I often find myself thinking that modern medicine has it all wrong when it comes to treating cancer. Miraculous new treatments for cancer make headlines every day, but what are the long-term results of these treatments? Are these wonder drugs truly extending life, and more importantly, are they enhancing quality of life?

According to a recently published paper in the British Medical Journal, one of the most prestigious, peer-reviewed medical journals, more than one-half of cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency from 2009 to 2013 show no improvement in quality of life or survival.


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More people are reaching a ripe old age than ever before in history. In the early 1800s, life expectancy was a mere 45 years. But today, in Australia, Canada, Japan, and most European countries, people can expect to live to 80 and beyond. If the trend continues, a majority of babies born in these countries will live past their 100th birthday. But this increase in longevity comes with some bad news. Although we manage to survive longer than preceding generations, we often gain time without being healthier in those extra years.

The Difference Between Thriving and Surviving as We Age

Studies worldwide indicate that after age 60, most people have at least one chronic disorder, such as heart disease or diabetes. A recent population-based study in Sweden found that at age 80, only one of 10 individuals were living well and not suffering from either a chronic disease or Frailty Syndrome.

In the U.S. almost one-third of people older than 85 have received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, often combined with other types of dementia such as that caused by vascular disease.1

What’s Wrong with Our Modern Medicine Healthcare Model?

Modern Medicine faces fundamental challenges in that we are removing the human element and attempting to reduce everything to a single cause and effect.  Given the functional interdependencies between the molecular components in a human cell, disease is rarely a consequence of an abnormality in a single gene, but reflects the perturbations of the complex intracellular and intercellular network that links tissue and organ systems.2


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“Success is never final, and failure is never fatal”
-John Wooden

If you have recently been diagnosed with advanced cancer or another serious life-threatening disease, remember that everything you might think about it—positive or negative—is merely an interpretation. You are the one who decides how you will relate to the diagnosis.

My advice, based on my three decades of working with people with serious illness, is simple. Do not limit yourself by assuming that you or anyone else knows what the outcome will be. The truth is that no one knows. Surrender to the unknown and focus your attention on living your best life.

It is blessedly freeing to accept what is in this moment, without projecting into the future. Use your mind and heart to seek out and consult with trained, experienced, well-respected professionals whom you trust. And use the power of prayer to help guide you.

Love is the Virtue of the Heart

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In my blog on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) a couple of weeks ago, I discussed the dangers of these drugs that are commonly prescribed for treating GERD and indigestion. Patients often ask me if there are natural alternatives to PPIs.

I recommend complete digestive support that focuses on safely alleviating symptoms and restoring digestive tract health. The goals should be to:

  • Neutralize stomach acid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, bloating, GERD, and upset stomach.
  • Support digestion and normal gastrointestinal (GI) health and response.
  • Support normal GI immune and inflammatory response.
  • Support normal GI tract healing, provide support and protection to the mucosal lining, enhance GI permeability health, and address leaky gut syndrome and immune dis-regulation.
  • Provide optimal support for the epithelial lining of the GI tract, esophagus, throat and mouth.
  • Support nervous system/digestive system connection and assist the gut, nervous system, and brain network.
  • Support gum and oral tissue health.

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I recently watched a delightful movie called “The Green Book” that one writer described as “a love letter to the endurance of the embattled human spirit.” I found the movie to be down to earth and heavenly at the same time.  More than anything, it gave me renewed faith and hope in us.

We all experience suffering and injustice, but we also experience how the Divine provides help and hope every day, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. At Easter, Passover, and spring, we celebrate the season of renewal and hope. My prayer is that we grow, together, in faith, hope, love, and understanding.

“Hope is always loving and faith is always loving and hopeful.  Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it.” ~Richard Rohr

“Flowing River” by Sigmar 32

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Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are among the 10 most widely used drugs in the world. In 2012, there were 157 million prescriptions written for these stomach-acid inhibiting drugs.1 More than likely, either you or someone you know is taking these medications.

While PPIs may alleviate the problem of excess stomach acid, many people don’t realize that these drugs are associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer, pneumonia, c. difficile infections, osteoporosis (you need stomach acid to absorb nutrients such as magnesium and calcium into bones), and vitamin B12 deficiency, among other serious diseases.2

The Rationale Behind PPIs

The stomach secretes digestive fluids with a pH2 value, which creates a highly acidic environment. These acidic gastric secretions sterilize bacteria in foods that are eaten, and are essential for the digestion and absorption of various nutrients, including protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12.

Obviously, stomach acid that can digest food can also damage delicate intestinal mucosa. The body has protective mechanisms—including mucosal mucous/bicarbonate secretion and sphincter contraction of the gastroesophageal junction—to prevent gastroesophageal damage. But if the sphincter is weakened, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus. The backwash of acid irritates the esophageal lining, causing heartburn and the regurgitation of food. If the condition persists, it may cause chest pain, difficulty swallowing, chronic cough, hoarseness, and disrupted sleep. Left untreated, GERD can lead to esophageal ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus, and precancerous changes known as Barrett’s esophagus. 


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