On February 12, 2014, Leland wrote:
I was diagnosed with Melanoma April 2012 after a lengthy misdiagnosis (six months). I started a gerson style juice fast almost immediately and cut out all meat from my diet. Had surgery on scalp and neck (initial melanoma was found with involvement of lymph nodes), followed by radical neck dissection and then another surgery on scalp for satellite lesions. By August CT/PET scans showed mets in lungs, liver and stomach. I started a clinical trial involving a combination of targeted and immunotherapy under care of Dr. Omid Hamid at the Angeles Clinic in LA (traveled 1x /week for six months from Colorado to LA for treatment). Unfortunately by November 2012 MRIs showed an overwhelming number of brain mets (97). I continued the trial for another two months after that…at the time they found the brain mets, I also started the budwig diet. The interesting thing was that, because I was seeing the doctor 1x a week per the terms of the trial, they were monitoring my blood with CBC tests and, within a week of starting budwig, all my blood counts went from highly elevated /abnormal to normal ranges. The doctor was very surprised and, in fact, so was I. I have had few experiences over the last several years where the impact of doing one particular type of treatment was so imminently felt and witnessed.
Since that time I have continued Budwig (have had no processed sugar or meat since November 2012) and taken the flax/cottage cheese combination 2x a day religiously. My brain mets continued to progress (though very slowly) until feb 2013 (again interesting because this is roughly the 3-4 month elapsed time that budwig suggested it took for the treatment to start taking full effect)…the neurosurgeon and staff have been amazed and are supposedly writing a paper on my case- the brain has remained stable since that time. Normally, they told me later, they would have given me six weeks to live and sent me to hospice. I supposedly have the “dubious” distinction of being the national record holder for number of brain mets treated (I did pursue stereotactic surgery for brain mets) and time spent in a gamma knife machine. Have an MRI in another few weeks…hopefully this trend towards stability will continue (don’t want to beat my own records). I have also pursued 2 courses of immunotherapy (yervoy) in addition to budwig. The lung, liver and stomach mets have also remained stable or gotten smaller in the last year. In the meantime I have returned to work full time (engineer for one of largest engineering companies in the world) and my duties as father of 2 active young boys (including hockey coach and fatherly punching bag) and husband.
There is a lot more that could be said here, on a variety of different subjects, but let me say this:
a) do I believe budwig has had a positive impact on my survival, yes, most definitively. I remember feeling better as soon as commencing budwig.
b) can I scientifically prove it? No, in my case, this is clouded further by the fact that I have chosen to combine a variety of treatments and ideas in a desperate attempt at survival.
Our cultural over emphasis on the scientific method in developing medicines, diet, philosophy etc has, while in many cases provided benefit and led to tremendous progress. Yet, in my opinion, it can also detract from holistic and common sense approaches to problem solving. Here like everything else we are subject to our own limitations as human beings. The ego might say we are smart enough or good enough to answer all our questions and solve all our problems. Yet there are some things that come down to, again in my opinion, taking personal responsibility for ourselves and using our best judgment, while ultimately relying on intuition and prayer.
Much love and support,
Second testimonial from Leland over a year later, September 2015
I have been on the Budwig plan for last three years in addition to having 98 mets to brain from melanoma (along with with liver, stomach, lungs…6 week diagnosis to live). When I started the Budwig diet I was @ 35 pounds under weight and my liver and kidney counts were at dangerously high/low levels. Within 1 week, I felt more energy. The doctor even asked me if I’d stopped taking the targeted therapy (zelboraf) because my blood work all came back at normal levels. It was kind of amazing.
Gamma knife was also used to treat each lesion and I have been given various immunotherapies and targeted therapies through clinical trial and fda approved means. I have not taken afatnib but do believe that the medical community is waking up to what the naturopathic community has been touting for years…that the immune system holds the answers to beating cancer.