My name is Bill Weinzimmer and I am an advanced prostate cancer survivor. When I was diagnosed 18 years ago, I was told I only had 18 months to live. Thanks to the amazing care I received from Dr. Simon J. Hall at The Mount Sinai Hospital, and the significant changes I made in my life, I am still alive and active 18 years later at 83-years-young. I hope my experiences and tips will provide inspiration to others diagnosed with cancer, as well as to their families.
When I was diagnosed in 1995, I knew that something or a number of things caused the cancer to develop and grow in my system. It was just common sense that I must make many changes in my life to help my cancer treatments succeed. The first major change was my diet. I eliminated red meat, especially anything charcoal broiled, fried foods, bacon, as well as butter, whole milk, and rich desserts. My wife, Marilyn started to devote some of our dinners to recipes and concepts in the Mediterranean diet, where extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, tomato sauce and vegetables are emphasized. I also ended each dinner with a cup of green tea as I read in several articles that it was very beneficial for the prostate.
My morning regimen changed to more high fiber cereals with low sugar content, as I believe that high sugar can influence the growth of cancer cells. Dr. Otto Warburg, who won a Nobel Prize for his research in cell biology, lectured in 1966 on the dangers of sugar, titled “The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer.” I believe his warnings about this substance are as relevant today as when he wrote them years ago.
The second major change was dealing with my stress level. I knew I had to deal with the stress in my life to make a difference in my fight against cancer and overall health. Stress is a killer, and I believe it contributed to lowering my immune system and the growth of cancer. When the stress in my work was at an all time high in 1995, I used willpower to reason with myself. When a situation developed and I became angry with someone, I decided to forgive him, and amazingly I felt lighter as if I no longer carried that heavy emotional burden and baggage.
A cancer diagnosis is a devastating moment in one’s life. My son, Russ recognized this and sent me numerous inspirational cassettes and videos by Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. Carl Simonton, Dr. Bernie Siegel, among others. At the gym, on a walk, or at home, I would listen to “The Power of the Mind to Heal,” “Spontaneous Healing,” “Getting Well,” and “Love, Medicine and Miracles.” Also, I would sometimes pick up my Bible and read some Psalms that were soothing to me.
Third, I got active again and made exercise an integral part of my day to day life. I used to be a runner before I developed cancer. I enjoyed jogging as much as seven miles at a time and competing in 10K races. I realized that exercise became just as important for a cancer patient. For aerobic exercise, I either run on a treadmill at the gym or walk one to two miles. While at the gym, I also include some time with weights to prevent muscle wasting that is a side effect of the hormone therapy I was on.
Again, I hope these experiences and tips will help provide some guidance and hope for cancer patients and their loved ones. Just look at me – I turned “18 months” into 18 years, and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon!
To read Bill’s full story, visit his website at isurvivedprostatecancer.org