Scott: You mentioned diet. Um, why isn't that stressed more, especially to people who are undergoing treatment or who have cancer or who have had cancer?
Jenny Hrbacek: I do not know. Because I can attest to this, not one doctor told me what do eat, the whole time... other than the, when I went to the one that was integrative. My three oncologists, my surgeon. In fact I had a little spat with one of my, I call him surgeon, I'm sorry, oncologist number one. I went in and I was in my infusion suite getting my chemotherapy. And I'm looking at the lady across the chair from me and she's got Adriamycin dripping in, they call that 'the Red Devil'. And she's got an oxygen, she's got an oxygen tank with the little nasal cannula. She's very frail and she's sitting there eating a hamburger and some french fries. And then catty corner to me was a young man with a recurring brain tumor, he's got nutter butter's and a soda. And I just thought 'wow'! These people, they voluntarily walked in here, sat in these chairs, voluntarily let these people start dripping the toxic, poisonous chemotherapy into their body... so they obviously want to live. They want to live or they wouldn't have come in and gone through this process. But yet, they're eating food that's not providing nutrition. So I 'googled' the definition of food. Food is defined as something that gives nutrition as a living organism. Well, I was looking at what they were eating, there's no nutrition in any of that, in fact their livers are having to work really hard to get rid of all that! And they're messing up the phospholipid membrane of the cell. So, even if you take a bunch of vitamins, it's going to breeze right by because your membrane of your cell is so rigid.
So I went in and talked to my oncologist and I said 'hey', I said, 'do you y'all have any kind of nutritional program around here?' This is a huge institution I was at, you know. You see their commercials on TV. And he said 'oh, oh yeah, but, you know, not really.' He said 'we have some classes... I said, 'but I'm talking like in the infusion suite. Maybe y'all should have like a bowl of green apples, or some nuts, or something...' I was getting nowhere with him. All he was doing was looking at my labs from the morning and looking at the calendar to see when he could schedule my next infusion. So finally I said, 'You know, I looked at y'alls snack machine out there in the infusion room and...' Picture the typical snack machine at a motel, you know, when you travel, there's a motel and there's a snack machine in the little room by the ice machine. That's what was in the infusion suite. And I said, I said, 'do you realize y'all have a snack machine out there and it's full of junk!' And he actually looked at me, over his glasses. He looked up at me and said 'my dear, I am not in charge of the snack machine.' And this is my doctor. And so I thought to myself, and I should've said it. You know sometimes you walk out and you think 'I wish I'd have just said that'. I should've said 'well, my dear, you are no longer in charge of me.' Because that's exactly what I thought. I did that last, my fourth infusion and I left and went to oncologist number two.
I just, I think there's no money in that. And I think they don't have the time. They get so many minutes with you and they have to have a billing code for that to get paid. There's no money in the budget I guess? I mean, all these doctors are driving nice cars and live in huge houses, but there seems to be no interest. And telling people you know, to drink, limit their alcohol and not smoke, I don't call that prevention. And I don't call mammograms and PSA counts prevention either. I call those trolling for business. I say when the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen wages a war on sugar, I will truly believe they want to beat cancer. And I don't see that at all. In fact, I attended a luncheon sponsored by Komen and as I walked out the door, they had these beautiful girls dressed, beautiful baskets with ribbons on them, and they presented each lady as she left, these are breast cancer patients, with an iced cake pop. And so, you can assume I declined the parting gift. So, I just looked at them and I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' And I'm always embarrassing my friends because they're like 'Jenny, just be quiet.' But it's wrong! You don't give someone, who's wearing a wig, or wearing a scarf or who has no hair, who is fighting for their life, you don't give them an iced cake pop. I'm just... I don't understand it. I guess they made me made enough to where I did the research and I wrote this book and I tell people I have have ten different tests that you can get on your own, and to find cancer early so that you can then be an advocate for yourself, because, unfortunately you have to be an advocate for yourself if you want to live and survive the disease. Because it's very much beatable, especially if you find it early.
Jenny Hrbacek is a registered nurse as well as a cancer survivor. She discusses her experience with traditional cancer treatment and a couple of oncologists. Find out what shocked her about what her doctors did, or didn't talk to her about, as well as her experience with a major cancer fundraiser.
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