Mushrooms, Forrest... Mushrooms
In 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 3-3 colon cancer. At some point I’ll tell that story, but for now I wanted to introduce you to what I discovered when I went outside the advice of the doctors and looked towards nutrition. It was the beginning of my journey using foods to gain health.
Years ago, I remember hearing a segment on Paul Harvey, world famous radio host, about a man who was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer with a 6 month time frame. The doctors sent him home and told him to get his affairs together. The man, that Paul Harvey spoke of, went home and decided to plant an orchard on his land for his family to remember him by. He began the effort knowing he would never see the orchard grow and produce the fruit from the trees. Twenty one growing seasons went by and every year he was out there taking care of the trees. He finally died at the age of 90 with that orchard well tended.
Which brings me to my story about what I did. After cancer surgery, I was scheduled for chemotherapy. I went in and had my first infusion. The chemo killed off so many white blood cells that they couldn’t continue the treatment until the count was up. Many of you know that there are drugs to build the white blood cell count, but they have really bad side affects. I started to research what would increase the count without drugs (I was so tired of taking meds). What I found was surprising. Shiitake Mushrooms.
That was the answer. I ate shiitake mushrooms in every way possible. I felt like the Bubba Gump mushroom company. I ate them morning, noon and night. I could have written a cookbook on all the recipes I put shiitake mushrooms in. And even more surprising was that mushrooms in general tend to shrink blood vessels feeding cancerous tumors.
I went back to the oncologist two weeks later and my white blood count was normal. Surprised at the count, she asked what I did. I looked at her and said…mushrooms.
Now the FDA has approved the use of Turkey Tail Mushrooms to enhance the immune system for cancer patients. Don't forget to check out my ever growing list of mushroom recipes!
Mushrooms, Forrest… Mushrooms!
Originally published in 2013