Knowledge Is Power


As I lay in pain on a bed in the back bedroom, I knew that, as a teacher, I would have to finish putting in final grades.  Just sitting made me exhausted and uncomfortable, so it took me hours. I could only work for short periods of time. However, somehow I managed to finish and send in my last grades. After that, things just started deteriorating in my body, and I was weak and my balance was off. One time I fell while reaching for a book. How could I live like this?  I started researching online.  Knowledge is power, and I wanted to understand why my body was heading downhill so quickly.


Interestingly, my younger sister, who has a time-consuming job, sent a book.  She said she found it at a yard sale. It was Raw Energy by Leslie and Susannah Kenton. Because the cover was slightly faded, I checked the copyright date.  The first printing was 1984.  As I read the forward the second paragraph caught my attention.  It stated, “Healthy eating is a timeless science, researched for thousands of years in different civilizations but surprisingly neglected this century.” (p. 9) However, in the introduction, the authors also said that some people thought they were wasting their time writing about munching carrots, and others smiled indulgently and maintained a polite silence (p. 11).  I was hooked. Why were people so nonchalant about their health? Why would more knowledge about causes of illness create disdain in some?  My life was on the line, so I wanted to find out more.


So what did the investigative authors discover?  Through their investigation of the enormous quantity of European research, they confirmed that fresh, uncooked food has health-promoting effects on the body.  They delved into the hundreds of books and research papers on biochemistry and on the clinical uses of uncooked foods.  In addition, evidence shows that when 75 percent of our foods are taken raw, bodily degeneration which accompanies long-term illness is not only reversed, but slows the rate at which we age, and gives the body more energy and even makes us feel better emotionally.  Therefore, I definitely wanted to know more.

Take Responsibility

It was time to take responsibility for my health, and not just blindly follow what others were doing. I had been reading the long list of side effects on the prescription labels that came with the cancer treatment.  It was a chemical and physical nightmare.  So when I asked about the drugs and what I was reading, one nurse said, “You read that!”  But then their answer was that it didn’t always affect everyone in the same way, and they reassured me that I would be okay.  I didn’t feel okay.

A New Chapter

I finished Leslie and Susannah Kenton’s book.  It renewed my hope, so I bought a juicer since it was hard for me to digest food, and I headed in a new direction.  Before becoming ill, I was an active person, and now I realized I was not ready to give up on life. The book had sparked a new interest in living a mindful and healthy life.  A new chapter was beginning.

Leslie & Susannah Kenton, Raw Energy, Arrow Books Limited, London, 1984.

Life’s Uncertainty: This Is Not The Yellow Brick Road.

Do not forsade wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

Life’s Uncertain Journey

What was going on in my body?  I suddenly felt vulnerable and uncertain. Like Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, I was spinning in a tornado, and when I awoke, there was pain near my stomach and back. I made an appointment at a local clinic, and after the check-up, I was given a prescription. Then I decided to read  the side-effects on the label, and they did not look good.  I was concerned, but I wasn’t sure what to do. Therefore, I thought it would be okay to try it for a short period of time, so I took the medicine. It wasn’t long before my digestive track was a mess, and I began to lose weight.


After the new symptoms appeared, I made another appointment with a different doctor, but the news was worse. The doctor thought it might be a lymphoma, a blood cancer, and it turned out he was right. This felt like a bad dream, and I was now more uncertain about what path to take.


Next, I decided to get another opinion from the Mayo Clinic to find out about new procedures involving immunotherapy. However, they told me that wasn’t an option for me. The doctors told me to start chemotherapy immediately or I might not live six months.  Discouragement and uncertainty was turning into fear.

In the end I gave in and started chemotherapy treatments.  As I received the treatments, my hair fell out, I lost more weight, and I became weaker and sicker. Would this nightmare never end? Here I was in a room filled with zombie-like people hooked up to bags of liquids and covered in blankets. I hated the bag with the unnatural red color. It was a bad omen. In spite of hoping the cancer would leave, now more than ever I doubted my choice.


As I thought about life, I remembered a story in the Bible about a man who had been robbed, beat up, and left by the side of the road. Even though two others walked by, they crossed over to the other side of the road and did not stop.  Finally a good Samaritan came by and offered hope. He picked up the injured man and carried him to an inn. The Samaritan told the innkeeper to look after the man, and he would reimburse him for any extra expense.(Luke 10:30-37)

Although I felt alone, more than one Samaritan saw me by the side of the road, and stopped. One of my daughter-in-laws gave me a little book by Dodie Olsteen, the mother of Joel Olsteen.  If Dodie had survived with a diagnosis of liver cancer, there was hope. Armed with Dodie’s positive scripture examples, I focused on healing.  In addition, another Samaritan, my daughter, showed me a book by Suzanne Sommers, and a program by Chris Wark ( Survivors were sharing testimonies of hope, and I was on a new journey.