The Natural Evolution Podcast

Season 1

Episode 3

S1E3 – How I Accidentally Survived Terminal Cancer with Dr. Nasha Winters

Dr. Nasha Winters had lived in discomfort, illness, and pain for so long that she didn’t even realize something was really wrong.  In the Sophomore year of her Pre-Med study, she was diagnosed with end stage, stage 4 ovarian cancer, and standard treatments weren’t an option.  It was in that moment that she decided she wanted to survive and really live.  That anger and curiosity pushed her to research what was going on within herself.  As a result of her accidental circumstances and her curiosity, she has lived for an extra 30 years past her “expiration date.” 

Healing is not linear and there are times when it feels like everything’s going sideways.  Dr. Winters lives with her cancer now, using it as an internal compass, teacher, and messenger that lets her know she’s not taking care of herself.  She inhabits a living, learning laboratory.  She doesn’t treat cancer, she treats people who happen to have cancer.  She helps navigate the terrain and circumstances that lead to “cancering,” in order to help people maintain the disease process and live much longer lives and hopefully die of something unrelated to cancer.

Listen for Dr. Winters’ whole story and some perspective-shifting revelations that she shares with us today.

To connect more with Dr. Winters, visit drnasha.com.

Head over to https://rebelhealthtribe.com/podcast to get a free download of our loaded quick start guide to help you along your healing journey.  If you like us, subscribe, review, and share us with your friends, and come join our Rebel Health Tribe group on Facebook.

A Podcast Launch Bestie production

Listen to Episode #3

About our Guest

Dr. Nasha Winters is a global healthcare authority and best-selling author in integrative cancer care and research consulting with physicians around the world.

Dr. Nasha has educated hundreds of professionals in the clinical use of mistletoe and has created robust educational programs for both healthcare institutions and the public on incorporating vetted integrative therapies in cancer care to enhance outcomes.

Dr. Winters is currently focused on opening a comprehensive metabolic oncology hospital and research institute in the US where the best that standard of care has to offer and the most advanced integrative therapies will be offered. This facility will be in a residential setting on a gorgeous campus against a backdrop of regenerative farming, EMF mitigation and retreat.”

“In a world where cancer diagnosis are expected to double by 2030 per the World Health Organization with no significant change in survival, the only real chance we have is prevention and precision medicine.

We have spent the last 50 years focusing on the genome when we have known for the past 100 years that the microenvironment may hold the key to prevention and cure. We aim to treat the terrain, not just the tumor. Leaving no stone unturned, utilizing the best of provocative testing, genomics, molecular profiles, laboratory evaluation and truly individualized assessment, we can breath new life into a death sentence.“

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How I Accidentally Survived Terminal Cancer with Dr. Nasha Winters

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Podcast Transcript

Hello, and welcome to The Natural Evolution, produced by Rebel Health Tribe, a radio show focused on providing you with inspiration, education, and tools for true healing and transformation. I’m Michael, and I’ll be your guide on this adventure as together, we explore the very nature of the healing journey. And we’re live here with Dr. Nasha Winters, Dr. Winters, thank you for joining us.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Absolute pleasure, Michael. Thank you.

Michael Roesslein:

Dr. Nasha Winters is a global healthcare authority and bestselling author in integrative cancer care and research consulting with physicians around the world. She’s educated hundreds of professionals in the clinical use of mistletoe and has created robust educational programs for both healthcare institutions and the public on incorporating vetted integrative therapies in cancer care to enhance outcomes. Dr. Winters is currently focused on opening a comprehensive metabolic oncology hospital and research institute in the US where the best that standard of care has to offer and the most advanced integrative therapies will be offered.

This facility will be in a residential setting on a gorgeous campus against a backdrop of regenerative farming, EMF mitigation, and retreat. And I hope that you’ll let people who don’t have cancer visit your campus because that sounds awesome and I don’t want to generate cancer so that I can go there.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

We have a wellness arm as well, you don’t have to have the big [inaudible 00:01:25] to come visit us.

Michael Roesslein:

Cool. Yeah, this is going to be fun, I can already tell. We just had a really fun discussion before we came on air, which is usually a good sign. This is actually the first time that we’ve met or done anything together so I’m excited about it. I’ve watched several of your presentations and I love your work and I love everything you’re doing so this is an honor to have you here and I’m really humbled and excited, so thank you.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Thank you. I can’t wait to dive in because you’ve got some cool things on the horizon and I feel, I don’t know, I just feel honored that we get have this conversation and I feel honored that I get to watch what you’re birthing right now, so pretty cool.

Michael Roesslein:

Cool. Well, thank you. And I guess let’s just jump right in. So my first question, if the person I’m talking to as a doctor so far has been, did you want to be a doctor when you grew up?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

So I did sort of. I mean, that’s what’s strange is my mom said I was always taking care of all the little animals in the neighborhood. I would want line up all my stuffed animals on my bed and give them medicine and sort of take… And she said it was a really close tie, I either wanted to be a doctor or a bank teller, those were the two things I had running in my mind. Yeah, I did. I had a definite affinity to healthcare, worked as a nanny all through high school. Worked with little kids, some kids with developmental and disability issues, so I was really kind of involved in their healthcare as well and all the way through college, my first real job outside of Hot Dog on a Stick, which is another story for another time was working in a nursing home.

Actually, I became a certified nursing assistant summer before I started college, I also was a certified addictions counselor for many years, so I was right out of high school, right into the healthcare world while I was doing my pre-med.

Michael Roesslein:

So you started pre-med in school?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

In college, you were pre-med and that didn’t go on for very long before things went sideways, right? I believe you were 19? So sophomore year?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. It was my sophomore year and really things had been going sideways for so long that I didn’t know that it was sideways, if that makes sense. When you inhabit a body that doesn’t know what wellness is on any level, you sort of adapt. You just become like accustomed to the aches and pains and the digestive woes and the skin conditions and the hormonal and the period stuff and all the things and it just becomes your normal. Like when they told my mom when I was a toddler, they said, “Her pooping once a month is just normal, because if she poops once a month, that’s just her schedule.”

That’s the sort of BS that we’re taught to believe, is that somehow what we get accustomed to is somehow normal. So that kind of is the preclude to the fact that I went a good six, seven months landing in and out of the ER every month, sometimes a couple times a month before they figured out what was really going on with me, because it was this long track record of, “Oh, maybe it’s her IBS.” or “Maybe it’s her polycystic or her endometriosis or her anxiety or blah, blah, blah.”

Whatever it was just kept kind of getting written off and another script sent to me and knocked out the door until I showed up one night, a friend rushed me to the hospital. I couldn’t breathe, I looked nine months pregnant, I’d already been losing all this weight, but I kept getting fatter and fatter didn’t understand what that was at the time I do now. By the time I got there my oxygen levels were in the seventies, I was unable to keep anything down, I hadn’t had a bowel movement in many weeks, I had excruciating abdominal pain, when they ran the labs, I was in organ failure.

By the time they did a scan in the ER, they realized I had a huge mass on my right ovary and lesions all throughout my peritoneal cavity and lesions on my liver and a bowel obstruction. I was 19, I was just shy of my 20th birthday, I’m an end of September baby so it was my sophomore year in college, just shy of my 20th birthday, it would still take another couple of weeks before the official diagnosis came in. They knew it was cancer, the [inaudible 00:05:27] that they were pulling was malignant, they knew all of that but it still took… This is back in 1991, so it still took time to get the pathology back.

And we didn’t have the type of testing and the type of buckets that this type of cancer landed in that we know of today but finally when it was all said and done, what had been missed for many months and that I’d had issues with for many years was officially a diagnosis of in stage four ovarian cancer which was also zebra at that time, and via a zebra I mean not common to see a 19 year old with terminal cancer in general and ovarian cancer in particular.

Michael Roesslein:

Wow. So you grew up kind of feeling like hell most of the time and having various like whackamole type symptoms and so feeling good was never really something you were even familiar with so you didn’t realize, “I don’t feel good.” It was just kind of, “This is how my body is, this is what life is for me.” until the physical symptoms you couldn’t ignore drove you to go to the hospital. And when you were at the hospital like that day, is that when you got all that information?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah, it was about 7:00 PM I think when I arrived at the ER and I didn’t finally get fully seen and all the scan and all the blood test results back until early morning hours the next day and that was when the physician on call basically came in, unable to barely look me in the eye, really shaky, very distraught. I would later find out within that conversation that he had a daughter my age so I think that was what the trigger was for him as well. But he told me, “So we know it’s cancer. We suspect that it’s an origin of your ovaries. We don’t have that data back yet, it can take us a few weeks to get those results, but you are so sick, your organs are in such failure.” My liver was shutting down, my kidneys were shutting down. I had fluid built up in my abdomen, around my heart, in my lungs.

One round of chemo he said would outright kill me and he was also concerned about pulling too much fluid out of my abdomen, which he knew would give me some relief, but he also thought that the level of cachexia, which was a malnourishment process that I had going on at that time, my muscles were completely broken down, he was concerned that if he pulled too much fluid too quickly, that would also put me into heart failure. And so it was just this kind of a catch 22 that I was sort of damned if I did, damned if I didn’t on any level. And so it was just sort of that moment of being told that just that level of shock and disbelief, one of the things I think that you touched me so much before you even got on this call today is honestly up until that point, Michael, I had spent a good decade of my life, so really at a young age between age 9 and 10, I started to really not want to be on this planet and had actually, I think kind of given up at a very young age.

Now, people in the outside world would not have known that because I was always… my mask was immense, right? I could be really out there in the world, student body president and had like my volleyball team and just all the things…

Michael Roesslein:

The mask of extraversion.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Pull on the mask of extraversion and the mask of like, don’t look too closely, don’t get too close and so it was definitely this place of a survival process, but I didn’t want to be here. And at the moment I was given the diagnosis that I wouldn’t be for much longer, it did something really dramatic for me. And that was, it lit the pilot light of this innate desire and will to live that I don’t think I’d ever known really well before that either.

Michael Roesslein:

That’s interesting that it wasn’t until they told you you weren’t going to be able to, that you wanted to.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

And so was your family there with you? Were you at school?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yep. I was off at college.

Michael Roesslein:

Oh, wow. Where’d you go to school?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Fort Lewis college in Durango, Colorado.

Michael Roesslein:

Now you got a house there.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah, exactly. So my home base today all these years later which is quite ironic, but no, I’d actually been quite estranged from my family in that year, previous I was estranged from a lot of my friendships. A relationship had come to an end back in the spring so I was really entirely alone. And again, no one in the outside world would ever expect that, I worked several full-time jobs. Actually, I had a huge full pre-med schedule taking more hours than the usual because that was just my MO. And so I was able to just sort of compensate and distract from life with all the things I took on in my life and it was just a very interesting time. And the guy I started dating at that time, right? I mean, we weren’t even dating, we were friends, we were in a lot of classes together, we hung out, we had a lovely camaraderie, we had a really nice connection with each other, there was nothing else romantic as far as I was concerned at that time but he became my confidant.

That man to this day, 30 years later is my husband, ironically. That was the craziest time, I was really alone and the only other person who knew what was going on entirely was my then good friend, now husband, and a few of my professors up at the college and of course a few doctors in my community, that was it.

Michael Roesslein:

Talk about a test to put a new guy through.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

I know, like crazy. I don’t know if [crosstalk 00:10:43].

Michael Roesslein:

I did just get diagnosed with terminal cancer, are you in? Yeah. That’s a solid screening capability there, so wow. That must have been pretty terrifying.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

And so they said no chemo?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah.

Michael Roesslein:

No taking the fluid out which I actually just learned about that yesterday. Our cat has a cancer diagnosis and yesterday started bloating up like a basketball and we thought she was just really constipated or something and then they ran the ultrasound and it’s fluid, and then I asked my wife because she was the one at the vet and I said, “Well, can they drain the fluid?” And she said the vet said he could, but that she doesn’t seem really uncomfortable right now and that pulling the fluid out will change the physiology and all of that and it could because more harm than good. So they said no chemo because your organ failure was too advanced, so I guess where do you even go from there? Like what is step one? You just go home and have a coffee and be like, “Okay.” Like what was your mental process there that morning when you…

Dr. Nasha Winters:

It’s weird when I think about it, it’s like watching a really strange movie. I will say that even though I’ve tapped in and I’ve done a lot of work and a lot of trauma release and things, I’m so far removed from it now because it’s almost three decades later and what I know today is so different than what I knew 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago that it’s almost hard because I’m so not the same person, I’m not in the same situation, we’re all these dynamic beings but what I distinctly remember was just this level of… There was the first phase when he told me, there was a moment of relief, that was my first feeling.

I remember that moment of like, “Oh good, here’s your exit strategy that you’ve been longing for so long.” And then almost the second I acknowledged that and tried to embrace that, the next feeling was, “Oh hell no, this is not happening. This isn’t how it ends.” And the other side of me was like, “I don’t want to die.” And so that was the next phase, and all this is happening in rapid fire, literally sitting there in my gown, they did pull a little bit of fluid, about a half a liter of fluid in the hospital because I was incredibly uncomfortable, monitored me for many hours to make sure it didn’t put me in a cardiac arrest and basically sent me home with narcotics which was a really bad idea.

What I know now as a doctor, bad idea with someone with a bowel blockage to give them a narcotic which [crosstalk 00:13:12]. But they were like, “Here we go.” They wanted to keep me in, but I had no insurance, I had no money so I released myself against medical advice because there was nothing they were going to do except for just keep me hooked up to machinery and basically keep me narcoticed out. And then they basically gave me the name of a hospice care which wasn’t a hospice then it was just palliative in our community and a name of a local oncologist and to touch bases, it was on a weekend.

So it was like over the weekend that all hell broke loose in my body, so the next phase was after like leaving the hospital was one of anger, which was very interesting for me. I’m a redhead, anger is not a difficult emotion for me to engage with, I’m pretty passionate, fiery energy, but the anger that I felt was just all consuming, but it was this anger that basically said, “Okay, if I’m going to die…” because I had no belief that I would live and I had no belief that I would somehow cure it or change it, I wanted to understand why. I wanted to understand why. So curiosity is what was sparked in the anger, which is what led me to my local library, which is what led me to a book by this guy that nobody knew of back then, Deepak Chopra, a book called Quantum Healing.

Now how ironic, he’s like a household name today, but in 1991, he was not and in small town [inaudible 00:14:32] Durango, Colorado, there was nothing and so that’s where within the next week between leaving the hospital that night, going to the library that next day that I could, because it was like a Friday night, Saturday, I went to the library, I was super sick, super weak. The Monday I had the meeting with an oncologist who basically said the same thing, like you’re too ill to do anything. Even with treatment, we’re looking at three months. They still hadn’t had all my final results yet. She said, “If I see anything different when those come in, I’ll let you know.”

It would take until the 21st of October of 1991 for those results to come in, it almost took three and half whole weeks to get those results by the way-

Michael Roesslein:

Which is like a third of the time of the life expectancy that they gave you.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly.

Michael Roesslein:

Don’t worry or anything, just totally dying over here.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly. But that’s exactly it, is like I literally don’t think anybody expected me to live to even get the diagnosis and it was just the time and place we weren’t getting those things back quickly. I was going in weekly to have my abdomen drained over a period of almost a month I had over eight and a half liters of fluid pulled for my abdomen.

Michael Roesslein:

Oh, wow.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly. It was incredible. I couldn’t eat or drink anything except for tiny sips of water because I still had the bowel blockage, nothing was going out, nothing was going in. So I in essence accidentally fasted for two and a half months which is probably what saved my life really fast forwarding to what we know today and the literature out there. But that total bowel blockage was allowing my body to focus all of its resources on healing versus digesting, so that was kind of an accident waiting to happen. And in that time, because I was pre-med, because I had a curious brain, because I was exploring what was going on, once my belly came down, I looked like a pretty normal person, albeit quite skinny, but I could function.

And my pain was managed with ibuprofen and Tylenol, I couldn’t do narcotics and so I was able to kind of stumble through the next couple of months while I started looking, exploring the why I was where I was. And so what was interesting is that it was towards the end of the semester and I decided going into the next school year, the next semester that I would go from a biology chemistry major to a biology psychology major because something in me knew that where I came from, my biography, it was very, very much related to my biology. And I got very curious about that and this time as well and I think these kind of strange accidents and these strange timings were not so strange and not so accidental and so it was just the beginning of what has been a pretty incredible 30 year journey.

Michael Roesslein:

That’s pretty crazy and incredible. I’m impressed that you were able to focus anything to be able to read, to study. Like I haven’t been through a health crisis like that personally, my wife has multiple autoimmune conditions in the last four years, we’ve been through three flares that are pretty severe. Hers is like excruciating, full body pain when it’s on and when it’s like that, and I’m trying to like function and read stuff and learn things and do all the things, it’s very hard to focus and concentrate. I guess it depends on your stress response, you could go into like a fight response, which would get you super focused, I freeze. Like freeze is my go-to stress response so then everything glazes over and it’s like this fog and all I want to do is learn all the things, but all I can do is sit there like this and so that’s impressive nonetheless, that you were even able to start reading. And while you were talking, trying to figure out why did she not die? And it had to be the fasting.

That would be a major contributor because what it does to your immune system and apoptosis and all the things like now that we know what we know about fasting, and we’re not telling you not to eat for two and a half months if you’re listening to this, but like as advanced as it was and as serious as it was, and as doing no treatments that you were and you weren’t into like naturopathic type of stuff then, right? Like you weren’t all of a sudden being like, “Oh, I need to do this and this and this, it was like, “I can’t eat because bowels are blocked so I’m not going to eat. And I need to understand this so I’m going to read these books.” And then two months go by and you’re alive and the fluid’s gone. And then did you explore treatment then or what was the next step, plus the anger? Oh, the anger.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

The anger was huge.

Michael Roesslein:

Unsuppressed anger, because it sounds like you were probably pretty ragy, would probably be a word to describe it.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

[inaudible 00:19:15] of a lot of pent up emotion, a lot of pent up experiences-

Michael Roesslein:

And like voice.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), big time. Big time. Since then, I’ve also studied Chinese medicine and in Chinese medicine anger, we reframe it as not a negative emotion, but one that is the will to become, that’s how it’s described in Chinese medicine. And so again, it would still take me years before I was even in that type of educational environment to learn that but somehow the anger was mobilizing and felt good to me, okay. So there was that side, when you talked about of the clarity and what was coming in, I was super like always hyper motivated, my survival of what I came from of the trauma and the background I had was to be overly academic, to be overly intellectual, to be overly accomplished, like that was my survival mechanism, that’s how I got through it.

So it was already a well honed skill for me, it just got even more so in that time. And so I want your listeners to know it’s like again, there was no thoughtful methodology like, “I’m going to fast, I’m going to do this.” I just wanted to learn and understand and so that’s when I started stumbling upon the work of people like Dr. Otto Warburg, because I was studying premed, I was in physiology, I was in and out-

Michael Roesslein:

This was PH in cancer, right?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly. And like the mitochondria, the heart and full of this, the metabolic fuel system that wasn’t really a DNA problem, it was a mitochondrial problem. And I was learning in my studies that it was a DNA problem but like it didn’t feel like that was still enough. I was also working in an addiction center and I came from a long line of pretty hardcore addiction in my family of origin and trauma and abuse of all kinds and so part of me working in that environment was to also work out all of my experiences that I had before-

Michael Roesslein:

We often teach what we need to learn.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Absolutely. And I was in my abnormal psych classes at the time and my professor was just enlightening me in all these things, I was learning about my family of origin, understanding I had a brother who’s a sociopath, I had major addictions in my father, a lot of sexual trauma. I mean, just physical, emotional trauma, there was so much there, so much there that I knew I had to keep unpacking that. And here’s another crazy moment, at that time when I came back in January of 1992, we had a therapist in our school. We had a woman who had just completed her training in EMDR.

Michael Roesslein:

Oh cool.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

1992, I was her first-

Michael Roesslein:

I didn’t even know it existed in ’92, I thought it was newer than that. EMDR is a trauma therapy for people who don’t know.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah. A rapid eye movement trauma therapy which was really powerful. I also stumbled across an amazing acupuncturist in my town who had been an RN before and her second career later in life became an acupuncturist who also was very medically trained, so she was very good to help monitor and support me but she also was able to offer me the pain management and the digestive support, which was a game changer. And then I was doing my senior thesis at a local health clinic where I was able to get my scans, my ultrasounds, my CA 125, my other blood tests done at the time just to monitor my case so that fast forwards to what were they offering me at that time?

Michael Roesslein:

Hey, if you’re enjoying the show, make sure you head over to rebelhealthtribe.com/kit, that’s K-I-T and grab the RHT starter kit which includes a sampler of four free videos from our professional master classes and webinars, the RHT healthy sleep guide, the wellness vault coupon book, which will save you money on all of our favorite health related tools and resources, a professional product guide and a coupon for 15% off your first order in our shop. That’s rebelhealthtribe.com/kit, K-I-T and you’ll get all that delivered right away. Also, if you’re on Facebook, we’ve got a fun engaging and supportive group over there as well with thousands of health seekers, just like yourself, just search for Rebel Health Tribe and you’ll find us. Thanks for listening, and now back to the show.

So you didn’t do surgery, you didn’t do chemo, you didn’t do radiation?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

By the time I was still here, three, four months after my proposed expiration date, I wasn’t feeling good-

Michael Roesslein:

So the oncologist is probably pretty confused if you called her again.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Didn’t even return my call, this was a very interesting time for me.

Michael Roesslein:

Nice [inaudible 00:23:51].

Dr. Nasha Winters:

So I also realized at that time that I went into a very, “I hate standard of care.” for a period of time, so I just want your listeners to know that, that I’ve come through that as well through the eye of that needle, but it was a good decade in there that really tainted how I felt about standard of care medicine because I was so discarded. I had been ignored or placated to, or even told I was a histrionic female who was just drug seeking for many months leading up to my diagnosis, despite my desperation to find out what was wrong. And by the time they did find out was wrong, they basically said, “I’m so sorry, there’s nothing we can do.” And by the time I was alive longer than they thought I would be, then no one wanted to even talk to me because they did not know what to do with me, that’s the only thing I can figure to this day.

Michael Roesslein:

You don’t fit, like you don’t make sense to them and to their model. And like it must have been a faulty diagnosis, there’s all kinds of stories… because it shatters the worldview. Like they have to maintain their worldview of, this isn’t possible. This is how you fix this and she didn’t do this, so you can’t be fixed so it must have been wrong so that doesn’t exist.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly.

Michael Roesslein:

It’s literally like childhood, the hands over the ears.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

It was a very strange time for me-

Michael Roesslein:

It sounds like you found some amazing people like on accident, kind of.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

They just started kind of landing in my path and it was very interesting what you described, just resonated so much. You said, “It’s like they didn’t know what to do with you. You didn’t fit their model, their expectation, you shook up their world view.” Here’s the craziest part about me and my personality, that was always who I was. My mom tells me I was like that as a little girl, like all the different things and suddenly I think that’s part of why I had that emotional like lack of wanting to be on this planet because I didn’t fit in anywhere. And so I put on all of this, it’s like, “I’m going to fit in here. I’m going to beat this. I’m going to beat this to everybody.” Right? Completely in and then inside I was completely out. And so for me, what happened with the diagnosis is it like switched that, it made me want to be completely out, but inside I was completely in, in a very different way.

And so it was about really renegotiating all of my belief systems, all of them. It was about me like figuring out, “Okay. Well, if I’m going to go, I want to understand why, I want to be in this different place. I want to have choice in what I’m doing. I want to be personally engaged in this process.” I feel like what I did in six months, most people don’t do in a lifetime of therapy or of work like that and so it was just incredibly, incredibly, incredibly fascinating.

And then one little piece that I actually did not let this part of my story out for many years, but I think after Michael Pollan’s book, How to Change Her Mind, I feel a little bit more comfortable talking about this because there is stigma around it, but my then good friend who’s now my husband introduced me to psilocybin the night of my 20th birthday. So this is a full maybe two weeks after my hospitalization because I think I was in the hospital on the 16th. And so I didn’t tell him, I didn’t tell anybody what was going on with me and I thought, “Well, I’ve never done a drug in my life. I’m the good girl, I’m hyper responsible, screw it. Tonight’s the night.”

Michael Roesslein:

That’s an interesting one to start on.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Had I known, none of these things were accidents you guys, what it was so funny is I didn’t know so when they handed me the baggy, I thought I was supposed to eat the whole baggy. So if anybody is out there listening, something called a heroic dose is a dose over nine grams. What I best can figure to is I took about 20 grams, I was so [inaudible 00:27:26].

Michael Roesslein:

That’s a lot.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

That’s a lot, on a fasted body that I hadn’t been eating for over two weeks at that time.

Michael Roesslein:

Did it end your blockage?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

It ended a lot of things. I went through a death and dying process.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, yeah. That’s enough to do that.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And the person who got me through it and coached me through it and supported me through it as they realized what I had done and were like probably all terrified that these college guys were all going to end up in jail or something, that my then boyfriend, now husband basically became my guide through that process and kept me firmly rooted on this planet. Now that I know, because I’ve had 11 patients go through clinical trials of psilocybin for end of life care, all of them are still here, I think that again, that’s-

Michael Roesslein:

Is that through John’s Hopkins?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah. So that was through Hopkins, they all did their trial. That was like 2011, 2012, 2013 so it’d still be another 20 years.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Before that was like a reasonably acceptable kind of…

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And even then I was very careful when I encouraged these, all of them were stage four ovarian cancer patient women. When I encouraged them I said, I had an experience… I was still very, very careful about what I shared of my personal experience and I was like, “But you know, I found that it was very helpful in me connecting with myself in a way that I’d never done before.” And then to hear their stories afterwards and then talking about and writing about it and being written up in the clinical journals and whatnot is just absolutely fascinating to me, especially one who she also was incredibly suicidal throughout her whole process. The only reason why she wanted to live was she had a little girl that she had worked so hard to get through IVF and then through adoption and the whole bit and so for her, she knew she needed to live, like her responsibility was to live for that little girl despite that she’d already been through like shock treatments, every drug you can imagine.

And it wasn’t until her clinical experience with John’s Hopkins and psilocybin for end of life care for her stage four ovarian cancer diagnosis that she finally broke through that. And she has been in remission ever since her daughter is like grown and married now. I mean, this is like incredibly amazing and so to hear and see stories that repeated similar findings to my own, again, this is not saying everyone ran out and do a hero dose of mushrooms that wasn’t it but I wanted to be very transparent with your audience and that it’s never one thing it’s never one experience, I’m still on this journey, learning. Those were just some very interesting things that aligned in my path that I did not seek knowingly at least and that I didn’t have the data for or the desire or the intellect for, and in many ways I feel like it’s harder to be a cancer patient today than it was back then, because I didn’t have a doctor Google, I didn’t have hundreds of well-meaning people offering me their advice about what their Aunt Josephine did-

Michael Roesslein:

I read about this one guy who knew this other guy who did this one thing that took this thing and yeah.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

My privacy and my inability to go finding information on it, the Western medical closing the door to me saying, “Ain’t nothing we can do.” There was no internet.

Michael Roesslein:

What did you do? Because there’s a lot of analysis paralysis now. Like I’ve run into it with Mira’s auto immunity where like I have 27,000 things I could read in one day, but it sounds like you were really trusting your own intuition when it came to a lot of these things and to these people and to this and for full transparency, it’s a psychedelic experience that flipped my suicidal depression as well so I don’t think I’ve taken 20 grams of mushrooms before, but psychedelics were part of my life pretty much my whole life and I’d always stayed away from them actually when I was in a really bad mental place, because I was scared of like where it would go because you don’t really get to decide where it goes.

And it was kind of a desperation, I’ve tried everything else and I’m going to just try this. And by morning it was like my black and white was color and I’ve learned since that it wasn’t necessarily what the medicine itself did, it was an experience or two and a conversation or two, and a realization or two that I had in the night, like through the course of the experience that I wouldn’t have otherwise been open to that shifted something in me that was really profound. Yes, there’s all the physiology and the things that they do in the brain as well but looking back on it, it wasn’t the substance, it was the thing that happened because of the substance or more likely to happen because of the substance. But yeah, so you don’t have to feel like you’re the weird one dropping the truth bombs on the podcast, that was my way to get through as well.

And something I’ve studied quite a bit and I’m really well connected to a lot of people within the MAPS community, my own therapist help them design their trials for MDMA and Katherine McClain was one of the lead researchers at Johns Hopkins and I know her, she’s since left academia, but she was involved there and I’ve met some of those people too. And the studies they’ve done at Hopkins are like if it was anything else, it already would exist on the shelves at the drug store because the study, the results are absurd. I think it’s like a 90% drop in depression and anxiety amongst the terminal patients because they give it to them for like existential dread, basically and then they accidentally get better.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah. I had sick patients go through that, that are all accidentally still here.

Michael Roesslein:

From terminal diagnoses? Yeah. And we’re not telling you that psychedelic mushrooms cure cancer either so don’t… You know when you’re dealing with cancer, we have to say that repetitively.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly. And I like what you described a moment ago, was that these medicines we’ve co-evolved with them, since the beginning of time and what they do is they don’t do anything to us, they’re like the lock and key that opens up and allows you to go like take a peak in a place and access information that is already part of you or hear information that has been trying to be imparted on you for some time that you were not able to otherwise hear or connect with. And just to take this another step, in cancer what I’ve learned since from everything from ayurveda to Chinese medicine to shamanism, to even standard of care all the way down to the tumor microenvironment, et cetera, is that cancer is simply a disconnect, okay? It’s just a disconnect from self, from other, from community, from culture, from God, that’s all it is.

And down to the cellular level from cell to cell communication, intracellular communication, metabolic communication, and metabolic signaling pathways. So you can go very macro, you can go very micro, you can go very esoteric, you can go very literal, okay?

Michael Roesslein:

You mentioned you had a number of estrangements right before then as well, and a number of ending of relationships and like a lot of disconnects, a lot of isolation.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

But the craziest part, the relationships for me were the ones that actually kept me more and more isolated and cutting them away, looking back on it now, always, right? 20 20 past vision here, but I feel like actually the beginning of my healing was the cutting away of a lot of those relationships and that the cancer was just like the purging of the expression of all that was bottled up from that. And that it would just continue to ooze, there was plenty to keep oozing for a long period of time and still to this day it’s incredible how much we can embody of trauma and not even just our own. A lot of people don’t even realize how empathic they are and how much they take on. Then we say that we are the sum of the people closest to us and so for me for a long period of time, the people closest to me were not very healthy, [inaudible 00:35:14] people-

Michael Roesslein:

Intergenerational on a number of levels too. It’s like the actual genetics, yes, because they found that mice, I don’t remember how many generations it is, but their DNA 12 generations altered from traumatic experiences so that’s probably about 300 years in human generations at least and then there’s the intergenerational aspect of the way that the trauma manifests is passed down in generation to generation too via addiction, abuse, even beliefs and mindset and things and it’s not all yours. There’s a book, It Didn’t Start With You, Thomas Hubl, I believe, [inaudible 00:35:51] excellent.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

So good. And [inaudible 00:35:53]. It gets a little esoteric and out there for people but for me, from my experience and for the thousands of patients I’ve had the privilege of working with, we always go here, we always dig into this terrain eventually. We may not start there, people like to hit the tangibles first, but we typically end up there at some point because it does tend to be quite a huge obstacle to cure. And for me, in some ways being told there is no way, was exactly the way, right?

Michael Roesslein:

And it takes the pressure off too. It’s like, I can’t succeed here so might as well just do what I want at my own pace.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

For me, that was the place, it’s just the curiosity. And the funniest thing is you’d think after a certain period of time, I would just get more like, “Oh, okay, I’ve learned enough.” And I’ll just stop. Every time I ask another question, it brings me up 10 more. It’s like, oh my gosh, if I feel like I’ve answered this 10 more questions come on its heels. So it’s a constant, that’s why it’s so amazing now as to have survived this long and be able to see all the cool things we’ve learned in medicine in general, in healthcare in general and cancer in particular to look back and go, “Well, that explains it now.” or, “Oh, I totally understand.”

Like it wouldn’t be till 1996 that I learned of my BRCA status, right? The BRCA methylation DNA repair gene hiccup that is of my family of origin, that would be another five years into my diagnosis. It wouldn’t be another 10 years beyond that, that I learned of my epigenetics. And then I started to understand why I am the person who, when I’m met with stress, I dive in, I go into action, whereas my husband, like you goes into paralysis and so I’ve got excess dopamine. I have slow calm tea, lots of snips in this department, which basically means I can use stress like my superpower-

Michael Roesslein:

And I have low dopamine ans stress shuts me down.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And that’s the thing, we are all wired different. So I started to understand my strengths and weaknesses and knew how to sort of manipulate them for myself. I keep learning things, I love when… When I switched my major over to biology and psychology, I ran across the work of Robert Ader, of Candace Pert, of Bruce Lipton, these are the early days of what we were coining psycho neuro immunology. So I basically created an undergraduate degree in psycho neuro immunology so that became… and this was 1992-

Michael Roesslein:

I wonder if those exist now, like you can choose it as a degree track, probably.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Good question, I haven’t even gone to look at that. We should, because I’m sure it exists as a track so-

Michael Roesslein:

But not done at all, like those people were lunatics, Bruce Lipton, [inaudible 00:38:39] as a madman, like a charlatan lunatic, so was Gabor Mate, so was like anyone who is talking about these things 25 years ago was like this is total quackery nonsense.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Well, I’ve been labeled the duck, the quack, the charlatan my entire life, even before I got sick, I’ve always kind of gone against the stream because I just have-

Michael Roesslein:

Because the stream is bullshit too so it’s a pretty basic… It’s like that’s not a good stream to be in. But no, Bruce Lipton, I listened to some interview of his early on, probably about 13 years ago when I first started getting into health stuff and I was like, “This can’t be true. Like this can’t be real. Like, is this guy legit?” And then he’s how many PhDs and whatever else and I’m like, why isn’t anyone else talking about… If this is a thing, why isn’t this everywhere and everything? It is because there’s no pill for it.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And this is what’s so hard is then I start to get coined as like the tinfoil hat wearing lady or the conspiracy theorist but remember my then boyfriend, he was also pre-med, but he went to grad school track, he was a cancer drug design in grad school. He’s a biochemist, he’s one of the most brilliant human beings you’ll ever meet. He teaches physicians-

Michael Roesslein:

Very left brain, very rational, very scientific.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

I needed that in my [inaudible 00:39:55] act here but it’s like, he worked for Merck for years trying to have a breakthrough cancer drug because his family was riddled with cancer. He’d lost multiple family members, siblings to cancer the whole bit. It’s like his passion and purpose and almost lost me to it and all these other pieces and yet he got in there and realized it has no desire to change the outcomes. There is no impetus to change these outcomes because there’s a lot of really good hearted people like himself that were in there that really went in to try and change it but it becomes very evident over time that it’s really stacked against you to do so. And so that was really unfortunate. We both are passionate scientists and researchers, but we also recognize there’s a lot of things on this planet we just don’t know. Like-

Michael Roesslein:

The more I’ve learned, the more that becomes really apparent. When I barely knew anything, I thought I knew everything. And now I know I don’t know shit about a lot of different subjects that I used to think I was an expert in. Physiology being one of them. Did you see that image that came out in the last couple of weeks of the cell?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yep, stunning.

Michael Roesslein:

People were trying to act like we understand how all these things work, like it’s so arrogant and ridiculous.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And the coolest thing is I am comfortable, completely comfortable in the unknown. I am completely comfortable in the magic. I’m completely comfortable in the, “Let’s keep exploring.”

Michael Roesslein:

And it all just is magic, that’s it.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

In my life, I’m always gray, I’m always shades of that, when people ask me, “Well, what do you do for this?” I’m like, “Well, it depends.” It’s always, “It depends.” because it’s an n of one and it’s changeable, it’s dynamic, it’s not set in stone. So what saved my butt 30 years ago, if I had it all today, it probably wouldn’t do anything for me today. Like that’s the thing I had to learn to recognize for myself and working with patients. That’s also why I was very, very private about my diagnosis until about 2012, I started talking about it a little bit more to the urgings of a few colleagues that were like, “Got to know if you or your listeners have ever heard of David Servan-Schreiber.” and maybe in the mental health world you had, because he was the famous French researcher who recognized that fish oil was far more effective for anti-depression than a serotonin uptake inhibitor.

So his research was pretty world-renowned well, he also became very world-renowned with the fact that he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme and it has a typical lifespan of no more than 18 months with treatment, okay? He had managed to survive 17 years with a GBM and had had three recurrences and three operations and treatments and was still here. He was a miracle, upon miracle, upon miracle. He wrote a book called the Anti-Cancer Diet. What shifted things for me, was when his book came out, I can’t remember what year he died, now, we can probably go find this, but he ended up dying of his brain tumor 17 years after its original diagnosis. And the book he published post-mortem was called Not the Last Goodbye.

And it still just brings me so much emotion because he was afraid… Nobody knew he had a recurrent, nobody knew what was going on. He was so afraid, he wrote about it so beautifully in his book. He’s like, “All my work will be thought it was bullshit if I died down and would be like, ‘See, look, he died of cancer.’” And I totally resonated with that because the fact that he was still 17 years out of a GBM was a miracle enough-

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. That’s like the most hostile cancer there is pretty much.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And he was like, people would take all my work and say, “Oops, it didn’t work.”

Michael Roesslein:

He could have lived 50 years with it and they would have said the same thing.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And that’s just it and it was in that moment that I realized I have to let go of this.

Michael Roesslein:

It doesn’t matter.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

It doesn’t matter. I could have died three months into it and they would have said whatever, and I could die 30 years into it and they could say whatever. It doesn’t matter, that’s exactly it. And so that’s where I started becoming more of, “I’m willing to share some of these experiences.” And the caveat is there is no one way, we have to explore our own process of what got us here and what is going to get us out of here. And that’s what I totally live for now. Like you moving into this arena of the mental health piece, I want to know the biography to understand the biology and the biography is, yes, I want the labs and I want to know the zip code and what they’re exposed to in the environment. I want to know their… I want to know those, but I really want to know their life story and significant life events.

So I request that information when I’m working with someone because we can find those little buttons that pushed-

Michael Roesslein:

Everybody has them, like-

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Everybody.

Michael Roesslein:

… I’ve yet to run into anybody with any sort of significant chronic illness or disease process that doesn’t have buttons as you’ve phrased it, there’ll be there. And they usually know what they are too.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And if they didn’t, like for me I knew, but I didn’t know. You still see them… It’s always intriguing to me, I’ve reviewed a case of a doctor recently, the guy tells me every tiny detail of his life. It’s like this unbelievable, detailed, he neglected to tell me that he had a child that just came out as transgendering and he neglected to tell me about a prostate cancer he’d had several years before, where he had a prostatectomy and lost his sexual function. Those are pretty big situations. Oh, the third one was that his daughter was born at 20 weeks, super premature, should it die? Like all the things-

Michael Roesslein:

Very dramatic.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

… and then 20 years later she’s coming out transgender. So these big chunks of his life that he neglected to share, it was like, wow. Even the not telling of the story is where the story lies. And so those are the things that I love what you’re creating because we don’t give space for this in our culture. And if we do, we kind of placate it. We sort of like, “Oh, just go get some therapy or go meditate or go take a little bit of low dose [Cylicyde 00:45:45]. Like we just want to quickly push it out of the room, we don’t want to sit in, I call it sitting in the poopy diaper.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. Go eat some chocolate or buy some shoes or do something. Like when you really look at it, our whole culture is designed around that, the economy, like the things you’re supposed to buy, right? Like do this to be happy. Grief is a powerful thing and last summer, almost a year ago, it’ll be a year on May 1st, I had a dog for 13 and a half years that basically saved my life like five times and he died last year and I leaned into it like for two weeks, we just cried. And I started reading books. We read books on grief and like really being in the grief. And one of the books that laid out that like in Western culture, in our culture, the first thing most people do if someone near them is grieving is try to cheer them up, try to change their mind, try to… Or, “It’s been a month, you should be okay now.” or they should be fine or whatever and it’s not because you want them to feel better is because that makes you uncomfortable that they’re sad or like that they’re feeling poopy.

And this whole culture is totally designed around like dodging this whole really important thing, and it used to be like a community thing, grief. You’d have the support and even not just grief, but like the poopy diaper, like the rest of the stuff, any other negative thing in this culture is like, go do that, look at this, buy this, touch this and everybody around you is going to be like, cheer up, do this and we don’t learn how to be with it and be in it and like that it’s okay, and it’s so clear once you see it that it’s all a sham. I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent there, but I felt that was valuable.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

It’s a perfect tangent, because what you just spoke to was, we designed a world around us that is constantly trying to protect us from the very thing that can heal us. In Sanskrit grief means guru, which is teacher, which I think is very interesting. And to your point, it’s like we even hide death. We hide messy, we hide uncomfortable. We’re right now dealing with a world where in the United States our survival rate is going down compared to everywhere else in the world, our longevity is now going lower for the first time in human existence, where everybody else is either holding their own or improving. And what researchers call this is they call it the Era of Despair.

And the two things taking our lives are opiates and suicide. Both of those are exit strategies to the intolerable. And I get it as do you and I’m sure most of your listeners, because I also spent an enormous amount of my life trying to escape the intolerable.

Michael Roesslein:

I’m with you, in a lot of different ways you get really creative.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

I was going to say-

Michael Roesslein:

You remove some of them and you realize you’re doing another thing. And then you remove that thing and you’re doing another thing and you’re just like, “Holy shit.” There’s endless layers of things. But yeah, I’ve spent probably a total of 5, 10 years of my life fully suicidal and like attempted it when I was 17 and there’s nobody in our culture anymore that’s not touched by it in some way.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

I know, exactly.

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And I want to just acknowledge that and thank you for choosing to stay and lean into that because not everybody will choose that and it’s okay what people choose. Like I don’t want that to be a thing either. People do what they need to do, but the harder choice is to stay. It just is because you don’t know what it’s going to look like and feel like after, because the seduction of the pain being gone immediately is so strong, it’s all consuming. And I understand all the time why someone makes that choice all the time. I have zero doubts why someone would make that choice.

Michael Roesslein:

Addicts too. Like I totally get it. A lot of my good friends are recovered addicts so they’re still struggling and it’s no judgment, I totally get it.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And that’s what we don’t talk about. We don’t talk about that, of that piece and what you’re creating with this next phase of like having a resource for people to start to find out where’s the entry point, where’s their relining of the pilot light that gets them curious about their own healing or their own wound or their own discomfort or their own intolerability and what is the best fitting support for that? Like what you’re getting ready to create here doesn’t exist really in this world and to watch what’s happening in the world, we are becoming even more and more and more and more and more disconnected when we’re more connected than ever before in so many other ways.

And yet what the whole world of connection shows us today is just an opportunity for a bigger facade, a bigger mask-

Michael Roesslein:

More venues for the mask.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly. And so I just think it’s really an interesting time. And so like bringing this all full circle of what this journey has been like for me and my own healthcare the last few years, it’s like the last 30 years. But really even the last few years, I feel like I haven’t really started to get my handle on it until about 10 years ago. So I think when they see me now, they think it was just very linear and in a moment, and yet I’m still on the journey and I love those kind of means, they’re like, “This is what we think healing should be like, but here’s the reality.”

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah. And that’s incredibly true. That’s one of the main points I’m trying to get across with the podcast actually is like, this is not linear. And the conversations I’m having now are with people who are way closer to the tail end and now everybody’s in a good place right now and they’ve been through this healing journey. And the thing that they dealt with is in the past and keep that in mind as well, that we’re speaking from a place that isn’t in it. We talked before we went on air that like, if you’re in it, we see you and it is messy and it’s squiggly and its ups and downs, and it’s not linear. And you’re going to have a crappy day and be like, “This is all going sideways.”

And then the next day it’ll be great being present in the journey. This is where the magic is at. So I went in a totally different direction than I had anticipated, but it’s been awesome. One last question is when you saw the acupuncturist and you did the EMDR and you had the insane dose of psilocybin and you had access to that place that was running scans for you and tests and things while you’re doing your schoolwork. At some point you started to get reports that the tumor was shrinking or the lesions were going away or that you maybe were accidentally going to live. What point did that flip where you realized like, “Oh, I’m actually going to survive this maybe.” Or somebody gave you a diagnosis that wasn’t terminal.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Here’s where it gets weird. I’ve never had someone give me a diagnosis that’s not terminal. 1999 was the last time I did a scan because I also shut down my kidneys from the contrast dye, gadolinium was what I used in the MRIs in the first few years, shut down my kidneys, started getting some CTs and then started learning about the radiation components of that. It was also when we started understanding that BRCA gene and radiation prior and good friends, it really kicked it up more. So I stopped scanning or doing thermography vaginal ultrasounds, blood work regularly from that point on, the last imaging that I had still showed lesions in my liver, still shows peritoneal implants, [inaudible 00:53:18] lymph nodes all throughout my abdomen and groin, still shows a small ovarian cyst, it was huge, it was the size of a grapefruit it’s now or was, I haven’t looked at imaging for a long time, but I don’t palpated as much anymore.

But it got down to about the size of a walnut lesion in my right ovary. I get pretty good lymphedema to this day. My kidneys are very vulnerable to any changes, so if I eat something wrong or whatnot, I will go into kidney failure pretty easily. So I deal with a lot of lymphedema ongoing. I monitor myself with labs annually, more so if I’m feeling symptomatic at all, I would never say that I’m cured. I think that we all have cancer all the time, I don’t aim for a cure, I don’t expect a cure for anybody in any situation, I expect that this is a lifelong manageable disease process and it’s become my inner compass.

It’s become my teacher, my messenger that lets me know, ‘You’re not taking care of yourself. What are you denying? Where did you become disconnected? Where’s the truth? Where it’s not the truth, et cetera. And so I’ve had these experiences with this many times throughout. I had a pretty scary bout in 1999, when my liver became massively enlarged and because my colleagues at school didn’t know what was going on, only had a handful of people who knew my history, they were all like running around trying to guess what my diagnosis was. You know, I felt little weird at that time because I was already alive, but I knew what was going on, the liver [inaudible 00:54:34] was on the go, but I dealt with a very stressful, rageful year, that year and I [inaudible 00:54:40] surprise that it decided my liver was the place to flare it up, that’s encompassing organ of anger and rage.

But these are just examples of looking at this over time. So as far as someone telling me, “You’re good to go.” I don’t like stop. It’s not like I get through a treatment and ring a bell and then life is back to normal again. In fact, I tell people if you do go through standard of care and you get down and you ring that bell after chemo or radiation or whatever, you’re actually just getting started.

Michael Roesslein:

There’s a new way to live now.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

You just got yourself out of harm’s way. It took me a good decade to stabilize it. And almost another decade more to get to the point where I felt like I was pushing it back to any degree. And in the last decade, I feel like I’ve just been living beautifully with it. And my health has improved every decade since, which is crazy. My labs look gorgeous, right? It’s like the funny things that you see now and the types of things I’ve done all along. I mean, there’s been thousands of things. I’ve tried hundreds of diets and supplements and IVs and different therapies. I’ve even considered going and having surgery. But I’ve since learned for certain things in my body, that probably wouldn’t be a good idea. I’ve problems with anesthesia, I have problems with certain medications.

So I’m like learning new things about myself that makes me be a lot more aware of how to handle this in the future. If it got on the run again, I have a lot of better ideas of what I would do that I would probably still not go completely standard, I would go to places where I can get very low doses of things based on my tissue assays with certain like local treatments, intratumoral injections. I still use things like mistletoe today. I bring this up to you guys and that it’s just an ongoing living, learning laboratory that I’m inhabiting here. Like you said before, it’s not linear and so I want people to hear that and my way is not what somebody else with a similar diagnosis should be doing.

And we’ve come so far in the last three decades that we have the ability now to really know where someone is, how and why they got there, and what is likely the better way to take them out of this. It is not being offered in our standard of care and that’s what I get to do today is help people learn how to apply that and help people start to become aware of their blind spots and start to invoke that curiosity that I think saved my life all of those years ago.

Michael Roesslein:

That’s an incredible perspective. And I didn’t even know that cancer was like that. Like I know everybody has cancer cells and I know that people hate hearing that, but it’s true and that they’ll grow out of control in certain environments and conditions with certain situations. But I didn’t know that it was possible because you named like lesions here, a tumor here, it’s not like you have one little thing, there’s quite a bit on your last scan. I didn’t know it was possible for someone to be healthy and live like a healthy, vibrant life.

Like if you went to an oncologist and they looked at all of that, they would be like, “Oh, you have a bunch of cancer.” And you’d be like, “Cool, I feel great. Thanks for that. My labs are awesome. Look at this.” And I didn’t know it was like that, I really had no idea, that shifted my whole perspective on it because I told you before we went on that, like cancer was always too scary to me. And I’m trained in some labs, I’ve been through FDN training and I know how to do some lab testing so I was like borderline functional medicine, what I was doing, I just can’t say that. But if somebody had cancer or even a history of cancer, I didn’t work with them because I was like, “I don’t want to be responsible for this person dying.” One, I wouldn’t have been. Like, it’s not my responsibility. But two, that changes, like that makes it less scary to me.

It wasn’t like they were coming to me to be an oncologist for them, they were working with an oncologist or like doctors and things, they just wanted somebody to help them with like their health coaching, nutrition-type stuff, I was still too scared. I just was like, “No, those people over there will help you. I know good people for that.”

Dr. Nasha Winters:

And you’re right that it is something that some people are terrified to work with. And what I try to explain to people is I don’t treat cancer. I treat people that happen to have cancer and I focus on their terrain and I focus on the terrain of all the drops in the bucket that have accumulated in that terrain that has led to a cancering process. Cancer to me is a dynamic process. And when your cancering, it’s active. Having-

Michael Roesslein:

Cancering like I-N-G like a verb?

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Exactly. It’s the thing, right? And so we have ways to help people understand that cancering is one thing, having cancer is another. And so helping people understand that, helping people explore that, having people, like you said to realize that this really is a maintainable disease process and that’s where the future of oncology is going, which is super exciting to me. And that there are many conventional oncologists out there saying the very things I’m telling you right now-

Michael Roesslein:

[inaudible 00:59:26] to kill, kill, kill.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

They’re realizing what we’re learning now is we can actually turn this into a maintainable disease process that people can live very well with cancer for many, many years and likely die of something totally different, not related to cancer. So my goal is to help people die… First of all, we’re all going to die. We are going to all get there, but will you die of the condition you don’t have to. I mean, that’s what’s really beautiful is we’ve come to this point where we can certainly increase people’s quality of life now. We can certainly like help outcomes and help support the body going through standard of care with other therapies that help their quality of life and their side-effects.

We can also help them bring on therapies that help people have less drug resistance and less toxicity, et cetera. It’s come so far, but what’s really shifting is the idea that this is now a manageable disease process much like we treat diabetes or heart disease or-

Michael Roesslein:

Yeah, I never looked at it like that. That changes my perspective quite a bit. So yeah, I’m not scared of it as much. I think part of it is my grandmother who was my only grandparent that I was ever close with died of breast cancer when I was small, when I was like eight, and the way it was handled and the family it was like a secretive thing and then like scary thing and then she was bald and she came to Christmas and she looked really sick. And then she died and I was like small enough that we were kind of kept out of the loop, I think I was seven or eight. And then one day she was just dead and gone and so to me it was always the thing that killed my grandma that like kills everyone. Like anyone who gets it dies, that was my understanding as a child. So I think that played a role in my own fears around it.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Huge. Yeah, and I think that story is likely kind of the cultural story we’ve created around it as well-

Michael Roesslein:

Because there’s like a mourning process if somebody gets diagnosed with cancer, like it’s like, “Oh.”

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Yeah, we’ve already buried you but that’s where we [inaudible 01:01:27] psychologically.

Michael Roesslein:

Things are getting better and you’re a huge part of it. And thank you for that. And I know that now you’re training doctors and training a lot of practitioners and you’ve trained a lot of practitioners and it seems to me that there’s a tide that’s turning a little bit. And that it’s a situation that is having more positive outcomes in many ways and that the conventional thinking is shifting and that we all know how long that takes to happen and so good job guys, way to catch up a little bit because it’s about 20 years behind the research usually. Thank you so much for everything you’ve shared here, for what you’re doing, for what you’re going to do. I noticed that it totally shifts my whole perspective and it’s good to know that it’s happening out there and that there’s more doctors learning and I know doctors who you have trained and so I now feel safe for myself and in my own personal network because I know where I’m going to send people if this is to come up and in my world.

And it feels a little bit safer knowing that it’s out there and that the way you’re creating in which I wanted to talk about, we’ll talk again. We need to do more of this. So thank you. I’m really glad that we crossed paths and I look forward to doing more of this and collaborating more. So thank you so much.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

Wow. Thank you, Michael. Absolute, absolute privilege. Thank you.

Michael Roesslein:

This was great. Thank you so much.

Dr. Nasha Winters:

My friend take care, ciao.

Michael Roesslein:

And this brings us to the end of today’s journey. Head on over to rebelhealthtribe.com/kit to grab a free download of our loaded quick-start guide. It contains dozens of our favorite tips, suggestions, recommendations, and tools to help you along your healing journey. If you’re on Facebook, come join our Rebel Health Tribe group over there. And finally, if you liked the show, please subscribe, leave us a review and share with your friends. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you again soon.