A Proactive Approach to After Cancer Care

two middle age people, happy

My name is Richard Russell, and I am a patient at Anatara Clinic, and have been for approximately 5 years. In 2011 I had a Squamous Cell Carcinoma removed from my body. The cancer tumor on my tongue was removed by surgery, and other treatments (radiation and/or chemotherapy) were deemed unnecessary. They also took out Lymph nodes in my neck, as well as a saliva duct (which I didn’t find out until later) – and all of those cells were clear of any cancer. After I had gone through that process, I was really not comfortable with the scenario that most people encounter when finished with an experience like that: they go home and return to their lives until the next time something comes up. As if the doctor was saying, “Now you’re fine. Go home and wait for bad news.” I wasn’t interested in doing that myself. It felt like there was another path, where I could be more proactive and more engaged in figuring out some of the deeper reasons why that sort of cancer would happen to me in the first place. This meant that I was looking for physicians who had a wider view of health, and who understood how to build up the core fundamentals in the body so that the immune system works better, and you might stave off some of the trials and tribulations of old age that so many people I know are experiencing (including my ancestors). As a result of this interest, I began listening to the people I know and others who had been through similar experiences, and two doctors came to my attention – one in Honolulu, and one in San Francisco. I visited and was treated by both of them, and since then I’ve returned to Anatara Clinic for a yearly visit (unless I was doing a treatment that required more visits than that). A large part of the reason for this is because I am so impressed by Dr. Herskowitz’ view of health, and how important our core health is to all of the other afflictions we come down with…

It turns out that “Anatara” is the Sanskrit word for “core,” which seems totally appropriate. When I first came to the clinic I was given all kinds of tests, in a much more comprehensive way than I have ever experienced before, and felt like I was starting to add some science to my own experience, regarding basics like what supplements might be best for me to take, what might be best for me to eat, etc. It also measured things in my body that might indicate a predilection for more cancer, or other debilitating ailments. I welcomed that information, and learned a new word – I started to work on my biome. I became interested in not becoming a diabetic (which I was on the way toward), and not having high blood pressure (which is probably a family genetic condition), and not having any number of other things that might make one predisposed to problems down the road. For the record, I turned 65 years old just a couple months ago, and I am generally very healthy. I am not retired – in fact I have a lot going on in my life, and lots of responsibility. In addition, we had a new grandson lately, and I’m anxious to see how long I can stay alive to play with that guy!

All of these things have come together for me now in an annual pilgrimage to see Dr. Herskowitz and the great team he has here at Anatara Medicine in San Francisco. I am asked by friends why I would go so far and spend the money, (which is not all covered by insurance), to do this work. It’s because of the wide range of state-of-the-art treatments available at Anatara, and also because I appreciate Dr. Herskowitz’ very astute problem-solving. I think doctors are basically detectives on our behalf, and he is a particularly brilliant one – I feel very lucky to be in his care. I appreciate actual science backing up my practices and protocols so that my health can get better instead of guessing, unaware of what real progress or regress might be happening. As I used to say in the corporate world, I want to optimize for success.

My particular body has responded well to the treatments I have gotten at Anatara, and I definitely feel like we’re making progress. I feel better and look younger than I did ten years ago. All of my blood markers for the things that matter are moving in the right direction. I’ve learned a lot in the process of visiting the Clinic, including the beginning of an understanding of the various chemical issues going on in the body, many that I can affect with supplements and diet and other adjustments. I have always been a fan of alternative technologies – for example, I had an early interest in Royal Rife’s work and other kinds of resonance medicine, I understand the value of additional oxygen to the cells, and I appreciate the miracle that our bodies are.

As I am independent and independently employed, sometimes it’s difficult to afford, and that may have colored some of the treatment choices made by me. I couldn’t do everything all at once, but over time, we’ve managed to make a difference in all of the significant markers that we were concerned about, and I’m thrilled this week to find out that my blood sugar is back down below the range of pre-diabetic, which is one of the big concerns. Nobody wants their leg amputated because they ate the wrong foods. In any case, that’s just one little glimpse.

I also know – because I’ve been proactive before in my life – a lot about what my body is dealing with, and I was able to bring my knowledge here, and take it to the next level. I may not be their best patient, because I have my own opinions about so many things, but I’ve been very appreciative of the collaborative spirit that I’ve experienced throughout this clinic. It’s been a wonderful and friendly place to come for what I consider to be long-term core care. I would recommend it to anyone.

I know that some of the treatments done to me here are probably only available in a handful of places here in the United States – if any – and I appreciate that. I think that much of the world of medicine has been institutionalized for a variety of reasons, and some of the ways that bears on patients isn’t always helpful to their long-term health. In light of that, being with people who have a broader view of what health entails has felt like a gift to myself. I feel like I get a lot of new information about how to improve what is going into my body, and basically what the results are, in chemical terms, inside. But also, I get a lot of light and a lot of encouragement that we can get better from the staff at the Clinic. I believe that our biology is such a miracle, and we understand it a little bit, though not as much as we think sometimes. It’s wonderful to be with a group of people that are all learning together.

I’ve asked a couple of staff nurses why they’re still here after all this time I’ve been coming in, and their answer is that, “It is so unique to be in a clinic where learning is the order of the day, and actually gets acted on almost immediately by the physicians in charge to make it real for the patients.” I am very grateful for that dynamic, which I find to be unusual, and maybe – hopefully – not unique. I hope it catches on, but I am very aware that for now it’s a special situation, and I feel very lucky to have found my way here to Anatara Medicine. – R.R.

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