What A Decade of Cancer Has Taught Me

By August 3, 2020Bruce

Hi there! I am not going to go on in this blog about how Covid-19 has completely disrupted quite a wonderful life I was enjoying. OK, maybe I will:

Mindy and I started the year on all cylinders: We rented our house out again FOR THE YEAR, both of us were working on our first books, and Mindy had once again created a jam-packed schedule of our third year of full-time travel in the “Wellness Wagon”, speaking and teaching at fitness and medical conferences, and VegFests around the country. We had the whole year lined up perfectly…. then came February. I honestly thought the whole Covid thing would be history within just a few months and we would be blissfully back on the road helping people optimize their health-span. That obviously did NOT happen.

I am at my stand-up desk in the RV, writing this. We have been “temporarily” living in the RV at Mindy’s brother’s house in Aptos, CA since things went awry at the beginning of the year. This has been a very fortunate situation because the worst investment we made in 2019 was a 2020 “TRAVEL” planning calendar. If we didn’t have this sanctuary, we would be…homeless? Sound familiar?

Prostate cancer continues to be an unwanted feature attraction for us as well. It’s going on nine years since my diagnosis and I just can’t seem to eliminate it. Having said that, I feel physically amazing. At 62, my blood work is perfect (except a rising PSA), I’m in top physical condition (I’ve got plenty of time to work out and I am taking FULL advantage), not a single ache or pain in my body, good mental attitude…….and prostate cancer.

On August 4th, I have yet another biopsy of my prostate bed scheduled at UCSF (prostate has been removed, so the area under scrutiny is where it WAS.) And this has put me at a crossroads again: What am I going to do if this biopsy comes back positive? What am I going to do if it comes back negative again, like the last two? My medical options are now very limited due to the number of treatments over the years in an attempt to eradicate the cancer. If they DO find something, my only interventional option is another targeted blast of radiation with poor odds of eradication.

I was diagnosed almost a decade ago. According to my urologist, the cancer had been initiated and progressing probably a decade before that. That is almost two decades of cancer with absolutely NO symptoms. If it’s been with me for that long, with a healthy diet and lifestyle, why couldn’t I continue to live with it for another 20 years? That is the BIG question. If I do nothing, will it metastasize and kill me or will I die of something else first?

If I do decide to move forward with yet another medical treatment, there are risks of bladder damage, rectum damage (colostomy bag anyone?), erectile dysfunction, and on and on. But there is ALWAYS a possibility of eliminating or slowing down the cancer with radiation. No one knows for sure, but there is hope….

Here is what I do know:

  1. Every single traditional “standard of care” medical oncological treatment I have had has come with tremendous emotional, physical, and financial pain. Every experience has been a frustrating quagmire of insurance hassles, medications, relationship stress, mental anguish, and physical pain. No exception. Surgery: lack of bladder control, radiation: fatigue and nausea, chemo: crushing lack of energy, nausea. Every touch point in the cancer medical system has been a source of fear and stress. This situation is not my medical team’s fault. They are the best in the business (and make no mistake, it’s BIG business). They are doing what they have been trained to do. What they have NOT received ANY training on is a nutritional intervention, which only adds to my frustration. And then there’s that solid and strong thread of FEAR is woven throughout all of these experiences.
  2. Every single lifestyle change I have made since diagnosis has had an incredibly positive impact on my physical and mental health. It’s also free. ALL OF IT. All side effects: Positive and beneficial to health and longevity:
    • Transitioning to a plant-based diet: Lost 40 pounds and eliminated high cholesterol and blood pressure within WEEKS.
    • Removing ALL processed oils from my diet: Even more energy and vitality and weight loss.
    • Daily mediation: Nothing short of a miracle for mental health for me – FEAR management.
    • Ramping up high-intensity interval training: More strength and energy than I have ever had. Even in my 20’s
    • And most recently, an intermittent protocol of water-only fasting for five days straight every five weeks. Result: I feel 20 years younger.

I have taken this time to hyper-optimize my health through nutrition, fasting, and meditation. Since completing my last treatment of ADT and Zytiga (another type of chemo androgen blocker), almost three years ago, I have had no nausea, the opposite of erectile dysfunction (read Mindy’s book for more details!), no fatigue, no depression, and TONS of energy.

I am not suggesting abandoning medical treatment for cancer. What I AM suggesting is that making data-driven, well-educated decisions about brutal and caustic medical treatments COUPLED with the scientifically proven lifestyle modifications I listed above, will most likely provide you with the best outcome.

As I continue to sort this out, I’ll keep you posted. I hope to keep sorting for many more years. You can also read about Mindy’s and my journey along with compelling interviews with the greatest minds in evidenced-based nutrition and cancer, in my new book: A Plant-Powered Approach To Prostate Cancer

If you would like to read the first chapter and continue on this path with me, please feel free to join me in my new Facebook Group: A Plant Powered Approach To Prostate Cancer

Stay sane, stay healthy.

Bruce and Mindy Mylrea

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