When Shan Mussulman’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in May 2012, he held the vision of her as being healthy and cancer-free. It wasn’t easy. None of her doctors believed the disease could be cured and neither did she, but four months after Shan started her on a comprehensive health strategy, the cancer was gone. Shan is now dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and to helping others beat cancer by sharing what he has learned. Here is his story.
My mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Her doctors recommended surgery and I said, “No problem. Get it removed.” But I also said, “Don’t do chemo. Change your diet.” The doctors told her that if she didn’t do chemo and radiation, she was going to die, so I couldn’t say much at that point. I knew that chemo would get the cancer, but I also knew it would destroy her immune system. With a weakened immune system, the body loses resistance to all kinds of diseases, and 90% of the time cancer comes back with a vengeance.
The cancer did return, and in July 2012 she had surgery to remove her gall bladder. The doctors said they had removed the cancer and wanted to do chemo just to make sure it wouldn’t spread, but we had to wait 60 days for the wound to heal. Within those 60 days, they discovered the cancer had spread to the liver and the stomach lining. They said it was beyond treatment and she had four to six months to live. It was a shock, but I wasn’t ready to give up. How could they know for sure that she had only six months to live?
My past experience gave me confidence that we had a chance to turn this around. When I was in my 20s, I had severe arthritis. I always felt sick and weak. My doctors told me there was no cure and that I had to be on medication for the rest of my life. That’s when I started doing research. I became a vegan for about five years and the arthritis went away. I haven’t been sick since 1998.
For a while, though, I got off track. I owned a very successful restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine—shish kabobs and such. When you’re in that environment every day, it’s easy to fall into old habits. But when this happened with my mother I became much more conscious.
In October 2012, I brought her from Houston to live with me and my family in Florida. I shut down my business, just walked away from it. So, for almost a year, I didn’t work. I stayed home and took care of her. My father died from pancreatic cancer when he was 43 years old, leaving my mom with five young children to raise. Now in her seventies, she had lived her entire life for us, so this was the least I could do!
The biggest challenge I had when she moved in was to convince her that changing her diet and lifestyle was going to work. I sat with her day and night to convince her and read to her about how other people were cured. She was ready to go back to Houston so many times! Then, in December 2012, her favorite brother had a heart attack and died. That was a turning point. You could tell not only that she was sad but that she also realized how precious life is. That’s when we really started on this program.
When you have cancer, you need to do everything possible to conquer it. I don’t believe in a miracle pill, and I don’t follow any single expert. I do lots of research and make my own judgments. Here are the basic components of the plan we created:
- Mental congruency and supportive environment. The first step is believing. You have to have 100% confidence that what you’ve chosen to do is going to work. Second, you need support to change old habits, so my wife and kids and I did everything together with her.
- Body cleanse and strategic nutrition. We started with ten days of fasting using only vegetable juices and then gradually added plant-based foods and specific supplements. Also, I read that most of the medications my mother was taking for diabetes and high blood pressure may cause cancer and she’d been taking them for years, so she gave up the drugs. If she really had only six months to live, what more harm could it do if she stopped taking them?
- Spiritual renewal. What matters is not only what you put in your body through your mouth but also your thoughts and what you put in your body through your brain, so we meditated and we listened to certain music. She used to get really upset about little things, so she needed to change that. Now she’s calmer and much more forgiving.
- Exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. After about a month, we started seeing improvement. She started walking a block, and then two blocks, and then about a mile.
“Sometimes people tell me, because both of my parents had cancer, “You have to watch out. It runs in your family.” I say, “It’s not a family disease. It’s a family habit.”” Mom went for a CAT scan in April of 2013, only four months after we started with this strategy, and the doctors said, “My God, we don’t see any cancer anymore!”
Since my whole family and I did this program along with her, I got back on track with living a healthy lifestyle too. Sometimes people tell me, because both of my parents had cancer, “You have to watch out. It runs in your family.” I say, “It’s not a family disease. It’s a family habit.” I don’t believe in so-called family history. All this time, I’ve been changing my family history. I am teaching my kids, and I hope they’ll teach their kids.
When I had a restaurant I was passionate about food. After my mother’s health turned around, I thought I would go back into the restaurant business but started to feel guilty that what I was serving was making people sick. I decided to open an organic produce market instead.
Since the news about his mother’s recovery has spread in his community, Shan has been approached by both doctors and cancer patients, asking about what they did. He is happy to share the information, free of charge. You can reach him at LiveCancerFreeNow@gmail.com.
Alice- thanks for this terrific piece. Not only does it highlight what the medical community so often overlooks — the connection between mental and physical health — it also features the importance of making choices and taking actions from a place of commitment and belief, and how engaging such an empowered attitude can so often help us to heal. Bravo!
I Know Shan and his family. I am a witness to this whole time and can attest to the fact Shan’s mother got well. Kudos to Shan and for you to publish this. Shan and his wife were unbelieable in this effort.