|This is the story of
the Walters family in their journey of discovery with four
and a half-year-old Adam's "late-stage brain cancer", as
I witnessed it. I have changed the names of the family members
and landmarks, to spare an already extremely stretched family any
more additional stress if possible. But if they should see
this article, I can't spare them from how they might feel by
my accounting of the events. I love and admire these people deeply.
They have accepted a big mission this lifetime. I can only hope this
is a learning experience for us all.
My partners, Patrick, Mike and I believe that the whole of
our life: our thoughts, actions, beliefs, and what we put in our
bodies, determine our health. Unlike science, we advocate looking
at the whole of the person and their life, in considering their
Adam was just beginning to exhibit some symptoms of possible serious
illness when his mother came into my life. Andrea and I were beginning
a business relationship. I had talked to her on the phone once and
followed up with a few emails. But we had bonded easily because
she resonated with what I had told her our company was doing. We
build Findhorn-type Sacred Energy Gardens, which produce glowing
plants. My autobiography, Eating My Way to Heaven, reflects
my journey to health and a sacred state through that kind of
While making the perfunctory follow-up call with Andrea, she quickly
shared that she was out the door to take her four and a half-year-old
son, Adam to the hospital for an MRI. I didn't know then whether
an MRI was an intrusive procedure or not, but I did know that the
general anesthesia it required is always a toxin and a stress to
I asked Andrea a few questions about Adam's symptoms. He had headaches,
stomach problems with occasional vomiting, his back hurt and he had
been constipated for most of this life. The family feared tumors; I
immediately thought food allergies. Andrea was in a panic. Her extended
family had seen plenty of heartache with serious illness, including
one husband and two children lost to cancer.
Andrea really didn't want to take Adam to the hospital that
day but she didn't know what else to do. I convinced her to call
an associate of mine, a world famous pediatrician, Dr. Lendon Smith
M.D., who is an expert on nutrition. He confirmed my suspicions
of food allergies. My partner, Patrick and I headed over to Andreas
house to offer our perspective on treating the child's illness from
a whole-life viewpoint.
Forty-two-year-old Andrea had been raised on health foods and had
lived the "conscious life" for ten years of
her adult life. But she had abandoned that lifestyle a while back
and started the very acidic and constipating, pizza, candy, sugary
cereals and dairy loop with the kids.
A front-end loader was usually the best approach for the living
room, and I've seen hurricanes that made less mess than
she had in her office. Under Andreas direction, this family
could trash an immaculate house in two hours. She was heavily into
coffee, carbs, running and adrenalin/sleep deprivation rolls. The
kids stayed right with her on the hyper waves, including staying
up half the night. Intrinsically though, Andrea was a fun and loving
mom, she needed help.
Adam's delightful three-year-old brother, Andrew, is the most
adorable superhero on the planet, whether he is Buzz Light Year
(Pronounced Buh Lyear as he pounds his little finger on his chest
proclaiming, "I'm Buh Lyear, I'm Buh Lyear.") or whether
he is Batman, Spiderman or an ever-popular Power Ranger. He
would start each day with the biggest "Let's play!" grin
on his face I have ever experienced.
Father Alex was quite a study. Alex had quit his job as a salesman
a few months back so that Andrea could go back to work full-time.
He seemed like the perfect 'Mr. Mom'. But I could see he missed
the stimulus of business and being with adults, after a few months
of Woody, Buzz and the rest of the Disney line-up that consumed
his days. (Eventually there was a designated superhero drawer
to avoid those wind sprints through a 5000 sq. ft., three story
house, looking for the Spiderman suit or such, before Adam,
Andrew or both blew a gasket.)
Alex participated in the same lifestyle as Andrea except for the
adrenalin rolls. He is the 'calm on the outside', organized, practical,
methodical type, but had been beaten down by years of exhausting
circumstances and his wife's extreme behaviors. He had tried everything
to get his power back from his wife, and from Adam, whose demands
ran the family into a frantic storm, 24-7. He hadn't succeeded thus
It's hard to describe the energy of this family. It was exhausting
to be around them. Adam was a strong willed child. He ran the family
with iron lungs. And he obviously had anger issues with Andrea and
with Andrew. Andrea stopped breast-feeding Adam when Andrew was
born. Since Andrew has been weaned, Adam has vehemently claimed
mom's lap as his and his alone, sometimes strategically maneuvering
to keep Andrew away from mom. Adam has been quite angry with mom
for abandoning him again by her going back to work recently. This
day, Adam was ashen and dehydrated. So was Andrew, but he still
had his delightful essence, while Adam was angry and agitated.
Andrea and Alex went for our rap right away. They whole-heartedly
admitted that they knew that their chaotic life, numerous stresses
and sugary diet had flat out caused the child's illness. It was
our opinion that he was suffering from hyper-acidity, dehydration
and emotional duress, which all cause constipation. His little system
was backed up. They were ready to make some changes. Patrick and
I moved in with the family and set out to help them carve a new,
more healthful life.
We were literally living out of our truck at the time after having
lost our farm (where we had started an alternative treatment center)
to developers (long, ugly story). We were always close to the edge
financially, but eager to share our truth. We had moved in with
a number of families around the Northwest since losing our home
and had done a lot of this "life-style overhaul" work, while
always looking to more fully live our truth ourselves.
We are all guides for one another.
After a few days of awkward co-existence under very difficult circumstances,
we had developed a certain rhythm. When full of pristine alkaline
water and organic produce, and basking in mom's attention, Adam
was one healthy-looking, buoyant child with few symptoms. Andrew
was always Andrew, just perkier still with energized fuel in
his little action hero body.
It is our opinion that you have to shift the whole family in order
to treat an illness wholistically. If only the sick person shifts,
then another crisis will emerge when the family settles back into
its dysfunctional lifestyle.
Everybody was going for the shift except Andrea. She couldn't/wouldn't
give up her coffee, evening toddies, or her marriage to adrenalin,
chaos and being in control. As a result of her extreme childhood
abuse issues, she had to be in control every minute, no matter how
much harm her manic behaviors caused. Consequently, Adam did fine
when mom was fine and had heightened symptoms when mom was in frantic
mode. On one of the not so fine days the decision was made to go
forward with the MRI. It had been about a week since we'd moved
The MRI showed spots on Adams spine and brain. The dreaded "C"
word now hung in the air like the mushroom after an atomic blast.
A biopsy was scheduled for four days later. With this new threat,
everybody got more dedicated to the detox they had committed to,
including Andrea, for a while.
Adam was just as bossy and demanding as Andrea. He almost always
got his way. But with a little superhero ingenuity, we were all
able to get good portions of energized water and foods, and
a few supplements in him everyday, as well as plenty of play time
and love. Mom was getting better and better at giving him her attention.
Her going back to work 12-16 hours a day had traumatized Adam very
deeply and he was pissed. She had stopped working since the health
crisis but still couldn't always break the habit of talking over
him or ignoring him while immersed in conversation on the phone.
Abandonment digs deep.
Adam was told that if he drank the water, ate the food and
got his bowels to move that he wouldn't have to go through this
grueling procedure on Tuesday. He participated in the regimen every
time he was reminded of the alternative. He'd had enough of needles.
Monday night Adam had the biggest bowel movement he had ever experienced.
We were all hooting and hollering to celebrate the blessed
event. I was on the third floor at the time and didn't get to see
the miracle first hand. But it turned into a fish story eventually,
the poop that was "this big". Suffice it to say, that
compared to the 39-pound body of Adam, it was big!
His headache, back pain and "bottom" pain subsided immediately.
It was the miracle we had prayed and worked for. Adam was one happy,
vibrant child that night. Andrea and Alex were greatly relieved
and deeply grateful.
Unfortunately, the doctors had convinced Alex and Andrea that Adam
needed an operation for something called a tethered chord. They
said that this piece of tissue on his spine was all shriveled up
and twisted and that was what was causing his constipation. Without
this operation, Adam might have trouble moving his bowels and be
permanently debilitated. Patrick and I vehemently disagreed. We
believed that it was the dehydration that was distorting his spine,
and that it would unshrivel with hydration. He had just passed
giant feces, why would he need surgery to move his bowels? He was
severely dehydrated, and in our opinion, it is reversible. More
alkaline water and hydrated produce was our recommendation.
The next morning Adam screamed bloody murder as he was loaded in
the car for the hospital. In his little four-year-old voice, at
screeching volume, he proclaimed, "But I drank the water, I
ate the food, I pooped. I did everything you asked me to do. You
said I wouldn't have to do this!!!" Mom's heart broke. Andrea
was sick with the struggle of this decision. There was never any
doubt that these people loved their children more than life itself.
The doctors had convinced Andrea and Alex that they could do this
tethered chord thing as the chunk they needed to remove for
the biopsy. Andrea and Alex also needed an answer. The not knowing
was eating them alive. I could fully understand that. They agreed
to the surgery. However, they stated that no matter what was found,
they wanted to keep applying the nutrition thing. I thought that
was smart. Much as I didn't want to see the little boy cut on, I thought
that a serious diagnosis would spur them to a deeper commitment
to pristine consumption. A good report would lessen their stress
level and allow us to help them without all that additional weight.
Either way, we couldn't lose, so I thought.
Please bear with me. There is so much to tell in order to weave
this story. No aspect of the Walters' lives was separate from the
illness. Their diet, the way they ran their daily life, how
they interacted with each other, and their relationships with
family, money and God, all contributed to the dis-ease.
I accompanied the family to the hospital the morning of the biopsy.
Other than one tense moment in the car when she bit my head off,
Andrea was the picture of a calm, cool, professional, and a deeply
concerned parent. I couldn't have been more proud of her, or more
blown away by her demeanor.
This hospital was introducing some wonderful programs for healing
with nature but hadn't gotten the "food and water" thing
yet. Everyone Andrea had talked to had dismissed Adam's diet or
dehydration, as being a factor.
This morning, Andrea spoke her mind to the charge nurse. "How
could diet not have anything to do with it? We took him off sugar
and put him on water and whole foods and he got better and had a
giant bowel movement." She insisted that they not give him
a dextrose IV, and no sugar or dairy after the surgery. I was silently
cheering her on. "You go girl!"
While in the pre-surgery waiting area, I got a chance to meet the
surgeon and the two anesthesiologists that would perform Adam's
tethered chord/biopsy surgery.
When we met the doctors, I was the one that broached the subject,
asking the surgeon, "When you work with a family like this,
do you ever ask them about their diet or their lifestyle, their
marriage or their finances?"
She brushed me off with, "That's not my thing." Andrea
and Alex turned blue waiting for my response. I just took a deep
breath and strolled over to chat with the anesthesiologists.
"We all agree that anesthesia suppresses the immune system,
is that right?" They agreed, but said it was not suppressed
"Wouldn't you recommend to the family that they not feed the
child a piece of cake and a coke with a pH of 2.4 that's going to
cause his blood chemistry to scramble to keep him alive, after
the surgery?" (Alex had been given cake by the doctors after
his MRI.) The woman looked horrified and said nothing. The male
anesthesiologist uttered some denial. I asked, "Well, are you
open to hearing about it?"
He rolled his eyes and said, "Well, if you show me science."
I had a package full of science delivered a few days later:
Nancy Appleton PhDs books, "Lick The Sugar Habit,"
and "The Curse of Louis Pasteur." Nancy quotes science
out the wazoo and also uses studies from the Journal of the American
Medical Association to back up her own work.
I walked back over to Andrea and Alex. They hovered close as I
shared my conversation with the gas folks. Alex was incredulous!
"How can that be? Forget that they're doctors, its just plain
common sense!" That was the first crack in their faith.
Now the waiting game began. After two days in the hospital, Adam
came home with a three-inch scar on his back and a new resolve not
to see any more needles.
Life with the Walters was always constant chaos, but now the level
of activity in the house was amped up times a thousand each day.
I did twelve to eighteen hour days running stairs fetching
toys and clothes, cleaning, doing load after load of laundry, dishes,
preparing meals, picking up and jetting across the room with Andreas
latest demand before she went ballistic.
Because he ate and drank so well, most of the time, Adam was a
vibrant, fun-loving, energy packed little boy. Patrick played with
the kids sometimes for ten hours a day, while the rest of us
tried to manage the house, the treatment, fund-raising, family members,
research, the phone and the doctors. Sometimes I would go looking
for Pat and find him handcuffed and covered in a pile of blankets,
pillows and kids. I didn't have time to rescue him.
When Adam first came home from the biopsy, we had turned the living
room (which you could land a plane in) into Disneyland. The massive
fort got rebuilt every few days. I remember crawling on my belly
with Adam into the bowels of the fort thinking, "Now this is
how you treat kids." We drank a little power water, ate our
Power Rangers organic orange, checked our weapons and set out to
take the house. I've never felt freer. That was the most important
thing in the world I could be doing in that moment, so I suspended my
adult worries and played to my heart's content. As I stated, this
was Pat's full-time job. I just jumped in once and a while.
After the excruciating wait was up (it seemed) the surgeon called
to say that they could find no cancer in the sample, but cautioned
the family not to get too excited. The doctor had sent the biopsy
on to the Mayo Clinic for their opinion. Andrea was seeking additional
opinions from all over the country. She has a permanent dent in
her shoulder from laying the phone on it.
The next diagnosis was, "It's a plain old ependymoma."
That sounded fairly tame to me but we were told it wasn't. The other
bazillion opinions came in somewhere in between. After a week of
juggling, often constantly changing opinions, I understood
Andrea to say that the diagnosis was "late-stage brain cancer".
Boy howdy, talk about adrenalin! "Houston, we have blast off!"
The next week of our lives was definitely to be akin to a ride on
a rocket ship for us all.
The phone traffic itself became a cancer that tore mom away from
Adam, always, to his great displeasure. Getting the family out the
door to an appointment was like trying to move the entire American
army across a continent in an hour.
Alex kept all his focus on not setting Andrea off. She'd cut you
off at the knees if you didn't move fast enough or stepped on her
toes. Alex was her target of choice. He literally was an abused
husband. During one of Adam's headache episodes, I recall Andrea
screaming at the top of her lungs at Alex, with Adam a few feet
away. "What I need is action! This is just unbelievable! Now
go get me the (whatever it was this time) now!" I doubt that
scene soothed Adam's pain any.
In the midst of all this, a nanny had moved in. She had just left
her boyfriend, smoked, drank, stayed out all night or brought somebody
home and admitted to being emotionally unstable. As a housekeeper
and companion to the kids she was great, but she couldn't handle
the reality of the situation or her own life's circumstances.
Finances were a constant reoccurring nightmare. Andrea and Alex
had deep issues with money and so did Pat and I. We received a total
of $24 in cash from them for our three weeks of 24-7 in their
service, when they had dozens and dozens of family members in the
area that never even washed a dish. And they were running up or
paying vast bills to all the other professionals in their life.
They felt room and board was adequate payment, we didn't agree.
We had charged $3000 a month in the past for our services.
Patrick and I continued to work though, because we knew it was
the right thing to do, and believed that they were almost as cash
poor as we were. They flat told us that the only way they were putting
food on the table was to recycle bottles. However, before long
it became obvious that they were spending way, way more than bottle
money, nickel and diming everybody they could, and in the next breath
bragging about Andrea's rich, powerful family.
Pat and I had our own share of prosperity issues or we wouldn't
have become homeless. Watching the prosperity dis-ease in the Walters'
family unfold was very illuminating for us. Our issues with money
as a species are a major stress in our lives. They can become a
real monster in a critical health crisis. Fear of lack and the ugly
behaviors that go with it is a cancer itself. Lack played a
big part in Adam's illness.
The $160 worth of herbs that Andrea desperately wanted, and faithfully
believed in, never got picked up because of lack issues. Yet she
bought an $80 painting off an indigent person that same week to
help them out. We had already delivered $140 worth of the alkaline
water from a healing hot springs in southern Idaho, which we hadn't
gotten paid for. But even asking for five dollars for gas would
set Andrea off on a, "We don't owe you anything tirade."
and set me, and or us, off too. Several times she literally threw
us out of the house and then would humbly lure us back when Adam's
health went down hill.
Her wealthy family bought groceries and toys now and then and bankrolled
trips to doctors, but left her juggling the household and alternative
healing bills. Some of the family was grateful we were there; some
were angry and resentful. The matriarch of the family suggested
she go on welfare, and her father collected stuff for her to sell
at a garage sale.
Money should never have been an issue in Adam's healing. Picture
this poor frantic woman, already doing twenty hour days, trying
to plan a giant garage sale at her house in the midst of all this.
It didn't happen. Andrea and Alex's expenses were a constant monkey
on their back, and their reaction to them at any given time, a pretty
accurate barometer of where they were in their faith in general.
Andrea had been raised Catholic. She seemed pretty anti-Catholic
most of the time, but was too afraid to offend God when Adam got
sick. They tried a priest and a Holy Water anointing. Adam screamed
the roof off, not his cup of tea. Neither was the frantic, hysterical
trip to an Abbey with Andrea driving psychotically. Contrary to
her demands that we were not to upset Adam for any reason, he was
held down in both cases while he pitched a wicked fit.
At our urging, they took Adam to a hands-on healing service at
a local New Thought church. They were confronted with candy, coffee
and the smell of donuts while they were there, all forbidden fruit
in their lives. They were all Jonesing (slang for, "I want
some bad!"). Andrea jumped into the coffee immediately. We
watched in horror as she revved her engine -- the pitfalls of participating
in society when attempting a healthful regime.
The minister did a special healing circle for Adam after the
service. A circle soon formed to help Andrea cope with her stress.
They left there with mixed emotions, but feeling very supported
and more at ease.
While celebrating Adams return to robust health, they had fallen
off the wagon and fed Adam a bunch of pizza and sugary cereal
late one night. When we commented on how dehydrating those
foods were the next morning, Andrea threw us out on our ear. Adam
got sicker and sicker until they finally accepted that it was dehydration
and constipation that had harmed Adam and humbly asked us to come
back. It only took two days to get his system working again and
get his symptoms to back off.
Again, upon our urging, they visited a gifted faith healer from
the Philippines, that Pat and I had worked with for years.
She had turned miracles with us. Adam and Andrew fitfully waited
through a two-hour presentation about the healer and her gift the
night before the healings. The next day Adam threw an accelerated
tantrum because he was brought back there, to the "boring place"
against his will. The healer merely blessed him and promised him
a toy if he came back the next day. Now she was speaking his language!
It was a smooth evening and Adam ate and slept well that night.
They came bounding through the door the next day with a very vibrant
set of children. Adam hadn't looked better in weeks. After having
some wonderful tender moments with everyone, and jerking around
about money all day, both Andrea and Adam finally received
a treatment from the faith healer (although Andrea refused to pay
for hers). We assured Alex that his wife would shift and his life
would change for the better. He was praying hard for that miracle.
He looked me in the eye and believed it was possible. Alex
drove the many miles home as his family slept peacefully.
The interactions of the many extended family members also played
a significant role in the stress in the household. It would take
volumes to record all the goings on. Suffice it to say, they were
all strong-willed people, deeply concerned for Adam, and married
to their point of view for his treatment. There was the heavy medical
faction, the alternative camp and many who said, "Do both."
Emotions and opinions were constantly erupting, and Andrea
was at the eye of the storm.
As a businessperson she is capable and driven. She employed
those same skills, with unbridled passion, to getting educated enough
to make the best decisions for her son. Unfortunately, it was a
full-time job and Adam needed her full-time attention.
Andrea's biggest dilemma was figuring out where to place her faith.
She and Alex had both told us on several occasions that we were
a gift from God. But our homelessness and our lack frightened them.
Part of her loved that we had gone so far out on a limb. And part
of her was a snob that put a lot of weight on appearances and bank
Pat and I made our share of mistakes that helped lead to her fear
and mistrust of us. One of my mistakes was: I, not being a parent
yet, presumed that any parent of a critically ill child would do
anything it took to save that kid. Now if we had given her our rap
and she had said, "Absolutely not, he's getting chemotherapy,"
that would have been one thing. But she had said, "You're right.
We fed him junk and live a stressful, chaotic life. We need help."
When she wouldn't do the work to save her son (get off coffee, sugar,
alcohol, adrenalin, and face her emotions) I got pissed -- my very
big mistake. I had to work hard to undo it, when I realized how
deep she was.
Pat had his own blowouts with Andrea, one the night of the wild
pilgrimage to the Abbey. Most of the time, Andrea was a very big
person when she knew she was wrong. She could really step up to
the plate and take responsibility. Alex could too, but he wasn't
as verbal or as loving in his clean-up speeches as she was. When
it was good it was great, a smoothly functioning team of people
who were very focused on the same outcome.
We're talking about a very all-American family here. They're living
in a big house, cranking away at their businesses to buy their kids
more toys, clothes, videos and treats so they'll have a better life.
Perhaps it's time to reevaluate this formula for "abundant"
living. The hard truth is that our thirst for fast and easy and
more is killing us.
In our opinion (Patrick and myself) money, spirituality, fear,
psychosis and deep exhaustion played a big role in the events that
precipitated Adam's next trip to the hospital.
Patrick and I were both on a spiritual high from our weekend of
working with the faith healer and being worked on. The extreme drama
that ensued in the next eighteen hours never consumed me. I laughed,
I cried, I ranted, I pondered but I was able to step out of any
scene fairly quickly because of the peace I was feeling.
The evening went pretty smoothly at first. Andrea was calmer than
usual and I think everyone felt a heightened sense of hope. Adam
had a voracious appetite, demanding one food after another. Finally,
at eleven o'clock at night he wanted a tuna fish sandwich. Alex
knew that Adam shouldn't be having bread that late, especially on
a full belly of fruit and other foods. Andrea blew a gasket!
She was running around the house screaming at the top of her lungs.
I could hear her doing her, "This is unbelievable" routine
in the kitchen. The storm lasted a few minutes until Alex came zipping
by us and announced something to the effect that he had lost the
war and was going to bed.
Before long I slunk upstairs to tell Alex that I felt he had done
the right thing. Adam can't be dictating his own treatment anymore,
especially when it comes to dehydrating foods. When Adam had
asked me for something the other day and I had suggested he wait
a little to digest what he had already eaten, he quickly went back
to playing -- no big trauma.
I stood at their bedroom door and assured a very shaken and exhausted
Alex that he had done the right thing. Just as he wearily closed
the door and I began to walk away, Andrea came flying up the
stairs in a rage. She sliced me in half in a couple of breaths for
"going in her room." I stated that I hadn't been in her
room and suggested she chill out as I headed for the room that was
to be mine that evening (we got shuffled around a lot). It was obviously
going to be another late night for her and the kids. Us caffeine-free
folks were heading to bed.
A close friend of Andreas and her young daughter were also
in the house at the time. Andrea went to Pat ranting that she
would not be undermined in her own house. He softly told her, "You're
not being undermined, youre just not being supported, because
there is no foundation to your behaviors." Before the night
was over Andrea apologized to each person in the house (except
Alex who was now sleeping hard). She shared that it was not
Alex that was the problem. It was just that he triggered her old
stuff from childhood. Wow, big admission. Hopefully, a big turning
She told me that she really did want me there and that she wanted
to be part of our global mission. She didn't know why she acted
this way. She said she guessed it was all about letting go of the
fear. I talked to her about stress and God and faith. We hugged
and said goodnight. A while later I checked on her to see if she
wanted help getting the kids to bed (it was about midnight by then).
Adam wanted to stay in front of the TV, so I went to bed.
I finally heard her put the kids to bed about an hour later. Usually
after a late-nighter they would sleep until about nine or ten. Not
this time. Adam woke up with a headache about six am. I listened
to the rising emotions that were building in the bedroom where the
family all slept together. Andrea often considered my offer of assistance
a personal insult that she couldn't do something right. I thought
it best to let her handle the situation this time.
Eventually, when the drama didn't die down, I decided to emerge
and see which Andrea I would be dealing with this morning. The calm,
professional, thanks for your help, Andrea, or the hysterical, fearful,
blaming, get the hell out, Andrea. It only took one meeting of our
eyes for me to know it was going to be a rough morning.
This morning the steroids she had been administering for the
swelling in his brain didn't curb his headache. The Tylenol was
not working this now either. Fearing seizures and a coma, Andrea
was on the edge. I tried to brace for the beating as she started
her tirade that I had no education and didn't know what I was doing.
In the course of that verbal assault she was shouting that
she needed herbs for Adam right now! I reminded her that the
herbs had been waiting to be picked up for weeks. She claimed that
she knew nothing about that. (She had been hysterical about getting
them at first.) I finally shouted back, "The problem is that
you just don't want to hear that your behaviors are part of the
Her face twisted with rage as she rushed me. Although a size four
to my ten, she shoved me out the door, pressed it shut and locked
it screaming, "Get the @#$! out of my house!"
I spent the day talking to friends, ministers, professionals and
a few people close to the situation. It seemed like time to intervene
in Andrea's illness, for Adam's sake before he ended up in the hospital
with his brain laid open.
It was late afternoon when I finally reached Andrea's sister. Adam
was in the hospital she told me. He had had a grand mall seizure
and Andrea had called an ambulance about 3pm. The doctors had already
done surgery to drain the fluid off Adam's brain. They claimed this
particular spot was twice the size it had been since the MRI. I
didn't doubt that. I doubted however, that we would agree on the
cause of Adam's dramatic decline in the past nine hours.
I visited Adam in the hospital that night. Andrea let me hug her
right away and was her "hospital" cool, calm, collected
personality. I just offered loving support.
The anesthesiologist I had sent the package to showed up at the
same moment I did. We stood together at the end of Adam's bed.
Adam was still high on morphine but rattling off a list of junk
foods that he wanted. I made a joke to break the tension in the
air. "No matter how sick we get, we still love our food!"
The doctor made a joke about getting take-out to the hospital. He
treated me with respect that night. Perhaps it crossed his mind
that the items on Adam's list were not good choices for his fragile
immune system. I hope so.
Alex and Andrea were deep in the medical loop now. They admitted
that they had seen what the water and food could do for Adam, but
now that they were this far down the road, they were being
pressured hard from the doctors. We parted friends that day. Pat
and I decided it was time to get back to our mission and let the
Walters live out the rest of their story without us.
Can you imagine how this story might have turned out if the family
had made a full commitment to our program after the MRI? We would
have fed them all fresh, whole, balanced foods on a healthful schedule.
They would have swapped coffee and alcohol and sugary drinks for
life-giving water, and gotten lots more rest. Andrea and Alex would
have gone back into counseling and attended parenting classes. Adam
and Andrew would have undergone some rage therapy.
We would have done deep breathing and stretching together. Adam
would have been able to see all the top alternative healers we are
connected to before, and/or instead of, considering dangerous, intrusive
methods of getting the cancer out of his body. The cancer is his
The telling of our experience is the best I can do for Adam, and
the other children like Adam, and their families. Denial and
shame and guilt are deadly, and accomplish nothing. So let's not
go there. We needn't squabble about how we got here as a species
or who's to blame. Let's just hold hands and walk out of these behaviors
together. We can do it!
© 2/01, Denise Martin