Friday, October 29, 2010


I got my results back from the low penetrance genetic testing I had done.

Low penetrance mutations are mutations that we can turn on or off depending on our lifestyle, diet, environmental pollution exposure, exercise amount, etc - ie. we do have a good chance at preventing the certain disease the mutations could potenially cause if we make the necessary lifestyle changes.

High penetrance mutations are mutations that show there is a very good, unavoidable chance you will get a certin disease at some point in your life - eg. BRAC1 + BRAC2 (breast cancer mutations).

I knew I did not have BRAC 1 or 2 because no one in my family has breast cancer, let alone cancer. But there had to be another reason I got the breast cancer so early with this family history.

My results showed:

I have a tendency to an imbalance of blood fat (lipid) levels if I develop obesity, diabetes or hypothyroidism. This depends on the level of unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates in my diet.

I have wonky DNA synthesis, repair and methylation, which could contribute to cancer development if folate intake is low. Although adequate dietary intake remains important, supplementation with high doses of folate is not recommended in cancer patients. I need to keep my folate (not folic acid) intake at optimal (not RDA) levels. Folate is largely found in green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables.

I have the potential of raised homocysteine levels if my folate intake is low.

I dont have the tendency to store iron unnecessarily so wont get hereditary haemochromatosis. Regular medical check-ups are recommended because the test does not include all possible risk factors for iron-related disorders.

I have the starvation gene - I have the tendency to gain excessive weight gain and hypertension when my level of physical activity is too low. I need to do vigorous exercise like spinning to burn fat. I need to trick my body into thinking I am running at high speed across the savanna to catch my next meal before my body will let go of my fat.

I have increased risk of insulin resistance. Off to the dietitian tomorrow!

I have the tendency to chronic inflammation and reduced insulin secretion, which increases the risk of type II diabetes, hypertension and obesity when the intake of foods with a high content of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are inadequate. So lots of anti-oxidant rich foods, limit/eliminate toxins that use up anti-oxidants, and fish oil supplements (I have tried flax oil for the last 5 yrs and my hair analysis shows I am still low on omega 3's).

The glutathione S-transferase (GST) and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) gene variations reduce the body's ability to remove harmful substances and to fight cancer-causing free radicals, especially when the intake of anti-oxidants is too low.
The low-activity catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) allele is associated with increased oestrogen levels and cancer risk when oestrogen exposure is increased (e.g. due to obesity or use of hormone replacement therapy in women).
The Detailed Interpretation and Health Guidelines provided in the accompanying report (optional) are based on the integration of the test results with clinical indicators and lifestyle factors. The diet scores are only an estimation of nutrient intake and may need to be further assessed by a registered dietician for implementation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The Wisdom of Your Cells is a new biology that will profoundly change civilization and the world we live in. This new biology takes us from the belief that we are victims of our genes, that we are biochemical machines, that life is out of our control, into another reality, a reality where our thoughts, beliefs and mind control our genes, our behavior and the life we experience. This biology is based on current, modern science with some new perceptions added.
The new science takes us from victim to creator; we are very powerful in creating and unfolding the lives that we lead. This is actually knowledge of self and if we understand the old axiom, “Knowledge is power,” then what we are really beginning to understand is the knowledge of self-power. This is what I think we will get from understanding the new biology.

Flying Into Inner SpaceMy first introduction to biology was in second grade. The teacher brought in a microscope to show us cells and I remember how exciting it was. At the university I graduated from conventional microscopes into electron microscopy and had a further opportunity to look into the lives of cells. The lessons I learned profoundly changed my life and gave me insights about the world we live in that I would like to share with you.
Using electron microscopy, not only did I see the cells from the outside but I was able to go through the cell’s anatomy and understand the nature of its organization, its structures and its functions. As much as people talk about flying into outer space, I was flying into inner space and seeing new vistas, starting to have greater appreciation of the nature of life, the nature of cells and our involvement with our own cells.
At this time I also started training in cell culturing. In about 1968 I started cloning stem cells, doing my first cloning experiments under the guidance of Dr. Irv Konigsberg, a brilliant scientist who created the first stem cell cultures. The stem cells I was working with were called myoblasts. Myo means muscle; blast means progenitor. When I put my cells in the culture dishes with the conditions that support muscle growth, the muscle cells evolved and I would end up with giant contractile muscles. However, if I changed the environmental situation, the fate of the cells would be altered. I would start off with my same muscle precursors but in an altered environment they would actually start to form bone cells. If I further altered the conditions, those cells became adipose or fat cells. The results of these experiments were very exciting because while every one of the cells was genetically identical, the fate of the cells was controlled by the environment in which I placed them.
While I was doing these experiments I also started teaching students at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine the conventional understanding that genes controlled the fate of cells. Yet in my experiments it was clearly revealed that the fate of cells was more or less controlled by the environment. My colleagues, of course, were upset with my work. Everyone was then on the bandwagon for the human genome project and in support of the “genes-control-life” story. When my work revealed how the environment would alter the cells, they talked about it as an exception to the rule.

You Are a Community of 50 Trillion Living CellsNow I have a completely new understanding of life and that has led to a new way to teach people about cells. When you look at yourself you see an individual person. But if you understand the nature of who you are, you realize that you are actually a community of about 50 trillion living cells. Each cell is a living individual, a sentient being that has its own life and functions but interacts with other cells in the nature of a community. If I could reduce you to the size of a cell and drop you inside your own body, you would see a very busy metropolis of trillions of individuals living within one skin. This becomes relevant when we understand that health is when there is harmony in the community and dis-ease is when there is a disharmony that tends to fracture the community relationships. So, number one, we are a community.
Fact number two: There is not one function in the human body that is not already present in every single cell. For example, you have various systems: digestive, respiratory, excretory, musculoskeletal, endocrine, reproductive, a nervous system and an immune system but every one of those functions exists in every one of your cells. In fact we are made in the image of a cell. This is very helpful for biologists because we can do research on cells and then apply that information to understanding the nature of the human body.
I was teaching what is called the medical model, the perception that human biology represents a biological machine comprised of biochemicals and controlled by genes. Therefore when a patient comes in to see a doctor, the belief system is that the patient has something wrong with their biochemistry or genes, which can be adjusted and can lead them to health. At some point I realized that I had to leave the university because I found great conflict in teaching the students about what controls the cell and yet getting a completely different understanding from the cells in my cultures.

A New Understanding of ScienceWhen I was outside the university I had a chance to read into physics. Again I found information that did not conform to the science I had been teaching. In the world of new physics, quantum physics, the mechanisms that are described completely collide with the mechanisms we were teaching, which were based on the old Newtonian physics. The new physics currently is still not introduced in medical schools. Before conventional science, science was the province of the church. It was called natural theology and was infused with the spiritual domain, teaching that God’s hand was directly involved in the unfoldment and maintenance of the world, that God’s image was expressed through the nature we live in. Natural theology had a mission statement: to understand the nature of the environment so we could learn to live in harmony with it. Basically this meant learning how to live in harmony with God, considering that nature and God were so well connected.
However, through the abuses of the church, their insistence on absolute knowledge and their efforts of suppressing new knowledge, there was what is called the Reformation. The Reformation, precipitated by Martin Luther, was a challenge to the church’s authority. After the Reformation, when there was an opportunity to question beliefs about the universe, science became what was called modern science. Isaac Newton, the physicist whose primary studies were on the nature of gravity and the movement of the planets, provided the foundation for modern science. He invented a new mathematics called differential calculus in order to create an equation to predict the movements of the solar system. Science identified truths as things that were predictable. Newtonian physics perceives the universe as a machine made out of matter; it says that if you can understand the nature of the matter that comprises the machine, then you will understand nature itself. Therefore the mission of science was to control and dominate nature, which was completely different than the former mission of science under natural theology, which was to live in harmony with nature.
The issue of control in regard to biology becomes a very important point. What is it that controls the traits that we express? According to Newtonian physics life forms represent machines made out of matter and if you want to understand those machines you take them apart, a process called reductionism. You study the individual pieces and see how they work and when you put all the pieces together again, you have an understanding of the whole. Charles Darwin said that the traits an individual expresses are connected to the parents. The sperm and egg that come together and result in the formation of a new individual must be carrying something that controls the traits in the offspring. Studies of dividing cells began in the early 1900s and they saw string-like structures that were present in cells that were beginning to divide. These string-like structures were called chromosomes.
Interestingly enough, while chromosomes were identified around 1900, it was only in 1944 that we actually identified which of their components carried the genetic traits. The world got very excited. They said, oh, my goodness, after all these years we finally have gotten down to identifying the genetically controlling material; it appears to be the DNA. In 1953 the work of James Watson and Francis Crick revealed that each strand of DNA contained a sequence of genes. The genes are the blueprints for each of the over 100,000 different kinds of proteins that are the building blocks for making a human body. A headline announcing Watson and Crick’s discovery appeared in a New York paper: “Secret of Life Discovered” and from that point on biology has been wrapped up in the genes. Scientists saw that by understanding the genetic code we could change the characters of organisms and therefore there was a big, headlong rush into the human genome project to try to understand the nature of the genes.
At first they thought these genes only controlled the physical form, but the more they started to manipulate genes, they saw that there were also influences on behavior and emotion. Suddenly, the genes took on more profound meaning because all the characters and traits of a human were apparently controlled by these genes.

Are We Victims of Heredity?Yet there was one last question: what is it that controls the DNA? That would be going up the last rung of the ladder to find out what is ultimately in control. They did an experiment and it revealed that DNA was responsible for copying itself! DNA controls the protein and the protein represents our bodies. Basically it says that life is controlled by DNA. That is the Central Dogma. It supports a concept called “the primacy of DNA” that says who and what we are and the fate of the lives we lead are already preprogrammed in the DNA that we received at conception. What is the consequence of this? That the character and fate of your life reflects the heredity you were born into; you are actually a victim of heredity.
For example, scientists looked at a group of people, scored them on the basis of happiness and tried to find out whether there was a gene that was associated with happy people that was not active in unhappy people. Sure enough, they found a particular gene that seems to be more active in happy people. Then they immediately put out a big media blip on “gene for happiness discovered.” You could say, “Well, wait a minute. If I got a sucky happy gene, then my whole life is going to be predetermined. I’m a victim of my heredity.” This is exactly what we teach in school and this is what I had also been teaching-that people are powerless over their own lives because they can’t change their genes. But when people recognize the nature of being powerless, they also start to become irresponsible. “Well, look, Boss, you’re calling me lazy but I just want you to know my father was lazy. What can you expect from me? I mean, my genes made me lazy. I can’t do anything about it.” Recently in Newsweek they wrote about how fat cells are waging war on our health. It’s interesting because in an epidemic of obesity science stands back and says: it’s your fat cells that are waging war in your life.

The Human Genome ProjectTo come and save us, the human genome project entered our world. The idea of the project was to identify all the genes that make up a human. It would offer the future opportunity of genetic engineering to correct the ills and problems that face humans in this world. I thought the project was a humanitarian effort but it was interesting later to find out from Paul Silverman, one of the principal architects of the human genome project, what it was actually about. It was simply this: It was estimated that there were going to be over 100,000 genes in the human genome because there are over 100,000 different proteins in our bodies; plus there were also genes that didn’t make proteins but controlled the other genes. The project was actually designed by venture capitalists; they figured that since there were over 100,000 genes, by identifying these genes and then patenting the gene sequences, they could sell the gene patents to the drug industry and the drug industry would use the genes in creating health products. In fact, the program was not actually for advancing the human state as much as it was for making a lot of money.
Here is the fun part. Scientists knew that as you go up the evolutionary scale, simple organisms have less DNA and when you get to the level of humans, with the complexity of our physiology and our behavior, we have a lot more DNA. They thought that primitive organisms would have maybe a few thousand genes but humans were going to have approximately 150,000 genes, which meant 150,000 new drugs. The project began in 1987 and just showed again that when humans really put their heads together they can create miracles. In only about fourteen years we actually had the results of the human genome. It also was what I call a cosmic joke.
To begin the human genome project they first studied a primitive organism, a miniature worm that is barely visible with your eye. These worms had been an experimental animal for geneticists because they reproduce very quickly and in very large numbers and thereby express traits that you can study. They found that this small animal had a genome of about 24,000 genes. Then they decided to do one more genetic model before doing the human and that was with the fruit fly because of the large amount of information already available on the genetics and behavior of fruit flies. The fruit fly genome turned out to have only about 18,000 genes. The primitive worm had 24,000 genes and this flying machine had only 18,000 genes! They didn’t understand what that meant but put it on the back burner and started the work on the human genome project.
The results came in 2001 and were a major shock: in the human genome there are only about 25,000 genes; they expected nearly 150,000 genes and there were only about 25,000! It was such a shock that people actually didn’t talk about it. While there was a lot of hoopla about completing the human genome project, no one talked about the 100,000 missing genes. There was complete lack of discussion in the scientific journals about it. When they realized there were not enough genes to account for human complexity, it shook the foundation of biology
Why is it so important? If a science is based on the way life really works, that science would be good for use in medical practice. But if you base your science on wrong information, then that science could be detrimental to medical practice. It is now a recognized fact that conventional allopathic medicine, the primary medicine we use in Western civilization, is a leading cause of death in the United States. It is also responsible for one out of five deaths in Australia. In the Journal of the American Medical Association Dr. Barbara Starfield wrote an article revealing that from conservative estimates, the practice of medicine is the third leading cause of death in the United States. However, there is a more recent study by Gary Null (see Death by Medicine at: He found that rather than being the third leading cause of death, it is the first leading cause with over three-quarters of a million people dying from medical treatment each year. If medicine actually knew what it was doing, it wouldn’t be that lethal.
I left the university in 1980, seven years before the human genome project was started because I already was aware that genes didn’t control life. I was aware that the environment was influential but my colleagues looked at me as not just being a radical but a heretic because I was conflicting with the dogma; therefore this became a religious argument. At some point the religiosity of where I was led me to resign my position. That’s when I started to advance into understanding about brain function and neuroscience. What I was really trying to find out is if it’s not the DNA that controls cells, then where is the “brain” of the cell?

The Computer WithinThe new biology revealed that the brain of the cell is its skin, the mem-brane, the interface of the interior of the cell and the ever-changing world we live in. It is the functional element that controls life. This is important because understanding its function reveals that we are not victims of our genes. Through the action of the cell membrane we can actually control our genes, our biology and our life and we have been doing it all along although we have been laboring under the belief that we are victims.
I started to realize that the cell was a chip and that the nucleus was a hard disk with programs. The genes were programs. As I was typing this on my computer one day I realized that my computer was like a cell. It had programs built into it but what was expressed by the computer was not determined by the programs. It was determined by the information that I, as the environment, was typing onto the keyboard. Suddenly all the pieces fell into place: the cell membrane is actually an information-processing computer chip. The cell’s genes are the hard drive with all the potentials. That is why every cell in your body can form any kind of cell because every nucleus has all the genes that make up a human. But why should one cell be skin and another cell be bone or eye?
The answer is not because of the gene programs but because of the feedback of information from the environment. All of a sudden the bigger thing hit me: what makes us different from each other is the presence of a set of unique identifying protein keys (receptors) comprising the keyboard on the surface of our cells. The identity keys on the cell membrane respond to environmental information. The biggest “Aha!” was this: that our identity is actually an environmental signal that is playing through the keyboard on the surface of our cells and engaging our genetic programs; you are not inside your cell, you are playing through your cell using the keyboard as an interface. You are an identity derived from the environment.
In my younger days, I didn’t see that religion was offering me truth. I went away from spirit and ended up in science. Realizing that my identity was something from the environment playing through my cells was the greatest shock to my world because I was completely thrown from a non-spiritual reality into the requirement of a spiritual existence. My cells were like little television sets with antennas and I was the broadcast that controlled the readout of the genes. I was actually programming my cells.
I realized that if the cell died, it did not necessarily mean the loss of the broadcast-that the broadcast is out there whether the cell is here or not. All of a sudden it hit me with such profound awe. What I realized was that survival was not that important because of my eternal character was derived from some broadcast in the field. The fear of mortality disappeared. That was about twenty-five years ago and it was one of the most wonderful, liberating experiences I ever had.

Perception: The Power of the New BiologyWe perceive the environment and adjust our biology, but not all of our perceptions are accurate. If we are laboring under misperceptions, then those misperceptions provide for a mis-adjustment of our biology. When our perceptions are inaccurate we can actually destroy our biology. When we understand that genes are just respondents to the environment from the perceptions handled by the cell membrane, then we can realize that if life isn’t going well, what we have to do is not change our genes but change our perceptions. That is much easier to do than physically altering the body. In fact, this is the power of the new biology: we can control our lives by controlling our perceptions.
We are holding “truths” about science that are actually untruth, they are actually “assumptions,” and false assumptions at that. Until we correct them, we are misunderstanding our relationship to the planet, to nature and the environment. As a result we are destroying that which has provided us life, the environment.
False assumption number one is that the universe is made of matter and its understanding can be attained by studying matter Our perception of a material-only biology and environment is no longer scientifically accurate. Another assumption is that genes control life. It is actually our perceptions that control life and by changing our perceptions we can get control over our lives. I will discuss more about this later. Assumption number three is a very dangerous assumption: that we arrived at this point in our evolution using the mechanisms of Darwinian theory, which may be summed up as “the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence.” It turns out in the new biology that evolution is based on cooperation. Until we understand that, we keep competing with each other, struggling and destroying the planet without recognizing that our survival is in cooperation and that our continued competition is the death knell of human civilization.

The Future of MedicineEverything in the universe is now understood to be made out of energy; to our perception it appears physical and solid, yet in reality it is all energy and energies interact. When you interact in your environment you are both absorbing and sending energy at the same time. You are probably more familiar with terms such as “good vibes” and “bad vibes.” Those are the waves at which we are all vibrating. We are all energy. The energy in your body is reflecting the energy around you because the atoms in your body are not only giving off energy, they are absorbing energy. Every living organism communicates with these vibrations. Animals communicate with plants; they communicate with other animals. Shamans talk to plants with vibrations. If you are sensitive to the differences between “good” and “bad” vibrations, you would always be leading yourself to places that would encourage your survival, your growth, your love, et cetera, and staying away from situations and places that would take advantage of you or cancel who you are.
When we are not paying attention to our vibrational energies, we are missing the most important readouts from our environment. Understanding of the new physics says that all energies are entangled and interact with each other. Therefore, you must pay attention to these invisible forces that are involved with what’s going on in your life. While medicine does not train its doctors to recognize that energy is part of the system, they very easily adapted to using the new scan systems to determine what is going on inside the body. It is humorous that they read their scans as “maps,” but do not have the fundamental understanding that their maps are direct readouts of the energy present in the body.
For example, in a mammogram revealing a cancer, one is you are visualizing a characteristic emission of energy distinctive of a cancer. Rather than cutting out the cancer, what if you applied an energy that, through interference patterns, would change the energy of those cancer cells and bring them back to a normal energy? Presumably you would get a healing effect. This would make sense out of thousands of years of what is called “hands-on healing.” The recipient is getting an energy that is interacting with their body through interference and through that interference, changing the character of the energy reflected in the physical matter because the matter is the energy. This is the future of medicine although we are not there with it right now.
Quantum physicists reveal that underneath apparent physical structure there is nothing more than energy, that we are energy beings. That means that we interact with everything in the field. This has an important impact on health care. Quantum physics reveals that energies are always entangled with each other. In an energy universe, waves are always flowing through and interacting with all other waves. We can never separate someone fully from the environment they live in. Quantum physics says the invisible energy is one hundred times more efficient in conveying information than are material signals (e.g., drugs). What we are beginning to recognize is that there is an invisible world that we have not dealt with in regard to understanding the nature of our health.
In other words, rather than focusing on matter, in a quantum world we focus on energy. In the mechanical world we said we can understand everything by reductionism. But in the newer quantum understanding of the universe we have to understand holism: you cannot separate one energy vibration from another energy vibration. We have to recognize that in the world we live in we are entangled in an unfathomable number of energy vibrations and we are connected to all of them!
Here is my definition of the environment: it is everything from the core of your being to the edge of the universe. It includes everything in close proximity to you as well as the planets and the sun and what is going on in the entire solar system. We are part of this entire field. To summarize the significance of this let me give you a quote from Albert Einstein: “The field is the sole governing agency of the particle.” What he says is this: the field, the invisible energy, is the sole governing agency of the physical reality
© 2007 by Bruce Lipton. This article is Part One of a three-part presentation derived from The Wisdom of Your Cells, How Your Beliefs Control Your Biology, published by Sounds True as an Audio Listening Course on eight CDs, Watch for Part Two and Three of Dr. Lipton’s presentation in the Summer and Autumn 2007 issues of Light of Consciousness.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Even before my breast cancer diagnosis, I was beginning to move away from cosmetic products containing toxic chemicals. This was not easy in South Africa at the time as there were not a lot to choose from. I tried almost all the natural products on the market but was only impressed by a few.

3 years later, I have pieced together good products from various product ranges. Some of these products are still not on a par with the toxic version but at least they are not toxic! Some products, I import from the UK. I have still not found a foundation like Dior's Totale Capture but for everyday use, the natural version is fine.

I was sent this link from 'The Story Of Stuff' lady, Annie Leonard. It shows, very simply (so even my daughters can understand it) how and why toxic ingredients are in toxic cosmetics (it even states my point about Estee Lauder!): 

I my 20's I worked part time at an Estee Lauder counter in a busy glam retail store. I would get to work early and smear products from all the cosmetic houses all over my body. It was wonderful at the time as all the products smelled so nice and 'did so many amazing things' - like possibly cause cancer.

Estee Lauder is one of the biggest sponsors of breast cancer prevention worldwide. When I went to the local breast cancer meetings, there were always Estee Lauder free gifts for everyone or a hamper to be won. The support group didn't care - they were receiving sponsorship and great gifts.

Us humans are strange creatures!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Do you know how to get kid boobs, Lily?:

1. Make some glue from flour and water
2. Stick some string on green coconuts with this glue
3. Tie coconuts on your chest
4. Paint boob colour
5. They will even have coconut blood in them!

Do you know how to get real boobs Grace?:

1. I am going to go to the doctor
2. He will cut off my small kid boobs and give me big boobs with real blood!
3. Mine will get huger than yours!

Mine will be infinity boobs. Those are the best!

My daughters, Grace and Lily, aged 4 1/2 & 2 1/2, having a breast discussion while all bathing together.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I have just received my results for food allergy blood tests done a week ago. I did these tests to see if I was allergic to any foods as a food allergy could weaken my immune system and play a part in a predisposition to the breast cancer returning, along with other illness.

Company I used:

PG Dip in Human Nutrition
Wellness Division
Molecular Diagnostic Services (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 31 267 7000
Fax: + 27 31 267 7005
Contact person: Tammy Parsons
R2000 for full food panel

My results show:

Most allergic to:
Poppy seeds

Moderately allergic to:
Cashew nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Eggs from chicken

Mildly allergic to:
Pistachio nuts
Sunflower seeds

Nutritionist advise only tiny amounts of:

Great, so now I know - no more of these nuts and seeds! I have not been enjoying nuts for some time now as they cause much wind and bloating so that's easy. Dr Gerson, from the famous natural cancer healing centre in USA, noted that people prone to cancer can't tolerate fat of any kind except flax seeds/oil - I am glad I can still have flax as it is very beneficial to keeping my estrogen levels low (I eat about 2 tablespoons of seeds per day).

When eating a largely raw vegan diet, it is very easy to eat too much fat (nuts, seeds, and their oils), even though the fats are all healthy. Fats should form about 10-20% of daily diet intake. This is not a lot - about 1/2 avocado per day. If I are going to eat other fat sources, it must come out of this portion!

I am also making an effort to increase my protein intake as my blood albumin levels are low - I am eating green leaves, green protein powders, and raw sprouted brown rice protein powder (

The other result the test noted is the need for more food rotation. I will focus on this from now on. I can eat the same foods for 5 days and then I must eat different foods for the next 5 days and so on. Good advice for us all.

Time to focus on fresh veggies and edible leaves more!

Bottom line for everyone is: know the status of your body now. There are so many tests you can have done these days before you get sick - don't wait - prevention is still better than cure!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


So I have been quite open on this blog about my history. Now that I have disclosed my history, I am only left with my way forward.

I have a list of things that I would still like to do as part of my way forward plan - consulting with a sex therapist was one. I wanted to go for myself, for my marriage and for anyone who consults with me once I open practice again in 2011.

In this blog, I am committed to showing what happens behind the scenes as I work myself towards healing. I want to show what is possible, what options we all have to heal with, and how I am doing it. I trust there is no judgement but rather an acceptance that we all are all the same, and that we will all have the potential to go through the same things in different ways in our lives.

I love Caroline Myss's 'Healing Wheel' idea:

I stand at the centre of all the options I have in this moment in history that can play a part in healing me.
All these options are equally weighted and I don't favour one over the other - I just listen to what I need at that time and respect it.
I can spin the wheel and choose what I need at what time (diet, surgery, chemo, questioning my beliefs work, etc).
I can also spin the wheel and imagine feeling the wind that is generated from all the options I have to heal me and that way feel more empowered.

Our sensual and sexual expression is a key component on all of our wheels but is so often over-looked.

Like I didn't want to leave any stone unturned last year when I did lots of self exploration (Am I a mother? Am I am a female? Do I want to live or die? If I want to live - how do I want to live?), it was now time to explore one more thing - my sexual expression.

I went to see Jonti Searle ( who did a guest lecture at the ante-natal classes I attended when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Grace, just over 5 years ago.

Out of respect for my husband, Glenn, this post is only about me. Glenn and I have a rock solid marriage, he has been 150% supportive since my breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, and fully accepting of my lack of nipples and reconstructed breasts, but I wanted to see if I am truly ok with myself.

I was very nervous Jonti would head straight into a Cosmo/GQ style list of sexual positions on my first visit but instead he just talked about the differences between being sensual and sexual, awareness, and the importance of being fully present.

Jonti and I talked about where I was at, as well as my goals. It felt very odd discussing things that are so private with someone else. The only person I ever discussed such things with was my boyfriends and best friend - but then we both got married, and never talked about it again as our husbands became our new confidants.

While it felt slightly uncomfortable, I also had a sense of relief that I could now talk to someone where I my privacy was guaranteed and that I was not betraying my husband in any way.

Jonti believes in starting with our sensual sides, instead of sexual sides. Homework after my first session is a very simple technique of lightly touching my hands - touching each hand very slowly and lightly with the other hand. Then I need to do the same on my face. Simple! You can do this with your partner but the main focus is to start with yourself. I need to do this for 5 mins every day. Easy!

As I sat across the room from Jonti with my eyes closed doing the above exercise, I got a huge lump in my chest and throat. The thoughts that came to mind were: this is so long since I have nurtured, given back to and been aware of myself in this way.

One of the documented mental symptoms of breast cancer is that these people cant say 'no' and tend to put everyone before them. I see this simple technique as one way I can start becoming aware of and nurturing myself again (along with meditation).

One of my mental symptoms just before I was diagnosed with early breast cancer was a feeling of 'helplessness' and of feeling 'trapped' - trapped on a wheel that I could not get off: When would I ever be able to leave the house and follow my passions again? When would our renovation end? When would all day and night mothering end? I felt hopeless and burnt out.

I felt a huge sense of relief as I sat there and took the first step forward. I felt like I was doing something for myself. I also felt like I was conquering something that made me feel uncomfortable but which is so vital to my being and that felt good.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I went finally went for genetic testing today - last year was just too filled with surgery, recovery, and house.

This is the company that did the test:

Molecular Diagnostic Services (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 31 267 7000
Fax: + 27 31 267 7005
Contact genetist: Natalie
Cost of a panel of 16 mutations: R3950
Finer prick blood test
A detailed lifestyle report and recommendations is given with test results.

I did this test not to show whether or not I have the BRAC1 or 2 gene as I have no family history of breast cancer or even cancer, nor am I of Ashkenazi Jewish or Afrikaaner family lineage, but rather to show what potential certain of my genes have to 'activate/mutate' which could lead to disease if exposed to certain lifestyle and environmental factors.

I want to see what lifestyle and environmental factors to include and exclude to reduce my breast cancer risk.

The genetic test looks at a person's DNA (the information in our cells that makes us who we are) and a person's lifestyle (this one can change and is influenced by diet, stress etc) and helps to predict our risk for future chronic disease - 16 mutations in your DNA are analyzed. These mutations (or DNA changes) are associated with chronic disease, things like Alzheimer's, Type II diabetes, cardio vascular disease, obesity, cancer etc.

Everybody's DNA is different and the way each person's body responds to nutrients will also be different. This test allows us more insight into how to eat correctly and make correct lifestyle choices for us on a very personal and individual level. Some people are able to eat unhealthy foods and still have no weight problems, while some people just look at a cheese cake and put on weight - this is all down to mutations in our DNA that allow our bodies to respond differently. This test helps us to look at these mutations and gain answers to these questions.

The exciting thing about these mutations is that they are lifestyle and environment driven meaning we can "switch off" the bad mutations just by doing simple things like taking an Omega 3 supplement or other suggested supplements, eating green leafy vegetables, increased levels of exercise etc. The test is therefore very beneficial and can be life changing to an individual provided the recommendations in the report are adhered to. It is a very empowering test and quite possibly where medicine will be in the future with regards personalized DNA diets.

I suggest that every person, including children, have this test done. We only need to do this test once in our lives as our genes stay the same throughout our lives. A child could therefore do the test at birth and have a far better chance of avoiding the avoidable factors in their lives.

(As more mutation tests become available over time, you might want to have these done but the above panel covers the main mutations).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

20 Things You Need to Know About Bisphenol-A

After many years of insisting that Bisphenol-A (BPA) is safe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shifted its stance on the endocrine-disrupting chemical, citing that BPA exposure is of “slight concern.” A growing body of scientific evidence, however, has shown that BPA is very dangerous to human health, making it hard for the governmental agency to ignore much longer. Despite this compelling evidence, the FDA “has missed three self-imposed deadlines to re-evaluate its approval of the chemical, after originally promising in June 2009 to deliver a finding in "weeks not months." Read on to learn more about this risky chemical, where it’s found, and what you can to do limit your exposure to it.

1. Bisphenol-A [is a] a chemical that mimics the female sex hormone estrogen and is used to make consumer products ranging from plastic baby bottles to the linings of tin cans.

- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

2. You should be drinking a lot of water, but please beware of plastic water bottles. Plastics made from polycarbonate resin can leach Bisphenol-A (BPA), a potent hormone disruptor. BPA may impair the reproductive organs and have adverse effects on tumors, breast tissue development, and prostate development by reducing sperm count. BPA can leach into water bottles through normal wear and tear and exposure to heat and cleaning agents.

- C. W. Randolph, M.D., From Belly Fat to Belly FLAT: How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waistline and Subtracting Years from Your Life

3. Bisphenol-A is a toxin associated with birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems. BPA is commonplace — found in copious brands of fruit, vegetables, soda, and other frequently eaten canned goods. It migrates from the can or plastic into the contents, which are then ingested.

- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

4. Dental sealants can contain Bisphenol-A, a suspected endocrine disruptor, while traditional silver-colored fillings can contain as much as 50 percent mercury.

- Deirdre Imus, Growing Up Green: Baby and Child Care: Volume 2 in the Bestselling Green This! Series (Green This!)

5. There are two solvents commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products: phthalates, and Bisphenol-A. These ingredients are often hidden, remaining undisclosed on product labels.

- Samuel S. Epstein, Randall Fitzgerald, Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It

6. A 2007 review of 700 studies involving BPA, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, found that infants and fetuses were the most vulnerable to adverse effects from this toxic substance.

- Samuel S. Epstein, Randall Fitzgerald, Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It

7. Toxins are everywhere — from household cleaning products to plastics in our kitchen-ware, phthalates and Bisphenol-A in our plastic water bottles, and even in our tap water and air supply. We live in a sea of toxins, and a large body of growing evidence shows that these toxins are, in part, responsible for the epidemic of disease we see in the twenty-first century. Toxic exposures affect the health of all brains, young and old. We must also deal with all the by-products and toxic metabolic wastes created by our own bodies.

- Mark Hyman MD, The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First

8. BPA has been linked to the development of prostate and breast cancer in adults.

- Mark Schapiro, Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power

9. Bisphenol-A was invented in the 1930s during the search for synthetic estrogens.

- KC Craichy, Super Health 7 Golden Keys to Unlock Lifelong Vitality

10. The compound BPA is one of the most-produced chemicals in the world, and almost everyone has traces of it — or more — in their bodies. The statement, published online by the journal Reproductive Toxicology, was accompanied by a new study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health finding uterine damage in newborn animals exposed to BPA. The researchers indicated that such damage is a possible predictor of reproductive diseases in women, including fibroids, endometriosis, cystic ovaries and cancers.

- Andreas Moritz, Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation: Unleash The Natural Healing Power That Lies Dormant Within You

11. An estrogen-mimicking chemical, Bisphenol-A, causes early puberty in female rats and reduces fertility in rats. In males it appears to cause enlargement in the male rat prostate glands. We do not know if this chemical might be related to prostate cancer in humans.

- Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call

12. An expert panel found credible evidence that Bisphenol-A and the insecticide methoxyclor can cause reproductive damage at very low levels of exposure that are well below the so called "no effect" levels. In one report infertility had risen from 0.5 percent to 25 percent in one cross-section study of college males. In another report in April 2001, the infertility rate in Chinese university students was reported to be as high as 85 percent. Infertility, sexual dysfunction and impotence was stated to affect 20 to 30 percent of Chinese males in one study.

- Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call

13. At 20 ng/g dose of Bisphenol-A, the daily sperm production went down 20 percent. This work needs to be reproduced, but unless refuted it adds fuel to the need for precautionary measures. Try not to get any fillings, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Regular fillings contain mercury (a known hormone disruptor) and composite fillings contain Bisphenol-A (another hormone disruptor). If you have to have a filling, ask for a temporary made out of other materials.

- D. Lindsey Berkson, Hormone Deception

14. Over the past two decades, BPA has meanwhile become an integral chemical in the packaging of millions of food products and other plastic goods; more than six billion pounds of BPA are used each year in resins lining metal cans, food packaging, hot beverage cups, and in blends with other types of plastic products. Lab research shows that the bond that secures BPA molecules to food and beverage packages changes over time, resulting in the release of free BPA into the food we eat and the beverages we consume, as well as into the environment.

- Donna Jackson Nakazawa, The Autoimmune Epidemic

15. PCBs, like plastic additives such as Bisphenol-A and common pesticides, are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been shown in numerous lab studies to stimulate increased production of autoantibodies — antibodies against self — which are the hallmark of autoimmunity in action. Indeed, as we have seen in the previous chapter, the science demonstrating the way in which estrogen disruptors such as PCBs promote autoimmune disease is emerging with profoundly disturbing conclusions.

- Donna Jackson Nakazawa, The Autoimmune Epidemic

16. The plastic industry will tell you that small amounts of BPA are nothing to worry about. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, however, suggests that when mice are exposed to low levels of BPA for several days, they develop insulin resistance. What is so alarming about this discovery is that the levels of BPA used in the experiment would be considered safe for humans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

- Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy

17. Don't microwave your food or drinks in plastic containers; avoid using plastic wrap to cover food in the microwave.

- C. W. Randolph, M.D., From Belly Fat to Belly FLAT: How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waistline and Subtracting Years from Your Life

18. The estrogenic properties of Bisphenol-A (BPA) was known as early as 1936, yet children now have their teeth coated with plastic containing BPA. The ADA denies any problem and goes on coating teeth. Food and drink cans are lined with it. Some plastic baby bottles contain it and other plasticizers.

- Michael Friedman, ND, Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology

19. In addition to testing positive for high levels of Bisphenol-A, a chemical that mimics the female sex hormone estrogen and is used to make consumer products ranging from plastic baby bottles to the linings of tin cans, the politicians were also tested for polychlorinated biphenyls, chemicals 185 used in electrical transformers that were banned decades ago. Despite no longer being in use, PCBs are so persistent that all the politicians tested positive for them.

- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

20. Polycarbonate can release its primary building block, Bisphenol-A, another suspected hormone disruptor, into liquids and foods. In 1998, the Japanese government ordered manufacturers there to recall and destroy polycarbonate tableware meant for use by children because it contained excessive amounts of Bisphenol-A."

- KC Craichy, Super Health 7 Golden Keys to Unlock Lifelong Vitality

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Metabolic Liver Test

I am doing a voluntary repeat of the metabolic liver test I did over 6 months ago. The test shows how the liver is breaking down & excreting toxins. The data is then analyzed & a supplement formula, which facilitates detoxification in the liver, is then prescribed. Test is done over 24hrs: caffeine tab@8am (hell!), 2xsaliva tests in day, 2xaspirin+2xpanado's at 9pm, & urine collected thru night. Blood tests done the following morning.

Test results show how well the liver is excreting carcinogenic oxidants, as well as hormones that have done their job and that should be excreted instead of being recirculated just because the liver is unable to excrete them.

Ensuring my liver is working optimally is one of the things I decided to do to avoid taking Tamoxifen.

Everyone should do this test!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Wow! Seems like forever since I have done an entry. Last year was so intense and busy with surgeries, me exploring many different treatment options and self exploration. I am glad it is behind me and I feel like I am opening a new chapter this year.

On my list of thing to do for this year:

1. Genetic snip testing: This is not to determine whether or not I have the BRCA 1 or 2 gene (there is only a slim chance of having it as no one in my family has had breast cancer or even cancer) but rather to see how the environment affects my genetic make up. I will use this info to put together a going-forward program to ensure my best chance of a disease-free life. I believe everyone should have this done, and as parents, we should do this for our kids so we know how to best give them the chance of a disease-free life. (Cost around R3000 on this date for a panel of about 25 snips).

2. Food allergy testing:
This will determine what foods weaken my immune system so I can avoid them. Allergies can be inherited or can develop for many other reasons some of which include just over-eating a certain food. I will use a German lab for these tests.

3. Diet:
I am focused on eating lots of raw food and greens. Our garden is wildly producing organic everything - more than we can get through. I am dehydrating some of it and trying to get through the rest. I am buying raw recipe ebooks and experimenting - my family is being very tolerant! I am still busy working towards my goal of teaching a raw food class but finding time in the mix of kids and completing a renovation is proving trying.

My husband and I recently went to London and Berlin - he went for a digital music festival, me a raw and health food adventure! I gave up gluten over night in 2.2009 and have felt much better. I wanted to see whether it was possible to eat no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no soya while traveling. I found the most amazing food at most places - sometimes we would to walk an extra 5 kms (:)) in the snow to get to a a place that sold healthy food but it was possible! The highlight of my trip was eating 2 raw gourment restaurants, in particular SAF in London. My wonderful husband surprised me with a meal there and invited his friends (who would have normally eaten at a grill house). They all enjoyed their meal very much and said they would do it again. I will load some pics of our trip to this entry over the next few days when I have more time.

In Berlin, I found an appartment online next door to raw food chef called Boris. This was just amazing! Every morning I would get something raw and very delicious. We also had a 3 course lunch in his apartment which was exceptional! pics to follow. (

4. Candida:
In February last year, my iridologist said I had candida and that he could see it in my right breast (the one that was affected by the breast cancer). He said I needed to go on the candida diet for one year - this diet allows no sugars, not even a homeopathic granule! I have struggle to do this for one year now - I love fruit and we have the most amazing fruit in South Africa and there is always fruit in our house and I always have to taste test something I have made for my kids etc! Lots of excuses, I know. I will be working on a candida-free life goal with my NLP teacher next week.

5. Supplements:
I am always trying to refine the supplement regime that someone pre, during, and post-breast cancer has to take. I am always striving for the most natural source of supplements (ie. a plant source), for supplements that don't increase the body's acidity as cancer thrives in an acidic, anaerobic environment, and for the least amount of tablets per day (I was taking 40 tabs twice a day at once point last year).

6. Liver test:
Last year, I did a very new test to see how much liver was functioning. It is not a blood test but rather a 24 hour urine and saliva test. The test looks at how your liver's 2 detox pathways are breaking down and eliminating toxins and metabolic by&end-products. This test interested me because if estrogen is not eliminated effectively from the body, it recirculates and can stimulate estrogen sensitive tissue again. My breast cancer was estrogen stimulated and I chose not to take Tamoxifen so eliminating excess estrogen is something I need to focus on (like every woman should).

The test results showed I had an over active first pathway and an under active second pathway so there was a build up of very toxin substances in my liver. A computer then determined what amounts of which supplements my liver needed to start working properly again. Within 3 days after starting the supplement powder, the pimples on my face disappeared and my skin got a wonderful glow so I knew it was working. I will go back this month to retake the test (been 4 months since I did test) as I want to see how my liver report has changed.

7. More self exploration!:
This year I want to set goals about living my best life possible. I have never been very good with setting goals and sticking to them so I am very open to learning how to do this. I will work my NLP teacher on this.

After struggling with mother issues (Am I a good mother? issues), I am embracing my motherhood more and more each day, with some days still one step forward and 2 back. I was read a lovely story called 'ish'. I am now practicing being a 'good-ish' mother and it gives my perfectionistic nature a day off.

8. Energy:
I still see an energy healer every 2 weeks and still derive benefit from her.

I wish everyone who read this their best year ever (love that cliche!).

Please seriously think about doing the following:
  • a breast ultrasound
  • blood hormone level tests by an anti-aging doctor
  • eating more live, raw organic food in your day
  • genetic snip testing
  • food allergy testing
  • detoxing your life to reduce the toxic your body has to deal with- household, cosmetic, food, etc products. Every bit helps!
  • thinking happy, loving, kind, grateful thoughts.
I will leave you with a last thought that has got me recently:
What is the most generous thing you can do for yourself and for someone else today?