An inspiring personal story of triumph over leukemia and sharing the knowlegde found...
A very interesting personal story from now healthy chef - Christina Pirello, and links for more information:
Excerpt (for full story, please visit the link at end)
Itís really interesting, in hindsight. I was told I had delicate skin when I was young, because if someone would so much as take my arm to cross the street, I would have bruises the next day. Iíd hear from my mother, ďYouíre a girl, where do you get these bruises?Ē And Iíd be thinking, ďI donít know.Ē I remember, as an athlete in high school on the swim team, I would come home from practice complaining that my bones hurt, and you know, typical Italian family, theyíd say, ďWhat do you mean your bones hurt; go do your homework.Ē Life was different then. We didnít rush off for blood tests so quickly. When the doctors diagnosed me, I had thought I was tired because my mother had passed away, with the whole grieving process; but the doctors said that the leukemia had been there for many years, never diagnosed. So the condition was pretty acute by the time it was diagnosed, but they said that it had been undetected for so long.
MY REACTION TO THE DIAGNOSIS
I felt like I was living in a bad TV movie. I moved into this period of denial for a short time. I left the doctorís office and sat on the sofa in my apartment thinking, ďIím 26, this is impossible.Ē Finally, I went back to work and was going to quit my job and go back and live in Tuscany, where I had lived for a while, and simply die. As I packed my office, a friend of mine came in and said, ďSo youíre giving up without a fight?Ē I thought, ďGive me a breakÖĒ He said, ďYou have to meet this guy,Ē and Iím thinking, ďGreat, just what I need, a date.Ē And he said, ďNo, no, he eats weird food and he says it cures cancer.Ē Iím having visions of jetting off to Barcelona to have my blood boiled or something. And he said, ďNo, no, he eats grains and beans.Ē Iím thinking, ďI sort of eat that way and I already have cancer.Ē But of course, I wasnít eating anywhere near healthy. So I met Robert Pirello, who introduced me to macrobiotics. He gave me a book by Michio Kushi called The Cancer Prevention Diet and said, ďDonít make any decisions; go home and read this book.Ē I read it in about 36 hours because I couldnít put it down, and I thought it was either the biggest crock Iíd ever read or the best-kept secret on the planet.
GETTING STARTED WITH WHOLE FOODS
I remember asking, ďIs there anything we can do that will cure this?Ē and they [the doctors] said, ďNo.Ē This was 16 years ago, and [since then] weíve made quite a few advances. Do I recommend this kind of course? Not for everybody. I eally did it the hard way, which is how I do most everything. But at the time, they couldnít offer me much. Even a bone marrow transplant would be iffy. So one of the five doctors agreed to monitor me, and the minute I would deteriorate they could intervene. And I agreed to that because I didnít think this [diet] was going to work either. So Robert and I went shopping at a co-op, and heís loading all this unfamiliar food into my basket. Now Iím a cook, and Iím thinking, ďIím dead, I donít know what to do with thisÖĒ We emptied my cupboards and loaded them up with new foods; he gave me a few quick lessons, and it may sound simple, but thatís how it started.
It took a year and a half to regain my health and there were lots and lots and LOTS of ups and downs. I guess it was maybe 2 months before they saw a big difference in my blood. They didnít know what I was doing, and I said, ďWell, Iím doing this diet thing. Iím eating whole grains, beans and vegetables.Ē They said, ďThatís very nice honey, but what are you doing?Ē They called it spontaneous regression and had no answer for it. They said, ďWhatever youíre doing, do it, because somethingís changing.Ē And off I went; it was a long year and a half, but after that period, my blood tests showed no sign of cancer and havenít since. And what Iíve discovered since then about the power of food in the body is what drives me in my passion every day. If people understand the energy of food and how it affects our health, they can make choices best suited to them.
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