BALT lymphoma of the lung: Chemotherapy failed. Herbs helped him.

AST is from Tanjung Balai, a town on one of the islands in Riau, Indonesia.

In April 2018, this 48-year-old man — a smoker of some 30 years standing — went for a routine medical checkup in Johor Baru, Malaysia. He had no symptom whatsoever.

An X-ray during the checkup showed something in his lung. A trucut biopsy of the right lung mass was done immediately. Histomorphology and immunoprofile pointed to a low grade lymphoma of BALT.

Bone Marrow Aspirate and Bone Marrow Trephine showed normocellular marrow (meaning, in contains a normal number of cells; neither hypocellular nor hypercellular).

(Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy: The procedure known as trepanning, or trephination, of bone is the oldest surgical practice that continues to have clinical relevance in modern times. There are 2 main types of bone marrow test: 1) bone marrow aspiration — doctor sucks some liquid bone marrow cells up into a syringe. 2) bone marrow trephine biopsy — the doctor removes1 or 2cm core of bone marrow in one piece. Usually both of these tests are done at the same time. These tests are often done to find the reason for many blood disorders and may be used to find out if cancer or infection has spread to the bone marrow).

AST was referred to an oncologist of the same hospital for follow up treatment. He was sent to another hospital for PET/CT scan. The results of the scan done on 23 April 2018 indicated:

  • FDG avid mass right lung, 8.4 x 5.9 x 8.1 cm.
  • FDG avid nodule apicoposterior segment lower upper lobe, 1.0 x 0.8 cm.
  • Bronchieactatic changes seen in both lungs.
  • No mediastinal mass lesion or lymphadenopathy.

AST underwent chemotherapy. The drug regime used was: R-CHOP (Rituximab, Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin (hydroxydaunomycin), Vincristine (Oncovin) and Prednisolone (a steriod).

Each cycle cost RM11,000. He received a total of three cycles at three-weekly interval. The treatment completed on 14 June 2018.

After this initial treatment, AST’s father died (due to old age) and as a result he took a break from chemotherapy.

A repeat PET/CT scan was done on 15 August 2018. The result showed:

  • Previous FDG avid mass right lung has reduced intensity and was smaller 6.5 x 4.9 x 5.5 cm.
  • Previous FDG avid nodule apicoposterior segment lower upper lobe disappear.
  • New two FDG avid nodules at posterior lower left lobe, 1.5 x 1.0 cm and 1.1 x 0.9 cm.
  • New right paravertebral mass lesion, 0.8 x 0.6 cm.
  • Multiple cysts both lung fields unchanged.

Impression: progression of lesions with new lung metastases left lower lobe and small right paravertebral mass.

AST received ten times of radiation on the chest. This cost him RM 5,000.

He was told to go for more chemo. He refused. His daughter found CA Care in the internet and decided to seek our help. 

Comments 

You may wonder why I document this case. Here is the answer. For more than two decades of helping cancer patients, lung cancer is one of the most common that I get to see. And these are carcinoma type of lung cancer. During these years I did come across a few cases of lung cancer of the sarcoma (not carcinoma) type.

Primary lung sarcoma is very rare, accounting for less than 0.5% of all lung tumors. Then this week, I encountered a pulmonary BALT lymphoma, a first case in over twenty years.

I came home and started to learn what this BALT lymphoma is. Here are some information about this type of really rare lung cancer.

  • BALT means Bronchus Associated Lymphoid Tissue. It is a lymphoma found in the lung. Actually there are two types of lung lymphoma — BALT and MALT lymphoma. MALT stands for Mucosa Associated Lymphoid Tissue. The most common type of primary pulmonary lymphoma is MALT lymphoma.
  • Most pulmonary lymphomas are low-grade B-cell lymphoma.
  • Primary pulmonary lymphoma is rare, accounting for 0.5% of all lung tumors and less than 1% of all lymphomas.
  • They are generally indolent (causing little or no pain) with good prognosis.
  • Patients with BALT lymphoma have an excellent prognosis. Interestingly, surgical treatment, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or combinations of these strategies all seem to achieve good results.
  • The most frequent reported symptoms in patients with BALT lymphoma include dry cough and difficult breathing.
  • Patients may also present with fever, night sweats and weight loss.
  • Since many patients are asymptomatic or present with vague symptoms, there is often a delay in diagnosis. It is believed that, in approximately one-third to one-half of the patients, the disease is discovered incidentally on X-ray.
  • About 14% of patients may have bone marrow involvement.
  • Since this is a slow-growing disease, it has excellent response to surgery, chemotherapy or combined treatment. Treatment provides excellent prognosis, with extremely low mortality rates. There is a report that pulmonary BALT lymphoma was successfully treated with eight cycles weekly Rituximab.

AST and his daughter came to consult us in October 2018. He looked “healthy” except for a bit of cough and difficulty in breathing. After hearing his story, I told AST that his lifestyle is reckless. While still on chemotherapy, AST told me that he was riding motorcycle up the rugged hills in the rain. This resulted in infection. I emphasized to AST that he needs to adopt a more “healthy and restrained” lifestyle if he wants to live without problems.

I cannot say what is going to happen next but after reading what pulmonary BALT lymphoma is, I want to “believe” that the herbs and a change of lifestyle  can help him. But ultimately, it all depends on AST, whether he is willing to help himself or not.

Update: AST came back to see us again after a month. He took the herbs and keep to the diet without any problem. He did not suffer any healing crisis. Did his health deteriorate this one month after defaulting on chemotherapy? No. Did he feel better after taking the herbs? Yes.

AST said he has more energy after taking the herbs. His cough is also resolved. He can now take a deep breath. Before the herbs, his breathing was swallow. AST said he would NOT go for anymore chemo. He is happy following our therapy.

Watch this video.

 

P/S:  As I am writing this story, a lady came to your centre. She was diagnosed with MALT lymphoma.This is also my first encounter with this type of cancer. In this case, the MALT lymphoma “attacked” the inner lining of her eye lid. How could that be? I wonder what has become of our world today. I hope to be able to write about this story in the near future.

 

 

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Lymphoma of Nasal Cavity: No chemo or radiation. Ten years on, doing just fine.

 

 KC was 53 year old when he was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma of the nasal cavity. His problem started with a runny nose in 2007. His nose had a swelling.

In 2008 he had difficulty breathing and production of blood-stained phlegm. He consulted a GP who said he had an infection. Antibiotics did not help him.

KC consulted an ENT at a private hospital. CT scan showed soft tissue lesion seen occupying the left nasal cavity.

A biopsy was performed. The histology report dated 24 March 2008 indicted: Left nasal blocked for long time. Left nasal mass –  atypical lymphoid proliferation found suggestive of low grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The diagnosis was later confirmed by University of Malaya as Nasal type: T-cell lymphoma.

The doctor suggested 30 sessions of radiotherapy and six cycles of chemotherapy. The doctor warned KC that without treatment his nose will be blocked, his vision will be affected and he may go deaf.

KC refused further medical treatment. He came to CA Care on 4 April 2008. He told us that he has many friends who had undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy and they all died. He would not want to go through such treatments.

KC was started on herbs: NPC 1 and NPC2, Lymphoma 1 and 2, NPC Phlegm, Capsule A and detox Tea. He was also told to take care of his diet.

One day on the herbs, KC had more bleeding from the nose. The second day, his phlegm was yellowish.

Seven weeks on the herbs KC felt his nose was better.  There was less bleeding and production of phlegm. He could sleep better. He was happy with the progress. KC said he spend time jogging from 3 to 5 pm each day.

About five months later, on 19 September 2008, KC went back to see the doctor who examined him earlier. A nasal endoscopy was done. The doctor told him it was good and there was nothing inside his nose anymore. KC came to our center on 28 September 2008 to inform us of this good news.

I asked him: Did you go and see the same doctor who examined earlier? KC confirmed that it was same ENT who did the biopsy for him.

Since then KC is well and fine.

KC does not understand much English and Hokkien. I need an interpreter to communicate with him. My question to him: How are you doing? Are you okay? He would reply: Ok, ok. No problem. I can eat, can sleep well and can go anywhere I like. 

Fast forward to November 2018 — ten years later. KC came to our centre. He is doing okay. No problem.

A few years ago, KC’s brother was also diagnosed with nose cancer. KC brought his brother to see us. Unfortunately his brother did not believe in herbs. He opted for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He died some months later.  

Questions to Ponder

  • What could have happen if KC were to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy as suggested by the doctor?
  • It has been TEN years now, and KC is doing extremely well. Is the taking of herbs and changing of diet not a proven healing method?
  • KC’s brother also had nose cancer but opted for chemo and radiation. He knew first hand that KC was doing well on our therapy. Why did he not follow KC? Is it because following our therapy means he cannot eat anything he likes?

 

 

 

Limfoma Hidung: Tak mau kemoterapi atau radiasi. Sepuluh tahun kemudian, baik-baik saja.

 

KC berusia 53 tahun ketika dia didiagnosis dengan limfoma sel T dari rongga hidung. Masalahnya dimulai dengan hidung berair pada tahun 2007. Hidungnya bengkak.

Pada tahun 2008 ia mengalami kesulitan bernapas dan produksi dahak bernoda darah.

Dia berkonsultasi dengan dokter umum yang mengatakan dia mengalami infeksi. Antibiotik tidak membantunya.

KC berkonsultasi dengan THT di rumah sakit swasta. CT scan menunjukkan lesi jaringan lunak terlihat menempati rongga hidung kiri.

Biopsi dilakukan. Laporan histologi pada 24 Maret 2008 mengesahkan: Hidung kiri diblokir untuk waktu yang lama. Massa nasal kiri – proliferasi limfoid atipikal ditemukan menunjukkan limfoma non-Hodgkin derajat rendah.

Diagnosis kemudian dikonfirmasi oleh University of Malaya sebagai tipe Nasal: limfoma sel-T.

Dokter menyarankan 30 sesi radioterapi dan enam siklus kemoterapi.

Dokter memperingatkan KC bahwa tanpa perawatan hidungnya akan diblokir, penglihatannya akan terpengaruh dan dia mungkin menjadi tuli.

KC menolak perawatan medis lebih lanjut. Dia datang ke CA Care pada 4 April 2008.

Dia memberi tahu kami bahwa dia memiliki banyak teman yang telah menjalani kemoterapi dan radioterapi dan mereka semua meninggal. Dia tidak mau menjalani perawatan seperti itu.

KC diresepkan herbal: NPC 1 dan NPC2, Limfoma 1 dan 2, NPC Phlegm, Capsule A dan Teh detoks. Dia juga diberitahu untuk menjaga pola makannya — harus pantang.

Satu hari setelah minum herbal: KC mengalami pendarahan lebih dari hidung. Hari kedua, dahaknya kekuningan.

Tujuh minggu setelah minum herbal: KC merasa hidungnya lebih baik. Ada kurang perdarahan dan produksi dahak. Dia bisa tidur lebih baik. Dia senang dengan kemajuan.

KC mengatakan dia pergi joging dari jam 3 sampai jam 5 sore setiap hari.

Sekitar lima bulan kemudian, pada 19 September 2008.

KC kembali menemui dokter yang memeriksanya sebelumnya. Endoskopi nasal dilakukan. Dokter mengatakan bahwa itu baik dan tidak ada massa di dalam hidungnya lagi.

KC datang ke pusat kami pada 28 September 2008 untuk menginformasikan kepada kami kabar baik ini. Saya bertanya: Apakah Anda pergi ke dokter yang sama yang memeriksa sebelumnya? KC menegaskan bahwa itu adalah THT yang sama yang melakukan biopsi untuknya.

Sejak itu KC baik-baik saja.

KC tidak mengerti banyak bahasa Inggris dan Hokkien. Saya membutuhkan seorang juru bahasa untuk berkomunikasi dengannya. Pertanyaan saya padanya: Bagaimana kabarmu? Apakah kamu baik-baik saja? Dia akan menjawab: Ok, oke. Tidak masalah. Saya bisa makan, bisa tidur dengan baik dan bisa pergi kemanapun saya suka. 

Maju cepat hingga November 2018 – sepuluh tahun kemudian.

KC datang ke pusat kami. Dia baik-baik saja. Tidak masalah.

Beberapa tahun yang lalu, KC membawa saudaranya yang menderita kanker hidung ke CA Care. Sayangnya saudaranya tidak percaya pada herbal. Ia memilih kemoterapi dan radioterapi. Dia meninggal beberapa bulan kemudian.

Pertanyaan Untuk Renungan

  • Apa yang bisa terjadi jika KC menjalani kemoterapi dan radioterapi seperti yang disarankan oleh dokter?
  • Sudah SEPULUH tahun sekarang dan KC baik-baik saja. Apakah menjalani terapi herbal dan perubahan diet bukan metode penyembuhan yang terbukti?
  • Saudara KC juga menderita kanker hidung tetapi memilih kemoterapi dan radiasi. Dia tahu secara langsung bahwa KC baik-baik saja dengan mejalani terapi kami. Mengapa dia tidak mengikuti KC? Apakah karena mengikuti terapi kami berarti dia harus pantang dan tidak dapat makan apapun yang dia suka?

 

 

 

Lymphoma Twenty Years Ago, Still Alive and Healthy! Is that quackery and “scientifically unproven”?

JO, a 69-year-old Malaysian lady came to seek our advice after being diagnosed with melanoma (skin cancer). She was accompanied by her husband and son. As usual, my first question to them was,Who asked you to come here?JO replied,My daughter! She is a medical doctor. She has been pushing me to come and see as soon as possible.

JO’s problem started with a small, flat mole on her back that started to grow bigger. A biopsy was done and the mole removed. It was malignant. Another surgery was done to remove a wider margin. Then, after surgery what follows?  Go for chemo or herbs?

I am curious. Why must a medical doctor think of sending her mother to a herbalist?

Here is the answer. About twenty years ago JO and many members of her family (including her daughter) came to our centre because JO’s sister — OGK — had lymphoma. She refused to undergo chemotherapy and opted for our therapy.

Listen to this video.

What can we learn from this story?

Lesson one.  Is OGK still alive? Yes — very much alive! She is now 85 years old and is still healthy. Not long along OGK visited Penang and even visited Penang Hill. Meaning, she could still travel and lead a normal life. Generally patients are told that if you don’t do chemo for your cancer, you die! You would not make it to 1 or 2 years, let alone 20 years!

I told JO. Many patients came to see us. After some time, we never get to see them. My assumption is that all of them have died. Those who get well after taking our herbs do not come back to say “hello” to us. Since I don’t get to see them again, I assume that they too have died! Thanks OJ for coming back to share this amazing story of your sister!

Lesson two. How does her medical doctor daughter come into the picture? JO said she also came to our center when her auntie was ill at that time. So she had “learned” from this experience that our herbs did a lot of good to her auntie. Meaning this was a “real, teaching lesson” for her. Unfortunately, they don’t teach such things in medical school.

Lesson three. Often we read or hear people say that those who refuse medical treatment for their cancer and opted for alternative therapy are people with low health literacy (and) are often unable to discern between scientifically proven or anecdotal based therapies.

What does this phrase mean? Probably that is a polite way of saying,You must be stupid and real dumb for not going for chemotherapy or radiotherapy! You don’t even know how to differentiate between a proven and scientific therapy from just-a-story-based therapy which is unproven.

Well, I leave it up to you what you want to make out of such a statement. But from my years of experience, I believe that those who come to us are the “empowered” patients. They have seen or heard what these so-called scientific and proven therapies like chemo or radiotherapy did to their family members or friends. Many suffered and many more died after having to pay a “bomb” for these treatments. No, they are not stupid or dumb.

Read this book, it has an interesting title:

Then you may wish to read what others say about this so called proven scientific method of treating cancer:

  1. Chemotherapy warning as hundreds die from cancer-fighting drug.

Patients should be warned about the dangers of chemotherapy after research showed that cancer drugs are killing up to 50 per cent of patients in some hospitals.

For the first time researchers looked at the numbers of cancer patients who died within 30 days of starting chemotherapy, which indicates that the medication is the cause of death, rather than the cancer.

Professor David Cameron, Edinburgh Cancer Centre, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, said:

  • I think it’s important to make patients aware that there are potentially life threatening downsides to chemotherapy. And doctors should be more careful about who they treat with chemotherapy.
  • The concern is that some of the patients dying within 30 days of being given chemo probably shouldn’t have been given the chemo.

Read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/08/30/chemotherapy-warning-as-hundreds-die-from-cancer-fighting-drugs/

  1. When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option

When my husband learned he had advanced lung cancer, he didn’t even want to speak to an oncologist about chemotherapy. He saw no point in treatment that could not cure him and might make him feel worse.

Most patients with these so-called stage 4 cancers who choose to undergo chemotherapy seem to believe, incorrectly, that the drugs could render them cancer-free. That is the finding of a recent national study of nearly 1,200 patients with advanced cancers of the lung or colon. Overall, 69 percent of those with stage 4 lung cancer and 81 percent of those with stage 4 colon cancer failed to understand “that chemotherapy was not at all likely to cure their cancer,” Dr. Jane C. Weeks, an oncology researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston..

In an editorial accompanying the journal report, Dr. Thomas J. Smith and Dr. Dan L. Longo pointed out that “people have an optimistic bias.” Despite a grim prognosis, this bias prompts patients to believe treatment can cure them.

“Our job is not to force them into acceptance but to encourage them to plan for the worst while hoping for the best,” Dr. Smith said. “Such patients have better outcomes — less depression and less distress, and they’re more likely to die comfortably at home.”

Read more: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/when-treating-cancer-is-not-an-option/

  1. Scientists: we will never find a cure for cancer

If all the positive cancer breakthrough headlines are to be believed, then the cure for cancer is right around the corner. But that is a far cry from reality, says Dr. Jørgen Olsen, head of research at The Danish Cancer Society.

“I think it’s an illusion to imagine that after millions of years of this disease we’ll suddenly find a solution. I don’t think that we’ll ever beat it, but I think that we’ll get it under control so that it becomes chronic but not deadly,” says Olsen.

Prominent cancer researcher, Mads Daugaard from the Molecular Pathology & Cell Imaging Laboratory at the University of British Colombia, Canada, agrees.

“We won’t find a cure, but we’ll probably reach a point where we have so many ways to attack cancer that people won’t die from it anymore,” says Daugaard.

But why can’t we find the secret weapon to beat cancer once and for all?

One reason is that cancer is not just one disease — even individual tumours can vary substantially from one patient to the next and the same type of tumour in different parts of the body can respond differently to medication.

Just like any other organism, cancer cells are trying to survive, and they are very good at it. They quickly spread to multiple parts of the body, and they mutate constantly, rendering existing medicines ineffective.

“Cancer cells are very adaptive, especially when the cancer is at an advanced stage,” says Olsen.

Read more: http://sciencenordic.com/scientists-we-will-never-find-cure-cancer

So what is the reality? When OGK came to seek our help and JO twenty years later, are they dumb or enlightened?

Ask this question: To be able to live a healthy life with lymphoma for twenty years without chemotherapy is still considered “unproven” and the evidence has no scientific value?

This healing story is not considered “scientifically proven” because the patient did not undergo chemotherapy! Also it is not published in peer-reviewed medical journal! You get the point?

 

 

 

 

Same lymphoma, Same chemo, Same oncologist, Same time but Different outcome. Where is the science?

Nick (not real name) is a 37-year-old Indonesian. In late December 2017, he had coughs, became breathless and found a swelling under his left arm pit. In January 2018, he went to Singapore and did a PET scan followed by a biopsy. There was a large mass occupying the entire left lung. The left lung had collapsed, hence the breathlessness. The many surrounding lymph nodes were also swollen.

Histology confirmed Nick had a diffuse aggressive peripheral B-cell lymphoma with extensive supra- and infra-diaphramatic adenopathy involving mediastinal, hilar, left axillary/subpectoral and peri-celiac regions.

As expected, Nick underwent six cycles of chemotherapy with CHOP-R regimen. The total cost for this treatment came to about SGD80,000 (i.e. RM 240,000).

Chemotherapy was completed in May 2018. After a rest of about one and a half months, Nick did a follow-up PET scan on 2 July 2018. The results were as follows:

  • The previous mass, about 18 cm in the lung had shrunk significantly! Nick felt better after the chemo.
  • There is a residual non FDG avid soft tissue mass at the left hilum, measuring 3.0 x 2.8 cm.
  • A new focus of intense FDG uptake at the left aspect of the manubrium, suspicious of disease involvement.
  • A few foci of mild increased FDG uptake in the left upper pulmonary lobe associated with peripheral ground glass changes — probably due to inflammatory changes.
  • Diffuse mild increased FDG uptake in the bone marrow may be reactive in nature.

In view of the above, Nick was told to do another biopsy to determine what is in his breastbone. But before doing the biopsy, Nick decided to come and seek our help. He wanted to take herbs.

Nick shared the story of his friend who also had the “same” lymphoma at the same time as him. While Nick’s lymphoma mass was on the left lung, the friend’s lymphoma mass was in the middle of the chest.

Nick’s friend went to the same hospital, was treated by the same oncologist and received the same six-cycle of chemo — CHOP-R. Unfortunately, the treatment did not work for Nick’s friend. In this case, Nick was a bit more lucky.

Nick’s friend was asked to go for more chemo, using a new regimen called R-ICE. After one treatment his white blood cell count went down to almost zero.

(Note: The previous treatment regimen was Rituximab (R) and CHOP. CHOP stands for cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone. The suggested new regimen is Rituximab and ICE. ICE stands for Ifos­famide + Carbo­platin + Etopo­side).

Listen to our conversation that morning.

 

 

Comments

What can you learn from this story? Yes, you can go to the same doctor, receive the same chemo-drugs for the same type of cancer but you cannot guarantee that you get the same result. This story shows that healing of cancer takes more than just “text book science” that you learned in school. Over the years helping cancer patients, there is one thing that I learned — the outcome of each treatment is very much dependent on the “nature” of the patient himself/herself.

Dr. Glenn Sabin is a medical doctor. He was diagnosed with cancer but cured himself through the non-chemo way. He wrote a book, N of 1.  He said, You may be wondering why I titled my book ‘n of 1’. In scientific circles, an N-of-1 trial is a clinical trial in which a single patient represents the entire investigation: a single case study. 

Shortly after I was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1991, my N-of-1 experiment began. No two cancers are exactly alike; neither are two patients. Our individual needs—physical, psychological and emotional—and cancer treatment regimens can vary widely; just like our responses to treatment and our unique journeys into survivorship.”

Dr. Sabin’s experience is an inspiring story about challenging medical dogma. He discussed how to activate the body’s innate capacity to heal. To heal, patients, their caregivers and their loved ones need to seek knowledge and self-empowerment.

In my book, Getting it right, I wrote a chapter with this title, Is Modern Medicine the Only Proven and Scientific Therapy?.

This is what I wrote: Medical treatments are said to be scientific and proven but what is the use, if patients still die after undergoing all these high-tech, state-of-the art treatments? Are the deaths and recurrences of cancer in patients not proof enough that scientific medicine has failed in one way or another? 

Taking of herbs or other CAM therapies brought benefits to patients. These therapies have not gone through “scientific baptism” to make them scientific. But this does not mean that the therapies are ineffective or unscientific. The results speak for themselves. The requirement that truth can only be found through current “gold standard method” of medicine is in itself unscientific. 

In the third chapter of the book, I went on to ask, Is Traditional and Complementary/ Alternative Medicine (CAM) a Quackery? 

Traditional and Complementary / Alternative Therapies (CAM) are often regarded as unproven by those in the medical profession. This negative perception is disappearing as the general public had overwhelmingly confirmed that CAM therapies are indeed beneficial for them. 

The next time you go to your oncologist to start your chemo, know that he/she is conducting an N=1 experiment on you. He/she may quote impressive success statistics but know that those statistics need not necessarily apply to you. If your oncologist says you have a 80 percent chance of cure, ask if he/she is sure that you belong to that 80 percent success group. Or what is the chance that you belong to the 20 percent failed group? If you ask such questions expect some unexpected response from your doctor! He/she may chase you out of the office! Or you will get a shelling. One doctor told a patient: How do I know, I am not god! Another doctor answered: It is your fate, your luck. 

So is going to the oncologist is just like going to a casino? Read this book, The Big Casino: America’s best cancer doctors share their most powerful stories.

To me, you need more than just “science” to cure your cancer — yes, you may need more luck or more karma. But one thing I know for sure … you need God’s mercy and blessing. Unfortunately, many people are still not responding to this change of reality.

Back to the case of Nick. He had six rounds of chemo and spent about RM240,000 for the treatment. Did the chemo helped him? Yes, definitely. His collapsed left lung was “restored” and he can now breathe normally. But did the chemo cure him? No, not yet. I am not sure if Nick can ever be cured. He was asked to do another biopsy to know what is left behind. Then what comes after the biopsy? What can the doctor offer other than more of the same thing … more chemo like his friend. What say you to more chemo?

Nick knew the pitfall. He decided to come and seek our help. But I was frank with him that morning. I said, I may be able to help but I cannot cure you.

Over the more than two decades of helping patients, I have come across many lymphoma cases and I know that our CA Care Therapy did help some of them.

My first encounter was with Dewi (not real name). She is a lawyer who had a recurrence a year after completion of her medical treatment. She did not want any more chemo and was started on our herbs and diet. Up to this day, Dewi is still doing fine. You can read more here: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/07/05/the-story-of-devi-a-lady-lawyer-about-40-years-old-afflicted-by-non-hodgkin%E2%80%99s-lymphoma/

Then there is another interesting case of a 65-year-old man who was diagnosed with B-cell type gastric non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After just one shot of chemo with modified CHOP –  cyclophosphamide + vincristine + Epirubicin and Prednisolone, he suffered a stroke (left thalamus infarction). The doctor gave up chemo and suggested radiotherapy instead. His daughter came to seek our help instead. Read here: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2012/02/05/non-hodgkins-lymphoma-of-the-stomach-one-cycle-of-chemo-made-him-really-sick-he-took-herbs-and-life-was-restored/

In March 2014, Mat had a lump on his chest. A biopsy confirmed it was a lymphoma.  Had underwent 25 cycles of radiotherapy, but he refused chemotherapy. The lump went away but in 2016, fluid accumulated in his lung and Mat had  it tapped out. Later the cancer spread to his neck. In February 2018, Mat wrote us to ask for help but I was reluctant to take up this case. I asked Mat to go and see the doctor instead. But he was adamant he did not any chemo. I had no choice but to help him. Yes, our therapy helped him too! For more read: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2018/06/16/lymphoma-swollen-neck-refused-surgery-or-chemotherapy-opted-for-ca-care-therapy/

As I am finishing this story, a 40-plus-year-old man came to seek our help. He was initially diagnosed with TB, but later the diagnosis was changed to lymphoma. He underwent six cycles of chemo.  The treatment failed. He was asked to go for another 12 cycles of chemo. After three cycles of this additional treatment he decided to give up and came to seek our help. After two weeks on the herbs, it looks like he is getting better. I cannot say what lies ahead for this unfortunate man.

 

 

Lymphoma: Swollen neck, refused surgery or chemotherapy. Opted for CA Care Therapy!

These are emails I received not long ago.

26 February 2018 

Hi Dr,

I am from … Kedah and would like to meet to review my cancer (Hodgkin lymphoma) and what treatment that is suitable for me.

I dont have much clinical info of my cancer because I did not seek medical treatment from the hospital. The only treatment that I had was in 2014 in which I did radiation therapy to reduce the size of the tumor. In 2016 I had a relapse, and by end 2017 it had spread more and now grows bigger on my neck.

Terima Kasih, Mat (not real name).

Reply: You need to see the doctor first to know what happen — without medical reports, I cannot help. 

27 February 2018:  Tq. I’m actually going to see the doctor on Feb 27 to do the medical examination and I can bring the report. I need to decide if I need to go for surgery to remove the tumor on my neck or I can go take your herbs without surgery. Once I complete the medical report I shall email you again to make an appointment.

Hi,

I have my blood report and CT scan from hospital. Can I make appointment to meet?

Reply: Go and do all the necessary medical tests and see what the doctor wants to do. Complete all works by the doctor first before coming to see me. 

Mat and his wife eventually came to our centre on 2 March 2018. He presented with the following:

  1. Big lumps around his neck

  1. CT scan showed that there are many lumps all clustered together to cause that swelling.

   3. CT scan of lung.

Medical report of 27 February 2018: Multiple enlarged right level II, bilateral level III and level V and right supraclavicular, right axillary, mediatinum and paraaortic lymphadenopathy. Consistent with recurrence of lymphoma.

This is Mat’s story.

In March 2014, Mat had a lump on his chest. A biopsy was done and confirmed a nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma.  Had underwent 25 cycles of radiotherapy, but he refused chemotherapy.

Mat sought the help of traditional/religious healer who prescribed him virgin coconut oil, pegaga (Indian pennywort) and some other herbs.

In 2016, fluid accumulated in his lung and Mat had  it tapped out. He was told that the cancer had spread. Mat did nothing about it.

In February 2018, Mat wrote us to ask for help (emails above). He also went to a hospital and did a scan (above). Mat was then told to undergo 12 cycles of chemotherapy — once every two weeks. Each cycle costs RM5,000.

Upon seeing his condition, I suggested that Mat seek medical help. But he was adamant that he would not want to undergo any chemotherapy. Surgery has risks and Mat was not willing for go for surgery either. So I was stuck and had no choice but to prescribe him some herbs — Capsules A, C and D; M and Lympho 1 + SAP, Lympho 2 + PLM. Although there is “something” in his lung, I did not prescribe any Lung Tea. Why? I was not even sure if Mat should even take our herbs in the first place!

I warned Mat that if the herbs do not help him after a month, he should stop taking our herbs. Go and see the doctor instead. Remember, Mat is 51 years old and I do not wish to mislead him to do something which is not helpful for him!

This was what happened after THREE weeks on the herbs.

 

 

THREE MONTHS later, I met up with Mat again. Listen to our conversation that morning!

Comments

What can we learn from this amazing story.

  1. Almost all patients who came to see us had seen their doctors. Medical treatments failed them. That is fine with us. After all we are here to help such helpless people. However, not all patients who came to see us can be helped. When I received Mat’s email, my initial reaction was, Go and see the doctor and let him help you. But Mat was adamant. He wanted to see me. So, I agreed.

Unfortunately, not all patients are like Mat. Often I was “interviewed” by patients or their family members, before they would decide to follow our therapy. These people generally come here to find a “magic cure,” or to find healing on their own terms — never mind after having spent thousands of dollars for their failed medical treatments. To such people, I would generally say, Go home, think first before you take my herbs! This is my polite way of telling you, Please go and find someone else to help you.

  1. Mat presented with a “difficult” case indeed. I was not “confident” that the herbs would help him. But what else could I do — send him home empty handed? But then, trying taking herbs for two weeks would not hurt. So, let’s try, that is, if you still believe me! And now, I must say, the “gamble” is worth it. I never expected such an amazing result.

So, to all patients — can you benefit like Mat? Not likely if you are not committed to your healing. This is the most important take home lesson. If you are half hearted or unsure, please don’t follow our Therapy!

  1. When Mat started on the herbs, he experienced “healing crisis” which we have already forewarned him. He felt tired, sleepy and his legs itched more than before. In addition, due to our diet, he lost weight. I always tell patients there is nothing to worry about these. But, let me tell you, I have many emails from patients who were worried after experiencing these (in spite of being forewarned). To them, after taking herbs for a few days — this not right, that not right! Here pain, there pain! No, we cannot help such people.

So, this is another lesson patients should know — healing crisis.

  1. After Mat took the herbs for two weeks, the swelling in his neck shrunk by 3 cm! That is amazing. But it grew a bit bigger after attending a “wedding party.” This is another human nature that we have to contend with. Most patients will misbehave after they get well (or assumed that they get well). So Mat is not the only one who misbehaved.

One other lesson to learn from this case: If you want to get well, take care of your diet. If you want to die sooner, go eat anything you like. Of course, the “stubborn” ones will argue, But my doctor said I can eat anything I like. No need to “pantang”. Perhaps, such doctors don’t know much. Tell this to Mat. See what happened to him!

Then read what these good doctors tell us about cancer and diet:

5. After three months on the herbs, Mat seemed to be on the right path to healing. I once again suggested that he go to the doctor for help — perhaps, go for an operation or chemo! No, he and his wife would not take that suggestion.

I also warned Mat that this healing journey would be a long struggle. For example, we had a lymphoma patient who had three small lumps in the neck. It took THREE YEARS to shrink them. Mat has a much bigger and complex masses. We cannot predict if these can ever go away. But I have confidence that if Mat stick to his path faithfully, he can benefit from the herbs. As it is now, only after three months, his quality of life is better. He can turn his head, left and right, without problem. The mass is getting smaller. He leads a normal life.

What else do you want? Instant, magic cure? No way! This is my final message for those reading this.

 

 

Lymphoma: Swelling and lumps gone after CA Care Therapy. No chemo!


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Mas (not real name) is about 80 years old, an Indonesian lady from Aceh. Her neck was swollen and there were six lumps around her neck. The doctor in Jogjakarta did a biopsy and said it was a lymphoma. She was asked to undergo chemotherapy. The family refused the treatment. Not satisfied, her family brought her to Penang for further consultation. Same result, same advice. It is a lymphoma and she must go for chemo!

One of her sons, surfed the internet and found CA Care. Mas, together with her son and daughter came to seek our help.

 

 

Due to her advanced age and refusal to undergo chemotherapy, Mas had no other option. She wanted to try our herbs. I told her she had to take care of her diet as well. And after that, just pray and let’s see what happen!

After taking the herbs for about two month, one of her sons who had been taking care of her, came to our centre again. He reported that Mas was doing well. The lumps around her neck were gone, except one. Even this one had grown smaller. The swelling of her neck had subsided. Her skin itched but after the herbs, that problem too, disappeared.

One day, she drank tea with sugar. She had problems. This was resolved after reverting to the right diet.

Questions

  1. Would you subject Mas to chemotherapy if she was your mother?
  2. What is the purpose of chemo? To prolong her life or to terminate it in this case? To improve her quality of life or to make her more miserable?
  3. What now after the swelling, lumps and itch were gone? Stop the herbs and go back to the “bad” diet and old lifestyle again?

Advice

be-grateful

 

 

Lymphoma Part 3: Digging my own grave with my folk and spoon!

Lymphoma Part 1: Eighty-percent-cure-rate-chemo Failed. No to Bone Marrow Transplant. I don’t want to die before my parents. 

Lymphoma Part 2: Healing in Progress After Two months on CA Care Therapy. Full of fear. But you would not die in December! 

Lymphoma Part 3:  Digging my own grave with my fork and spoon!

 

Forty-two-year-old Daisy had 6 cycles of chemo for her peripheral T-cell lymphoma. The treatment failed to cure her. The cancer relapsed 6 months after completion of her chemotherapy. She was asked to undergo more chemo and bone marrow transplantation. She refused and opted for CA Care Therapy instead. One year on, Daisy said she was not so worried about her cancer but her diet caused her much distress. I want to eat! 

Listen to this video.

 

Chris: The only thing that you cannot do is eat any “rubbish” that you like. Is that okay?

Daisy: Hm, hm. I have been tolerating this. I cannot help it. But sometimes I had the urged of wanting to eat …

C: Do you think one day, you would just say: Never mind la — eat and die, that’s okay.

D: Especially when I watched the cooking program on Astro … I felt like I wanted to eat and die, it’s okay.

C: You are already one year and you are not getting worse?

D: But I have been tolerating the food. During Christmas and Chinese New Year (CNY) everyone was eating …turkey, etc. and I could not eat. You know, I cried. They can eat but I cannot eat. I stayed home and cried.

C: So your main concern now is not cancer anymore? Now, food is more important? You worry about your food.

D: When people are alive, they want to eat (anything).

C: The last time when you came, you were so worried that you would die because of your cancer. Now do you still think that you are going to die?

D: No! I know I can live. Last time I was so worried that probably when I go to sleep I would not wake up the next morning.

C:  Ha, ha, is it not better (to die that way)? So today you go to sleep, you know that you would wake up?

D: I know, I know ( I can wake up).

Chinese New Year is coming – be careful with your diet!

C: Chinese New Year is coming. Don’t go and start eating “rubbish” ah.

D: Already two years I cannot eat. Since 2012 until now (2015) cannot eat, you know!

C: But you were supposed to die within four months! Now you’re well — you are healthy, you are okay. What do you want some more?

D: I want to eat. Eat first before I die.

C: Okay, if you want to eat, go and eat a lot. Eat a lot. To eat a piece of chicken and die … not worth it. It’s stupid. Eat a lot and then die. That’s okay.

D: I want to dig my own grave with my fork and spoon.

Gentle Warning: Itchy rashes that took months to go away

D: For two years, I never eat ….

C: What did you eat (during the Chinese New Year, 2015)?

D: I ate 2 kampung chicken eggs .. twice .. some CNY cookies … chocolates .. not much,  plus fish. After that …

Leg2

C: When you came home after eating all these …  any problem? Itchy?

D: No.

C: Before you ate all these, did you have such problem?

D:  No such problem. About one month after taking these CNY food this problem happened. I felt itchy and I started to scratch.

C:  And until today?

D: Yes, it’s already one and half months. It takes a long time to heal. Before I had cancer it was easy to heal.

C: Food is important. If they say you eat anything you like — that’s not true.

Comments

All patients who come to seek our help are always told: Apart from taking the herbs, you have to take care of your diet. You cannot eat anything you like. We would also want to remind everyone, if you can’t take care of your diet, there is not point coming to see us. We would not be able to help you. This is because food  ….

1 deVita

The unhappiness expressed by Daisy in this case, is understandable. Most patients would not want to change. The moment they get well — when they don’t feel that they are going to die anymore  — they will come with all the excuses for wanting to forget what we tell them about food.

One classical example that came to mind now is the case of an Indonesia lady who had lymphoma. She underwent chemotherapy and almost died from the treatment. After the treatment the cancer recurred. There was a hard swelling on her cheek. She was asked to undergo more chemotherapy. She was not prepared to accept that anymore.  She told us that she prayed that God would grant her the strength to come and see Chris Teo in Penang. Then if she died after that she would be satisfied. We took care of this lady for three years and she was well. The swelling in her cheek was gone. Then, the “monster within” started to awaken. She told us that she had been taking the herbs for so long. It caused much strain on her children, etc., etc. We knew what her real problem was! We also knew that if the heart would not want to change there is nothing we can do to help.

Later, we were told she went to Singapore for a holiday. Ate  …. (we did not know what). After she came home to Jakarta, her stomach became bloated. That was when she wrote us for help. Our answer was: Go to the doctor and ask for help. She had chemotherapy. After the second shot of chemo, she died.

This is another lymphoma case. This story is beyond our comprehension. TL was a 59-year-old man. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in September 2012. Like the Indonesian lady above, he had surgery to remove part of his stomach. He was subsequently asked to undergo chemotherapy which he declined.

He came to seek our help in October 2012. From the very beginning we explained to TL that it would be futile to take our herbs without taking care of his diet. In short, he must eat rightly and under no circumstances take junk food.

On many visits, TL asked us about what food to eat and what food not to eat,  giving us the impression that he was eating right!

About 8 months later, TL suffered a relapse.  It shocked us to learn that all along TL had been pretending and  “cheating” on himself as far as his diet was concerned.  Listen to his “confession” that day (4 November 2013).

A few days after this “confession”, TL checked into the hospital, underwent medical procedures and died while in the hospital.
Why did he play such a game and cheated himself?  We cannot understand.

One outstanding lymphoma case is that of Devi. She had radiotherapy and was well. But about a year later, her cancer recurred. She was asked to go for chemotherapy.  She had chemo but at the same time started to take herbs and change her diet and lifestyle. From 1998 to this day (2015) Devi stayed on course and is extremely well.

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/07/05/the-story-of-devi-a-lady-lawyer-about-40-years-old-afflicted-by-non-hodgkin%E2%80%99s-lymphoma/

Chris: Why were you on morphine?

Devi: Because I was in pain. The moment I consumed food, I had very severe pain. I was lying in the hospital for two weeks until one day I went berserk because I had an overdose of morphine…I was not getting any better. I discharged myself (from the hospital)….I went to a clinic that practised chelation therapy and the doctor asked me what sort of diet I was on? I was told to stop taking solid food and to go on fruits, vegetables, semi-solids and fluids. Within two days on the recommended diet, the pain was gone. 

C: Did you take any other medication? 

D: No. I was only on the diet, no medication whatsoever. I was on fruits, vegetables and semi-solids. Within a month, my digestive system was back to normal. 

C: After the radiation, you thought you were cured. Did you go back to your old diet? 

Yes, I went back to my old lifestyle. I forgot about the fruit juices. I had a relapse of the cancer, this time in the abdominal region.

The doctor said radiation was out. I went for six cycles of chemotherapy. 

Devi came to seek our help and was well. 

C: What about your diet?

D: I am more of a vegetarian now, I keep off red meat and sea food except for fish. I eat fruits and vegetables. 

C: Some people say that if I cannot take my favourite food, life if not worth living. What is your comment to that ? 

D: What I have to say to those people is, life is worth more than just your favourite food. It is a very small sacrifice to make. Life is much more that just food. 

C: You were a meat eater before and now you are a vegetarian. Many people say that if you don’t eat meat, you have no strength. What have you got to say about that? 

D: No, not really. In fact, I feel much healthier now that I cut meat out of my diet. I have not lost energy at all. 

Patients, you have a choice — to live or to die. If you wish to live, CHANGE — your lifestyle and your diet.

The choice is yours!

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Lymphoma Part 2: Healing in Progress After Two months on CA Care Therapy. Full of fear. But you would not die in December!

Lymphoma Part 1: Eighty-percent-cure-rate-chemo Failed. No to Bone Marrow Transplant. I don’t want to die before my parents. 

Lymphoma Part 2: Healing in Progress After Two months on CA Care Therapy. Full of fear. But you would not die in December! 

Lymphoma Part 3:  Digging my own grave with my fork and spoon!

 

Daisy, 42 years old, was diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma, Stage 2. She underwent 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Six months after the completion of her treatment, the lymphoma relapsed and Daisy was asked to undergo more treatment — 4 cycles of high dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous transplant (BMT — bone marrow transplant).

Daisy felt that she would not survive the BMT procedure. But without BMT Daisy was given the impression that she would also die — within four months. By December she would be gone! Daisy was in a dilemma and came to seek our help. She was started on herbs and was told to take care of her diet.

In  October 2013 — after two months of the herbs  — Daisy shared her anxiety, fear, frustrations and wishful hope! Watch this video.

 

 

Lymph nodes grew bigger after 2 months on herbs. Oncologist did not show any concern — Go and continue taking your herbs! 

Two months on our CA Care Therapy, Daisy came back to us. She was full of anxiety and fear. She just went to see her oncologist and was told that the swollen lymph nodes had grown bigger.  Since she did not proceed with the BMT, her oncologist was not interested to talk further with her and instead cynically asked her to go ahead and take the herbs. 

Daisy did a blood test and an ultrasound.

White Cell count 1.71  Low
Lymphocyte 0.44  L
Red blood count 3.55  L
Platelets 160
LDH 254  High

USG on 30 September 2013 indicated:

  • Bilateral enlarged cervical nodes … the largest at the left submandibula measuring 1.7 x 0.7 cm and at the left posterior triangle, 1.4 x 0.5 cm.
  • Enlarged axillary nodes seen bilaterally. The largest node is seen at the left axilla measuring 1.9 x 2.3 cm and 1.8 x 2.2 cm.
  • A hypoechoiec nodule seen within the subcutaneous plane at the left posterior scapular region measuring 1.5 x 0.6 cm.

For the above consultation, the total bill came to RM 774.00 made up of the following:

  1. Lab test RM 202.00
  2. Ultrasound examination RM 480.00
  3. X-ray RM 42.00
  4. Consultation (oncologist) RM  50.00

Like most patients who come and see us, they like to go for a scan after taking our herbs for a month or two! That is unrealistic! Our herbs are not magic bullets. Healing takes time.

The results showed the lumps had gone bigger! We told Daisy, You are just asking for unnecessary problem!

Daisy: What if the lumps grow bigger and bigger? 

Chris: Yes, that is always the concern of patients … and of course ours too. But what can we do? Is there another alternative? 

No! Daisy said she would not go for any chemo, radiotherapy or surgery. She would like to stick on with our herbs.

We told Daisy — we wish we could cure her or promise her a cure but we know we would be dishonest if we do that.

Promising false assurance is cruel and sinful!  We would not be able to ensure any positive outcome even though we have helped so many lymphoma patients before.

The only advice we could give is: Don’t panic, relax. This implies patients need to believe and trust.

Good thing is, Daisy seemed to trust us. She knew what it was like to undergo chemotherapy. The fact that she survived the 6 cycles of chemo earlier was already fortunate. Then, she was told that her CHOP chemotherapy would give her a 80 percent chance of cure. But this is not true! Barely 6 months after the completion of her chemo, the lymphoma recurred.  Where is that 80 percent chance?

After the relapse, the oncologist offered BMT and said the cure rate would be 50 to 60 percent but the procedure would be more drastic, invasive and expensive — RM 100,000.

Daisy had lost confidence with medical treatment. Probably this was the driving force that made her come to seek our help. She said she would rather “gamble” her life with our herbs.

Are you getting worse after taking the herbs? You wouldn’t die in December! 

Even though the lumps had grown in sizes, Daisy did not feel any worse. Actually she was doing fine … except for the knowledge that the lumps were getting bigger! Daisy was given the impression that without BMT she would only have 4 months to live. So by December she would be gone! No, during our discussion in October 2013, Daisy did not show any sign that she was about to die. We told Daisy: You are not going to die in December! 

(Daisy continued to get well and is still alive after 2 years. Most of the lumps that made her worry so much earlier on had almost disappeared!) Question: What if she were to undergo the Bone Marrow Transplant?

 

 

 

Lymphoma Part 1: Eighty-percent-cure-rate-chemo Failed. No to Bone Marrow Transplant. I don’t want to die before my parents

Lymphoma Part 1: Eighty-percent-cure-rate-chemo Failed. No to Bone Marrow Transplant. I don’t want to die before my parents. 

Lymphoma Part 2: Healing in Progress After Two months on CA Care Therapy. Full of fear. But you would not die in December! 

Lymphoma Part 3:  Digging my own grave with my fork and spoon!

 

Daisy (not real name) was 42 years when her problem started around July/August 2012. She found lumps in her arm pit and groin. The lumps grew bigger. She went to a private hospital. A biopsy was done.  She was told she had peripheral T cell lymphoma, Stage 2.

Daisy underwent 6 cycles of chemotherapy  — CHOP regimen. The treatment cost RM 40,000 — paid for by her insurance company. She suffered severe side effects: nausea, vomiting, mouth ulcers, numbness, loss of appetite, chest pain, constipation and hair loss.

Daisy said she almost died after 3 chemos, but she  managed to complete the scheduled 6 cycles by January 2013.

Chris: Before chemotherapy, did you ask the oncologist if the treatment was going to cure you?

Daisy: The oncologist said, “There is a 80 percent cure rate.” It was just a Stage 2 cancer.

C: You believe that?

D: Yes and I was happy!

Everything went well for Daisy during the initial stage after the completion of the treatment. She went back to work.  Unfortunately, soon afterwards she found a lump in her left arm just above her elbow and also swelling of her axillary lymph nodes,  but she did not tell her doctor. She thought there was nothing to worry about since she had just completed the treatment. However, during the second follow up she told her oncologist about the lump. In July 2013, Daisy had surgery to remove the lump in the arm. Histology confirmed recurrence of the T cell lymphoma.

A whole body CT scan was done on 30 July 2013 and indicated the following:

  • There are bilateral multiple mildly enlarged cervical nodes which are increased in size when compared with the previous scan. The largest node measures 14 mm.
  • Bilateral mild to moderately enlarged axillary nodes have increased both in number and size since the previous scan. The largest node the left axilla measures 13 x 8 mm.

The oncologist told Daisy that she had no other option but to go for  BMT – bone marrow transplant. She would need to undergo 4 cycles of high dose chemotherapy followed by an autologous transplant.

 C: Can BMT cure you? 

D: The oncologist said the cure rate is 50 to 60 percent. 

C: You believe that? Previously he said chemo would give you an 80 percent chance and you had a recurrence.                                                                          

The BMT procedure would cost RM 100,000 and this would be paid for by the insurance company.

C: So, that’s free treatment, why don’t you want to go for it. 

D: I am afraid I would just die. My father and mother are still alive. That’s why, I don’t want to die before them. 

C: I understand, if your father has to bury you … no, I don’t like the idea either. 

C: How many sisters and brothers do you have? 

D: Six. 

C: What did they say? 

D: All of them do not know what to do. 

C: Good to have sisters and brothers like that. At least they don’t fight among themselves for trying to be too smart.

Now, go home and decide what you want to do. After you have made your decision, there will be a lot of people who will say this or that! 

Don’t worry. Learn how to take care of yourself. Go home. Pray that God will tell you what is the right thing for you to do. Don’t eat anything you like. Above all, be friends with your cancer. No need to fight with the cancer. 

For more, watch this video. 

 

 

 

Lessons From Son’s Death From Pediatric Burkitt’s Lymphoma

A few hours ago, I received  an email from a father informing me that his 5-year old son died about a month after the family came to seek our help. Let me share this story with you.

Dear Dr. Chris,

Herewith I inform you, after some time of deep grief, that my beloved son, Reynald, couldn’t make it. He passed away on April 12, 2014 at around 5am.

He has confessed with his child-like-style: Lord Jesus is in my heart, Papa is in my heart, around 9 p.m. on April 11.

He’s now no longer suffering, and by God’s grace, I received revelation that he is in heaven with Jesus, and no pain.

Thank you for your supports so far and so sorry for bothering you at that time, the day you met me, and the day you met me, my wife and Reynald.

Although it’s been five months after his death, I write this with shivering inside my heart, although I know Rey had been safe, with God, and I know that death is not we should be afraid of, but what we expect for with our death, we will use our undecayed body to reunite with God.

Thank you for giving me a challenge at that time: NOT how long we will live or our chance to live, BUT how we’re going to die. That’s the important thing. Your statement was deeply planted in my mind.

Now I and my wife, have changed a lot in our perspective about life and death:

  1. As long as we live, we will serve God, Lord Jesus, with all we have: heart and mind, while paying attention to raise our daughter, Clarissa– Rey’s younger sister. We, both, do not question or are disappointed with God, or retreat from God, BUT we serve God whole-heartedly, while we’re also working to make a living. I serve in Discipleship, while my wife is Praise & Worship singer. We both lead cell group since Rey was healthy till now.
  2. Death is no longer something scary, BUT more to be like: Death is something that all men will face some day, and it’s a gate to eternity with God. 

But for sure, you are the first — the one and only doctor — I ever met that give a question or a challenge to think about “life and death” perspective.

I combined the ECCT therapy with your herbal therapy, which actually makes the lumps gone on April 11, 2014, but again, God’s plan is not our plan. Reynald is the first child patient in Surabaya since the  ECCT  (Electro Capacitive Cancer Therapy) institution was built in March 2014. I’ve met this doctor, and he and his team prioritized my son in his ECCT vest production, and they even prayed with tears and hope for my son to cure.

I believe there’s no coincidence to meet you there in Penang, to be a part of my life’s journey. Thanks for being a blessing in our life. Hope that your ministry is a blessing to a lot more people and give much deeper impacts to their lives.

God bless you.

Regards from Surabaya,

H & S (Reynald’s parents)

Reply: Thank you H & S for this sad news but I am real happy that your son’s death is not in vain. I know it is hard to overcome the grief  … all of us need to go through this period. But know that even when your son came to this world for a short time he had a message to tell you and me. Then  he left to be with the Lord .

Over the past few weeks I have read 3 books about people who died and went to heaven and they came back to earth again to write their stories. It is amazing….heaven is real and God is real. There is no doubt that your son is happy there with the Lord.

So know that your son is happy and well with the Lord … and it is real. I am glad and blessed to know that you benefited from this cancer experience … we need to lead a spiritual life …all of us are eternal souls who come to this world for human experience. Our shell  dies and rots away but our soul lives forever.

I praise God that your faith is much strengthened from this sad event. Amen.

Four-year-9-month with Burkitt’s  Lymphoma

This sad story started with an e-mail I received on 4 March 2014: Paediatric Gastro Case from Surabaya – REYNALD HARVEY WIBISONO (4 yr 9 mo) – now is judged in as Burkitt’s lymphoma (I’m in PENANG now)

Dear Doctor Chris,

My name is HW, from Surabaya – Indonesia. I’m in Penang to have my son’s health checked (since Sunday Feb 23, 2014 – my son is in Gleneagles since Tuesday Feb 25, 2014). Just got info from my friend to ask you to seek second opinion.

To give you a brief of the story, I attach all the report tests taken in Surabaya, then what has been tested in Penang, will be written down side below.

My son, 4 yr 9 mo old, Reynald, has had several tests in Mitra Keluarga Hosital Surabaya which lead to “ suspected Ca gaster” with unconfirmed tests below :

  • Endoscopy & CT Scan reading which stated “probably” Ca Gaster
  • Blood Test which didn’t support those two tests.
  • PA Test which didn’t show : no malignancy
  • Thorax radiology : normal

Composite pix

My son’s and my family health history and chronology :

  1. We don’t have any cancer history in our bloodline (me & my wife) – up to our grandparents.
  2. I have allergic history to seafood (childhood), but not my wife.
  3. My son doesn’t like fruit.
  4. The symptom was started on Jan 20, 2014by vomiting and diarrhea, once only, each. There were several times of pain in his gaster (just complaining but not so bad), and no fever.
  5. By Jan 27, 2014, the pain was getting stronger (but after belching or farting, it’s soon ended). We went to a pediatrician, which suspected: Helicobacter pylori infection. The treatment was 2 antibiotics + 1 H2 blocker (gabbryl + abbotic + ranitidine) for 1 week.
  6. By Feb 3, the pain was there, and was still treated with 2 antibiotics + 1 H2 blocker (gabbryl + abbotic + ranitidine) for 1 week (bloodtest showed negative for H. pylori, but HB was 8), but consumed until Feb 6when we decided to go to gastroenterologist in Surabaya which suggested to do 1 full month of food allergic self test before doing endoscopy. But then I decided to meet other gastroenterologist (suggested by the previous one) to have endoscopy, which then decided to be executed in Monday 10Peb14.
  7. By Feb 10, endoscopy test was done which was suspected as Ca Gaster due to the presence of 3 lumps in the my son’s gaster.Early blood test was taken and showed negative for H. pylori, and theHB was still 8, so that blood transfusion (B+) was done100mL. Samples for PA was taken.
  8. By Feb 11, CT Scan and Thorax radiology tests were taken. Blood transfusion (B+) was done another100ml.
  9. By Feb 12, complete blood test including CEA Marker test was taken but the CEA Market was only 0.83 & CRP was only 2.The HB showed in the test was increasing,to be 11.5. Complete result was attached.
  10. By Feb 14, the biopsy test result found no malignancy
  11. By Feb 15, we decided to leave the hospital since there’s no decision from the team of doctors (paediatric gastroenterologists, paediatric surgeon) — what it is, and how to treat this.

Some actions taken by me & medication given after leaving the hospitals were :

  1. I stopped giving milk (Pediasure S26), and any dairy products such as cheese, breads, tea drinks, chocolate containing food & beverage, fried food, any fabricated sausage & nugget, since Peb 13 until now.
  2. I started giving honey + propolis to replace milk by Feb 13 until now, and giving porridge / misoa (rice noddle) / mushy rice and grounded steamed beef / finely shredded beef, no chicken, no fish/seafood to avoid food allergic.
  3. I started giving meals 5-6x/day with smaller portion by Feb 14, rather than 3x/day previously
  4. Medication taken and given since leaving hospital under paediatric gastroenterologist’s suggestion were : Neciblok Sucralfate suspension (3X daily, 5cc), Ranivel Syrup Ranitidine 75mg/5mL (2X daily, 5cc), Nexium esomeprazole 20mg tablet (2X daily, 1 tablet).
  5. Oral pain killer (paracetamol) given after the IV was removed by Thu Peb 13. The dosage was paracetamol 20mg divided into 3 packs of powder, and given once in Fri Peb 14 dawn, once in Sat Peb 15 dawn, once in Sun Peb 16 almost midnite. Then I continue with Dumin syrup (paracetamol), 5ml this early morning (around 3:30am)

Some symptoms I observed  BEFORE and AFTER Feb. 13:

  1. BEFORE: sound of abdominal bloating which then followed by severe pain in my son’s stomach, usually happened once (in between Peb 3-9) in between 2.30 – 4am and once in between morning (after breakfast) till evening (after dinner), and soon disappear after a very foul smell fart.  AFTER: sound of abdominal bloating which then followed by less severe pain in my son’s stomach, only happened once (in between Feb 3-9) in between 2.30 – 4am, and soon disappear after a very foul smell fart.
  2. BEFORE: frequency of less severe pain (beside the severe ones) in my son’s stomach, usually happened 3-4 times in between morning (after breakfast) till evening (after dinner), and soon disappear after a smell fart/belching. AFTER: only happened 2-3 times.
  3. When the pain referred by #1 above is happening, I fingered my child’s stomach and could feel a lump under his chest (upper abdomen)
  4. Both BEFORE and AFTER  are the same : no fever, no vomiting (except once in Jan 20 & twice in Feb 8), normal faeces, weight in between 15-16 kgs, while his height is about 102cm.

Now, in Gleneagles Penang, my son is diagnosed as “favour to Burkitt’s Lymphoma”.

  1. Monday, meet paediatric surgeon, then let the Pantai Hospital pathologist did a review of the biopsy sample taken in Surabaya that I brought. It was claimed as LYMPHOMA, then further PA was taken to make sure.
  2. Tuesday, before steroid treatment, all blood test was normal, except LDH 275, HB 10.5, albumin was lesser than minimum limit for kid.
  3. Wednesday, after steroid treatment, all blood test was normal
  4. Friday, after steroid treatment, all blood test was normal
  5. Saturday, after steroid treatment, all blood test was normal, except HB was 8.7
  6. Sunday (yesterday), after steroid treatment, blood transfusion was done at 150mL.
  7. Monday (this afternoon), the further PA reading was given:

IMMUNOHISTOLOGY (the atypical cells are positive for CD20 and almost all cells exhibit MIB-1 activity. The cells are negative for bcl-2 and strongly positive for bcl-6. The cells are consistently negative for Tdt (x2).

MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION (the sections of the gastric biopsy show reactive lymphoid follicles as well as a focus of malignant lymphoid infiltration of the lamina. The cells are medium sized and exhibit prominent nuclei, with prominent granular chromatin and nucleoli, occasionally multiple mitoses are seen, and lymphoepithelial lesions are not seen.

DIAGNOSIS (mucosal infiltration by high grade B cell lymphoma, favour Burkitt lymphoma)

  1. In the faeces, there’s no blood within this week.

9. The quickest action suggested must be done by Wednesday Mar 5, 2014 are :

  • Bone Marrow Test
  • Chemo drug into the brain to prevent B cell spread
  • Prepare a chemopot in the chest

Since those 3 actions are scary, could you please prioritize your time to see me ? I’ll go to your clinic.

Looking forward to your reply urgently. Regards, HH.

Reply: Come and see me as soon as you can. 

On 4 March 2014, H came to see me and we talked. It was indeed a very sober occasion. Our hearts were heavy. I asked H to consider the following points seriously.

  1. Facing Reality of the Treatment Outcome

The doctors in Surabaya was unsure of what Rey had but suggested chemotherapy. In Penang the doctors said it could be Burkitt’s Lymphoma and the treatment must be carried out right away. Bone marrow would be extracted from his lumbar, a hole to be drilled in his head and a chemopot installed in his chest.

My question: Can this procedure and treatment cure Rey?

H was told: The treatment has a high chance of success.

Indeed in the net we can read these: 

  • More than half of patients with Burkitt’s lymphoma can be cured with intensive chemotherapy. The cure rate may be lower if the cancer spreads to the bone marrow or spinal fluid. The outlook is poor if the cancer comes back after a remission or does not go into remission as a result of the first cycle of chemotherapy. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001308.htm
What is the long-term outlook for a child with Burkitt’s lymphoma? Your child’s prognosis greatly depends on:
  1. the extent of the disease
  2. presence or absence of metastasis
  3. response to therapy
  4. your child’s age and overall health
  5. tolerance of specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • As with any cancer, prognosis and long-term survival can vary greatly. Prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are important for the best prognosis, and continuous follow-up care is essential. http://www.dana-farber.org/Health-Library/Childhood-Burkitt-s-Lymphoma.aspx
  •  Treatment of limited stage (stage I and II) Burkitt lymphomas is usually very successful, with a cure rate of over 90%. The cure rate for children with more advanced (stage III or IV) Burkitt lymphoma ranges from about 80% to 90%. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkinlymphomainchildren/detailedguide/non-hodgkin-lymphoma-in-children-staging
  • Age at diagnosis is a significant prognostic factor. Broadly speaking, older patients have poorer outcomes. Similar pediatric data are not yet available. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/987540-overview#aw2aab6b2b4
  • The overall prognosis for children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma has steadily improved. The projected 10-year survival rate for children diagnosed in 2005-2009 was 90.6%.
  • In the United States, 80% of children treated for early-stage Burkitt’s Lymphoma remain free from relapse three years after treatment. http://www.hannasheartsofhope.org/burkitts_Lymphoma.php
  • Survival statistics can sometimes be useful as a general guide, but they can’t predict what will happen in any child’s case. The ranges of numbers given below are based on the results of several studies that have used different treatment regimens or included slightly different groups of patients.
  • The diagnosis of a lymphoma in children is rare. There are about 500 new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed each year in kids in the United States. It may occur at any age during childhood, but is rare before age 3. http://www.lymphomation.org/type-childhood.htm
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Side Effects: Intensive lymphoma chemotherapy affects the bone marrow, causing anemia and bleeding problems, and increasing the risk for serious infections. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have many other side effects — some short-term (such as hair loss, changes in skin color, increased infection risk, and nausea and vomiting) and some long-term (such heart and kidney damage, reproductive problems, thyroid problems, or the development of another cancer later in life).
  • Relapses:  Although most kids do recover from lymphoma, some with severe disease will have a reoccurrence. For these children, bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants are among the newest treatment options. http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/cancer/cancer_lymphoma.html#

My question: While statistics say the kind of lymphoma that Rey has could be successfully treatment, this statistics may not be applicable to Rey. What is the oncologist’s personal experience? Has he ever treated 10 or 100 of such cases himself in his clinic? And for such cases, how many are cured? Merely relying on statistics of what others do may appear “scientific” but could be meaningless. 

  1. Facing Financial Reality 

My question: How much is the treatment going to cost?

H was told: A cycle of chemo cost about RM 5,000, Chemopot – RM 4,000 – 5,000.  The initial treatment of 6 cycles could come to about RM 40,000 to 50,000.

My question: What happen after the 6 cycles of chemo? Will Rey need more chemo? That means more money for more treatment. Let us assume that in total the total cost of  treatment finally comes to RM 100,000. Do you have that kind of money to spend?

H told me: He would borrow or sell his house to come up with that amount. It also means, he will be financially drained and ruined. He would have nothing left to take care of his family and do his business.

My comment: It may be okay to cough out that kind of money if Rey can be cured. What if he is not cured? Money gone and son lost. 

  1. Facing Death 

Everybody with cancer wants to find a cure — cure means the disease goes away and will not come back. Unfortunately, cure is elusive even though the “response to treatment” could be high, as reported in medical literature. But response does not mean cure.

Some years ago I had a 2-month-old baby with neuroblastoma, Stage 4. The doctor scolded the parents for declining chemotherapy. I clearly remember that morning when the baby’s parents came to my house and sat down to talk (and cried) for 2 hours. The first question I asked was: How do you want your baby to die? Natural death or die while doing the chemo? The mother replied she preferred her baby to die naturally. Then my respond was: Let’s do nothing and takes some herbs! Stop feeding her milk. Change to fruit juices. Today, this baby is a normal 15 year-old. (Note: this case is unique and does not necessarily apply to Rey at all. Each one has his/her own healing path).

What could have happened if she was to undergo the chemo as suggested by the doctor? Will she be still alive?

Even if she was cured, what would be the chances of her getting another cancer as a result of the earlier toxic treatment?

I reminded H that while we all hope that the chemo would cure Rey, we also need to face reality that he might die because of the treatment. So, how do you want Rey to die?

This is what I told H: “Go back and discuss this matter with your wife. Call your parents in Surabaya and talk this out with them.  Then make your own decision.”

The next morning, 5 March 2014, H and his wife and 5-year-old Rey came to our centre. This time, our conversation was more cheerful. It appeared to me that H seemed to be more confident. He had made up his mind. No chemo! He wanted to try the herbs.

I made it clear to H and his wife. I have no magic bullet to cure Rey. The herbs may be able to make his life a bit better but don’t expect a cure. If his condition deteriorates, they should ask for medical help.

I must confess that every time a child came to our centre for help, my heart sank. I knew this would be an uphill battle. How is a young person / baby understand that he/she has to drink bitter herbs every day? And many times a day. Then the diet has to be changed. No sweets, etc., etc. It is hard. Under such circumstances, we could only try our best.

DEATH OF A FIRST LADY: JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS

Review by Yeong Sek Yee & Khadijah Shaari

Jacqueline Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, just like the late Senator Hubert Humphrey, also died a painful death in May 1994. Jacqueline Kennedy was the wife of the late President John Kennedy, the 35th President of the USA from January 1961 until he was assassinated in November 1963. Jacqueline subsequently married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis in 1968 and was later known as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Mrs. Onassis was healthy until early December1993, when she noticed a swelling in her right groin. A doctor diagnosed a swollen lymph node, and suspecting an infection, prescribed antibiotics. The swelling diminished but did not completely disappear.  While on a boat cruise in the Caribbean over the Christmas holidays in 1993, Mrs. Onassis developed a cough and swollen lymph nodes in her neck and pain in her abdomen.

Subsequently another doctor found enlarged lymph nodes in her neck and in her armpit. A  CAT scan, showed that there were swollen lymph nodes in her chest and in an area deep in the abdomen, the retroperitoneal area.A biopsy of one of the neck nodes showed that Mrs. Onassis had non-Hodgkin’s  lymphoma (NHL).

In early January1994, Mrs. Onassis began receiving the first of four standard courses of chemotherapy for the lymphoma. The therapy included steroid drugs, and the initial treatment led to an apparent remission. But in mid-March 1994, she developed weakness, became confused and  had  pains in her legs. A neurological examination indicated that the cerebellum portion of her brain had been affected. Later, an M.R.I. showed that the lymphoma had disappeared from her neck, chest and abdomen but that it had spread to the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

After the cancer was found  in her brain, Mrs. Onassis received radiation therapy there and to her lower spinal cord for about a month. The treatment relieved her weakness, but she continued to experience pain in her neck, for which she was given pain medications. During this time she received her care at home and as a hospital out-patient.

On April 14, Mrs. Onassis was admitted to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center after she developed a perforated ulcer in her stomach, a complication of the steroid therapy. Surgeons sewed up the hole in the stomach that day.

However the cancer in her spinal cord and brain continued to worsen. Although a tube was placed in her brain to deliver an anti-cancer drug, a sophisticated but now standard form of therapy for this condition, the lymphoma in her brain did not respond to any therapy. During this period, she lost weight, her speech slowed; she was less alert and had difficulty walking.

A subsequent CAT scan showed that the lymphoma was in her liver in huge amounts.Doctors said there was nothing else medicine could offer. After consultation with her family and in keeping with the intent of her living will, Mrs. Onassis asked to go home from the hospital.

The above was reported in the New York Times of May 20 1994 (read article at following link   http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/20/us/death-of-a-first-lady-no-more-could-be-done-mrs-onassis-was-told.html).

Harvey Diamond, in his best seller FIT FOR LIFE, A NEW BEGINNING, was more explicit in his description of Mrs. Onassis’s  battle with lymphoma…the following are excerpts from the book:

…..she was bombarded with drugs. Lots of powerful, virulent, energy-sapping, life-diminishing drugs. The New York Times stated that she “initially responded to therapy, but it (cancer) came back in her brain and spread through her body”

For the unrelenting pain in her neck, Mrs. Onassis received more drugs.  For the acute pneumonia she developed in her weakened state, she received more drugs.  Steroids were part of the mixture in her chemotherapy, which caused a perforated ulcer in her stomach.  In the middle of her ordeal, she had to be operated on to sew up the hole in her stomach.  She went from bad to worse, and as a final assault on her body, she was subjected to even more radiation and chemotherapy, only this time it was shot directly into her brain.  The cancer spread to her spinal cord, her liver, and throughout her body.  She became weak and disoriented, lost weight, developed shaking chills, her speech slowed, and she had difficulty walking.

A POINT TO PONDER

Mrs. Onassis was diagnosed with NHL in January 1994 and she passed away on May 19 1994…just barely 5 months after diagnosis/treatments. Why did she have to die such a painful death? Did the scientifically tested, proven and evidence-based cancer treatments caused the cancer to spread? Or was the NHL too aggressive?

We leave it to you to be the judge.

Professor Stoller’s Cancer Experience

Book Review: Stranger in the Village of the Sick

 

Professor Paul Stoller is an interesting man and he wrote a very interesting book.

Why is he an interesting man?

He wrote: As a child my parents immersed me in the culture of Judaism. I attended Hebrew school. As a young man, my graduate education assimilated me to the culture of anthropology. I learned how to write research proposals, conduct ethnographic research and “write up” the results. I have been a professional anthropologist for more than twenty-five years. When he was a young anthropologist Stoller went to Niger, Western Africa, to study the culture of the Songhay, the main ethnic group that form the Songhay Empire – one of the largest Islamic empires in history, sometime in early 15th to the late 16th century. The Songhay practises sorcery – the art of black magic or witchcraft and use supernatural power to heal or to control others.  Stroller was initiated into sorcery by Adamu Jenitongo.  Perhaps they are like bomohs or village shamans in this part of our world. Stoller wrote: In Niger, I learned to mix potions, read divinatory shells and recite incantations.

Why is his book interesting? 

Professor Stoller was diagnosed with lymphoma and has undergone chemotherapy. He came out “successful” after his treatment and he wrote vivid accounts about his cancer journey –  his fears, his pains, his worries and how he coped.

  • Stoller wrote: My own religious background, Judaism, gave me a set of abstract principles about the world in which I lived, but provided no concrete formulas for dealing with an unexpected and incurable disease. So Stoller had to rely on his sorcery knowledge that he learned in Africa to see him through his cancer experience. Being thrust into a new world that would change my life forever prompted me to think long and hard about my experience among the Songhay people of the Republic of Niger. In time of despair, over and over again, Stoller found comfort in the words and teachings of his long-gone Master, Adamu Jenitongo. At times, he heard Adamu whispering to him and telling him what to do.

There are many things in Stoller’s writing that cancer patients can learn from. The following (italic) are extracts from his book.

Diagnosis of Cancer

Professor Stoller was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March 2001. He wrote:

  • In a flash, cancer had abruptly taken control of my life and forced me onto a dreadful new path that promised unspeakable pain and endless suffering. The terrifying prospect of a slow and unbearable death made me tremble. These frightening thoughts quickly transformed me into a powerless person.
  • I didn’t notice my surroundings. Like a zombie, I signed in, sat down and waited. I felt like a dead man walking to the gas chamber.
  • In that moment the world that I had known completely crumbled. My head, suddenly heavy and weary, sunk to my chest. I stared at the floor unable to move. Cancer, I said to myself. How could I have cancer? I had done all the right things: good diet, exercise, minimal stress. Would I be dead in six months?
  • Despite improvements in treatment and better rates of survival, a diagnosis of cancer is still perceived as a sentence to a slow and painful death.
  • Now I wondered if I would survive one year, two years, perhaps five. Ten years suddenly seemed like a life time. If only I could have another ten years.
  • My current circumstances had compelled me to spend quite a lot of time thinking about my life.
  • Cancer always makes you confront death. This unwelcome and unexpected confrontation quickly erodes the gender, ethnic and class differences that divide American society… social differences among university professors, construction workers, and secretaries quickly fade away. Cancer makes us involuntary kin in the village of the sick. 

Lessons from the Songhay

  • A fundamental lesson in Songhay sorcery is: One must make careful preparations and be thoroughly protected before undertaking a task – especially with respect to the physical and psychological disruptions that a serious illness can trigger. You expect to confront all sorts of trouble – betrayal , loss, and illness – along your path. Although you cannot expect to evade misfortune … you can try to be prepared for it.
  • Feeling confident about the outcomes of our choices gives us a sense of control over our lives – something that most Americans strive for. Most Songhay people see the world quite differently. They believe that they have little control over what happens to them … uncertainty, rather than certainty, governs their journey through life. Like many Americans, I have a difficult time dealing with ambiguous uncertainty. In our main stream culture, we prefer quick, clear, concrete answers to difficult problem. We’d like to believe that we are able to control our destiny. If we get sick, we expect a quick fix. How many of us are able or willing to jump into a fast-moving stream and let the current carry us to an uncertain destinations? Most of us would feel that we were being foolhardy if we did so.
  • No amount of denial, numbness, or work, though, could erase my awareness of the “undefined mass” growing in my abdomen. I longed to be more like the Songhay. Why couldn’t I let fate carry me away to some unknown destinations? Why couldn’t I live with ambiguous uncertainty?
  •  You have been told that you have cancer, an event that marks a point of misfortune. Events have compelled you to decide which path to follow into the village of the sick. You also know that you alone will bear the consequences of that decision. When I found myself standing on this point of misfortune… I desperately wanted someone – anyone – to tell me what to do. As Adamu Jenitongo would say, they must find their own way. They must choose which path to take and bear the consequences. Cancer patients must make the same fateful choice. That is the reality that the newly diagnosed cancer patient faces; it is a hard reality to bear.
  • Most Americans don’t like to think too much about death. Many of us can’t even accept inevitable changes to our aging bodies, a sign that life is finite, let alone the specter of death. In the world of sorcery, however, illness is ever present in life. In that world, illness is a gateway to learning more about life. As for death, it is your continuous companion.

Chemotherapy Experience

  • I spent hours reading about the side effects of chemotherapy, information that filled me with fear and anxiety. I geared myself up for body-wrenching nausea, bone-weary fatigue, and hair loss. I bought an electric razor to avoid excessive bleeding from a shaving cut – and a soft toothbrush to guard against painful mouth sores. I also read the literature about Rituxan – it, too, could cause serious problems – fever, chills and heart irregularities – especially the first time it was administered.
  • The best strategy, which I followed one day prior to my initial treatment session, was to get a buzz cut to reduce the psychological shock of being suddenly bald.
  • Cancer patients were also advised to use mild shampoos, soft hairbrushes, and low heat setting on hair dryers.
  • Mouth sores, tender gums and sore throat, usually occurred seven to fourteen days after the beginning of treatment. Each person reacts differently. Side effects also depend upon the drug combinations you get.
  • I had appreciated the phone calls and cards I had received from family members after the diagnosis. Their expressions of concern made me feel better.
  • As I prepared to go to bed … I realized yet again that cancer patients – me, in this instance – must live alone with a disease that their own bodies had produced.
  • I had to learn to live with cancer, but somehow not allow it to take over my life.
  • As the chemotherapy agents destroyed healthy as well as malignant cells … my body would throb, especially in the neck, shoulders and back. In time, my throat would burn. I might get sores on my tongues, cheeks and lips. Periodic fevers would make me sweat. Rashes might spread over my body. And just as my body had cleansed itself of the poisons that precipitated this misery, I’d once again have to drag myself to the Cancer Centre … I’d be hooked up for another treatment and another three-week cycle of side effects.
  • I now knew that my life would never return to “normal.” Cancer and chemotherapy treatments would leave their mark on me. “You can stop the chemotherapy anytime you want,” one of my friends asserted after hearing vivid descriptions of the side effects. “Yes,” I said, “but what’s the alternatives?”
  • In treatment the world slows down. You must sit for hours as the chemotherapy drugs drip into your bloodstream. The drugs make your body ache. They make you tired. You have to pace yourself. They force you to be patient. Patience is the password in the village of the sick. Cancer patients have no choice. They have to confront their weariness and make the necessary accommodations. It is a humbling exercise.
  • As I went through the last phase of chemotherapy, though, the going got tough – more bad than good days. I developed periodic sore throat. A line of painful mouth sores developed on the blade of my tongue, making it difficult to swallow. My bones throbbed, and I developed such pulsing pain in my right knees. Pain and restlessness made a good night’s sleep a gift to be savored. Numbness became more and more noticeable in my feet and hands. Hand and foot cramps froze my joints in painful positions.  …chemotherapy’s side effects were cumulative.
  • No formula can wash away the pain and suffering that comes with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Lessons from the Songhay

  • I somehow managed to make it through the last six weeks of treatment…. In my dreams, I’d see myself seated next to my teacher in the shade of his conical straw hut. The world is patience, he’d say. The world is patience. Never before had I realised the importance of this adage.
  • Although my own middle-class suburban American upbringing had paved the way for my professional life, it had not prepared me for the pain and suffering of cancer. Instead, the wisdom of Songhay sorcery helped me to deal with the devastation that cancer brings to life. It calmed me in stressful situations. It enabled me to be patient in circumstances that provoked impatience. It gave me strength and determination in times of physical and emotional stress. And, as odd as it may seem, it showed me how to incorporate cancer into my life so that I could use it to grow both physically and emotionally.

Success – Remission!

CAT and PET scan results showed Professor Stoller was lymphoma-free. He was in complete remission.

  • How many years of good health, exactly? How long could I expect to remain in remission? You could be in remission for two years, five years. In some cases, people remain in remission for ten years. In other cases, the lymphoma comes back in six months. (Note: from the Internet, I learned that Professor Stoller is still healthy. His success is most outstanding. It has been 11 years now).
  • At the end of treatment, the side effects of chemotherapy drugs slowly fade away. The aches and pains dissipate. The mouth sores disappear. Your throat clears. The fevers fade away. Your appetite returns. Energy surges through your body. Even though you feel “normal,” you still think about cancer every day – if only a little  while.
  • When cancer patients enter the zone of remission … you are in a space between the comfortable assumptions of your old life and the uncomfortable uncertainties of your new life. You have long left the village of the healthy … Once you enter the village of the sick, you can never fully return to the village of the healthy.
  • Restoration of health does not make you a conqueror.

Lessons from the Songhay

  • If a Songhay develops a serious illness like cancer, he or she is likely to build respect for it. Respect for cancer – or any illness – does not mean that you meekly submit to the ravages of disease.  Following the ideas of sages like Adamu Jenitongo, illness is accepted as an ongoing part of life. When illness appears, it presents one with limitations, but if it is possible to accept the limitations and work within their parameters, one can create a degree of comforts in uncomfortable circumstances.
  • Remission can also be like a prison from which the cancer patient cannot escape. Confronting remission’s impermanence is not easy. There are junctures during remission that remind you what a delicate state it can be.  Once in remission, waiting for the results of regularly schedules CAT scan can become exceedingly stressful and can plunge you into depression. If the results come back normal, remission continues. If the scans indicate the return of malignant cells, you may need an additional, more powerful toxic treatment. You may even need palliative care to ease the journey toward your ultimate demise – a destination we all share.
  • My experiences in the world of Songhay sorcery have helped me to cope with the diagnosis of and treatment of lymphoma. What’s more, Adamu Jenitongo’s soft voice comes to me regularly in dreams. He reminds me to accept my limitations and remove resentment from my mind. He tells me to be patient in a world of impatience. He encourages me to be humble and refine my knowledge so that others might learn from it. 

Balance and Harmony

  • In Songhay philosophy, internal and external harmony enables a person to see life more clearly.
  • When you learn you have cancer, the world spins out of control. You are thrown into a world of medical procedures and inconclusive diagnoses. What’s more, you have to interact with technicians and medical professionals, many of whom can be insensitive.
  • You find yourself in the vortex of a whirlwind. No matter what kind of support you have from friends, family and professionals –  ultimately  you … must face your fate alone. No matter the degree of support that they gave, cancer patients must confront their illness alone.
  • Optimism, which can be learned, enables people to live longer, healthier, and happier lives, as compared with the experience of pessimistic people. Pessimism can lead to a sense of helplessness and trigger depression. Helplessness and depression, in turn, weaken the immune system, priming the body for serious illnesses and even premature death.
  • Being optimistic should not blind us from reality. You can be pessimistic, but not in a way that clouds your vision completely. Above all, you should attempt to be prepared to confront whatever life presents – pragmatic optimism laced with a practical pessimism.
  • I attempted to see things – including myself – more clearly. I attempted to prepare myself for what had appeared on my path. I read widely about my illness and possible treatments for it. To keep myself going, I tried to eat well and get plenty of sleep. I continued to write and do my work. I tried to enjoy my life. Although these measures did not wash away my worries about pain and death, they did sustain me through eight months of chemotherapy. They sustain me now that I’m in remission. And yet I realize that in the future I will face trouble for which I must be prepared. If the medical literature is accurate, it is only a matter of time until lymphoma cells reappear in my body. When that happens I will have to undergo more diagnostic test and more treatments. Despite the “darkness” of my future, I hope that my tempered optimism will enable me to enjoy the pleasures of good health for as long as I can.
  • Among the Songhay, clear vision also embodies a sense of humility. Arrogance, I have learned, can do a person great harm. The medical stance toward illness is militaristic. Illness is an invading force, a foreigner attempting to colonize the body. That alien force must first be subdued and then eliminated. Medical science has developed an impressive array of technological weapons to kill invading cells … which leads to the belief that we have the capacity to eradicate illnesses like cancer. In Balinese and Songhay society, by contrast, people have a more humble take on illness …. To respect the power of illness, which means that they attempt to incorporate it into their lives. If illness is incorporated into one’s life, people can use it to become stronger in body and wiser in spirit.
  • Cancer propels you down a difficult path on which it is important to be humble. If you are arrogant about life and believe that you can master illness, a disease, like cancer, can force you into a needlessly desperate corner.
  • The world of cancer is particularly fraught with war metaphors. We are fighting the war on cancer. Cancer cells attack and overwhelm healthy cells. Oncologists then send a sortie of chemotherapy agents on search-and-destroy missions. These agents destroy the enemy, but also kill healthy bystanders – collateral damage. These missions often result in heavy casualties. Although the technological marvels of modern medicine may make you the survivor of many battles, can you ever win the war? Adamu Jenitongo told me that one needs to respect illness as a part of life. If you respect illness, you can use it to develop your being.
  • Illness is a part of life; it lies within us and waits for the right moment to appear. The ideal for Songhay is to learn to respect the unalterable presence of illness and live with it. If you learn to live with illness, your being becomes stronger and stronger. The idea of living with an illness runs counter to major themes in American culture. No one wants to live with an illness. If we contract an illness, we want to conquer it.

Lessons from the Songhay

  • My teacher always said that there are many paths to well-being. I now understand more fully what that meant.
  • Confronting cancer is a frightening lonely proposition. How do you deal with your isolation? Songhay sorcerers have one suggestion; they say that you should diligently perform personal rituals. Each of us has his or her personal rituals. Doing certain things when we wake up or go to sleep may help to set the world straight and bring us a sense of calm. Where we are able to perform these personal rituals, they give us a good feeling … we can generate and maintain a measure of control over our lives. Engaging in personal rituals, of course, cannot guarantee a successful course of chemotherapy, but it can assure, I think, a certain sense of personal control, which goes a long way toward maintaining quality of life. Any cancer patient can engage in this kind of ritual …  you might recite a certain prayer or poem … that gives you comfort. You might wear clothing that makes you feel confident. You might bring music that sends you on a soothing dreamlike journey … They can bring you peace, so that you can be ready for what life presents on your path.

Finding Meaning in Your Cancer

  • Having been diagnosed with and treated for lymphoma forced me to reflect deeply about the meaning of my life. It is unthinkable to be grateful for a diagnosis of cancer. No one desires the pain and suffering that come with a serious illness. But once you’ve got it… why not incorporate it, as the Songhay would say, to bring to your being a deeper understanding of life’s forces and meanings? Cancer can be used, and my example is one of many thousands, to grow and change. 
  • Cancer compelled me to see myself – my being – more clearly.
  • As odd as it may seem, the unanticipated and devastating presence of cancer in my body opened a pathway to personal growth and development. It deepened my spiritual beliefs, refocused my professional visions and forced me to understand more realistically the symbiotic relationship between illness and health. In time, my experience of cancer toughened my body and strengthened my resolve.

What I Learned from Professor Stoller

I benefited a lot from Stoller’s writing. He showed me in words what it means to live with fear, in anxiety,  and what it was like to suffer pains associated with a diagnosis, treatment of cancer and even after the doctor had said you are cancer-free (really, cancer-free?).

For sixteen years, I saw how patients suffer from their cancer but I have not read any book that describes in detail their cancer experiences.  What Stoller wrote impacted me very much. It helped me to understand more about my patients’ sufferings – mentally, emotionally and physically.  As healers or caregivers, we experience cancer as a by stander – just from the outside, and we are not really involved. We assumed that we understand the patients’ sufferings – generally we don’t. We only learn about their problems through our “textbooks.” We don’t feel how they feel although we think that we know and care. The truth is – we are not supposed to be involved. The medical term for this attitude is detached concern.

These words that  Stoller wrote had made an impact on me: When I found myself standing on this point of misfortune… I desperately wanted someone – anyone – to tell me what to do. As Adamu Jenitongo would say, they must find their own way. They must choose which path to take and bear the consequences. Cancer patients must make the same fateful choice. That is the reality that the newly diagnosed cancer patient faces; it is a hard reality to bear. 

Here it was, an educated man – a professor of an American university, wanted someone – anyone – to tell him what to do.  He lived in America and had access to the best of medical facilities, why did he need someone – anyone – to advise him? It just shows how vulnerable we all are. I recall one patient who had cervical cancer. She did not know what to do after her diagnosis. Through the phone we talked to each other every day – and I was guiding her all the way. Even before going into the operation theatre, I had to talk to her to encourage her to take things easy. After the operation she called to say thank you and said that she benefited very much because I was there “by her side” all the way. Well, I took what she said as the usual compliment. After all, I thought, it is my job to help people. Let me put it right – this job is provided without any fee! But I still call it my job – perhaps social responsibility is more appropriate? However, after reading what Stoller wrote this responsibility acquired a deeper meaning. I felt more empathy for those who come to seek my help (which previously I called shopping spree) – for they are really lost and need someone – anyone, to guide them. I wonder, like Stoller – why don’t they go to the hospitals and consult the “real” professionals?

From this, it dawned on me that the role of CA Care has evolved to yet another level. Two days ago, two patients flew in from Makassar, Indonesia. They came to ask what to do. By right, they should have gone to see doctors in the hospitals, why come to CA Care? Their problem is they don’t even know where to go and what doctor to see! This time, I felt more empathy for them. I now realize that they are desperate and lost.  I have to be patient. They needed someone to guide them – like Stoller too. And these patients are far less educated than Stoller and they come from a much less developed place than America!

Last night, while I was writing this article, a lady with breast cancer called. She had undergone a mastectomy and wanted to know what to do next – to go for chemo or not to go. I told her not to panic or be in a rush to do things. Take it easy and ask her to come and see me with all the medical reports.  She replied: No, I am not afraid. I don’t panic either. I am glad that I have you to guide me from the very beginning. I am okay. Her words brought a different meaning to me – after reading Stoller’s book.

Professor Stoller benefited from the wisdom of his Master, Adamu Jenitongo. How could this be – a professor from America learning from an African bushman?  Listen to the wise words of Adamu: We all live on borrowed time. We should make the most of our borrowed time. To accomplish this feat, we need to pick our battles very carefully and exert our force when it is important to do so. A true sorcerer must not waste energy on needless battles.  You must avoid conflict as often as possible. When you do fight a battle, make sure it is an important one. Knowing when to fight is the mark of courage; it prepares you for battles worthy of your power.  Winning is not the goal of everyday confrontations. Cancer patients, old and young, male and female, have often learned to live with their illness and accept the difficult fact that death is part of life. Those lessons have enabled them to maintain their dignity and improve the quality of their lives. For me, that is the mark of courage.

I urged you to reflect deeply those words in bold. I for sure also benefited from this great, wise, 100-year-plus-old man, who came from the bushes of Africa.

Some Quotations

  • Given the realities of the American medical system, patients are often treated with insensitivity … “patients” must be “patient” for they have few rights and limited importance. Arthur Frank (The Wounded Storyteller) suggests that patients are subjects who are colonized by medicine.
  • Truth, I learn, is an unstable condition. To paraphrase William James, truth is like a check. It’s good only as long as there is money in the bank.
  • Skepticism has been central to the Western pursuit of knowledge. They tend to be skeptical of alternative medicine or nonscientific approaches to healing the body. It makes them cautious about diagnosis, a practice … that is laced with uncertainty and doubt. From within the village of the healthy, skepticism makes good sense; it has advanced our knowledge of and control over the world by leaps and bounds.  From within the village of the sick, in which death is our constant companions, skepticism fades away … you begin to wonder if skepticism is good for your body.
  • You look, but you don’t see. You listen, but you don’t hear. You touch, but you don’t feel – it takes a lifetime to learn how to “see,” “hear,” and “feel” the world.
  • You must earn knowledge. To earn it, misfortune must test your courage. Knowledge is greater than we are. You have to learn it slowly. You have to respect its power.
  • The Songhay realise that knowledge they acquired is borrowed and that their responsibility is to refine what they have learned and pass it on to the next generation. 

Dissecting Chemotherapy 12: Almost ‘chopped off’ by CHOP-R for Her Lymphoma

Pat (not real name- SY216) is a 72-year-old lady. Sometime in mid-2010, she was on TB medication for six months. Her legs, abdomen and hands were swollen.  A CT scan done on 22 December 2010 showed a 12.1 x 10.7 x 5.6 cm mass in the para-aortic region and there are multiple masses involving the left kidney and bilateral adrenal glands.  CT chest shows cardiomegaly with mild pericardial effusion. The likely diagnosis is lymphoma.

A biopsy done on 16 February 2011 confirmed diffuse large B cell lymphoma.  Pat underwent chemotherapy. The regimen used was CHOP-R, consisting of Cyclophosphamide + Andriamycin + Vincristine + Prenisolone + Rituximab.

The first cycle that Pat received on 24 February 2011 was of low dosage. Pat received the second cycle on 4 March 2011. This second cycle was a full dose. About a week later, Pat suffered severe side effects and her husband said, “She was almost “chopped off” by CHOP-R.”

Pat and her family decided to give up further chemotherapy. She and her family came to seek our help on 23 April 2011. She presented with “bad” liver (see table of blood test of 13 April 2011). Pat was prescribed Capsule A + B, Liver-P, LL-tea for her liver and Lympho 1 and Lympho 2 teas for her lymphoma.

On 17 October 2011, Chris had a chance to meet up with Pat and her family. Listen to our conversation that day.

 

 

13 April 2011 23 April 2011 27 July 2011 12 Oct. 2011
Albumin

31    Low

Started on herbs

40

34

Alkaline Phosphatase

261  High

77

81

AST

 42    High

28

28

ALT       59

12

15

GGT

185   High

46

30

Pat has been taking our herbs very religiously and she is doing well after giving up her chemo. As of this writing, 15 February 2012, Pat is doing fine. According to her daughter, Pat went to Singapore for her Chinese New Year Holiday (end of January 2012).

Comments

Pat suffered badly after her first cycle of CHOP-R. She could not take it anymore. Ask this question – what could have happened if Pat were to persist and continued with her chemo? Assuming she was able to complete a course of six cycles, what could have been the benefit?

Pat gave up and turned to our herbs. Did she die of her lymphoma even after giving up the chemo?  The next important question is, can her lymphoma recur? Yes. It does not matter if she had completed her full course of chemo or not.

The late Dr. Stephen Schneider, was a world famous professor at Stanford University. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2001. He was treated by Dr. Sandra Horning, a leading expert on lymphoma – “the best person in the world for treating what you have”. Dr. Horning is also from Stanford and is a professor of medicine. Schneider received the “new” Stanford’s chemotherapy regimen using CHOP + R. After three cycles of CHOPR-R, CT scan showed that the lumps had disappeared. Schneider continued with chemotherapy and in total had six cycles. Although in remission Schneider was told that the cancer cells might still be hiding somewhere in the body – perhaps the bones and behind the eye balls. To be sure, Schneider had to undergo a bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Sandra said, “We never use the word ‘cure’ just remission. We’re very hopeful you will have a long and strong remission.”

It is sad to say that in spite of all the best efforts, Dr. Schneider died on 19 July 2010, after an apparent heart attack on an airplane while en route to London from a scientific conference in Stockholm. He was 65. In short, Schneider survived for nine years after his cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Did medicine really cure his cancer? Does this sound familiar?  The operation is a success but the patient died of complications?   Cytoxan (one of the chemo drug used on Schneider) has its harmful effects.  Schneider received a lot of that drug and he knew the odds when it wrote “it was known to deteriorate heart and lung condition, the cost-benefit calculus was not going to see me getting away scot-free.”

Let me end by asking you to reflect on the following quotations:

 

 

 

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma of the Stomach: One cycle of chemo made him really sick. He took herbs and life was restored

Eng (H241) is a 65-year-old male.  In 2007 he underwent an angioplasty procedure. Sometime in July 2009, he suffered from indigestion and nausea. Then in August 2009, he vomited blood. He was admitted into a government hospital. A biopsy done on 23 October 2009 indicated large cell, B-cell type gastric non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) of intermediate grade.

On 8 December 2009, he underwent chemotherapy with modified CHOP –  cyclophosphamide + vincristine + Epirubicin and Prednisolone.  Medical record indicated he received a LOWER dosage due to his past medical history.  He suffered the following severe side effects after just a cycle of chemotherapy.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fevers, temperature 38.1 C
  • Slow heartbeat (junctional bradycardia)
  • Hardening (consolidation) of the right lung
  • Stroke (left thalamus infarction)
  • Uncontrolled hypertension

As a result of the above, life was difficult for Eng. He had no strength and was unable to urinate. This is what was written on his medical report. “20 December 2009 – In view of patient’s poor tolerance to chemo and the lesion is localized within the stomach” patient was referred for radiotherapy.

Eng was asked to undergo 25 times of radiation treatment. He refused.  He was discharged and prescribed with the following drugs:

  1. Omeprazole
  2. Lovastatin
  3. Ticlid
  4. Isordil
  5. Amlodipine
  6. Perindopril
  7. Prazocin
  8. Gliclazide
  9. Laquid paraffin
  10. Lactulose

Patient’s daughter came to seek our help on 17 January 2010. She presented her father’s condition as below:

  1. No pain
  2. Unable to sleep
  3. Can’t eat  – no appetite, nausea and sometimes vomit
  4. Tired
  5. Bowel movements once every few days – constipatioin
  6. Cough with sticky phlegm
  7. Breathless
  8. No strength

We prescribed Capsule A, C-tea, Lympho 1 and 2 teas, Constipation tea and Appetite & Vomit tea.

24 January 2010: After one week on the herbs, his appetite and bowel movements improved. He could talk with a louder voice. But he still had difficulty with urination.

29 January 2010: No more nausea, every day he moved his bowels, and he was able to walk better. Before the herbs he was only able to stand up for a while only.

5 March 2010: Health improved – could walk. Appetite improved. Swelling of both legs were gone. He was able to urinate.  For the first time, his daughter brought her father to meet us (see video).

12 November 2010: Eng came to see us. He was doing fine.

9 December 2011: He was doing fine – almost two years since he started taking the herbs.  Eng came to see us with his daughter (see video).

 

Permission to use this video without having to mask patient’s face is granted by the family.

 

Comments

  1. Because of his medical history, Eng was only given “lower” dose chemotherapy. In spite of that, he suffered severe side effects. What do you think could happen if he was to be given a “FULL” dose? Can he die from the treatment?
  2. What is the idea or rationale of receiving “lower” dose chemotherapy? Do you mean to say that a “lower” dose can also cure him when using a “full “dose may not cure patients?
  3. Since further chemotherapy had to be aborted, Eng was asked to undergo 25 times of radiotherapy. Was this a wise advice? Can radiotherapy cure stomach lymphoma?
  4. What could have happened if Eng were to undergo radiotherapy? Would he not suffer even worse side effects?

The family decided to give up medical treatment. Eng’s daughter surfed the net and found CA Care. Eng was put on herbs. His conditions improved and as of this writing (13 December 2011), after almost two years, he is still doing fine.

  1. Does this not indicate that what Eng did for the past two years – taking herbs and change of diet – is good for him?  How much scientific proof do we need from this success story?
  2. Think hard – do you really need chemo or radiation for such a case? Is there not a better way of treating such a “sick” person like Eng besides such invasive treatments?

Let me end with these quotations: