Written by: Christine Moretti
Dear Robb: I recently read an article in which you were prominently featured on the Indian Country Today website. I simply was inspired to write to you to share my story.
Last spring I tragically and suddenly lost my sister. Thirteen days later I suffered a seizure that caused total paralysis of my left leg from my waist down lasting approximately 15 minutes until feeling began to return. I was subsequently diagnosed with a Menningioma brain tumor. I was told at the time of my diagnosis that my tumor was approximately the size of a large green grape and that it was in a dangerous location for removal. The tumor was also pressing on my motor pathway, which is why I experienced the type of seizure I had. My neurosurgeon was certain that the shock of my sister’s passing had a lot to do with the tumor suddenly taking off in size but that the tumor had been there for quite some time. I am fortunate to have as my doctor a nationally recognized neurosurgeon/neuro oncologist from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA.
Not long after this first visit with the neurosurgeon, my youngest son, Jeremy, who has always been interested in health and fitness, researched and found your website and book, The Paleo Solution. With enthusiasm, Jeremy urged me to try this new way of eating. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but I really wanted to make a change and I wanted to do all I could to boost my health in light of the life altering loss of my sister and brain tumor diagnosis. Jeremy and I both began to follow paleo in the early fall of last year. Immediately, we began to lose weight and to feel so much better. Our cravings for grains and sugar decreased dramatically. I was truly amazed at how I didn’t crave them as soon as I cut them out of my daily food intake. The weight just fell off us. I read your book and saw early on that you mentioned brain tumors specifically. I was even more determined to continue with this new way of eating.
My six month follow up with the neurosurgeon was scheduled for November. (I have had three MRI brain scans and three visits in total my since my diagnosis in May 2012.) The most recent scan was this June.
On my first visit, the doctor ended the consult with the words, “If anything happens to you, go to the ER first and call me second”. I was also put on anti-seizure medication at the first visit.
At my second visit and scan in November 2012, the doctor pulled up side by side images of my brain from May to November and you could visibly see the reduction in size. I asked him if that ever happened and he turned to me and said, “No!” with a look of total shock and amazement on his face. These types of tumors are not known to shrink on their own without benefit of radiation or other type of non-surgical intervention. I was happy to share with my neurosurgeon that I had begun eating the paleo way and he definitely approved.
This past June, I had another follow up MRI and visit with my doctor. This time the tumor had shrunk even further and he told me I had “the incredible shrinking tumor”! Not only have I lost approximately 70 pounds – going from a size 18 to a size 6-8, my tumor is also shrinking right along with me. I am beyond thankful and happy that all of this has happened. My son, Jeremy, has also lost about 40 pounds and we are both in the best shape of our lives – thanks to this way of eating. We also cook at home now six out of seven nights a week. It is my goal to make each meal we eat as bright and colorful and as fresh, organic and as healthy as possible. My whole family has benefited from this new way of eating. I won’t say I never have a bowl of ice cream now and again, but I know for certain I will never return to our old way of eating. Thank you for being such an advocate of this lifestyle. I just wish I had known about it years ago, but I firmly believe it is never too late to make a healthy change.
Thank you for letting me share my story.
Recently I had a follow up MRI and neurological appointment to check on the status of my brain tumor. I am happy to report that the tumor is stable from last year – and although the neuro onocologist thought it was approximately the same size as last year (no regrowth or shrinkage); when I received the radiology report in the mail this week, the dimensions were ever just so slightly reduced from the last MRI. I am pleased and happy with any downward trend, even if slight, in the size of my tumor. I am convinced wholeheartedly that following the paleo lifestyle for the last two years has dramatically improved my health, not just regarding the brain tumor, but overall I feel such positive changes with eating healthy and grain and dairy free. I continue to happily spread the word about paleo as the inches from my waist continue to tumble.
Another opportunity within the last few months to be my own health advocate occurred when my primary care physician was insisting it was time to take statins to reduce my overall cholesterol number. My HDL “good” cholesterol has reached an all time high of 94, triglycerides are excellent, however, the LDL “bad” cholesterol has also increased a bit now bringing my overall number higher than the “recommended” range. I refused to even consider taking a statin because I honestly think they are very dangerous. My doctor agreed to give me a script for the detailed blood test, NMR LipoProfile. This test was so unheard of that when I went to my local lab where I routinely go for blood work, I was told that I had to go to the local hospital to get it done. And even with going there, the hospital staff had never heard of it. It took at least two weeks to get the results. I am sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you that when my doctor got the results back, she was no longer was saying I had to take statins.
In conclusion, I will be forever grateful for reading Robb’s book, “The Paleo Solution” and discovering all the fabulous health benefits that comes with following this lifestyle. Dealing with a serious health issue and being able to make a difference using food as my medicine has empowered me. I will continue to be my own health advocate and I urge everyone out there to do the same!
Thank you and best regards –