Colon Cancer Part 2: Her Treatment in India

India is cheaper with medical treatments and they have similar equipments to advanced countries.

CT scan revealed the tumor was almost obstructing the rectum, the surgeon suggested an emergency surgery to divert the stools so as to prevent blockage. I have had thirty radiation treatments and three cycles of chemotherapy.

You had radiotherapy at the same time took xeloda? Did they tell you radiotherapy is going to cure or shrink your tumour? Why did you agree to do the radiotherapy? Did you suffer any side effects when on radiation?

They told me radiation would shrink the tumor so they could do the surgery because I did not want a permanent colostomy.  Now that I think back, if the tumor was truly about to block the rectum, then I would not be having normal size bowel movements. But my bowel movements were normal in size, I guess they deceived me there again.

I had side effects; my bladder was on fire (burning)! Every time I urinated I cried because it burned as I urinated, I reduced my liquid intake because I did not want to urinate. I was urinating about every 30 minutes.  When I told the radiologist about the pain, he said it was impossible; it was too early to have any symptoms. I started having symptoms after the first week. I lost all my genital hair.  My whole genital area was irritated and which itched and itched and itched! Nothing relieved this itch.  One of the doctors said “you’re young, you should be able tolerate the pain”.  They then gave me Urispass after I complained for 3 weeks, to help with the burn when urinating.

A week after I started radiation was when I started to sweat excessively.  I have bouts of internal heat even when I am in an air-conditioned room. My whole head/face/back and chest would look like I poured water on it.

Also, with the chemo, I had nerve tingles in my hands and feet. I also had prickly sensation all over my body occasionally. I don’t get the tingles anymore, but the prickly sensation still appears once in while.

I was not informed about any side effect of radiation. The only thing they did was to ask if I am married. I said no, and they proceeded. I asked, begged for the doctors to talk to me, all I got was, we are trying to help you, calm down be grateful and take the pain.  But eventually I got tired of them saying they were trying to help me, I quit for three weeks after I had a fight with the clinic.  The doctor actually said “you are going to die if you stop the treatment, the disease is advanced” and I yelled, it’s been advanced for almost two years I AM STILL ALIVE!!!  They then told me, if I do not continue the treatment the only surgery they could do was take out the whole rectum and take out the vagina and if they should try to do that, it would result in death. I cried, my mum cried, nobody cared that I was just another random paying patient!

I asked to know the amount of radiation I was getting, they said they couldn’t tell me, I asked to view my file, they said I couldn’t.  I know every patient has a right to view their file upon request because they paid for it!

I have refused surgery because the surgeon plans to take out the whole rectum and vagina.   I refused Chemo IV after the first, gave me bad burns on both my arms and close up my throat.

When did you complete all these treatment?   

Radiation was completed in October. I stopped taking Xeloda December last year (2011).

What are your plans after treatment?

My plan is to start a fulfilling job in the health industry and enjoy the life I have prevented myself from enjoying for all these years.   Everyone that can afford it wants to eat what Americans are eating.  They need someone to teach them to stick to their own food.

Give us an idea of what it cost to be treated in an Indian hospital.

  1. Visit to oncologist,what is the consulation?  Less than US$20 per visit
  2. Total cost of opeation for colostomy?  About US$6,000
  3. Total cost of 30 radiation?  US$8,000 including tests.
  4. One cycle of Xeloda? Around US$5 per pill. Around $270 for a cycle.
  5. Are the facilities good — clean? The facilities are okay since it’s an international hospital.  About 50percent overall cleanliness, but the toilets were 20 percent clean. I bought my own bleach and cleaning supplies because I am very fussy about clean bathrooms.
  6. Are the doctors and nurses pleasant to deal with, well trained?

For every ten nurses, only two spoke English at a level that can be fairly understood.  I believe they are well trained but the nurses don’t follow procedures like I believe they were trained. I had to remind them to clean the injection site with alcohol/spirit before giving the injection. They rarely wear gloves so there could be cross contamination among patients.

I had to inject myself a few times because they didn’t know how to administer Intramuscular injections in the thigh. My butt was in a sea of pain, because they don’t administer pain medications through the IV unless in the ICU.  However, most of them are pleasant!  The doctors are well trained and spoke good English. The surgeon was trained in France.  I think that is one of their strongest qualities, general surgery, transplant/orthopedics, cosmetic surgery.

What are your experiences with the doctors in indian hospital?

They feel the doctors have the final say and know all, even the nurses dare not question the doctors.  It was surprising that, aside from Indian food, patients were provided junk food like French fries.  The fresh juices were again loaded with sugar.  They didn’t seem to understand that sugar feeds cancer. I declined dextrose IV because it caused pain since it was sugar. They thought it was in my head.  They ignored me until I pulled out the IV myself.

There were flies in the hospital and the food had stones and hair in them.  Most people don’t wear shoes in the hospital with the amount of diseases in the hospital.  In the clinic I went to receive radiation, I was told I would not receive treatment if I do not remove my sandals, meanwhile people walk barefoot on the street, so there really is no difference between those wearing shoes and those walking barefoot. We are all bringing in the same dirt.

I noticed the doctors don’t follow-up with their patients.  If you don’t show up for an appointment, they don’t even bother to ask the nurses to find out the status of the patient.  I stopped seeing my surgeon since October 2011. It wasn’t until I went to the hospital in January 2012 that he saw me walking by and asked “Oh, are you okay?”

The Oncologist

Your article made me remember when I was arguing with the oncologist a few months ago about chemo.  I accused him about the so-called cure and ask for the percentage rate. He said the best is 25%!!! I was flabbergasted! And even when radiation is included the maximum is 30%. Then he proceeded to suggest I have chemo for one whole year. I laughed and said that’s not going to happen, God forbid I stay on chemo for a year. He looked at me as if I didn’t know the severity of the illness. I told him, But you know that chemo and radiation cause secondary cancers.  He told me to stop reading the internet and all those are not true! I smiled and made a mental note not to share anything with him again.

Radiologist

Before radiation, nobody ever bothered to explain the side effects to me, I knew that there would be some effects with my reproductive organs, I asked for a fertility center, so I could at least preserve my eggs. They said there was none in the state and I stupidly believed them.  After twenty bouts of radiation later, I found a clinic, they said they couldn’t help by then.  I cried so much and had a fight with the doctors for acting like they were God and the sole decision maker. I was very upset. I learned that because the cancer was stage 4, they didn’t think I would survive to be able to have children anyway.

Before the treatment you were not told about the side effects of chemo or radiation?

They told me nothing with radiation. But for chemo, they said nausea, hair loss and fatigue but, I didn’t have them.  Instead, I had terrible heart burns that felt like a heart attack.  I still have hair on my head. I’m sure the oncologist will have a heart attack if he sees me without my hat/scarf.

Did the oncologist / radiologist know that you are taking supplements and herbs?

The radiologist said I should not take anything. These might make the side-effects of the radiation worse. The oncologist said not to take anything that may reduce the efficacy of the chemo.  I told them I was only taking one multi-vitamin but continued taking all my supplements.

Did they oppose or support your desire to take herbs and supplements? What did they say?

They opposed as they didn’t think it could have positive effects, only negative. When I informed the oncologist I was going to use herbs to improve my WBC, he said herbs won’t work, that I was better off taking the injection to boost it. When I asked  where I could find alternate treatments, they said only the temple/church.

Then you found cancer care? How do you know us then? Any one told you about us.

God pointed me in the direction of CA Care. Nobody told me. Nobody I know knows CA Care. I prayed during my ordeal and I told God, I don’t want all these chemicals, they are hurting me. I was always sad when taking these treatments. I wanted to be better and not become more sick. A few days later, I started seeing advertisements on TV about Malaysia.  It would show pictures of Malaysia and how beautiful it is, and encouraged tourists to visit.  The commercial always ended with “Malaysia, truly Asia”. I told my mum, I want to visit Malaysia. One of my friends promised me a vacation after I get out of the hospital, and asked where I would like to go. I said Malaysia. I didn’t know anyone or anything about Malaysia but, my spirit wanted to go for some reason. My subconscious knew something I didn’t know.  A few weeks later, I said a prayer and got on the internet just searching. I don’t remember the specific thing I was searching for. I was just searching, knowing God will lead me where I needed to go and I came upon www.cacare.com

I don’t believe in coincidences and I know everything happens for a reason. I went through the site and it clicked in my mind, this is why I have been seeing Malaysia on TV.  Since then, I have not seen that commercial on TV. God is indeed wonderful!

 

 

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