My full regimen is documented at http://aplasticcentral.com/Holistic_Medicine/Holistic.htm.
Contrary to what we have come to expect in our society, there are no quick and easy answers. Since adopting my alternative/holistic regimen, I have returned to 90% of my formal self. In the interest of full disclosure, as of November, 2005 after over three years of feeling great I am currently in a bit of a relapse but am still able to carry on a fairly normal lifestyle.
I rely on conventional medicine only for life saving therapies like blood and platelet transfusions, monitoring of blood counts, infection control, etc.
I highly recommend contacting an environmental doctor in your area http://www.aaem.com Tel (316) 684-5500, seeking a phone consult with either Dr. Rea http://ehcd.com Phone: 214.368.4132 or Dr. Sherry Rogers 315-488-2856 or get the books by Dr. Rogers at http://prestigepublishing.com
I do not believe in any quick fixes when it comes to healing the body. Unfortunately, we live in a "sound byte" society and are constantly bombarded with the latest "purple pill" designed to cure everything from eczema to "acid reflux disease” – in English that means you are eating too much of the wrong foods and drinking soda.
In the case of AA/MDS, the conventional approach is another "miracle drug" called cyclosporine and is often coupled with "ATG" (a serum extracted from a horse or a rabbit!). This drug based approach to healing almost killed me. See photo on the left below.
My approach to healing is certainly no less bizarre than injecting someone with horse serum or overdosing them with arsenic (cytoxin) but unfortunately most people are reluctant to recognize the value of an alternative approach and are unwilling to take the time and effort it requires. I am living proof (see photo on the right taken in November of 2005 with 2 of 3 grandchildren) that an alternative/holistic strategy works. It takes a lot of discipline and is not easy, but it works!
If after reading the website at http://aplasticcentral.com you would like a one stop source of how all this worked for me, you can preview my book "Aplastic Anemia and Autoimmune Diseases, for FREE at http://aplasticcentral.com/AA_Book_Preview.htm
Provide a Healthy Environment to Allow You Body to Heal Itself.
1. Take the time to read everything at my site because it chronicles my journey and many others with all the ups and downs - http://aplasticcentral.com. My story is at http://aplasticcentral.com/AA_Members/bruce.htm. I tried ATG and the toxic drugs regimen; I was a candidate for Bone Marrow Transplant and decided against it. I was also very close to undergoing another toxic strategy using a drug called cytoxin. I decided against all of them and have taken a "Natural or Alternative Approach". The good news is that it is not expensive - the bad news is you have to make radical changes in your lifestyle and diet and it took almost 6 months before I stabilized. I am now transfusion independent and have 85 % of my old life back!
2. Read the books by Dr. Sherry Rogers that can be found at either http://amazon.com or http://prestigepublishing.com. If possible, start with an environmental or chemical allergy doctor if you can find one. If not, maybe go online and start with http://www.macrobiotics.org/default.html and try to build from there using other links I provide at http://aplasticcentral.com/Alternative_Medicine/alternative.htm (bottom of page). Also check this website http://www.geocities.com/marlakins/index.html - Marla uses a vegetable based diet and is very knowledgeable on how virtually everything impacts our immune system. I use a vegetable and macrobiotic combination. Other very good sources that have been recommended by Marla http://www.gerson.org, http://www.godshealthplan.com/healthtips/healthtips.html.
3. Set a goal to become transfusion and drug independent. Maintain the transfusion regimen because it is necessary to keep you alive while you fight your fight, but set goals to lengthen the time between transfusion and then meet the goals (It takes time and there will be setbacks so also be patient with yourself). As of December 14, 2002 it has been nearly seven months since my last blood transfusion and nearly four months since my last platelet transfusion.
4. Make the necessary lifestyle changes based on the belief that AA is an autoimmune disorder and we need to help our body rebalance its immune system. Avoid the "quick fix" cures with herbs and shark oil or any "other one stop shop for a cure" Many of them may help but it is the understanding of a full program that will result in success.
5. Become at peace with your self and your illness - If you are a "Type A", become a "Type B". Dr. Bernie Siegel says that a positive attitude is perhaps the most important ingredient in combating illness and disease.
6. Give your body the rest it is asking for - Even if it means sleeping 10 hours a night - It is literally battling for your life and needs all the help you can give it. Take naps when you feel tired, but also push yourself to exercise as much as you can.
7. Get tested for toxins by the environmental or chemical allergist and take the antigens prescribed. Avoid people who smoke, use lots of perfumes, gasoline fumes, etc. After a while you will virtually smell and feel the things to avoid. Go for fresh air and sunlight. Get a good air cleaner (mine cost about $500) and use it to clean the air in your sleeping room. Keep the dusts and pollens down.
8. Find a regimen that will help eliminate harmful toxins from your system (I take a daily sauna). Clean up your personal environment. Get rid of carpets (I moved to a different house with hardwood floors). Avoid chemicals in your house and environment. Pay very careful attention to your physical environment - Clean air? (get a good quality air filter - $500) Mine is an Austin Health mate (Search on Austin Health mate at http://google.com and you'll find lots of places to by one) Avoid toxic substances (gas, cleaning fumes, etc)
9. Exercise at least 45-60 minutes per day You will likely have to build up to this as I could barely walk when I started)
10. What you eat is critically important and we all seem to be constantly experimenting with this facet. The one clear theme is what NOT to eat, i.e. processed foods, fast foods, "enriched" flours, etc. I personally subscribe to what I call a”rotational mostly macrobiotic diet". As much as is humanly possible, I eat Grains (30-60% of each meal), Greens (25-30%) and Beans (10-15%). This means I eat lots of Healthy Brown Rice, Oats, Barley, etc. I also try to eat only organically grown fresh vegetables and many say you should not even cook the vegetables (strictly raw fruits and vegetables) and I eat beans prepared from scratch (black, red, navy and a few others). I also eat a limited amount of meat including turkey, chicken and fish. (Once in a while I have pork even though I know it is not good for me, but it is a serious weakness.) I have successfully gotten off beef. I am quite sure that everyone's situation is a bit different and you probably need to experiment with different wholesome foods to see what it is your body needs. After a while you can actually feel what is good and what is not. Obviously avoid smoking, caffeine, drugs or any kind, processed foods (especially sugar), fast foods - All the things your mother told you would be bad for you!
11. I drink only fresh spring water courtesy of my In Laws. They have a natural spring on their property and we make a weekly trip to their property and then refrigerate the water. I strenuously avoid soda, caffeine drinks, sweetened drinks, etc.
12. I also must tell you that I do a daily colon cleansing routine using a coffee enema as prescribed by Dr. Sherry Rogers in her books "Tired or Toxic." Yuk, Ugh, etc. but it works. Here is the procedure and history.
13. Research and read everything you can find that discusses these alternative approaches and decides what will work best for you and be willing to a make the necessary changes. Keep a journal so you can refer back to it. You will definitely feel overwhelmed and confused at times. That is one of the reasons I keep this website active and chronicle all my successes and failures. If you falter, regroup and start over.
14. Do not lose hope or become discouraged because your outlook is critical. Maintain a positive attitude - When you lose you way, come back and read the success stories and words of hope at my site.
15. Find spiritual peace - I became active in church and strengthened my faith in God after drifting away for a long time. Every one of us needs three things: Someone to love, something to do and something to hope for.
16. Do a personal fund raiser - I had a golf tournament and raised the money I needed to attend the treatment center in Dallas (EHCD) and cover expenses not covered by insurance. My wife, daughters and friends organized it and it was very successful. I had a second one primarily to let people know that their kindness worked. It was hundreds of people giving small amounts but added up to a big enough number to cover my expenses.
17. Keep up with the forum and become an active participant. Surround yourself with positive people and bombard yourself with positive thoughts.
18. Seek God's Blessing and Good Luck in Your Endeavor!
As Dr. Kenneth Bock states in his book "The Road to Immunity", No one therapy works all the time, just as nothing is 100 percent preventive. When my patients start out with an attitude of "This is it", I counsel them that healing is the result of hard work at many levels, and their healing regimen may involve many different treatments and approaches used simultaneously.
Diagnosed with SAA 1/2001 2X ATG (Failed)
Now 90% healthy using Alternative/Holistic Methods
Webmaster of http://aplasticcentral.com
NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL - PLEASE CONSULT YOUR CARETAKERS
Me enduring conventional protocol:
Me today - no blood transfusions in over five years: