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Life with Intense Gerson Nutritional Therapy Programme

by Meena (Mini) Cayzer(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 199 - October 2012

There are pivotal moments in our lives that we will never forget. They define us. One of those times, for me, came in February of 2011. At the age of 41, I was diagnosed with grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma, i.e. breast cancer. The treatment plan: mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Excuse me? Could you repeat that please? My thoughts ... you must be mistaken, these are two wee lumps. How could this be happening ... cancer happens, but it doesn’t happen to me?

While I awaited the ‘results’ of my biopsy, I consulted Dr Google. I read the testimonials and stories of how others had cured themselves of cancer naturally. I also read horror stories of heartless doctors who’d hexed their patients with a dismal prognosis. I was fortunate to be surrounded by compassion. My doctor told me, “whatever you do, do it quickly”.

With those words ringing in my head, I made the decision to shift from a place of fear and uncertainty to a place of health and happiness. I knew the statistics surrounding conventional therapy and I realized that if I wanted a fighting chance, I had to help my body to heal. I made the decision to embark on the Gerson Therapy.

 Beets, Carrots, Turnips


Image courtesy of

The Gerson Therapy is a two year minimum program of intense detoxification and nutritional super-charging of our bodies’ immune system. By switching to an organic, vegan diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements, our bodies become equipped to heal themselves.


With my treatment path decided, I hoped and prayed to be accepted into the Gerson authorized clinic in Tijuana. I diligently provided the necessary paperwork and anxiously awaited to hear if I was in. It reminded me of when I was waiting to hear if I had been accepted into engineering school 20 years ago. I was told that there may be a waiting list, as many were interested. Then the call came. I was accepted into the clinic immediately, with the recommendation of three weeks. The reason for this: the doctors wanted to administer a laetrile (B17) IV for three weeks, the standard for those with my type of cancer.

Instead of relief, I hesitated. This was it. Did I really want to dedicate a minimum of two years of my life to this? Honestly speaking, I wanted to bury my head in the sand. Thankfully, my husband took charge and confirmed treatment, commencing on March 7, 2011.


There is not a direct flight from our home in Calgary, Canada to Tijuana and my husband had never been to San Diego, our connection point to Tijuana, so we decided to make a little vacation prior to the program. We were like tourists, enjoying the sites, the foods and each other’s company. My ‘last supper’ was an exquisite Mexican meal in Old Town, and I haven’t eaten anything outside of the Gerson menu since.

Waiting for the shuttle the next morning, I felt anxious. My stomach cried for food as I could not have breakfast, a preparation for giving blood and urine samples. Fear and doubt joined my anxiety and crowded out my high hopes ... what am I doing? Is this the right thing? What if I am wrong? What if I can’t do this? I comforted myself by thinking that this was just a ‘blip’ on the long path of life.

The shuttle-van was well-worn and felt reliable, commandeered by a chatty lady named Judy. Once we crossed the US-Mexico border I started to feel guilty. Tijuana is remarkably poor, with many people barely eking out a living from Mexico's’ red dirt.  Others are just in-town for a few days, waiting for the right time to jump the fence into California. Life is a struggle.


The Gerson clinic compound is surrounded by a high fence but once inside, and on the drive-way, it felt familiar, like visiting friends. Looking very simple and quaint, it definitely was not like any of the other ‘resort’ cancer clinics online. The aroma in the air was clean and appetising. I could see the ladies in the kitchen through a screened door, smiling and waving to us. They had just finished the breakfast meal and were busy preparing the lunch feast. The juicer was a-grinding up the carrots in a gurgly rumble.

My next three weeks of therapy at the clinic was clearly printed on a single sheet of paper. 13 juices a day, from 8 AM till 7 PM on the hour, every hour, plus one in-between 9 and 10. There were 5 coffee enemas per day, starting at 7 AM. A half-a-handful of colourful looking natural supplements with every juice, about 80 a day. Oral intake of castor oil every other day (continuing for the first six months, reduced to twice a week and, eventually, once a week). Blood pressure and body temperature readings were taken in the morning, afternoon and evening; my lab work was done every week to monitor my progress. Also, our experience included vegan meal preparation with Gerson approved food and instruction in how to freshly press juices. For those that needed help, how tos regarding coffee and castor oil enemas and all the while, a medical Doctor and Nurse were on duty at the clinic.

 Gerson Healthy Raw Food

Gerson Healthy Raw Food

Image courtesy of

The clinic’s main dining room was where all the meals were served. The food was presented buffet style and we would search for our juice cups, labelled with our names. The ladies in the kitchen would draw a smiley face or cartoon next to our names to brighten up our day. This modest looking room had glassed double doors leading out to the pool area. Weather permitting, we would eat our meals outside in the sun and get to the know our roomies. We formed special bonds with the other patients who originated from all over the world ... Brazil, Australia, USA, Russia, and Africa.

The recreation room, to the left of the pool, had large windows along its perimeter. I remember the first time walking in, quickly moving to operate the Venetian blinds, opening the windows and letting the sun shine in. This was where our intake doctor would give weekly medical talks. And, between his comedic demeanour and heavy accent, we as patients and caregivers would listen carefully to every word he said. This was also where we candidly expressed ourselves. Many questions and concerns regarding the therapy surfaced there.

For me, the highlights of our stay were the one-on-one weekly meetings with Charlotte Gerson and Howard Strauss. Every Wednesday we would prepare for her visit. Although Charlotte was approaching 90 years old, she drove herself from San Diego, moved about the clinic, and met with each patient and caregiver. She would discuss our case with us, give additional information about the therapy, answer any questions posed to her and then join us for lunch. She had an arid sense of humour and a quick wit!

Overall, the intention of the staff at the Tijuana clinic was to pass on the knowledge of the therapy and acclimate us for when we returned home. Understandably, almost all of us wanted to stay in what we called the Gerson bubble, where we were cared, protected and provided for.

We kept close contact with family through video chat while at the clinic and left with a feeling of preparedness; yet upon arrival, things seemed chaotic. My husband was at the grocery store often, sometimes three times in the same day, and we just couldn’t get organized for the first couple of weeks. I kept on schedule though and I never missed a juice, kept up with my coffee enema treatments, and settled into vegan eating. Reflecting back, I have an immense appreciation for the kind ladies in the clinic kitchen.

For me, a big part of the therapies difficulty was being unable to participate in outings and this isolation made me resentful, angry and depressed. I have come to know that I have had to make peace with this current ‘new life’.

Gerson patients have healing reactions and nothing really prepares you for what you may experience. Valuable information is available within the Gerson handbooks, but the truth is that healing reactions are unique to the individual. They range from wild emotional bouts to powerful physical symptoms and are essential to the natural healing process. Having proper medical and personal support while maintaining contact with my fellow Gerson patients has helped me immensely. Also, I am learning to keep track of the signs that lead up to a healing crisis and if I can stay in a state of observation, I can prepare myself emotionally.

Now that the hours have become days, have become weeks, have become months, I can see and feel me healing and shifting from one space to another, empowering me, allowing me to evolve. As of now, I am 18 months into my journey on the Gerson Therapy, and I proudly reflect on how far I have come.

I am enjoying the moments I have with my husband, my family and my friends ... simple moments like a weekday lunch on the porch with my husband, an early morning walk with a dear friend, or an afternoon chat with my Mum on the couch. I can just be, and surrender to the process. I practice acceptance over resistance and my life has a flow that embraces joy.

I have been encouraged to write by my husband and I have realizd that blogging is the next best thing to sitting on a psychiatrist’s couch. It has allowed me to share my experience, and in turn, help myself. As odd as it sounds, there are so many hidden blessings that I continue to discover. I believe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that everything that has happened on my journey is serving a higher purpose. I truly believe that our bodies are self healing, as long as we pay attention to what they tell us, and provide them with what they need.

I am thankful for the awakening ... to be more forgiving, compassionate, kind and loving to myself and those around me. Thankful for my husband, family and friends that have proven to me that there is an abundance of love in my life. I now accept that life is meant to be enjoyed, not tolerated, and once I stop trying to prevent death and truly live my life, I can appreciate the miracles that occur around me every single day.


  1. Pat Schwass said..

    Bravo Mini! Your article captures your journey into and through your experience. Thank you for sharing. Brave lady - journey on into complete and full recovery.

  2. Beth said..

    Congratulations on your bravery to do something different from the most and take care of yourself! Thank you for sharing your story. Sounds like you are healing nicely. We have tremendous power to heal every aspect of ourselves and live a conscious, happy life. Would love to hear more details.

  3. Kobe said..

    Hi Meena,

    Had no idea you were going through this. Googled your name yesterday and came across this blog. Very impressive writing skills and an amazing show of strength. Really touched by this article. Wish you all the best and a full recovery.

  4. Cory said..

    r u now cancer free?

  5. Lorrraine Crowder said..

    Are you cancer free?????? What is the most important realization that you had while on this protocol. Have you been examined in any way to prove to yourself that the cancer is GONE????

  6. Cheryl Curtis said..

    Meena is a friend from High School. Unfortunately, many of her school friends did not know she was sick...we found out today that she had died. I will miss your smile and your easy going spirit.

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About Meena (Mini) Cayzer

Meena (Mini) Cayzer was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2011. Faced with surgery, chemo and radiation, Mini chose to embark on the Gerson Therapy and provide her body, mind and spirit the goodness needed to heal naturally. She is currently on month 18 of the therapy and lives in Calgary, Alberta Canada with her husband, Russell. Mini continues to blog about her journey in hopes to share her experiences along the way. Her blog can be found at:

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