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Chapter 14, L’s Answers

March 13, 2009

Dear__________,

I was so happy to hear from you today.  I have been thinking about you and wondering how your diet and lifestyle changes were going.  I think you are right that you have “majored on the majors”.  That is really huge and I think you shouldn’t worry too much about the cooked vs. raw vegetable ratio.  I think the critical thing is eating the “right” vegetables.  I am so intrigued by your description of the bean mixture you take.  It sounds like a wonderful idea; you get all the benefits of the beans without the gas.  I think there is much to be learned from traditional cultures and Western medicine is so blind to it.

As I remember it, D. stuck to the very rigid diet for about three years.  At that point, his doctor told him there was no evidence of cancer and we began to relax a little.  He gradually added wine, coffee, chocolate (on very rare occasions), baked potato chips and baked corn chips, and fish.  For those three years, he had just been a very strict vegetarian.  His diet now is as follows:  breakfast–fruit, almonds, green tea; lunch–raw vegetables (carrots, celery, red or green peppers), broiled or steamed fish, baked corn chips (because he adores them); dinner–usually a salad, some steamed vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus are the main ones), some kind of soup or pasta or potatoes, often baked potato chips (because he adores them).  He has cut out beans because they now cause him too much gas and only rarely eats tofu.  He takes a multi vitamin, kelp, niacin, co-enzyme Q-10, vitamin D, and digestive enzymes.  He often has a glass or two of wine for dinner.  On the week-ends, our big splurge is scrambled egg whites with cheddar cheese and vegetables; otherwise, there is very little dairy in our diets…except when we are in California with our kids who eat a lot of pasta and cheese and we indulge in it too.  He drinks coffee at lunch–too much, I think.

My diet is pretty similar to his but I eat oatmeal, raisins, almonds, and pumpkin seeds in the morning, about an hour after eating fruit.  I have a similar lunch to his–but often have a small piece of chicken rather than fish.  My dinner is like his but I eat beans and tofu.

In the first few years after his cancer, D. had several serious colds each year and each one turned into a frightening bronchitis or pneumonia.  However, that rarely happens now.  I think he has lots of energy and rarely gets a cold.  He gets almost no exercise, except when we are in California.  He works too much and says he can’t find time during the day (or night) to exercise.  This really worries me.

We are all okay here.  My health struggle is trying to control osteoporosis without the use of drugs.  I try to eat an alkaline diet (heavy on the fruits and vegetables), exercise daily, take lots of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D, also strontium citrate (used in Europe for osteo) and a vitamin K derivative (used in Japan for osteo) and have constant fights with my doctor over not taking the main  drugs…oh, well…

The recession has affected our savings, but so far, D. still has a job, so we are feeling very fortunate.  We feel very nervous about the future, and we do worry that his company may not survive this crisis.  I think D. is very stressed about his work and I worry that this is very bad for his health, but there is little I can do but be supportive and try to make his life as easy as possible.

D. used to go to Japan about four times a year, but this past year, he only went once.  I have not been for several years.  His meetings are usually in Tokyo, though occasionally they have been in Tokushima (on the island of Shikoku).

Keep in touch.

Sending you lots of love,

L

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