Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Rebuilding of Rob

We have decided to publish this blog to describe the journey we have both travelled since Rob’s diagnosis of Advanced Prostate Cancer in June 2010. It is not meant as a prescription for a treatment plan for others, but perhaps will give someone a direction to start their own journey. There is always hope.
Rob on Mt Manaia March 2016

The diagnosis

What goes through your mind when the doctors use words like ‘you’ve drawn the short straw’ or ‘you are not long for this world’ or ‘you know it will kill you’? Seriously? Rob has heard all of these words. At the beginning it sent us both into a tailspin. As time wore on, with every small win, we took another step forward. After such a hard road traveled against the odds, the diagnosis in August 2015 that it had metastasized through his entire lymph system, was blocking his digestion and surrounding his lungs and threatening to close off his aorta came as a shock. Everyone thought they knew – Rob was dying. Only one dear friend pulled me out of my melancholy when she took me kayaking around the bay as Rob lay on his deathbed. She said ‘ I am just waiting to see what Rob does next’. And she alone was right.

 Aug 2015 - Rob in hospital, sense of humor intact, posing for Mr Puniverse. Lymph nodes in his neck clearly visible. Rob lost another 7 kilos after this.
Feb 2016  - after the rebuild.

Today I saw a facebook post from the Marshal Islands, one of my favorite places. The words in the mural are translated -
The words on the wall
Likit peim ioon menono ne am, kwoj ke enjake? Etan mene ej wun kwoj mour rainin kon wun ko, kon men in jab epwer.

Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason, so don’t ever give up.

Rob went through a lot of trial and error since his original diagnosis in 2010. He has been told he was at the end of the road 3 times now. Each time he recovered, we thought we had found the regime that would keep him healthy. Unfortunately the cancer returned more aggressive each time. This week was a milestone - we received a copy of the report from his oncologist essentially discharging him with a ‘commendation’. 

The question on everyone’s mind is ‘what did he do?’ So here we will set out the stages and steps. I have referenced notes to add depth and clarity when necessary.

The first rebound

At the initial diagnosis (2010), the cancer had already spread to his lymph system, and was a Gleason 10 with a PSA of 31 (footnote 3).  We researched the internet to learn about the disease, and any natural remedies there might be. We mainly found out about diet, the importance of lymph system (footnote 1) and baking soda. We took the doctors’ advice and Rob had extensive radiation therapy on his pelvis and prostate for 6 weeks, and was put on a testosterone blocking drug which he took by injection every 3 months. At the same time, based on the research, he cut out sugar, preservatives, meat, dairy products and toxins (footnote 2). I began a regime of lymph brushing for him, along with a reiki treatment every morning. He was on a whole host of supplements which may or may not have been helpful. We discounted the baking soda – too bad because this turns out to be really important.

The diagnosis was made in New Zealand when Rob was visiting family. I was in Canada, also visiting family and Blue Moon (our home) was moored in El Salvador. I joined Rob in NZ and we spent 6 months there for his treatment. When he was well enough to travel, we returned to Blue Moon, and sailed from El Salvador to Mexico before doing the ‘puddle jump’ back to NZ. We arrived back a year after treatment had finished. Rob was feeling good and his PSA had remained less than 0.05 which meant the blocking drug was working. We felt our ‘natural’ regime had helped him to make such a good recovery.

Back in NZ, Rob began building our house. We had come up with a plan to create a health retreat for ourselves and others. We already had the land, a small block in an area which has its own special energy and beauty. WHY Retreat was born.

Time Line




Diagnosis advanced prostate cancer
Radiation treatment started,
Zoladex – antiandrogen medication
Radiation treatment finished
Blue Moon back in NZ
start building house
Bicaludimide – antiandrogen medication added
Various antiandrogen medications tried
stop  all drugs
Red Blood Cell crash
began detox, baking soda
finish building house
hospitilized with pain
Homeopathy treatment began
weight loss, digestion fail
hospitilized with pain
Orchiectomy, intravenous vitamin c, salvesterol
Began immunity fuel
Climbed Mt Manaia

Hormone Refractory stage 

A year after we arrived back in NZ, Rob’s PSA had started to climb. (footnote 3). After subjecting Rob to some unsuccessful drug experimentation, the doctors proclaimed he was yet again at the end of the road. Rob decided to scrap the medical advice and go it alone.

Briefly, the main areas that Rob worked on then were:

1. Detox (remove heavy metals, petrochemicals, pesticides etc that have accumulated and avoid adding new toxins –drugs included) Remove root canal and mercury fillings. Liver and gallbladder flush and colonic irrigation (be careful - your body must be strong enough to withstand these aggressive detox therapies). Organ support is also essential in this phase - homeopathy works well.
2. Diet – eat clean and maximise nutrient value (footnote 2)
3. Gut health – 2 areas here – most of the body’s immune system cells are generated in the gut; and toxins can result if food is not being digested properly as it putrefies.
4. Alkalize – Cancer can’t live in an alkaline environment and all inflammation is acid. Baking soda and diet are the main treatments that brought his PH from 6 to 7.
5. Exercise – oxygen kills cancer.We have another hypothesis which has no basis in science. Men build muscle using testosterone. Rob has none of his own now (after the orchiectomy) any yet he has put on a significant amount of muscle mass. Prostate cancer feeds on testosterone, and has the ability to manufacture its own in the hormone refractory stage. So is Rob starving the cancer by exercising to build muscle mass?
6. Mind over matter – this should be number 1.  Whether you think you can beat it or you think you can’t beat it, you are right.
7. Supplements – there are a million cancer cure supplements on the market. Some work really well, some may work for one person and not for others. Nothing stood out in this period.
8. Intravenous vitamin C. A trained practitioner needs to advise on this. The antioxidant properties have been proven to combat cancer. (see note 9)

We decided to stop having his PSA tested because it was becoming stressful to see it rise. He was feeling well and things seemed to be going well for about 6 months, then he began having pain in his side. One awful night we took him to hospital with it, but they were unable to diagnose anything. After the maximum dose of morphine didn’t touch it they sent him home. From here he found a homeopath who diagnosed internal shingles, and the treatment relieved the pain. However, 6 months later his weight was dropping, he had completely lost his appetite, and his PSA was an alarming 190. The doctors were still unable to diagnose anything, let alone provide a treatment plan. We plodded along with a ridiculous number of supplement bottles on the kitchen sink, smoothies, saunas, ozone treatments, you name it. He was holding his own, but only just.

Stress, the killer

The end of the road came again in August 2015, after a heavy dose of stress.  There are many studies to support the effect of stress on our health and I have a blog on my web page about it. Just when we thought we had set up a nice business for the future with our yoga studio and B&B, a complaint to the council threatened to shut us down. Not only would this have a disastrous effect on our financial situation, it would also mean that the work and love Rob had poured into the project for the past 3 years would have been for nothing. This took months to sort out. Rob was unable to sleep, spending his nights redesigning things and pouring through regulations and building codes looking for whatever fine print we might have missed during our planning stages. After hiring a consultant to help us liaise with council, it turned out there was no issue and we were left to carry on as we had been doing. But the process involved took its toll on Rob. He was hospitalized again when he stopped eating or drinking, was unable to breathe if he lay on his back, and had lumps in his neck the size of a fist. A CT scan confirmed his cancer had taken over, his Red Blood Cell count had crashed, and many other blood markers indicated he was in poor health. He was sent home and Hospice was called in.
Aug 2015 - Awaiting biopsy on nodes in neck. Blood supply to the tumors visible on his chest.
close up of the lumps Sept 2015
May 2016 

Phase 3.

Rob says he was lying in bed one day and thought to himself ‘I either have to die or get out of bed’. By then his weight had dropped from 70 to 52 kg. His butt was just a pelvic bone with a flap of skin hanging off it. He need both hands to lift a water jug. But he was determined. He used the staircase as his rehabilitation since he had to pee every couple of hours, and our toilet is downstairs. So up and down he went, counting the steps – up to 100 every night. He decided he needed a project and set about building himself a workshop. Mentally this was a huge incentive, because it meant that he expected to be able to use it in the future for Blue Moon’s projects. Before long he got back to his morning yoga, and then began taking walks. We would drive him to the flat road by the beach and he would walk down as far as he could (about 500 meters) then I would pick him up again. Easter weekend, just 6 months later, he achieved a milestone of climbing Mt Manaia behind our house (elevation 400 meters). The track includes 1400 steps in the steepest sections. He does 40 push ups and a full yoga practice in the morning. He is 69kg, the lumps in his neck are pea sized, his PSA has come down from 320 in August to 8.8 on 1 April and all his other blood results are normal.

Rob’s current regime

Rob still eats fresh and helathy but has incorporated small amounts of animal protein in his diet now. He gets intravenous vitamin C and is taking a supplement called Salvestrol (footnote 4) which is working well for him BUT he did all of the above first which gave it a good foundation. It is a sensitive product which has a lot of inhibitors so it will not work in a toxic, acid person. Also it has a specific protocol that must be followed. He also takes a probiotic called Immunity Fuel (footnote 5) which he credits for returning his appetite and digestive health.

A typical day for Rob looks like this:
4 am
Take 3 salvesterol capsules
Reiki treatment and lymphatic brushing
Fresh lemon juice in warm water
Noni juice
Yoga and meditation
Take 2 salvesterol capsules
Breakfast – 2 poached eggs on toast
Supplements – immunity fuel, glutamine, Good Green Stuff, Clean Lean Protein powder, liposomal Vitamin C 1000mg, 1 tsp baking soda in warm water
Mid morning
Snack on fruit if hungry
Lunch – salad, chicken, cheese, avocado, fruit
Supplements – mineral complex, vitamin B complex, Omega 3 and 6, , liposomal Vitamin C 1000mg, herbal concoction from naturopath (various depending on state of health- see note 6) Turmeric
Medication – Dexamethasone 1.5 mg (note 7)
Smoothie – kale, cucumber, watermelon, coconut milk, flax oil, Clean Lean Protein powder, brazil nuts, quark
Or banana and almond butter sandwich
Dinner – mostly vegetarian, alkalizing foods (note 2)
Supplements – mineral complex, cod liver oil, liposomal Vitamin C 1000mg
Turmeric drink (coconut milk, turmeric, ginger,  pepper)
Far Infrared Sauna (30  Min)- Every second night
All day
In addition to drinking around 1.5 litres of water throughout the day,
1 litre of water with borax and magnesium (see note 8)
Intravenous vitamin C – 65 grams (note 9)

 A book could be written on each part of Rob’s journey. It seems that each person has to find their own path as everyone has a different set of circumstances. The best thing is for the person to do their own research and do what resonates with them. This helps them to take ownership of their own health which is essential in the process of healing (the mind is your best medicine).

Mt Manaia - elevation 400m (1400 steps to the top)


1. The lymph system is of vital importance, and it is essential to understand how it works. I posted a blog on the WHY Retreat web page which explains our thinking from the early diagnosis.
2. Our thinking on diet initially was about eating fresh and healthy, limiting animal protein, sugar and other toxins such as preservatives, colourings and flavourings. When we learned about the importance of an Alkaline diet, we began following the 80/20 rule and now try to keep Rob’s saliva and urine PH 7-8. See this list of acid and alkaline foods
3. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is the standard blood test to determine any problems in the prostate. It’s normal level is around 4. Of more interest is the PSA Doubling time which indicates how aggressive the problem is. A doubling time of less than 1 year ususally indicates cancer.  Prostate cancer is treated by blocking the body’s testosterone which feeds the cancer. This can be done through drugs, which keeps the PSA at less than 0.05. As the cancer progresses it becomes hormone refractory and begins manufacturing its own testosterone. Rob had minimal testosterone but his PSA was doubling every 4 to 6 weeks once he became hormone refractory. The alternative to drugs is surgical removal of the testicles (orchiectomy) which Rob had in Sept 2015.
Chart of Rob's PSA

4. Once the doctors had determined that Rob’s cancer had metastasized to his entire lymph system and was heading into his bones, they suggested a palliative drug called Abiraterone which they hoped might settle things down for a few months. Coincidentally the scientist who developed this drug also found that the compound exists in nature. Rob decided to take this natural product instead, Salvesterol,  rather than the drug. However, he kept the protocol for Abiraterone, which is zero testosterone (hence the orchiectomy) and complemented with a steroid (Rob was prescribed Dexamethasone). The Salvacare book recommends exercise to deliver the enzymes, and specific timing for taking the product as well as a strict diet regime. It is important to follow the advice of the company rather than just expecting to pop a pill and solve the problem.
5. A friend recommended a probiotic product called Immunity Fuel which Rob believes helped to get his gut working again. Since the gut is the major organ for dealing with toxins, it makes sense that it is necessary to have this working properly. Rob wrote a testimonial for the company "My prostate cancer had reached stage 4 in August 2015. I weighted just 52 KG and had a PSA of 320. Despite the previous 18 months of detoxing and immune support, my lymph system was found to be totally clogged with tumors to the point that I was unable to eat solid food at all and had no appetite. I was prescribed a number of medications to assist me to eat but none were effective. I prefer to follow a natural health regime and found 2 products that I feel helped turn around my cancer. I began taking Immunity Fuel 2 times per day and within a couple of weeks began to enjoy my smoothies and eat some solid food. I also take Salvestrol, a product that reportedly causes cell death in cancer. Now (Feb 2016) I have a great appetite and am eating 3 meals per day. I have gained 12 kilos, and my PSA is 21. I have a good energy level and feel fit. I am sure the Immunity Fuel has helped to stabilize my immune system, and helped me to recover my appetite." 
6. Since embarking on the natural route in February 2014, Rob had been to many natural health practitioners. Muscle testing, and bioresonance has worked well for him to help determine the herbs and dosages that he needs. These are constantly changing as his body moves into a new phase. 
7. Dexamethasone is a steroid which Rob takes to help combat the inflammation in his lymphatic system. As the cancer cells die off, the lymph nodes have been shrinking (they are clearly palpable in his neck to monitor progress). In keeping with his efforts to stay on a natural regime, he has been reducing the dose of the Dex and replacing it with turmeric and other natural anti inflammatory herbs. He started off at 8mg in Sept and is currently on 1.5mg (April).
8. Trace elements are of vital importance in the cell metabolism. Rob takes a mineral complex as well as magnesium. Another anti inflammatory and anti fungal agent is Borax. Rob follows the regime from Walter Last 
9. Intravenous vitamin C has been proven effective against Cancer. Rob tried a few doses of it when he first began his natural regime, but it is expensive and didn’t feel any immediate benefit. Since September he has been taking regular treatments. They started weekly and increased the dose to the maximum for his body weight. He now takes monthly treatments, with high dose lyposomal vitamin c between treatments.

Other Useful LINKS

 A comprehensive list of alternative treatments is found on Wikipedia. They all state that there is no scientific evidence to prove that they are effective against cancer. Rob has tried many of these, with varying results. It’s great to have the entire list in one place. 

A wealth of information can be found on Walter Last’s site 

Good Books to read –


Experiencing a health crisis teaches us many lessons, for both the one who is sick and the caregiver. You can’t plan for the future and it is pointless going over what we should/could/would have done, so living in the present moment becomes the only option.

We are both deeply grateful for the support of our family and friends, and all those who helped to lighten our burdens along the road to recovery. We also are fortunate to have found some excellent health practitioners who’s advice and therapies have been invaluable. Namaste.

Feb 2016 - WooHoo

More Information?

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We are also available for personal consultations, exercise or nutrition advice, and offer 3 to 7 day retreat vacations at WHY Retreat.