Acknowledgment: Permission to use this video without having to hide her identity is granted by the patient.
This is a bitter-sweet story of Le, a 37-year-old female from Indonesia. She came to us on 14 October 2011 after having been diagnosed with breast cancer that had probably spread to her lungs. She had undergone 106 radiation treatments besides taking a variety of supplements.
1. I found a small lump in my breast in 2003. I ignored it. In 2009, the lump grew bigger and I felt it while lying down. I went to see a doctor who told me to do a biopsy. I declined. I did not want to do chemo or radiation.
2. Why did you go and see the doctor then? Le: Just to know if the lump was cancerous or not!
3. The doctor confirmed it was a cancer. I declined medical treatment and opted for supplements and alternative therapies instead.
4. I took “something.” I did not what the concoction was. This cost me six million rupiah per month. The tumour grew bigger.
5. After taking the concoction, the tumour grew bigger – didn’t you realize that you were not on the correct path? Le: No, I never thought of that!
6. I didn’t know where else to go. I bought all kinds of products to take. One supplement that I took for a year cost me 700,000 rupiahs per day – each gulp of this supplement cost 700,000 rupiah.
7. The tumour grew bigger and eventually burst.
8. I had no choice. I agreed to go for radiotherapy.
9. After the radiation the tumour shrunk. But four months later another tumour recurred at the collarbone. It was a small lump and then grew bigger until I had a very big lump around my neck.
10. Why did you wait for it to grow so big before going for another round of radiation? Le: I was hoping by taking the supplements the lump would shrink.
11. Since the lump grew bigger and bigger when you were taking the supplements, why did you continue taking them – even when they didn’t seem to help? Le: I just continued taking them. I waited and waited until the lump grew bigger and bigger.
12. Then I went for more radiation (in total I had 106 radiation treatments). Later they radiated my ovaries for six times.
13. Before the completion of all my radiation treatments, another lump recurred in my abdomen.
14. While undergoing the radiotherapy, I was asked to take Tamoxifen. Ten days on Tamoxifen my wrists swelled and I could not bend my fingers. After a month on Tamoxifen I could not walk.
15. I had to use the wheelchair and my husband had to carry me.
16. My good friend from Makassar called. She told me my body could not take the radiation anymore. I should stop the treatment. But where do I go? I have tried all the alternatives and failed. My friend to me, “Go to Chris Teo. You can check him out on the internet.”
17. Let me ask you this question – if you were to start all over again from 2009 when you felt the lump in your breast – what would you have done? Le: I would come to see you. I would not want to go for medical treatments.
18. When you had that small lump, you went to see the doctor but why did you not want him to do something for you? Le: I went to see a “sinseh”. He told me I had this disease because of my sins. What kind of “sinseh” was that?
19. What I wanted to know is, do you know that if you have a cancerous lump in your breast, the best option is to have it removed by the doctor? Le: If I were to have met you then, it is most likely that I would follow your advice and have the lump removed. Because after that I can take the herbs, okay – that I would agree. But I don’t want to go for chemotherapy or radiotherapy after the surgery. Unfortunately, I did not know about you then.
It is with sadness to learn that Le had to be hospitalized after her return to Surabaya because the cancer had spread to her liver. She died on 6 January 2012
Read her full story: