By: J.V. Askem
update: 8-30-2002

First off, thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.

On Tuesday, August 27th, 2002 I had my second follow up exam and consultation with my neurologist, Dr. Lynne Taylor at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. Prior to meeting with Dr. Taylor I had a Cat Scan of my brain, and the results show no new tumor is growing.

Dr  Taylor's diagnoses was good but cautious, recommending another Cat Scan in about six months. This will be to see if microscopic melanoma cells are growing a new tumor.

My Treatment
As I said in a previous report of "My Condition" I don't have much confidence with Radiation and Chemo Therapies. Also, that I refused any post surgical radiation on my brain to kill any possible microscopic melanoma cells that may have been left behind after my surgery. My reasoning was that radiation is indiscriminatory and although it may kill existing cancer cells, it would also kill good healthy brain cells along with the cancer.

Not being totally ignorant about cancer, and having watched how my father suffered when he died from the disease 15 years ago, I've done a fair amount of reading on the subject since then. And my conclusion was, if this happened to me, I would explore alternative approaches to treatment. Namely I would look to better nutrition.

Being a physical culturist, I have always ate quite well, but I was far from perfect. However, I've always held the view that REFINED SUGAR IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN PUT INTO YOUR BODY. The fact is, fermented sugar has been proven to directly feed cancer cells. Thus since my surgery I have eliminated all refined sugar from my diet. The only sugar my body gets now is from fresh fruits and vegetables, which are processed naturally in my body.

I've also lowered my fat content considerably, and this for me is the toughest part of my new diet!  Because I've always liked a lot of the foods with unhealthy levels of saturated fats, this has been the biggest change in my eating habits. For example, I love sharp cheddar cheese, and I really miss it, but if I'm to thwart another melanoma occurrence, I felt I had to drop food like this. As point of interest, cheddar cheese on average contains about 35% saturated fat, and over the years I've kidded myself that it was healthy for me because it has good protein content.

True, some foods, like cheese, have good quality protein, but that's not always enough. A good rule to follow is keep your fat intake below 30% of all your total food, and NO MORE than 10% of that fat should be saturated fat. Thus it behooves a person to read the labels on packages of meats and cheese, etc.

Following my surgery, when I got home from the hospital, and the day after my August 27th consultation with Dr Taylor, I entered into a 2 day De Tox Fast, which consists of no food, just 4 glasses of potassium broth the first day, and 4 to 5 glasses of organic grape or cranberry juice the second day. This, as I previously stated, is outlined in my early report. Click on the index link below if you missed it.

I plan to do 3 to 4 De Tox Fasts per year from now on. The next one will probably be after the Christmas/ New Years Holidays.

Another big change I've made is in supplementation. The first thing I did was double my Vitamin E intake from 1000 units to 2000 units per day. I've also added 400 mcg of Selenium, which I read helps the Vit E simulate better in your body.

My Chelated Manganese is still 100 mg per day as it has been for the last 35 years. The Manganese is a preventive maintenance supplement for my joints, and was recommend to me back in 1967 by my old friend and training partner, the late Dr Ken Sommer. As Ken used to say at several weightlifting clinics, where he served as a guest speaker, "take vitamin E for the muscles and manganese for the joints". Ken swore by the manganese as a cure for his once sore knees from squatting.

Another supplement I've taken for many years is Vitamin B Complex. The B vitamins are for the nervous system. Thus I figure I've got things pretty well covered with the manganese, Vit E, and B complex.

In addition I've also added 75,000 units per day of Beta Carotene. That's three 25,000 capsules. The book "Healthy Healing", which I use for direct reference, recommends 100,000 units per day for melanoma, but because I'm juicing several fresh fruit and vegetable drinks per day, I felt the 75K was enough Beta Carotene.

I've also added one half of a Garlic capsule each day with my mid day meal.

A Medicine or a Supplement for Antiangiogenesis!!!
The term used is "angiogenesis" which means the development of new blood vessels. And in the natural treatment of tumors it's been found that one must inhibit the blood supply to the tumor. Thus I feel an angiogenesis inhibitor needs to be used to prevent another tumor from growing in my brain.

Through many studies Shark Cartilage Powder, when applied directly to cancerous growths, has shown reduction in said growths. Thus Shark Cartilage has been proven a viable supplement for antiangiogenesis. This has been backed up by the United States Patent Office, which gave biochemist Dr. I William Lane a user patent for proving such:

Quote from the U.S. Patent office: This invention relates generally to a method of, and a dosage unit for, inhibiting angiogenesis or vascularization in an animal having an intestinal wall utilizing an effective amount of shark cartilage, particularly finely divided shark cartilage, for passing through the intestinal wall as a suspension for inhibiting interalia, tumor growth and metastasis, in particular Kaposi sarcoma: arthritis. in particular rheumatoid arthritis; diabetic retinopathy and neuovascular glaucoma; psoriasis and inflammatory diseases with vascular components.

According to Dr. Lane's book "Sharks Don't Get Cancer", only about three food supplements have ever been given a user patent. To be granted such you must prove that your product does what you claim it's supposed to do, and Dr. Lane proved to the patent office's satisfaction that SHARK CARTILAGE SAFELY REDUCES TUMOR GROWTH.

WARNING:  Before procuring any shark products I recommend that Dr. Lane's book be read thoroughly. There are many charlatans out there. Some of which have even sold sugar capsules claiming it to be shark cartilage.

I am currently taking 18 grams of Shark Cartilage Power on Mon, Wed, and Fri; and 12 grams on Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun. This way a 16 oz can lasts just about one month. The other shark product that I'm am taking for my melanoma treatment is Shark Liver Oil. I'm taking two capsules each day with my morning meal.

The aforementioned products can be purchased from >

My Workout Schedule
As per recommendations of my neuro surgeon, Dr. Charles Nussbaum, I didn't commence any heavy exercise until 6 weeks after my surgery. Now my main exercise has been walking from 2 to 4 miles per day, bike riding 10 to 15 miles 3 to 5 times per week, plus at 2 to 3 days per week of weight training.

As of this writing it's been 16 weeks and 2 days since my surgery. My weight, due to my diet, is down to about 202 lbs. However, considering what has happened to me this year, I'm quite pleased with my strength and cardo level.

Here's examples of my lifting schedule, which I alternate with a body maintenance schedule:

Workout 1
Power Snatch
Front Squat
Steep Incline Press

Workout 2
1 Good Mornings alternated with
2 Leg Extensions alternated with (these three exercises are done together as one tri set X 3)
3 J.V. Squats
4 Alternating Dumbbell Curls alternated with
5 Steep Incline Press alternated with (these three exercises are done together as one tri set X 3)
6 Chins

Workout 3
Power Clean and Push Press
Cable/ Bar Press Lockouts

All workouts are preceded with ab, back care, and stretching exercises.

My most recent best lifts are:
Clean and Push Press- 198 lbs X 5 reps, 208X3 reps
Deadlift- 405 lbs X 3 reps, 315X12 reps

My goals for by the end of this year are:
Deadlift- with double bodyweight for 10 reps
Clean and Military Press- with bodyweight
Clean and Push Press- with 50 lbs over bodyweight.
Although these lifts aren't that impressive, I figure they will be good enough for me considering I turn 55 years old in Nov, and was partial paralyzed for about 2 months early this year.

Side Effects From Seizure!
About three weeks after my May 8th surgery to remove the brain tumor, most of my motor functions in my left leg returned. However, all is NOT so sweet! Since regaining normal movement, my left Gracilis (the hip adductor located on the inseam of the thigh) has been giving some severe sharp pain in the upper leg near the groin, when I try to walk laterally or when I slide into a seat or chair sideways. Thus I have to be very cautious with these movements. Also, kneeing or squatting on my toes aggravates the lower end of this muscle.

It was my left Gracilis that almost pulled off of its attachment to the bone during my brain seizure. In fact, it's a minor miracle that's it's still intact considering that it pulled so far out from my leg that I could actually close my hand almost completely around it. Only the thickness of my skin and pants prevented my thumb and forefingers from touching.

Flat footed squats don't bother this condition, but they haven't helped it either. It's been mainly my stretching exercises that seem to be improving it.

Another problem I've got is walking! I have a noticeable hitch or slight limp when I walk. I can consciously walk normally if I think about doing so, but if I just get up and start walking there's the limb. It seems to work itself out after I've walked about a mile. So I guess that is a good sign.
Thank you all again for your prayers and well wishes. I'll have future updates from time to time. So feel free to check back anytime.

Good luck to you all with your training.

Regards, JVA