A memoir about one man’s determination to beat the odds with alternative treatments after a grim prognosis.
In 2005, debut co-author Rodney Stamps discovered a small lump on his collarbone. Then a doctor found another one under his armpit—bigger than a golf ball—which prompted a round of medical tests. Eventually, an oncologist determined that Rodney was suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that with immediate chemotherapy he could likely secure another five to 10 years of life—but without it, he’d likely be dead within 90 days. The news shocked both Rodney and his wife, debut co-author Paige Stamps. However, he wanted to beat the cancer, not simply postpone its victory, and he was wary of chemotherapy because two of his family members had died while undergoing such treatment. Against his doctor’s vehement orders, Rodney and Paige charted their own course, scouring the internet for unconventional alternatives. They eventually found a book describing a cure that characterized cancer as a “deficiency of the pancreatic enzymes,” and they largely attacked the disease with a rigidly restrictive diet along with a regimen of enzymes extracted from New Zealand pigs. The authors describe Rodney’s extraordinary recovery, and the emotional roller-coaster ride that they experienced in the process, with humor and poignancy. They note that the treatments weren’t as expensive as chemotherapy, but they weren’t cheap, either, and the couple struggled to pay for them while running an alarm-installation business and raising two young daughters. Along the way, they furnish a fascinatingly instructive critique of traditional medicine and of how doctors are incentivized to avoid recommending alternative cures, which, the authors say, can amount to “professional suicide.” Their account is an appropriately balanced one, however, pointing out that the world of alternative medicine is often populated by charlatans who encourage wishful aspiration instead of rigorous thought. Above all, though, this is a love story, as the authors movingly chronicle the arc of their relationship and their unwavering support of each other.
A touchingly triumphant remembrance combined with sober analysis.