In 1997, when Paul Krause was 52 and started to feel the aches and pains of middle age, surgery to repair what his doctors thought was a routine umbilical hernia turned into a nightmare diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma.
His family doctor gave him the bad news and told him it was likely he wouldn’t live much past the end of the year. He and his wife should start thinking about those nasty end-of-life issues, he told him, like wills, burial plans, and telling the kids.
After all, there was little hope for people with mesothelioma, especially the peritoneal type, and Paul’s case was as bad as they come.
Fast forward to nearly two decades later and you’ll find a healthy and happy Paul Krause, still enjoying life was his lovely wife and proud to hold the title of the longest-living mesothelioma survivor.
Krause never thought he’d make it to his mid-50s let alone his 70s, and each day is a gift for the man who was exposed to asbestos on-the-job but had no idea that his work was going to make him horribly sick one day.
Krause, who explains his predicament and his solutions to conquer his mesothelioma in a book called “Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers”, spends a good deal of time trying to assist others with the disease.
He understands that everyone must make decisions for themselves but is eager to share his journey, which shunned the conventional road that included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, opting instead for what he refers to as “radical lifestyle changes that would affect every facet of his life.”
He adopted a very rigorous diet of anti-cancer foods – organic fruits and vegetables, whole foods, lots of grains. He “juiced” several times a day, concentrating on carrots because the Vitamin A in beta carotene is known to help fight cancer.
With the help of a doctor who practiced “integrative medicine”, he was also able to identify supplements that would assist him in his fight against this aggressive form of cancer.
This regimen hasn’t remained the same for 20 years, Krause notes, but has always been a work in progress and is modified as needed.
Krause also took to reading, not only selecting books about his disease and alternative cancer treatments but also choosing books that he describes as inspirational.
He also learned to meditate and found that it not only reduced stress but helped balance his life in other ways. Krause also kept a journal of prose and poetry that he would write as a way to express his emotions.
Now, 20 years later, his disease is still stabilized. It’s still there – you can still see it on x-rays – but it no longer grows or spreads and hasn’t for many, many years.
Today, Krause continues to do what he can to educate others about the disease and to help them understand the importance of making sound treatment decisions, which don’t always mesh with the suggestions of a very traditional oncologist or other specialist.
Mostly, Krause offers to share his journey via his book to whomever needs a hand, and suggests to current mesothelioma sufferers that hope abounds, though it just might take some extra work to find it.