Bestselling author Jordan Rubin, with David Remedios, M.D., shows how to adopt the 7 Keys in The Great Physicians Rx for Health and Wellness to focus aggressively on cancer and keep this disease at arms length.
Jordan Rubin is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Maker's Diet with over 2 million copies in print. His story and his previous books have been featured on Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Fox and Friends, and Inside Edition, and in USA Today, Time, and Newsweek. Jordan also founded the Biblical Health Institute to empower the church to live the abundant life that glorifies God.
Introduction: My Rose
I lost Grandma Rose to cancer a few months ago.
She was my last surviving grandparent, and as I helplessly watched cancer emaciate this once-vibrant woman to a skeleton-like seventy pounds, I sat by her bedside and recited poetry, read Scripture, and sang worship songs. I felt helpless as her bladder cancer--like a slow-moving army--invaded her body, plundered her mind, and would eventually snuff out the burning embers of nearly eighty-three years of life.
While monitoring her labored breathing, I became very emotional as I recalled the memories that bonded us closely together. At the age of twenty, when I had faced my own life-and-death struggle with horrible abdominal and digestive tract diseases, I stayed with Grandma Rose from time to time when my parents needed a break from caring for me. My nurturing grandmother gently pressed a cool cloth to my feverish forehead, spooned homemade chicken soup into my mouth, and cleaned up soiled bed sheets without complaint. When I was hospitalized twice, she insisted on sleeping in a spare bed next to me. Although it wasn't funny at the time, we shared a laugh one night after a nurse slipped into my room at 4 a.m. and wrapped a tourniquet around Grandma Rose's left arm, thinking she was drawing blood from the patient.
Grandma Rose would have done anything for me--even give a pint of blood. What a remarkable woman! Born in 1922 in a pastoral Polish village that could have doubled as the set of "Fiddler on the Roof," Rose was the youngest of seven children to Gidalia and Simma Catz. An extra hand was always appreciated around the family farm. Her father owned a mill where they pressed poppy seeds and flaxseeds into oil. A taste treat in those days was gathering the pressed seeds and patting them into hard cakes, which were dipped into schmaltz, the rendered fat from chicken soup.
Her Jewish family faced growing harassment during that uneasy era following World War I. Her oldest brother, Sydney, was persecuted horribly in the Polish Army. Great Grandma Simma helped Sydney escape from the Polish military, and her family arranged for safe passage to the United States. Waiting for him at Ellis Island were several uncles and aunts who had immigrated to America.
War clouds thickened over Europe in the 1930s. When Adolf Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany in 1933, he moved quickly to pass repressive anti-Jewish laws--and brutally enforce them with his Brownshirts. Amid this hostile environment, Jewish persecution intensified elsewhere throughout Europe. Fortunately, Rose joined her parents and several siblings and immigrated to the United States in 1935 at the age of thirteen, where the family settled in Queens, New York. They were among the last wave of European Jews to arrive in America prior to World War II.
Two older sisters, Sonya and Dora, who were married with their own families, stayed behind in Poland, which was not a good place to be if you happened to be Jewish in 1939. Following the Nazi blitzkrieg, her sisters and their families were rounded up and shipped off to the death camps. No Schindler's List could save them. We believe that Rose's sisters and families were murdered inside the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
After the war, Rose married Alvin Menlowe, an immigrant himself from Czechoslovakia. She gave birth to my mother, Phyllis, and a younger daughter, Debbie. When I came along twenty-five years later, I was a colicky child who cut into my parents' sleeping time. Grandma Rose, who stayed with us periodically, would hide behind my crib when the lights were turned out. Then she would reach out her hand and stroke my forehead. "Jordi, Jordi . . . it's okay," she soothed. "I'm here."
Another early memory of her happened when I was two years old. Grandma Rose took me to Miami Beach--the first time I saw the ocean. My grandmother hugged me to her chest and ran us into the light surf, which scared me half to death. I'm told that I cried, but that quickly changed as I got used to the churning ocean. I soon loved wading into the warm Atlantic waters, holding the hand of the grandmother I loved.
Hooked on Sweets
My parents were vegetarians until I was four years old, when my mom became pregnant with my sister, Jenna. The honor of handing me my first chicken leg went to Grandma Rose.
My grandmother didn't eat as healthy as my parents, though. At lunchtime, for instance, she happily consumed glazed doughnuts and coffee ice cream, chased with a cup of sugared coffee. She had become hooked on sweets not long after her ship docked at Ellis Island: America, for my grandmother and her family, was the land of the free and home of the white bread. She had heard that our streets were paved with chocolate and cheery vendors handing out double-scoop cones on every street corner. While she managed to eat somewhat healthier in her later years, she never lost her sweet tooth.
Her husband and my grandfather, Al, was partial to junk food as well. Perhaps that's why he suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-five when I was just eighteen months old. Grandma Rose lived as a widow and never remarried.
In early 1999, she began experiencing unusual health problems--fainting spells, excruciating stomach pains, and rampant nausea. Grandma Rose was never one to run to the doctor--that was the old country mindset working--but even she knew something was terribly wrong. Doctors conducted a series of tests, including CAT scans, but they all returned negative. Her doctors were at a loss to deliver a diagnosis.
Meanwhile, Grandma Rose visited her other daughter, Debbie, who had married a chiropractor, Dr. Jim DiBlasi. They lived in Atlanta. On this occasion, she felt so weak that she had to be lifted out of bed and assisted in and out of the bathroom. The searing abdominal pains and long periods of nausea became unbearable. In her desperation, she asked her son-in-law to fetch her some pills so that she could "end it all."
Under such dire circumstances, she agreed to allow surgeons to perform emergency exploratory surgery. Doctors sliced open her abdomen and uncovered several malignant tumors tucked underneath her internal organs, which explained why her cancer had not been detected before. Doctors excised two cancerous ovaries, portions of her large and small intestine, and a malignant mass near her appendix.
Afterward, her doctors informed the family the bad news: Grandma Rose may not have long to live. They couldn't give us a time frame, however. My father immediately searched for the best alternative cancer clinics around the world, but each had something in common: they were all super expensive. Grandma Rose didn't have a nest egg to cash in; she had been living off a $600 Social Security check each month, which was augmented by financial help from my parents and other family members. Bottom line: she couldn't afford anything that wasn't covered by Medicare.
It was at this time that Grandma Rose asked me for help. After I recovered from my incurable diseases, I studied naturopathic medicine, nutrition, and natural therapies. When Grandma Rose was struck by cancer, I formulated a plan to regain her health--a plan that's contained in the Seven Keys that comprise this book, the Great Physician's Rx for Cancer.
Instead of slowly sinking toward death, Grandma Rose experienced a complete--and dramatic--recovery as she switched from a sugar-laden, high-carbohydrate diet to one filled with organic fruits, vegetables, and meats, supplemented with living nutrients and superfoods. Her doctors expressed amazement when follow-up CAT scans revealed she was cancer-free. She regained weight, and her energy level picked up. Her recovery allowed her to fulfill a dream of hers--and mine--when she attended my wedding. At the reception, guests clapped when Grandma Rose and I did the foxtrot to a song I had sung and recorded just for her--"Just The Way You Look Tonight," made famous by one of her favorite singers, Frank Sinatra.
For five years, Grandma Rose was the picture of health. She spoke with me at an "Overcoming Cancer" conference, joined me for television interviews following the release of my first two books, and couldn't wait for Nicki to get pregnant so that she could hold her great-grandson.
Then a couple of years ago, Grandma Rose abandoned her healthy diet as she grew complacent about her "good health." I urged her to eat better, but she didn't heed my words. When cancer revisited her, Grandma Rose did listen to me again. We thought we were making good progress until the day she tripped and fell down a staircase at my home, badly bruising her head and shattering her elbow on our marble floor.
She never fully recovered from that tumbling fall as her cancer returned with a vengeance. This time around, however, Grandma Rose couldn't summon the energy to fight this deadly disease. She lacked the will to continue the program I gave her.
When I learned of her grave condition, I dropped everything to be with her, flying from my residence in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to my Aunt Debbie's home in Atlanta. This time around, there was nothing anyone could do for her.
"Grandma, would you mind if I sang to you?" I asked.
She nodded her head weakly.
I sang "I Will Be Here," a Steven Curtis Chapman song I had performed at my sister's wedding and "Love Song" by Third Day. I stroked her hair, told her how much she meant to me, that I loved her, and would miss her more than she'll ever know.
I witnessed the moment Grandma Rose was released from the bonds of this earth, and I still believe somehow that she could still be with us. That's why I've dedicated this book to her memory, praying that the principles undergirding the Great Physician's Rx for Cancer will make a difference in your life and/or the life of someone you love.
Still a Deadly Disease
Back in Grandma Rose's day, people spoke in hushed tones when news ran through the neighborho...