In 2014, Bob Granata was diagnosed with stage 4 appendiceal cancer, which changed the trajectory of his life. After extensive surgery to remove most of the cancer, he was told he would only live for six more months. But Bob was determined not to let cancer be the end of his story. He chose to use integrative methods – combining the best of both conventional and alternative medicine – and believes that his positive mindset helped to change everything. He remained in remission for two years until 2016 when his cancer, unfortunately, came back. Nevertheless, he double-downed on his efforts and managed to achieve remission again in 2019. Since 2019, he has had no evidence of cancer. Here is a summary of Bob’s healing journey:
Diagnosed with Stage 4 Appendiceal Cancer in January 2014 and NED in 2022
Bob Granata is a no-nonsense Midwesterner who, in 2014, was enjoying a satisfying career as the founder and managing partner of several businesses, and family time spent with his loving wife of 17 years and their three wonderful daughters, then ages 14, 15, and 17. In January 2014, after experiencing sudden abdominal pain, Bob thought he was going to have a simple appendectomy (i.e., surgical removal of his appendix) and quickly get on with his life. “You have cancer” were the last words he expected to hear from his doctor.
During what was supposed to be a simple operation, his doctors discovered that Bob’s appendix was severely inflamed. As the surgery progressed, his doctors found cancer cells not only in his appendix, but also in his omentum (a sheet of fatty tissue that stretches over the inside of the abdomen), in 11 out of his 72 abdominal lymph nodes, on his peritoneal wall, and in his colon. As a result, his surgical team had to remove one-third of his ascending colon, his entire appendix, and one-third of his omentum.
A few hours after the surgery, Bob’s doctors delivered the shocking news that he had a very rare cancer of the appendix, also known as appendiceal cancer – and his was stage 4 with a survival prognosis of only six months. Bob immediately told his doctor he was not prepared to accept that prognosis. While his doctors urged him to quickly get his affairs in order, he instead moved every resource he could think of into high gear.
Bob found a strong reason to live in his wife and three daughters and he did not plan on going anywhere anytime soon: “Having teenage daughters at that time, all a year and a half apart, I wasn’t quite prepared to throw in the towel. I’m fortunate that I had the wherewithal to look at all different types of solutions and become my own advocate to understand what people have done both internationally, domestically, medically, naturopathically, and mentally to harness this disease.” He put all his efforts into healing his cancer, so he immediately began the aggressive conventional treatment that was recommended by his doctors. Following his surgery, Bob started a five-round chemotherapy protocol that was originally designed to treat colon cancer. Because appendiceal cancer is so rare, there was not a specific protocol for his doctors to follow, so they decided to treat it like colon cancer. For about 15 weeks, Bob did what is called the “CAPOX” protocol (which stands for two chemotherapies: oral Capecitabine (CAP) and intravenous Oxaliplatin (OX)), and then he continued a portion of that protocol by taking six Capecitabine pills a day for the next year and a half. During this time, Bob also started working with a naturopathic clinic in Ann Arbor, MI to explore more holistic approaches. Bob also did extensive research on the internet and at libraries and came to believe that his cancer, which was present on his peritoneal wall (i.e., not just in his colon), would be better treated with a peritoneal cancer protocol, rather than with a colon cancer protocol. Bob’s research convinced him that traditional, intravenous chemotherapies may not work as well on peritoneal cancers, because there is not enough blood flow to the peritoneum.
Bob started to lose faith in his oncology team and specifically their decision to treat his cancer like colon cancer rather than peritoneal cancer. Through his tireless research, Bob learned of a doctor in Maryland named Dr. Paul Sugarbaker who had established a new protocol in the 1980s called, appropriately, the “Sugarbaker Method.” Rather than treating peritoneal cancer systemically with intravenous chemotherapy, as doctors had been doing for years, Dr. Sugarbaker developed a new protocol that perfuses hot chemotherapy directly into the peritoneum. This method is now known as HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy2). As soon as he read about it, Bob felt a strong, intuitive knowing that this HIPEC procedure was the right next step in his healing journey, so he took matters into his own hands and scheduled the procedure on his own.
In the summer of 2015, Bob also flew from Michigan to California to attend one of the first Radical Remission workshops ever offered. At the 2-day workshop, he learned about the Radical Remission key healing factors and decided to embrace them as enthusiastically as he had the conventional and naturopathic medicine protocols. The Radical Remission workshop also reinforced his gut instinct about needing to play an active role in his healing process. Like many Radical Remission survivors, Bob discovered he needed to build an extensive healing team beyond his medical oncologists. The naturopathic teams that Bob found first in Michigan and later in California were an important part of his healing process, especially when it came to determining the right supplements for his body. In addition to taking numerous herbs and supplements, Bob also drastically changed his diet during this time.
Bob’s healing journey took many more twists and turns, including another HIPEC surgery, but it has now been more than 7 years since Bob was given a 6-month prognosis, and he is grateful to be alive and to be seeing his three daughters through college. Like so many other Radical Remission survivors before him, Bob took his ‘take charge’ attitude toward his life and business and applied it to his healing—with odds-defying results. Most recently, Bob has been helping the Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Cancer Institute located in Pittsburgh, PA (now chaired by renowned surgical oncologist Dr. David Bartlett who performed Bob’s first and second HIPEC surgeries). Bob, along with a few other “Bartlett” cancer survivors, has been given the challenge of establishing AHN’s Patient Ambassador Advocacy program. Their goal is to facilitate pre- and post-surgical interface between current patients and their group of peritoneal cancer survivors in order to help light the path for the patients’ healing. Bob’s guiding life principle was and will always be, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” – coined, of course, by legendary basketball coach Jimmy Valvano.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob Granata is thriving as of February 2022. You can read Bob’s full healing story in Dr. Kelly A. Turner’s newest book, Radical Hope. You may also keep up with the latest from Bob on his profile page.
Did you know that The Radical Remission Project puts out a monthly newsletter with even more stories of healing as well as upcoming events and the latest news?! Sign up HERE!
Finally, feel free to leave a comment below!