Johnny, 46-years old, was diagnosed with Stage 2B, colon cancer. He underwent a surgery in a private hospital in January 2006. Unfortunately, things did not work out well. Nine days later, Johnny had severe hiccups and he had to undergo a corrective surgery. According to the surgeon, his intestines had to be rearranged. After the second surgery, Johnny was unable to move his bowels for several days and the surgeon suggested a third operation (three operations within a month?). Johnny declined further surgery. He said: I am going to discharge myself and go to the General Hospital. Fortunately, everything worked out well this time and Johnny did not need a third surgery. Subsequently he was discharged from the hospital on 14 February 2006. Johnny was asked to go for chemotherapy. But he declined further medical treatment. He came to CA Care in March 2006, and was started on herbs. It has been more than three years and Johnny remains well.
In October 2006 we talked with Johnny about his cancer experience. The following are excerpts of our conversation.
Q: Are you okay?
A: I am getting better and better. So far I have no complaints. I went to see an oncologist three months after I started taking the herbs. This was the last time I went to consult a doctor. Since then I have not gone to see any more doctors. The oncologist said there was nothing wrong with me but he still insists that I go for chemotherapy. I told him I have no money. Now, I am doing fine. I work eight to ten hours each day – and seven days a week. But I am okay.
The Encounter With The Oncologist
A: My appointment was at 2 o’clock. My number was 2007. Altogether 16 patients were ahead of me. In my heart, I said to myself: I would be asked to go for chemotherapy too? My turn came. I went into the oncologist’s office. The oncologist read out my name and he asked the first question:What car are you driving? This question was followed by: What is your profession?
The oncologist then said: Your cancer is like a Mercedes, BMW, Japanese car or a local car. Your case is Stage 2. So you need to take a good medicine – like a Mercedes medicine to fight … There are many kinds of medicine. There is A – the good one; B which is not so good and C, which is an oral one. So which type do you want?
Q: He asked you to choose the drugs?
A: He asked me to confirm first that I was going to do chemotherapy. He would then tell me which type of medicine he was going to use. But, I asked him for the cost.
Q: In your discussion, did he ever say that whatever drug he is giving you is going to help you or not?
A: No, no. He just told me it was just for prevention. He said that once I got rid of my cancer, there might be some more cancer cells present in the lungs or somewhere else in the body.
Q: So, the whole idea was just for prevention?
A: Yes, and I had to go for chemotherapy.
Q: What made you decide not to have chemotherapy?
A: Because of my experiences in seeing how other people suffered – my friends A, B, C, D and my sister-in-law herself. My sister-in-law underwent chemotherapy and she died after one year and two months.
The Nurse Called And Warned Him About Herbs
A: After I came home from the cancer hospital, the oncology nurse called my home again and again. She talked to my wife. She wanted to know why I did not go for chemotherapy. She told my wife that my cancer was very dangerous and I had to do chemotherapy. My wife told her that I was taking herbs and would not do chemotherapy anymore. The nurse said this to my wife: If you take medicine from outside, it is going to be dangerous. It is not effective and this will make the cancer grow faster and spread more. My wife replied: No, my husband will not go for chemotherapy anymore. He has made up his mind on this.
Johnny, in our local slang, is a real fighting cock. That is his nature (before cancer). He does not take things lying down! He is aware of what is going on in his surroundings. He knew what had happened to his many friends who had cancer – what they did and where they ended up. When it was his turn to make a choice, Johnny chose the path that he was comfortable with. The nurse called to warn his wife that if Johnny did not go for chemotherapy, it was dangerous. Herbs are not effective and can make the cancer grow faster and spread more, the nurse warned. How does she know? Fortunately for cancer patients, this prediction of doom does not turn out to be true.
There are many reasons why Johnny decided not to undergo chemotherapy after his colon surgery.
- Johnny is an observant person with a lot of commonsense. Sitting down in the waiting room, Johnny counted the number of patients who came to see the oncologist. ALL of them ended up having to undergo chemotherapy – no exception. Could this be right?
- Johnny remembered the fate of his friends, including his boss who had cancer, many of them dying after undergoing chemotherapy! He was not quite ready to accept the fate that was being handed out by the oncologist – rightly or wrongly.
- The consultation with the oncologist turned out to be a confrontation and this had made him even more sceptical about what the oncologist had in store for him.
Note: As of this writing – December 2010 – Johnny is doing fine. It is almost 5 years now.