Friday, February 29, 2008

Health Update

Thursday I was examined by a colorectal doctor. He did a digital (yes that means his finger) which was then followed with a digital (who had a smaller finger) by his intern. They then popped in the scope for a visual. The exam revealed no growth - no change - only a little more tenderness on one side. Shrinkage would be ideal news, but no growth - I mean zero growth, same size as it was last year - comes in a damn close second. Nothing in the exam suggested that anything out of the ordinary caused the pain. Only the obvious - the presence of a tumor. I suppose it is that simple.

At this point, I am satisfied that there was zero growth. Please? No. But satisfied.

I fell asleep early on Thursday evening - around 8 PM - then I woke up a little after 9 PM passing a stone. I don't know what kind it was, but I immediately went to my bottle of prescription pills and took one, followed by a second one about 60 seconds later. Within 15 minutes the pain was gone and I quickly fell asleep. On Friday I felt fine. No stone passing pain and no residuals from the previous day's experience.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In Gratitude

I want to thank so many of you for the generosity that we are so often recipients of. But today I want to acknowledge those of you who have sent money to us. Why? Because this a topic I consistently avoid - like the plague - because it's so difficult for me to humble myself and even acknowledge our financial situation. Since my intention is to thank you and I have the courage the do it at the moment, I figured I better express before I crawl back under my rock.

The reality of our situation is that we live on my disability check of $1,300 a month. That check is for the four of us. Daniela doesn't work because she is taking care of Beau and me all day long and of course our 10 year old when he is home from school and not with his father. Were we to live solely on the disability I receive, we would certainly be bankrupt and to tell you the truth, I can't imagine what life would be like for us. To put it simply, we would be dealing with an added stress that right now, is the last thing on earth that we need.

And on a very personal side, it really warms our hearts to find those letters in the mailbox with a very sweet note, letting us know we are being thought of. And then to open it and find a check. Ya'll make me cry sometimes... Visits and calls have not been beyond reason because people don't want to bother or intrude and to tell you the truth, this often works for us. We are managing life, but the stress is a regular part of what we manage and quiet is a helpful element. However, being the very social person I am, I must say it is a bit odd to not be in the outside world in constant interaction with others. So, thank you for your notes and cards. They are incredibly sweet.

Again I have to say, THANK YOU for making the difference you make in our lives. Your generosity keeps my path of healing moving forward and gives us peace of mind - probably more than you can imagine. We live in deep gratitude to you all.

Bert, Daniela & the boys.

The Sitz Bath

Enough folks have asked what a sitz bath is, so, the purpose of this post in to let you know what one is in case you don't already know.

A basic sitz bath is a shallow tub or large bowl of tepid (lukewarm) water in which you sit. Believe it or not, simply soaking your behind in tepid water is quite healing when you have...stuff going on back there. No, this is not some alternative, weird way of managing health. Your doctor will know all about sitz bath as well as the great benefits of them.

The idea of a sitz bath is to soak your behind for twenty minutes or so, so the area can absorb the water which apparently heals bruised, swollen and torn tissue (not to mention other issues). It's very common for women who give birth to have some tearing occur and the sitz bath is very healing for that damaged tissue. As you have now figured out, a sitz bath is also very healing for people named Bert with anal fissures.

I don't know how this fissure of mine came about nor do I know if it's common for Gerson patients, but I've got it and it feels as thought it is already healing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Relief Will Be a Beautiful Thing

I am still waiting to see my Colorectal doctor - the appointment hasn't been scheduled yet. In the mean time, my family doctor said I have an anal fissure: inflamed tears or ulcers that arise between the mucous membranes and the outermost skin of the anus. So, I am not doing anything in the way of enemas until this heals. The fissure is not all that big, but at the same time, it sure as hack doesn't feel good!

I'm doing multiple sitz baths each day as well as topical Calendula ointment. Relief is soon and will be a beautiful thing.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Exam Time

I have consistently felt discomfort for the past five nights or so, only relieved four out of the five nights with pharmaceuticals. For that reason, I will call my Colorectal doctor on Monday the 25th and schedule an appointment for an exam - hopefully a sigmoidoscopy - to get to the source of the discomfort.

What are my thoughts? I have no idea, but I have no serious concerns since my PET scan and MRI revealed no reasons for additional concern.

We'll see...

I Slept Through the Night

It's 6:55 am and I just woke up after after nine solid hours of sleep. What a treat! It feels so good to sleep through the night. I always get at least eight hours of sleep - its just that recently it hasn't been at night. Hopefully, this will get me back on schedule which will naturally make my life a lot easier.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Little Pain Last Night

Last night I tossed and turned throughout the night getting bits and pieces of sleep now and again until I fell asleep at around 5 am. I had a detox flare-up in the form of some rather unpleasant pain in my behind. Why I was able to distinguish it as a flareup is due to my inability to do an enema. I'll explain. When the muscles in the large intestine constrict and don't allow an enema to be received, it means you're having a detox flare-up. It happens now and again.

So, after I attempted different methods of pain relief throughout the night and having no luck, I attempted an enema to relieve the pain - with no luck. I couldn't retain it, so the pain stayed. Eventually, around 5 am, I fell asleep. I then slept until around 11 am. So, I am typing now at 12:45 am because I am wide awake and my behind hurts again. Hopefully this pain won't become a regular thing. Pain-free is my preferred method of the cancer experience.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I may have found a recliner that may suite my needs. I hope to have it here this Thursday or this coming Monday. Thank goodness I have such a wonderful family and such generous friends. I am indeed grateful for that.

I also tried to use a kneeling chair (like the one below) at the kitchen table in hopes of reducing the amount of pressure on my behind. Unfortunately, no luck. I'm more comfortable on a regular kitchen chair with a couple of thick cushions.

I'm Back Here Again

I am so sick of having cancer. First of all, I am absolutely sick of having life threatening cells living in my body. Then after a minute or two of that, I'm find myself okay with it because my implementation of the Gerson Therapy has powerfully held the cancer at bay and will, in the end, remove it. The next place I find myself is absolutely sick of being on bed rest...since May!!!! I can humbly commend myself [is that possible?] for staying so positive during this nine month stint. But this week, I am so [insert your favorite form of profanity] sick of this! For the love of God, I simply want to go for a walk or stand at the oven and cook my own meal for myself.

My mind wanders in and out of thoughts of what the various "alternatives" are and then I suddenly come out of my self-induced dream state to realize the only "alternatives" are 1) radiation - prior to which, I could strategically place strips of bacon to cook on my body for after treatment snacks or 2) a colostomy, for which no jokes come to mind. This brings me back to the start of it all: bed rest and my initial statement: I am so sick of having cancer.

And that's what I've been most present to lately. What there is no way around. I'm sick of this and the only say I truly have in any of this is my attitude. And this week, outside of being polite, I am sick of having a positive attitude. Am I worried about that? No. I've never been one to spend much time feeling sorry for myself. I don't enjoy the victim role - it doesn't pay. And I will be back to normal self relatively soon, but not right now. Right now, this whole thing just stinks and I'm perfectly happy with that.

What a drag.

A funny movie is definitely in order. Hopefully, my Netflix movie has arrived. I'm hoping to see Superbad. It was done by the same folks who did The Forty Year Old Virgin to which, to my surprise, I laughed out loud while watching by myself - something I haven't done since the first time I watched Groundhog Day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I have been sleeping!!!

I have been sleeping throughout the night!!! The last four nights or so, I have gone to bed at a decent hour and woken up at a decent hour, only waking up between those times for the normal reasons then right back to sleep. It's the pain and discomfort that kept me awake in the past and the lack of it that has me sleeping latley. It is so wonderful to be back on schedule.

A couple of weeks ago, I met with a local homeopathic practitioner who did two extensive interviews with me to determine what remedy would best relieve my pain. I have been taking the prescribed remedy for about two weeks and had a follow up interview to determine the effectiveness. There seems to be some considering I am sleeping at night. In two weeks I will have another interview to determine any further effectiveness. If we have not reached the desired outcome, we will try a different remedy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Feelings About the Scan Results

So, what are my feelings about the recent scans? It's simple. Being on a conservative treatment plan, I can only expect comparable results. My cancer grows at a stage per year. Were this therapy not working, I would now be a Stage III with cancer in my lymph nodes. Since that is clearly not the case, I can confidently say the cancer has been held at bay and I have seriously benefited from the enormous detoxification process I have taken on since I began the therapy in May '07. It may not have removed the cancer, but the toxins, which are the catalyst for the cancer growth, are disappearing fast.

Getting back to my feelings about the test results...I spent four days - Friday evening, when I received the PET scan report, until sometime around Tuesday evening - being bummed out about the less than miraculous results. The bottom line is there has been no growth thus far, so I am certain that the full therapy will reveal significant results when I have my next tests. And so, I have put my shoulder back to the wheel and I will forge ahead and do what needs to be done so I achieve the intended results.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The MRI review has been completed and the doctor stated that the recent MRI can not be accurately compared to CT scan from September. What comparisons could be made determined no change.

So Bert, you may be asking, why is there no change after 9 months on the therapy?

For someone doing the full therapy for 9 months, that would be strange. I have only been on the full therapy for 6 weeks or so. Prior to that , my body - or butt to be more precise - could not handle more than three - and sometimes only two - enemas a day. That is not the full therapy. So, the therapy I was on held the tumor at bay and very much detoxified my body.

Now that I am on the full therapy, I can expect the results generally anticipated after three to four months on the therapy.

And what are those results? Generally, after a Gerson patient has been on the therapy for three to four months, there will be some noticeable shrinkage or reduction in the cancer. So, I anticipate the end of April will be a good time to do another MRI and I may just wait until a solid four months from this most recent test date.

Certainly this is not what Daniela and I anticipated when I first went to the BajaNutricare clinic in May. However, neither did we anticipate that I would not be on the full therapy. Who knew that enemas would initially be so difficult for me. In that regard, I have made some serious progress - now having the ability to do five enemas instead of only two.

As far as additional progress, I am happy to report that I have gone to sleep between 8 & 9 PM with no pain for the last two nights. Furthermore, I have slept through the night the for the last two nights. And this evening I am not in pain. That being said, I am again pulling back the reigns on the sigmoidoscopy. With the recent reduction in pain, I will post-pone the exam because reduced pain is a very good sign and the sigmoidoscopy is far too invasive to do if it is not necessarry; it could seriously irritate the tumor area - a risk I am unwilling to take now that I have begun to get the relief I have been seeking.

Again, Daniela and I had hoped we would be much further along at this point: with a disappearing tumor and not to still be relying so much on our community for support. Well, that is not the case - a natural remedy often requires more patience. First my body had to get up to speed and now the therapy can.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Still No Word

My doctor's office still has heard nothing. That's me over on the right waiting an eternity for the oncologist to provide the test results. In the mean time, I'm either in the midst of the flu or a nasty detox flare-up. Not much else to say. Resting.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Little Bummed Out

I've been pretty bummed since Friday. I can see how attached I was to the tests revealing the tumor to be gone...and it's not.

Am I happy there has been no metastasis? Absolutely!!! And, I just want it to be gone. I've been going back and forth from bummed out and a little depressed to full of laughter as Beau plays with me and brings innocent joy and play to my day. You'll also be happy to know that when I am in those moments of depression, I am clear they are temporary and I can feel plenty of joy inside me. And, I am allowing those sad moments to be. I think it's a healthy expression of disappointment.

Yeah, I may have been expecting a miracle and guess what. I will continue to wake up each day in hopes of a miracle and each day I will imagine that this thing is gone!

...we're still waiting

No, I am not holding out on my scan results. We are still waiting to hear the final report from my doctor. The results were faxed to her office this afternoon only for her to determine that the oncologist who analyzed my results did his analysis based on the assumption that the tumor had previously been surgically removed. So, as you can imagine, his report was highly inaccurate, as he believed he was looking at a recurrence.

My doctor has faxed a request for him to analyze the scans again and base his determination on the correct information. I certainly hope to receive that information on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Classified Ad

This a request for your support in finding a reclining chair. You know, like a Lazy Boy kind of thing. I recently visited a friend and discovered that I am far more comfortable in a recliner than when I am propped up on the couch. The recliner seems to distribute the weight far more evenly - and off of my butt!

It's only in our budget to buy a recliner if the price is quite low. So, this is a request, of you local folks, for either a recliner that I could have or one that, as I stated above, I could buy for a relatively low price.

Back on the Full Therapy!

I am now doing all the coffee enemas and all the juices. While on hiatus from the coffee enemas, the only real difference was that instead of waking up in the middle of the night to internal stinging that requires an enema, I was instead having difficulty falling asleep due to aching in my backside, and would be up until 2, 3, 4 or 5 am. So, it seems the coffee enemas are an effective form of pain management. I am happy to be back on the full therapy.

Again, the hardest part about being on the full therapy is not being able to do my own therapy and to have to see how hard Daniela is working to keep up with my therapy and take care of the kids at the same time - Beau is now 14 1/2 months old and very active and requires a lot of attention.

The folks who regularly help out at the house are still coming around and THANK YOU to those of you who are able to fit us into your schedule. You are a huge contribution to our lives and this therapy simply would not be possible without you. And, as always, if you are not signed up on the schedule but you are available to come to the house and help us out for a couple of hours during any given week, we would greatly appreciate your assistance. We are clear we have taken on a massive project and without the dough to pay a staff or multiple family members nearby to support us, we find that what works is to humble ourselves and request your support.

If you have a couple of hours you can share with us, just click on the following link: or click on the paragraph entitled Bert Scholl Family Support on the top right corner of this blog. We know your time is valuable to you, so we are deeply grateful for your assistance and thank you for what ever you can provide. Not to mention that we are certain Beau will keep you well entertained while you are here! And one more thing, if you care for some coffee while you're here, we'll let you use a mug - buckets are optional!

We hope to have another live-in-aide in early March. Thanks a million!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Preliminary Results

Only the PET scan results came in today and they show no metastasis and no increase in tumor area. Not a miracle but far from a let down. MRI results should be in on Monday to determine tumor size.

No sickness from the MRI contrast/enhancer. Very pleased.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I Am Quite Relieved

More good news: You may have notices that I am not doing a CT scan this time around. This is because the scan enhancer aka contrast (a chemical used to sharpen the images taken in the scan) in a CT scan can have nasty side effects on some people. Well, apparently I am "some people." The MRI scan enhancer is much easier on the body which is the sole reason my doctor scheduled the MRI and no the CT. I am not interested in experiencing another "four alarm hangover" like I did following last September's scans.

In fact, I have just confirmed the MRI scan enhancer to be nothing like the stuff used in the CT scans. The gal I spoke with from the radiology department made that real clear. I am quite relieved. The CT scan enhancer made me so sick last September, that when Daniela woke me up to tell me the great news - "there was zero cancer growth!" - I actually didn't even care, because all I wanted to do was sleep so I could remain unconscious to the side effects. It seems like this time, it will be a very different experience - hopefully in more than ine way!

Monday, February 4, 2008

My Tests Are on the Way!

My PET scan and MRI are scheduled for this Friday - February 8th

I am very excited! What ever the outcome may be, I want to know for certain exactly how I am doing. Keep in mind that if I feel anything like I did the last time I had scans done, I will not post anything until the following day. Those scans require the individual to be filled with a nasty but necessary batch of poisons. Ooh Baby...

Why I Have Been Avoiding a Sigmoidoscopy Like the Plague

So, it seems I must clarify if even my own sister is asking why I am avoiding a sigmoidoscopy "like the plague"...

Sigmoidoscopy: visual examination (with a sigmoidoscope - see above) of the lower third of the colon.

I've been typing then deleting, then typing then deleting, trying to explain and I think the most effective way to explain is this: 1) the scope doesn't fit (even if it looks like it does, trust me, once it's in their you will realize it does not fit) & 2) I was awake and felt everything when I had my sigmoidoscopy in April '07. See, you really just have to get that the scope does not fit. I mean, technically, it fits because they get it up there. Oh! And then in order to be able to get a proper visual, a second tube (did I mention the first one didn't fit?) is inserted to inflate the colon with air which provides some space to look around. Once inserted, the scope must be bent back downward in order to look down onto where the rectum meets the anal sphincter - the tumor area in my particular case. So now, instead of pointing straight up, it is in the shape of the letter "J" but upside down and to imagine why that matters...well, do this:

Point your index finger straight up. Now curl it down until it's in the shape of an upside down "J." Once your finger is halfway down, notice that it's taking up twice as much space as it did when pointing straight up.

And once the downward view has provided all that is needed, naturally, the scope has to be returned to a straight position. Yes, that would required returning the finger back the straight or forward position. Ooh, yeah. That again.

It was also an equally difficult experience when the ultrasound was done - both times. And once the ultrasound rod is inserted...oh yeah, a second tube is inserted to inject water into the colon so the machine can get a better reading.

I must confess, I could have been be put under were my doctor to ask me to get a sigmoidoscopy. It's standard procedure for a colonoscopy. But until recently, if I was going to have a sigmoidoscopy, I wanted to be awake so I could see what was doin' down there. As painful as it was - gripping the bed bar and sweating bullets, mouth open with my eyes damn near rolled into the back of my head - it felt it important for me to see this rather unattractive yet colorful growth in my rectum. However, with all the pain I experienced in the last eight months, I think this time I will request that I get KNOCKED. OUT. COLD while the doctor plays a pitiful game of Hasbro's Operation.

If you're not familiar with the game Operation, it is a game where, with tweezers, you attempt to remove little plastic "ailments" from small holes in the board without touching the edges of the spaces within which the "ailments" are placed. Otherwise it sets the buzzer off. I can just hear the Gastroenterologist, "Oops the buzzer went off. Oops the buzzer went off. Oops the buzzer went off." My guess is that it's the future gastroenterologists who don't spend much time playing Operation as children so they don't know the goal is to NOT touch the outlying areas. Perhaps gastroenterologists (and colo-rectal doctors) were the kids who liked the sound of the buzzer and would actually push harder against the sides of the holes just to see if they could make the game buzz louder than their friends!

I hope that provided some clarity.

Yes, I will indeed request to be "out" for this one. And I'll ask if the crew can send me home with a DVD copy of it all. It's in full color, I might add. But don't worry. If I post the video, you will be fairly warned. It won't just start playing as the window opens up on your computer...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

It Ain't Exactly Pizza...But It's Good

I am psyched to say that my stomach seems to be back to 100%! If you don't recall, way back when I first started this therapy and stopped eating meat, cheese, nuts, seeds, fats, oils, etc., my stomach would hurt when ever it was empty and whenever I ate acidic foods.

For the last few days I've been having SALSA on my potato and I LOVE IT! Salsa was something we always had at the clinic, being in Baja, Mexico, and I could never eat it. What a treat to have it back. And my salads are far more tasty with tomatoes, onions and peppers on them as well.

Yes, this may seem like an awful lot of excitement about a couple of tomatoes, onions & peppers, but you have to consider that I haven't been able to eat them for the last eight months and considering the limits of the Gerson diet, a few tomatoes, onions and peppers makes my meals a whole lot better!

Different Form of Pain Management

I am trying a different form of pain management. After talking to my Gerson doctor, I have chosen to take a temporary break from coffee enemas and only do chamomile tea enemas. This is in order to give the rectal tissue a break from the acidity of the coffee so I can determine if the coffee is a reason for some of the discomfort I am feeling. Because I am not doing any coffee enemas, I am only on three juices a day. I must say it is certainly pleasing to me for Daniela to have a break from this therapy, although it had nothing to do with my decision. I am still on 100% of the Gerson diet, just 8 juices less.

This is not a common Gerson practice - taking a break from the enemas - but I believe in my case, it is a necessary action to take in order to help determine the source of my discomfort, since unlike most folks I know doing the therapy, my tumor area is in direct contact with the coffee and the toxins that pass over the tissue as they are passed out of the body. Taking this "coffee-break" will not cause any harm and hopefully, it will provide the relief I need.

Also, my soon tobe scheduled scans will certainly help. And if there is no relief and nothing that points to the discomfort is revealed by the scans, the next step will be a sigmoidoscopy. Something I've been avoiding like the plague and a necessary evil if nothing else provides an answer.

I'm looking forward to some success in the very near future...

Friday, February 1, 2008

What I Have Been Avoiding

I just read a few entries from the blog of a woman surviving cancer. In her latest entry, she shared that she just had her scans and they were successful! In previous entries, she shared about the anger and frustration with "other things in life" as she anticipated her scans. As I read about her anger & frustration with how things are not going as she would like, I found myself not wanting to read the entires. It was getting to me and to be quite honest, I'm glad it did because it revealed to me some unfinished business. Or in other words it had me discover what I have been avoiding. I have not posted any blog entries about my upcoming cancer scans and tests. I had no intention of posting anything about the tests until after they happened in case they didn't go so well. And if they didn't, I would decide at that point what to do and then let you know.

I can see now that as long as I operate that way, any anxiety or fears about the tests not going well will completely own me. And you don't get to know what's going on with me or have the opportunity to support me. So, you're officially back on board! I'll keep you right in here with me. I'm not interested in carrying around buried anxiety & fears. They will only turn into hidden resentments - that I can then take out on the people I love??? Yeah, right. I'll pass on that.

With that being said, on Monday my PET scan and MRI will be scheduled for, hopefully, sometime quite soon. And as soon as I have a date I will let you know when they will be.

Have a great weekend and thanks for everything!
It's 3:27 AM EST and I am posting a blog entry. Not my first choice. More than anything, I'd rather be sleeping. Well actually, more than anything, I'd rather not have cancer. But given the circumstances and that I have yet to learn how to disappear cancer simply in a single thought, right now I'll go with sleep. That would real nice.

It's odd how some nights I am simply wide awake. Sometimes it's for no reason I can see. Other times, like tonight, the old backside gets a little sore and I can't sleep. So right now I am sitting in a little improvised bathroom-floor sitz bath and using the enema table as a laptop desk. Hey, it works.

Sleeplessness would happen on occasion pre-diagnosis. Now it's a fairly regular thing. Fortunately, I have the day off from work tomorrow, so I'm not worried about my performance at the office. Fortunately, I have every day off until my body is healed so I guess a little sleeplessness will work itself out.

So, instead of sleeping I've been reading the emails that I've skipped over for days (or weeks) and checking out cool websites that test your knowledge of geography, etc. or scanning the website that lets me know who is visiting my blog from various countries and cities around the world and how many times it's been viewed - all that good stuff.