“I have good news and bad news,” shared Ed’s doctor. “The good news is that the cancer has not spread outside the prostate. The bad news is that the cancer is aggressive.”
Pizah and Ed were shocked by those words, and also a bit confused. Earlier that week they’d been told that Ed’s cancer had a Gleason score of 6, a score given to cancers that are believed to be low risk. So Ed’s first question to the doctor was, “How come a Gleason score of 6 is aggressive?” Apparently incorrect information had been given to Ed by the doctor’s office. They will never forget the day, Thursday, March 21, 2019 when they were told that Ed was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, with a Gleason score of 9 and with a PSA of 10.3.
Four weeks before that diagnosis, Ed went had an annual physical. The results revealed an enlarged prostate that led him to the urologist office. That day Ed told his wife that he wanted to change his diet. The remaining hours of the day Pizah was in front of her computer searching the internet for foods to boost prostate health.
“I absolutely love cooking, but my passion to offer Ed healthy meal choices, truly had me motivated,” shared Pizah. “The very next day we dined on salmon rubbed with ginger seasoned with Mrs. Dash, rice with pumpkin seeds and pomegranate, and sautéd broccoli with turmeric. Our new beverage of choice was green tea infused with fresh raspberries.”
From that day forward, Pizah become Ed’s ‘food drill sergeant’ questioning him daily about what he ate when he was out with friends and his support group. She also had to remind him that eggs weren’t in the diet plan for now, leaving ‘the omelet man’, as she calls Ed, very sad.
Even though she was busy perfecting meal plans for Ed, which included Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, cabbage, salmon, watermelon, berries — foods rich in Lycopene and omega-3 — she couldn’t stop worrying.
I was terrified. All I could wonder is how could I ever adjust if his life is cut short? Could I lose Ed?
These thoughts fueled Pizah even more, to do anything she could to help him using all the resources and wisdom she had to deal with this challenge. As a spiritual person she trusted, “Faith lead me to believe that if Ed’s time is not up, God will continue to direct me on how I can help him.”
Months passed …. another hormone shot, another blood test, and another call from Ed. “Babe, they made another mistake. They said my PSA is only 1.08 and that can’t be right. They must have meant 10.8 instead.” Pizah knew in her heart there was no mistake and that hopefully the new nutrition plan was working. As she told us, “With tears falling down my cheeks, I was thanking God.”
August is the month that Ed began radiation treatments and it’s also the month they attended a ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk. “We met our new family, shared stories of hope, tips to deal with treatments, and how to care for ourselves as caregivers.”
By the end of September, after another hormone shot, Ed’s PSA was down to 0.03. They are both overjoyed with this amazing news.
We are thankful but also aware that this doesn’t mean it is over.
Ed has completed his radiation and hormone treatments and is awaiting his next appointment this month, hoping for good news. Pizah is keeping busy, continuing to cook the prostate friendly recipes from breakfast to dinner with snacks in between. Over six months of challenging diet changes, Pizah reminds us that Ed’s PSA dropped to 0.03. Her hope is that many men and families battling this disease will do as much as they possibly can to fight this cancer, including adopt a prostate-healthy diet. “That’s one of the reasons we chose to share our journey with others. We believe this diet worked for Ed and hopefully it will work for others too.”