~Meniscus Archives~
Winter 2003
Issue #2

November - February 2004

Link to Issue #2 Home


Bynum's Corner Word Games

The Dissapperance of Childhood
Sarah Trachtenburgh

There's something about Crystal Boots
Drayton Patriota
Debate/Retort by Little Lamb
The Apothecary and Mr. Cesnek
Chrystie Hopkins
A Stroll Down Shakedown Street
Caleb Estabrooks
Out of the Box, Into my Hands
Derek Gumuchian
Travel Log of a Colorado Girl
Erin Hopkins
Santa Fe
Chrystie Hopkins
How to find your friends at IT!
Rob Hansen
Meniscus New Years Picks
Sound Tribe Sector 9: Focusing the Light
-Jon Heinrich
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Take a Trip with the Wild and Wooly Masters of the Jam-Jazz Scene
-Brian Gagné
CD Review:
Solar Igniter
CD Review:
Cadillac Jones-
Junk in the Trunk
Through Glass
and Grain

-Aiden FitzGerald
four poems
-Brandon Rigo
-Pete Pidgeon
Art Model
-Julia Magnusson
-Julia Magnusson
Dead dog
-Julia Magnusson
-Julia Magnusson
Those games
we'd play

-Julia Magnusson
Ode de Toiletté
-Aron Ralston
-Stephanie Laterza
-Stephanie Laterza
-Stephanie Laterza
Meniscus is...
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


Be Kind to the Temple,and Kick Cancer
Jon Heinrich
Published 11/15/03

As we enter and progress in the 21st century, more and more of us will be affected by the plague of modern civilization: cancer. If you or someone close to you has been attacked by this deteriorating disease, you realize the severity of malignant cells growing in your body. What most people don’t realize is these cells inhabit our bodies every day of our life. What is commonly known as cancer cells, exist in abundance in even the healthiest of individuals as a natural by-product of the body’s processes. Its just how nature operates. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you will get cancer, 42% of Americans do.

The great news however, is that you have full control over your body. If you choose life, life is what you shall receive. Using breast cancer as an example, let’s take a look at how you can choose life.

Like most of us, I have had people close to me in my life affected by cancer. In early October, my family lost a very close friend. My brother’s God Mother, Colleen, was overcome by a fatal occurrence of pancreatic cancer that spread to her liver. She was a strong spirit and beat her doctor’s prediction by months, but the disease had spread to many of her vital organs.

I didn’t fully realize the damaging potential of the disease until the second hit close to home. John, 23 year-old bass player for the band Addison Groove Project, was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. Energy had been mounting for months in preparation for national tour when John was diagnosed. The waiting explosion of joy, turned into a hollow roar of sorrow.

I knew cancer was a problem in the nation, but John is only 23! This really is serious. Two occurrences in the first half of 2003 were the catalyst that drove me to investigate this epidemic. What I found on that search however, is that the solution is simpler than you may think. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my findings with you, so we may all do our best to avoid the plague of the 21st century.

During my search for answers, I ran into Brian Haas, the esteemed piano player in the provocative jazz trio, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Our paths crossed at the foot of Butternut Ski Basin among scorching sun and green grass at the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival in August of 2003. While most of the inhabitants of the festival were wrapped up in conversation about the previous day’s musical lineup, Brian was deep into in a discussion on life and death.

Recently, Brian’s mom became one of 1.4 million people in the United States to be newly diagnosed with cancer. Fearing for her life, Mrs. Haas did what nearly everyone does, and enrolled in a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation treatment to counter the breast cancer. Her doctors emphasized that this was the best, most effective means of treatment, even though they gave her only a five percent chance of surviving the ordeal, with the “therapy”. A five percent chance of survival with the most cutting edge advances in western medicine! No wonder subconsciously she knew the MDs were wrong. “There was a ring of dishonesty in what the doctors were saying,” explained Brian Haas.

During this treatment, her body underwent high doses of chemicals and radiation that poisoned the cancer cells—along with her healthy cells. She became weaker and more emotionally destitute. There were no signs of regaining the vitality that once flowed through her body in abundance. Then she turned to Brian. After a few months of listening to his advice, she was on her way to full recovery. She had literally found the cure; it took her from deathbed, to full recovery. And that cure is available for everybody.

How diet can increase your chances
First of all, let’s take a look at what causes cancer. There is no black-and-white cause to cancer, it is merely an accumulation of thousands of lifestyle and environmental factors over a person’s life that contribute to the degradation of the body’s cells. Of course there are certainly things that increase your chances such as smoking cigarettes, but regardless of your lifestyle, malignant cells exist in everyone.

In the case of breast cancer, cell mutation begins in the epithelial cells lining the ducts where milk is produced and delivered to the nipple. It is a case of the natural process going out of control. Estrogen causes the epithelial cells to replicate—as nature intended. But when outside factors influence the production and elimination of estrogen, cell reproduction can get out of control going into hyperplasia, an excessive multiplication of the cells. At this point, the cancer is contained within the duct and is controllable and reversible. However, as the cells propagate rapidly, feeding on the estrogen and sugars in the body, they quickly go into the irreversible state of ductal carcinoma in situ. Reaching the most advanced state, the replicating mutant cells burst through the duct wall, releasing themselves into the surrounding tissue resulting in infiltrating ductal carcinoma.

Western medicine currently has about four main (and expensive) treatments to counter mutating cells spreading throughout the body. The first step in slowing reproduction of malignant cells, is to slow the hormone that commands them to replicate, estrogen. The most common drugs used for this include tamoxifen and raloxifene. Unfortunately the artificial reduction of estrogen brings with it a host of side effects such as hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, vomiting, and diarrhea all the way up to more sever reactions such as the weakening of the bones, blood clots in the blood vessels, and increased risk of uterine cancer. This slows the growth of the cancer, to kill the cells that already exist, we have a few options.

Chemotherapy is the most common cancer treatment. Chemicals are introduced to the system to kill the cancer cells. Unfortunately, instead of mimicking a “smart bomb” and killing only the malignant cells, the chemicals kill thousands of healthy cells in the process. These chemicals are so harmful to the body, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that increased chance of leukemia and ovarian cancer offset the benefits with greater risks. Chemotherapy also tends to reduce the number of blood platelets in the patient, called thrombocytopenia. Theoretically it’s similar to killing Saddam Hussein by nuking all of Iraq.

Speaking of, radiation treatment is also a very common therapy where the tumor is bombarded with high energy X-rays or radioactive isotopes in order to disable the replicating mechanism in the cancer cells, the chromosomes. As most of us know from getting X-rays at the dentist, radiation is not good for the body. How can the body fight off degeneration when it’s own immune system is being weakened by the treatment?

The final, and most drastic treatment is a radical mastectomy where the breast, lymph nodes, and chest muscles are completely removed from the patient in a surgical operation. The severity of this treatment speaks for itself.

The best way to avoid being in a place where you need to consider these severe treatments of course is to avoid cancer all together. Western medicine however, is focused on curing illness rather than preventing it.

A great place to begin your prevention regimen, is a vegetarian diet. Fill your body with vibrant vegetables, that collect vitality straight from the sun. You’ll also remove the most unhealthy ingredients in your diet and instantly upgrade your chances of not becoming one of the 42% that gets cancer. “Its so simple,” Haas emphasizes.

When Brian’s mom finally decided she had enough of the western method of poison and radiation, she began listening to what Brian was saying. She began to follow not only his advice, but also her instincts. She immediately stopped taking the chemotherapy drugs and going to radiation therapy. She began to pay careful attention to what she put into her body, but more importantly, what not to put into her body.

To begin the healing process, the first thing she did was take the following four items out of her diet completely: sugar, alcohol, dairy, and factory (non-organically raised) meat. She replaced these with regular doses of juiced wheat grass, and her recovery began. It is as simple as that.
Let’s take a look at what meat contains that add to your risk of cancer.

What’s wrong with my burger?
If there is one reason to consider a vegetarian lifestyle, it is the chemical buildup found in non-organically raised meats. Produce grown non-organically in the United States is doused with pesticide, to keep the insects away. When you or I eat such a piece of corn, for example, one dose of that chemical enters our body. The same goes with farm animals. As a product of the food chain, the cow that your Big Mac came from consumed hundreds of meals coated in dangerous pesticides. Unfortunately, it does not pass through the animal’s digestive tract, but rather accumulates in the tissues of the animal over and over again. By the time the animal is slaughtered for sale to the market, it has accumulated every dose of foul pollutants it has ever ingested or absorbed. But that’s not the end of the cycle. When you consume that flesh, that lifetime of toxins are passed into your body, and the struggle of breaking them down, is passed to your immune system.

What’s to worry about, you may ask? There are four major groups of toxins found in factory meat that you should be aware of: pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, and saturated fat.

The advent of pesticide use in large-scale farming was introduced just after World War II to increase productivity and drive profits. Unfortunately, no long-term studies have been conducted to determine the ramifications of such use. And unfortunately we are still using such toxins today.

One such chemical present in our food chain today is dioxin. You may have heard of this chemical. It is the contaminant in Agent Orange, the defoliant used in the Vietnam War that was found to cause birth defects in children of exposed parents. As far back as 1974, a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testified before congress that dioxin is “...by far the most toxic chemical known to mankind.” But this has not stopped its use even today. On October 17, 2003, the Boston Globe reported that the EPA, under the Bush administration, refused to enforce a new limit to the use of dioxin-laced sludge as a fertilizer on farms, forests, parks, and golf courses. Dioxin has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, miscarriages, and in the worst cases, death.

This has been accumulating in your chicken wings and its only the beginning.
Antibiotics are used in factory farms, to keep the animals healthy despite their rancid conditions. The New England Journal of Medicine pointed out that farmers are using the same antibiotics that are used to treat human infections. This is a problem because bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics in the medical arena.

In a 1999 study on the impact of agricultural antibiotics, analysts linked a rise, from 1 percent to 10 percent, in antibiotic resistance in bacteria, to the 1995 approval of antibiotics used in poultry—antibiotics in the same class as Cipro. (Cipro, used to treat anthrax, would be a bad thing to be resistant to.) Researchers at UCS estimate that roughly 24 million pounds, or 70 percent of the antibiotics in the United States are fed to healthy livestock. “‘Although the 3 million pounds [prescribed to humans] are thought to be responsible for the greater contribution to antibiotic-resistant disease, the 24 million pounds cannot be ignored,’ for reasons of sheer volume, USC’s Margaret Mellon said.”

While this, according to my research, is not tied directly to cancer, it compromises our ability to fight off bacterial infections. Such an infection only compromises the body’s immune system when it needs it most—to combat malignant cells. And malignant cells are what you’ll get from the next popular additive to your Thanksgiving turkey.

In the United States it is legal to give cattle hormones such as estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, and others. Do you remember how we talked about how breast cancer cells are fueled by estrogen? Giving hormones directly to the animals is like adding fuel to the fire. One reason why the European Union hasn’t bought meat produced in the U.S. for over 14 years, is the twenty-fold increase in estrogen levels.
The British Medical Journal reported harmful effects of growth hormones in meat involve developmental, neurobiological, genetoxic, and carcinogenic repercussions, and that even small residues of such hormones increase the risk of cancer. How do you like your steak, medium or well done?

The final element contained in meat that increases your risks of cancer is saturated fat. There are no shortage of scientific studies that connect animal fat with cancers of the lung, colon, rectum, breast, endometrium, and prostate. One such study done in Britain over 12 years found vegetarians to have cancer rates 40 percent lower than non-vegetarians. The study tested 6,000 vegetarians against a group of meat-eaters similar in body weight, social class, and smoking patterns. Another study done over eleven years in Germany concluded that cancer rates were less than half among vegetarians. For those that avoided meat for over 20 years, their cancer rates were the lowest of all.

How do you treat your Temple?
Putting good food into your body does not end with physical benefits through healthy lifestyle. Spiritual health and physical health go hand in hand. “Like Sting said, ‘We’re just spirits in the material world,’” explains Haas. “This is the house of our spirit.” If you think of it in those terms, it makes sense. The body is the interface between your soul and the physical world. If that interface is clogged full of toxic residue, then you won’t be able to realize your full potential—neither mentally, physically, or spiritually.

“Jesus said your body is a temple. If you treat your body like a temple, it spreads into the rest of your life. Every aspect of your life becomes holy; everything you do is holy.”

As Haas explains this, he puts his dinner of chicken and french fries to the side after barely nibbling one of the legs and touching nothing else. Despite the free meal, provided as part of his contract to perform that night, he opts for the tub of organic stew from his car. The club manager walks by with a puzzled look and asks Brian what he’s eating. “Organic stew, beans; simple,” he replies.

“The mind, body and soul are connected,” Haas continues. “If you don’t allow your body to operate at its full potential, how do we even know what our minds are capable of? I’m all about living like a real human and realizing my full potential. I’m back here [on the earth] for some reason so I want to be the best human I can be. All of this is so simple.”

After hearing him behind the grand piano that night, I know why he’s here. But its even larger than spreading his consciousness expanding jazz. There is a larger purpose: All is One.

“The reason we’re here right now is to help in the healing process of the earth. So, we have to turn ourselves into superheroes, we have to turn ourselves into ultra-humans. We have to find our true potential. Jesus said ‘Don’t you understand that you’re all Gods?’ Simple; we’re all Gods, we’re all creators. We create the world around us. And if we’re toxic, if we’re poisoning ourselves, we’re going to create an awful world. Look around, we made this. The way I look at it, if you only feed yourself goodness and love, you only create goodness and love.”

A vegetarian diet is one way of ensuring only goodness gets into your body, by minimizing the toxic chemicals entering body. However, now beyond the industrial revolution, we live a poisonous lifestyle and no matter how much we try and avoid it, toxins still wind up in the body through the air we breathe and the water we drink. Because of this, it is a good idea to consider cleaning house once and a while to allow your body’s natural processes to combat enemy free radicals and malignant cells in the body. (Remember, cancer cells are present everyday, its just a matter of controlling them before they run rampant in the system.)

One of the best ways to allow your body to clean house, is by fasting. By abstaining from food for significant periods of time, your body has a chance to turn its immune attention towards breaking down toxins in the system that, if left unattended to, could manifest into any number of cancers. We’ll talk more about fasting in part II of this piece, in the spring issue of Meniscus Magazine.

You Choose
What causes cancer? It is an accumulation of thousands of lifestyle and environmental choices over your life. Western medicine treats when the real “cure” for cancer is not getting it in the first place. Eastern medicine looks at the body as a whole, and treats problems and imbalances. Western medicine has a pill for every pain. You have a headache, take an aspirin; you suffer from depression, take Prozac to reduce all of your emotions.

The American lifestyle has become one that is filled with health enemies. Just take a look at the ingredients on the back of Cheetos or another snack you enjoy frequently. What is disodium phosphate and why is it in my food? How many other items are in there that I don’t know what they are? What about the harmful chemicals that I do know about but still consume?

Think of it this way: what if every morning, instead of having a cup of coffee, I banged my head against a brick wall to wake up. I would quickly begin to experience splitting headaches, scratches on my head, and soreness in my neck. If I went to my western doctor for a solution, he would listen to my symptoms, and probably prescribe Aspirin or a stronger pain killer to deal with the pain. After the pain did not go away, I would get X-rays, maybe a MRI scan and perhaps some stitches to deal with the laceration caused by my forehead smacking against the brick each day. If I went to my eastern medicine doctor, he would tell me to stop hitting my head on the wall.

This may sound ridiculous, but when you consider what we, as Americans, put into our body, it may not be that far-fetched. Consider that each year 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are sprayed on American crops, and we feed 24 million pounds of antibiotics to farm animals to aid in meat production. Where do you think that goes? We are constantly bombarding our body with unnatural chemicals that can trigger DNA breakage, cell deterioration, and immune system suppression.

Luckily, you have a choice. You can begin reading the labels on your food and eliminating chemical-laden flesh from your diet. In part II of this article, in the spring issue, we’ll explore ways to give your Temple a spring cleaning to give your immune system a fresh start—before its too late. By doing a cleansing fast, we may boost our vital energy and bring ourselves closer to the full potential that we were born with. Why haven’t I heard about this? We’ll also explore that.

Until then, remember, the choice is yours.

-Jon Heinrich




Bragg, Paul ND, Ph.D, Patirica Bragg ND, Ph.D. The Miracle of Fasting. Santa Barbara, CA: Health Science.

Gorbach, Sherwood. "Antimicrobial Use in Animal Feed—Time to Stop". (Editorial). The New England Journal of Medicine, October 18, 2001. v345i16 p1202(2).

Haas, Brian. Interview. October 16, 2003.

Melina, Vesanto M.S., R.D. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Healthy Eating for Life: To Prevent and Treat Cancer. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002.

Nixon, Daniel W. M.D. The Cancer Recovery Eating Plan: The Right Foods to Help Fuel Your Recovery. Times Books, Random House, 1994.

Pianin, Erik. "EPA Won't Regulate Use of Dioxin-Laced Sludge as Fertilizer". The Boston Globe, October 18, 2003.

Quillen, Patirck Ph.D., RD. CNS. Beating Cancer with Nutrition. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Nutrition Times Press, Inc., 1994.

Robbins, John. Diet for a New America. Walpole, NH: Stillpoint, 1987.

Tagilaferri, Mary, Issac Cohen and Devu Tripathy. Breast Cancer Beyond Convention.

Vogin, Gary MD. WebMD, December, 2001. http://my.webmd.com/content/article/9/1811_50449.htm?lastselectedguid=%7B5FE84E90-BC77-4056-A91C-9531713CA348%7D

Watson, Rory. "EU Says Growth Hormones Pose Health Risk". British Medical Association, British Medical Journal, May 29, 1999. v318i7196 p1442.


Meniscus Magazine © 2003. All material is property of respective artists.