Mindfulness In Healing Sangha Celebrates 10 Years of Continuous Practice

We are extremely happy to announce the tenth anniversary of our Mindfulness In Healing sangha on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The sangha was founded by Jerome Freedman, Ph. D. on the summer solstice in 2009 as a means to give back to his community after being in remission from bladder cancer which began in 1997 and flared up in 2003. After four or five more bouts of bladder cancer, he is now cancer free once again, thanks to immunotherapy.

The sangha has consistently met at the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo (Marin County, California) on Wednesday nights. We are totally grateful to Michael Broffman and the Pine Street Clinic for letting us use their facility for the past 10 years. The clinic is famous for their research on dogs sniffing ovarian and uterine cancers.

Soon after forming the sangha, Jerome invited Carolyn de Fay, LCSW to join as a co-facilitator so that we could hold sangha when one of us was indisposed. We have been facilitating together most of the time.

Our practice begins with inviting the bell followed by an invocation and thirty minutes of sitting meditation. This is followed by tea breaks and the evening program, which consists of dharma sharing, dharma discussions and / or dharma teachings by Jerome or Carolyn. We end with the dedication of merit.

Vivian Taube joined the sangha in 2014, as a regular member. She is grateful for a sangha, where she can discuss her healing from schizoaffective disorder openly, as the sangha’s original intent was to support people and care givers in their healing process.  In 2017, she decided to aspire to the Order of Interbeing, and she chose Jerome and Carolyn as two of her OI mentors. 

Meeting Michael Broffman

On January 13, 2014, we finally got in to see Michael Broffman. He basically said that there were three approaches to alternative treatments, depending on how much time we had.

The first approach was molecular profiling and research into gene expression. Alternatives were provided in his written report.

The second approach is the low-tech intervention of food, herbs, acupuncture, and the like.

The third approach is to look into off-label treatments and non-standard interventions which involve approved medications that can help.

The two-and-one-half-hour meeting was quite comprehensive and informative, as meetings with Michael are.


Discussing The Options

On January 10, 2014, we visited Dr. Maxwell Meng.

Dr. Meng is now considered the “go to guy” when it comes to radical cystectomy – the removal of the cancerous bladder and replacement with an artificial one. If you have followed my story, you know that this was the “gold standard” of bladder cancer treatment back in 1997. It still is! As Dr. Carroll once said, “[Bladder removal] is a piece of cake!”

We discussed the types of artificial bladders, but I won’t go into details. The bottom line is that I was told that I need to have a radical cystectomy. Period.

One possible option is to have neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to the surgery. For this, we were to consult Dr. Charles Ryan on January 16.


Appointment with Michael Broffman

My appointment with Michael Broffman at the Pine Street Clinic took place this afternoon for about two-and-one-half hours.

It’s all about aging. Bladder cancer is a disease in older men (and women). More about this later.

Michael said that I needed about 50 grams protein/day with about 2 quarts of water, a minimum of 1000 calories, and a low carbohydrate intake. Some of the protein can be gotten from rice or whey powders. This amounts to about .78 grams/kilo of protein. In connection with protein, he mentioned the research of Otto Warburg and Brian Peskin. Warburg got a Nobel Prize for demonstrating that oxygen deprived cells develop cancer. I asked about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and he said that it would be good for this reason.

I asked about what other treatments he would recommend and he gave me three ideas. The first is a substance called Gc-MAF. There is a Google video, which explains, “GcMAF triggers our immune response to cancer. Cancer cells deactivate Gc-MAF. Dr. Nobuto Yamamoto has shown that laboratory preparation and injections of GcMAF bypasses the cancer’s deactivation process and allows the macrophages to attack. This procedure has resulted in 100 percent cure rates for 4 to 7 years, the length of the studies to date. There are no side effects.” Michael said that you had to inject the Gc-MAF to be effective.

The second product in Michael’s bag of tricks is DCA or dichloroacetate. According to the DCA site, DCA “worked to reactivate the apoptosis mechanism of cancer cells, causing rapid shrinkage of tumors in rats. Mitochondrial reactivation represents an entirely new approach to treating cancer.” He recommended taking this during BCG treatments plus about 6 months. The dosage of 500mg corresponds to about 1/8 teaspoon and 100g should last me through the whole treatment. Sodium dichloroacetate can be purchased in Canada, but not in the US.

The third product is resveratrol. According to Life Extension, “Findings from published scientific literature indicate that resveratrol may be the most effective plant extract for maintaining optimal health and promoting longevity.” I’ve know about this for a while and almost ordered it several months ago, but I failed to do so.

Michael recommended several products to try post BCG treatments. These include pomegranate, curcumin and green tea extracts.

The anti-ageing plan begins after BCG with a 24 hour urine test for hormones and their metabolites. The goal is to bring testosterone up to the level of a 35 year old man. There will be herb supplements to support hormone replenishment. Another hormone of interest is aldosterone. A constitutional homeopathic remedy may also be used in this project.

New cancer treatments include HIFU in China. This stands for high intensity focused ultrasound and may now be available in the US.

I spoke about two other conditions that concern me. The first was acid reflux when I have too much food or lots of garlic and onions. Michael told me that the active ingredient in Tagamet, cimetidine is not only good to relive acid indigestion, but it has some immune and cancer fighting qualities. So I guess it is not too bad to rely on this when conditions dictate it.

My sleep problem could be helped by time-release melatonin. He said the blue or red lights don’t upset melatonin metabolism.

Both Mala and I felt really encouraged by this session. It seems like the BCG treatment is just a bump in the road and I should be cancer free when it is complete.



As mentioned in the introduction, I had my annual checkup this day. It was actually six weeks past one year, but I was prepared to even wait longer to go in, due to twelve years of a clear bladder. For the first time, Dr. Neuwirth found two small polyps in my bladder. I was surprised when he removed the scope without taking samples for biopsy like he usually did. He told me to get dressed and he would come back and talk to me. When Mala came into the room, he told us that he found the polyps and that I would need a CT scan and a TURBT (transurethral resection of the bladder tumor). So we go busy making plans for a CT scan on Friday and out-patient surgery one week from Friday.

The combination of Mala’s infection and the dense material I saw in my urine had led me to prepare for something like this. I had resumed my imagery and mindfulness practices around a healthy bladder, so I didn’t take it too badly.

When we got home, I started down the road of research on bladder polyps and called Michael Broffman. Michael was encouraging and said that in his experience, the polyps are usually benign. We’ll see!


Seven Years Have Passed!

Seven years have passed since I presented at Marin General Hospital with blood in my urine. These have been interesting times in my life. My kids are now grown and off to college.

I was laid off from WildPackets in April, and haven’t had a steady job since then. I’ve been working on several consulting projects and developing Jewels by Mala with my wife. The website is launched, but sales are slow.

Unfortunately, most of the information on this site is now 5-7 years old. I am considering doing more research in bladder cancer when I have the time, but this website should provide you with a guide to how to do the research yourself. We still think Michael Broffman has many good answers, and continue to direct people to him.


Another Year Has Passed

More than a year has passed since my last entry.  I must say that 1998 was much better than 1997.  I had cystoscopies in January, April, June, and November, and they were all normal – i. e., no cancer.  I am now on a four month schedule for cystoscopies.

As far as the rest of my recovery is concerned, I continue to follow the directions of Michael Broffman as far as herbs, vitamins, and other suplements are concerned.  I don’t want to underestimate the effect of these supplements.  I believe they are helping my body to cope with the foreign toxins that were introduced all of 1997.

I continue to play tennis and practice walking meditation.  Once in a while, I got to Anna Halprin‘s class, but not as much as I’d like.  I’ve dropped out of the other support groups I was attending.  My family and friends continue to be my first line of support.  It’s pretty amazing that I’ve come out of this with such a clean skin!


Lessons Learned

To continue my story, I’d like to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned in dealing with cancer. First and foremost is the love and support of caring friends and family. For this, I am very thankful, and don’t know exactly what to say beyond how difficult it would have been without them.

Secondly, I learned the value of doing my own research, and, at the same time, having the support of competent physicians and healers. I could not ignore the input of the doctors, but I knew enough to present a viable alternative. I am grateful to Doctors Harry Neuwirth, David Gullion, Francine Halberg, Sara Huang, Robert Belknap, Peter Carroll, Jeffrey Norton, Peter Klaphaak, and William Shipley for their willingness to put up with my radical approach to healing. When I think about the possibility of having had a radical cystectomy and compare it with the treatments I’ve had, I really count my blessing at having made the right decision for me. The radical cystectomy could have led to complications too numerous to understand at the time of the surgery. I am happy that I bypassed this option.

Thirdly, I don’t have any clue about the direct effect of the cancer support groups, alternative medicine, supplements, body work, and psychotherapy had on the physical healing of my illness, but they were all indispensable for my emotional and mental healing. To this, I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Martin Rossman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Leslie Davenport, Anna Halprin, Michael Broffman, Gail Teehan, Elyse Genuth, Dr. Van Vu, Dr. Patricia Frisch, and Alan Sheets for their contribution to my healing efforts, be they of the body, emotions, mind, and spirit. I guess I’ll never know whether these methods had anything to do with my healing, but I don’t want to think about how it would be if I hadn’t done them.

Finally, even with all the love and support of the people I’ve already mentioned, I have to acknowledge my own part in this process. I did my research, found a creative outlet for my experience in these pages, practiced mindfulness during critically ill times as well as healthy ones, and continued to look forward to a happy and healthy life beyond cancer. My goal has been to maintain as much mindfulness in all my activities as possible, including, but not limited to time on the tennis courts, walking meditation, computer work, and enjoyable outings with family and friends. My experience has been beneficial to other people, as well, through my web site, support groups and contact with friends taken ill by a similar disease. I am happy that I can help them, but not quite happy with the path that led me to the knowledge I have to do so.

In conclusion, let be state once again how important I think it is to combine the best of Western medicine with natural healing methods to come up with a treatment plan that can result in a cure. The process of healing the body must be accompanied by the process of healing the emotions, the mind and the spirit.


Marin Feels Healing Energy

Today was full of excitement! I began the day with two sets of doubles, which I managed to play with a remarkable degree of competence. There followed an hour bath and a brief nap. When I awoke, I had some lunch. Then I began writing and called Gerald Freedman to ask his permission to publish his poems and haiku on the web. To my surprise, he told me that I was famous! The article I had sent to the Marin Independent Journal on Monday appeared almost entirely in an article entitled, “Marin feels healing energy” on the front page of the “Lifestyles” section. I was extremely delighted to hear this news. A copy of the original paper that I submitted is on this web site as healers.htm. The editor left out some information about Feldenkrais with Gail Teehan and all that I said about Nicholi Levashov, but quoted most of the rest of the article. I imagine they left out Nicholi because he is from San Francisco.

In my excitement, I phoned Anna Halprin, Gail Teehan, Barbara Rose Billings,  and Michael Broffman. Marty Rossman is on his way to Oregon with my daughter, so I’ll tell him about it when I next speak with my daughter.


Another Busy Day

I began my day by trying to solve a problem at work, and I’ve been at it almost all day, except for my consultation with Michael Broffman and my acupuncture session with Marty Rossman.

The meeting with Michael Broffman produced some unexpected results.  In the first place, what my wife has been saying about my diet is true. Michael told me to eat a low fat, high fiber diet, which eliminates many of my favorite foods, such as prawns and muscles. He is going to provide me with details about what I should avoid and what I should eat. Secondly, I had the startling realization that I’m not through with my disease. I still have a long way to go and the test procedures are not fun! I felt depressed from these two realizations, and I have been having difficulty dealing with them.

Since my wife took my appointment with Leslie Davenport, I took the opportunity to take a walk in the Cascade region of Mill Valley. The path leads to a waterfall, which is very nice, even now that it is not gushing with water. I spent about forty-five minutes there, practicing mindfulness and listening to the sound of the waterfall.

During my acupuncture treatment, I felt a burst of energy, and this gave me enough energy to continue working on the bug I’m trying to fix. Now I’m exhausted, but I continue to push on.

In the evening, my wife and I went to the Center for Attitudinal Healing for our respective groups. I spoke about my diet changes and feelings about not being finished with my disease. I also spoke about my wife’s difficulties. The group was really supportive in a unusual way this evening.


Copyright © 2004-2018, Jerome Freedman, Ph. D.