Why I didn’t do Chemo

Like I’ve said before, I am not a doctor or a scientist.  I am a self-educated chemo-free cancer survivor and I often have people contact me who want to know more. So I am going to explain in the simplest terms what I have come to understand and believe to be true about chemotherapy; and why I did not do it.

Tell me if this story sounds familiar:

Someone you know finds out they have cancer in a specific part of their body, like their lungs.  They take multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.  Over time the cancer shrinks and disappears.  The doctors tell them they can’t find any cancer in their body.  Everyone is so relieved.  The cancer is now in “remission”.

Some time goes by and they have more tests only to find out that the cancer has returned.  But this time it’s not just in their lungs, it’s in their liver, or their thyroid, or their brain, or their blood, etc.

They go through more chemo and radiation but the doctors just can’t stop the cancer.  Every time you see them they look worse and worse.  Eventually after a difficult battle ranging from a few months to a few years they die.
So what happened?

This is what happened:

Chemotherapy is poison and it does not discriminate.  It works by attacking rapidly dividing cells in your body which affects your hair, nails, skin, your digestive system, and your blood. This process makes you very sick and can cause permanent damage to various parts of your body including your brain, liver, hearing, and reproductive organs.

Chemotherapy attacks rapidly reproducing cells, which includes some types of cancer cells, but it also attacks your white blood cells, a major player in your immune system.  Note: Your immune system is what keeps you alive.

We all have pre-cancerous cells in our bodies that are eliminated by the natural processes of our immune system.

If you have cancer in your body, your immune system is fighting it, albeit not very well, but it is fighting it.
If the cancer is growing, that means your immune system could be overwhelmed or suppressed, and not functioning as well as it should. B
ut cancer doesn’t mean your immune system is doing nothing.

If you take chemotherapy and it doesn’t kill all the cancer cells; you will find yourself in a very vulnerable position.  Your immune system will be decimated and you will have little defenses left to prevent any remaining cancer cells from reproducing.

So if you still have cancerous cells in your body, they will proceed to take over like wild fire.  I’ve seen it happen over and over with friends that went through chemo; and chances are, you have too.

Sometimes chemo will stop one kind of cancer, but then the patient will develop an entirely different form of cancer.  Again, this happened because their immune system was destroyed and their internal defenses were down.
Their body became a place where mutated cells could flourish.  Oh and chemotherapy can also cause cancer.

This may also sound familiar:

I ran into a friend of the family who had undergone chemotherapy recently.  Let’s just call this person “Pat”.
I hadn’t seen Pat since before the chemo and saw Pat for the first time several months after the chemo.  When I did,
I was shocked.  Pat looked ten to fifteen years older.  Pat went from looking like a “middle aged person” to an “old person” in less than a year.  It was heart breaking.  The transformation in Pat’s face alone was unbelievable.  Pat’s face was sunken in; Pat’s skin was leathery and wrinkled; and Pat’s hair had grown back thin and lifeless.  Pat is still alive and as I write this I don’t know the condition of Pat’s health.  But one thing I do know and witnessed firsthand: The ravaging aftereffects of chemotherapy are real.

When the doctors first told me I would need chemotherapy I accepted it at first, but I didn’t feel good about it.
It just didn’t sit well with me and I didn’t have a peace about it.

Then I began to study the effects that chemotherapy would have on my body and immune system, which explained my instinctive resistance.  I remember thinking to myself, there’s got to be another way…

This was my thought process:

-My body is designed to repair itself.

-Something inside me is malfunctioning and affecting my immune system, allowing cancer to grow.

-Chemotherapy is poison that will hurt my body and destroy my immune system.

-I don’t want to hurt my body and destroy my immune system.  I want to build it up.

-Cancer is not the Cause of a sick body, it is the Effect of a sick body.

-I’ve got to find therapies that strengthen my body and my immune system, so it can heal itself.

And that’s exactly what I did.  I radically changed my diet and did every natural holistic therapy I could find in order to assist my body in detoxing and strengthen my immune system.

If all else failed, chemo would be my last resort.

Disclaimers Abound

I have shared my story and convictions with many people diagnosed with cancer.  I’ve listened to them agree with me and say to me “You’re right.  I know deep down you’re right.”  And I’ve watched them choose to do chemotherapy anyway.
Some of them survived, most of them have not.  The hardest part for me is wondering whether or not I could have said something else that would have made the difference.  Those experiences added more fuel to my fire, which is why I’m writing it all down now.

I am not a doctor (pretty sure I said that already).  Therefore, I cannot tell you “Don’t take chemotherapy” or I could be accused of practicing medicine without a license.

I know sometimes when we’re in difficult situations we just want someone to tell us what to do.
In this case, I can’t.  Whether or not you take chemotherapy is a decision only you can make.

And it’s a damn hard one.

If you have cancer or are undergoing chemotherapy now, what you just read might be terrifying. You may be feeling more confused than ever.  I know, I was exactly where you are, back in 2004. This is the time where you need to Pray.  Ask God to reveal himself to you.  Ask Him lead you in the direction you should go.  That’s exactly what I did.  He answered my prayers and He will answer yours.

I want to encourage you to do your own research outside of what the doctors are telling you, in order to make an informed decision.  Take responsibility for your own health.  This blog should not be the only thing you read.

These books were profoundly helpful in my decision-making process:

God’s Way To Ultimate Health by George Malkmus

A Cancer Battle Plan by Anne Frahm

Patient Heal Thyself by Jordan Rubin


Your body is designed to heal itself.

Your immune system keeps you well.

Chemo kills your immune system.


Related Post: The BUSINE$$ of CHEMO

Subscribe to my blog to receive instant email notification of new posts!

24 Responses to “Why I didn’t do Chemo”
  1. MissAngee says:

    Chris, I have a few questions for you. I may have missed it but what type of cancer do you have and at what stage? Funny you mentioned Lung cancer in your blog. that is exactly what I have, metastasized to the liver, spine, skull and ribs. Initially the doctors thought it was TB, then Breast Cancer until they finally settled on the left lung. Small Cell. Stage four.

    Second, have you heard of the Budwig Protocol and if you have, what do you think of it?

    • MissAngee says:

      Forgive me! I just read your About Chris section lol Oh also the kimchi and noodles I mentioned is prepared with white sugar, not a whole lot but I wanted to know if I can ask my mother to either eliminate the sugar or ask her to prepare it with stevia instead

  2. Tom says:

    Could you share sources (hopefully online resources, instead of books to buy) for some of your assertions? Some of your points seem contrary to my own understanding, and I’d like to reconcile that.

    The ones that stand out the most:
    1) the dependence upon the immune system to detect and destroy cells that have mutated into cancers
    2) the parts of the immune system that are most damaged by chemotherapy (thus inhibiting the action of #1)

    They make good premises for a syllogism, but they seem too oversimplified for me to buy. This is coming from someone recently through a bunch of different chemotherapy treatments, so our perspectives are already quite differing. So too have been our cancers.

    I don’t argue that a fundamental change in how one lives one’s life can affect huge positive health benefits, and perhaps even create a less inviting environment for cancer. No argument there. I think it’s the vehemence of your hatred of chemotherapy. For someone with an extensively spread blood cancer, surgery isn’t an option. In the emergent case of massively enlarged organs that cannot be removed or resectioned, a fundamental change in lifestyle may be too late.

    I’m glad to hear that the surgery and living well have kept you, well, living well!

    • Hi Tom
      I understand where you’re coming from and expect to be challenged.
      This article is intentionally oversimplified. I’m sharing the basics in a blog post than can be digested in a couple minutes.
      I’m not the world’s foremost expert on health and wellness and have no desire to be.
      I’m just a dude who beat cancer without chemo.
      The point of everything I say is to encourage you to do your own research.
      You should definitely read the books I recommend and more. The more you read, the more supporting evidence you’ll find.

      I suggest you ask your doctor those same two questions. If your doctor is like most, he didn’t tell you much, but he will if you ask; to some extent. Which, incidentally, is a story I hear far too often from cancer patients about the lack of information supplied to them about success rates and the effects chemotherapy would have on their body, like “chemo brain” for example.
      For anyone reading this who doesn’t know, “chemo brain” is short to long-term brain damage that makes it very hard to think clearly, organize information, remember things, and function in normal life after chemo. A dear friend of mine likened it to Alzheimer’s.
      I don’t hate chemotherapy at all, but people need to know what it is and what it does.

      Just google “chemotherapy”, “immune system”, etc. You’ll find enough reading for days.
      Here’s one I just found http://www.naturalnews.com/023689.html


      • Tom says:

        Hi Chris,

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

        I had the good fortune of working with doctors who were willing to have long discussion with me about their understanding of how my specific cancer (lymphoma) operated, how the different types of treatments effected major cell groups in my body, and what I could expect long-term. Not everyone has this kind of experience.

        Reading the article that you linked to, and researching some of it’s warrants, brought me to a few responses:

        1 – The quote from “Alan Levin, MD” is used just about everywhere online where people want to slam conventional approaches to cancer treatment. I haven’t been able to find much in the way of the original source of the quote, and he seems to be credited as being both from Harvard and from UCSF.

        2 – The study from Australia showing a real small up-tick in survival benefit from chemotherapy was very selective in which cancers they included. Blood cancers and other cancers with really significant chemotherapy benefit rates were excluded. Still, dismal results for other cancers are dismal results! Here is an interesting response, written by someone that I assume is a pharmacy-related source.

        3 – Abel’s research, from 1990, is tied in as a stunning conclusion at the bottom. “If they tell you that chemotherapy is your best chance of surviving, you will know they are lying or are simply misinformed.” This research is from 1990. 1990! So much changed about the types and amounts of drugs. But the real kicker: the paper may not actually ever have existed!

        Many of these articles use the same quotes and studies, copied and pasted from each other, to talk about how chemotherapy continues to be discussed as viable because the drug companies want to keep making money. Your oncologist is lying to you to keep them making money! Oh, and buy my book about homeopathic medicine at Amazon!

        My realization: For my cancer, chemotherapy was very effective. I ended up having a complex case and I’m in good shape now. For other cancers, chemotherapy may be completely useless and a waste of quality of life. I think I might be taking your feelings about chemotherapy as something approaching a personal attack; that’s a silly thing for me to do, and I need to stop it.

      • Hi Tom! Thanks again for writing. This is a very timely discussion as I have a new post up today with more information I think you’d appreciate. It’s called “Freakonomics and Cancer Treatment”. Very conclusive research that actually validates both of our points.



      • MissAngee says:

        For anyone reading this who doesn’t know, “chemo brain” is short to long-term brain damage that makes it very hard to think clearly, organize information, remember things, and function in normal life after chemo.

        My jaw just dropped after reading this! I thought this was just a myth! I have this! Before chemo, I was well organized, remembered alot and all that….

        NOW!? I can’t remember my next appointment, to make my childrens appts. school functions…. I’m so glad this isn’t a myth. I swear I thought I was going crazy!

    • MissAngee says:

      I can tell you this… I had to do my own research. I was never told to change my diet. Just to continue eating. I was never told to alkaline, eat right, sleep well take supplements… I never knew chemo would kill my still healthy immune systems. I never would have chosen chemo. I was sent home after given a death sentence of less than a year. I don’t have anything to loose by trying these alternative techniques and neither do you.

      I was supposed to start on Zometa, a drug that was supposed to strengthen my bones. The doctor, who is Indian, was talking so fast, I didn’t hear her clearly when she said that the drug would also MAKE MY CANCER WORSE! No way! And when I told her to cancel it, she tried to give me this guilt trip about brittle bones and stuff like that. I hung up on HER told MY ONCOLOGIST that if she was NOT taken off my team I was leaving that clinic, I don’t care WHO was paying for my treatments! this was crazy! Chris I commend you for sticking this out despite all the odds… To Tom, I will give you the same advice I was given, NOTHING beats a failure but a try. What else do you have to loose?

  3. Michelle A. says:

    Hi Chris,
    Congrats on your success! I am curious as to what holistic therapies you did? Colonics, Reflexology, etc and how often? Keep up the great work!

    • Hey Michelle
      Thank you!
      I did everything I could find and afford, which is why I started this blog, to document it all for anyone who wants to know.
      Yes to reflexology, enemas, acupuncture, structural integration, reiki, reconnection, tons of herbal supplements…it’s really too much to go into in a comment reply.
      But stay tuned I’ll eventually get it all on here!

  4. Jason says:

    What do you know about this guy: http://www.burzynskimovie.com? Is he legit?

    • Yes Burzynski is definitely legit! I found out about him early on. He was on my list of doctors to see if I couldn’t beat it on my own. Thanks for the link. I had not idea they made a movie about him. Learning new stuff everyday!
      Love you brother!


  5. Kelli says:

    Your blog is inspiring and so is your straight-up sentiments about your journey. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to put yourself out there but sharing your story certainly gives hope. I can’t imagine how difficult the road was for you but can relate to the frustration of having an illness without a “silver-bullet” cure. It’s great to connect with others and know that there are other alternatives out there when the traditional ways come up empty. That and a good sense of humor with a “kick some butt” attitude goes a long way ;) Best wishes to you Chris and keep writing and rockin’.

  6. shanna says:

    Great article! These are many of the reasons I too chose not to do chemo. Unfortunately, doctors lead people to believe they don’t need to make any life changes, and they do the chemo, and cancer comes back. Change your life, change your health.

  7. Joelle says:

    first off–I had no idea you had gone through this. I’m so sorry! but, good for you on being your own advocate.

    I have had 2 of my aunts, my grandfather, my father-in-law and a close family friend’s 12 yr old daughter die from cancer in as many years. all of them tried varying forms of chemo/radiation, unsuccessfully. :(

    I have not done the research you have done, but have come to have many of the same thoughts/beliefs. thank you for spreading the word!

    I have been feeding my family in a similar manner for years, and we thoroughly enjoy it. Some argue it is expensive and time consuming, but I think your health is worth it!! another great book on the subject is “fit for life”about food combining.

    all the best!
    Joelle–your old carpool buddy and first friend-girl :)

    • Hi Joelle! Thanks so much. Cancer is crazy and it’s everywhere! What’s scary is how many people are getting it
      at a young age like I did. I think a lot of people our age are much more health conscious than our parents were, which is
      great! Makes me seem less weird. Thanks for the reminder, Fit for Life is a great book!

  8. Marisa says:

    Chis, this is beautifully written. My mom went through the same thing you did when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 years ago, and after much prayer, she was led to raw foods and a holistic approach as well. It has completely changed our lives. I can relate to what you are saying about people having to make the choice for themselves, but when I see people who don’t get well, I often think too, could I have said it a little differently or pushed them in this direction more? That is why I started my blog too. I felt as if I needed to do something and share the information I knew, and am continuing to learn. Thank you for being so honest, and sharing your experience with the world. I know many people will benefit from it!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Posts: Why I didn’t do Chemo The Raw Vegan Diet and Cancer Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Back in a Familiar […]

  2. […] raw food into your diet as possible. This is a major part of what I did to beat cancer along with not doing chemo. I know cutting out processed food is not easy, because it means giving up foods you enjoy. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: