Our Story - Messages from the TherapEase Cuisine Founders

Vivian Roe—Original Founder of TherapEase Cuisine®

     It all began with an itch. After taking a shower on February 28, 2006, I had an itch in my breast and felt something that hadn’t been there before.

     Two days later, a mammogram, ultrasound, and a biopsy changed my life forever as I joined the ranks of cancer patients.

     The day after the diagnosis, I learned I was pregnant. My husband and I were determined to safeguard the pregnancy and fight the cancer at the same time. I decided to change my diet in any way needed in hopes I would have a healthy baby and to minimize treatment side effects.

     Chemotherapy couldn't start until my second trimester, so I had 6 weeks to figure out "What should I be eating?"

     I found information in cookbooks and on the Internet; in organic stores and magazines, but it was hard to separate proven science from fad-junk-science. With determination, I crafted a proactive meal-plan strategy to combat potential side effects before they started and to ease symptoms before they worsened. It meant a huge departure from my normal patterns, but amazingly—even though I was pregnant AND undergoing chemotherapy—I felt better than I had in years.

     I found success because (1) I was eating healthier foods than ever before, and (2) I had taken control over my fight with cancer. Every day as I planned my meals, I thought of myself as a CANCER FIGHTER, not a cancer victim.

     After our healthy baby girl was born and my hair was growing back, I thought about some of the foods I had eaten so often during treatment that, had I not been in a battle with cancer, I likely would not have eaten.  I never received professional nutritional guidance or advice, and I remembered how much work it had been to find information on my own.

     With that realization, TherapEase Cuisine was born.

     I sincerely hope that every cancer patient who wants to supplement his or her conventional treatment through improved nutrition finds our program to be easy, convenient, and affordable. 

     No one chooses to get cancer, but we do choose what we eat. I hope that your participation in the TherapEase Cuisine program will help your body and mind during this uniquely stressful time of life. More than anything, I want you to have the nutritional support you need so that you can say as I did: "I'm a CANCER FIGHTER! Not a cancer victim."

-Vivian

James W. Hermann—Co-founder of TherapEase Cuisine

     My cancer story started on Valentine's Day in 2001. After 5 days of severe fever, my doctor checked me into the hospital. The next day, I was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I had never been sick like that before in my life. I was shocked! I’d never missed a day of work due to illness, and suddenly I had cancer. On top of that, my wife was 7 months pregnant with our first child.

     My treatment was intense and required me to be an inpatient for 5 days at a time. I ended up receiving a stem cell transplant, using my brother's cells, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The most difficult parts of my treatment were the 12 spinal taps, the full body radiation, and the "killer" chemo right before the transplant. Treatment was a very challenging time for me and my family, but I am so fortunate to be able to use the word cured when I describe my relationship with cancer today.

     Unfortunately, I was not introduced to a dietitian until after I had already lost 50 pounds, and my lack of nutrition had adversely started to affect my treatment. Had TherapEase Cuisine existed when I was going through treatment, I may have gotten through it quicker and with fewer side effects. I would have been stronger and had a more balanced diet.

     As a co-founder of TherapEase Cuisine, it is truly an honor for me to serve those diagnosed. I have walked a very similar path and understand diagnosis and treatment firsthand.

     My family and I wish you the very best during treatment and beyond.

Jim