Dale Figtree, www.DaleFigtree.com
Book: “Beyond Cancer Treatment”
Which best describes your cancer remission?
First tried conventional medical treatment, but cancer was still present, so then only used non-conventional treatments
What TYPE of cancer did you have?
Lymphoma – Non-Hodgkin’s, Stage 2B, then later Stage 4 (metastasis in ribcage, outside of spleen)
Year of Cancer DIAGNOSIS / Year of REMISSION
1977 / 1980
Which CONVENTIONAL treatments did you try if any?
Exploratory thoracic surgery revealed a lymphatic tumor attached to my left lung, heart and main arteries the size of a grapefruit. It was considered inoperable. Chemos – cytoxin, vincristine and pregnosone – were originally to be given for three years but stopped after two months because they were having damaging effects – especially on my white blood cells. Radiation was started and continued for five days a week for six months until I started to stutter, and then was stopped completely. A month after stopping radiation, my x-rays showed the tumor had shrunk to the size of a grape, but I was told there was no further treatment available to me – except heavy duty chemo to slow down growth if needed. I was discharged with a ‘guarded’ prognoses.
Did you change your DIET?
Yes, I changed to:
No or little gluten
No or few refined grains
No or few sugars
No or little meat
No or little dairy
Switched to vegetarian
[I changed to eating] 80% raw, 20% cooked. Three freshly made vegetable juices daily with huge amounts of salads, fruits and nuts. At dinner the addition of 1 lb. of cooked vegetables and 1 lb. yam or brown rice or beans.
Did you try any of the following MENTAL TECHNIQUES during your healing process?
Yes, I tried:
Two months into treatment I was shown my most current x-ray with a new mass about three inches below the original tumor. The doc assured me that he and his staff were certain it was a new metastasis and that radiation needed to be started on that area the next day. I went home in a state of panic and immediately sat down a did a very detailed visualization of the destruction of the tumor until there was nothing left. At the hospital the next day, I was re-x-rayed to get the measurements for the radiation machine and my doctor came into room looking shocked. He told me the second mass was no longer to be found in the new x-ray.
Did you try any of the following CREATIVE THERAPIES during your healing process?
Yes, I tried:
Painting, Drawing, or other fine arts
I decided to work on a clay statue of the Hindu figure – Hanuman. Later a dream I had suggested this was part of my healing resources. Dreams were also a part of my healing process – revealing information, suggesting things, reaffirming things, warming me of things.
Did you experience a significant change in your THOUGHTS/EMOTIONS during your healing process?
Yes, I became a warrior – clearer, stronger, more single pointed. When fear came up – and it did – I learned to use it in ways that were beneficial.
During your healing process, did you experience a release or “LETTING GO” of emotions from your present or past, such as worry, fear, anger, sadness, or nostalgia?
Yes, it was more of developing an awareness of ‘escapest thoughts’ (death wishes) – and bringing them to consciousness to see what they were about and then somehow defuse them.
Was following your INTUITION an important part of your healing?
Yes, I simply trusted my instincts and allowed them to guide and help me choose directions in certain situations.
Did you experience an increase in SPIRITUAL thoughts, activities, or experiences during your healing process?
Yes, I was already a meditator. During the intensity of the healing, I experienced some hightened energy through my body, and consciousness shifts – with some meditations, and from reading some books.
During your healing process, how would you describe your “WILL TO LIVE”?
Very strong. I became aware that I harbored a death wish – and so I cultivated and focused on why I wanted to be here and heal – and was gifted with a deepening experience of the magnificence of this whole creation – with all it’s beauty and pain, and from that, felt a very strong sense of appreciation and more conscious will to live and that my will to live was much stronger then my will to die.
During your healing process, how much CONTROL did you have/take over your healing decisions as compared to your doctors, family, and friends?
I had all the control for my decisions. In the beginning I went along with what the doctors suggested because it made sense. There were a few medical procedures I declined as I didn’t want to go through for various reasons – i.e. pain, toxicity. Also I kept my parents in the background, not giving then all the information as I didn’t want to have to deal with their fears and emotions at this time.
During your healing process, how much SOCIAL SUPPORT did you have from family and friends?
A lot of support – I lived in a spiritual community and had enormous help when needed. My parents were generous in helping me pay for my nutritional doctor and taking the pressure off financially.
Is there ANYTHING ELSE that you feel was important for your remission and which was not already covered in this survey?
Grace, grace and more grace. I have known others who had done what I have done and given their all on as many levels as they could and did not survive their cancers. I assume that, on some level which we do not understand, it is probably all perfect and for reasons I don’t completely understand, it was my path to heal and I was willing to do the work.
Do you have any thoughts as to what may CAUSE CANCER in general, or what may have caused your cancer?
Yes and no – I had genetic potential as there were other lymph cancer’s in my family, I was around toxic art supplies for the previous few years, I had a sluggish lymphatic system, probably from dairy, and then there is karma with a big “?”
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of April 2020, Dale is well and thriving post diagnosis.
As far as the 45 years since I was diagnosed with lymphoma, I am very grateful to say it never has reoccurred, or any other serious disease for that matter. I do have issues with the long term effects of a lot of radiation on my lung, but so far, it is quite manageable. I am always discovering new healing supports and incorporating them into my diet and lifestyle. As a nutritionist, I want to keep up to date to also be able to pass beneficial information to my clients. My diet and healing lifestyle continue to fine tune and expand.
In the last three years I published a cookbook called ‘Simple, Nutritional and Delicious’ – which encorporated much of the nutritional support that has been crucial to my own healing. I would like share that after the first 7 years of recovery, a friend asked me how much longer would I need to stay on this eating program. My response was, I am hoping at least another 60 years! I am getting my wish! It has become a lifestyle that I have learned to enjoy and expand. I learned to make the foods more interesting and broader in choices, I’ve added more exercise, more meditation, more sharing and supporting others. I can see that what started out as a nightmare has become in many ways a great gift that changed the direction of my life and gave me the opportunity to develop a deeper appreciation of many things – one being able to help and support other’s healing challenges.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As May 2022, Dale is thriving post-diagnosis.
It’s been 43 years since I was diagnosed with lymphoma. Feels like another lifetime. I remember after 6 years someone said to me, “How much longer are you going to need to be on this diet for?” I paused and then said, I am hoping at least another 60 years! Well I stuck to my commitment, which has become a normal way of life for me. Here I am 72 and still having my two vegetable juices a day, along with an abundance of other high nutrient wholesome foods. Of course, it is not just diet, as I also meditate, and engage in the healthiest life style I can. But having a body, there are always challenges.
The old scar tissue from radiation has come back to haunt me a bit, creating some irritation in my lungs, which I am thankfully able to calm down. Our bodies age and become more and more vulnerable, but each challenge I try to meet with a wise view – looking into what the underlying cause might be and what needs to change that if possible. I am now taking a lot of nutritional supplements which I originally didn’t need, as diet seemed to fulfill all that was required at first. I find I am more sensitive than most people, in regards to environment.
Maintaining balanced health is not without its challenges. And I learn from these challenges, and then pass on that information to my clients to help support their health. I am grateful to be alive, I am grateful to support the health of others. I appreciate that what started out as a nightmare – having lymphoma at 27 year ago, was ultimately full of giftings, for myself and for many others. Wow!
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