Why have I gone raw? Good question. It seems lots of folks have gone raw because of a “scare,” and I’m no exception there. For me, it was a cancer scare.
About two months ago, in preparation for a stage performance, I fell and injured a rib. This seemed to also re-injure an old back problem, so after a few days of pain, I went in to see my doctor. She felt the injury was no big deal, but at my insistence, she sent me off to get an X-Ray of my chest.
Surprisingly, the doctorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office called me the next day and wanted me to get a CT Scan because they Ã¢â‚¬Å“found something.Ã¢â‚¬Â This, of course, sets off some alarms. You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to hear that theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found something in your chest, so I got a little paranoid. I smoked for about ten years, so the first thing that came to mind was lung cancer. Not a pleasant thought. And no comfort was to come from a phone call the following Monday: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The doctor wants to see you first thing tomorrow morning.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The news was not good. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We think you have lung cancer.Ã¢â‚¬Â Oh, really? There was the possibility of a few other things, but most likely it was lung cancer. I tried to remain calm while they made me an appointment to see a lung specialist, but the appointment was not for almost two weeks. In the meantime, I kinda freaked out. I, with the help of Kandace, switched to a mostly raw foods, anti-cancer diet. I gave up coffee. WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stand within twenty feet of a smoker. I bought and read several books on natural cancer cures, joined several online groups, and read every crazy cure out there. I was having nothing but cottage cheese and flax seed oil for breakfast. We bought a juicer, and I drank juices and herbal teas all day long. We signed up for a two week cleansing course, made appointments with a nutritionist… I even started reading an Anthony Robbins book.
We were just a wreck. It was next to impossible to focus on work, or the conference we were attending. I was afraid to tell anyone, choking up around strangers, waiting to see if the lung specialist might have some hopeful news. I had finally come to terms with the fact that I had lung cancer, and might be dead in six months. I had started to plan what those six months would be like, what I still wanted to accomplish, and what I would be leaving behind. I even decided on the music I wanted to be playing at my funeral.
Finally, after about two weeks, the appointment with the lung specialist came. They did a series of breathing tests, and the doctor asked me an endless series of questions about my condition, symptoms, lifestyle, and so on. Finally, we came to the subject I had been dreading.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It seems that your primary care physician told you that you have lung cancer.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes,Ã¢â‚¬Â I replied.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have lung cancer. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably good news, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Yes. That is good news, my good doctor. That is good news.
Turns out I have Sarcoidosis, a disease which I now refer to as not lung cancer. The symptoms are mild, but I do have some of them, and the disease is often discovered by chance during a chest X-Ray, just as it was for me. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll probably go away by itself in time, but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be checking in with another CT Scan in a few months.
Meanwhile, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been seeing Dr. Ariel, a naturopathic physician. I went on a cleansing diet for three days, followed shortly by an anti-inflammatory diet, followed by a detoxification diet. And I’ve been 100% vegan, and at least 50% raw foods, for several months now. And I feel great.