If you’re just joining us, I recently outlined the story behind my mom’s battle with lymphoma and why we’re seeking alternative cancer therapies rather than putting up with another unsuccessful bout of chemotherapy. I’d also written a small recap of our first five days at the Gerson clinic in Tijuana.

Here now is an update on her health and a look at how a typical day plays out doing the Gerson Therapy at home…

[EDIT: My mom ultimately found her cancer to be too strong for how weak her body had become when we started the Gerson Therapy, and she chose to stop the treatments, passing away peacefully in our home less than a week later. I certainly don’t regret our time spent at the Gerson Clinic, and there are several elements of what we learned there that I still practice regularly. I do also recommend to those inquiring about Gerson Therapy and other alternative treatments to look into Optimum Health Institute to see if it’s something that feels like an option for their healing. (Several BIG differences: OHI is incredibly more affordable and is far less invasive, in my opinion, and going there doesn’t require any international travel from the U.S.)]

First and foremost, thank you all for the overwhelming support over these past several weeks. It’s been monumentally helpful in boosting both of our spirits, and as you can imagine, mental wellbeing and a positive outlook is essential during recovery. We’re also beyond pleased at the generosity of friends, family members, and total strangers with the fundraiser we started to help collect money for someone who may not be able to afford the costly stay at the Gerson clinic in Tijuana!

At the time of this post, we’re nearing $2,000 raised of the $11,000 goal, which would cover a two-week stay there. We went to the Gerson Institute headquarters last week and met with their team to discuss the fundraiser, and I think we may have found our candidate to receive the funds! A very nice looking 18-year-old young man from North Carolina with a large tumor in his leg. Nothing set in stone yet, but I’ll be sure to update here when we get it locked it. For more info on our alternative cancer treatment fundraiser or to donate, click here.


Gerson Therapy at Home: A Typical Day

This is my mom’s current program; she is still under the supervision of the clinic’s physicians and we check in every two weeks with blood and urine tests. Her supplements and the juice/enema schedule is based on her personal health history, and will change greatly as she continues healing on the program for the next two years. This should not in any way be construed as medical advice.

06:30am — Time for me to get my ass out of bed. Some days I’m more successful at this than others. I make a thermos of gruel—1 part rolled oats cooked in 5 parts distilled water, then strained. The liquid coats her stomach and helps shield it from toxins released by the hepatic gland during her coffee enema.

07:00am — Coffee enema… the first of several throughout the day. (Yeehaw.) This helps rid the body of toxins broken down by the diet. Six ounces of strongly brewed organic coffee that I prepare daily, eight ounces of organic chamomile tea, and 10 ounces of distilled water, held for 10-15 minutes if possible.

07:30am — Pills. There are some supplements that she takes 30 minutes before each meal… a mixture of colostrum, digestive enzymes, vitamins, etc.

This is our Norwalk juicer. There are many like it, but this one is ours.

08:00am — Breakfast time! I make us big bowls of organic oatmeal, served with dried organic fruit that’s been reconstituted. We rotate the fruit, but raisins and prunes are pretty common, as is mango. Fresh fruit, such as bananas and kiwi are OK too. (No berries allowed!) Mom also gets her first juice of the day: eight ounces of organic orange juice, freshly squeezed, with a small dose of a potassium and a drop of Lugol’s Solution (a mixture of elemental iodine and potassium iodide in distilled water) stirred in.

09:00am — Nurse Randy prepares a syringe of 0.1cc Vitamin B12 and 2.9cc of liver extract, and injects it right into mom’s gluteus maximus. (Though she always loves to comment that it’s not as maximus as it used to be.)

09:30am — Juice number two! Three large carrots and one Granny Smith apple head into our Norwalk juicer to make approximately eight ounces of juice. The Norwalk juicer was an expensive investment—around $2,500—but because it serves as a grinder and has a hydraulic press, its high nutrient extraction rate makes it the only juicer recommended by the Gerson Institute.

PILLS ARE GOOOOOOD. Mom’s taking 52 of ’em a day.

11:00am — Three “defatted bovine liver” pills, chased down with juice number three: eight ounces of straight carrot juice.

12:00pm — I’m busy getting lunch started. Mom can have a veggie sandwich if she’s able and hungry. Also, every third day, she takes another coffee enema here.

12:30pm — More pills, chased down with gruel or herbal tea.

01:00pm — Lunch time! Three requirements at lunch and dinner: you always have a baked potato, a salad, and a big bowl of special “Hippocrates soup”—made with potatoes, tomatoes, celery root, onions, leeks, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, and distilled water.

When time allows, I try to cook another side of veggies… something different to keep it all interesting and to vary her diet a touch. Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, okra, and artichokes have been recommended by the doctor several times a week to help curb her preëxisting anemia.

Mom takes a tablespoon of cold unfiltered flax seed oil (the only oil she’s allowed, and never on hot foods), more pills, and we’ve got juice number four! Another carrot-apple with more potassium and Lugol’s solution.

02:00pm — Juice number five! (“Didn’t I just finish a juice?” Yup! And now it’s time for another!) This is her green juice, made with romaine lettuce, escarole, Belgian endive, chard, bell pepper, and a Granny Smith apple. Not her favorite blend, but I think it’s delicious!

03:00pm — Three more liver pills, chased down by juice number six: straight carrot!

04:00pm — Liver capsules yet again, and you guessed it! Juice number seven: more carrot.

05:00pm — Time for a cup of coffee… in enema form. (You can’t actually drink coffee while on the Gerson Therapy program. The only caffeine fix you’re allowed is via an enema.) Meanwhile, I’m getting dinner ready.

05:30pm — More pills.

06:00pm — Dinner time! Again, you have a baked potato, a salad, and a big bowl of Hippocrates soup. One more tablespoon of cold flax seed oil, and juice number eight: another carrot-apple with potassium and Lugol’s solution.

Keeping dinner interesting: I jazzed up the customary baked potato and salad with some nice quinoa-stuffed bell peppers.

Additional cooked or raw fruits and vegetables can of course be served, but there is a pretty strict set of rules regarding what’s allowed and what is not. (View the complete list of desirable foods, occasionally allowed foods, and prohibited foods on the Gerson Therapy. [PDF])

No meat (fine by me), no dairy, no salt, no refined sugars or flours. Everything is fresh; no frozen, packaged, or processed foods. And everything must be organic. No frying or sautéing; the only fat you consume is a small amount of cold raw flax seed oil with lunch and dinner. Cooked vegetables should be roasted or stewed slowly over vegetables that give off liquid (such as onions or tomatoes), though a small amount of broth from the Hippocrates soup may be used for steaming.

07:00pm — Juice number nine rounds out mom’s day: one last green drink.


How We’re Doing

It’s a rigorous program to be sure, but she’s doing a great job. There are up days and down days, but overall I’d say that her spirits have improved a lot and some of the inflammation in the tumors on her face look like they’ve gone down a bit. We’ve got an appointment to have her blood and urine analyzed tomorrow, and we’re curious to see the results as it’s the first check-up since leaving the clinic close to three weeks ago. She’s a trooper, and I’m really proud of her for sticking with all of this. Once in a while, she’ll moan or grumble, but all in all, she’s taking it in spades. She’s resting lots, but I know it bothers her that she can’t do more to help.

It is a LOT of work for both patient and companion. The cooking and juicing alone is close to a full-time job. And as it stands, we’re at nine juices and between two and three coffee enemas a day… it will eventually build to 13 juices and five coffee enemas when her body can easily tolerate it.

Beyond everything listed above, there’s always something for me to do! The concentrated coffee and chamomile tea are made daily; they stay in a thermos and keep warm for 24 hours, which is great… we just pour some out as needed. NO juices may be prepared ahead of time; they must all be pressed and served immediately. These take very little time to make, but it is a pain to clean the machine after each juice during the day. But, that’s the way it is!

There’s of course shopping for the produce, which I’m doing every few days. We go through about 30 pounds of carrots and a hell of a lot of potatoes, onions, and apples each week!

Mom also wears clay packs around her inguinal lymph nodes as well as around her ankles at night since she’s experienced some as yet unexplained swelling in her feet. I mix calcium bentonite clay with raw apple cider vinegar and spread the resulting paste onto a large cotton pad that is applied onto her skin to help draw out toxins.

All the water we use must be distilled. Reverse osmosis isn’t enough since California has seen fit to add fluoride to municipal water. From the book, The Gerson Therapy: The Proven Nutritional Program for Cancer and Other Illnesses:

Because iodine is an essential element in the body, it’s needed by the thyroid gland to produce the hormone thyroxine. This hormone is extremely important since it controls metabolism, the rate at which food is burned. It is also an essential part of the immune system. Thyroxine controls, through body temperature variations, an individual’s normal temperature or fever if needed to overcome infection.

When the thyroid gland’s function is lowered by the consumption of fluorine (or chlorine) in drinking water, iodine is displaced from the gland. This weakens the immune system. Then a person’s physiology is beset by three types of pathology: (1) it’s unable to produce fever, (2) allergies and infections result, and (3) food fails to be burned adequately. These three pathologies result in a lack of energy and the storage of calories as excessive fat.”

So, no tap water for us. Not even reverse osmosis. This goes for showering too. As such, we got a solar shower that we place out in the sun and it does a pretty nice job of warming up the distilled water we place in it. Sadly, distilled water is terribly expensive and wasteful, but I’ve luckily located a local company called PureFlo based in Santee which gets water from a natural source thousands of feet underground and never pollutes it with chlorine or fluoride. The doctors looked over the water quality report and gave us the OK to use their purified water, which will be a little cheaper, delivered right to our door, and it’s soooo much less wasteful. (It takes around four gallons of water to make one gallon of distilled water, and I hate buying disposable bottles, even if we do place them in the recycle bin. PureFlo reuses their bottles, which is great!)

Exhausting as this all is, we know we’re doing the right thing for us. Personally, I’m keeping to the diet pretty rigorously, with three juices and one coffee enema a day, which is what’s recommended for folks not battling a degenerative disease. I honestly feel better than ever, and I’ve dropped 13 pounds in just over a month. Nice bonus, eh?

Looking forward to the results from mom’s blood work tomorrow; we’ll be sure to update here soon! Forgive me for any unforeseen delays… as you can see, this is keeping me plenty busy, so taking time to write is a bit of a luxury!


Before heading down to the Gerson Clinic, my mom and I began a fundraiser to help others who may not be fortunate enough to afford these life-saving alternative cancer treatments. It is quite costly, and is NOT covered by insurance. While we were able to scrape together the money to pursue the Gerson Therapy ourselves, we really wanted to do more and turn this ugly circumstance into something positive. Click here if you’d like to contribute to our fundraiser and help those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to finance their recovery. No amount is too small.

And you never know who may need the help, but chances are that someone close to you will. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females will develop cancer in their lifetime; 1 in 4 males and 1 in 5 females will die from it. The time to change that statistic is NOW.