READ IN HERM’S OWN WORDS, including a short video of Herm discussing a few important things he does to heal and stay strong, including ongoing TESTING!
Greetings Fellow Healing Strong Thrivers!
My name is Herm (AKA Tom Thumb), turning 68-years old this month, a retired 35-years educator/teacher, married, no children and we live in South Florida. Here are a few sentences for Testimony Tuesday about my HS groups and how Healing Strong has helped me. I have plenty to say and little space today. So, here we go!
“And God has placed/appointed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance/administrating, and of different kinds of tongues.” [1 Corinthians 12:28] The above bible verse said it all for me. Three years before I was looking forward to retiring from my 35-years teaching career in a rough/challenging urban school system, I was shocked when I was officially diagnosed with a Gleason-8, stage-4 prostate cancer.
Most of you reading this may have a similar story. Shock, fear and brain fog when you are told you have cancer. Wow, was my head spinning! Would I even survive long enough to retire? The prostate cancer Gleason scoring system runs from level 1 (low aggressive) thru level 8 to 10 (highly aggressive). Bingo! I had a Gleason-8 aggressive prostate cancer, a high 55 PSA [Prostate-Specific Antigens in which <4.0 is normal for a male my age] at its peak and five bone mets in my body. My medical oncologist tactfully explained to me (which I already had researched) that following the standard of care protocols for my type of cancer, the data indicates 3 to 5 years life expectancy. He also stated maybe (no guarantees) would be able to give me an extra 1.5 years more in his chemo case study. No thank you! I’m not a chemo man. I know, it sounds depressing. Take a look at the picture below. I’m 6’ 1” tall and today I feel great going on three years now. My PSA well within the normal range 2.5 years via my new holistic natural lifestyle that is the Healing Strong philosophy. Now, do I look like I’m dying to you in the picture? Take heart while in your challenging medical journey! God has a plan for all of us. I was blessed to discover/understand my new purpose/direction in life now that I have cancer. To help/share with others that are facing similar situations. Strange that I do have cancer, but I’m not sick! What does that mean?
I’m a cancer thriver for three years now and counting and you could too! Find God in your prayers, ask for wisdom, understanding and if it is His will, He will fill your head, heart and spirit/soul with more knowledge/shield than you can imagine. He will put/place all the right people in your path to help you, inspire you, energize you to heal and stay strong. I first learned about HealingStrong from Chris Wark’s web site, videos and other materials like Square One of which I subscribed as a life-long member. HealingStrong provides you will all the lesson plan materials you need to empower yourself and your group members. The HealingStrong groups facilitate interactions to make great things happen. I have learned much about other types of cancers and met some incredible individuals in group meetings to make me much more rounded in my knowledge base.
I believe there are some core basics that a thriver must adhere to continue on a strong healing journey. This is what works for me:
- A plant-based, non-GMO organic diet,
- regular exercise,
- prayer/quiet time,
- specific supplements for you,
- continuing learning/research,
- regular detoxification,
- a positive attitude, and especially
- a purpose in your life!
I discovered my spiritual gift long ago when I started teaching. Needless to say, from the get-go, I wanted to become a Healing Strong group leader. Why? Because everything that I was learning during my medical journey for myself & about myself I could then serve and help others along the way. Three months after I officially retired and took a break to adjust, I started with one small HealingStrong group and soon had two groups in two geographical areas in South Florida since October 2019. Each group meeting location is a 30-minute (in opposite directions) drive for me from my home. In hindsight, the reality of my own health predicament was I needed my own miracle, needed to learn about natural holistic healing as much as possible, needed to find the right supplement/diet combinations and guidance to survive this slow male killing cancer. HealingStrong was a perfect fit for me at the right time in my medical journey.
In the first 8-months of my medical cancer journey when I gave up meats, dairy products, ate only organic and juiced everyday, my total cholesterol dropped -70 points down to 125 total cholesterol and loss a whopping -65-lbs. lighter. I had plenty of energy! My waist went down four pants sizes in 8-months. I had to stop taking my daily blood pressure meds, allergy medication and antacids. I did not need them anymore. My doctors, friends and neighbors were amazed and would ask me how was I able to transform to the new slimmer me? I never told most of them I had stage-4 prostate cancer. Yes, it was a major lifestyle change. Some of words of wisdom. If the prospect of death does not motivate you to change your lifestyle fast, what will it take?
When you are healing/mending your spouse (my wife Antoinette) and family members are important. Your cancer journey becomes theirs as well. It sure helps if you have the same diet and altered lifestyle.
Lastly, learn by watching others! Earlier this year, I was on a holistic health cruise in February, alongside my hero, Chris Wark. We had breakfast on the outside deck with him every morning at 7:30 am while on our cruise. I was curious to see what Chris ate from the vegan dining room buffet, and made sure to I fill my plate with the same. I choose to learn from experience! He was jammed each morning with non-stop conversations with many of his Square One followers and our HealingStrong members during the cruise.
You can learn a great deal by watching and listening to others. I was inspired watching him help others. Remember, I was a teacher for most of my life. When I see and hear knowledge, it’s my nature to analyze the message and delivery style. He’s a very special individual and quite funny. I’m glad Chris Wark supports and endorses HealingStrong and believes in our mission to help each other. It’s how I found this wonderful opportunity to start my own local group and continue to share HOPE with others. My message to you: Heal Strong & Stay Strong!