but merely a passionate layperson, a filter, a messenger. I spoke with so many patients who are living normal, happy, fulfilled lives, and their enthusiasm and great quality of life convinced me that indeed you can live with cancer. You can manage cancer. You don't have to be degraded by humiliating treatments and protocols. And in some cases, you can be cured of cancer.It is with great humility I ask you to read these pages and then listen to your heart and choose what is best for you. Writing this book has taken away my fear of cancer. I hope reading it does the same for you.Chapter 1A CANCER STORY—MINE November 2008, 4:00 a.m. I wake up. I can’t breathe. I am choking, beingstrangled to death; it feels like there are two hands around my necksqueezing tighter and tighter. My body is covered head to toe with weltsand a horrible rash: the itching and burning is unbearable. The rash is inmy ears, in my nose, in my vagina, on the bottoms of my feet, everywhere—under my arms, my scalp, the back of my neck. Every single inchof my body is covered with welts except my face. I don’t know why. Istruggle to the telephone and call one of the doctors I trust. I start to tellhim what is happening, and he stops me: “You are in danger. Go to the hospitalright now.” I knew it. I could feel that my breath was running out. No time to wait for an ambulance. We race to the emergency room. Iam gasping, begging for yet one more breath. I am suffocating. I am runningout of time. I don’t have time to think or be frightened; I can onlyconcentrate on getting one last breath. I am dizzy . . . the world is spinning.Breathing is all I can think about. We arrive. My husband has called the hospital in advance. They arewaiting for me. The emergency room workers—nurses, doctors, and otherprofessionals—are wonderful people. They have dealt with this before.They are reassuring: “Okay, we’ll take care of her.” As soon as I am in the emergency room they inject me with Decadron, apowerful steroid. “Why can’t you breathe?” the ER doc seems to beyelling in my ear, but I can’t answer. I am unable to get words out. Theyinject me with Benadryl for the welts and the rash. Now I’m inside theER, but I still can’t breathe. I can’t even sit up. I am bent over trying tofind oxygen anywhere . . . They put me on oxygen and albuterol to get me breathing, and slowly,slowly, life returns. I am still grabbing for each breath, and thereare spasms in my lungs, like someone is turning a knob that pulls mylungs inside out, but unlike before, the breath is there . . . labored butthere. “We have to do a CAT scan,” he says. I already know that there arelarge amounts of radiation inherent in CAT scans, and it bothers me tothink of doing that to my body. This is the first time I have had any pharmaceuticaldrugs in me in eight years. I always say, “I am not anti-pharmaceutical, but they should be saved asthe last tool in the practitioner’s back pocket.” My life was just saved bypharmaceuticals. Maybe this is one of those times that radiation is justifiedto find out what is wrong? Because something is seriously wrong. Iam healthy. I don’t know anyone who does more for her health than I doon a daily basis. CAT scan . . . I don’t know.  I say to the doctor, “It seems to me that I’ve either been poisoned or amhaving some kind of serious allergic reaction to something. I mean,doesn’t that make sense? The rash, the strangling, the asphyxiation.Sounds classic, doesn’t it?” “We don’t know. A CAT scan will tell us. I really recommend you dothis,” the doctor says. “Next time you might not be so lucky—you mightnot get here in time. You were almost out.” I know that. I could feel the life going out of me in the car ride over. “Okay,” I answer meekly. I am concerned and wary. My husband is withme, holding my hands, rubbing them. His face is twisted with fear, concern.Nothing is making sense. A week ago, I was the picture of health. I hosted a beautiful evening atmy home for all the wonderful doctors who had participated in my bestsellerBreakthrough. It was a beautiful, warm evening, and together we allcelebrated health and wellness. The stars were out that night in full force,and while the air was filled with the sounds of live musicians playing mysoft jazz favorites, the forty people at the table were enthusiastically conversingabout the possibilities of aging without illness; aging with bones,brain, and health intact; dying healthy at a very old age. We were allturned on. We had all realized it was attainable, and we were excited toknow that we had jumped on this incredible bandwagon in time. This was an amazing group of people. These doctors were the courageousones who stepped out of the Western “standard of care” box to declarethat the present template of medicine is not working. Drugs are notthe answer. Drugs and chemicals are degrading the brains of our eldersand sneaking up on the unsuspecting young ones. I looked around at this group of healthy-looking, vibrant people andwas excited to bring them all together. We were all living this new approachto wellness. And before our delicious organic meal was served,everyone pulled out their little bags of supplements. We all got a laughover that one. It was so exciting to talk about true health enthusiastically instead of inthe hushed tones that accompany talk of a loved one in a diseased state. Ifelt there always seemed to be a hopelessness that accompanied so manyof today’s approaches to health. Even when they worked, there seemedto be an undesired reaction in the body. Somehow you weren’t the sameperson anymore; you became slowed down, aging faster, fragile. Socially, in most groups I tempered my conversations on my approachto health because those who entrusted their lives to allopathic, “standardof care” Western doctors might not want to entertain the idea that theymight have made the wrong choice or that their way wasn’t the best way.I respected that. Life and health are about choices. There is the old wayand the new way, and each of us has to do what makes us most comfortable.  I chose the new way and I have never felt better, happier, more energetic,more hormonally balanced, and more sexually vibrant in my life. So why am I here, in this hospital? What happened? It’s surreal, being wheeled into the CAT scan room. I’m immediatelybrought back to my radiation treatments for breast cancer years earlier. Iknow I wouldn’t make that same choice today. The only health problemsI’ve had—until tonight—have been related to radiation exposure, butthanks to the incredible doctors I had the privilege of interviewing andknowing, I was able to rectify what had been damaged—using “nature’stools,” as Dr. Jonathan Wright says. I am now dressed in a blue hospital gown, and so far I’ve been reinforcedby three rounds of oxygen and albuterol. I’m starting to feel normalagain. Drugs have been my lifesaver this time. This is what they are for.Knowing the toxicity of all chemical drugs, I’ve already started thinkingabout the supplement regime and detox treatments I’ll have when I getout of here, to get all the residue of pharmaceuticals out of me. I’m hopefulthis will be the one and only time I have to resort to Western drugs. “We’re going to inject you with a harmless dye,” says the radiologist. “Itwill make you feel warm, and like you have to pee your pants, but thefeeling will pass. It won’t take long, maybe fifteen minutes, so just relax.” I’m already on an IV of glucose, so she injects the dye into my IV. I immediatelyfeel the warmth, a rather uncomfortable warmth, and then indeedI feel like I will pee right on the table. Click, click, click, likesomething mechanical that’s going wonky. Click, click, click. Again andagain. I lie there still so they can get the best pictures. “Okay, that’s it,” she says, then pauses. There is something in the radiologist’sface, but I can’t pinpoint it. It lasts only a nanosecond, but therewas definitely something in her face, her tone. “Have you had breast cancer?” she asks, seeming concerned. “Yes,” I answer. “Right,” she says. I am wheeled back to the ER, and Alan and I wait. I want to get out ofhere. I want to go home. The door opens and the doctor and the nurse come in and close thedoor behind them. The doctor stands and looks at me for a moment andthen says, “I have brought her with me for courage because I hate what Ihave to say.” The moment feels frozen, still. “We have very bad news,” he continued. My heart started pounding,like it was jumping out of my chest. “You have a mass in your lung; itlooks like the cancer has metastasized to your liver. We don’t know whatis wrong with your liver, but it is so enlarged that it is filling your entireabdomen. You have so many tumors in your chest we can’t count them,and they all have masses in them, and you have a blood clot, and youhave pneumonia. So we are going to check you into the hospital and starttreating the blood clot because that will kill you first.” The air has been sucked out of the room. I look at my husband’s faceand see that it is contorted with fear, pain, and confusion. My heart ispounding so hard that for the first time in my life I say, “I . . . I think youneed to give me something to calm me down. I’m afraid I am going tohave a heart attack.” “Absolutely,” the doctor says. My blood pressure is at 191. I am usually 110 over 80. Pounding,pounding, pounding. Disbelief! I look at Alan; there are no words. Wehold hands. His eyes are liquid, as are mine. What can we even say? We’vejust been coldcocked. Surreal again. I am being wheeled upstairs, checked into a hospitalroom. There is a flurry of activity, IVs being hooked up. I hear my weakvoice asking, “What are you putting in these IVs?” “Heparin,” a nurse says, “a blood thinner for your blood clot, and in theother one is Levaquin, an antibiotic for your pneumonia, plus Ativan tocalm you down.” I am grateful for the Ativan. Drugs! Me, the non-drugadvocate. I’ve had so many drugs this morning, my head is spinning.What is happening to my life? To our life? “Call Bruce,” my son, I say to Alan, trying to keep the panic from myvoice. “He’s shooting in Atlanta; call him on his cell phone.” Then I tellhim to call Leslie, Stephen, my sister Maureen, and my brother Danny.Both Alan and I are numb. The oncologist comes into my room. He has the bedside manner of amoose: no compassion, no tenderness, no cautious approach. He sits inthe chair with his arms folded defensively. “You’ve got cancer. I just looked at your CAT scan and it’s everywhere,”he says matter-of-factly. “Everywhere?” I ask, stunned. “Everywhere?” “Everywhere,” he states, like he’s telling me he got tickets to the Lakersgame. “Your lungs, your liver, tumors around your heart . . . I’ve neverseen so much cancer.” He leaves the room and the sound of the machinery I am hooked up tofills the silence left by the shock and awe of this death sentence I’ve justbeen given. Alan lies down on the little bed with me and holds me likehe’ll never let go. There are no tears from either of us. We are too stunnedto cry. Nurses come and go, adjusting my equipment; we just continue tohold each other for what seems like hours. Our embrace is broken by Alan’s cell phone. It’s Bruce. “Ma . . .” Hisvoice is cracking. “You are the rock of this family; you are what keeps ustogether.” “I know, Bruce. I’m going to figure this out. There’s a doctor in Italy . . .”I trail off. Bruce’s voice is emotional. “I can’t imagine being in a world withoutyou, Ma.” I have never felt so sad. I have never felt so out of control and helpless.I am trying to be convincing, I am trying to be upbeat, but the wordsaren’t coming out of me. Caroline, my daughter-in-law, calls. Her mother died of breast cancerwhen she was thirteen, then her surrogate mother (her mother’s sister)died of ovarian cancer, and then her stepmother died of ovarian cancer.Now me. This is just too much for her. I can hear it in her voice. Ilove her; I am her earth mother in spirit, the designate for her mother.“Bruce is flying home tonight,” she says shakily, “and we will be at thehospital in the morning. I’ll bring you some fresh chicken soup.” That isher way, that is how she dealt with her mother’s death; she takes charge,she handles things. She knows soup will comfort me. The concern in hervoice is palpable. I am trying to make things okay, but they aren’t, and weboth know it. I don’t have any spark in me. I’ve just been hit by an atombomb. One by one my children call, then the grandchildren, telling me theylove me. That’s when I start to cry. I will never see them grow up. Willthey remember me? I love them all so much. My stepdaughter, Leslie, doesn’t call; she just gets in her car and drivesto the hospital. She walks into the room, takes one look at her father, usuallya take-charge kind of guy, and sees that he is not able to function. Hecan’t talk. Leslie and I have been through a lot, and we have come out ofit so unbelievably close, so loving, and such great friends. It is a parent/daughter/friend/business partnership that is sacred to me. The oncologist is just leaving the room again as Leslie arrives, and I cantell her mood is anxious but fierce. She dislikes Dr. Oncology immediately.She says, “What an asshole. How does he know you have cancer?How can he be sure? You just had your stem cells banked in August withthe NeoStem company. You had to do a complete cancer workup beforethey would bank your stem cells. You were clear. Your blood work wasperfect.” Yes, I think. How could I have cancer? Then the lung cancer doctor enters the room. Maybe he has betternews. But no—he says, “I just looked at your CAT scan, and you havelung cancer that has metastasized.” He is nicer, more thoughtful. “I mean,I’m going to think about this,” he says. “Maybe it’s something else, butthis sure doesn’t look good. I’ll be back tomorrow.” Leslie takes out penand paper and is making notes. She will continue to do this the entireweek, writing down everything everyone is saying. Thank God, becausewhen you are stunned and on medication, things get foggy. Day one is almost over. The most shocking, devastating day of my life,our life! I know the facts: when you have lung cancer and it has metastasizedto your liver, heart, abdomen, and all over your body, you have atmost two months—maybe only two weeks or less. I look at Alan and the sadness is overwhelming. I am in that “valley offear” I have often heard about, and I see my death. As night envelops the room, the nurse comes in and puts somethingdreamy in my IV—more drugs, but I can’t resist. I want to sleep. I wantthis nightmare to be over. Alan climbs into my little bed under the coversand holds me tight. When I wake the next morning he is still holding me.He hasn’t moved. The idea of leaving him . . . oh my God, that thought isoverwhelming. Day 2. The morning is nurses, blood pressure, routines. They’ve donethis a thousand times before. They can’t get involved, not really. It wouldmake their job too difficult. Every patient has a story. Mine is no different.Every day, people are diagnosed with cancer, bad cancer . . . this isjust another case. I hoped in the morning we would awake to find that this is a baddream, but reality is all around us. Bruce, Caroline, and Leslie are sittingvigil at the foot of my bed. The tone is shock and fear, coupled withLeslie’s fierce insistence that this just can’t be. Bruce holds me and cries, tells me he loves me. He holds me in a waythat speaks volumes. Touches my hand. Connecting. Showing that life isfleeting, and that no day should be wasted. As a teenager I gave birth tohim and the connection between us has always been profound. Carolinehas me dead in her head. It is all sense memory for her. Her mother’sbreast cancer spread to her liver and she died a month later. Caroline,hearing that I’ve cancer in my liver, knows the inevitable. My stepson, Stephen, calls. He is awkward with emotions. It’s becausehe feels it so much that he is uncomfortable with expressing it. I knowthat. I hear it in his voice. The surgeon walks into my room. “I just looked at your CAT scan, andit’s cancer.” Again. The same doom. Each time I hear it, my soul acceptsthe injury. I feel deep, profound grief and disbelief that I am beingforced to leave all those I love. So soon, so unfinished. It just doesn’t feelpossible. Dr. Oncologist enters. “What do you want to do? We could prescribefull-body chemo.” “Excuse me,” I say. Even in my drugged state I know this is not the answerfor me. “Just so you know, I would rather die; I would never take anyof your treatments.” Dr. Oncologist just shrugs and leaves the room. “Asshole,” Leslie says. Caroline says, “What an arrogant prick!” Being an oncologist involves constantly delivering bad news, very badnews. Maybe Dr. Oncologist uses his arrogance to protect himself. Caroline says, “I looked up your symptoms and it could be somethingcalled valley fever. You get a rash, you get pneumonia. And it comes fromthe top two layers of soil in the desert of the Southwest. You work inyour organic garden all the time, and you dig regularly in the ruins inNew Mexico. It makes sense.” Dr. Lung Cancer comes in. “Could it be valley fever?” I ask him. “Well,” he says slowly, “it could possibly be, but I doubt it. But let methink about it. Most likely it’s not. It really looks like it’s cancer.” That night, Alan, who still hasn’t shaved or showered, again climbsinto my little bed with me, and the nurse puts the dreamy stuff into myIV. Alan holds me tight under the covers. The next morning, we are stillentangled in each other’s arms. Caroline, Bruce, and Leslie are sitting there, Leslie with her notepadand her sleeves rolled up. Caroline is angry with all the doctors. “Idiots!”she says. “Except the internist.” We all like him. He is open. He is managingall the doctors and reporting to me. Dr. Internist says, “They want you to take Coumadin, a blood thinner,for your blood clot.” “I don’t want to take Coumadin,” I tell him. “I know that drug; it’s gotterrible side effects. I’m not going to take it. There is a natural blood thinnercalled nattokinase; I’ll take that. But I won’t take Coumadin.” Dr. Internist laughs. “Well, you know what you want.” I tell him, “Listen, I haven’t taken a drug in nine years. I’m taking onlylifesaving drugs for the moment, just until I can figure out what I amgoing to do.” The stress is unbelievable. I feel crazy—trying to figure out if I’m goingto die soon, trying to avoid unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs, as I’m onso many drugs already at the moment. I realize how easy it is to becomepharmaceuticalized. I am now on at least six drugs and fighting to resistmore. The nurse walks in. “I have your blood pressure medicines.” “Since when have I been on blood pressure medicine?” I ask, feelingupset.“Oh, it’s been in your IV all along,” she says. “Who ordered that?” I ask incredulously. “Your doctor ordered it,” she says flatly. “No, I don’t want blood pressure medicine.” My voice is rising, “I don’thave high blood pressure. I am upset. I am very upset! Wouldn’t you be?” Day 3. Dr. Lung Cancer and Dr. Surgeon come in, along with Dr. Oncologist.“We’ve been talking,” says Dr. Lung Cancer, “and we think youshould be biopsied. That way we can rule out anything else, and then youcan decide how you want to deal with your cancer.” “What does a biopsy entail?” I ask. Dr. Surgeon says, “Well, we will cut open your throat, put a tube downyour chest, and go into your lung and take a piece of tissue. And then wewill take a piece from a couple of the tumors in your chest. The complicationsare that we will be working around your vocal cords, and there isa possibility that we could damage them. So it’s up to you.” I look at Alan. I look at Bruce, then Caroline and Leslie. Leslie says, “Doit. Then you’ll know. I know you don’t have cancer. You are too healthy.You do everything you are supposed to do to not get cancer. You eat organic,you take supplements, you take antioxidants, you exercise, yousleep. You are happy. You don’t have cancer.” Bruce is a mess. He’s so vulnerable, and Alan is shutting down. I cantell he is choosing to die with me if I am going to die. “I’m going to have the surgery,” I tell everyone later that day. We allagree that it is necessary. We need the information. Barry Manilow walks into my hospital room. He’s my best friend. “What is going on?” he asks, very concerned. I tell him I’ve been diagnosed with full-body cancer but that it justseems impossible. How could it be? He can’t believe it either. He calls meseveral times that day. That night, linked up to this IV, which I am now referring to as “mybuddy,” I am sure feeling the drugs; I get out of bed and start dancingwith my rolling IV, singing, “Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’regonna go through it, together.” We all crack up. It’s a needed relief fromall the doom. My family around me, Barry calling, Alan never leaving my side, my sister,like Bruce, telling me she can’t live in a world without me. And it hitsme. Like a loudspeaker is in my head, I hear it; so real that I look aroundto see if anyone else hears it, but they can’t. It is only for me to hear. It wasan epiphany. In the face of seeing my death, while in the space of this valleyof fear, the words ring through my head: It’s not who you are, it’s not whatyou have, it’s not where you live, it’s not what you do, it’s only, only aboutwho you love, and who loves you. And the more you love, the better! A moment of complete and utter clarity. And I know that no matterwhat happens I will never be the same. I feel only gratitude that I havesuch deep and profound love in my life. Once again Alan climbs into my little bed with me; the nurse puts thedreamy stuff in my IV. Tomorrow I will be going into surgery to find outif I am going to live or die. Most probably die, because four doctors plusthe emergency room doctor and the radiologist have diagnosed me withfull-body cancer. Yet I feel grateful. Even in this moment when I wantmore life, when I want to live with every fiber of my being, I know thatI have more love in my life than many people ever experience. And Ifall into my dreamy, drugged sleep holding my husband, who never letsme go. Day 4. This morning is different. Nurses very busy, lots of tests, bloodpressure, then two nurses (men) in white coats come to get me to wheelme downstairs into surgery. I hold Alan’s hand and look at him with alonging that hurts my heart. My aching, pained heart. The feeling is indescribable. “I love you,” I whisper. He kisses me on my face and forehead and tellsme I will be okay. Dr. Surgeon comes up to me right before I go out. We’re all wearingshower caps, which makes me laugh, but I’m nervous. “Look, Doc,” I saygroggily, “I’m a songbird—I have a need to sing every day of my life.Please, please be careful and save my vocal cords.” And then I am inspace. Where do we go in that space? It’s like time lost. How long am I there?Where is “there”? But I’m waking up. I can sort of hear that Alan is talkingto me. I’m trying my best to hear, struggling. What is he saying? I’m sogroggy. “You don’t have cancer. You don’t have cancer,” he whispers to me. Hestrokes my hair. I cry. My eyes open. I can’t believe it. I don’t have cancer . . . I’m going tolive. I’m out of the ICU and back in my hospital room. Bruce, Leslie, andCaroline are around me. Bruce is speechless. Caroline is simultaneouslyhappy and pissed off at what they put us all through, and Leslie keepssaying, “I knew you didn’t have cancer. I knew it!” You would think I’d be ecstatic. I want to be, but I am experiencingpost-traumatic stress, I guess. Sadness gets into your cells. My body, mycells, accepted the death sentence of inoperable cancer as fact, and nowthey are shut down. My soul has been injured. How do you heal an injured soul? I can’t find my happiness. Yet I amrelieved. Day 5. Dr. Oncologist comes into my room. Now, you would thinkhe’d say, “Well, sometimes it’s good to be wrong.” Or “Isn’t it great thatyou don’t have cancer?” But no. He walks in, doesn’t sit down, just looksat me and says angrily, “Well, you should have told me you were onsteroids.” I am flabbergasted. I don’t know what to say to him; I am so stunnedby his lack of compassion that I just stare at him. I am not on steroids. Iwould never take steroids. But because he is stuck in old thinking and soout of touch with new medicine, he has no clue and doesn’t understandcortisol replacement as part of the menopausal experience. I don’t know where to begin with him. He’s too arrogant to listen to a“stupid actress,” anyway. So much of his attitude with me has been theunsaid but definite “So you think all your ‘alternatives’ are going to helpyou now, missy?” Why steroids would have anything to do with being misdiagnosedwith full-body cancer, I can’t guess. But we still don’t know what hasgone wrong in my body. We still have to find out what caused me to endup in the ER. I think Dr. Oncologist is embarrassed that he so horribly misdiagnosedme. That he put me and my family through a trauma no one should haveto endure. (I hear later that my personal oncologist called him and said,“Don’t tell her she has cancer until you do a biopsy,” and he arrogantlyreplied, “Look, this is bad—the cancer is everywhere. You can’t give thiswoman false hopes.”) I think for all these reasons he is embarrassed . . .and mad. Would he rather I have cancer than be wrong? A simple “I’m sorry” from any of the doctors would go a long way, andwould help in healing. How hard is it to make an apology? Are doctors soconcerned with lawsuits that they can’t be human anymore? What happenedto the Hippocratic oath that all doctors take: “First do no harm”?Ego. Arrogance. So he has to find a reason to have made such a stupid, arrogant mistake.Man, is he searching for something, anything. What am I going tosay to this guy? He isn’t worth it—I just want him to go, to get out of myroom. I never want to see him again. He turns abruptly and leaves. Later that day, just as I’m beginning to see some light, hope, and a futurewith my loved ones, the infectious disease doctors march into myroom, four of them, in white coats. One of them, whom we’ll nickname“Nurse Ratched” after she leaves the room, is the head of infectious diseasesfor the hospital. She says, “Now that we’ve ruled out cancer, we allthink you have a serious infectious disease.” Oh God, I thought. It’s beginning again!  “Like what?” I ask, not sure I want to hear the answer. “Well,” begins Nurse Ratched, “we believe you have either tuberculosis,leprosy, or coccidiomycosis, which is valley fever, which can bring with itmeningitis and brain damage.” Caroline jumped in. “That’s what I thought it was, valley fever. EverythingI read about it describes her symptoms.” “Well,” says Nurse Ratched, dismissing Caroline, “it’s most likely tuberculosis.After looking at her CAT scan, this is what we all believe. Now,Suzanne, I know you understand our job is to protect the community, sowe are going to move you to an isolation room so your germs cannot escapeinto the hospital community.” I am once again in shock. TB? Leprosy? Really? My kids and Alan pack my things up; I am covered with a blanket, ashower cap, and a face mask and wheeled upstairs to what turns out to bea closetlike room, obviously rarely used, with a huge motor that supposedlytakes my germs out into cyberspace or somewhere. All the nurses and doctors who come and go from my room are nowin full protective clothing, covered head to toe in what looks like beekeepersuits. I can’t tell if they are men or women, and I feel like a livinghuman germ. I am contaminated. I am a danger to the community. When the door opens I see that a police guard has been placed outsidemy room for security reasons, but I misunderstand. I think it’s to keep mefrom escaping. Don’t let HER out. She will harm you. My children are no longer allowed to be in contact with me. No visitors.They either don’t care about Alan or realize that he will get crazy ifthey try to keep him out. That’s when I lose it. I break down in sobs. It’s all been too much. Somuch stress and craziness. I sob and sob. Alan still does not leave my side.He still has not showered or shaved, and he climbs into my little bed inthis horrible noisy room and gets under the covers with me and all mygerms to go to sleep. Another day gone. What will tomorrow bring? By now I am beginning to be able to think. I’m still stunned, but thefight is coming back. I e-mail a couple of the doctors I know from mybooks Breakthrough and Ageless. Each of them has suggestions for buildingback up, for detoxing the drugs out of me, for finding natural approachesto what is being diagnosed as either TB, valley fever, or—God ofgods!—leprosy. Just crazy! Dr. Jonathan Wright says, “You gotta get out of there.”   “I know,” I say. “But they won’t let me go, I am evidently a threat to thecommunity.” “Listen, I have your blood work from a month ago and it is all stellar.There is no way you could have these diseases. TB would have presenteditself long before this, and leprosy is a joke. It doesn’t look like that on aCAT scan.” Dr. Infectious is back in my hospital room again. “I want to go home,” Isay firmly. Dr. Infectious answers, “Well, that is not possible. We have to wait foryour cultures to come back.” “How long will that take?” I ask. “At least a couple of weeks, maybe six weeks,” she says matter-of-factly.It’s no problem for her to have me sit idly waiting for test results. “No, no, no!” I say loudly. I have the urge to start pounding on the bedsidetable violently. “No, I am not staying here! I want to go home. I wantto go hoooome!” I say murderously. (Shades of Shirley MacLaine in Termsof Endearment.) “I WANT TO GO HOME. I AM GOING HOME!” “Well . . . ,” Dr. Infectious begins anxiously. (Good, I thought. My fightis coming back. I think she’s nervous that I’m going to make a scene, andI am. I’ve had it.) “I will release you, but you must sign a paper agreeingto be quarantined to your property for six weeks. You may not go to anypublic place. If you do not sign this paper, I will report you to the Departmentof Health, and you do not want that publicity. You must takethe medicines for TB, leprosy, coccidiomycosis, and meningitis. We alsowant you to take Coumadin and the antibiotic Levaquin for your pneumonia.And by the way the leprosy medicine may make you sweatblood.” Really, truly, I am a nice person, I am always polite, but I am havingthoughts of saying terrible things to her. But I don’t, can’t. She has thepower, and until I get out of here, she is the warden. I am powerless. Patientsare rendered powerless. Now I know it firsthand. I e-mail Dr. Wright. “Sign the paper,” he says. “Tell her you’ll be a goodgirl. Tell her you will take the medicines. When you get home, send methe names of the medicines and I will research them for you.” So four hours later I am being wheeled out of the hospital, with$5,000 worth of medicines in my hand I know I am not going to take. (Ijust look at it as my getaway money.) I am covered from head to toe tominimize my exposure to the community, and I am put in my car. As Alan gets into the driver’s seat, I feel exhausted. I have never beenthrough such a terrible ordeal—and I was an abused child! My childhoodwas spent hiding and sleeping in a closet to protect us from the violence;but never, never have I experienced anything like this.As we drive home in the beautiful southern California sunshine, I lookaround the streets of Los Angeles, knowing that the world continues on,and I say to Alan, “I feel like we’ve both been in a terrible earthquake anda huge building fell down on us, and at the very, very last moment, just aswe were running out of air, they were able to pull us out of the rubble. SoI am relieved to be out from under, and I am relieved to be going home,but we were buried alive and it is going to take some time to get over thetrauma.” We drive onto our property, quarantined from the outside world fordiseases no one is even sure I have. Immediately I e-mail Dr. Wright withthe names of the medicines I have been given. He shoots back an answerwithin twenty minutes. “First of all,” he says, “these drugs will kill you. Seriously, they are sotoxic to the body that I don’t know what this doctor is thinking. Second,it is mandated by law that these drugs not be given unless there is an absolutediagnosis, which you do not have. It is also mandated by law thatyou only give these drugs one at a time, to see how the patient toleratesthem, because these are all so toxic to the liver. So I am not exaggeratingthat these drugs have the potential to kill you or seriously injure and debilitateyour liver. How long did she say she wanted you to stay on thesedrugs?” he asks. “Anywhere from two to six weeks,” I answer. “Good God,” he says. “You have to do what feels comfortable to you,but until these cultures come back, I advise you for your health’s sake notto take these drugs.” As he is talking I begin dumping thousands of dollars’ worth of useless,toxic drugs into the trash can. What a waste. What trauma. What a terriblething to thrust on me so she can “protect the community,” eventhough she does not have a diagnosis. She would rather destroy my liverand make me sick for life so she can write in her report that she has followedprotocol (wrongly, I will later find out). This is dangerous medicine.And once again, I feel sure that I am experiencing my secondhorrible misdiagnosis in one week. How can this be? How can this behappening to me? While in the hospital I kept repeating to all the doctors that I felt eitherI had been poisoned or was experiencing a severe allergic attack. Justweeks before this episode I had had my killer cells tested to measure thestrength of my immune system; I clearly remember what my doctor hadsaid looking at my results: “Wow, your numbers are great, they are at 43.”I said, “I have no frame of reference.” “Well, most adults your age have immunesystems at 2 or 3, you are at 43!” So how did I go from perfect health and a very strong immune systemto lying in a hospital bed, near death, diagnosed with full-body cancer?No one could answer this question and none of the professionals were allthat interested in finding out. My queries were dismissed as insignificant.Something terrible had happened to me. Something I ate or something Ibreathed, or maybe it was foul play. Who knows? The whole thing wasvery disturbing. All I knew was that I did not have cancer. The biopsyconfirmed this to be true. No cancer anywhere. What if I had taken the full-body chemotherapy as suggested? I shudderto think what might have happened to my health. It would have beenseriously degraded. How often is this happening to innocent, trusting patients? I’ll never know what caused the attack, but I do know that being an informedpatient saved my good health. I had enough knowledge to realizethat even if the diagnosis were true, that if I did indeed have cancermetastasized throughout my entire body, I had other options and chemicalpoison was not an option for me. If this horrible misdiagnosis could happen to me—a known health advocate,a bestselling author of health books, and a famous person—then whatis happening to the rest of the people in this country? What happens tothe average Joe who trusts in the system, the average Joe who when diagnosedsays, “Okay, Doc, if that’s what you think, bring on the full-bodychemical poisoning. We’ll figure out how to pay for it somehow.” I was lucky, though, because I knew something that the average Joedoesn’t: Prior to this episode I had been keeping a file on doctors whowere curing cancer without drugs, surgery, or poisons. I never thought itwould be something I might need to access personally. In my darkest moments,even when it all seemed hopeless, I had one little ray of light tohold on to—that “out there” was another way. It gave me hope, and is myreason for writing this book. Now I want to introduce you to these healers, so if ever you find yourselfin a similar horrifying situation, you will know there are options,choices. . . . Information is power, and being informed will always allowyou to make the best choices for yourself or your loved ones. From the Hardcover edition.