Alan Kenney - Cancer, Stroke, and Heart Disease
Alan's story, in his own words:
In October 2009 I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I was counseled to see a specialist immediately. The specialist wanted me to have chemotherapy, radiation and follow it up with surgery.
The only problem was that seven months earlier my mother died of lung cancer. When she was diagnosed the doctors started her on chemotherapy. After eight months of the chemo and watching my mother deteriorate rapidly I asked the doctor if the chemo was going to help my mom. He said that my mother’s condition was terminal and nothing could be done. To make a long story short, I determined that my mother would have done better to live out her life without the chemo and that the chemo killed her and not the cancer. I developed a cynical attitude that the doctor only did the chemo for the billing revenues.
So, upon my diagnosis, I meditated and prayed to find a different way to heal if that is possible. Within days I gained some in-depth information about macrobiotics and restoring the body’s health through a lifestyle which incorporates whole foods and a plant-based diet. I found myself a counselor and stepped onto the path of a plant-based approach to health.
I used to eat meat, dairy and sugary foods all the time. In October 2009 I weighed 260 pounds. I also had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar was 350+ and my A1C was 7.9.
Within six months of starting my macrobiotic, plant-based lifestyle, my weight was 200 pounds, my blood sugar was normal and my A1C was 5.6. I had no more diabetes. I was thankful because my macrobiotic counselor prepared detailed menus for me to follow during my healing process.
I remember after I was diagnosed with diabetes I met with a dietician who talked about assigning food a number as an “exchange” value and to use complicated equations to balance my food intake. After talking to the dietician I was more confused than prior to our meeting. I even tried to research information on the Internet. I found it to be so confusing.
I appreciated my macrobiotic counselor because she provided a detailed menu that I didn’t have to think about. The macrobiotic diet focused on complex carbohydrates for energy, plant proteins for the body, vegetables for vitamins and minerals. I learned about the energy of food and how different foods create different results in the body.
Over a period of time I began to learn and understand the value of the macrobiotic principles for healthy diet and was able to think more for myself about eating healthy and I grew to understand how to discern among all the competing claims and chaos in the health marketplace.
I continued my macrobiotic program. However, in July 2011 I had a stroke because my right carotid artery was more than 75 percent blocked. I had surgery to clean out my artery and continued my efforts. However in February 2013 I had a cardiac event and had to have a stent placed in one of my arteries.
I learned several things from this, and that is my diet behavior of decades of eating meat had consequences that arose after I changed my behavior. In addition, I had been using plant-based oils in my cooking and I made a decision to cut out even plant-based oil.
The incidents also showed me that behavior can have consequences long after it has been altered.
Around this time I also started to read books like “The Starch Solution,” “The China Study,” “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” “Forks Over Knives,” and other similar books. These books also dealt with the health revolution founded on plant-based health science. I appreciated these books because they also provided a strong, science based approached to how foods can kill, or they can heal.
All my blood work and tests show that I am in good physical condition at this time. I believe that my plant-based lifestyle and diet has helped me to survive the three top causes of death in the United States. I think that if I had continued to eat meat I would be dead by now. As a result my change to plant-based lifestyle, even though imperfect at times, saved my life.
In October 2013 I marked my four year anniversary of having been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I have not had chemotherapy, radiation or surgery and I am still alive. I might add that I am vibrantly alive since my plant-based diet and lifestyle has given me excellent health and energy.