What My Doctor Didn’t Want To Know

I believe in miracles, and I just experienced one. My doctor might call it an aberration or a strange phenomenon. For many western medicine doctors, a miracle is too far of a stretch. Miracles are outside of their paradigm. Western medicine doctors save lives and do amazing things, but sometimes they get mystified. I have stumped my doctor to the point of her seeking another doctor’s opinion on how to explain what she said is not possible. They are confounded.

I had two weeks to wait for surgery. I could tell my doctor wanted me to have the surgery the following week based on my results, but it was a holiday week (Independence Day), and she wasn’t doing surgery that week. So I had two weeks to wait. I asked her what I should do during those two weeks and her answer was “nothing”. I did everything instead. Let’s begin at the beginning.

On Monday June 16, 2014 I had my annual pap exam with my gynecologist. She found 3 things wrong: Active HPV (Human papillomavirus), and atypical glandular cells and atypical squamous cells. I was then scheduled for an in-office biopsy, which occurred the following Monday June 23. This procedure was terribly painful, and I almost passed out.

3 days later, I got a call from my doctor. She said that the results were not good and that a more in-depth biopsy as outpatient surgery was indicated. She did not read me the exact wording of the lab report, and I am glad she didn’t. It would have freaked me out even worse than I already was at the time. But later, I got the actual report and it said that in my cervix, the biopsy showed “Severe squamous dysplasia/carcinoma in SITU.” Not a good diagnosis. The doctor also mentioned a hysterectomy might come later.

I had had some problematic pap tests over the years due to HPV, which I contracted in the 90’s, and I had had an in-office biopsy before, but nothing serious ever resulted. This new development alarmed me to put it lightly. I thought to myself, “I have 2 weeks to get rid of this issue” and immediately made changes. Because some people have asked me what I did, I will share the information with the caveat that this is my experience and my body, and I cannot promise this list will have the same results for you if you have a health concern.

(This list is not in exact order but includes all the measures I took while waiting for surgery.)

Diet: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates

I immediately stopped eating beef, pork or chicken. I did have occasional fish and one small piece of chicken on the 4th of July. I had been leaning towards a vegetarian lifestyle for years, and for many reasons I was moving away from eating meat. A few months prior to this health issue cropping up, I had read two books advocating a plant-based diet, “Become Younger” by Dr. N.W. Walker, D.Sc. and “Tissue Cleaning Through Bowel Management” by Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.D., Nutritionist. Ironically, I was currently reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell, II, MD also a proponent of plant-based eating lifestyle.

I also stopped all alcohol consumption for one full week. In the second week, I had a glass of wine for a couple of special occasions.

I reduced or eliminated most sugar with the exception of indulging in my own homemade vanilla ice cream on the 4th of July. But I avoided all other deserts, sweets or even favored syrup in my lattes.

I am a coffee drinker and kept coffee in my diet but if I went out for a latte, I had only one shot of espresso and no favoring added. When I brewed my own, I reduced the quantity, and again no sweetener of any kind.

I had already moved to a 95% gluten free diet a few months earlier, so I kept to that program as well.

I also had been and continue to be 90% dairy free using almond milk instead of cow’s milk. I do however still sometimes enjoy cheese.

I never have been a smoker or drinker of soda, so that is just an added information piece. I drink tons of water with a lemon wedge all day long every day.

Before I move into what I did eat, let me explain the basic reasoning for what I reduced or eliminated. I believe that meat and alcohol promote an acidic environment in the body, which can feed “bad” cells. I wanted an alkaline internal environment, so I ate foods that are linked to that balance. I wanted to starve the bad cells and feed the good, fighter cells. Sugar suppresses the immune system, so that is why I also cut back on sweets.

So what did I eat? Tons of vegetables and fruits! My typical breakfast begins with Bob’s Red Mill-gluten free muesli with almond milk and fresh fruit on top. I also sprinkle ground flax seed, chia seed and hemp hearts on top. Sometimes I have hot cereal as the base using Earnest Eats.

Salads became my choice for most lunches and dinners. I often went to Mad Greens and healthy restaurants and ordered soups and/or salads with a variety of vegetables. My snacks were fruits or vegetables. I would often go to Wholefoods and wander the produce section looking for a vegetable or fruit that I had not eaten in a while. And I became obsessed with drinking one Evolution Fresh drink each day. These drinks are cold pressed and full of fruits and vegetables. I would often take one to a party to drink instead of alcohol.

I have taken the nutritional supplement Juice Plus for over a decade, and of course I continued that. The supplement I added during the waiting period was Cellular Forte from Integrative Therapeutics. It says on the bottle that Cellular Forte with IP-6 and Inositol provides support for the immune system and helps promote natural killer-cell activity.

Outside Help: I immediately reached out to my acupuncturist. I have had monthly appointments for years, and she and I are a great team on promoting my good health. I received an acupuncture appointment with take-home herbs and the Cellular Forte mentioned previously. And I accepted her support and belief that all would be well because my body has always responded well to our efforts of improving any condition that came along in the past.

I also immediately scheduled a Colon Hydrotherapy session. Due to my previous study on the importance of colon health for the entire body, I wanted to cleanse. I also got an ionic footbath, while in the office for no extra charge. I am not sure about the validity of the footbath, but it feels nice and I didn’t pay extra. Cleaning out the colon by a good diet, maintaining regularity in bowel movements and occasionally having a colon hydrotherapy session does make sense to me, and so I made sure I had a hydrotherapy session while I waited for surgery.

The other outside help I got was to let some family and friends know about what was going on. I asked for their good thoughts, energy and prayers. Whatever their beliefs were, I didn’t care as long as they sent me positive energy.

Daily Habits: I have always been someone who exercises, and I consider myself an athlete. I continued to exercise, but I took the edge off. I usually swim 3x/week, 3000 meters each time. I shaved off 500 meters, so 2500 meters instead. I lift weights a couple of times a week, but I shaved off 5-10 pounds to make the routine just a bit easier. I continued lots of walks and dance lessons, which I have recently grown to love. I also used the rebounder especially the health bounce, which is suppose to support lymph movement enhancing the immune system.

I walked or sat in the sunshine for at least 15 minutes a day. I looked at the beauty around me and looked for beautiful clouds, flowers or landscape.

I performed breathing exercises especially practicing getting my lower abdomen to rise and fall with the deep breathing. I also regularly practiced Mind Control Relaxation exercises, which is similar to guided visualization and meditation.

I got more rest. I went to bed earlier and took more naps. I also kept my stress low and practiced releasing stress when it arose.

I picked up some funny books and movies. I made sure I read books or listened to audio versions or watched a comedy film each day so that I laughed out loud. I found reasons to laugh every day. I also listened to “happy” music. A few months ago I created a playlist of about 30 minutes of happy music, so I listened to that playlist often especially “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I made sure I sang and danced to it!

 

 

I wrote in a gratitude journal for 10 minutes every morning. I was coincidentally reading “Make Miracles in 40 Days” by Melanie Beattie, when this health scare started. I experienced my miracle during this 40-day practice!

I also read affirmations each morning and sometimes throughout the day. I was inspired by Joseph Murphy’s book, “The Power of the Subconscious Mind”. I wrote one of his affirmations on a note card and read it daily:

“My body and all it’s organs were created by the infinite intelligence in my subconscious mind. It knows how to heal me. Its wisdom fashioned all my organs, tissues, muscles, and bones. This infinite healing presence within me is now transforming every cell of my being, making me whole and perfect. I give thanks for the healing I know is taking place at this time. Wonderful are the works of the creative intelligence within me.”

While I swam, I would also chant to myself in the rhythm of my arm movements, “I am healthy, I am strong, I am well”. Sometimes that mantra would last close to an hour as I swam. I also put my hands on my abdomen when lying down and rubbed it while saying that I was healing and I was healthy.

I cleared clutter from my house and my life. I got rid of things around my home that weren’t purposeful or useful to me anymore. I cleaned my desk and my computer. Items that were not meaningful were deleted or thrown away. I evaluated my commitments and kept only what I enjoyed or found gave me some positive direction. At the same time, I worked in my garden. I created beauty and planted flowers that I loved.

Inner Work: I evaluated everything. I turned over my life and looked at all of it. I revisited forgiveness. I forgave the reason and situation that brought HPV into my life because that virus probably triggered this health issue. I looked at the reasons to live. The top two reasons were my daughters.

I made a decision to live and that I would accept growing old and the aging process and grief as I would surely have some when I live to a ripe old age. I could write another blog on the reasons to live and probably will soon. But for here and now, I was 100% committed to living.

Last but not least, I believed I would be well. The power of the mind is amazing, and I tapped into it. After all, I wrote a book about it! (Become an Athlete of the Mind). Time to practice what I preach!

I had outpatient surgery on July 9 for cone biopsy of the cervix with some scraping of the uterus to get some cells from that area too. Surgery went well, but I had to wait over a week for the lab results. My doctor called me on July 18 with the good news. “No evidence of residual dysplasia identified. Negative for dysplasia and carcinoma!” The best possible outcome had come true!

When I had my two-week postop doctor’s visit, I asked her if she was surprised by the results. She said yes. She said occasionally this condition might resolve over many months, but it was not possible in two weeks. I told her I did “a lot” while waiting those two weeks and even mentioned a thing or two, but she wasn’t interested. This lack of interest saddened me although I understand she is deep into the western medicine model and is just not in a place to go elsewhere at the moment. I felt frustrated about her lack of curiosity of the measures I had taken, so hence I am writing this blog post in case anyone else wants to know. I must reiterate that this is my experience and that each body in unique and each circumstance is also individual. However, I do hope this information might help someone else.

I will have another pap exam in November. I am maintaining most of the healthy measures I reviewed with some lightening up in a few places. As you can see from this blog, I am dedicated to health! I will continue to share my discoveries.

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” –Seneca

My next post might be titled “Where Do I Go From Here?” I would enjoy your comments below. Thank you for reading about my journey. I wish you much health and happiness in your life!

Comments

  1. Dear Lisa, How inspired I was reading your blog. I congratulate you on your focus on being well and dedication in trying many different avenues to see that happen. Blessings forever, Barb

  2. Thank you for sharing this experience with us, Lisa. I am so glad to hear that you are okay, and am very proud of you for following your inner voice and taking the necessary steps to turn things around, whether they were validated by others or not. Being proactive about your health is never a bad decision.

    More power to you girl!
    Sending you love and light,
    Sharon

  3. Lisa, thank you so much for the post on your health scare. So much valuable info that I will take to heart and work on implementing. I hope many people read this because it’s powerful. Best of luck with future tests!

  4. Lisa,

    You are an inspiration and your article will provide the guidance and encouragement many need to confront health issues. I will share this with the sincere hope that others find it equally as inspirational. Thank you!

    Your friend,
    Paul Heesaker

    • Lisa J Shultz says:

      Thank you for your kind words Paul. I do hope that my experience can help others. Cheers to your health, Lisa

  5. WOW. I rarely read something this long.
    Every line had mr readinbg more.

    Lisa, you are a gift to THE WORLD.

    Keep on healing.
    Keep on living,
    Keep on inspiring me (and others) to do likewise.
    As a 10 year stroke survivor I am now convinced
    I CAN GO FURTHER IN MY RECOVERY.

    • Lisa J Shultz says:

      Joe, I rarely write a blog that long as well! Thank you for reading! Cheers to your health, Lisa

  6. Lisa, how good to know that there was a good outcome! I loved reading about all that you did to enhance your body’s innate ability to heal itself. The alkaline status is something that I have been hearing about for years and yet have not taken the steps to create an alkaline environment within my own body. I am curious to know if you have read anything in that regard for helping depression? My sister has severe bouts from PTSD and your article got me thinking that perhaps it could help the brain as well. I am going to look into that so thank you! Here’s to your good health, may it remain so.

    Hugs,
    Barbara

    • Thanks for your comment Barbara. I recommend the books I mentioned in the blog and they do address the brain. Diet affects everything! Cheers to your health, Lisa

  7. Jill Rosen says:

    I speak your language and plug into all you have done for yourself. Thank you for sharing your journey in such an open and embracing way. Inspiration is such an important key. Thank you for being an amazing beacon on the planet. There is a new documentary called Cowspiracy which I would love to share with you and others. It is the open and honest picture of where we are at as a humanity and how we are not just being impacted in our realm of health but how our world is headed toward total destruction. We have the power to change that. We all need to take action. And you are the living breathing example of where we need to go. Would love to see you, share and celebrate!

  8. Jan Detweiler says:

    Great blog, Lisa! You’re an inspiration. Happy for your good news. Am heading out the door right now for a long walk, and will be dusting off my Gratitude Journal when I return!

  9. Congrats on all your hard work! And the ultimate payoff- a perfect diagnosis. Amazing, Lisa! And an approach I would choose if I was in a similar situation.
    That must’ve been frustrating your doctor didn’t want to hear of all the wonderful things you did. Not only because she didn’t want to hear what you did but also for the obvious goal- her patients good health! I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but so glad your sharing your story.
    To having a great attitude and your good health!
    In light and blessings,
    Carri Arata, LMT

  10. Marie Jenkins says:

    Lisa, so glad to hear your good news! I absolutely agree with your statement that cell acidity is the basis for all disease, including cancer. You also did so many positive things to help get your body back on track. The mind is powerful!! It can be the best of both worlds to combine Western and Eastern medicine for healing and prevention. I admire your hard work and am so happy to hear those results!!

  11. Lisa, Great to hear you are doing well! Thank you for sharing your story! I am sure that a lot of other women out there dealing with this same situation – because it is very common- will benefit from this information. I have given similar recommendations to many of my patients, who have had the same positive outcomes-much to the surprise of their gynecologists! It is so important to get the word out, that along with routine gynecological screenings, many cases of HPV and cervical dysplasia can be treated and managed naturally! Cheers to you! Dr. Pillon

  12. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable Lisa and sharing you recent journey. So proud of your attitude and your ability to be the co-creator of your life experience! I’m sorry your doctor didn’t pause to hear your side of the story… She may have learned something! Mostly, grateful for your health and continued friendship!

  13. Lisa, thank you so much for providing, in such detail, everything that you did to basically cure yourself! I think that many times, when people get diagnosed with something scary they either feel paralyzed or think that they have to rely on Western medicine to “fix” everything. You are living proof that when you take your life and your mind-body-spirit into your own hands you can create miracles. Thanks so much for this great news and very helpful information!
    Love and Light,
    Cindy

  14. Thank you for sharing Lisa! What a great example you are of the power of the human spirit, the mind, the power of food and overall just the miracle that the human body is if we honor ourselves and the vessel that carries our soul… Beautiful… Just miraculously beautiful…

    I too am an HPV carrier and have been for many years. I’ve had dysplasia twice, both with minor procedures to remove the end of my cervix. The last round was from 2004 – 2006 with exams, biopsies, etc. I am grateful to say I have not had an abnormal PAP since, but am also grateful that much of that is due to making many of the changes that you share about here, mostly to improve my mindset about the power of healing my own body. I’m proud of you and I am truly grateful that you carry such a powerful message…

  15. Melinda Anderson says:

    Lisa, I am grateful for your honest and open sharing – and the wealth of information you provided! You are truly an inspiration to me as I have my own health challenges and truly believe in the body’s ability to heal itself when we take care of ourselves on all levels. So happy to hear your positive outcome and blessings of good health and grace as you walk forward on your journey of life. Much love to you!

  16. Brenda G says:

    Thank you for sharing your life experience with me, Lisa. Through your courage, you’re inspiring others already to tell their stories, and this is healing. I’ve found that Western medicine can be at times a deterrent to our healing and then individual providers and how they conduct themselves adds to the trauma. With chronic medical conditions both mental and physical, I’ve found treatments that have saved my life considered “western medicine” and others that are “eastern medicine” as well. Unfortunately, in the U.S. I’ve had a horrible time being re-traumatized by the health care system just trying to be treated. So sadly this is commonplace for most people. I’m a psychotherapist who doesn’t conform to the traditional values of western medicine & I’m feeling the sad, difficult ramifications in trying to serve my clients and to care for myself. I’m loving Lissa Rankin, MD,’s book “Mind Over Medicine” who shares scientific studies how we heal ourselves all the time. This sounds like you! I love how you live life, Lisa! Happy healing and living. You are a blessing.

    • Thanks so much for commenting with your thoughts Brenda. And I am glad for the book recommendation! We can all help each other to be healthier! Cheers and thanks again, Lisa

  17. Lisa, how inspiring!!! Side Effects from Western Medicine are another culprit that we have to deal with which can be worse than the original treatment. But I think TIMES ARE CHANGING! I have personally experienced and have witnessed “miracles” from using PURE essential oils as they work with the cellular makeup of our bodies. They can help our bodies heal naturally without side effects! Nutrition and exercise are utmost important as well. But the bottom line is: WE MUST EDUCATE OURSELVES! And not take a doctors word for our life decisions. Bravo Lisa! You are a grand example! Hugs, Jody

    • Thanks Jody! There are indeed many ways of healing in a more natural way. I am glad you have found essential oils. And yes, I trust times are changing! Cheers, Lisa

  18. Susan Trost says:

    Great news Lisa! I had a similar experience when I recovered from a total hip replacement. My doctor was amazed by my recovery – minimal swelling, no bruising, no pain experienced and went off pain meds in 4 days, walked a mile 4 days later and had full energy back in a week. I told him I would be happy to share all I did with him (well almost all) and would help him develop protocols and do trials on willing patients. He seemed somewhat interested, but ultimately never made time for it. It would have made him even more of a rock star surgeon, so I was surprised that he would have not wanted to give his patients a huge healing advantage.

    • That can happen Susan. You are an example of awesome healing! Not all doctors are open or create the time to hear about different healing experiences and approaches. But others do want to know, so keep on sharing! Cheers to your health, Lisa

  19. Doug Anderson says:

    Lisa, what a beautiful and well written blog. A friend of mine sent it to me. I have been recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. I am on track in doing a lot of what you are doing, although you definitely are an athlete! I love the encouragement. I can’t wait to be a soldier arm-in-arm with you telling others about the healing powers of our bodies as we detox and give it the power to fight as it is mean to do.

    • Thank you Doug. Yes, tap into the healing powers of your body! I send you healing energy with love! Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing. Cheers to your health, Lisa

  20. Chris Clapp says:

    Hey Lisa, thanks for sharing. As a Christian, I believe that God is alive and well, and will use many differnt means to heal when we ask. I think you have to be a little careful because there are many people out there that are not healed, for whatever reason. However you were healed, and it is a miracle. I believe in miracles and I believe that God works thru many different avenues to heal. One of my customers, also a devout Christian, had stage 4 lymphoma. He had already done surgery, chemo and radiation. He had no other path but to go a very similar route to what you went on the nutrition side. I can’t remember, but he also saw a holistic doctor in Boulder for some of the same treaments you received. He was healed thru changing his diet (almost the exact diet you describe) and some other holistic methods, and of course, prayer. He has been cancer free for four years and is proof that miracles still happen today. I am happy for you and wil continue to pray that you will remain cancer free. Love you!

  21. Lisa, I had the same thing happen and when I went back to my MD he did want to know what I had done however when I told him that I went to an ND and she had me do some alternative treatments, that obviously worked, all he did was dismiss it. I think checking all your options it so important and not just taking what your MD is telling you is very important. It is unfortunate that some doctors are closed minded to the possibility that there are alternative treatments that are effective and should be explored before having any type of major surgery.

    • Indeed Erica. There are many ways to heal and recover health. I prefer to remain opened minded and continue to add new tools to my box of health strategies! Cheers to your health, Lisa

  22. Lisa
    What an inspiration. Cudos. I have been on this journey and healed of cancer many times, but lately I have been lax about my diet and my inner guidance is telling me to do exactly what you did. Way to go Lisa. Nettie

  23. Adrienne Leonard says:

    Lisa,

    I had no idea you were dealing with such a frightening experience. Your story is gripping and I’m so glad to hear you are getting stronger and are healing well. Your words are a source of strength and encouragement to all who read your story. All the best to you in your recovery — keep swimming (an activity that has helped me recover from life events in many ways over the years) and doing all those other great things to maintain your health!

  24. Thanks for sharing Lisa. We met quite a few years ago through the Juice Plus community. I have studied under Dr. Pam Popper and have started a nutrition consulting business teaching a plant based diet. I commend you for your dietary changes and yes this is sometimes the result of switching to a whole foods plant based diet. If your readers are looking for a plant based nutritionist I would be happy to help. Glad it worked out so well for you.

    Nicole Younkin

  25. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. Happy to hear that you are healthy.
    Congratulations on your courage to stick to the diet and other healthy habits. It is not always easy with outside pressure or temptations.

  26. Susie Schaefer says:

    Congratulations on your healing! I’m so glad you shared this. I am a firm believer in non-traditional medicine and using the mind, spirit soul for healing. Way to go, Lisa!

  27. Lisa,
    It was so inspiring to talk with you last evening and hear your story. I have a friend who took exactly the same approach as you. She had stage IV lung cancer but had cured herself of breast cancer many years ago so was determined to repeat her own treatment, following the exact same diet as you with emphasis on cutting out every gram of sugar. She also cut out coffee and anything acidic, and had been a vegetarian all her life so I am sure that helped too. Her tumor is shrinking every day and we are confident she will be fully well again in a short while.
    Keep sharing your story with everyone you meet!

  28. Lisa,

    Good for you to not listen to your doctor and have the guts to go out on your own and seek a cure. It obviously worked.

    Every disease has a cause and seeking that cause is not topically a concern of doctors. They are trained to treat conditions rather than understanding the cause and eliminating the recipe of ingredients that created the disease. You’ve found that recipe and you should be applauded for your efforts, although your motivations were certainly profound. Your example should be heralded and my guess, might be a powerful motivation for your next book, I love to hear stories like this and yours particularly strikes me as I know you personally. Great Work!!!!!

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  30. What a beautiful story. It is rather frustrating that your doctor wasn’t at all interested in what you did to experience such drastic change, but they have a tendency to stay in a very materialist model of the world. It’s part of the worldview of the third circuit (as Wilson and Leery call it). Thanks for sharing so that the rest of us are able to experience it, however!! 🙂

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