From Diagnosis to Recovery: Harnessing Vitamin C in My Cancer Journey

Thirty-seven years ago when I was diagnosed with deadly Stage 4 melanoma cancer, there was no internet, no Google. Health food stores were few and far between in my rural Texas community, and there weren’t all that many health books to be found like there are today. In fact, if it hadn’t been for divine intervention, I’m not sure I would have stumbled onto the most powerful keys to healing my cancer naturally and keeping me around for the long haul.

But I learned that if you’re willing to take control, fight and do whatever it takes, everything you need to get the job done – the keys to your healing — will come to you. Vitamin C is one of the most surprising solutions that came to me in a very unexpected way.

My Vitamin C Story

One particularly uncomfortable night as I lay in a hospital bed, dutifully doing my best to comply with the medical treatment I had been prescribed for my Stage 4 melanoma condition, I remember being in such pain. I was desperate for solutions to those agonizing experimental cancer treatments. I had already undergone surgery, and the recovery from that treatment was bad enough. It was becoming increasingly obvious that the 80 (yes, 80!) recommended experimental treatments – a combination of hyperthermia and chemotherapy — simply weren’t working. My doctors knew it, and I knew it, too. My time was running out.

I’ll never forget how my urgent prayer was answered faster than I ever could have imagined. As I explain in Chapter 3 of my book, I Used to Have Cancer, three knocks at my hospital door changed my life. These three messengers helped direct me to a new path, a pathway that led me to a complete turnaround where my health was concerned.

A gift of a book by Dr. Linus Pauling on the subject of Vitamin C was hand delivered to me in perfect timing by the second messenger who arrived at my hospital door. In this book, I learned about scientific studies of people like me with terminal cancer and how they had taken up to 10,000 mg of Vitamin C and experienced what could only be considered a miraculous turnaround. This was something I had never heard of! As I devoured the book, a spark of hope ignited. Was there a way out of this misery? My doctors were not all that encouraging at this point. But I thought to myself, “What did I have to lose?”

I made the choice to take a chance on something that had worked for others. I figured that if Vitamin C worked for those terminal cancer patients I had read about, surely it could help me, too. I was still pretty “green” as we Texans say and I wasn’t sure exactly what form of Vitamin C I needed. So, I covered all my bases. I bought a variety of types of Vitamin C and took high doses, up to 20,000 mg a day. At that same time, I was just getting a good start on the macrobiotic diet, which was the cornerstone of my cancer healing, but adding Vitamin C gave me a lot more energy and for the first time in many years I didn’t get sick with colds or flus. Even my seasonal allergies went away. I knew there was something to it, so I stuck with it.

When I went full force into the macrobiotic lifestyle, I stopped taking the Vitamin C for about a year, but I missed the way I felt on it and added it back in. I felt like just doing a diet wasn’t enough to heal cancer and I needed to do more. I noticed people around that weren’t getting well though I was… and I realized the difference was the Vitamin C.

Vitamin C Stops Cancer In Its Tracks

Doctors Linus Pauling and Mattias Rath conducted a landmark 15-year study (1) on a number of different types of cancer and Vitamin C. They gave people a mix of Vitamin C, l-lysine, l-proline, and EGCG (green tea extract), and they put a certain amount of people on a placebo. After 15 years, what did they discover? Cancer is a collagen disease. It kills people because it spreads to the different tissues through the collagen.

There is an enzyme in cancer cells that can eat through your body’s collagen. L-Lysine destroys the collagen-eating enzymes contained in cancer cells, according to Dr. Rath’s research. Vitamin C strengthens the collagen so the cancer can’t penetrate and spread. When the cancer can’t spread it can’t survive. His conclusion? Vitamin C stopped 100% of the cancers from spreading.

I often pondered how Vitamin C helped me. After I learned about this study and pondered all the evidence, it all made sense. The dangerous melanoma cancer that threatened my life so severely… has never come back! I’m convinced that Vitamin C helped save my life.

We All Need Vitamin C

Vitamin C is not produced by the human body and it’s hard to get enough of this nutrient through fruits and vegetables. The body doesn’t produce lysine either. To get enough of either of these compounds in amounts needed to help in the fight against cancer, it has to be supplemented. The Vitamin C used in their study is a combination of different types of highly absorbable forms.

Vitamin C is well known for its ability to help strengthen the body’s immunity, chelate heavy metals, assist in detoxification, and clean and repair arteries. It even helps fight the common cold. Many years ago, I had a severe mold exposure where I became out of breath, lost my exercise tolerance, and felt fatigued. I suspected my heart was the problem. I went to a well-known cardiologist in New York and had a calcium score test done. He said my arteries were as clear as a baby’s, even though I was 52 years old at the time (with a family history of sudden cardiac death at a young age, I was enormously relieved).

When I thought about it later, I wondered what I had done to keep my arteries so clean. It wasn’t long before studies were released showing Vitamin C prevents heart attacks and stroke by keeping arteries clean and elastic while promoting wound healing. Tests on my arteries, I’m happy to report, are still clean today.

How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?

I believe along with a healthy lifestyle and optimum nutrition, Vitamin C has been a key to my healing. I’m often asked what I recommend and this is what I would say: 5000 mg daily or to bowel tolerance, is a good start.

Vitamin C is usually supplemented orally in one of three forms: ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, or sodium ascorbate. It is one of the few nutrients that is extremely difficult to overdose on. That being said, you’ll want to be sure you drink lots of water if you take megadoses (2,000 mg or more per day).

If you are interested in more information about Vitamin C and cancer, I encourage you to visit Dr. Rath’s nonprofit foundation.

Also, you’ll find my story, including an entire chapter devoted to the importance of Vitamin C, in my book, I Used to Have Cancer: How I Found My Own Way Back to Health.

From Diagnosis to Recovery: Harnessing Vitamin C in My Cancer Journey


Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Oct;73(10):3685-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.73.10.3685. PMID: 1068480; PMCID: PMC431183.

Pauling L, Rath M. “Solution to the puzzle of human cardiovascular disease: Its primary cause is ascorbate deficiency, leading to the deposition of lipoprotein(a) and fibrinogen/fibrin in the vascular wall.” Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 1991, 6(3): 125-134.

Pauling L, Rath M. “A unified theory of human cardiovascular disease leading the way to the abolition of this disease as a cause for human mortality.” Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 1992, 7(1): 5-15.

Pauling L. “How to Live Longer and Feel Better.” W.H. Freeman and Company, 2006. (This book discusses the Pauling-Rath protocol and its applications.)

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