Recognition of the role of emotions in body function is not new. We see it every day in so many cases. The impact of emotions on a case of cancer had a particularly strong impact on my memory.
One evening, many years ago, I gave a lecture on nutrition. I had been introduced as having taken special training in cancer therapy with Dr. Max Gerson, the American pioneer in cancer therapy; with Rene Caisse, the Bracebridge nurse responsible for the development of a special herbal formula (called Essiac) that had cured many thousands of cases of cancer in the 1920’s and 30’s. The introduction also mentioned my experience with several clinics in Europe, including a stay with Dr. Alexander Berglas, the head at that time of the Cancer Research Department of the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
A lady approached me. She asked if I could help her overcome a cancer of the breast. She had real fears of the conventional treatments of radiation/chemotherapy. She had refused three separate doctors who had insisted there was no other way for her than radical surgery.
The tumor in the left breast was about the size of a lemon. Upon obtaining a good health biography and after a thorough examination, I realized that this patient did not have the capability to follow any kind of treatment. I deemed it unlikely that she could derive much benefit other than palliation from whatever I could offer her.
Here was a timid, rather weak, negative, discouraged, demoralized, sensitive, emotionally unstable and mildly schizoid type person. Still rather attractive at forty years old, she had never been married.
Her liver test revealed that the organ was strained and inadequate. There were many nutrient deficiencies, poor habits, and general toxicity.
Simple adrenal gland tests showed that they were so under functioning that I did not believe she could make the multiple daily constant decisions required in order to take the many pills, undertake exercises, strict regimes, a thorough detoxification program, changes in lifestyle, and develop positive attitudes all of which she would be required to follow for years in order to develop host resistance and bring about complete healing. Any more details would add little to the overall understanding of this case.
Because of her fear of pain, fear of following any other treatment, her great sensitivity because of religious and nutritional convictions I rationalized that it would not be right to refuse her. There did not seem to be any other place that she could or would then go.
The only approach that I could see or justify, in my mind, was to put her on a palliative, supportive regime that would keep her free of pain, sustain her vitality and make possible a relatively normal life style for a considerable time maybe even for a few years. I prescribed a normal cancer diet of live, raw, natural, alkalinizing foods mainly vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts.
The remainder of the regime consisted of a detoxification program, aided by glandular extracts thymus, liver and mammary digestive enzymes, general all around vitamins and minerals, some exercises, special electro pulsating currents, and as much positive encouragement as I could give her during her weekly office visits.
To my surprise, over the next six months the tumor decreased slowly and noticeably in size. Nothing I had prescribed could possibly have such beneficial effect. She never even carefully followed all the recommendations of the program. At almost every visit I was puzzled. Her progress was constant. After six months the tumor was the size of an orange seed. Our worries seemed over.
Then a routine examination revealed that the small lump had started to grow again. Repeated examinations confirmed this. I confronted my patient, “What has happened? What has changed in your life? What is going on?” Taken aback by my challenge, she broke down and started to cry. She told me that she had been engaged. She had said nothing to her fiance for those many months. As the lump had almost disappeared she felt she could now reveal her condition. She could reassure him at the same time that she was well. She did this. By this time he had probably realized the other difficult aspects of her nature. He walked out; he abandoned her.
It became clear that she had been living in a world of fantasy, hope and love. This world had been strong enough to give her morale a tremendous boost. These people have a tendency and an ability to draw and drain life force and energy from those close to them. They use and live on other’s vitality almost like a parasite. I knew this. But I had not been able to conceive to what extent this can happen. The love-energy, the force of her dreams, the vigor of a loved one had been powerful enough to change the whole metabolism of her body to help it to literally destroy a tumor.
Then followed another aspect of emotions the impact of negativity, despondency, demoralization then despair, resentment and bitterness. The tumor regrew despite the fact that all the treatments were intensified. She was given remedies that could resist and destroy a cancer. Nothing helped more than would a simple glass of water.
In her mind, she had nothing to live for. She didn’t really want to live. Hope had turned to apathy. Love had turned to hate. Her hatred even turned against me. Hadn’t I promised to cure her? The way her mind worked, she had seen the tumor fade. Was this not proof that I had assured her I could cure her? Now I had failed her; I had deceived her. After a year, the breast had blown up into a huge cauliflower. She quit her job and her treatments. She went to bed brooded and vegetated.
After months of immobility and depression her bones decalcified. One day she got up to go to the bathroom stumbled fell on a thigh bone. It broke. She was taken to the hospital. She never came out.