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How Mushrooms Saved My Life

Reblogger Roy Kelley
Industry Observer with Retired

In June of last year, I was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. It's usually pretty nasty, and the prognosis is not exactly optimistic. Then luck kicked in... 

 

Original content by Patricia Kennedy AB95346

This afternoon, I shared my mushroom story on the Tuesday Zoom call, and spoiler alert. The story was a little scary, but it has a great ending. Um, I got lucky!

In June of last year, I was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. It's usually pretty nasty, and the prognosis is not exactly optimistic. Then luck kicked in, first when a neighbor (and client) introduced me to Integrated Medicine through a stack of amazing books.

Then I was introduced to my Kaiser Permanente medical team, which included a nutritionist who helped me put together a really healthy diet - and she introduced me to Ryze Mushroom Coffee, which became my gateway drug to the world of "functional" mushrooms.  It was a complete game changer - during chemo I had no side effects other than a little hair loss.

Then, when I met with the surgeon who removed the big old tumor that I'd been feeding for the past couple of decades, it turned out not to be stage four. It was taking up space but hadn't yet invaded any other organs, and with the help I got from the books below and the mushrooms, and six or so brilliant surgeons , we sent the bad stuff off to a lab where I guess it's enjoying retirement in a big old jar of formaldehyde. Oh, and the lead surgeon knew more than I did about Integrated Medicine. And on rounds over the next few days, they all dropped by and told me to keep up the mushrooms! I plan to for the rest of my life! 

So, here are the books my friend brought:

  • Radical Remission - Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly A. Turner, PhD: this book came out of her PhD dissertation, based on a ten month trip to interview holistic healers and people who lived through the disease. Then she studies over 1000 cases and interviewed another 100 people who achieved what she calls radical remission. The stories were fascinating, and reading them helped me to pick out some strategies these people had in common and to incorporate them into my own cancer journey. She also has a lot of great information on foods to eat and other ways to stay healthy.
  • Anticancer: A New Way of Life - David Servan-Schreiber, MD: This is part memoir and part how to increase your chances of avoiding cancer, and if (like me) you never thought about it until you got a super-scary diagnosis, how to mitigate the impact by adding Integrative Medicine basics to the standard of care, which in my case was chemotherapy and surgery. He has a gold mine of information about basic life style changes that in my case turned things around, used in combination with good old Western medicine.  He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer when he was 30 and working as a researcher. After his doctors successfully removed it, he switched to patient care and spent his career working to educate his colleagues about the importance incorporating lifestyle changes into cancer care. He lived for 25 years after he was diagnosed.  
  • Anticancer Living: Transform Your Life and Health with the Mix of Six - Lorenzo Cohen: Dr. Cohen is the Director of the Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center (which is said to be the leading cancer treatment hospital in the world). He updated and expanded a lot of the information Dr. Servan-Schreiber's book in 2018, and explains how to incorporate the six pillars of the program (love and support, food, exercise, stress reduction, sleep, and eliminating toxins) into your daily life. The idea is to create an optimum environment in your body for good health.

Then there are the mushrooms, which I learned about after reading all of this. 

I start each day with a large cup of Ryze Mushroom coffee, and I also take seven additional types of shrooms in capsule form. Now, mushroom growers seem to be bickering among themselves about which is best, the fruit or the root. 

Most mushroom products are sold as powder in capsules. And many producers argue that the good stuff is all in the fruit, or the part of the mushroom that you see at supermarkets and put into your stews or omelettes. Others say the magic comes from both the root and the medium in which they are grown, usually fermented oats or rice (mycelium). Most of the products I use are either mycelium or a mixture of mycelium and roots. The National Institutes of Health recently did a study on Turkey Tail mushrooms, they used Host Defense Mushrooms, which were mycelium based. And if it's good enough for NIH, it's OK with me. And the Host Defense web site is fabulous. I buy my Agarikon from them.

I get my Lion's Mane, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Chaga and Cordyceps from Whole Foods, whose 365 house brand is the best buy I've seen. Because their stores here are a little sketchy stocking everything, I order online on Amazon, doing a search "365 Mushroom Supplements". They are a combination of fruit and mycelium.

Usually, I stay away from mushrooms that are shipped in from China. The Chinese really know their mushrooms, but they are not so great at shipping them halfway around the world. Theirs have always tasted a little bit off, which is hard to do since they are packaged in capsules that usually mask bad tastes.

So  that's it. Today I feel ridiculously healthy, have lots of energy. The life style changes have eliminated lots of health-related issues, from Charlie horses to joint pain and high cholesterol - and far fewer senior moments! And I feel so much gratitude to the many people who helped along this journey. And as I said on the Zoom call, I don't view it as a battle with cancer. Instead, it was a journey  - filled with love and compassion and even humor. 

As a friend said the other day, "You chose life!"

And now, I think it's time to pay it forward.

Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

Thanks for sharing Roy and Patricia!!! Glad you are feeling better!!!

Most mushroom products are sold as powder in capsules. And many producers argue that the good stuff is all in the fruit, or the part of the mushroom that you see at supermarkets and put into your stews or omelets. Others say the magic comes from both the root and the medium in which they are grown, usually fermented oats or rice (mycelium).

Apr 17, 2024 03:53 AM