Chemo. Dreaded chemo.  No one wants it.  Search the internet for chemo testimonials and you will read about nausea, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, hair loss, fingernail discoloration, memory loss, mouth sores, anemia… the list goes on.  These are known side effects. Yet, more than half of all people with cancer get chemotherapy in the hopes of stopping their disease.


Let’s face it, these powerful chemo drugs work by killing fast-growing cancer cells.  The problem is, they also kill healthy white blood cells that divide quickly.  Because white blood cells are one of the body’s main defense mechanisms it’s as if the doors swing wide open and greet side effects and infection with open arms.  This puts the patient at risk of a totally new opponent in the fight for their life.


So how do you combat this?  There are hundreds of articles about what to do during chemo; watch for a fever, know the symptoms of infection, wash your hands, get a flu shot, take your medication, avoid certain foods and try to get out and enjoy life!  Of course, these are all good suggestions but to me, it’s like the referee bending down and whispering “just get up and dance” while you are down for the count.


Wouldn’t it be better to protect your body from the punch? Think of the Rocky Balboa character in the Sylvester Stallone movie.  He worked out, he built muscle, he trained for the fight of his life. And he prevailed against all odds. This was the allure of the movie.  As I see it, the immune system is the muscle in the fight against cancer. So how do we build THIS muscle?


Before I get into what I did, let’s talk about emerging cancer treatment and the direction science is heading which is immunotherapy.  Many doctors refer to cancer as a disease of the immune system.  The emerging treatment of immunotherapy supports this theory. Immunotherapy treatments harness and enhance the innate powers of the immune system to fight cancer and they represent the most promising new cancer treatment approach since the development of the first chemotherapies in the 1940s. Immunotherapy includes treatments that work in different ways. Some boost the body’s immune system in a very general way. But since it is tougher for the immune system to directly target cancer cells, others help train the immune system to attack cancer cells specifically.


There is a lot of thought that immunology and genetics are going to be the medicine of the future.  Immunotherapy is creating great hope, but for most cancers it is still limited to clinical trials.


So what can you do right now?  Here’s where I tell my story. Personally, in spite of being on a very strong chemotherapy combination for pancreatic cancer, I suffered few of the usual side effects. Throughout my entire chemo regimen people marveled at how well I looked and how great I was doing, including all of my doctors.  And, except for being tired, I felt great.


How?  In 2011, I stumbled upon Beta Glucan which is all-natural and found in things like baker’s yeast, mushrooms, oats, barley and algae.  For years I had been suffering from annual sinus infections that really laid me up. A friend suggested Beta Glucan. Being me, I did my research and found this compound has been studied for over 50 years in the best universities and teaching hospitals in the world.  AND, in Japan, a form of Beta Glucan is licensed as a drug which has been used by physicians in the treatment of cancer for over 30 years. I also discovered thousands of peer-reviewed studies, articles and reports about Beta glucan published in medical journals.


What does Beta Glucan do?  It maintains and supports a healthy immune response by the unique activation of a key receptor on the surface of immune cells.


After my thorough investigation, I decided this was a no-brainer.  I started taking it and badabing badaboom, I have not had a sinus infection since.  I have faithfully used Beta Glucan for over six years. During this time, I have not had so much as a cold or flu even when surrounded by ailing family members.  This includes the time while I was on chemo.


As a matter of fact, I remained pretty darn healthy during my chemo treatment.  Two weeks after my first infusion I felt better than I had been feeling prior to therapy.  Keep in mind I had pancreatic cancer with a duct cut-off sign that indicated my digestion was impeded.  Also, I had been given a combination of chemotherapy drugs that pinpointed my specific genetic make-up so my oncologist suggested I may start feeling better pretty quickly.  But I was on chemo for 5 months with a total of 15 sessions of powerful drugs.


Why the lack of side effects for me?  First off, I did cold cap therapy to save my hair (which is a different subject) but bottom line here’s my intuitive logic:


Immunotherapy uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight disease and is the emerging scientific hope for the treatment of cancer. Beta Glucan is a natural compound that activates the immune response without overstimulation and has been used in countries such as Japan as a drug in the treatment of cancer.  I took Beta Glucan throughout my chemotherapy treatment and remained healthy and active with little to no side effects. Thus, I believe Beta Glucan effectively enhanced my immune system and helped me endure the treatment. This doesn’t meet the criteria for statistical analysis, but it’s my reality.


And guess what.  Beta Glucan continues to work for me.  After five months of chemo, I had a distal pancreatectomy January 13, 2017 to remove the 50% of my pancreas.  This surgery also entailed removing my spleen. The spleen plays multiple supporting roles in the body. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. Old red blood cells are recycled in the spleen. Platelets and white blood cells are stored there. The spleen also helps fight certain kinds of bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.  Without a spleen, I have an increased risk of developing some serious infections. Yet, even though this past year has been recognized as the worst flu season in decades, and several of my friends and family members have fallen victim to the virus, little ole’ spleenless me has remained flu-less AND cancer free.


As you know, I continually research.  I have recently discovered that one’s immune system never works at 100%.  In the face of challenge on average it works at about 30%. Studies have shown when you take Beta Glucan your immune response is going to go up to about 40 to 45%.  Personally, I want to build this response muscle to its ultimate performance level so I am fit for any fight. I will take the product forever.


Disclaimer:  I am NOT a doctor.  I am a researcher and I am simply telling you my story and giving you my logic.  Always discuss with your doctor anything you are taking during your treatment. I spoke with my Mayo Clinic Oncologist and he was all for it.  But every treatment is different and every patient is unique. Also, as I always suggest, do your own research. There is an excellent book Beta Glucan, Nature’s Secret by Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka, PHD that can be purchased on Amazon.


There are many Beta Glucans on the market and I have been asked by many people exactly what product I use.  I take Transfer Point Beta-1, 3D Glucan from Better Way Health.


If you have done your research, spoken with your doctor and decided you want to boost your immune system, you can get the exact Beta Glucan I take at a 10% discount by clicking here.


Trust me, I understand there are many concerns we face as cancer patients.  The choices are endless and tiring; which doctor, which treatment, which hospital.  Continue your research, stay strong and always remember you are powerful!