素食拯救生命 专题系列报道——娜塔莉•帕默

安娜•佩拉伊诺(Anna Peraino)

2013年报道

【编者导读】2005年,娜塔莉•帕默被诊断患有乳腺癌,并已经发生肝转移。在化疗和手术后,她没有继续服用药物。娜塔莉•帕默认为生活质量的重要性远大于毫无生活质量状态下的生命延续。娜塔莉•帕默在一个素食主义者的劝导下,戒掉了肉食和乳制品,从此成为了纯素饮食者。随后,她免疫力逐渐增强,精力越来越好。而肿瘤科医生则认为娜塔莉•帕默就是一个奇迹。

在这个专题系列里,我们将分享一些鼓舞人心的故事,故事的主人翁们都以亲生经历展示了以植物为主的饮食给自己身体健康所带来的巨大改变。

姓名:娜塔莉•帕默(Natalie Palmer)

诊断:乳腺癌IV期(编者注:IV期为远处其他部位有转移)

预后:不好

诊断时间:2005年

被诊断前,您的生活是什么样子?

我很忙,压力大,有时完全累垮了。我是一个单亲母亲,有三个孩子,现在分别有17岁、15岁和12岁。在最长的孩子仅仅7岁时,我就开始承担起独自抚养三个孩子的重任。我还在一个非盈利性机构做全职工作,帮助具有精神疾病的成年人,最近才停止了周末的兼职工作——针对多次发生醉驾司机的酒后驾驶项目(DUI,Driving Under the Influence)。总是有那么多事情要做,我时常是不断付出、做事和工作。

您是如何得到诊断的?

我有一个会痛的包块,会在睡梦中疼醒,让我彻夜难眠。我乳房里的包块摸起来像螺丝锥。2005年1月,我去做了乳腺X光检查,然后又做了超声检查。这些高科技的检查结果都告诉我一切正常。因为这正是我想听到的结果,所以我并不想进一步进行检查。但是包块仍然疼痛,而且越长越大。每年一度的例行体检,我告诉医生乳房包块的事情。她触摸了一下,她感到非常紧张,她说:“我从不喜欢包块。你需要做个彻底检查,需要做个活组织检查(活检)。”我不想做这种通过一颗针吸取组织的检查,于是我拒绝了活检。我们最终达成一致意见:我将立即前往一个不同的诊断成像中心。我乳房有包块事情,唯一知道的人是我的伴侣:罗伊(Roy),他是一个通过了美国外籍护士考试的护士(RN),他极力鼓励我做进一步检查。一个星期六,我前往诊断成像中心,帮我做检查的女医生显然非常不安,她告诉我周一再回中心,因为她难以做出诊断报告。显然我不愿意接受现实,我在午餐后休息时段独自一人又回到中心,检查结果并不好,我仅听到“乳腺癌”和“手术”,其他的词句都没听到。一切来得太快以至于感觉有些模糊。现在说起来当时真的非常幼稚,我依然自认为一切都很好。罗伊和我一起去拿检查结果。我记得我和罗伊紧挨着坐在一起,外科医生拉了一个旋转椅子,面对我坐了下来,非常靠近我,看着我的眼睛,并拉着我的手。我听到“癌症”这个词,一切似乎都变得遥远、模糊,而且非常缓慢。直至今日,我完全对外科医生对我们所说的话毫无概念,尽管跟我们谈了一个多小时。我知道他抑制都没有放开我的手,他那真诚并流露出悲伤神情的眼睛从未离开过我的脸颊。那简直就像一场梦,甚至于不是一场噩梦,因为感觉好像是发生在别人身上,而不是发生在我身上一般。于是做了预约,并把工作安排就绪,禀告了周围的人。那时,我的诊断是早期乳腺癌。但是一周后,当肿瘤科医生对我进行了常规核磁共振成像检查(MRI)后,这一切都变了。磁共振检查宣布了与前面的诊断大为不同的结果。当时我在回家的路上接到一个电话。我接起电话,发现是肿瘤科医生,她告诉我MRI检查结果显示:癌细胞已经扩散到肝脏了。

您的医生给您的治疗方案是什么?

我的治疗方案包括:剂量密度化疗(化疗三周,间隔一周):在我有生之年都得注射郝塞汀、外科手术以及为期5年使用芳香酶抑制剂。我仅做了部分医生期望我做的治疗。我做了一些化疗和手术。我没有注射芳香酶抑制剂或郝塞汀。2006年我最后一次手术后,我再也没有服用过药物。我的肿瘤科医生并不赞成这样的选择,但是对我来说生活质量的重要性远大于毫无生活质量的生命延续。为何要自寻烦恼呢?

那您又是怎么找到纯素饮食的呢?

我知晓纯素饮食已经很多年了。在我年轻的时候,我曾多次尝试过纯素饮食,但是没有坚持下去。

你从什么时候决定开始尝试的呢?

我第一次得到诊断的时候,我立即决定开始纯素饮食。罗伊与一个基督复临安息日会教友共事,他是一个素食主义者。他对我说的原话是:“你想活下去吗?那就要停止吃肉和乳制品!”可以这样说,我就这样突然之间戒掉了肉食和乳制品。

你是怎样过渡到纯素饮食的呢?

我完全是积极主动地去改变——面临死亡将具有这种效果,所以,我过渡到纯素饮食相对比较简单一些。但是对于我的家庭来说,就比较困难了。我的伴侣罗伊、女儿切尔茜(Chelsea)跟我一起变成了素食者,但是我的两个儿子却没有。最难放弃的食物是:奶酪,至今仍然保持了下来。我从不想念肉类,但是对于奶酪就是另外一回事了。可能我具有部分意大利血统,渴望美味的黏性意大利奶酪。

开始素食前,你每天的常规饮食是怎么样的?

在我成为素食主义者之前,我吃很多的奶酪和乳制品。早餐可能是奶油奶酪硬面包圈、鸡蛋和培根(咸熏肉)或者带有大量奶酪的煎蛋、香肠和薯条。午餐可能是披萨饼或夹奶酪和碎牛肉三明治,另加一分沙拉。晚餐至少每周两到三次是牛排、鸡肉饼、或者是配有土豆和一种蔬菜的猪排。我摄入大量意大利面食:烤宽面条、贝壳意大利面、意大利馄饨和牛油拌面。奶酪多多益善——这是我的饮食座右铭。我很少不吃甜品,我会吃冰激凌或饼干。我还吃很多巧克力。我的饮食习惯是典型的美国饮食,我几乎丧命于这种饮食习惯。刚写下我曾经吃的每一样食品,让我感觉有点不舒服。

那你现在的常规饮食又是什么呢?

每天早晨我会喝一杯温水和鲜榨柠檬汁,半小时以后,吃两小把有机杏仁、大豆或椰子椰丝酸奶,还有一个香蕉。我吃生蔬菜、有机葡萄干、种子、有机玉米片和鳄梨沙拉。午餐是我一天中的大餐,可能是新鲜有机花椰菜,大蒜、红薯和炸豆腐。有时候我会做素食辣椒或者选用无豆蛋白面包做仿火腿莴苣西红柿三明治(BLT),茄子砂锅菜或豆子土豆汤。晚餐通常是少量诸如有机混合蔬菜沙拉,包括:甜菜、胡萝卜、西红柿、橄榄、鳄梨、洋葱、黄瓜和种子,或者是西红柿酱米饭面食。我经常喝无咖啡因绿茶,加一些新鲜磨碎的有机姜。

你什么时候去复查的?你的医生又是如何看待复查结果的呢?

医生并不支持或鼓励我的素食生活方式。她从不未谈过食物对康复的作用,除了她所规定的“治疗”以外,她对我的饮食或者我的所作所为并不感兴趣。 多年以来,她把我称为她的“奇迹孩子”,但是依然对我所采取的积极改变并不给予肯定。改变饮食后的最初几周内,我能够感觉到变化。尽管我还病得很重,但能感觉到已经减轻了,我开始更有精力了,我的免疫系统也越来越强了——这就是为什么我还能活到今天的原因。

现在,你感觉怎样呢?

如今,我没有肿瘤。这是我这六年半的实况:我很少生病,比以前更有精力。每天早晨我4点起床,然后几乎每天工作至少10小时也不会感到疲倦。我身高为5.1英尺(编者注:约为1.55米),体重一直保持在115磅(编者注:约为:52.2千克),我对我的体重很满意。我已经多年没有去医院了,就在刚刚过去的八月份,我去找了一个新的肿瘤科医生。我的所有检查都非常好。她说:“我听说过你的情况。是那么令人感到惊奇。我唯一能说的就是:坚持你现在所做的一切!”

敬请关注后续更多激动人心的故事!

翻译:悠悠步行者

文章来源:http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do;jsessionid=628DD8D58216E98A008ED0A0AE1FF05A?pageId=5262&catId=5

 

Veganism Saved My Life: Natalie Palmer

By Anna Peraino

2013

In this special series, we share inspiring stories of people who have witnessed extraordinary health overhauls thanks to a plant-based diet.

Name: Natalie Palmer

Diagnosis: Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer

Prognosis: Not good

Year Diagnosed: 2005

What was your life like before your diagnosis?

My life was very hectic, stressful, and at times overwhelming. I was the sole parent of three children ages 17, 15, and 12 and had been on my own with them since my eldest was seven. I also worked full time for a nonprofit helping adults with mental illness and had recently stopped working at a weekend part-time job working with a DUI program for multiple-time offenders. There was always lots to do. I was constantly giving, doing, and working.

How did you find out about your diagnosis?

I had a lump, which hurt: the pain would wake me up at night. It felt like a corkscrew in my breast. I went for a mammogram, then an ultrasound in January of 2005. The tech told me it looked fine to her. Because this is what I wanted to hear, I didn’t pursue it any further. The lump kept hurting, and got larger. During my annual physical, I told her about the lump. She felt it, seemed alarmed, and said, “I never like lumps. You need to have this checked out. Go for a biopsy.” Not relishing the thought of being stuck by a needle, I said no. We agreed I would go to a different diagnostic imaging center quickly. The only person that knew about the lump was my partner, Roy, who’s an RN and was strongly encouraging me to have it checked out further. I went on a Saturday. The woman doing the exam seemed flustered and told me I’d need to come back on Monday because she wasn’t able to read the results. Still apparently in denial, I went back by myself during my lunch break. The results were not good. I heard the words breast cancer and surgery, and nothing else. Everything happened so quickly it gets a bit blurred. Silly as it seems to say now, I was still thinking everything was fine. Roy and I went together for the results. I remember Roy and I were sitting next to each other and the surgeon pulled up one of those twirly stools and sat down directly in front of me, really close, at eye level and picked up my hand. I heard the word cancer and everything seemed far away, hazy, and slow. Still to this day I have absolutely no idea what the surgeon—my surgeon now—said to us for more than an hour. I do know he never let go of my hand, and his sad, sincere eyes never left my face. It felt like a dream, not even a bad dream because it felt like it was happening to someone else, not me. Appointments were made, arrangements at work were put into place, and people were told. At this point, my diagnosis was breast cancer—early stage. That all changed about a week later, after the oncologist ordered a routine MRI. These results were delivered much differently. I was driving home from work when I got a call. I answered it to find the oncologist on the other end. She told me the MRI results were back, the cancer had spread to my liver.

What was your treatment plan laid out by your doctor?

My treatment plan involved dose-dense chemo—three weeks on, one week off—herceptin infusions for the rest of my life, surgeries, and aromatase inhibitors for five years. I did parts of what they wanted me to do. I did some chemotherapy and had a few surgeries. I did not take aromatase inhibitors or herceptin. Since my final surgery in 2006, I have taken no medications. My oncologist was not happy with this idea at all, but quality of life was always more important to me than living longer without it. Why bother?

How did you find out about a vegan diet?

I had known of vegan diet for many years. I’d gone the vegetarian route a few times when I was younger, but never stuck to it.

When did you decide to give it a try?

Immediately upon my first diagnosis. Roy was working with someone who was a Seventh Day Adventist and a vegan. This man’s exact words to me were, “Do you want to live? Stop eating meat and dairy!” I went cold turkey, so to speak.

What was it like to transition to a vegan diet?

I was completely motivated to change—the threat of death will have that effect, so my transition was relatively easy. It was more difficult for my family. My partner Roy made the change with me, as did my daughter Chelsea, but my sons did not. The hardest food to give up was, and still remains, cheese. I’ve never missed meat, but cheese is another story. Maybe it’s the Italian part of me that longs for a good stringy mozzarella cheese.

What was a normal day of eating like before you started eating vegan?

Before changing to a vegan diet I ate a lot of cheese and dairy products. Breakfast might be a bagel with cream cheese, eggs and bacon, or an omelet with lots of cheese, sausage, and home fries. Lunch could be pizza or a cheeseburger and a salad. Dinners were steak, chicken cutlets, or pork chops with some sort of potato and a vegetable at least two to three nights per week. I ate a lot of pasta dishes: lasagna, stuffed shells, ravioli, and fettuccine Alfredo. The cheesier the better—this was my motto. Desserts were rarely missed, and I would have ice cream or cookies. I also ate a lot of chocolate. My diet was the typical Standard American Diet, and it almost killed me. Just writing down everything I used to eat makes me feel a little sick!

What is a day of eating like now?

I start every morning with a glass of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon juice, followed half an hour later by two small handfuls of organic almonds, soy or coconut yogurt with shredded coconut, and a banana. I snack on raw veggies, organic raisins, seeds, organic tortilla chips, and guacamole. Lunch is my big meal of the day. I may eat fresh organic broccoli with garlic, sweet potatoes, and fried tofu. Sometimes I make vegetarian chili or fake BLT sandwiches on gluten-free bread, eggplant casserole, or a bean and potato soup. Dinner is usually something small like an organic mixed greens salad with beets, carrots, tomatoes, olives, avocado, onions, cucumber, and seeds, or rice pasta with marinara sauce. I always drink decaf green tea with freshly grated organic ginger root.

When did you start to see results? What did your doctor think?

My doctor did not support or encourage my vegan lifestyle. She never spoke about the power of food to heal and took no interest in what I was eating or doing to help myself outside of her prescribed “therapy.” For years, she referred to me as her “miracle child,” still never giving credit to positive changes I had embraced. I felt results within the first few weeks of changing my eating. I felt lighter, and even though I was still very ill, I began to have more energy. My immune system grew stronger and stronger—it’s why I am here today.

How are you doing today?

Today I am cancer-free. This has been my reality for six-and-a-half years now! I hardly ever get sick and I have more energy than ever. I get up at 4am and work at least 10-hour days (most days) without feeling fatigued. My weight has stayed around 115 pounds and I am 5’1” tall, so I am happy with my weight. This past August I saw a new oncologist after not having done so in a number of years. All my tests were excellent. She said, “I heard about your case. It’s amazing. All I can say is keep doing what you’re doing.”

Check back next week for more inspiring stories!