How I Beat Cancer

3 months before my cancer diagnosis.

In October of 2008 I was diagnosed with Stage II Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma. After weeks of testing and the staging confirmed by PET/CAT scans and a bone marrow biopsy, my husband Kevin and I had to make a decision. Were we going to go with the oncologist’s recommendation of R-CHOP chemotherapy and radiation? There were so many unsettling factors. The type of Hodgkin’s I had was rare and indolent and there were no conclusive studies on what type of conventional treatment was MOST effective. The chemotherapy that was suggested by my oncologist had many side effects, but the one I found completely unbearable was infertility.

On the same day we received my official diagnosis and were given our tour through the chemo room and the wig shop, Kevin and I came home feeling unsettled and bewildered.  While I was lost in my thoughts of whether to freeze my eggs or agree to have embryos frozen, he began research on alternative cancer treatment. Neither one of us had any experience in the alternative cancer world. He began discovering other people who felt similarly as we did. They believed there had to be another way, a better way to treat cancer. We also found several survivors who treated or were treating naturally, such as Jerry Brunetti and Kris Carr.

Over the next few weeks, packages arrived at our door on a daily basis. Kevin began to read about the reasons that conventional medicine was not always the best way to approach treating cancer. He became more and more educated on the effectiveness of alternative cancer treatment. I had difficulty having faith in his new alternative cancer philosophy. How could this “natural” treatment be so effective, but yet doctors continue to treat almost exclusively with c​h​e​m​o​t​h​e​r​a​p​y​, radiation, and surgery? It must be because modern American medicine was superior to diet change and supplementation? I needed to educate MYSELF. I focused on a book by Bill Henderson called “Cancer Free: Your Guide to Non-Toxic Healing” and in November began the protocol he lays out in his book:

1. Beta 3-D Glucan Immune Boosting Supplement

2. Raw Organic Vegan Diet, No Meat, No Sugar, No Processed Foods, No Cooked Food

3. Budwig Protocol (Cottage Cheese/Flaxseed Oil)

4. Vitamin C/ Green Tea Supplement

5. Barley Power Supplement

6. Dr. David Williams Daily Advantage Vitamins

7. HcG Urine Test to monitor progress

After many heated arguments and tears, I had finally agreed to give alternative cancer treatment a 3 month trial period. Our next step was to find an oncologist who supported us in our journey. After leaving the first oncologist, we found a holistic M.D. at first who knew of an oncologist, Dr. Stephen Szabo who she heard was more-open minded to patients trying alternative treatments. After one visit with him he confirmed that he believed I had “time to try alternative therapies” and agreed to monitor the cancer while I continued my nutritional protocol. It was shortly after this I began to notice the cancerous lymph node in my neck drastically reducing in size, almost to the point of non-detection after only a month on my new diet.

In January of 2009, I attended the 12 day detoxification and raw foods course at the Living Foods Institute here in Atlanta. It was there I was introduced to new ways to enjoy raw foods.  I also received 7 colonics to detox my colon in order to allow proper assimilation of the cancer-fighting nutrients I was putting into my body. I did many other things to detox my body also, such as drinking Essiac Tea, reflexology, drinking Alkaline water, sweating in a dry heat sauna, and exercising on a Cellerciser rebounder. During this time I also kept my anxiety levels calm through prayer, reading biblical scripture, and reciting positive affirmations.

My January HcG Test showed improvement from my November score. I was set for another HcG test in March when I discovered I was pregnant. It was a scary and uncharted territory for us. My oncologist seemed confident and we worked together along with my OBGYN through the next few months of morning sickness and blood tests to make sure my body was handling the pregnancy well and the cancer wasn’t acting up.

Finally, on May 4th, 2009, Dr. Szabo gave us the surprising news that I was in “clinical” remission! He believed that CT/PET scans were NOT a superior way to monitor the form of cancer I had because of its indolent nature. Instead, I am monitored via bloodwork and physical examinations.  Following several months of excellent health reports, I received “clinical” remission status. I went on to have an unmedicated and natural birth to our sweet daughter on November 19th 2009.

As of this writing in November, 2014 I remain in clinical remission. I have chosen to address my cancer through lifestyle change. This is a lifelong commitment. My diet is not as extreme as it was in the beginning, but I still stay away from sugar, processed foods, and conventional foods as much as possible. I eat a TON of nutrient-dense, organic vegetables: including my 64 ounce veggie smoothie as often as I can being a busy mother of now two young daughters (our 2nd daughter was born in 2013.) I am also juicing vegetables and finally loving it. When I eat meat, it is grass fed, free-range meat or wild-caught fish. I still drink green tea several times a day and also eat the Cottage Cheese/ Flaxseed Oil mixture 4-5 days a week.

I think there is a place for conventional medical treatment and intervention/monitoring. For my husband and I, it was a PRAYERFUL decision to approach the cancer the way we did. We believe that God gave us a fully functioning, self-healing body that when nourished as it was intended (both physically and spiritually,) can reverse the malfunctioning cell growth of any form of cancer. This is where we felt peaceful in our choice. It will be a journey to keep the cancer away, not a destination. That is how we hope Americans will begin to look at their health care.

For a more detailed version of this story, please click HERE.


My Series on Fighting Cancer with Alternative Therapies:


Part 1: A Day in the Life On My Alternative Cancer Protocol

Part 2: 5 Tips for Alternative Cancer Confidence

Part 3: You Need an Advocate to Support You!

Part 4: Facing the Critics of Alternative Cancer Treatment: Friends, Family and Forums Who Mean Well

Part 5: The Three Day “Eat For the Cure!”


Posts on Detoxing and Replacing Beauty and Hygiene Products:

Complete Series on Detoxing and its Benefits: Includes Rebounding, Colonics and Enemas, and Diet

Why I Tossed MY Nonstick Cookware and Bakeware and What to Replace It With

14 Day Cleanse and Detox (Not for Cancer Patients- but GREAT for Those Just Wanting to Get Healthy)

Replacing Your Old Soaps, Shampoos and Other Shower and Bathroom Items

Replacing Your Toxic Deodorants, Lotions, Makeup and More

Replacing Toxic Nail Polish and Hair Color


Monitoring Cancer:

What Is the HCG Cancer Test and Does it Really Work? 

My 6 Year Experience With the HCG Cancer Test


Online Alternative Cancer Support Groups:

Post on Alternative Cancer Support Groups

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33 thoughts on “How I Beat Cancer

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy for you, your husband and little girls that you are in remission! Praise God! I’ve been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and have tried to do the Budwig cottage cheese and flax oil. I gag every time. I love the taste of flax seeds – they have a nutty flavor to me. But the flax oil tastes like rotten fish. It’s not rancid. I’ve bought it several times from the refrigerated section of the store and within the expiration dates. I even contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a fresh bottle. I just can’t stomach it. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it more palatable? Thank you for your time/help.

    • Hi Donna- try adding Chocolate stevia after you mix it, and if that is still too gag inducing, make it into a strawberry smoothie by adding 8-10 frozen strawberries with 8-12 oz of water and blend. Add stevia for sweetness if needed. (:

      • Thank you, Cortney! I’ve done so much researching about alternative treatments to cancer that the list of blogs became overwhelming and I couldn’t remember where I had asked this question. Tonight I finally found it, again! Thanks so much for answering, I so appreciate that! I have really struggled with the Budwig protocol. I have another question about it, but I see you have a page with the recipe, so I’ll ask there. I hope you are still healthy and well. I’m bookmarking your blog and liking you on FB so I can keep following! God bless!

  2. Hi Cortney,
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is so needed as many of us are on the path of alternative treatment. One huge challenge is finding an M.D. willing to monitor your progress. Toward that end, I want to know if you would recommend the doctor mentioned in your post? If possible could you email me your response and any insights that you have to offer.
    Thanks so much. Miya. God Bless!

  3. Thank you for your site!
    I would love to give the nutritional approach a chance with my stage 1 breast cancer, but I have a surgery date of July 3rd which is coming up fast. My family doesn’t want me to take the risk of postponing my date.
    I will be asking my oncologist (who hasn’t even been assigned yet!) what the risks are of waiting a few more weeks while measuring my progress each week.

    Questions for you:
    Were you monitored weekly?
    Did you ever read about people who tried the Bill Henderson approach or nutritional approach and it failed? As in their cancer either grew or spread.

    Thank you for your time! (You can always feel free to email me privately if you prefer)
    Thank you!

    • Immediately start taking Curcumin Tablets and soursop tea empty stomach. Half an hour before meal. twice a day and soursop fruit juice after meal. Stop using any kind if deodorants. Sweat as much possible. Take Saunas. Find homeopathy You’ll be alright.

    • Hi Kris- I was monitored every 8 weeks using the HCG test I last wrote about:

      I haven’t read of anyone personally who have “failed” using the Bill H protocol, but I have heard from Bill that it has happened- mostly from non-complying/defeated individuals or people who were advanced disease and who already received chemo. I have heard several success stories just through my blog, mostly through people who see this as a journey to heal, not a destination to get rid of cancer.

  4. Can I have your email address as I need your help and guidance to treat early stage NH Lymphoma with no symptoms. I’m 43 years old with no disease. I take the following
    1. Early morning empty stomach 2 glass if water
    2. Early morning empty stomach 1 glass of wheat grass juice.
    3. After Shower 1 glass soursop tea for 21 days a month. Same in the evening followed by Soursop fruit juice
    4. 1 organic Tab. Siprilina hurb
    5. 1 organic Tab Curcumin
    6. 1 Omega 3 oil capsule.
    7. Detox and Main infection medicine from Homeopath
    8. Anti oxidants
    9. Sauna 4 weekly
    10. Steam Bath 4 weekly
    11. Brisk walk 3 kms 5 weekly

    Please advise.

  5. Hello,
    I’m so happy to hear about your healing! I am praying that I will be blessed with a healing as well. I have Uterine Fibroid tumors, and my husband and I are trying to have a baby. I have had some of the same challenges with eating an All Raw diet, and it’s been an emotional roller coaster. I would like to drink green tea and stick to it because a co-worker’s uncle was healed by drinking green tea. I read that the ECGC is more potent in the caffeinated tea, but caffeine will grow the tumors. I’ve been brewing the green tea leaves, but not on a consistent basis, and I just found out the tumors have grown. If you can say, which green tea did you use? No one seems to be able to tell me that.
    Thank you.

  6. Your story really gives me hope to an alternative method, I was diagnosed with stage 2 hodgkins last August while pregnant with my daughter, after going through 6 months of chemo we have just found out that the lymphoma is still there.. and now i have a few options but one that would lead to infertility (which is just not an option!) I have been looking into an alternative natural route and it feels good to have somewhere to start..
    Thank you!

  7. Courtney, your story is so inspiring, I have a question, what are you thoughts regarding using Stevia while trying to conceive?

  8. how much of beta 3-D and vitamins did you take each day and when? and do you happen to know if a small amount of coffee is allowed on the budwig diet? i am so happy you beat your cancer.

    • Hi Kim- Bill Henderson is pretty clear about a “no coffee” policy. I wouldn’t mess with it if you have cancer. It’s just a season, although I know the caffeine withdrawals can be a beast. Try green tea for a small pick-me-up but with anti-cancer benefits.

  9. Hi I just had right breast mastectomy due to ductal adneocarcinoma. I had the left one removed in 2010 same thing only difference is that this one has a very low percentage of receptor. The other one was triple negative all a cross the board. So I hate the thoughts of having to take chemo again. I am ready to fight with all natural foods drinks I know with Gods help I can beat this. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Carroll- read through my “How I Beat Cancer” page and research, research, research! Try to find other triple neg. breast cancer survivors who refused chemo and had success. Monitor yourself carefully. So much to say and not enough time to do it, but you need to pray that God would lead you down the right path for you.

  10. Hi Courtney, I watched your interview on Quest for the Cures series. Praise God for your healing! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m a breast cancer survivor. Last year I underwent surgery, chemo and radiation. My last chemo treatment was September 17th. I’m currently taking tamoxifen but I want to start alternative/preventive treatments. I’m eating organic and have removed a lot of toxic products from my home and personal care items. I wanted to ask your opinion on how/where you think I should start in my transition to a healthy body that will not be susceptible to cancer again. I’m going to purchase Bill Henderson’s book but I don’t know if it’s applicable to me. Thank you for your time and feedback. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  11. Hi Courtney,
    I have been devouring your information as my son-in-law, who lives in Atlanta, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He wants to do the recommended protocol for his cancer, but he and my daughter are also working on his diet, supplements and other things. They have read some of Bill Henderson’s book. They have had trouble finding a holistic M.D. or naturpath in the Atlanta area who would work with him in a supportive role. We would appreciate any leads you might have. Also, I know you have met many cancer thrivers and was wondering if there might be someone with lung cancer that he could bounce his questions off of.
    Thank you for sharing your story and talents with us,

    • Hi Sue,

      As you probably know, stage 4 lung cancer has a 1% chance of 5 year survival. If I would have been diagnosed with this and knowing that I would most likely not be cured, I would definitely take my intact immune system and otherwise healthy body and find a natural protocol that would empower my body instead of tear it down. Even the American Cancer Society has this to say:

      “Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is widespread when it is diagnosed. Because these cancers have spread to distant sites, they are very hard to cure. Treatment options depend on where the cancer has spread, the number of tumors, and your overall health. If you are in otherwise good health, treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy (chemo), targeted therapy, and radiation therapy may help you live longer and make you feel better by relieving symptoms, even though they aren’t likely to cure you.”

      There are two doctors that I would suggest calling and discussing your son-in-law’s diagnosis that I know would be supportive of an alternative route, Dr. Rhett Bergeron who is an MD (678) 990-5401 and Dr. David Jockers (770) 420-0492 who is a chiropractor and has studied alternative cancer therapies and holistic healing. Stage 4 lung cancer isn’t a walk-in-the-park no matter what he chooses. Please let them know they can contact me with any questions they might have.

      Also, they may want to read up on Cancer Tutor’s recommended protocols for advanced lung cancer:


  12. I just found out I am 5 weeks pregnant this Wednesday. Thursday I had 2 lymph nodes biopsied and was given a rushed preliminary diagnosis of lymphoma. I’M very hopeful in using natural cures for this, but can you do what you did in the beginning while pregnant? Do you know what is safe to do and what is not during 1st trimester? Thank you for any help

  13. I saw your interview on Quest for the Cures, and I praise God with you for your continued “clinical remission status”.

    I am considering the Living Foods Institute. It is so expensive that I want to be sure it will be very helpful. Could you please let me know your impression of it?

    I am very eager to INCREASE the healthy terrain on my body as I try to go 100% alternative treatment for breast cancer. (Have successfully done alternatives in the past, but mixed in some conventional recently as the cancer started growing. Of course, the conventional has caused FURTHER problems)

    Thank you for making time to answer my Living Foods Institute question.

    • Hi Ruth!

      LFI is definitely expensive, even with the “scholarships” they offer. I believe we paid around $5,000 to attend for 12 days (for both my husband and myself.) IF I were to do it all over again, I would get their lowest priced package (I believe they call it bronze- but it was 6 years ago I attended.) That should give you all of the raw foods classes, food, daily wheatgrass shots, and “emotional healing” classes- which I admit were very empowering. There’s a lot of other stuff packed in there too to sell you extra things, which of course you can say no to. So, back to what I was saying- get the bronze package and add any additional therapies a la carte such as colonics (highly recommended,) foot baths, reflexology, etc. Blessings to you in your healing journey!!!! xoxo

  14. Hi Courtney,

    First off, thank you so much for sharing your journey with the world via internet, what an encouragement you are!
    Our son was diagnosed with the same predominate lymphoma as you about a year ago. He is 29 years old, married to a lovely wife and they have two adorable little boys (okay a little grandmother plug here!) He had 3 weeks of radiation last February, (which he said he would never do again it was awful), and is now on CBD oil for the last 3 months. His most resent scan showed one of the tumors gone, but the other with activity. I have read that when the body is healing using natural methods it can use inflammation, here’s the actual paragraph from another site:

    “numbers will rise at first if you are taking supplements that are killing cancer cells. So don’t be alarmed if scores rise at first. It’s just what happens. And tumors enlarge when you are killing the cancer cells in them as the immune system uses inflammation to get rid of those cells. We here many stories of tumors being removed that were completely dead because of the supplements that were taken. – See more at:

    He and his family have also been making changes in their diet and juicing. He has an oncologist as well as an integrative doctor (mine) that he has just started to see.
    I also wondered if you dealt with any emotional issues, and if so, how? I am learning about EFT, and I actually lead a ministry called “Sozo” in my church for inner healing, so I am very aware of the need in this area.
    Thanks again for any help/insight you can give us!

    • Hi Sherri!

      It’s wonderful to hear how well your son is doing! Knowing how quickly my NFP Hodgkins responded to the Bill Henderson protocol, of course it is what I would recommend for your son to start with along with Essiac tea and other detoxing techniques. You can find that all in my How I Beat Cancer section. For emotional healing, I prayed A LOT and worked on noticing where I stored stress in my body (telling enough it was on my left side near my primary neck tumor.) I also began to be aware of overreacting to life’s simple stressors, making a big deal out of little things was a very unhealthy habit that I countered by self-talk about how silly of a reaction I was having over something so small. I hope this all helps! -Cortney

  15. Hello and congratulations on beating cancer. I’m on a journey for physical and spiritual healing as well. I’m a 41 year old woman (believer) with 3 kids. I was diagnosed with both type 1 diabetes and hodgkins lymphoma within the last 9 months. This has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. God has really done a great work in me this last week by giving me such a peace that I haven’t had. Do you know of anyone who has beat both with a complete turn around in diet? I have been trying to eat a diet to work on both sides. Thank you!

  16. You mentioned that you signed up for Samaritan Ministries for your Alternative Health Care. Does it cover all of the tests and protocols that you use to fight cancer and stay cancer free? Also, do you know it it covers the Hippocrates Institute? (This may not be the right thread for this question but I hope you will answer it. Thanks)

    • Hi Marsha- I have only had Samaritan Ministries for a little over a year whereas I was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago. So I don’t have personal experience with using SM for alternative cancer treatment, just the knowledge from reading their guidelines:

      Regarding Alternative Cancer Treatment and Other Alternative Treatment:

      “Alternative Medical Practices (or non- conventional treatments)— An “alternative medical practice” or “treatment” is a treat- ment proposed for a condition diagnosed by a licensed, medical doctor, but not prescribed by the member’s doctor and not otherwise listed in the Guidelines as a publishable need.

      Alternative treatments are published with prior written approval from Samaritan Ministries. Approval is based upon factors such as the less invasive nature of the proposed treat- ment, demonstration that such treatment will prevent more costly conventional treatments, consistency of the treatment with what a medical doctor would prescribe for illness or injury, and the member’s acceptance of appropriate preconditions for publishing the expenses. An example of a treatment that may be an alternative, but which has been published with prior written approval by SMI: The use of vitamin B-17 for the treatment of cancer.”

      ****With Samaritan Ministries, cancer IS considered a preexisting condition and you must be in remission 7 YEARS from diagnosis in order to be covered for the same cancer type again. If you are diagnosed with a different form of cancer, then it is not considered preexisting.***

      Regarding Naturopathy:

      “Naturopathic procedures, adjustments, manipulations, ultrasound, and similar treatments will be treated as “Alternative Medical Practices” (Section VIII.B.1). However, medical treatments and prescriptions provided by a licensed Doctor of Naturopathy that meet all other requirements will be publishable.”

      The way that I was explained the process was that you need to discuss your unique situation with SM, but in general they cover what alternative treatment plan you have decided is best for you. They also ask for a side by side comparison of what the conventional treatment you could have chosen would have cost. I do not know if it covers Hippocrates Institute. That’s a great question. My guess would be that it would cover the individual therapies at Hippocrates but not the full stay? I could be totally wrong. It’s a question to ask the ministry.