In July of 2010, her mom was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. Dr. Penn at the City of Hope in Duarte, California performed her mother’s surgery on October 22, 2010 and assured them the cancer was eradicated. A radiation pill treatment in January of the following year confirmed her mother was doing well.
However, in May 2013, Monica and her family noticed a red discoloration on the mom’s face and knew something was amiss. So, back to the hospital they went. The cancer was back in the form of a tumor on her face, and surgery was the doctor’s recommendation, but facial paralysis was the risk. Her mother refused the procedure and opted for radiation therapy instead — an intensive 10 sessions in two weeks.
On May 8, 2013, her mom woke up with blurred vision and crossed eyes. The tumor had reached the optic nerve. On May 13, the doctor told the mom she had two weeks to live. At that point the tumor was so large that she couldn’t swallow, was drooling, and had difficulty breathing. And the doctor said the cancer would eventually suffocate her. Her mother’s reply: she had her grandson’s (Monica’s son) graduation to attend in a month, and she would be there!
On May 25, the doctors said there was nothing more they could do and sent her mom to Citrus Valley Hospice Hospital to die. Monica’s mom refused to miss that graduation. She just wouldn’t let go. On May 30, everything changed. The hospice sent her mom home — yes, they sent her home — under Monica’s care with in-home support. This is when Monica had her eureka moment. She decided to back up her belief that “your health is your wealth” and matched her mom’s verve to live with action!
When she had moved in with her mom in 2010, after the first cancer diagnosis, she had tried to share nutrition awareness with her mother — teach her to read food labels, tell her about vegetarianism, etc. (Monica has been a vegetarian for some time and believes it’s why she doesn’t have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, any health issues, and why she’s not on any medications.) But when her mother was sent home from hospice, she took complete charge of her mother’s diet.
Monica was up against a very scary clock and knew she had to do something drastic. She had heard about the balancing effects of alkaline water, did her research, and went to work. Everything organic. No meat. No fish. Lots of greens. One liter of alkaline water per day, plus alkaline-rich foods. She and her son and daughter bought organic soil and organic seeds and began growing their own organic fruits and vegetables in their yard (seen in photo). Monica had the whole family on a new, healthier regimen.
The results? Two weeks after leaving hospice, on June 14, 2013, her mother attended the grandson’s graduation in a wheelchair. A little over a month after switching to Monica’s organic foods and alkaline water, her mother was well enough to ask to go out to the Cheesecake Factory. (Can’t imagine what they’d eat there! Perhaps mama wanted to indulge.)
Now, August, 2014, one year later, Monica is elated to report that her mom’s facial tumor has decreased from a size 4.9 to a 1.9 and no longer affects her vision, breathing, or ability to swallow; her blood sugar (she is diabetic, too) has decreased from 300 to 112; she has lost almost 50 pounds; she enjoys walking as exercise every day; and she is not going back to non-organic foods.
While some doctors are skeptical of the effects of organic foods and alkaline water on Monica’s mother’s recovery, others have remarked that it is miraculous. Monica believes it is a combination of the miraculous, the will to live, and the healing properties of healthy food.
“What is more expensive: organic foods or medical bills?” -Monica M.
I have had too many family members die of cancer, including a parent, and I know so many lives are affected by the disease. Hopefully, Monica’s story touched you as much as it did me. What an inspiration! And she was generous enough to share some of her delicious and nutritious recipes, which we share in Part 2 of Monica’s story.