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How I'm Surviving Stage 4 Inoperable Cancer - in my 80s
Cancer Talk

How I'm Surviving Stage 4 Inoperable Cancer - in my 80s

Cancer Talk


Bill Thon

Approaching cancer with a whole-person plan is how I am beating the odds.

At 83, I developed a slight cough and some shortness of breath - my intuition was telling me to check it out.  My family doctor conducted a complete physical exam and concluded I was perfectly healthy and should not be concerned.  However, I insisted on a chest X-ray as I felt something was not right. Two days later I was summoned back to my doctors office with news you never want to hear.  X-rays revealed a large, more than 3 1/2 inch tumor in the lower lobe of my left lung.  Follow up tests confirmed Stage 4, metastatic, non-operable lung cancer.  The cancer had spread from a Melanoma skin cancer I had surgically removed a few months before.  I became a patient at City of Hope  to be treated monthly with immunotherapy.  If treatment was successful, the hope was that my chance of surviving cancer could be improved from 25% to 35%.

Just over one year later, my latest PET scan shows I AM CANCER FREE!

I will be followed closely with scans to make sure there is no reoccurrence, but I am confident, as I have been from the beginning, that my life will not be effected in the future by cancer.  I can never express enough my gratitude for the wonderful treatment I have received at City of Hope.  It is the most caring and dedicated group of professionals on the planet.  I recommend them highly and urge all cancer patients to seek treatment or second opinions from this fine institution.  My success may be 100% attributed to the treatment I received there.  On the other hand through, extensive research and the study of “alternative” cancer treatment, I am convinced that what I have done “in addition to my treatment at City of Hope” has greatly contributed to my success. It is for this reason that I outline what I have done on my own to beat and prevent return of my cancer.  

Here is my outline of what I found most important in my recovery:

Recommended Reading:

A must, in my opinion is, “Radical Remission” by Kelly A Turner, Ph. D. and her second book “Radical Hope.”  In these books and based on extensive research and travel all over the world, Dr. Turner outlines 10 basic principals that she has found to be common in areas of the world where cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are “radically cured” without traditional medical intervention or where such treatment has failed to find a cure.  In my journey I have followed these 10 principals and will continue doing so for the rest of my life for continued good health and longevity.  If you are suffering or know someone else who is suffering from cancer or other disease, reading these two books is so very encouraging.  You will read the stories of others who have suffered from either what you have or something even worse and have found radical recovery, restored health, happiness and joy.

Radically changed my diet:

Research shows that the best diet for cancer control is “PLANT BASED.”   Veggies (mostly) and fruits.  Begin by cutting out, as best you can, all PROCESSED SUGAR.  You will get all the natural sugar you need from good fruits.  Train yourself to read labels.  Check the sugar level in everything you consume, especially “added sugar.”   Look at the sugar contained in sodas, candy, cakes and other sweet things.  It is a wonder we don’t all have cancer, especially our kids.  REMEMBER:  "CANCER THRIVES ON SUGAR.”    

Supplements and food:

All the following are plant based, found in nature and all shown to be helpful in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.  And just good for overall health and longevity.

  • MUSHROOMS: Without the nutrients of MUSHROOMS our forests could not survive.  I take two mushroom supplements daily, manufactured by “Host Defense.” Available from Amazon or most health food stores, Whole Foods and Sprouts. 1)  TURKEY TAIL Mycelium Powder, 1/2 teaspoon added every morning to my fruit and veggie smoothie.   2)  “BREATHE”, TWO CAPSULES PER DAY.              
  • SMOOTHIE DELIVERY: It can be challenging to keep fruits and veggies fresh without almost daily shopping. We have discovered a good way to make sure we get them everyday by subscribing to a company called “Daily Harvest.”    These are fruit and veggie smoothies delivered to your door weekly and contain ONLY freshly-frozen fruits and veggies.   They come is several varieties and you just add the liquid you like, filtered water or I prefer Almond Milk.  Add the supplements and mix in a blender.   Makes it all very easy.   You can order at:  The one I am looking at right now contains Blueberry, Spinach, Black Sesame, Zucchini and Pine Pollen.  
  • BITTER RAW APRICOT KERNELS:  I believe APRICOT KERNELS are just as essential as are mushrooms to my success.  A very long and interesting history concerning the use of Apricot Kernels in the treatment of cancer.   First discovered by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs who labeled it “Laetrile” or “Vitamin B17. As do many other fruit seeds, including apples, apricot kernels contain Hydrogen Cyanide and can be dangerous. Therefore you ONLY TAKE THREE KERNELS PER DAY   Put in your daily smoothies.  This is actually a form of early “immunotherapy,” and is a natural food sold on Amazon or ordered through health food stores. Make sure the BITTER and not sweet varieties.  
  • BEETS:   The nutritional value of beets has been now for centuries. Recommended for many serious illnesses including as a supplement for cancer treatment. Simply buy fresh or canned small whole beets, keep in refrigerator and eat a couple everyday or add to salads.
  • HEMP OIL: Many current studies have shown good success in cancer patients with CBD oil.  I take Cannagenix Hemp extract 300 mg.  I take one dropper full before  going to sleep. Again available on Amazon and almost everywhere else these days.  The actual brand is not important if good quality.
  • NUTS: Almost all mixed nuts are healthy for you and I eat a couple of handfuls a day.  Costco or Sprouts especially salt-free Deluxe variety.  Nuts have natural sugar, which is fine and carbohydrates but not enough to be concerned about weight gain.
  • DAIRY & ALCOHOL PRODUCTS:  We are the ONLY animal that consumes another animals milk.  I don’t believe whole milk and milk products are good for adults.  I do eat a fair amount of cheese because it adds flavor to some boring meals.  I use almond or coconut milk whenever milk is called for and in smoothies and cereal. Buy ONLY healthy cereal with no or very little sugar.   Mr. Kellogg, of cereal fame, was a Seventh Day Adventist. He invented healthy cereals for the congregation that did not eat meat.  Loma Linda where the Seventh Day Adventist Medical School is located in the ONLY BLUE ZONE in the US. Why? They don’t eat meat or consume alcohol and exercise a lot. Personally I like a small glass of wine with dinner, otherwise very little if any alcohol should be consumed.
  • VITAMINS: If you eat properly you should have little need for supplemental vitamins.  However todays over processed food often has less vitamins than expected, AND if you have cancer and are undergoing treatment, you probably need additional vitamins and minerals.  The first that comes to mind is Vitamin C. Unless you live in a citrus orchard you can use some extra Vitamin C.   I take 1600mg. of LIPOSOMAL VITAMIN C by Nutriflair.   I also take the multiple vitamin “Centrum Silver” which is designed for Men 50+, I qualify at 84+. There is a similar one for women.   I take a Super B-Complex for Antioxidant Support.  I also take Zinc, I think because recommended for Covid.
  • FASTING: Our digestive system often need a break for best performance.  This is especially important for cancer patients.   Why?   We are taking treatments  and chemicals either designed to kill our cancer or to build our immune system so our own bodies can destroy the enemy.  If our bodies are always so full of food  products that require the tireless effort of our digestive enzymes and good T-cells, how can the same good cells have the time or ability to attack and destroy the cancer cells.  We must give them a break to do the work God intended for them. Now I am not talking about days or even many hours of fasting.   All we need to do is NOT consume any food from dinner until breakfast in the morning.  This way our bodies can digest the food before bedtime and then they are able to attack the bad cells during our sleep.  This is difficult for me since I like  to munch on nuts, fruits or veggies while watching TV before bedtime and I really have to work at keeping this short fast.  My beloved Thrifty Chocolate/  Peanut butter ice cream habit may have contributed to my issue in the first place.

  • To heal itself our bodies need a LOT OF OXYGEN.  How we breath and how we exercise effects our bodies O2 level and we can, through our own efforts, increase the level of O2 in our blood.   You need to learn how to breathe from your belly to your chest and into your brain.  Take very deep breaths in through your nose, extending your abdomen and filling your chest and even feeling the oxygen going into your brain.  Practice this while sitting down, because if you are doing it right you will get dizzy at first and could even faint.  Exhale slowly through your mouth and repeat.   I now practice this every morning on my daily walks.   It is exhilarating and makes you feel good all over.   Practicing this technique is how free divers train to stay under water for long periods of time.
  • All forms of exercise is good for you and necessary for good health and healing.  Exercise pumps blood throughout your body, reducing the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and cancer.    Helps reduce feelings of depression and anxiety and helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and  joints.  The American Cancer Society recommends exercise for ALL CANCER PATIENTS.   Yes you can, even while infusing - keep moving!
  • One of the 10 keys to success outlined in “Radical Remission,” is “Having a Spiritual Connection.”   Regardless of what your spiritual connection is, rather based on a religious belief, yoga, or meditation, research shows that any such connection is felt in the body as a physical experience as well.  A spiritual connection evokes an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love. It is said that humans are spiritual beings in a physical body. For me my connection is through my faith in God and belief in the power of prayer as a Christian.   I am confident that “prayer works,” and I have felt the powerful prayers of so many fellow Christians, both family and multiple friends in several different churches.  I believe my prayer for others, has helped me as well.   When I am at City of Hope I am in constant prayer for other patients.  I see the pain and suffering that surrounds me.  Those showing the signs of extended treatments, in wheelchairs being assisted by volunteers or family members.  Yet, as the name implies , I see HOPE and OPTIMISM.   Whenever I have the opportunity I try to comfort others in treatment.  As my tumor has shrunk over time I have shared with other patients my success and how healing will come to them as well. If you review all I have said above one thing stands out.  Everything I do and take are GIFTS FROM GOD found in His creation. Life itself is a gift from God and He alone controls our future.  And yes he has inspired us to research and find the cures for devastating illness.

May God Bless You in your journey of healing.  Stay positive and confident that you WILL SURVIVE this challenge.
You can read my full Survivor Story here.

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