An Amazing Healing Testimony
Before you read the amazing healing testimony by Gretchen Schendel, I want you to know that Gretchen called me on Friday and gave me her latest report from her doctor. “Danny, I just went to my doctor for my latest check-up and he said everything looks good.” Gretchen was very happy at the report and you can learn why by reading her testimony below.
“You look good. The area feels normal. Keep doing what you have been doing. Come back in six months.” These were the words of my oncologist when I last saw him, February 29, 2008. It was November of 2003 when I first noticed a painful lump in my right breast. I immediately made an appointment with a surgeon, who did an ultrasound and then decided to wait for the results of a recent mammogram. When I returned to the doctor, the mammogram results had not yet come back. My doctor decided to ask the breast specialist for a second opinion. Long story short:a fine-needle biopsy was done, and a few days later I received the report: “Positive for malignancy. Consistent with ductal carcinoma.” (My mammogram report, by the way, came back a few days later, saying everything was fine!).
Thinking to completely eradicate the cancer, I underwent a complete mastectomy on December 26, including the removal of seven lymph nodes. The loss of those lymph nodes caused me to develop lymphedema, which was very uncomfortable and often painful. Thanks to God’s leading, I was able to find an excellent massage therapist, who had been trained in lymphatic drainage. Several months of therapy followed, and by God’s grace the lymphedema is now mostly confined to the chest wall.
My surgeon referred me to an oncologist. Based on the pathology report and the odds of the cancer’s returning, the decision was made not to undergo any radiation or chemotherapy.A few weeks after the surgery, I went to Auburn, California, for a complete colon cleanse. Although I have been a vegetarian all my life, I learned many more things about healthful living and was greatly blessed. For awhile I drank fresh vegetable juices every day. I was also careful to avoid sugar, as I was told cancer will return with a vengeance if you feed it sugar. But little by little I became less careful with my diet (although I remained very careful with sugar), thinking my cancer was a thing of the past.
But then, in March of 2007, when seeing my surgeon for a routine checkup, I was shocked when another lump was detected at the end of the surgical scar. Then came the long wait for the phone call that would either give me good news or confirm my worst fears. Unfortunately, it was the latter. I was devastated!
It was my “adopted daughter,” Crystal, who came to the rescue. She is very much interested in healthful living. She and her husband, who is a chef, have even developed and published a vegan cookbook, The Maui Vegetarian. Danny Vierra, who heads BellaVita Lifestyle Center, had asked Crystal to prepare the raw food for the upcoming 10-day cleanse program. Crystal encouraged me to attend BellaVita. My husband and I discussed the matter and agreed that I should go through the cleanse. BellaVita is only about one-halfhour from my home, and I really believe that God led me in the decision to go through the program.
There were only six women participating in this particular BellaVita program. This made it possible to have much one-on-one interaction with Danny Vierra. His PowerPoint presentations were very informative and inspiring. I learned so much-not only about how to achieve physical health but also, and most importantly, how to nurture one’s spiritual health. The importance of writing out Scripture and committing it to memory is one of the tools I have found most helpful in developing a closer relationship with God.
My surgeon referred me to my previous oncologist, who ordered a CT scan and a bone scan to check for metastasis. At my next appointment, when the doctor looked over the x-rays and the report, he did not find any conclusive evidence of metastasized cancer, although the report did point out some suspicious areas. I explained to him that I had opted to treat this illness naturally-no chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation. I also asked not to have any more CT or bone scans done, as they give off a lot of radiation.
All I wanted the doctor to do, I said, was to keep checking me from time to time. This he was willing to do; however, skepticism was written all over his face. I gave him a book authored by Dr. Max Gerson. (Dr. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte Gerson, now heads the Gerson Clinic in Mexico.) In the book Dr. Gerson explains, at a physician’s level, his nutritional approach to treating cancer. I asked my oncologist to read it, realizing he probably wouldn’t. (When I later saw my primary care doctor, I told her about the book. She indicated she would be interested in having the book in her library. I told my oncologist, and he later gave her the book.
At BellaVita, Danny suggested that the cancer was probably systemic. A nutritional approach to strengthen the immune system rather than to destroy it through chemotherapy made the most sense to me. Danny recommended several supplements to strengthen my body’s defense system, as well as herbs to attack the disease. After completing a 10-day cleanse, I decided to begin following a modified version of the two-year Gerson program, which included the supplements Danny suggested, 13 organic juices with added potassium, and two coffee enemas each day. My diet underwent a radical change-no salt, a very small amount of flax oil, and protein exclusively from oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables. I must confess: It wasn’t easy, and it took a lot of commitment and determination to continue,no matter what! I have always enjoyed cooking, but now I just didn’t know what to eat, nor did I have an appetite. My weight fell (I lost more than twenty pounds). I battled fatigue, depression, and heart palpitations. My nerves felt raw.
But what were my options? Chemotherapy and/or radiation certainly aren’t easy either, nor do they heal the body. I decided not to be a quitter, but I know I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for the strong support of my wonderful family and friends. My church family prayed for me and called for updates about my health. Above all, I found consolation in Scripture. I followed Danny’s advice to write out verses and commit them to memory. Here are a few gems I found:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7, 8.
“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17. “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7. “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7, 8.
I must tell you about this last verse. I had asked my daughter Sandy for reading material that would uplift my spirits. She gave me a book entitled Green Leaf in Drought-Time, by Isobel Kuhn. It is the inspiring story of two young missionaries and their baby daughter, detained in Communist China by the Red Regime, who tried to starve them to death. How these missionaries suffered in their witness for God! How many lessons of faith and trust they learned! How God always provided just enough to sustain them! And what was the golden thread that was woven throughout this inspiring story? Those same verses from Jeremiah 17 that I had just committed to memory! I was struck by the timing and the choice of this reading material. Mere coincidence, you might say. As for me, I know I heard God’s encouraging voice speaking to me! I know that God is building my faith and teaching me to recognize His voice, as I have requested of Him.
The Scripture verses that have most recently blessed me are found in Isaiah 41:10, 13: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:10, 13. Somehow, this verse paints a beautiful picture in my mind of my Lord standing right next to me, holding my hand and empowering me. It reminds me of my little almost three-year-old grandson, Stephen, who wanted to see a dead Canada goose out in the field behind our house. I was walking a short distance ahead of him when he said, “Grandma, don’t leave me.” And then, “Hold my hand.” This is the relationship we can have with our heavenly Father.
My first return appointment with my oncologist (I think it was in June 2007) brought encouraging news. “The tumor has not grown, and I would consider your condition as stable. Come back in four months.” Four months later (October 2007): The doctor had to double check my computer medical file to make sure he was examining the right location. “The tumor is one-half of its original size,” he stated. “Come back in four months.”Four months later (February 2008): “You look good. The area feels normal. Keep doing what you have been doing. Come back in six months.”
Another interesting phenomenon is that in the latter part of 2007 I noticed my eyeglasses were not working as well as before. So I saw an ophthalmologist, who noted that my vision had improved. I required a new prescription, and can now see much better!
My bimonthly blood tests have always turned out well. I did, however, request the doctor to check my Vitamin D levels, since I have heard that vitamin D is a cancer deterrent. To my surprise, my levels were way below the normal range of 30-100; mine was only 17. Now that I spend more time soaking in the sunshine and taking supplements, my vitamin D level has come up to 42. I hope to bring it up a lot more yet!
I thank the Lord for what He has done for me. I am also very grateful to Danny, who has mentored me through several crises in the healing process. I am still on the diet-I have a little over one year left on this very challenging program! It has been, and continues to be, a rough road. Some days are better than others. But overall, I am feeling stronger each day.
Each day God gives me strength to stick to the rigid diet. Although I will be able to expand the diet after another year, I know I will always have to be very careful about what I put into my body. Much raw food and daily fresh juices will be a necessity for the rest of my life. My prognosis looks hopeful, and I thank God that I did not choose the chemotherapy and/or radiation route.
We do not diagnose or prescribe. We provide information on lifestyle programs based on God’s plan and share information on supplements and herbs. Consult your physician before taking any herbs, especially when you are taking pharmaceutical drugs.