Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Christian Life
Volume 5 No. 311 October 30, 2015

III. General Weekly Features

Health: From Diagnosis To Recovery: A Breast Cancer Survivor's Search For The Right Treatment

Patient Urges Others To Educate Themselves

A newly released study provided good news for at least some breast cancer patients who dread the effects of chemotherapy treatment.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that a genetic test may be able to determine whether women with early stage breast cancer can skip chemotherapy and instead rely on hormone therapy.

Diana Warren, a breast cancer survivor, finds the study's results heartening.

"I think it's always important for cancer patients to explore all the options that might be available for their care," says Warren, 76, co-author with her daughter Jamie Beardsley of the book "Say No to Radiation and Conventional Chemo: Winning My Battle Against Stage 2 Breast Cancer" (

Under different circumstances from the women in the study, Warren reached her own decision about forgoing radiation and standard chemotherapy soon after her diagnosis. She decided she was unwilling to continue to subject herself to the "grueling, horrible" ordeal of chemotherapy. Among her concerns were the extreme nausea, hair loss and other side effects, along with the fact that traditional chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells, can't differentiate between good cells and bad.

Her decision launched her into a search for effective natural, non-toxic alternatives and landed her at the door of Dr. James W. Forsythe (, who recommended a genetic test to determine the best treatment for her.

The test was pricey – in Warren's case, $3,000 – but she agreed and Forsythe sent a blood sample to a genetic research center in Greece.

Once the results came back, she started a treatment that involved a lengthy list of supplements and low-dose Insulin Potentiation Therapy, which uses a combination of insulin and a chemotherapy drug.

"IPT is a kinder and gentler way to treat cancer with fewer negative side effects," Forsythe says.

IPT is controversial, though, and because it's considered an unproven therapy, patients usually pay full out-of-pocket expenses because it's typically not covered by health insurance.

"It certainly has its critics," Warren says, "but my experience was that the procedure is done carefully and methodically."

More than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States, and more than 40,000 women die from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Each October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed to bring attention to the disease and to raise money for research.

As a breast cancer patient, Warren says she learned a few things from her experience that are worth sharing.

Educate yourself.

Warren says it's important for patients to educate themselves and do their own research, scouring the Internet and books to find out what alternatives there are beyond the standard care.

"Also, have an open mind and don't be afraid to go to other doctors for opinions," she says. "If you have to pay out of your own pocketbook for opinions that are not supported by health insurance, then do it."

Ask questions.

As the patient, you need to understand what's happening with your body and also about the treatment plans, Warren says. What are the side effects? What are the survival rates? Are there alternative treatments?

"Never be afraid to ask something or question why certain treatments are being used," she says. "It doesn't hurt to ask ‘why' a lot."

Find a physician you are comfortable with.

Often, individuals and society as a whole put doctors on a pedestal, Warren says. "Look for doctors who don't treat you like a number," she says. "Make sure they listen to you."

Forsythe says when patients are diagnosed with cancer, they often deal with a flood of emotions, such as anger, confusion, fear, self-pity and denial. It is through this fog that they often are trying to understand and make decisions about their treatment options.

"Diana had the courage to take charge of her situation and make the decisions that proved right for her," he says.

About Dr. James W. Forsythe

Dr. James W. Forsythe, an integrative medical oncologist, is the author of more than 20 books, including his most recent, "Stoned: The Truth About Medical Marijuana and Hemp Oil" ( He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and earned his medical degree from University of California, San Francisco. Today he operates the Century Wellness Clinic in Reno, Nev.

About Diana Warren

Diana Warren, a breast cancer survivor, is the co-author with Jamie Beardsley of "Say No to Radiation and Conventional Chemo: Winning My Battle Against Stage 2 Breast Cancer" (

Recipe: Apple Crisp Muffins

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Love apple crisp dessert? Now you can enjoy it for breakfast. This is the time of the year in North America when apples are plenty. You can visit orchards and road side stands and purchase bulk apples for cooking at low cost. These tree-ripened apples are delicious and make great muffins that deliver a fresh taste to your morning.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
4 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup(s) old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. cold butter
1/4 cup(s) chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 400°F (200 deg C). In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine egg, milk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

In a small bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth. Drop by tablespoonfuls into centers of muffins.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over filling. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Prep Time: 30min
Cook Time: 20min
Yield: 12 Servings

Source: Sams Club

Family Special: Mutual Accountability in a Good Marriage

By Dr. James C. Dobson

Q. You implied earlier that the love must be tough philosophy has broad applicability. I understand its role in reconstructing a bad marriage. How would it function in a good relationship?

A. The best way of keeping a marriage healthy is to maintain a system of mutual accountability, with the context of love. Speaking personally, the secret of my beautiful relationship with Shirley for the past twenty-three years has involved a careful protection of the "line of respect" between us. This is a difficult concept to convey and its function is different from one personality to another. Perhaps by explaining how it operates between Shirley and me, I can help the reader adapt the principle to his own circumstances.

Suppose I work in my office two hours longer than usual on a particular night, knowing Shirley is preparing a special candlelight dinner. The phone sits there on my desk, but I lack the concern to make a brief call to explain. As the evening wears on, Shirley wraps the cold food in foil and puts it in the refrigerator. Then suppose when I finally get home, I do not apologize. Instead, I sit down with a newspaper and abruptly tell Shirley to get my dinner ready. You can bet there'll be a few minutes of fireworks in the Dobson household. Shirley will rightfully interpret my behavior as insulting and will move to defend the "line of respect" between us. We will talk it out and next time I'll be more considerate.

Let's put the show on the other foot. Suppose Shirley knows I need the car at 2:00 P.M. for some important purpose, but she deliberately keeps me waiting. Perhaps she sits in a restaurant with a lady friend, drinking coffee and talking. Meanwhile, I'm pacing the floor at home wondering where she is. It is very likely that my lovely wife will hear about my dissatisfaction when she gets home. The "line of respect" has been violated, even though the offense was minor.

This is what I mean by mutual accountability. Such minor conflict in a marriage plays a positive role in establishing what is and is not acceptable behavior. Some instances of disrespect are petty, like the two examples I gave, but when they are permitted to pass unnoticed, two things happen. First, the offender is unaware that he has stepped over the line and is likely to repeat the indiscretion later. In fact, he may go farther into the other person's territory the next time. Second, the person who felt insulted then internalizes the small irritation rather than spilling it out. As the interpretation of disrespect grows and the corresponding agitation accumulates in a storage tank, the stage is set for an eventual explosion, rather than a series of minor ventilations.

What I'm saying is that some things are worth fighting over, and at the top of the list is the "line of respect." Most of my conflicts with Shirley have occurred over some behavior that one of us interpreted as unhealthy to the relationship. Shirley may say to me, in effect, "Jim, what you did was selfish and I can't let it pass." She is careful not to insult me in the confrontation, keeping her criticism focused on the behavior to which she objected.

A workable system of checks and balances of this nature helps a couple keep their marriage on course for a marathon rather than a sprint. And I can assure you, Shirley and I are going for the distance!

From the book 'Love Must Be Tough' by Dr. James Dobson

About The Author:

Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk." He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family. Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame.

Self Improvement: How to Control Your Day

By Craig Ballantyne

"Success is simple once you understand how hard it is. Only then will you accept the discipline, action, and persistence required. Focus on improving yourself and you'll improve your lot in life."
- Craig Ballantyne

When my father passed away in the fall of 2008, I was reminded of the power of rituals and routines.

Each afternoon when I'd get home from high school I'd head up to my room to change my clothes for my after-school job. Before turning into my bedroom at the top of the stairs, I'd make a detour to my parents' room and help myself to some of my father's leftover candy. At night while watching television he'd snack on potato chips, chocolate bars, cherry licorice, or other treats. It was like having a convenience store in our house.

This habit continued even when I went off to college. When I'd return home during school breaks, I'd head upstairs and make that right hand turn to visit my father's candy shop.

After his funeral, I spent weekends visiting my mother to help sort through his affairs. During each visit I'd inevitably go up to my old room, and for months after his death I continued to make that right hand turn. Alas, the candy shop was gone, but the old habit was hard to break.

As you can see, rituals are powerful. We must harness them for good and create the habits we need to control our days and win our mornings, and to put them in place for productivity and progress in life. The right rituals and routines make the right actions automatic, no matter how chaotic things get.

I learned this from the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus. He teaches us to control what we can, and cope with what we can't. Think about how this applies to your own life.

If your spouse or boss gets upset, there is no switch to turn them off.

If clouds gather and it starts to rain, you cannot wave the showers away.

You can't control the external world.

But you can control your thoughts, words, and deeds. And that is all you can do. But when you do this, you can do remarkable things. You can write books, build companies, find the love of your life, lose weight, and grow your wealth.

It all starts with recognizing what is under your control.

You can control what time you wake up, what habits you start the day with, what temptations enter your life, and what systems you have in place for dealing with those.

You can control your belief in yourself. You can take more control over your schedule and energy than you might believe right now. And most importantly, you can control your morning and in doing so, win your day.

Whatever it is you seek, remember the advice of the ancient Stoic. Be clear about your goals, know what you can control, and then do what you have to do.

Perhaps the most important ritual in your life is what time you choose to get out of bed, and the best thing you can do is to start getting up 15 minutes early. This will allow you to attack your number one priority first thing in the morning.

Do not linger under the warm covers. That is for average people stuck in the struggles of ordinary lives. You are destined for greatness, you are set to overcome your obstacles, and you will not stand for failure.

You control your behavior. Your success is your personal responsibility. Take action. Do the first things first. Do what matters even if you don't feel like it. Get up and give your number one priority the focus it deserves for at least 15 minutes every morning.

But what if you're not a morning person, you ask? I get it. There is something romantic about being a night owl. But if you look at the great authors, artists, inventors… what do you find? You may be surprised, but the common thread is that they got their best work done in the morning.

The great German writer Goethe, for example, wrote that the morning was when he felt “revived and strengthened by sleep and not yet harassed by the absurd trivialities of everyday life.”

Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, rose at dawn, drank his morning coffee, ate two raw eggs, and then wrote until 11 a.m.

Beethoven, Schubert, and Mahler woke at dawn and composed until early afternoon.

Van Gogh began painting at seven in the morning.

The great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, did his sketches between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Dickens and Darwin did their best writing in the morning before taking long walks in the afternoon to fuel their creativity. And Hemingway, no matter if he was suffering from another legendary hangover, knew that it was best to write after the sun's first light.

Even Stephen King, the American horror master, writes his chilling tales before noon.

Getting up 15 minutes earlier than you normally do, and spending that time working on your top priority, may be difficult at first. But this is how you control your day and make BIG progress in your life.

About the Author:

Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and author of Financial Independence Monthly. His no-nonsense, sometimes "politically-incorrect" advice has helped millions of people transform their lives both physically and financially.

2015 © Early to Rise Publishing – All Rights Reserved

Senior Special: Retirement....Interesting Reading

by Ajit Sen

Retirement not very far away, am already looking for change in job that can give me easy 5 day week with new portfolio, or get me a 3 day week job, leaving me 2 day to do freelance consultancy. Although I doubt very much that my company will release me.

However I am looking forward to taking it easy after 60 and give myself time to do those things that I enjoy besides my job.

My wish list includes

1. Blow up my 10000 watt music system to listen to my favourite music & songs of English country and Oriental music.

2. Watch a Movie twice a week on home theatre with surround sound in 3D, without business call interruption.

3. Already building my Torrent collection of movies like "Those Magnificent men and Their Flying machine", "Where eagles Dare", " The Last Emperor" etc. in Full HD 1080p .

4. Also watch movies at a theatre once in 15 days ( haven’t had much time for this ).

5. Play Golf more than a Sunday

6. Play Chess with a challenging buddy.

7. Cook exotic Oriental dishes for family and friends at home right from chopping to cleaning. Also create & cook fusion dishes

8. Take long drives to the countryside. Eat in dhabas. Eat & lie down on Charpoys.

9. Do some Indian road tours Bangalore upwards. (Have travelled enough down south)

10. Paint a canvas or two.

11. Arrange stage shows. (did a few when in Cochin, since I was tired of monotonous Rabindra Sangeet based programs by Bongs)

12. Meet friends often

13. Do tea table talk professionally for small groups.

14. Take my camera, walk the streets, capture life in candid shots both in Video and still

15. Peacefully review my huge picture collection on large LED TV.

16. Arrange music and pics in proper labeled folder on my comp for easy search.

17. Give photography lessons to small focus group or individual.

18. Travel far east more, ( including Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia ) understand & absorb culture.

Everyone has their own wish list. Look forward to wish list of others.

[Editor's Note: Ajit Sen is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India and resided in the same hostel as the Chief Editor of Malankara World. He travels extensively for business all over Asia and Europe.]

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