METROFOCUS: February 12, 2021

Encore: November 04, 2022

Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to share their deeply personal and uplifting story of how they beat his bladder and lung cancer- without chemotherapy or radiation. Also, Maria Shriver shares her fight against the illness that afflicted her father more than a decade ago.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METRME'METROFOCUS.'

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY --

GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

WHEN PRESIDENT REAGAN DESIGNATED DECEMBER AS ALZHEIMER'S MONTH, FEWER THAN 2 MILLION AMERICANS LIVED WITH THE DISEASE.

TODAY, THAT NUMBER SOARED TO MORE THAN 5 MILLION PEOPLE.

TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE WITH ALZHEIMER'S ARE WOMEN.

DESPITE EXTENSIVE MEDICAL RESEARCH, THE REASON BEHIND THAT HAS YET TO BE UNEARTHED.

AN ESTIMATED $277 BILLION COST EVERY YEAR, THE ECONOMIC TOLL OF THE DISEASE IS A MESS.

THE EMOTIONAL TOLL ON THE ONE IN EVERY TWO AMERICAN FAMILIES IMPACTED BY ALZHEIMER'S IS GREATER.

FOR JOURNALISTS AND AN AUTHOR MARIA SHRIVER, IT WAS PERSONAL.

HER EXPERIENCE LED HER TO FOUND THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT.

I AM VERY PLEASED TO WELCOME HER TO THE PROGRAM.

IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU.

NICE TO SEE YOU, JACK.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING SOME TIME TO SPOTLIGHT THIS ISSUE.

WHERE HE HAPPY TO.

LET ME GO BACK TO WHEN YOUR DAD WAS DIAGNOSED.

DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THAT MEANT FOR HIM AND YOU AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS?

NONE.

I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT ALL OF US WOULD PROCESS IT DIFFERENTLY.

IT WAS OBVIOUSLY DIFFERENT FOR MY MOTHER THAN IT WAS FOR THE FIVE OF US.

IT WAS DIFFERENT FOR THE GRANDCHILDREN.

IT WAS DIFFERENT FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD WORKED ALONGSIDE OF HIM FOR YEARS.

I THINK EVERY CASE OF ALZHEIMER'S, AS EVER DOCTOR SAID TO ME, IS ITS OWN UNIQUE CASE.

FAMILIES IMPACTED INDIVIDUALLY, COLLECTIVELY AND DIFFERENTLY.

I MENTIONED ABOUT YOU AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THIS FOUNDING THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT.

WHY?

BECAUSE NOBODY WAS FOCUSED ON WOMEN.

NOBODY WAS FOCUSED ON WHY WOMEN ARE GETTING IT MORE OFTEN THAN MEN.

I HAD GONE TO THE ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION WHEN I WAS FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA AND SAID ISHGSI THINK SHOULD FOCUS ON THIS.

ANOTHER RESEARCHER SAID, IT'S BECAUSE WOMEN LIVE LONGER.

THEN THEY PARTNERED WITH ME.

WE PRODUCED THE SHRIVER REPORT.

WE REPORTED THAT THIS WAS A WOMAN'S DISEASE.

WOMEN ARE TWO-THIRDS OF THE CASES.

THEY ARE TWO-THIRDS OF THE CAREGIVERS IN OUR COUNTRY.

AS ANYBODY WHO IS INVOLVED IN CAREGIVING AND CARETAKING OF SOMEONE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR OTHER DEMENTIA,OVE OVERWHELMING UNDERTAKING.

I HAVE BEEN PUSHING TO FUND RESEARCH.

WE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW WOMEN'S BODIES AND BRAINS OPERATE DIFFERENTLY, WHICH WILL HELP US CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR ALL MINDS.

THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT IS DEDICATED TO GETTING THE STORY OUT THERE, TO FUNDING RESEARCH, TO EDUCATING WOMEN AND GETTING THEM INVOLVED AND PUSHING THE NEEDLE.

IS IT ACCURATE FOR US TO BE DESCRIBING THIS AS A NATIONAL EMERGENCY, A NATIONAL CRISIS?

TOTALLY.

YEAH.

TALK TO ANY OF THE PEOPLE NOT ONLY WHO HAVE IT BUT THE MILLIONS WHO ARE IMPACTED AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO ARE CAREGIVING, STOPPING JOBS, RUNNING THROUGH SAVINGS, YOU PUT OUT THE FIGURE OF WHAT IT IS COSTING OUR COUNTRY AND THAT DOESN'T EVEN MENTION, AS I SAID, ALL THE UNPAID CAREGIVERS.

WE HAVE A CRISIS.

WE PUT OUT AN OP-ED CHALLENGING ELECTED OFFICIALS TO PUT TOGETHER SMART ALZHEIMER'S PLANS FOR THEIR STATE, IN THEIR CITIES.

BUSINESSES NEED TO TALK AND DEVELOP CAREGIVING PLANS.

SO MANY PEOPLE ARE WORKING AND TRYING TO PARENT AND ALSO TAKE LOVED ONES TO DOCTOR'S OFFICES.

WE SHOULD BE SPEAKING TO DOCTORS ABOUT DIAGNOSING ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA EARLY SO PEOPLE CAN GET IN CLINICAL TRIALS.

WE ARE TRYING TO REACH INDIVIDUALS TO TELL THEM TO BE AWARE OF THEIR OWN COGNITIVE HEALTH, TO EXERCISE, TO PRIORITIZE SLEEP, TO DECREASE SUGAR, TRYING TO GET INTO MINORITY COMMUNITIES BECAUSE THIS DISEASE IS VERY FOCUSSED IN THE LATINO AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES.

THERE'S A LOT OF EDUCATION THAT HAS TO GO ON, A LOT OF AWARENESS THAT HAS TO GO ON.

FOR THE FAMILIES THAT ARE KNEE DEEP IN THIS AND FOR THE GOVERNMENT, THIS IS ALREADY A CRISIS.

THIS IS A TSUNAMI, A CATEGORY FIVE.

WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ELEMENTS YOU MENTIONED IN A SECOND.

I'M CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS.

WE GO BACK TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND HIS DECLARATION THAT THE U.S. WANTED TO PUT A MAN ON THE MOON.

WITHIN A DECADE, WE DID THAT.

OFTEN, YOU HEAR PEOPLE SAY, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT RESEARCH FOR TREATMENT FOR DISEASES, PEOPLE LAMENTING THE FACT, IF WE COULD PUT A MAN ON THE NOON LESS THAN A DECADE, WHY CAN'T WE FIND A CAUSE FOR ALZHEIMER'S, A CURE?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ANSWER IS?

I THINK IT'S A DECLARATION BY A PRESIDENT.

I THINK THAT CHANGES THE TRAJECTORY OF WHATEVER THE PRESIDENT DECLARES IS AN EMERGENCY, IS A FOCUS, IS A MISSION.

IF WE HAD A PRESIDENT WHO STOOD UP AND SAID, I'M GOING TO INCREASE NIH FUNDING FOR ALZHEIMER'S, FOR CANCER AND I'M GOING TO BE A SCIENCE PRESIDENT, I'M GOING TO BE A MEDICINE PRESIDENT, I WILL MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO FOCUS ON PREVENTION, TO FOCUS ON WELLNESS, WE WOULD HAVE A DIFFERENT TRAJECTORY FOR THIS DISEASE.

WE NEED INCREASED FUNDING.

WE NEED SOMEONE TO DECLARE IT A MOON MOONSHOT.

I TESTIFIED ABOUT THIS SAYING, IF WE PUT A MAN ON THE MOON, WE CAN DEFINITELY PUT OUR MINDS TOGETHER AND SOLVE THIS CRISIS.

WE MAY NOT CURE IT, BUT WE MAY GET A PILL OR MULTIPLE APPROACHES.

WE CAN SLOW IT DOWN, PREVENT IT.

ANYBODY WHO HAS COGNITIVE I IMPA IMPAIRMENT, EVEN IF WE SLOW IT DOWN, IT SAVES MONEY AND HEARTACHE.

IT WILL SAVE THE COUNTRY MILLIONS IF NOT BILLIONS.

AS YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK AROUND, WE HAVE BECOME PARTISAN IN OUR POLITICS.

WE HEAR THE WORD TRIBAL IN OUR POLITICS.

IF YOU LOOK AT THIS ISSUE, THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE.

NO.

IT'S ONE OF THE FEW YOU CAN SAY, THERE IS NO PARTISAN ELEMENT TO THIS WHATSOEVER.

AND YET, WE DON'T SEEM TO GET THE INVESTMENT.

ESPECIALLY FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

WHY DO YOU THINK THERE IS THAT INABILITY -- I DON'T WANT TO CALL IT RELUCTANCE OR RESISTANCE.

WHY DO YOU THINK WE ARE NOT SEEING THAT ALL HANDS ON DECK INVESTMENT IN THIS?

I THINK WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREASED INVESTMENT.

THAT HAS COME THROUGH BIPARTISAN COOPERATION.

THAT HAS COME FROM PEOPLE TESTIFYING AND SO MANY ACTIVISTS AND ADVOCATES STORMING THE HILL AND ASKING FOR IT.

THAT HAS HAPPENED.

IT HASN'T HAPPENED AT THE LEVEL THAT THOSE OF US WHO ARE IN THIS SPACE WANT IT TO.

BUT IT'S INCREASING.

THAT'S A GOOD SIGN.

THAT TELLS ME IT'S JUST GOING TO GET MORE.

I THINK IF MORE PEOPLE STARTED TO RUN ON THIS, IF MORE PEOPLE STARTED TO FOCUS ON INCREASED NIH FUNDING, IF WE FOCUSED ON LOOKING AT WOMEN, THAT WOULD BE A PRIORITY.

I THINK WE AS A COUNTRY RALLY AROUND WHAT ELECTED OFFICIALS, WHAT PRESIDENTS SAY IS OUR PRIORITY, WHETHER IT WAS WAY BACK WHETHER IT WAS THE MOON, WHETHER IT WAS BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE, WHETHER IT'S CLIMATE.

SO WE HAVEN'T HAD A PRESIDENT WHO SAID, ALZHEIMER'S IS THE ISSUE, ALL HANDS ON DECK, LET'S SOLVE THIS CRISIS, LET'S GET AHOLD OF THIS.

I'M HOPEFUL THAT WE WILL FIND PEOPLE IN THIS MID TTERM ELECTI WHO WILL SAY, I'M GOING TO MAKE THIS A PRIORITY.

I'M HOPEFUL WE WILL HAVE MAYORS AND GOVERNORS WHO SAY, I WILL APPOINT A CZAR IN MY STATE.

I WILL MAKE SURE THAT I HOLD A SUMMIT IN MY STATE AND SET GOALS.

I WILL MAKE SURE I TAP INTO THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND MOST FAR-REACHING THINKERS IN MY STATE.

I WILL CHARGE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO GO TO COLLEGES TO BECOME CAREGIVERS.

I WILL MAKE THIS PART OF MY STATE OF THE STATE, MY STATE OF THE CITY AND THOSE RUNNING FOR NATIONAL OFFICE, THEY WILL SAY THIS IS A PRIORITY.

LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING.

SOME DEGREE OF PROGRESS.

COMPARED TO WHEN YOU FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN THIS, WHAT SORT OF PROGRESS DO YOU THINK WE HAVE MADE?

LET'S TALK MEDICALLY.

WHAT SORT OF PROGRESS HAVE WE MADE IN TERMS OF -- LET'S START WITH FINDING SOME SORT OF CURE FOR ALZHEIMER'S.

WE DON'T HAVE THAT.

WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING, OKAY, WE WILL LOOK NOW AT PEOPLE WHO ARE YOUNGER, WE WILL LOOK AT WOMEN.

WHEN I STARTED IN THIS, NOBODY DID THAT.

OR VERY FEW, I WOULD SAY.

WE WILL SAY, OKAY, WE NOW UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S 20 OR 30 YEARS IN THE BRAIN.

WE HAVE TO START LOOKING AT YOUNGER PEOPLE.

WE HAVE TO HAVE YOUNGER PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN CLINICAL TRIALS.

WE UNDERSTAND IT MIGHT NOT BE A ONE STOP APPROACH.

THERE'S SOME INNOVATIVE THINGS GOING ON IN THAT SPACE.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE AMERICAN LIFESTYLE MAY BE A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.

LET'S LOOK AT THAT.

LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT WE KNOW HELPS.

WE KNOW EFXERCISE HELPS.

SLEEP IS A TIME FOR THE BRAIN TO REGENERATE.

WE KNOW THAT HELPS.

WE KNOW THAT WE NEED TO MOVE.

WE KNOW THAT WE NEED A MEDITERRANEAN DIET IS HELPFUL.

WE KNOW MEDITATION IS HELPFUL.

WHEN I FIRST STARTED IN THIS SPACE, NOBODY WAS TALKING ABOUT ANY OF THAT.

THERE ARE THINGS.

THERE'S AN EXPLOSION, I THINK, OF PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THIS SPACE NOW.

PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN LONGEVITY.

THEY ARE INTERESTED IN MEDICINE CAN KEEP A BODY ALIVE FOR A LOT LONGER.

WHAT QUALITY OF LIFE IS THAT?

HOW DO WE KEEP THE MIND ACTIVE?

HOW DO WE CONTINUE TO LEARN?

WHAT DOES LONGEVITY REALLY LOOK LIKE?

I'M ENCOURAGED.

I'M HOPEFUL.

I'M NOT HOPELESS.

I KIND OF REACH OUT TO PEOPLE AND SAY, LOOK, THIS IS A PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

THIS IS A PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE.

IT'S A PUBLIC SPACE CHALLENGE.

IF WE ALL WORK TOGETHER, POLITICAL PARTIES WORK TOGETHER, BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS WORK TOGETHER, AND ALSO POLICY WORK WITH THAT, WE CAN HARNESS THIS DISEASE, WE CAN WIPE IT OUT.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT WE CAN DO THAT IN MY LIFETIME.

DO YOU THINK THERE ARE MISCONCEPTIONS OUT THERE SURROUNDING THIS DISEASE THAT IN SOME WAY IMPEDE OUR AWARENESS, OUR UNDERSTANDING AND IMPEDE HOW WE SHOULD BE DEALING WITH THIS DISEASE?

ABSOLUTELY.

THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S AND BIPARTISAN POLICY INSTITUTE LAST YEAR DID A POLL.

IT WAS REALLY AMAZING TO ME THAT WITH ALL THE INFORMATION THAT'S OUT THERE HOW ILL-INFORMED PEOPLE ARE.

PEOPLE THINK, IF IT DIDN'T RUN IN MY FAMILY, I CAN'T GET IT.

THAT'S WRONG.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHOULD BE AWARE THAT ALZHEIMER'S CAN IMPACT THEM.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON THINKS, IF I HAVE A GENE, I'M GOING TO GET IT.

THAT'S NOT TRUE EITHER.

EVERYBODY THINKS THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS A NATURAL PART OF AGING.

WRONG AGAIN.

PEOPLE THINK, I WILL WORRY ABOUT THAT WHEN I'M 80.

BIG MISTAKE.

YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT IT WHEN YOU ARE 30.

THAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

YOUR BRAIN BEGINS TO CHANGE VERY EARLY ON.

HOW YOU TREAT YOUR BRAIN WHEN YOU ARE 30, 40, 50 WILL HAVE IMPACT WHEN YOU ARE 60, 70 AND 80.

I WISH I HAD KNOWN THAT WHEN I WAS 30.

ALSO, WOMEN WHO ARE MENOPAUSAL, THEY NEED TO TALK TO THEIR DOCTORS.

ESTROGEN, HORMONE REPLACEMENT, THOSE ARE CONVERSATIONS THAT WOMEN SHE BE HAVING BECAUSE IT DIRECTLY IMPACTS THEIR BRAIN.

THOSE THINGS THAT I JUST MENTIONED TO YOU, JACK, NOBODY WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN MY DAD WAS FIRST DIAGNOSED.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE COMPLETELY ILL-INFORMED ABOUT THE COST OF CAREGIVING, WHO IS GOING TO DO THE CAREGIVING, WHERE DO THEY GO FOR CAREGIVING.

I WAS REALLY INTERESTED IN THAT POLL THAT SAID PEOPLE THOUGHT MY CHILDREN ARE GOING TO CARE FOR ME.

NO ONE TALKED TO THEIR CHILDREN.

NO ONE HAD SET ASIDE MONEY FOR THEIR CHILDREN TO CARE FOR THEM.

WE ARE ILL-EQUIPPED, WE NEED TO HAVE A NATIONAL CONVERSATION.

PEOPLE SAY THAT ALL THE TIME.

THESE ARE CONVERSATIONS I THINK THAT SHOULD START AT KITCHEN TABLES IN EVERY CONDO, APARTMENT, COMMUNITY CENTER AND HOME IN OUR COUNTRY.

YOU HAVE TOUCHED BASE ON A COUPLE OF THINGS.

I WANT TO ASK YOU SPECIFICALLY, I IMAGINE THAT FREQUENTLY PEOPLE COME UP TO YOU AFTER SOME OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT YOU ARE HAVING OR THE EVENTS AND THEY SAY TO YOU, WHAT SHOULD I DO, WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR MYSELF AND WHAT CAN I DO IN TERMS OF OUR CAMPAIGN TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS INSIDIOUS DISEASE.

WHAT DO YOU TELL THEM ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THEN HOW THEY CAN HELP IN THE BIGGER PICTURE?

GOOD QUESTION.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I TELL THEM TO MOVE.

YOU GOTTA EXERCISE.

EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR, RESEARCHER SAID IF YOU COULD GET ONE THING ACROSS TO PEOPLE, THAT THE SEDENTARY AMERICAN LIFESTYLE IS KILLING THEM.

PEOPLE SHOULD MOVE.

THEY SHOULD PRIORITIZE THEIR SLEEP.

THAT IS, AS I SAID, WHEN THE BRAIN REGENERATES ITSELF.

I TELL THEM, TRY MEDITATION.

I STARTED IT WAY LATE IN LIFE.

I WISH I HAD STARTED IT EARLIER.

IT'S A TIME FOR YOUR BRAIN TO CALM DOWN AND ONCE AGAIN CLEAR ITSELF.

FOOD.

I WISH I HAD KNOWN THIS A LOT EARLIER.

GET OFF OF PROCESSED FOOD.

ADOPT IFYOU CAN A MEDITERRANEAN DIET.

IF YOU HAVE A LOVED ONE IN A FACILITY, ARGUE TO HAVE THE FOOD IN THAT FACILITY CHANGED TO BENEFIT THE BRAIN.

I TELL THEM TO DONATE, IF THEY CAN, TO GENDER-BASED RESEARCH OR JUST TO RESEARCH ON ALZHEIMER'S.

WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT WOULD LOVE YOUR SUPPORT.

YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT, YOUR INTELLECTUAL SUPPORT.

I WOULD LIKE YOU TO GO OUT AND MAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL WHAT I'M SAYING TO PEOPLE YOU LOVE.

IF YOU HAVE A PARENT WHO IS IN THEIR 60s OR 70s, LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE EATING.

TALK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR COGNITIVE HEALTH.

ASK YOUR PRIMARY DOCTOR.

TALK TO ME ABOUT MY COGNITIVE HEALTH.

DO YOU HAVE A COGNITIVE BASELINE?

IF YOU HAVE 50, TAKE ONE.

THAT'S SCARY.

DID I DID IT.

IT'S SCARY.

DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO KEEP LEARNING, KEEP GROWING, KEEP BEING CURIOUS AND KEEP WORKING.

LAST QUESTION.

WHEN WE LOCKOK AT THOSE NUMBERS THEY SOUND SO BLEAK AND TERRIBLY FOREBODING.

IS THERE CAUSE DO YOU THINK FOR OPTIMISM?

YES.

AS I SAID, I'M REALLY OPTIMISTIC.

I THINK THE WORST THING IS TO GO, IT'S HOPELESS, LET ME GO EAT 20 SWEDISH FISH OR SOMETHING, WHICH IS WHAT I MIGHT HAVE DONE IN THE PAST.

I THINK THIS IS A CHALLENGE.

IT'S ALL OF OUR CHALLENGE.

I HAVEN'T MET A PERSON WHO DOESN'T WANT TO LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THEIR GRANDCHILDREN'S NAME.

I HAVEN'T MET A PERSON WHO DOESN'T WANT TO GROW OLDER WITH THEIR COGNITIVE SKILLS INTACT.

RIGHT?

THIS IS SOMETHING WE CAN ALL AGREE ON.

WE ALL WANT.

WE ALL DESIRE.

NOBODY WANTS TO BE A BURDEN TO THEIR CHILDREN.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT AFFECTS US ALL.

WE ALL HAVE A BRAIN.

WE SHOULD ALL WANT TO BE FOCUSED ON THIS.

I THINK PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF GROWING OLD IN THIS COUNTRY.

ALZHEIMER'S, THEY PERCEIVE IT AN OLD PERSON'S DISEASE.

WE NEED TO REMARKET IT.

I'M HOPEFUL ABOUT THAT.

THE WOMEN'S ALZHEIMER'S MOVEMENT IS VERY AGGRESSIVE IN THAT SPACE, CREATIVE, TALKING TO YOUNG PEOPLE, BRIDGING GENERATIONS.

WE HAVE TO ALSO HONOR THOSE OF US IN COMMUNITIES WHO ARE AGING.

HOW DO WE WANT TO TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE AGING IN OUR COUNTRY?

WHO ARE WE AS A COUNTRY?

DO WE VALUE PEOPLE WHO ARE OLDER?

WHAT IS OUR CONCEPT OF CARE?

I'M ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THAT CONVERSATION.

I SEE TREMENDOUS POSSIBILITIES IN THAT SPACE.

I SEE A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME CAREGIVERS, WHO WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS SPACE, WHO WANT TO RESHAPE IT.

THERE'S A LOT TO BE HOPEFUL ABOUT.

THERE'S ALSO A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

MARIA, I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS CONVERSATION, THE CONVERSATIONS YOU ARE HAVING OUT THERE, SO HELPFUL NOT JUST TO THOSE OF US WHO LIVED THROUGH THE TRAGEDY OF THIS DISEASE, BUT FOR EVERYBODY ELSE OUT THERE WHO NEEDS TO KNOW AND TO ACT AND AS YOU SAID TO MOVE.

IT'S ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO TALK WITH YOU, CATCH UP WITH YOU.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I WISH WE WERE SITTING IN THE SAME ROOM.

WE WILL DO THAT SOON.

OUR THANKS TO YOU FOR THE CONVERSATION FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING.

YOU BE WELL.

WE WILL TALK SOON.

THANK YOU, JACK.

> MARY LOU HENNER, KNOWN FOR HER ACTING CAREER, PARTICULAR FOR HER ROLE IN 'TAXI.'

MORE RECENTLY, WELL-KNOWN FOR HER BEST SELLING HEALTH AND FITNESS BOOKS.

SHE'S ONE OF THE FEW PEOPLE IN THE WORLD KNOWN TO HAVE HIGHLY SUPERIOR AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY, WHICH ALLOWS HER TO RECALL ALMOST EVERY DAY OF HER LIFE.

THOSE MEMORIES OF HOW SHE AND HER HUSBAND STOOD TOGETHER IN THE FACE OF CANCER AND TRIUMPHED WITHOUT CHEMOTHERAPY OR RADIATION IS THE SUBJECT OF THEIR NEWEST BOOK.

WE ARE DELIGHTED THAT MARY LOU HENNER AND MICHAEL BROWN ARE WITH US TO TALK ABOUT THIS.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

VERY HAPPY TO HAVE YOU FOR SO MANY REASONS.

LET'S SET THE STAGE TO UNDERSTAND THIS BOOK AND UNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP HERE.

I ASK YOU TO TELL THE STORY.

YOU HAD KNOWN EACH OTHER YEARS BEFORE.

RIGHT.

WE KNEW EACH OTHER IN COLLEGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, COLLEGE FRESHMEN.

RAN INTO EACH OTHER AFTER I LEFT SCHOOL TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL ACTRESS.

I WAS GETTING MARRIED TO MY FIRST HUSBAND.

WE RAN INTO EACH OTHER IN THE HALLWAY IN NEW ORLEANS, FAR FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.

AFTER MY SECOND DIVORCE WAS FINAL, SIX MONTHS LATER, 2003, MICHAEL CALLED ME.

WE HADN'T SEEN EACH OTHER IN 22 YEARS.

IT WAS SHOCKING TO ME.

HE CALLED.

I WAS EXCITED BECAUSE I HAD A SPECIAL FEELING ABOUT HIM.

WITHIN A WEEK, WE WERE SAYING I LOVE YOU, WE WILL SPEND THE REST OF OUR LIVES TOGETHER.

TWO MONTHS INTO OUR RELATIONSHIP --

LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT.

YOU HAVE WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A MARVELLOUS STORYBOOK GETTING BACK TOGETHER HERE, THE THUNDERBOLT STRIKES YOU BOTH.

ANOTHER THUNDERBOLT HITS YOU, MICHAEL.

EXACTLY.

TWO MONTHS INTO OUR RELATIONSHIP, I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH ADVANCED STAGE BLADDER CANCER.

IT WAS VERY SHOCKING.

I HAD BEEN SYMPTOMATIC FOR TWO YE Y YEARS.

I WENT TO MY UROLOGIST.

HE KEPT MISDIAGNOSING ME.

HE RETIRED, WHICH MEANT I GOT A NEW SPECIALIST.

HE WENT IN AND IMMEDIATELY FOUND THE CANCER.

THERE I WAS WITH ADVANCED STAGE BLADDER CANCER AND A NEW RELATIONSHIP.

FORTUNATELY, YOU HAD THE SECOND PART.

I WILL ASK YOU TO EXPLAIN FOR US THE TITLE HERE, 'CHANGING NORMAL.'

I WANT ABOUT SPECIFICS.

TITLES ARE FASCINATING AND COMPELLING WHEN YOU TRY TO GET A SENSE WHAT HAVE THEY MEAN.

WHAT DOES 'CHANGING NORMAL' MEAN?

IF YOU THINK OF YOUR BODY AS A FIELD OF SOIL, IT'S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO CUT OUT THE WEED AND CONTINUE DOING WHATEVER YOU WERE DOING FOR THAT FIELD OF SOIL SO YOU GET MORE WEEDS.

THE IDEA OF DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY, LOVINGLY TENDING TO IT, PUTTING IN DIFFERENT FERTILIZER, SOME KIND OF CHANGE OF THE NORMAL OF WHAT IT IS YOU ARE DOING IF YOU WANT A NEW RESULT.

WHAT HAPPENED WAS, THERE WAS SOMETHING IN MICHAEL'S FAMILY DIAGNOSED AROUND THE SAME TIME.

HER DOCTOR SAID, WE WILL GIVE YOU CHEMO, SURGERY.

YOU CAN GET BACK TO NORMAL IN NO TIME.

I SAID TO MICHAEL, NO.

YOU CAN'T GO BACK TO NORMAL.

SHE HAS TO MAKE CHANGES.

YOU HAVE TO CHANGE NORMAL, OTHERWISE YOU WILL END UP WHERE YOU WERE.

THAT'S HOW THE TITLE OF THE BOOK CAME ABOUT.

WHEN YOU LOOKED THE TWO OF YOU TOGETHER AND LOOKED AT YOUR LIFE AND NOW YOU ARE LOOKING AT SOME DIFFICULTIES THAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING HERE, WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AT YOUR LIFE -- MICHAEL, I WILL ASK YOU FIRST, THEN MARY LOU.

WHAT DID YOU FIND ABOUT HOW YOU HAD BEEN LIVING YOUR LIFE THAT YOU CAME TO REALIZE NEEDED TO GET CHANGED?

WELL, THAT'S A BIG PART OF THE BOOK IS HOW I GOT CANCER.

I FOUND OUT VERY EARLY IN MY HEALTH JOURNEY AFTER I GOT DIAGNOSED THAT I NEEDED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I HAD DONE, WHAT I WAS DOING TO CAUSE THIS CANCER OR AT LEAST GIVE IT THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW LIKE IT DID.

I FOUND IN MY PAST TOXIC EXPOSURES, HEAVY METAL EXPOSURE, STRESS.

THIS HAD BEEN GOING ON MY WHOLE LIFE FROM CHILDHOOD.

FROM THAT EXAMINATION OF MY PAST, I REALIZED I NEEDED TO CHANGE MY FUTURE.

I NEEDED TO CHANGE MY NORMAL TO HAVE A FUTURE.

CERTAINLY.

MARY LOU, YOU HAVE SEEN YOU REFERRED TO AS A DOCTOR CONCIERGE.

YOU GET INVOLVED.

WITH ALL OF THE FOCUS YOU HAVE HAD RECENTLY ON HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, YOU NOW HAVE THIS LITERALLY IN YOUR HOME.

WHAT DID YOU BOTH DECIDE TO DO?

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO FIGHT THIS, THAT CHANGED YOUR NORMAL?

WHAT HAPPENED WAS, I KNEW I WANTED TO TAKE MICHAEL TO MY DOCTORS.

I SAID, LET'S GO SEE SOME OF THE MORE CONVENTIONAL TYPES OF DOCTORS.

WE WENT TO SEE THE NUMBER ONE BLADDER CANCER SPECIALIST WHO HAPPENED TO BE IN LOS ANGELES.

WE WON'T TO SEE HIM.

WE WALKED IN AND IT'S THE INTRODUCTION OF THE BOOK.

HE SAID, THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY.

HE SAID, I HAVE A CANCELLATION WEDNESDAY.

HE TAKES OUT A DIAGRAM.

I WILL TAKE OUT THE BLADDER, THE PROSTATE.

I WILL PULL DOWN YOUR INTESTINE.

HE LOOKS IT UP.

WE HAVE THESE HORRIFIED LOOKS.

DON'T WORRY IF YOU WANT SEX.

WE WILL RUN A HOSE UP HIS PENIS.

CAN WE HAVE THE SEVEN PUMP?

WE ARE A SEXY COUPLE?

WHAT ABOUT HEALTH, NUTRITION?

HAVE ALL THE STEAK AND HIGHBALLS YOU WANT.

BYE.

WE WILL LET YOU KNOW.

WE WALKED IN SILENCE DOWN TO THE PARKING LOT.

MICHAEL SAID, I'M NOT LOSING MY ORGANS.

I SAID, I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO.

LET'S GO TO MY DOCTORS.

MY DOCTORS ARE INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE DOCTORS.

LOOK AT THE BODY HOLISTICALLY.

DON'T ISOLATE IT.

YOU MENTIONED SOMETHING.

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MESSAGE, SO PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, YOU ARE NOT SAYING NEVER GO TO A TRADITIONAL DOCTOR.

NO.

TELL US WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

I'M SAYING, COMPLEMENT THE TYPICAL THERAPY.

DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR TYPICAL SURGERY OR CHEMO OR WHATEVER.

HE CHOSE NOT TO HAVE CHEMO AND RADIATION.

IT DIDN'T END UP NEEDING IT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH SURGERY AND EVERYTHING ELSE.

HE WENT INTO REMISSION.

HE HAS BEEN IN REMISSION 12 1/2 YEARS NOT JUST ON BLADDER CANCER BUT LUNG CANCER WAS DIAGNOSED.

YOU GOT A DOUBLEHEADER.

I KNEW THAT I GOT INTO HEALTH BECAUSE MY PARENTS DIED YOUNG.

I FELT LIKE NO MATTER WHAT HE DECIDES TO DO, TRYING SOMETHING OF THESE OTHER THINGS CAN ONLY FORTIFY HIS IMMUNE SYSTEM AND MAKE HIM FEEL LIKE HE IS IN A LITTLE CONTROL, AS HE ALWAYS SAID.

YOU CHANGED YOUR NORMAL?

ABSOLUTELY.

I BEGAN CHANGING IT BEFORE THE DIAGNOSIS I GOT WITH MARY LOU AND SHE'S FORCEFUL ABOUT HER LIFESTYLE AND THE MAKEOVER SHE WAS TRYING TO WORK ON ME BEFORE THE DIAGNOSIS.

HAIR CUT, CLOTHES.

OVER THE YEARS, THE YEAR WE FOUGHT THE CANCER OR SIX MONTHS, I CHANGED MY NORMAL IN PROFOUND WAYS IN TERMS OF DIET AND MY HABITS, THE WAY I DEALT WITH STRESS, HAVING A LOVE OF MY LIFE IN MY LIFE AND HAVING SOMEONE TO LOVE AND SOMEONE TO LOVEP PROFOUNDLY CHANGED ME.

CANCER IS A CHRONIC DISEASE.

ONCE YOU GET IT, YOU NEED TO BE ON ALERT.

IF YOU CHANGE YOUR NORMAL, IF YOU HAVE DONE THINGS TO HELP THE CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE DO ITS MAGIC AND ACTUALLY GET INTO REMISSION, YOU NEED TO STAY VIGILANT OR IT WILL COME BACK.

NOT A ONE DISEASE APPROACH?

IT IS YOUR WHOLE LIFE?

HAVING TWO SEPARATE CANCERS.

I HAD TWO SPOTS TO WORRY ABOUT.

WE ARE GLAD YOU ARE DOING WELL.

THE BOOK IS 'CHANGING NORMAL.'

WE ARE GLAD YOU ARE WELL.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

GOOD LUCK WITH THE BOOK.

THANK YOU.

APPRECIATE IT.

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