The Truth About Cancer ~ A Revolutionary Docu-Series




I’m SO glad this event has been expanded, updated, and is happening again! I didn’t catch many of the episodes the last time around… and, to be honest, I still wasn’t ready to get all academic about cancer. Again.

I had lost my dad to cancer a few months prior and was still feeling pretty beaten by the emotional toll that cancer takes. I lost my mom to cancer (and the conventional treatment of cancer) a few years earlier.

A few more family members and very close friends have succumbed to cancer and its conventional treatment in recent months, too.

It seems to only be getting worse.


The World Health Organization has stated that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women alive today will face a cancer diagnosis! It’s virtually guaranteed that cancer will affect us or someone in our closest circle! That’s so sad… unsettling… frightening… but it’s the reality of our modern day lifestyle.

That’s why I’m grateful for those who are dedicated to finding real cures… and better yet, successful, proven strategies for preventing the development of cancer in the first place.

The Truth About Cancer (TTAC) is a 9-part investigative report “mini-series” dedicated to educating the masses on natural, non-toxic cancer treatments and the physicians that successfully use them in their practice.

With a deep breath, I’m ready to sit down and participate once again. It’s time. Join me in watching this FREE “docu-series” for the next 9 days. We will find inspiration, strategy, solutions, and healing.

If you miss an episode or would like to have permanent access to the information you hear, you will definitely be given the option to purchase the material… HOWEVER, that is not at all required in order for you to access it as it plays in the 9 day format.


Hope to see you there!




Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a long-time presence in the field of Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 21 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud home schooling mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement, and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Food intolerance/sensitivity testing is also available to all U.S. residents. Personalized distance programs are available.

Finally, for a fresh approach to looking good, feeling good, and getting healthy, visit Dr. Colleen at … a site dedicated to the quality products and opportunity offered by It Works! Global.

The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying… and the Living

When life was still easy!

When life was still easy!


By now, most people have heard of this article.

Palliative care worker, Bronnie Ware, wrote these “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying” as a blog post and it went viral. Millions around the world read it within a year. It hit a nerve… tugged the heart strings. She ended up writing a book about these 5 regrets.

It’s not all that surprising to see what made the list. We’ve heard some variation of these our entire lives, I think. (We just don’t always choose to pay attention!)

I had seen this list awhile ago. Then it re-surfaced when my dad was in assisted living, then in “hospice” care for those final weeks. I didn’t have the gumption to read it then.

I finally re-read it a few days ago and started thinking more and more about it. My mom and dad both had long, slow deaths. I’m sure they both knew what was happening… although we didn’t talk about it 100% directly… we kind of danced around it somewhat… which I can’t really explain. Nor do I care to try.

Nevertheless, seeing this list again made me think about my parents’ experiences with dying, and whether these things on the list were true for them. Were there more regrets? Less? Were there really even regrets at all… or had they accepted and embraced the events and choices of their past? Maybe they just saw some things as “it was the best we could do at the time.”

Regret doesn’t get us very far. It’s right up there with guilt. It doesn’t serve us well – it’s negative and toxic. Not something I would look forward to on my “death bed”. It’s not something I like NOW. And I DO already have regrets. When I hear all the “young” people talking about how they live with no regrets, I’m sometimes impressed, sometimes skeptical, and sometimes I just call flat-out bull poop wondering how on earth you could live this life and not wish you had made a different choice at some point in your history!

Yeah, yeah… I know what you just said. “If we didn’t make the choices of our past, we wouldn’t be living THIS life with these people and these circumstances right now!” Honestly, sometimes I’m OK with that idea!

C’mon. I don’t think that wishing you had done something differently makes you a horrible, weak, or”un-spiritual” person.

However, seeing that there are such commonly expressed regrets of the dying is all the more reason to take a look at life NOW… and see how these common regrets can possibly be ‘corrected’ or avoided.

Here’s the list that Bronnie presented, along with an excerpt from her book.


1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

”This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”


moms hospital room

I know for my mom, she probably wished she had expressed herself a bit more. I think she had a pretty thick scar on that tongue of hers from biting it so often!

The day before she passed, she really wanted to share 2 things:

1) She really urged me to “just enjoy my children… truly enjoy them.”

2) If you want to “be happy”, you have to “choose” to be happy… over and over, no matter what.

In hindsight, I’m sure the advice on children had to do with her losing her son, my brother, at an early age. And maybe from her perspective, she didn’t spend enough time with me because she worked so much… BUT, it’s interesting, I don’t see it that way. My mom was always there, or I was (almost) always with her at work.

The choosing happiness part, again, resulted from her losses in life. She told me that this was how she eventually recovered from the loss of her child.  She consciously decided to “choose happiness because it just felt better to live that way.”

I don’t know about regrets with my mom. She never mentioned them. She seemed to be happy for the 39 years I knew her, although I know she was so sad to be “leaving”… and missing Dad, me, and those cherished grandchildren of hers.


mom with grandkids

I also recently discovered that there may have been another child before my mom met my dad. Maybe she had some regrets there. I don’t know because she never spoke of giving a child up for adoption.


mom dad wedding


With my dad, I know he regretted working so much. He worked his entire life up ’til a year before he passed. In the final years, though, he “had to”. Which leads to something else I think he regretted – some of the financial decisions he made. Even in his final weeks, when his mind was ‘failing’ (?), he would express stress over finances… and work.

With both of my parents, I’m sure they regretted not being there with my brother the day he drowned. But, really… what on earth are you going to do with that?! Accidents happen. I’m not sure where they stood with that on their ‘death beds’. I’m just glad they’re all together again.

Dad regretted not traveling more. It was one of his great passions. When Mom got sick, they had to put plans on hold. After Mom died, and his health was getting worse, he really wanted to see a few of the places that topped his list. Unfortunately, by then, his funds were drying up from all the medical expenses… and then he just couldn’t get around as easily. I hope he has the perfect view of Alaska now. And Europe. And the Wellington Canal! (Really.)

I’m sure he had some regrets about his (lack of) relationship with his siblings. I know he regretted not being “nicer” to my mom at times… although he loved her passionately, sometimes we’re tough on those we love the most. Or so I’ve heard.

I don’t know if either of my parents had any regrets regarding their health. I mean, I’m sure they “wished” they didn’t have cancer. But I don’t know if either regretted certain treatment choices they made or didn’t make. They never mentioned it.


dad in hospital

I already have regrets. Maybe that’s not even the right word, after all. Maybe it’s just… “I already have a list of things I wish had gone differently or wish I had made different choices about.” It’s just a word. The feelings are probably quite similar. Part of me thinks that, the longer you live, the more “stuff” happens… and you might not always have the most pleasant feelings about it!

I regret that I “have to” work so much at this stage of the kids’ lives. I regret that we haven’t traveled as much as I’d like while the kids were/are young. I regret that I didn’t spend more time relaxing with and talking with my dad this past summer. I regret that I’ve lost touch with some people over the years. I regret that I’m not more independent in some areas. I regret that I’ve taken the path of being a “pleaser” and putting other people’s feelings before my own. I regret allowing the circumstances to develop that lead me to feel unappreciated. I regret feeling afraid to speak my mind. I regret some of the big financial decisions we’ve made. I sometimes regret that I trusted some people that should not have been trusted and looked the other way when I shouldn’t have… but I’m working on that one. Forgiveness is a tough pill sometimes!

(Mind you, my list of GREAT things is much, much longer!)

So what can we do to live a life that brings us to the end of the road with no regrets?

Clearly, I don’t have the answer! Although, I think part of the solution is to cut ourselves some slack.

I feel that, right here, right now, there ARE some things that just have to get done. There ARE some things that have to be put off. It’s not always “settling” or “living in tomorrow”. Sometimes, it just is what it is. I think what’s most important is who we ARE given our current circumstances. Are we being the best version of our highest selves? Are we loving God and loving others? Are we simply just trying to be a good person and be good to others? Are we consistently painting the vivid picture in our mind’s eye of what we truly desire… and doing our best to feel good and stay positive, grateful, and optimistic? Are we at least getting it “right” most of the time? Some of the time?

I’m working on forgiving myself for poor choices of the past and embracing the moment now, as best I can… even when the “now” doesn’t feel all that great sometimes. When I can change it, I will. If I can ‘control’ it, I do. Either way, I choose to have faith… and I choose to be happy. Thankfully, I’ve become better and better at creating “moments” with my kids – realizing that will all go away too quickly. I’m doing what I can to make NOW as good as it can be.

Why wait until we’re “dying” to intentionally create a life that avoids the most common regrets?


mom dad me walkathon



Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 20 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud home schooling mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Personalized distance programs are available.








Caring for the Care Giver ~ The “Sandwich” Generation

My Pops.



It has been awhile since I’ve checked in here.

It feels like I’ve been in one of those extreme ultra-marathon races… except this one has lasted for 7 months or so. (And it still has another leg of the race to finish!)

The nutshell version of the story is:

  • My Dad had a bad fall on the ice late last winter which stranded him outside at night for a few hours. This set him back physically and mentally for quite some time
  • That same week, the owner of his apartment sold the property and gave Dad his ‘moving papers’. That seriously rattled him.
  • I didn’t feel comfortable with the accommodations Dad was looking at at that time, so my hubby and I made the decision to move him in with us for a few months until we could find more suitable arrangements
  • That was much tougher than I had anticipated… but I’m still glad we did it. Even though it wasn’t all peaches & cream, it was important for us to spend that time together.
  • Dad & I were back and forth to his doctors and nursing visits all summer, which is quite a jaunt… being in two different countries ‘n all.
  • The pain from cancer in his bones continued to worsen over the summer with us, especially in the last couple weeks of his stay.
  • We moved him into a beautiful assisted living residence back in his “home town” in mid-August. I travel back and forth to visit him at least once a week.
  • He has since taken a turn for the worse on several levels. The pain was horrible for the first few weeks there, but seems to have calmed down somewhat.
  • Suffice it to say, he has not exactly been happy there. He is laid up in his bed the majority of the time, mostly due to pain and limited mobility, but probably due to depression as well. He went from spending day & night surrounded by 4 crazy family members and all our activities and shenanigans… to a much more lonely environment.
  • Now we’re dealing with major issues with confusion and the frustration that accompanies it. It could be the increased meds they’ve put him on. It could be cancer in his brain now. Either way, it’s not fun.
  • We’ve been told that he won’t be able to stay in the residence any longer and will need to be moved on to long-term care in a nursing home setting, or preferably a hospice setting.
  • Yesterday was another rough one – another fall. Much weakness. His head nurse is going to do her best to keep him safe and stable over the weekend in his current setting, and then we’ll re-assess on Monday morning.

And that’s where things stand today. Time to find a new home. Time to try to explain to my Dad that he needs to move AGAIN. Try to come up with the right way to say “We’re going to hospice”.

Since my brother passed many, many years ago, I’m the one-and-only surviving family member to make decisions with Dad… and now, for Dad. That pressure can wear on a person after awhile. Especially trying to do this from a distance now.


All this has been going on while trying to run a business with my husband, run my own business on the side, home school our kids, take care of my own health, and pretend I’m taking care of our household! (I’ll need a demolition crew to help me sort through our household.) Obviously, I let the Dr. Mom Online gig fall to the wayside.

I guess this is where the term “Sandwich Generation” comes from. Makes sense. We’re stuck in the middle of raising our own families, living our own lives… and caring for our parents.

There’s a financial toll to all this as well – assisted living and moving and caring for an extra adult all costs a good chunk of change. That’s just added insult to injury. We’ve been the poster family for Murphy’s Law when it comes to financial crud lately… “if it can go wrong, it has gone wrong!”

BUT, I’m thankful our children are healthy and happy, and we still have each other.

There have been tolls on relationships, too. It’s tough to be there for everyone, all the time. I think we’ll turn out OK… God willing.


Now, to the real point of this post…

I remember reading years ago that those caring for their elderly parents can suffer shortened lifespans by as much as 10 years! It can be chronically stressful, without a doubt.

Chronic stress is a form of toxicity. It also leads to systemic inflammation. Toxicity & inflammation act as a (negative) dynamic duo to set the stage for chronic illness and breakdown.

For those of us caring for family with chronic illness, there’s a blessing and a curse there. The blessing is that you can live a long time with chronic illness. In many cases, you can manage the disease for years.

The curse is, the chronic stress can go on for a long time… causing massive  breakdown over the years.

Here’s another kicker: Some studies even show that, if you have an elderly &/or un-well parent, but you’re NOT the caregiver, you can actually suffer the same effects as the family member who IS acting as the primary caregiver.

Sheesh, talk about a lose-lose!

It’s just stressful all around, I suppose. I’ll admit, I thought the stress would taper off when Dad moved into the assisted living residence where he’d be surrounded by people and receive ample care. In reality, it has been quite the opposite.


Those studies about caregivers losing their health have been in the back of my mind for years. As a result, thankfully,  I’ve done my best to maintain some of my healthier rituals throughout these last few months.

I know that the mental & emotional stress is an area I stink at when I’m pulled in too many directions, or my relationships are threatened, or my loved ones’ health & safety is concerned. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly master that area of ‘health’! BUT, there ARE things I can be consistent and diligent with in an effort to offset some of the toxic effects of the mental garbage.

My “Big 4 Saving Graces” during times of stress have been, and continue to be:

1) Prayer – I just can’t fathom going through life (and death) without faith. When everything (and everyone) else fails… God doesn’t.

2) Nutrition – It’s far from perfect, but there are certain standards I’m pretty rock-solid about maintaining. I was eating ‘grain-free’ for most of the year, up ’til the last week or so, actually. I just feel better physically & mentally when eating that way – much less “inflamed”. Things are already inflamed enough… I don’t need any more! I’m adamant about including “protein & veggies” multiple times per day. I drink plenty of water. We only cook with healthy fats. And I just really don’t bother with most toxic, factory foods, convenience foods, etc.  So, even when my diet is “bad”, it’s not horrific! I might be dead by now if I ate the Standard American Diet!

3) Movement – Exercise is my sanity! I don’t work out for hours on end… partially because science just doesn’t support that, but mostly because I just don’t feel like it, nor do I have the time! I choose shorter, more focused sessions most of the time. But I do MOVE every day. Some days it’s only a walk and some stretching/spinal hygiene exercises, but it’s movement. Most weeks include a couple resistance training sessions, a couple burst-like cardio workouts (sprints, for example), and 2 0r 3 longer duration activities (like bike rides and stand-up paddling). The variety and consistency of these movements is what keeps me going and helps me mentally manage what’s happening around me.

4) Being outside – There’s just something about nature that is calming and reassuring. It’s grounding. It’s where I’m best able to unwind and be present. Like exercise, I get edgy without my outdoor R & R time!


I can tell that my health has taken a hit this time around. God willing, I can get through this acute stress without much fuss, and then focus on rebuilding health.


So that’s the update.

I’m in a strange, stressful leg of this journey. I know more rough spots are up ahead. Like all of us, I’m just trying to stay faithful, do my best with the information & resources I currently have at my disposal, and look for the blessings along the way.




Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 19 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, autoimmune conditions, cellular detoxification, mercury detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Personalized distance programs are available.















One More Reason to Avoid Conventional Dairy

The Truth About Nutrition

There’s one restaurant in our area where I feel “good” about eating the meat and having my kids eat it. They serve grass-fed bison and beef from local farms. So, when we go to this establishment, the kids know what they’re having – no need for a menu. Burgers it is.

I order mine up with big leaves of romaine or bib lettuce so that I can make a “Lettuce Burger”, or I’ll just chop it up and eat it with a fork. I’m just happy to get quality protein.

Recently, our youngest was putting up a challenge about why he couldn’t have cheese on his. “At home we sometimes have cheese on our burger… why not here?”

“At home, it’s organic cheese… and sometimes raw. Here, it’s conventional cheese. I don’t want you eating it. Your burger tastes perfectly fine with the lettuce, tomato, and onions. You don’t need cheese.”

Whine. Whine. Whine.

I get where he’s coming from. We often think a burger needs cheese.

And, honestly, it’s my fault. I’ve become a bit more lenient over time in some nutritional matters. While I won’t buy ‘conventional’ cheese (or any dairy, for that matter) for our home, I had become less of a watch-dog about it while eating restaurant food.

(And, no, I don’t worry about a calcium deficiency from not consuming conventional dairy. Conventional dairy is an abysmal source of quality calcium anyhow.)

As the kids get a little older, my focus has shifted from “food police/watch dog” to the person who provides them with science and evidence so that they learn to make healthier choices on their own. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, well, they’re just like their parents! Go figure. (Sigh)

So, back to the cheese.

When my son asked why I was getting on the case of his cheese, I told him I’d show him something when we got home. This is the little snippet of reference I showed him:


An epidemic rise in one under-publicized category of cancers should sound an alarm for all Americans. There is a powerful link to the dramatic surge in lymphatic cancer: the 1994 approval of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH).

Before 1995, lymphatic cancers were comparatively rare.

Today, if one adds up the total number of cancer deaths from breast, prostate, lung, pancreatic, and genital cancers, they do not cumulatively equal the number of deaths from lymphatic cancers. Do I have your attention?

This year Americans will consume nearly 180 billion pounds of milk and dairy products in various forms. That will average out to 666 pounds per American, nearly 40% of the average American diet. Cheese eaters, ice cream slurpers, and milk drinkers of both sexes and every age group will be ingesting dairy products from hormonally-treated cows.

Most Americans are unaware that laboratory animals treated with rbGH experienced enormous changes in their lymphatic systems. The spleens of these animals grew dramatically.

The controversial genetically modified cow hormone was approved for human consumption in February of 1994. Cancer statistics have recently been published by the U.S. Census Bureau comparing death rates from cancer by sex and age groups in 1980, 1990, and 1995. These data support evidence of a runaway plague.

All of America became a laboratory study for rbGH, which is now in America’s ice cream, cheese, and pizza.

There are small increases and decreases in lymphatic cancer rates from 1980 to 1990 depending upon sex and age group. What happened in 1995 represents the most dramatic short-term increase of any single cancer in the history of epidemiological discovery and analyses.

Ice cream.

Key players in The Standard American Diet.

We started naming names of all the people we know who have a lymphatic-based cancer. It IS unnerving.

Maybe it’s just coincidence… maybe not.

Our family is not perfect when it comes to nutrition. More often than I’d like, we opt for a meal at a local restaurant when we get out of work too late. When we can’t make it all the way to the one establishment that serves “clean” meat, we just have to do our best with what’s available.

Thankfully, more often than not, it doesn’t involve cheese.

At home, I’m teaching the kids to stick to more of a Paleo (or Primal) approach the vast majority of the time.

If there are grains and dairy on the menu, the source and quality is very different than conventional. e.g Sprouted, ancient, gluten-free grains, or raw, cultured, organic dairy from grass-fed (GreenFed) sources , or coconut milk.

For me, sometimes it just seems easier to go grain-free and dairy-free!




Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.







I’ll Be Glad When “Pink October” is Over!

Breast Cancer Awareness

On many levels, October gets on my nerves.

Breast Cancer Awareness month is mentally and emotionally exhausting.

I’m tired of all the “Walk for a Cure” events. I’m tired of pink ribbons everywhere. And I just really can’t stand NFL players and personnel proudly displaying pink for the entire month.

I know full well that I’m treading on sacred ground here. But, before you jump all over my case, let me remind you that my own mother died from breast cancer. I was with her every step of the way as she dealt with the ravages of cancer. I have a personal opinion on this matter, as well as an educated one. It’s sacred to me, too.

I’m not “un-feeling” or “cold-hearted” when it comes to breast cancer.

Quite the contrary, in fact.

Cancer scares the crap out of me.

I do despise the pink ribbon campaigns, however.

I appreciate any effort to provide emotional support and connections for those dealing with breast cancer, as well as their loved ones. I agree with honoring those who are ‘fighting the battle’ or who have ‘lost the battle’.  I wholeheartedly agree with honoring the people.

I just disagree with the lies and propaganda surrounding what the mainstream presents as “prevention” and “research for a cure” when it comes to their fundraising.

Let’s not confuse the issue (or pull on our heart strings by exploiting “survivors”) by leading us to believe we’re any closer to a medical cure or preventing cancer in the first place. Nope, not with the current focus of ‘research’ at least.

I’m also a little unclear as to who on earth, in this day and age, in our culture, might be UNaware of breast cancer at this point… to the extent that money needs to be raised to increase their awareness??!!

More money does not mean less cancer.

Prevention means not developing cancer in the first place. That’s not a drug or pharmaceutical problem to be solved, in my mind. That’s largely an issue of epigenetics – what ‘environment’ our cells are most consistently exposed to that will determine our genetic expression.

Hard to patent that and financially profit from it, I suppose.

I’m not dogmatic enough that I wouldn’t love it if a drug came on the market that could actually cure cancer AND not cause additional harm.

I would have done just about anything for my mom, if I thought it would save her life &/or improve the quality of her life.

The thing is, I believe there are already cures out there. I’m not alone.

When I hear “research for a cure”, it gets translated in my head to “research for a pharmaceutical-based cure that we can make billions from”.

Cynical? Maybe. Maybe not.

Again, my eyes are wide open. I know this is sacred ground.

No matter how the numbers are spun, the incidence of breast cancer is NOT declining. The mainstream does not have the answers to cancer. There’s more “statistical trickery” than we could possibly shake a stick at.

I’ve said it a million times here: I choose to believe that the individuals working on the front lines of the cancer industry do so because they feel they can really make a difference… that they’re offering the best care possible. I’ve met some lovely people over the past 12 years in dealing with cancer in our family.

The theory and science of conventional oncology are what troubles me… not the people working from within who truly believe in what they’re doing and saying. Well, at least for the most part they don’t trouble me! There are times…

Every October, our town hosts an expo event that caters to women. Of course, the entire theme is related to breast cancer. Breast cancer “awareness”… breast cancer “prevention”… breast cancer “early detection”. There is pink e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Ribbons, balloons, goodie bags, cookies & cupcakes…

Hundreds and hundreds of women attend this event. It’s the perfect demographic, if you will, for our Wellness practice… since it’s typically women who make the health care decisions for their family. It’s a smart business decision for me to be there.

I’ve participated as a vendor for the majority of years we’ve been in practice. I’ve even been a featured speaker a few times. It’s an event with the best of intentions.

But, I just couldn’t do it this year.

Every year, I cringe while I’m there. Every year, my heart gets ripped out of my chest when I hear the lies and see the propaganda everywhere… and meet the women who have bought into it… and hear their stories and listen to what they’ve been told and how they’ve chosen to treat breast cancer.

The main financial purpose of the event is to raise funds for women who can’t afford mammograms… i.e. “early detection”. Thank goodness they changed the verbiage on that a few years ago, because they used to call that “prevention”.

If a mammogram doesn’t detect a problem ’til it’s there, obviously that’s not “preventing” anything!

On a side note, I’m not a fan of mammograms, in general. Radiating breast tissue while it’s being deformed is questionable at best. I’m a much bigger fan of self-exams and non-invasive thermography.

Here’s the thing that really gets to me now with this women’s event – a few years back, alcohol was added to the mix. Pink martinis “FOR THE CAUSE” became all the rage.

Add that to the toxic food served at the venue AND all the baked goods, sweets, and junk food offered at countless vendors’ booths, and I just couldn’t take the hypocrisy of it anymore!

Sugar is food for cancer.

Encouraging women to get boozed up and loaded up with cookies & cupcakes adorned with pink icing… FOR THE SAKE OF CANCER PREVENTION AND A CURE… is bordering on criminal in my mind.

Like I said, the intentions are good.

The actions are ludicrous.

If I choose to have a glass of wine or a martini or a cookie or a cupcake, I do so with the understanding that it’s NOT a healthy, immune-supportive choice. And, I certainly don’t CELEBRATE my unhealthy choice. It’s not something I’d encourage, for crying out loud.

I’m all about “feeling good”… and feeling connected to others. That’s part of a healthy life, too. There’s just something about presenting cancer-provoking choices in a positive light, at an event aimed at a “cure for cancer” that makes my stomach turn.

I don’t have the answers to walking that fine line of “enjoying life” (or, more accurately, enjoying the “tasty toxins” of life!) and living a lifestyle that prevents serious illness like cancer. I guess we could all be better about celebrating and enjoying more of our healthy choices, and not so much the unhealthy ones.

Let’s be honest. More money does NOT mean less cancer… particularly when we continue to spend our money on an idea that’s flawed from the get-go.

If we truly want to talk about “preventing” cancer, the conversation needs to shift to educating people about proactive choices, rather than reactive treatments.

And, if we miss the boat when it comes to prevention (as many of us will in this very toxic world where it’s predicted that 1 out of every 2 of us will develop cancer in our lifetime), then we need “reactive” treatments that don’t simultaneously destroy our health &/or we need to be informed of supportive measures that can be taken alongside the more hardcore treatments. It’s called Integrative care. There should be no pedestals in cancer care.

We need to talk about choices that support and enhance the integrity of our cell function… not sabotage our cell function. Let’s spend some money on that.

Now, I know many of you are reading this thinking, “But, wait! My friend/mom/grandmother/aunt/sister had breast cancer and did the chemo and radiation and takes hormonal medication… and she’s FINE years later!” Thank God. Truly.

I love those stories! I am human, remember? In fact, you may recall that I’ve repeatedly requested those stories for a project I’m working on that will focus on the very human side of the cancer journey. There are “survivors” in both camps of cancer treatment, no doubt.

While I love the individual stories of overcoming cancer (and the conventional treatment for cancer) and rebuilding health, I still just strongly dislike the large-scale brainwashing, statistical spinning, flawed theories, hypocrisy, and fear-mongering that is at an all-time high when October rolls around each year.

I sincerely support each individual in making the treatment choices that feel right for them. After considering your countless options, both holistic and mainstream, and chemotherapy or radiation is what you truly feel will help you the most, then do chemo or radiation!  (I pray you do supportive integrative care, too). On an individual basis, do what you’ve gotta’ do! Everyone else can bugger off.

Again, just quit with the large-scale lies to the entire population.

I don’t think we know what we’d really do as individuals until faced with that situation head-on. Who knows what I would opt for to “knock cancer down” a bit so that I could get to the work of restoring health and function? I could sit here at my desk and claim that I’d “never choose dangerous conventional oncology.” That would be ignorant and foolish on my part. I simply don’t know.

Having said that, I’m still fairly certain there are some conventional treatments that I’d have a hard time wrapping my scientific brain around… like lopping my breasts off because “cancer runs in my family”. It doesn’t work like that. That would give me no peace of mind whatsoever.

I also wouldn’t assume that I’m “cancer-free” after treatment. I’d spend the rest of my life making choices that would keep cancer at bay and health at the forefront. Cancer is a chronic illness that can be successfully managed.

The more we take the initiative and time to learn, the more aware we are of our many options, the more diverse (and successful) our personal treatment choices will be if the time ever comes. That’s where our efforts to raise awareness are needed… regarding the options we have. Neither of my parents were presented with ANY options – it was like a cookbook recipe where there were no substitutions allowed whatsoever for fear of bucking the system.


On a personal note, October is also the month that we took my mom in to the hospital, and she never came out. It’s the month that I spent her final weeks with her. It’s the month that I sobbed as I packed a suitcase for an undetermined length of time… knowing that I most likely also needed to pack clothes for a funeral. It’s the month I watched my best friend suffer and slip away a bit more each day. It’s the month I watched my Dad have his heart ripped out… and felt his fear and agony each and every day. All those pink balloons and ribbons in the hospital didn’t change a thing.

Yes, I’ll be glad when October is over.

The real solutions for the long run lie outside the pink.



I know the place I’d start my cancer recovery… it would be with the work of Dr. Kevin Conners.




Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.








Pharmaceutical Prescriptions ~ Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should!

pharmaceutical drugs, prescription medication, cancer

pharmaceutical drugs, prescription medication, cancer

I got pretty irked with the system the other night. Which system? The medical-pharmaceutical system.

Shocking, I know.

I believe there’s a staggering level of  overuse and abuse of this system. I believe that the irresponsible way this system is utilized is THE reason the health of our country is worsening with each passing year.

I think people go to “The Doctor” far too much. The symptoms I hear people go to the doctor for just boggle my mind. I think people take far too many drugs. I think doctor’s prescribe far too many drugs. I think pharmaceutical companies produce too many drugs… and create far too many new “conditions” that “require” their drugs.

Yada yada.

The system ain’t goin’ anywhere anytime soon.

It’s up to us to be smarter consumers.

It’s up to us to take care of our own health, and reserve the use of the system for true emergencies and crisis care… because that’s where it at least has the potential to shine.

Not the case with the treatment of serious, chronic, degenerative illness. Certainly not the case with the prevention of these illnesses. And don’t even kid yourself that the system could possibly help you achieve “health”.

Taking responsibility for our health doesn’t go over real well with a large segment of the population.

So, the cycle of chronic illness, and the financial damage that results, shall continue.

Anyhow, I’ve uttered a few times in recent years, that I believe pharmacists play a critical role in the current “healthcare” system (sickness care is the accurate term).

Far too many times, I’ve heard of patients being stopped by a pharmacist who has caught the fact that this patient has been prescribed duplicate drugs by multiple doctors.

Gee, I’d hope that a doctor ~ someone who has taken an oath to protect the patient ~ would have caught this before prescribing yet another drug, but, sadly, that’s often not the case.

Relax. I’m sure your doctor is great and would never let this happen. It’s everyone else’s doctors!

But the other day, the pharmacist my dad goes to for advice (Lord help me) made a big mistake, in my opinion.

Let’s back up.

One year ago, my dad began using a catheter as a result of the effects of metastatic prostate cancer. Within a week or two, he began showing signs of a bladder infection. He ended up doing some lab work to confirm, and was prescribed antibiotics.

Nothing unusual so far.

I’m not even sure how this all unfolded, but I remember Dad saying his symptoms had improved a few days later… and then we let it go after that.

I made the assumption that “the system” would take care of it. After all, it was a ‘simple’ infection.

I can be naive when it comes to trusting the system, too, evidently.

Nobody followed up with my dad. He finished the  antibiotics and felt better. Not perfect, but better. He still had some symptoms, but he just assumed they were normal.

I dunno’. Hard to check on the details of someone’s bladder infection when you live in another country!

So, he had no follow up testing. No follow up doctor’s appointment to confirm that he was out-of-the-woods. Nothing.

When he told me he felt warm, then cold, then shaky, then light-headed, and so on, I had to make some calls and shake the system into action.

It wasn’t until I started making calls that I found out he had been left on his own.

Ultimately, his body hadn’t cleared the infection. It was now stronger and more gnarly than it originally was. Dad ended up with a serious kidney infection that wasn’t even ‘caught’ until after we almost lost him and he was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Amidst my fear and deep concern at the time, I seem to recall being a bit irked then, as well.

Fast forward to the present.

He just started using a catheter again a couple weeks ago. Guess what? Yep. Signs of infection within a few days, off an on.

I said, make an appointment with your family doc to get some testing and get on it right away this time!

So, like any good parent, he ignored me.

He waited a week. Then, went to see his “good friend”, the pharmacist.

My father is a very difficult man for me to raise.

After Dad shared his symptoms with his Pharm Friend, he told Dad,

“You need an antibiotic… usually, it needs to be prescribed … BUT, wait! Let’s see if I still have your prescription on file FROM A YEAR AGO… that would save you a trip to the doctor and the lab!”

Well, isn’t that convenient?! How thoughtful.

Are you kidding me?

Remember earlier I said that I think people go to the doctor far too frequently? Yeah, well, this would have been a time to GO TO A DOCTOR… NOT a pharmacist!

The Pharm Friend explained that, by law, it’s perfectly fine for him to take a prescription that’s previously on file and re-fill it… without any consent from a doctor needed.

Sounds perfectly safe to me.

You know, just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean you should.

Where is the common sense in this one?

I know it saves a visit to the doctor and laboratory. So, it costs the system less, right?

Not if he winds up in the hospital again. Or, worse.

So, this time around, we have NO testing ahead of time at all. Silly me. I thought we were supposed to confirm a bacterial infection prior to taking antibiotics. No doctor is even aware of Dad’s situation, so there sure as heck wouldn’t be any follow-up scheduled to see how he’s doing.

I had to explain this all to my dad the other night on the phone when he told me what was going on.

Imagine, trying to speak in a calming, sweet, nurturing voice to my dad… while I’m internally steaming and disgusted by the utter lack of common sense and responsibility Pharm Friend displayed… and also, as nicely as I possibly can, scolding my dad for not following common sense protocols!

Dear God. Is it just me? Or have these people completely lost their minds?!

This is not good for MY health, let along my dad’s.

So, I gave Dad a very clear action plan. (It has to be simple, short, and ultra-clear because years of drugs, cancer treatment, poor lifestyle choices, and chronic stress have done a number on his memory.)

I said:

“Call your family doctor in the morning. Make an appointment for this week. Make sure you have lab work done. Make sure you are scheduled for a follow-up, that includes more lab work,  within 2 weeks.”

“Oh, and stop going to your drug-pusher friend for health advice.”

Seriously. If you go to a pharmacist for any type of “health” advice, what do you think his recommendations will be??

Want better health and function? Ask someone else. Ask better questions.

Since many folks don’t seem ready to shake loose the notion of medicating themselves for every little thing – not that a bladder or kidney infection is a little thing by any means – we encourage people to take responsibility for one critically important piece of this drug puzzle.

Always ask, “What’s the exit strategy with this medication?”

You should not be on a drug forever.

Either it “fixes” the cause of the problem, or it doesn’t. (Good luck fixing the cause of a chronic health problem with a drug.)

In the case of an acute infection, the exit strategy is extremely critical. Obviously.

Or, at least it should be obvious.

Don’t assume. I learned that lesson the hard way!

If we start completely leaving common sense out of this drug equation, we’re sunk.


The soap box is now being returned to its resting place. :)



Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.







Sometimes, Ice Cream IS The Healthy Choice!

nutrition, healthy food, cancer, ice cream


Sometimes, I think ice cream really is the healthiest choice.

nutrition, healthy food, cancer, ice cream

Yes, I’m a “health doctor”… and I’m not supposed to say those things. But, somewhere along the way, I figured out that we don’t have ALL the answers when it comes to health.

Sometimes, the seemingly healthiest among us dies at a young age from a heart attack, while the junk food eating, cigarette smoking, whiskey guzzling guy down the road lives well into his 90s.

Explain that.

Health and wellness is comprised of a balance of physiological, mental, emotional, and spiritual function.

I don’t think there’s a human on the planet smart enough to figure out all its intricacies.

This type of thinking allows me to justify the occasional ice cream cone. (Smile.)

There have been two ice cream-related episodes in the last couple weeks that have reminded me that health is not always so black and white.

Yes, I believe that overall health results when we consistently make choices that are “pure & sufficient” as far as meeting the innate genetic requirements of our cells… and we lose our health when we make “toxic & deficient” choices. But there are arguably some grey areas in there.

For example…

Ice Cream Episode #1

Recently my dad’s cancer has taken a bit of a turn for the worse. He received news that the cancer has spread more throughout his bones. His symptoms have also been slightly increasing… somewhat.

On the same day that he received this news, he expressed to me that he’s starting to get a little bit nervous or uncomfortable with the idea of living on his own in case ‘something’ were to happen, like him falling, for example.

The very next day, I called him for a chat. I wasn’t able to reach him, so I just let it go. The next evening, I called him at our regular time, and couldn’t reach him again. Normally, this wouldn’t be too big of a deal… but because of Dad’s recent concerns, I started to get a little nervous.

I called a couple of his friends in the area to see if he was there visiting. Nope. They both said they’d check in on him. Nothing.

I  didn’t hear back from him that night, but he called me the next morning once he retrieved my messages. This is what he said:

“You know… I was feeling a little bit better, so do you know what I decided to do? I decided I was going to go out and get myself some ice cream and go sit down by the lake to enjoy it while I watched the sunset! So when you called, I was very happy!”

For a split second, there was an annoying “health doctor” voice in my head that was about to blurt out, “Dad! You shouldn’t be eating ice cream… especially ‘conventional’ ice cream!”

Thank goodness that voice shut up. Instead, what came out of my mouth was, “Good for you! I’m glad you were feeling better… and happy.”

Amidst the all the garbage he has taken, been injected with, been radiated with, and so on… it’s hard to argue against one cone of ice cream.

The man has been through a LOT in his life. Seriously, life’s too short to not have ice cream.


healthy food, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction

Ice Cream Episode #2

Then, just the other day, another little ice cream story presented itself. The kids had just gone over to the neighbors’ house to play when I heard the telltale song of the ice cream truck in our vicinity.

Let me properly set the stage. We live in a rather unpopulated area, so an ice cream truck coming around here is a rare event.

For the first time in my children’s life, they saw an ice cream truck come down our road about three weeks ago. I wish I had a camera in that moment! They were frozen… in shock, I think! Their faces were plastered with looks of wonder, and disbelief, with their mouths wide open! They were just too taken by surprise to do much of anything other than scream with delight. Funny!

So when I heard the ice cream truck coming the other day, I hurried over to the neighbors’ yard to tell them it was here again. (Good mothering, I know.)

What happened next would have won me thousands of dollars on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

I’ve run with my children, I’ve played tag and raced with them, and I’ve seen them win plenty of track events. They are fast little munchkins. But, I have never seen them run so fast and so frantically as I did the other day when they virtually exploded from our neighbors’ yard to run back to our house to gather up some of  their ‘responsibility money’ to run back in time to catch the ice cream truck.

They each took on different directions one from the back of the house one from the front of the neighbors house head back to our house. One was barefoot and one was in socks… rocks were flying and dust was being kicked up as they sprinted with all their might to catch the truck in time.

It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! I stood there watching them with the neighbor kids… and this time it was US with our jaws wide open in shock and disbelief. I could not believe the excitement that the ice cream truck brought on!

Just the vision of their hilariously fast running, and those faces mixed with panic and joy, and the sheer triumph for making it to the truck in time, has got to be one of my best memories of this entire summer!

Yes, it’s junk ice cream. I know it, and they know it. But this time, the happiness won out.

It’s the only time they’ve ever had ice cream from an ice cream truck… and they’re 11 and 8.  I can’t be positive, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to kill them.

Happiness is part of health & wellness, remember?

Of course, the real score comes when your healthy choices make you very happy! That’s something to aim for, right there.

So, am I saying that ice cream is “good for you”? No.

Neither is sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and being sad and lonely. Neither is missing out on moments of sheer bliss and happiness.

Maybe I’m just looking for justification for my own occasional unhealthy choices. Or, maybe life’s too short not to have ice cream… once in awhile!


healthy menu, nutrition guide, nutritious foods

Contact me to order your copy of this 8-page nutritional guide while supplies last! $10 + S & H.


Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Highly successful personalized distance programs are available.


The Cancer Chronicles ~ When There’s Nothing More They Can Do

cancer, cancer cure, treatment for cancer, holistic cancer care

A few days ago my dad had his six month checkup at the cancer center. Have I mentioned how much I despise these appointments? I believe I have. Cancer sucks. It sucks even worse when, in order to support your loved one and comply with their wishes, you’re forced to deal with a system that you (philosophically and scientifically) disagree with at your very core.

The “patient” in this case does not completely disagree, however. Therefore, this is what we do.

 cancer, cancer cure, treatment for cancer, holistic cancer care

This most recent appointment was with the chemotherapy oncology doc. This is the guy, who in the past, has repeatedly told my dad that he’s not sick enough and not in enough pain to proceed with chemotherapy. He has told me multiple times that that’s his “measuring stick” – that’s what will determine whether or not he would recommend chemo.

No, really.

He seems nice enough, as human beings go. Not a bigfatjerk like others we’ve dealt with in the past. However, I think the paradigm from which chemo dude views cancer, and anything health related really, is seriously flawed. Collectively, he and his conventional oncology cronies have their heads deeply embedded a very dark, unsanitary place.

To cut, burn, and poison fellow human beings should not be our exclusive focus in the “treatment of cancer”… and it should never, ever be presented as peoples’ only choice. That may very well be the worst part of cancer. The limited choices that are presented and the fear tactics employed when presenting those choices. These may be “nice” oncology dudes and dudettes, but the paradigm from which they act is just so frighteningly limited.

Perhaps I digress.


Anyhow, the conversation with chemo doc continued along the same lines as it has in previous visits… “Are you in pain? Are you feeling sick? Can you get around OK?”  The benchmarks for chemotherapy, in this doc’s words.

Since Dad answered, “Not too bad”… “No”… and, “Fairly well”, he did not win the chemo prize pack this time. Try again later.

Chemo dude gave Dad the results of his most recent bone scan… not good. The cancer has spread more throughout the bones. How much? I don’t actually know because I asked twice, yet chemo dude was seriously evasive about it. Weird.

So I kicked him in the kneecap ‘til he told me.

(No, that was just in my rich imagination.)

I left it alone so as not to upset my dad sitting right next to me. I figured, if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones. They haven’t been able to do anything about that up until this point, so in this particular setting, it doesn’t really matter. The solution has never been within the confines of this particular system.

After this strange report of findings, chemo dude once again questioned Dad’s level of pain, feelings of ‘sickness’, and ability to carry on with his daily activities, stating again that each of these would be enough reason to recommend chemo.

Why would we wait until someone’s really sick to give him chemo? Because if it’s just so we can all say in hindsight someday, “He did everything he could”, that’s just ignorant.


Just to make certain that I was thoroughly confused by the chemo dude’s rationale, and the “commonly accepted system for recommending treatment”, as he described it, he then went on to explain that he would not like to recommend chemo to dad anyway because he feels that “dad is too old, too frail and would not *do well* with chemotherapy.”

Hold onto your seats… chemo dude then said these words to me…

“Besides, chemotherapy is not curative… it doesn’t cure cancer. At best, it may give you another couple months. But then, I need to weigh that against how much quality of life would be lost during those months.”

I’m not “twisted”… but I thought that was really great that chemo dude said these words. If more people with cancer heard “chemo is not curative”, I think they’d be looking more outside the box for different (less dangerous) treatment options… I’d hope.

Chill. I know there can be a time, place, and individual situations where chemo can benefit the overall picture for someone with cancer. On its own, it’s savage. Accompanied by measures to restore and recover healthy function, it can serve an important role in the long run.


OK, so…so far, we have the following confusing and contradictory thread of events happening in this visit:

  1. The questions about pain, sickness, and daily activities… all leading chemo dude to decide whether or not to recommend chemo.
  2. The strange, evasive bone scan report.
  3. Chemo dude then saying he wouldn’t recommend chemo… probably… because it wouldn’t really do anything except make dad gravely ill. (Umm, do you remember what you said in #1?)


Honestly, I couldn’t be more confused when I sit through these consultations. I spend a great deal of time searching the rooms for hidden cameras… because this must be a joke someone is playing on me… just to see how much I can take before I’ll lunge at the nearest oncologist and shake them until something resembling common sense comes out!

Oh, silly me and my vivid imagination.


4. OK, now get this… it’s gets even more strange…

Chemo dude, showing his very nice, compassionate side, decided to take a couple minutes to explain how “tied his hands are” when it comes to prescribing chemotherapy. He explained the (Ontario) government’s role in the treatment recommendation process. He said that the government will pay for chemotherapy treatment only if it’s one of the chemo drugs classified as the most harsh. You have to start at the top.

Then, “if the cancer comes back” (or, if you survive the treatment), the government will then approve payment for “milder forms of chemotherapy” (sounds like an oxymoron to me).

So, the only way someone can do chemo (without sending their family into a financial pit of despair) is to do the most harsh, most intense protocol of treatment. Guess they think if you’re tough enough to live through that, they’ll financially reward you.


At this point, I was even more thankful that chemo dude wasn’t pressuring dad to do chemo… knowing it would probably be his certain demise.

In chemo dude’s words, “He’s not healthy enough to withstand chemo.”

Re-read that.

What “healthy” people are lining up for their shot at chemo??

Dude. C’mon. You maketh no sense.


Just to make certain I had good material to write about from my room with the padded walls, he threw this in near the end of our appointment…

“So, we’ll make your next appointment in 6-8 months. We’ll see how you’re doing then. If you have pain or feel sick, we can recommend chemo then, if we need to.”


I hit my head on the floor as I fell out off the chair.

Apparently, dad will not be too old for chemo in 6-8 months!

Math is clearly not a requirement in the undergraduate schedule.


I had to call him on that one. The muck was simply getting far too deep for me to stand in at that point! Chemo dude explained that “maybe the government will change its rules by then and I could recommend a milder chemo.”

Ohhhh, OK. Wouldn’t that just be peachy.


I couldn’t resist testing the waters… I had to ask, “So, is there anything Dad should DO in those 6-8 months…?”

“No, just carry on with what you’ve been doing and we’ll see how you’re doing in 6-8 months.”

Now there’s a winning plan for health recovery!

(And this is scientific? They ridicule “alternative” and “holistic” approaches?! Oh, my.)

The points chemo dude won for admitting that chemo isn’t curative were almost completely lost on this dough-brained advice.


So, the cancer is getting worse.

Dad was essentially told, “There’s nothing more we can do at this point.” Not much of a surprise, really. Ever since the metastasis to his bones was diagnosed a few years ago, it has been clear that all treatment via oncology would strictly be palliative in nature.  I think the way radiation and chemo have been dangled in front of dad like tempting carrots have confused him into thinking they might offer “hope for a cure”.

Yet, Dad has done relatively well with it. He’s still HERE, after all. Cancer IS a chronic illness… you CAN live with it.

Unfortunately, I think the stress of the last few years has really taken its toll on Dad. I see it in many ways, but his forgetfulness is one of the most apparent. He forgets to take the “good” things I’ve given him (like the “cancer killers” or natural anti-inflammatories and immune modulators) – yet remembers to take the drugs, or forgets to avoid certain toxic foods, or ingredients. He “forgets” that eating a bowl of cereal every day, and a sandwich for lunch or dinner, is only adding more fuel to the fire.

Or, maybe he’s not really forgetting.


Either way, it has been an uphill battle. He is definitely not going to win any prizes for being my most compliant, proactive, dedicated patient! (He does, however, win the prize for being the patient I’ve known, loved, cherished, and respected the longest.)


Maybe dad has just made his own choices along the way… based on his lifetime’s worth of experience and knowledge. And that’s OK. I’ve begrudgingly come to terms with that, for the most part. Almost. Kind of.

You can lead a horse to water… and in the end, you’ve just got to love the bejeebers out of that horse, regardless of what he does with the water!


In our routine “de-briefing” session that follows these appointments, dad and I discussed “where we go from here”.

Our main focus right now is to manage some of his symptoms in the least damaging way possible. Even more important than that, we’re working on LIVING for however much time we’ve got left.

I’ve been through this before with mom. It’s not going to get any easier. I’m thankful that Dad is still as “well” as he is. I have a pretty good hunch what’s to come. I won’t be writing smart-arse blog posts then. It’s brutal. For now, this is  how I get through it. Otherwise, I would have to throttle someone… and I’d end up in jail… and then I couldn’t share my insanity with you! How sad.

Cancer makes our fate feel rather pre-determined. But, in reality, we’re all faced with the same opportunity/challenge. We’re all moving on from this place at some point. None of us knows when or how. It’s clearly not up to us.

So, in the meantime, it seems that our greatest calling is to be the best people we can be, make the best choices we can (given our current resources and level of understanding), connect with and love others, enjoy living as much as we can, be grateful, be of service, and have faith… there is a Plan.

Our life here, or the life of a loved one, could end at any moment… regardless of our current state of health.

A diagnosis of something like cancer just does a great job of bringing what’s most important to the forefront.

Live and love while we can. Perhaps that’s the best “medicine” of all.



health, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, weight loss, detoxification

Healthy Living through Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Reduction, Weight Loss, & Detoxification


Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, autoimmune conditions, Integrative Cancer Care, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at or Highly successful, personalized distance programs are available.





“Cancer Saved My Life!”


 cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, joy, gratitude

When my dad was first diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago, I remember reading that quote in a book about living with cancer…

“Cancer saved my life!”

This seemed to kick off a trend in some of the books and articles I was reading.

I read quotes like,

“Cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me!”

“Having cancer really taught me how to live!”

Initially, I remember thinking that these people were off their rockers! But, a lot changes over the course of a decade. I understand it now.

There’s no doubt about it, cancer sucks. It can be brutal, relentless, and unforgiving. I wouldn’t ever minimize someone’s experience with it.

However, I’ve seen so many people with cancer make that turn… turning to much bigger ‘things’ than cancer and their physical bodies.

My mom was one of those people. Her journey with breast cancer was hard, but rich with blessings, as well. She chose that. It was beautiful to witness… to live it with her.

You know, none of us are getting out of this place alive, right? Hate to be the one to break it to you, if you hadn’t already realized that!

Since our time here in this physical place is so limited, it seems the human challenge is to make the most of it: love God, love others, be in the moment, be grateful, be kind, use the gifts you were given, serve others, and don’t let regrets, guilt, anxiety, and worry about the past or future take over too much… right?

When we slow down enough to listen to our hearts, most of us hear some version of this message. Fully enjoy the NOW… fully live the NOW… fully love in the NOW… because none of us knows how long the “now” will last.

Easier said than done.

Until some doctor in a white coat tells you that your “now” is potentially going to be shortened due to cancer.

Even though any one of us could die or suffer life-altering injuries at any moment through a car accident, or act of violence, or natural disaster, or heart attack, or drug reaction… there’s just something about receiving a diagnosis of cancer or other serious chronic illness that really gets your attention.

It seems that, once the initial shock subsides (somewhat), the newly diagnosed choose their path… choose their outlook, their intention, and their purpose. Understandably, many “cave” to the bigness and overwhelm and fear that surrounds the world of cancer.

But there are others…

There are others who say things like, “Cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me!”

On some level, these folks are grateful for the wake-up call. Thankful that, whether it’s only for a few weeks, or a few months, or a few years, they’ve been given a tremendous opportunity to fully LIVE. Also, thankful they were given the time… time to do, say, be… whatever they need. Loved ones are thankful for that time, too. No matter how hard it can be.

Priorities dramatically shift. People turn to people… not things, not jobs, not petty to-do lists. Relationships get real. Things are said that need to be said. There is forgiveness. The “little things” in life tend to get noticed and appreciated. There is reflection and introspection… and for so many, there is getting “right” with our Creator.

Isn’t this what we should all hope for?

We’re an odd bunch, us human folk. Why it takes tragedy or disaster or sadness or fear or sickness to make us take notice of the most important things in life seems to be part of our inner fabric. Not always, but often.

One of my favorite people was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago. Prior to this diagnosis, he was, what I would consider, an already positive person. He’s funny, silly, optimistic, giving, faithful, light-hearted… a great guy. It didn’t seem like there was much room for improvement – he already seemed to “get it”!

By the time I saw him in person for the first time since his diagnosis, he had already been through the majority of his chemotherapy treatments.  We talked about how he’s feeling physically – he feels “fine… great!”, most likely because of all the other things he’s doing to support his body during this initial stage.

What I found even more interesting than his physical update was what he shared about his heart and mind.

He had made the turn.

He said, “Everything’s different now… it’s great! I’ve slowed down, I spend more time with (wife), I take long walks and really SEE things now, I laugh a lot more, and I don’t even get mad anymore when people cut me off on the freeway… in fact, I LET people go in front of me all the time now! When someone gets mad at me on the road, I just smile at them and wave, and say a prayer for them! I’ve got people all over the place… all over the world… praying for me. I’ve never felt this loved in my entire life! I feel great!”

I commented to him that I thought he was already doing and feeling most of those things, with the exception of the driving stories!

He said, “I was… but it’s different now. It’s like my senses and my awareness are heightened. I’ve always spent time with my wife. I’ve always walked every day. I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky, fun kinda’ guy. But now, everything seems so much more vibrant and real… and I appreciate it all like never before.  I feel more alive than ever!”

Many of us know the dark side of cancer all-too-well. My hope is that we can all see, fully see and experience, the blessings that a diagnosis of cancer can bring, as well.

Anything that prompts us to fully live, fully love, fully appreciate, fully surrender, and fully re-connect must be a gift from God.



I would be honored if you would share part of your cancer story. Please feel free to leave a comment here, or email me directly at

May God bless you on your journey.




Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading authority figure in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Investigative & Functional Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at Distance programs are available.


The Cancer Chronicles ~ Living “Responsibly” or Enjoying the Moment?





A recent chat with someone about his friend with cancer got me pondering again…

This man that I was speaking to was expressing his anger and frustration with his friend about the way she was dealing with cancer. He was bent out of shape about what she was eating, how she was managing her stress, and how she was ‘behaving’ in general.

I seem to recall “being there, doing that” on more than one occasion with my dad.

The friend had recently undergone very aggressive cancer treatment and had been told to “eat a healthy diet”. (Not sure exactly what that means, coming from the cancer industry!) Anyhow, the two main items she was supposedly told to minimize or eliminate were lunch meats/sausages and alcohol.

Well, apparently this lady had followed that plan for the duration of her daily radiation treatments, and then decided, “Ah, heck. I’m going to eat and drink what I want, thank you very much. If I’m going to die, at least I’m going to have fun in the process!”


The person who was venting to me was so disgusted with his friend’s choices. “She eats sandwiches with deli meat… and I’ve seen her sipping wine with friends more than once…”

I felt for the guy. I know he just wanted what he thought was best for his friend. I know he was scared for her. I’ve been back and forth with this battle in my head (and heart) for a few years now with my dad… and even myself.


On the one hand, there’s enough evidence to demonstrate that eating a certain way – avoiding certain foods and ingredients, while including others – can have an undeniably positive effect on our body’s ability to overcome cancer, or any other chronic illness.

So, you’d think that, “if you truly want to get well, you should be adhering to this type of diet and lifestyle, Missy”.

However, on the other hand, another type of thinking can tend to creep in…

It’s the voice that starts to say things like, “Life’s too short… I’m going to fully enjoy this moment and have that dang cake whether you like it or not!”

It’s the voice that told the friend-in-question that she had been through a hellish experience with cancer treatment, and she was now going to celebrate being alive and having people that love her. She simply chose not to celebrate with organic broccoli.


Of course, this dichotomy isn’t reserved exclusively for those dealing with cancer. It’s an ongoing tightrope we all walk as we play out our human lives. There’s always a balance to be considered between “living in the moment and fully enjoying it, because you never know when things could abruptly change”, and “making the healthiest choices, because, statistically, the odds are in our favor when we do so.”

Yes, I understand that there are some people who fully embrace ALL of their healthy choices, and living the absolute healthiest way possible is exactly what feels fabulous in the moment for them. We should all be so fortunate. They have no mental battle to deal with. That’s fantastic!


I’m talking about everyone else.

I’m talking about the people who enjoy a slice of a loved one’s birthday cake, or a cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend they haven’t seen in awhile, or a plate of pasta in a nice restaurant once in awhile, or the toast and cereal their young child makes them for breakfast in bed, or the ice cream cone with the grand kids, or the marshmallow cooked over the campfire on vacation… all the stuff “we’re not supposed to have if we want to be healthy”… but all the stuff that feels right and justified in the moment.


Cancer brings so many emotions to the forefront, doesn’t it? In reality, we ALL face the same fate… we all have the same choices to make. Yet, there’s something about cancer that magnifies it all.

We all know of people who lived seemingly pristine lives, only to die suddenly of a heart attack or aneurysm, or in an accident of some sort. Then, there are others who survive on Jack Daniels, Twinkies, and cigarettes and live (seemingly happily) ‘til a ripe old age.

It all kind of reminds us that we are not in charge. We will not be the ones deciding when it’s time for us to move on.


Also, if everything we do, every choice we make, is measured against “Will this help or hurt my chances to beat cancer?”, aren’t we letting cancer rule our lives? Aren’t we making cancer our “god” and putting it on a pedestal, so to speak? Only one entity belongs there, in my opinion.


So what are we supposed to do? I don’t have “the answer”.

Regardless of whether we have cancer or not, should we strive to make the healthiest choices and avoid anything “unhealthy”? Or, should we jump in with both feet at every opportunity to enjoy the cake and ice cream with loved ones? We were given free will… how are we to express it responsibly? How are we to care for our “temple” in an honorable way, while living a full life rich with experiences of connecting with and loving others? Who’s right – who’s wrong?

Like I said, I don’t have the answer. (It’s why I pray for wisdom!) I suppose, like most things in life, it’s all a balance… all a personal choice. While I wish my dad would stop eating so many toxic things, stop taking the stupid medication he’s on that cripples his immune system, stop blindly trusting his oncologists, stop this and stop that… it’s not up to me. He may outlive us all!


On a different level, if we were willing to closely examine our lives, each and every one of us most likely has a list of “should stop doing this” and “should do more of that”, right? No matter who we’re talking about, I’ll bet they can get better at something… or, maybe that’s just me!


I do know this. The last thing our friends and loved ones need to deal with, along with their cancer, is people turning their backs on them because they don’t approve of their choices. It’s a personal choice, whether we agree with it or not.

Walking the cancer walk with my mom taught me that. She was a great teacher. Since that time I’ve been very clear on something – you never know exactly what you’ll do, or how you’ll respond, until you’re in the exact same situation.


My hope and prayer is that we don’t have to choose between “living responsibly” and “enjoying the moment”. Hopefully, they blend harmoniously.

We all do the best we can, given the knowledge, resources, support, and faith we have at the time.

All that’s left is to love and support each other. After all, we’re only here for a short time.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…



Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud (home schooling) mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen and Dr. Marc in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact Dr. Colleen directly at Distance programs are available.







Microwave Ovens ~ Healthy Upgrades You Can Live With




We haven’t had a microwave oven for over a decade now.

Although we had known for years that microwaving foods and beverages wasn’t the healthiest, safest choice, we’d still sneak it in for things like boiling water, re-heating a beverage, heating up left-overs, and of course, making popcorn!

The final decision to stop using the microwave altogether came with a loud “bang”. Ours blew up!

We took that as a sign that it was time to walk our talk and find a healthier option!


What’s so bad about microwaves in the first place?

  • Many scientists believe that microwaving food changes the biochemistry of the food itself in ways that negatively impact our health.
  • Microwave ovens have a “tube” of electrons. These electrons interact with the magnetic and electronic energy to become micro wavelengths. This is the radiation that interacts with the molecules in our food. Microwaves cause massive vibration in the food molecules, which is what heats it up so quickly.
  • However, this “agitation” of the molecules deforms them and we end up with new, unnatural compounds that our innate physiology doesn’t recognize. It’s like creating “franken-foods”. These foreign compounds in microwaved food have been shown to damage our immune systems, digestive systems, and even our blood.
  • Microwaves are notorious for giving off  powerful EMFs (electromagnetic fields) that interfere with our physiology and are an enormous source of chronic cellular toxicity and dysfunction. If the microwave is on, get outta’ the room!
  • We’ve probably all heard that microwaving our food destroys its nutritional benefits – rendering it “dead” food due to the loss of vital enzymes. Studies have shown specifically that microwaved food has significantly less B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and essential fats and minerals. It also breaks down and “denatures” proteins.
  • Granted, some of the things we eat that we refer to as “food” are pretty dead and denatured to begin with. Don’t even think that this gives you the green light to nuke that fake food… thinking it won’t make a difference! I know how your devious little mind works! Radiated fake food is even worse.
  • Then, of course, we’ve all heard of the frightening effects microwaving has on plastics. Sheesh, as if plastics weren’t causing enough trouble on their own with all their carcinogenic properties… stick them in a microwave and you’ve got chemical warfare going on. And then you’re going to eat it?! This is scary stuff. The carcinogens from plastics (and some paper products) leach right into our food in the microwave.
  • In case you need a little more rattling, I’ll hit you where it hurts. The “xenoestrogens” (the nasty, synthetic estrogens from plastics, as well as other sources) are not only connected to breast cancer, reproductive and hormonal problems in women, but they can make us fat! In men, these xenoestrogens promote weight gain around the belly and chest. In women, the fat shows up in the buttocks, hips, thighs and the backs of our arms.

So, let’s be clear.

Microwaves kill the good stuff in our food… turn it into bad stuff that leads to really bad stuff happening in our bodies… and the mechanism itself shoots off harmful radiation that negatively effects anyone in its path.

Got it.

(If you really want more of the bad news about microwave ovens, Google it. There’s plenty of information out there to build the case against using these little kitchen convenience boxes!)


Some good news…

Relatively speaking, microwaves haven’t been around all that long. Just a few decades.

You know what that means? We survived for a LONG time without them! Rumor has it that our ancestors (who knew a thing or two ‘cuz they obviously made it long enough to ensure that YOU came onto the scene!) actually ate more of their food raw, and figured out ways to cook food with fire or hot water.


We can do this, people!


What are some healthier, safer and better alternatives?

Well, obviously, there’s your stove top and oven. But what we use the most is our counter top convection oven. It doubles as a toaster oven, too. I love this thing! It’s what entered our family when the microwave made it’s dramatic exit.

Convection ovens are known for cooking food faster and more evenly than full-size ovens, and with far less energy expenditure. As fast as a microwave? No, and I’m not looking for that – the speed of a microwave comes with a steep cost. Convection ovens take 20-30% less time than a regular oven, and use about 75% less energy.

I use ours to bake, broil, roast, toast, steam, grill, re-heat, defrost… love it. And, no cancer-causing deformities to the food… and I don’t have to usher the kids out of the kitchen to get them out of the line of fire of the electromagnetic radiation, like I would with a microwave!


What else can you do to decrease (eliminate) microwave use and make healthy upgrades?

  • For starters, eat more “real” food and less food that comes in a package and claims to be “microwaveable”. That’s your first clue that it may not be the best choice on several levels.
  • Slow cook more of your meals. That could mean taking the time to cook them in an oven, or on the stove, or in the convection oven. Or, it could actually mean using your slow cooker (Crockpot). This preserves far more of the vital nutrients and enzymes than nuking or turbo cooking your food. What the heck are you in such a hurry about anyway?? Slow it down… breathe… chew… digest that food… have a conversation with the humans you’re sharing the meal with, for cryin’ out loud!
  • Eat more raw vegetables.
  • If you’re going to cook them, lightly steam or saute (in grass-fed butter and a bit of water… add some fresh herbs & spices… then call me to join you!) In order to maintain the nutritional integrity of your veggies, they should still be tender and somewhat crisp even after cooking.
  • Having a plan helps. Defrost your food in the refrigerator ahead of time rather than waiting ’til the last minute. When you’re in a bind with this little timing issue, turn to hot water instead of the microwave. Yep, it takes longer. You’ll get used to it.
  • Heat up your left overs in the convection oven (or toaster oven) in a glass container covered with foil. Or, heat on the stove top over low heat.
  • If you need to heat water for tea, use a tea kettle or a pan. I use our electric tea kettle daily. I have survived this monumental inconvenience. Who knew we’d be capable of waiting a couple minutes for water to boil?
  • Hey, guess what? You can actually make popcorn without a microwave! Who knew?! Then again, corn is a grain… and grains are inflammatory… and corn is one of the most genetically modified foods on our planet now… so it’s not like we should be going out of our way to munch on popcorn. However, once in awhile, popping some organic kernels of corn, in pure coconut oil, with some added Himalayan pink sea salt and grass-fed butter… holy smokes! Dee-lish!
  • If you’re still going to tell me that you MUST use your microwave, then puh-lease only use glass containers in it. No more plastic. Ever. Also, if you’re not ready to go “cold turkey”, consider where you can minimize your microwave use. Any time you choose not to use it… that’s an improvement.

See? You CAN do this. Start adding in some healthier choices and safer cooking options over time.

Sure, you may notice that your cooking takes longer without resorting to your microwave. Trust me, you’ll get used to it. I consider myself to be a fairly busy person… and I value my time. Yet, it’s not a problem or inconvenience for our family at ALL.

A far bigger problem is the thought of poisoning our food and sending damaging EMFs throughout our home with the use of a microwave!

I wouldn’t have brought it up if there weren’t some simple steps you could take to reduce your risk and improve your health in this area. (smile)



Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a leading expert in Natural Health & Wellness. She is a Doctor of Chiropractic with 18 years of hands-on clinical experience in the Wellness Practice she shares with her husband, Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat, in Michigan. She is also the proud mom of two rather fabulous youngsters.

Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness  provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement and mindset, regularly visit http://DrMomOnline.com and

Also, check out her available books at .

For more information about working privately with Dr. Colleen in an Integrative Health Recovery Program for any number of metabolic and health issues, such as thyroid imbalance, weight loss resistance, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity & gut permeability, cellular detoxification, and more, please contact her directly at Distance programs are available.

Cancer Chronicles ~ Liar, Liar, Prostate on Fire! (updated)

Dad at the hospital.

Dad at the hospital... intrigued that I can take a picture with my phone! : )

I haven’t written about my dad’s cancer journey for awhile.

Mostly because the whole thing drives me nuts! It’s bad enough he’s got cancer… but it’s all the other shenanigans that are just plain wacky.

First, dad is “fine”, relatively speaking. He feels much better than he did in the late summer and early fall. Cancer hasn’t disappeared – it’s still prostate cancer that has metastasized to his bones – but he feels better.

A blessing.

On a professional level, I continue to disagree with the treatment course he’s on and his lack of much proactive health-building on his own.

On a personal level, this is my dad we’re talking about here. I love him. I treasure him. I choose to keep my mouth shut 99% of the time regarding his less-than-healthy choices.

This is really, really hard.

Staying in the moment, he’s just dad, and I’m just me. We’re good.

Besides the fact that his unhealthy habits make me want to smack him with a big head of organic broccoli… I try to let it go… and enjoy him! Dr. Hubby has to take me through some deep breathing exercises at times when we’re at my dad’s house and I see how he eats, drinks, and diligently takes the drugs… but not the “cancer fighting” products I’ve given him. Oy.

Did I mention I love my dad? I’m blessed that he’s still here. That’s my focus and why I feel grateful.

So a few interesting things have happened in the last few months. Yesterday’s was the straw that broke that poor camel’s back and prompted me to write this today.

Brief updates:

1) Dad had major pain, confusion, and several “cognitive” issues back in early fall. Ended up in hospital for a day in September. (I wrote about all that here.) He has steadily improved ever since.

2) Had a new PSA test done in late September. This will be important in a minute…

3) Despite the fact the the pain was clearly on the decline since leaving the hospital, the intensity of the whole ordeal scared him so much that he decided to take the oncologist up on his offer for “palliative radiation therapy” – where the intent is to use a short stint of radiation to “see if it might control some of the pain caused by the cancer in the bone.”

4) I was with him for that week of radiation. He was, in his words, pain-free going into the first treatment. His annoying-yet-protective daughter gently prodded him a few times with, “Soooo….. whyyy are we doing this, again….???” He didn’t get it. His friends (whom I adore for their devotion to my dad) didn’t get it either. It was 3 against 1. “The doctor said so, that’s why.”

(Sheesh, what’s wrong with you, little girl??!!)

5) I pointed out to my dad at that time, “I guarantee, that when it comes time for your follow-up with the radiation doc and you tell him you have less pain, it’ll go down in the record books as RADIATION WAS SUCCESSFUL.” Dad chuckled, saying “That’s silly… I’ll just tell him I was good going into it...” Uh-huh.

That’s really neither here nor there. The bottom line is that dad feels better. I really don’t care how or why… just bothers me that this is part of the inaccuracy of the whole system. This is how their “scientific evidence” is collected… and spun… and spread to other unsuspecting folks. That part I don’t like. It’s not accurate or truthful.

6) Radiation dude didn’t know what to tell my dad when dad asked, “What’s next after radiation?” So, he set him up with a consult with chemo dude. Chemo dude said, “I only  have two things to offer: 1. You could do chemotherapy. But, you’re still not sick enough. We can do that down the road when you’re really feeling bad.

(I kid you not. I simply can’t make this stuff up! You may recall he told my dad this a year ago, too.)

Or, 2. I can give you a ‘bone builder’. You need that anyway because of the cancer making your bones week. It’s an IV we do in the chemo suite once a month. You get your liver and kidneys checked a week before each treatment, just to make sure your body can handle it. Oh, and have any and all dental work done before you start because this can cause some problems with the bones in the jaw.”

Ummmm… OK, sounds perfectly safe.

I mention to chemo dude that I’ve read about this drug before and it’s listed as a “chemo drug”. He says “NO. It’s a bone builder.” I repeat, but I’ve seen it categorized as a chemo drug multiple times. “No. Bone builder.”

(Sheesh, what’s wrong with you, little girl??!!)

So, dad agrees to start this treatment.

Oh, and chemo dude tells him not to stop the hormonal treatments he was getting from the urologist dude even though all oncologists we’ve met with for the past two years have said “The hormonal treatments stopped working, that’s why the cancer spread.”

Chemo dude emphatically pointed out, “You don’t stop taking the drugs because they’re not working… that could make the cancer worse.”

This is the point in the consult that I start looking around the room for hidden cameras.

I’m sure I looked like a dog with its head cocked and it’s ears perked up. I was actually waiting for chemo dude to laugh or something…

Nothing. This is real to him.

“Holy crap. This is insane!” I thought. There’s a chance I may have even mumbled it out loud.

7) Back to urologist dude for hormone injection. Urologist dude points out to dad that his PSA went from SIXTY something in July, down to TWO in September!!!

Prior to radiation.

Prior to new “Chemo-Not Chemo-Bone Builder – Chemo” drugs.

Something’s up with this man that oncology and urology cannot explain. Drives them loopy.

*** Here’s the part I forgot in the original post: ***

I’m not a big fan of the weight a PSA test holds, especially in isolation. It goes up and down for a reason – but there’s still SO much left unanswered regarding the real, complete list of reasons “why”.

BUT, when my dad asked radiation dude “What next…”, his 2 main reasons for sending him off to chemo dude were: (i) Radiation dude had no more tricks up his sleeve. Radiation is all he’s got to offer. (ii) And, he told dad, “When the PSA is high, it’s recommended you start chemotherapy as soon as possible.”

So, thankfully, dad’s in Canada and “as soon as possible” was almost a month later!  By that time, things had settled down a bit.

The chemo doc never did get dad’s most recent PSA. He was basing his recommendations on a test that has been all over the board with my dad for the last few years.

It bears repeating… I personally like these oncology dudes. They seem like stand-up guys who really care. I’ve even made them both crack smiles AND even catch themselves in a tiny chuckle a couple times. I’ve forced my nice-ness upon them, like it or not, doctor dudes.

Unfortunately, I think things must look pretty dark from where their heads are stuck sometimes. Helloooooothis is how you make recommendations for CHEMO?? This is your science that we are all supposed to bow down to?? Not their personal fault… it’s the “system”… it’s the paradigm.

(Maybe your experience has been better in cancer care (and the science behind the “why”) that you’ve been involved with… but this has been a very revealing 7 and a half years that I’ve been involved with this business. Whoa!

I’m an enormous fan of slowing things down (with conventional cancer treatment), and getting at least one second opinion, preferably from someone who practices an integrative approach to cancer recovery… from a different paradigm for health.


8) On a side note, I had called the cancer center a couple weeks ago to get a letter stating my dad’s diagnosis, his dates and types of treatments, and consultations, etc. to send in for an insurance claim. I had to cancel a flight to a seminar around the time dad finished radiation and was scheduled to meet with chemo dude again.

The letter from the oncologist states, “STARTED CHEMOTHERAPY INTRAVENOUS THERAPY” on such and such a date!!

Liar, liar, prostate on fire.

“Bone builder” my hiney!

9) Finally, follow up visit with radiation dude yesterday. Unfortunately, my dad completely forgot to tell me he had been scheduled for this, so I couldn’t make it there at the last minute. So, I coached him ahead of time. “DON’T do anything – DON’T agree to anything! Get in, get out!”

Apparently, the visit was quick, simple, and to the point.

“How’s your pain?”

“Good. I have no pain most days. I’m just stiff because I’m an old fart!” Nice, dad.

“I’m pleased to hear this. THIS MEANS THE RADIATION WORKED!”

Liar, liar. Prostate on fire.

Dad, completely forgetting what I said months ago, just took it in… not really minding, because he does feel better, after all.

Reminded me of our current political leaders… acting smooth & tryin’ to look cool… taking credit for something he didn’t actually accomplish!

Ohhhhh… low blow! ; )

Oh, well. For now, dad’s good, relatively speaking. He’s out and about… came over to watch his grand kids skate a few days ago… gets around pretty well. I’m pleased.


Breasts, Cancer, and the Alcohol Connection.

glass of wine

When it comes to your breasts, cancer, and alcohol, I have some good news and some bad news.

The “good” news will be a stretch for some!

The good news is that the choices we make will determine the expression of our genes.

Uh-huh. Exciting, isn’t it?

Seriously, though, it means that you are not doomed to the same cancer path that others in your family may have taken. Your lifestyle choices, in large part, determine whether or not things like cancer will ever manifest themselves in your body.

More specifically, as it relates to breast health and your risk for cancer, you can make certain choices that will determine whether estrogen is working for you or against you in your body. Estrogen balance is a key player in breast health… and breast cancer, right?

Ready for the bad news? An increasing amount of recent evidence demonstrates that 3 or more servings of alcohol per week may increase your risk of breast cancer significantly.


That’s really not much. Especially for those of us who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner on occasion. Most of us eat dinner more than three times per week!

It’s not exactly new news… that alcohol is negatively connected to breast health. However, the evidence continues to mount.

The sad truth is that breasts and alcohol do not mix. Statistically, each drink we take increases our risk of developing breast cancer. There are numbers tossed around in various studies, like 2 – 5 drinks per day increase our risk by about 1.5 times over those who abstain from alcohol.

(If I had anywhere near 5 drinks per day I’m guessing it would increase my risk for a whole bunch of problems!)

Other research papers show that even 1 drink per day is statistically significant.

I know how skewed “research” can be, and how numbers can be twisted around to make them look especially meaningful… when, in reality, there’s not a whole lotta’ statistical significance to be found. (The pharmaceutical industry has become masterful at spinning numbers in this way!)
Also, it’s impossible to look at this issue, or most issues of health, in an isolated vacuum. For example, in these studies, what are subjects’ diets like? What are their stress levels like? What medications are they on? What environmental toxins are they exposed to? What are their sleep patterns like? What are their movement patterns like? Are they overweight? (Toxins are harbored in fat cells.) Do they have mercury fillings? Have they ever had major dental work, like a root canal? (There’s a connection to breast cancer there, too.) Are they taking, or have they ever taken, drugs that alter their hormonal production and function? And while we’re at it,  have they consumed conventional meat or dairy products from animals treated with hormones?

We can ask all these questions in the present time, as well as considering the responses to these questions throughout the woman’s lifetime. That’s how health is created… and that’s how sickness is created. Over time. All our choices add up.

So, while someone who abstains from alcohol may be statistically “better off” according to many studies, it’s hard to fully wrap your brain around that possibility is she’s eating fast food, or conventional meat and eggs, or drinking conventional cow’s milk, or doesn’t sleep well, or is always stressed out, or is taking birth control medication, or doesn’t exercise much, or is overweight, or lives in a toxic environment…

And on the other hand, if someone is having a few drinks each week, but otherwise makes fairly healthy (non-toxic) choices… well, you see how the water can get muddy!

All that being said, it’s still hard to argue any real benefit of drinking alcohol, other than the “stress reduction” effects that many hold near and dear to their hearts.

Alcohol increases circulating estrogen levels and it makes the liver and makes it work harder. (One of the reasons is because alcohol gets broken down to acetaldehyde – which is a toxin similar to  formaldehyde. The liver already has a lot going on with our modern day levels of toxicity it needs to process… this is just an added burden.) Alcohol is also a quick source of sugar. Cancer cells love sugar!

If you’re fully committed to having that glass of wine, or whatever your drink of choice is, there are some things you can do to offset some of the toxic risks to you and your breasts:

    • Obviously, drink less… both quantity and frequency. Find something else to drink and something else to do!
    • Make sure you’re ultra-hydrated with pure water and/or pure herbal tea to keep the negative effects flowing right through you!
    • Choose red wine over other alcoholic beverages. It’s true that it does contain some antioxidants which can protect cells from oxidative stress (one of the major risk factors for cancer and other chronic, degenerative illness). Better yet, choose an organic red wine that lacks sulfates and other gnarly toxins.
    • If you’re going to have a drink, forget about taking drugs… even “common” drugs, like acetaminophen (found in Tylenol). This is a tough combination for the liver to process and has been shown to cause disastrous outcomes.
    • You can add detoxification to your ongoing lifestyle choices by doing simple things, like taking saunas regularly; getting regular massages; gently bouncing on an exercise ball, or a rebounder, or a trampoline, or using a whole body vibration platform – all stimulate your lymphatic system to help clear toxicity.
    • Also, eating more cruciferous vegetables and drinking “super foods” green drinks and green tea can help keep toxicity and out-of-balance estrogen levels in check.
    • You can add certain “breast health specific” supplements to your nutritional arsenal, as well. I love EcoNugenics products, especially BreastDefend.


from: Econugenics

  • A few times per year, commit to a thorough “house cleaning”! I recommend doing a detoxification program that not only cleanses the liver, intestines, and colon like average cleanses do, but a program that addresses the much deeper level of the cell membrane. This is not your run-of-the-mill cleanse or detox kit found at a health store! Contact me if you’d like more info about how to do this properly.

We’ve got a lot on our plates, when it comes to breast health.

Really, anything that could be throwing our hormonal balance out of whack needs to be carefully considered. (That’s a long list, by the way!)

One of the smartest things we can do is to THINK before we take that next drink. It’s a choice, and you’re a big girl. The more healthy choices we make, the more predictable the outcome will be. The more toxic choices we make, well… the more predictable the outcome will be!



16 Tips for Optimal Breast Health

breast health

Breast health is a subject near and dear to many of our hearts. I have had breast “issues” for about 6 years now, so it’s something that’s on my mind. A lot.

My mom had breast cancer. She passed away five years ago – just a little over two years after her diagnosis. I don’t “buy into” the genetic connection, per say. It’s incomplete. I do very much “buy into” family connections (similar lifestyle choices and environmental experiences) based upon the science of Epigenetics.

Essentially, it’s the environment that the cells are exposed to, day in and day out, that will determine whether or not they express their coded message. In the case of cancer cells, it takes a specific set of environmental circumstances over time for the cancer cells to express their message of “cancer”.

Since I’m not a fan of conventional approaches to breast issues, particularly what ‘they’ call “preventive care”, I’m keenly on the look-out for strategies and solutions that are safe, effective, and make physiological sense.

Earlier this year, I was introduced to a nutritional supplement company that makes high-quality products (EcoNugenics). In fact, a few of their products have shown excellent results with cancer. I purchased a couple for my dad (with prostate cancer) – one that is a major immune system strengthener, the other is shown to dramatically reduce the spread of cancer.

(Now, if I could just get my dad to remember to take these things, we’d probably be a bit better off…! It’s OK. He’s my dad and does things his way. I’m used to it!)

Anyhow, the product that has some good traction regarding decreasing the spread of cancer is PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin. It’s also demonstrating benefits for overall breast and prostate health.

So, I started taking this a couple months ago, along with another of EcoNugenics immune-boosting products.

In the months leading up to this, my breast symptoms had been on a steady incline. Two days on these products, and I noticed 80-90% improvement! I, for one, am the first to point out that there are always multiple factors involved – in both healing, and in getting “sick” in the first place. So, who knows?! It was pretty uncanny timing, though!

Let’s talk about breast health a bit, and outline some tips and strategies that can help ensure healthy breast tissue down the road.

The first 7 tips are actually borrowed from EcoNugenics. Then, I’ve added a few of my own that I know make a difference with me, personally, as well as other women I’ve consulted with over the years.

* * * * *

From EcoNugenics:

Here are seven straightforward ways to not only support lifelong breast health, but total-body wellness in the process!

1. Eat colorful fruits & vegetables every day (try for organic).
Most of us agree that eating enough fruits and vegetables everyday can be hard, so here are some simple solutions:  Incorporate vegetables into a few easy recipes of meals that you can love. Try different greens in your salad, besides regular iceberg or romaine lettuce. Spinach, watercress, kale and other greens will help spike the nutritional value of your standard salad. Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale provide exceptional vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients as well as DIM (diindolylmethane), a powerful compound which research shows supports breast health by assisting in the proper metabolism of estrogen.*

Whenever possible, opt for organic fruits and vegetables, and be aware of the top 12 non-organic produce items with the highest levels of pesticides. You can find the list of the “Dirty Dozen,” compiled by Environmental Working Group, here. By choosing organic, you reduce your exposure to common pesticides which are proven to harm breast, cellular and overall health.

2. Get moving

If you don’t exercise every day, don’t beat yourself up or decide that it’s too late to start. Take action now with a short walk around the block, gradually increasing to thirty minutes a day if possible. Even a brisk walk twice a week provides health benefits. Not only does exercise help you lose weight and manage stress, but it actively fights abnormal cell growth and provides a host of other well-documented benefits.*

3. Maintain a healthy weight and metabolism
Get motivated to lose a few extra pounds! In a study of 5,450 women, scientists determined a relationship between high insulin levels (often associated with unhealthy weight) and compromised breast health.* Women with the highest insulin levels were more than twice as likely to develop breast health problems as those with the lowest insulin levels. Extra weight also encourages high estrogen levels, the hormone that can stimulate unhealthy breast cell growth. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen is pumped through the body on a daily basis. Balanced weight leads to balanced hormones, reducing your risk for breast health issues.*

4. Get enough rest
Getting about eight hours of sleep a night promotes overall health and also gives the body time to restore its cells. Melatonin, a hormone produced while you sleep during the night, also contributes to healthy cellular activity.* Listen to your body and get some sleep when you need it the most, and avoid overnight work shifts if possible, as this type of schedule is associated with increased risks to breast and other areas of health.* If you have to work through the night, be sure to follow the other tips outlined in the article, and do your best to get enough restful and regular sleep during the day. Doing things like avoiding caffeine near the end of your shift and using light-blocking curtains can help!*

5. Focus on specific natural ingredients
Doctors from across the medical spectrum agree on several potent natural ingredients and compounds that support healthy cellular function, especially in the area of breast health. The substantiated list includes diindolylmethane (DIM), quercetin, turmeric, Chinese skullcap, astragalus, and medicinal mushrooms.* While the research on these ingredients continues to spark the interest of modern scientists, natural health traditions have relied on their benefits for centuries. DIM, obtained from eating broccoli, promotes healthy estrogen metabolism.* Quercetin is a flavonoid shown to have amazing cellular effects in animal and laboratory studies, which show that it can inhibit the growth of unhealthy cells.* The spice turmeric helps the body process toxins and diminish the blood supply to aberrant cells.* Astragalus is a respected herb for managing stress, boosting immunity and offering antioxidant support.* Medicinal mushrooms have long been used to address diverse areas of health in traditional Asian practices and ongoing research continues to demonstrate how they promote cellular health.*

6. Reduce or avoid alcohol intake
Practice moderation when it comes to imbibing. Research has established a link between excess alcohol consumption and breast health problems. A study of 13,885 women found that those who had 14 or more alcoholic drinks per week experienced a 24 percent increase for developing abnormal breast cells. A well-known Harvard study involving 38,000 healthy women showed that those who drank more than 12 ounces of wine each day were 32 percent more likely to develop abnormal breast cells.

7. Use targeted daily supplements
For superior breast health support, BreastDefend is a comprehensive formula which synergistically combines the most advanced and bioavailable compounds shown to promote healthy breast cells.* Recent studies have shown this unique formula offers significant support for breast health.*  BreastDefend contains DIM, in addition to quercetin, turmeric rhizome curcumin extract (BCM-95®), astragalus root, Scutellaria barbata extract, and Coriolus (Trametes versicolor) mushroom, Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom and Phellinus linteus mushroom specially grown on immune and cellular supporting herbs.* This effective combination of extracts, herbs, and specially grown medicinal mushrooms offers a powerful tool to promote breast health and support overall vitality, without toxic side effects.*

BreastDefend was also recently studied together with PectaSol-C® Modified Citrus Pectin. Results demonstrated even greater breast health protection and support, through the combination of the two nutraceuticals.* In essence, PectaSol-C boosted the already powerful actions of BreastDefend in the support and protection of breast health and overall wellness.
With the tips presented here, together with the powerful research behind BreastDefend and PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin, you have a targeted strategy to protect breast health and maintain vitality throughout life.

 * * * * *

From Dr. Mom Online…

First, I think EcoNugenics’ product, PectaSol-C Modified Citrus Pectin is an absolute MUST for anyone ever diagnosed with cancer. This is one of the top recommendations we make in our Integrative Cancer Recovery Program.

Buy Pectasol-C for Cellular Health

Here are a few others I think make a difference in breast health and breast symptoms:

8. Lay off the caffeine. Caffeine directly effects blood vessels. If any of the symptoms of breast pain or discomfort are related to blood vessels, then it would benefit us to minimize our intake. (That was directed to me, personally. Ugh.) By the way, if you’re drinking coffee, whether it’s caffeinated or decaffeinated, make sure it’s organic. Coffee beans are one of the most heavily sprayed plants on our planet. Upgrading to organic is NOT an expense. This is a very serious investment in food safety and your health.

9. Breathe deeply and de-stress. Personally, when I’m overly stressed or caught up with stinkin’ thinkin’, my symptoms are at the absolute worst. As soon as I start with deep breathing and relaxation (and removing the source of stress, if possible), I can feel an immediate relief of symptoms. Overall, when I incorporate stress management techniques into my daily routine, not only do I feel better and function better overall, but I notice fewer breast symptoms as a whole. I’m not naive enough to think that we can remove stress from our lives. But, we sure do have a choice in how we respond to it, don’t we?!

10. Pull out that sweet tooth! Sugar is just a vicious little varmit. It wreaks havoc on our health in countless ways. I notice that when I consume too much sugar, my symptoms return… wickedly fast. When you’re considering your sugar intake, it’s not just about sweets and junk food and baked goods. Don’t forget those foods that convert to sugar quickly in your body – foods like bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, pretzels, and on and on. Don’t get wise with me and think you’ll side-step this issue by using artificial sweeteners! That is a toxic choice that reaps toxic consequences in every tissue of the body… not just breast tissue! (Keep in mind that stress makes us crave more sugar… all the more reason to have an effective outlet for your stress.)

11. Watch out for gluten. I’ve seen this in our practice, and heard this from enough women now to know it plays a role for a lot of us, whether we’ve quite put our finger on it yet or not. For a growing number of people, gluten is a problem. It can manifest itself in an incredible number of ways, often mimicking other illnesses and conditions. Simply, I’ve seen women give up gluten and their breast symptoms completely clear up. (Same thing with sugar, by the way.)

12. Let the girls breathe, for cryin’ out loud! You’ve heard it before – underwire and push-up bras can cause a lot of breast problems. So can any other clothing that is constrictive and prevents your lymphatic system from fully functioning. Sure, our culture is obsessed with “the look” these clothes provide… but, then again, our culture is suffering with breast cancer like at no other time in history. Let the girls relax a bit, at least the majority of the time. ‘Nuff said.

13. Sweat is your Hot Sauce, girl! Again, nothing new here. Anti-perspirants are the nemesis of breast health. Quick anatomy & physiology lesson here: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SWEAT! How on earth do you think all those nasty toxins are going to leave your body if you block one of the major exit routes?! Nobody likes those sweat circles, agreed. But I dislike breast cancer even more. There are non-toxic deodorants you can use. No excuses. Plus, the less toxic you are (by following many of the other tips here), the less stinky your sweat tends to be. Seriously. Finally, if you’re exercising and working up a sweat – that’s a GREAT thing – let your hot sauce flow! It’s one of the often-neglected benefits of challenging exercise… it’s detoxifying!

14. Take care of your “structure”. Let’s not forget to overlook the obvious here. Well, maybe it’s just obvious to ME because I’m a Chiropractor! When the spine is chronically dysfunctional (not moving freely, or out of alignment), or there’s chronically poor posture, or chronic muscle imbalance and tension… any and ALL of these can refer pain and  symptoms into the breast. That’s just how our ultra-cool body works! It’s all connected. So, I’d recommend regular Chiropractic care, as well as soft tissue work. In addition, take a look at your daily postural patterns. for example, if the way you sit at home, at work, our in your car causes you to round your shoulders and upper back, and push your head forward while decreasing your cervical (neck) curve, then your posture is a major problem. This will affect a LOT of things, breast health included.

15. Control your hormones, woman! A lot of women notice fluctuations in their breast symptoms that correspond to various stages of their monthly cycles. Others notice a brand new set of symptoms and their timing as they ease into pre-menopause and menopause. Hormones are most definitely involved. I am not a fan (mild understatement) of artificially altering our hormonal levels with drugs like hormone replacement or birth control pill. It’s like playing with fire. (I know there are individual cases where it might provide a temporary ‘solution’…) I also don’t think we should be tinkering with our hormone levels by using hormone creams… unless we know the cause of our hormonal imbalance, and exactly which hormones are out of balance. Address the cause. There are accurate tests for this now, and doctors who know how to help you restore healthy function, holistically. While we’re on the topic of hormones, start to minimize your exposure to synthetic estrogens (found in various plastic items, for example), as well as “modern” soy foods & ingredients whenever possible. Both alter our natural hormone levels.

16. Smushing and radiating is not a winning combination. I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Mammograms are not your only option for highly effective and highly sensitive diagnostic tests. Thermal imaging has been shown to be equally effective at identifying problems in the breast tissue… WITHOUT dramatically interfering with the breast cells and then radiating them! Just sayin’. There’s gotta’ be a better way. (And, voila! There is!)

Well, there you go. Lots of ideas for taking good care of our breasts, and the rest of our health.

Let me know what YOU add to these tips to ensure healthy breast tissue… I’d love to hear it!


Five Years Ago Today…

My Angel.

… I lost my most favorite person in the entire world.


My Angel.


Five years ago today, my mom was leaving this world.

Tuesday November 13th, 2007.

In the five years that have passed, I’ve worked so hard to remember the good… the blessings… her grace… her faith… her spirit… her class… her humor… our love.

I’ve done a pretty good job, overall.

But this time of year, I find myself getting edgy… and, at first, I’m not sure why.

Then I remember.

… sigh…

I trust God’s plan and His timing.

(Doesn’t mean I’m always mature enough to like it, though.)

I mourn for “what could have been“… and what my kids are missing out on without this spectacular woman in their lives.

The day before she died, mom was insistent that I truly “enjoy” my children.

I try to remember that.

I try.

It’s one of the reasons I home school.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve made the career choices I’ve made in recent years.

Five years ago, when I approached my mom’s room at the hospital in the morning, a nurse stopped me before entering the room and told me, “I think this will be your mom’s last day...”

I felt the world stop. Nothing else mattered or made sense.

I’ve managed to push aside and bury many of the details of that very, very long day. I’ve tried desperately hard to remember the “good” from that day.

However, it was awful.

The day before was better. Mom shared much wisdom that I’ll never forget and always cherish. How she “chose” joy, despite the many tragedies in her life. How she found peace. How she turned to God more than ever. What she really and truly wanted for me in this life.

Five years ago today, though, was just horrible.

So many good-byes. So much stress around us.

Thankfully, so much faith that got us through.

And, even a few hours before her final breath, there were still smiles, beauty, love and laughter. There was still my mom.

Then, things got pretty bad. The pain was intense. The coherent communication had ceased. Everyone left except my dad and me.

We waited for my husband to arrive. Mom clearly waited for him, too. She hung on, somehow. Once he was finally there, it was obvious she had something to say to him – she made many noises and reached out for him.

I’m not sure what that was about, but I know she always had such a soft spot for him… and his glass-half-full approach to life. They had a special connection.

Then she struggled more… and more.

To this day, I’m not really sure if she was struggling to stay… or struggling to go. It was just a struggle.

In the end, before the brief coma, I read her favorite prayers to her and encouraged her to anticipate the overwhelming peace, comfort and joy that would soon be hers. I asked her to say hello to my brother, and to tell him “I love you” for me… and to say “hi” to everyone else who had gone on ahead of us.

A couple hours later, in the wee morning hours of Wednesday November 14th, mom took her last breath. The struggle ended… for her.

I’ve grown exponentially since that time.

I’ve seen extremely dark times since then, especially in the first several months after mom passed… and I was oftentimes rotten to those I love the most.

Honestly, I’ve sucked at times. Many times, if you ask my family.

I’ve also filled them up with more of my love and affection than I was capable of before this time.

I’ve aged prematurely since then. When I look at the wrinkles formed over the last 7 years since her diagnosis of breast cancer, I feel I’ve really earned them through the tears and sadness. They have meaning and depth (no pun intended!).

I’ve also matured in a good way…

I’ve discovered depths of emotion I didn’t know existed before then. Unbelievably good, along with the aforementioned bad.

I’ve craved life and being “real” and connecting with people more than ever.

I tell a whole lotta’ people that I love them… and I really, deeply do.

I appreciate people even more. I see the light in people.

I don’t think I take my relationships for granted… I know that we are very clearly NOT in charge… and what we have now can be gone in an instant.

I’m a better person because of my mom.

The fabric of my life is more intricate because of my mom’s illness, her death, and my recovery.

Through it all, I know God is good. I am OK. And I will see my mom again.

In hindsight, one extremely horrific day isn’t so bad in the “big picture”. I’d say the blessings far outweigh the pain.

I’m thankful that the negative details have become more fuzzy over time.

I’m thankful that I can still remember exactly how my mom’s hands felt as I held them so many times, and how warm and deep her hugs were. I’m thankful that my most prevalent memories are of my mom’s love and her spirit and the rich life we shared together.

My most favorite person in the entire world. My mom.


Good times!




The Cancer Chronicles: Blessings and Miracles

An Unexpected Gift

An Unexpected Gift


Remember in my last update about my dad and cancer I said something about taking things one day (one hour) at a time? Remember I mentioned how important it is (for me) to recognize the many blessings I’m granted each day… even when things seem overwhelming or horrible?

Well, since the last update, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to practice what I preach.

The exact same day that I wrote that update about my dad, he was taken to the hospital in pretty bad shape. (Understatement)

The home care nurse who checked in on him earlier in the day called me and said I needed to “prepare myself… things don’t look good.” That was an awful drive to the hospital… waiting in line at the border… not being able to get to dad quickly… feeling extremely helpless.  My stress hormones were in full gear. (I have new wrinkles and grey hair to prove it!)

Short version of the hospital story – not much happened. His vitals all returned to “normal” fairly shortly. He received IV pain medication. That’s it. All his lab tests and scans came back “normal”. The ER docs simply confirmed that the cancer is in his sacrum (tailbone), which he already knew.

I brought him home and stayed with him for several days. Each day he got a little bit better ~ not out running any races, by any means, but better. One of those blessings, for sure.

We met with the oncologist a few days after his trip to the hospital. He and the oncologist agreed that dad would start “palliative radiation” treatments: radiation for “incurable” cancer to help with the pain.

So, with that decision made, and dad feeling stable and confident, I headed home and waited to hear the radiation schedule.

In the meantime, dad continued to feel better and better. Another major blessing. In fact, dad started feeling so much better that he changed his mind about attending the wedding of one of my cousins over the weekend… a nephew who adores my dad.

This was such a shock and surprise to all of us… the most pleasant of surprises! I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness for dad that night. He was thrilled to be able to attend… especially considering how awful things were a week earlier!

I’ll call this one a mini-miracle. A week earlier, there was absolutely no way dad could have been there. He couldn’t get out of bed, let alone walk on his own. He was confused and disoriented. He was in incredible pain. This opportunity to attend the wedding and to see friends and loved ones was such a gift!

I met dad yesterday at the cancer clinic for his first radiation treatment.

(You’d be proud – I didn’t throw up or show fear in front of my dad at all. I waited ’til I got home!)

Dad looked even better yesterday than he did at the wedding. It was another fantastic surprise! He even told me he had taken his dog for a nice walk yesterday and the day before. Wow! This is beyond fabulous! Of course, it makes me wonder why on earth we’re doing a horrible procedure that comes with potentially horrible side effects, all for the sake of pain reduction.

(I’m sorry… is my bias showing?!)

Once his friends were around the corner, I tried to kidnap him… but his mind was pretty set on following the doctor’s orders. Can’t blame a daughter for trying!

I’m praying that the radiation truly does offer some relief, in some way, even if  I’m not sure exactly how it can help. I don’t have to be clear on everything… I don’t need to understand every single thing about the body or every component of every treatment available and how it will affect my dad.

That’s another big lesson I’ve learned on this cancer journey with both parents. God knows how it all works… how it will all unfold. I’m good with that. It doesn’t mean I don’t do my homework and research all our options. It doesn’t mean I don’t think we should take more responsibility for our health. It just means I believe there is a beautiful mystery to the human body.

Sheesh, even the experts in the field can’t explain this particular treatment to me scientifically (I’ve asked repeatedly), or provide me with research on it. Not everything can be, or needs to be, explained.

So, who knows what to expect from here.

He felt a little “funny” coming out of the treatment yesterday – walking a little more slowly, more tentatively, saying his legs felt a little “heavy”. I hugged him extra tight before we departed ways and said a little prayer that his body takes what is “good” and useful from the radiation, and effectively discards the rest.

The kids and I will be moving in with dad for the second half of the week so we can take him to his treatments and take care of him at home.

I’m hoping it’s a week filled with more pleasant surprises and little blessings sprinkled throughout. At this point, each day is a gift.

Really, isn’t that true for ALL of us? EVERY day? : )






The Cancer Chronicles ~ Pain, Drugs, Radiation and Stress

Happier times...

The good 'ol days...


This update regarding my dad and his journey with cancer is long overdue.

Part of my tardiness is certainly due to the lack of a website for a few months earlier in the year. Mostly though, it’s because writing about dad and cancer would force me to continue thinking about it… and that just stinks.

Even if nobody else ever reads this, this update serves as somewhat of a synopsis and timeline for me… so I can see it all in a concise nutshell, if I ever need to… or if I ever have the stomach to go back and re-read it.

Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer over 10 years ago. For the first 5-6 years, he managed very well with no conventional/allopathic treatment at all; he made major changes to his lifestyle in order to change the environment for his cells. All test results showed phenomenal improvements which he sustained for years.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years later. She had surgery, including a lymphandectomy, and a partial course of radiation to follow. (Hindsight is a rotten pill to swallow.) She did OK for almost a year and a half post-treatment, then all hell broke loose. She passed away almost 5 years ago now.

It was during the “hell breaking loose” time that my dad started having some issues again. Not much of a surprise. That was also the time he started turning to conventional medicine for various treatments: TURP (trans-urethral prostate resection), cryotherapy, hormonal therapy for years, etc.

He started having “unexplainable”, debilitating pain about 3 1/2 years ago. He was prescribed prednisone (yes, the immune suppressant steroid!), which he took for several years. It took the edge off the pain… but probably took the edge off his ability to keep fighting cancer.

2 years ago, it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized into his pelvic bones. He has had random episodes of serious pain that last for a few days, then subside for a awhile – several weeks to a few months.

The oncologist has told him, since diagnosing the metastasis, that there’s nothing they can offer to “cure” the cancer, and that he feels “too good to offer chemotherapy… since that would only make you feel worse and get very sick”. (At least they’re honest. Sort of.) However, all along, one particular oncologist has been recommending radiation treatment for “pain management”.

On his bad days, dad has been tempted. Then he thinks about all the things that radiation can cause… and the new problems it can create… and he puts it on the back burner. Instead, his doctors have provided him with a variety of pain killers to choose from when he “feels the need”. {sigh}

(By the way, following the diagnosis of metastasis, dad “cleaned things up” again, and did some holistic/alternative treatments for cancer for a short time. His subsequent scans and various tests showed marked improvement. Then, he just fell off track again.)

Well, this year has been a doozy for dad.

It was a depressing winter for him because he just couldn’t get out as much. He has had a worsening issue with his balance over the past couple years.

He decided to sell his home – the one that he and my mom lived in their entire marriage. It was stressful for him to make that decision… but nothing compared to the months that followed!

He had a steady stream of people coming to see his home for several months – which, of course, meant he was constantly cleaning and tidying and feeling very, very stressed about all the strangers in his house! In the meantime, he was ‘casually’ looking for a smaller place to move to. This proved to be much more challenging than he expected… since he had no intention of going anywhere without his beloved Labradoodle, Eddie.

When the house finally sold in the early spring, the frantic search was on. We spent weeks and weeks looking for the right place… small enough… safe enough… affordable enough… good for pets, etc.

It was all just so stressful for him. For all of us, actually. By the time we moved him into his new place in June, he was a different person. He was in constant pain – just varying degrees of it. He was using the pain meds almost daily, and  was (is) now experiencing many of the most common side effects caused by pain relievers.

As the summer progressed, I saw him getting more and more depressed, more confused, more agitated, less patient… and very, very lonely. It’s heart-breaking.

Recently, one of his docs wanted him to be catheterized to help with some of the symptoms he has been experiencing (side effects from previous treatments and procedures). He did OK for a week, then developed a “life threatening infection” that required him to be on IV antibiotics for 2 weeks.

Mind you, he didn’t tell me any of this ’til a couple days into it… partly because he thought he already had! Grrrrr. That’s a whole other issue!

That treatment finished a week ago now. No consultation or follow-up testing with any doctor to confirm that things are cleared up, however. It’s a maddening system, this “socialized medicine” he’s dealing with. What a joke. Then again, it’s not much better when he finally does get in to see a doctor! I’m not sure which is worse: the system, or the paradigm itself!

On a ridiculous, incomprehensible side note, one of the docs he has to deal with – I’ve referred to him in the past with some interesting labels – told my dad that all the problems he has been having with bladder and bowel control issues are my DAD’S FAULT because he “clearly doesn’t know how to take care of his own body”!!!!

Are you kidding me?!

This, from the doc who has done two biopsies, multiple digital exams of the area, the TURP procedure, the cryotherapy, hormonal injections and given out hormonal drugs and pain killers like they’re candy … all the while telling my dad that the number one potential side effect of the various procedures and drugs was incontinence, followed closely by bowel blockages!!

I know God has a plan, but I’m not completely sure this man should have the privilege of working with humans in any capacity.

Moving forward…

Actually, the infection is the least of dad’s worries right now. The pain got so bad this week that he self-medicated again… only it sounds like he definitely over-medicated (oxymoron?). He can’t quite recall the what happened for a couple days in the middle of the week.

He told me yesterday that he doesn’t think he took any pain meds. But, I had to remind him that when I spoke to him on Tuesday he told me he had just taken a couple pain killers with codeine… and I mentioned that I thought that was too much for him and to be careful. He didn’t exactly remember that.

This is scary beyond words.

Not as scary as this…

Now, he’s asking to talk to the oncologist – the one who has been offering radiation treatments for “pain management”. Yesterday, we managed to get his October visit at the cancer center bumped up to Monday morning. By this time next week, I’d imagine he will be doing radiation.

I feel sick. But, I know he just wants the pain to go away… and he believes this will help… because they told him it would. I have to believe that, too… which is an enormous stretch of my faith.

One of his friends emailed me last last night to update me on dad’s condition. He went to visit with him for awhile. (God bless dad’s amazing friends, D & J.) Apparently, dad was in bed, couldn’t/wouldn’t get up because of the pain, and was freezing, despite being buried in covers and comforters. He told his friend that he has “never known pain like this”.

It’s going to be a long weekend. All prayers for peace and comfort and strength are sincerely appreciated.

By the way, I found out somewhere along this journey of the past 8 or 9 months that dad hasn’t really been doing any of the treatments (or “lifestyle recommendations”) that I’ve given him or recommended to him. He says it’s just too “confusing” and too overwhelming. To me, that’s the drugs talking. I think he’s just too deeply embedded in the conventional system to not do exactly what they tell him to. While I don’t agree, I 100% respect and honor his decisions… and he knows this without a doubt.

I’d never ask someone whose faith lies in conventional medicine and oncology to turn their back on it – that would be too stressful for them. I just offer additional strategies and treatments that can be more effective and certainly safer, as well as treatments to minimize the damage caused by the conventional approach.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, I do not “lecture” my dad at all… at least not for the past year or more! He’s just too forgetful and confused. Oh, and crotchety towards me when we talk about his health! Mostly, I tip-toe around on egg shells with him… just trying to help where he’ll let me… preparing him healthy foods while I’m there… biting my tongue when he eats, drinks or takes something that is damaging to his health.

Who am I to judge? I’m anything but perfect.

Who knows where he’d be now, had he been following different recommendations. I certainly do not know – that kind of information is reserved for our Creator who knows all. Really, it’s neither here nor there at this point. It is what it is.

So, that brings us up to date.

I’m trying to remember what I learned along this journey with my mom:

  • One day (one hour, sometimes) at a time.
  • There are blessings everywhere, in every situation, if we’ll just SEE them.
  • Be fully present with each other… we never know when it’ll be our last opportunity.
  • Be thankful for the moments we do have with each other… (see above!).
  • And, of course, have faith. Trust God. I can’t control this… it’s in His hands, exactly where it should be.
  • Pray for peace, pray for comfort, pray for strength for ALL of us… but mostly, pray for God’s will to be done, whatever that may be.


Here we go…



The 5 Pillars of Chronic Illness: The Precursors to Why We Get Sick (Oldie-But-Goodie)


(This post is actually a RE-post of an oldie-but goodie I had originally posted back in May of 2009. Due to the detailed “hack attack” a few months ago, my original Dr. Mom Online site is gone AND, unfortunately, so is much of the back-up. Boooo! However, I did manage to dig up some of my previous posts and articles from a back-up of a back-up! I’ll slowly start re-posting some of these over the next little while… to fill in some of the gaps!)

The 5 Pillars of Chronic Illness 

*** The overall concept of the 5 Pillars, as well as “rocks in the backpack”, comes from a colleague and mentor of mine, Dr. James Chestnut, B.Ed., M.Sc., D.C., C.C.W.P. ***

Despite all the attention shed on health, exercise & fitness, diets and the “miracles of medicine” during the last few decades, our society is witnessing a drastic increase in all chronic illnesses.  These illnesses and conditions include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, depression and anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s, dementia, autoimmune issues, acid reflux, constipation, infertility, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, decreased sex drive, and so on.

Science continues to demonstrate that over 99% of these illnesses are truly preventable – they are not “genetic” as has been the message so long perpetuated. Our lifestyle choices and our environment determine whether or not we will express health and wellness. This relationship between the environment and our genetic expression is summarized by the Science of Epigenetics.

There are clearly some direct relationships that have been confirmed in the study of chronic illness. We do not develop any of the aforementioned chronic illnesses due to random chance or faulty genetics. The “5 Pillars of Chronic Illness” represent the prerequisites to chronic illness. We do not develop chronic illness without at least one of these five pillars existing first.

The 5 Pillars of Chronic Illness are:

1)         Stress Hormones

2)         Insulin Resistance

3)         Chronic Inflammation

4)         Decreased SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)

5)         Decreased Immunity

For example, it would be highly implausible (many would say “impossible”) to find someone experiencing cancer that did not have at least one of these five pillars first. In the simplest of metaphors, we could liken cancer or any of the other chronic illnesses to a cooked potato. The potato didn’t just magically end up that way. It wasn’t bad luck or bad potato genes that cooked the spud. Something must have preceded the end result of that potato being cooked.

It may have been baked, roasted, slow cooked, fried, microwaved… or any combination of these. These cooking methods are like the five pillars. They must precede a cooked potato! Obviously, developing chronic illness is far more serious and detailed than cooking. But, if we don’t understand the hierarchy of how sickness truly happens we can never fully restore health.

In the case of chronic illness, the five pillars are innately intelligent physiological adaptations to yet another level of precursors. In order for the body to respond in the form of these pillars, or adaptations to the environment, there must be a preceding state of Toxicity and Deficiency.

This means that lifestyle choices incongruent with our genetic blueprint for health and the prevention of chronic illness are being made. It doesn’t matter if the lifestyle choices are related to nutrition, movement or mindset – if they are toxic and deficient, rather than pure and sufficient, the end result is that the body will intelligently express adaptations to this toxic and deficient environment in the form of the physiological stress response. This response is neatly summarized by the five pillars of chronic illness.

The physiological stress response does not create health; it does not heal. What it does is it allows short term survival in the pathogenic environment. Essentially, it buys you time to get to a healthy environment – one that is less toxic and deficient, more pure and sufficient.

Our toxic and deficient lifestyle choices are like rocks in a backpack we wear as we tread water. They slowly sink us and make our existence more challenging and stressful. If the rocks are left in the backpack, and we continue to choose more rocks, our bodies make the highly intelligent decision to adapt to this new environment.

This is known as allostasis – the body’s attempt to maintain stability in a changing environment. The rocks are known as the allostatic load – the cumulative effect of our body responding to the stressors (toxicity and deficiency).

It’s this allostatic load that results in the physiological stress response and the 5 pillars of chronic illness. Without the rocks, we don’t move to the next stage.

Therefore, if we can prevent putting rocks into our backpack in the first place (by consistently making pure and sufficient lifestyle choices) and remove the rocks that are already there (by decreasing toxic and deficient choices), then our body no longer has a reason to express the five pillars. Without any of the five pillars, we don’t develop chronic illness.

Our lifestyle choices are the linchpin in this relationship between chronic illness and the environment. Choose wisely!


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