Colon Cancer: Surgery and chemo failed to cure him. Part 2: Go seek spiritual guidance!

Guna is a 45-year-old Indonesian. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy for his colon cancer. Things were fine for a while. But two and a half years later, his cancer recurred in his abdomen and lung. The doctor suggested a PET scan to be followed by another surgery and/or more chemotherapy.

What to do now?

From our years of experience, this is the stage when most patients come to CA Care for help. And their expectation — to find a magic bullet to cure their cancer! To them I have this answer. No, I cannot cure you! That was exactly what I told Guna and his wife.

I spent about two hours listening to his sad story. But what can I say? What had to be done (based on the doctor’s recommendation) had been done. The result is a tragic failure.

If I have my way, I would want to send Guna and wife away and tell them to do what the doctors want them to do. Then we see what happen next and at the same time hope for the best! But I did not have the heart to say “no”.

I saw the despair in their faces. Guna and his wife probably expected me to say that I can cure them! I cannot! And I told them I am not god. It is better to be honest than to mislead them — to sell false promise or false hope!

It is always my policy to tell patients the truth — clearly and bluntly. I hope they can learn something from what I said. Likewise, I also hope that Guna and his wife have learned their lesson after this failure. The reality speaks for itself. But many people cannot see reality. You need to tell them that they are blind! Hopefully they learn how to see.

For Guna, there are two options.

One, go back to the doctors and undergo what medical science has to offer. But no, Guna and his wife did not want to do that.

Two, follow our therapy. His wife said, let’s take the herbs and hopefully this will cure him. But I said, No way!

Before I sent them away empty-handed, I asked one final question. To whom do you pray? The wife answered, Buddha.

Okay, why don’t you go home and take time to talk to Buddha. Ask Him for guidance. Then follow what He says. For those reading this article, this is exactly what I would say to YOU too, if you come and see me at this late stage. What else can I do?

Guna’s wife answer turned the table on me. After being told of his relapse, Guna’s wife  was very upset and confused, not knowing what to do. She then went to pray and consulted the medium of two Buddhist temples in Medan. She was told “not to undergo further medical treatment and should see Dr. Chris instead.”

They did exactly that — flew to Penang specially to consult with us. I could not send them home just like that — “empty handed.”

Listen to our conversation.

 

 

Gist of our conversation

Chris: What can you do now? Yes, follow the doctor’s advice. Go for a PET scan. With the scan we can know if the cancer has spread elsewhere. This is from the doctor’s viewpoint. But for you, I am not sure what benefit you will get out of it.

As you told me earlier, the first time you did chemotherapy the doctor said chemo was going to reduce the chances of recurrence. Without chemo, the chances of recurrence would be higher. You did what the oncologist asked you to do. And the cancer still come back! So, what is the benefit then?

Perhaps, if you did not do the chemo, you would be better off? Who knows?

How long after the chemo that the cancer came back?

Wife: After two and a half years.

C: Ask yourself this question. If after the PET scan they find more tumours. Can you cut out all of them? Not likely. Yes, can cut, but can that cure you? Earlier on one big tumour was cut out. What happened? It came back in spite of the cutting and the chemo. So what do you expect the result is going to be this time around?

W: According to your opinion, what is the best way out?

C: I don’t know. If I use my head, option1 is for you to follow your doctor’s advice. Go for a PET scan, operate and chemo. I really cannot say if this is going to do you any good. It is up  to you.

Guna: What is your advice? I am already confused.

C: I am just as confused. If I tell you to take our herbs, and after a few months the scan shows that the tumour has grown bigger, you will blame me! How?

Go, Seek Spiritual Guidance

C: Who do you pray to?

W: To Buddha.

C: Okay, you can go home. In your quiet time pray to Buddha and ask Him to show you the way. Take your time — one or two weeks, to meditate and pray. Ask Buddha to open a path for you. You are already  confused and lost. Ask Buddha to help you.

I am not Buddha. I can cheat you. Buddha will not cheat you. So go home and pray.

After that follow what Buddha tells you.

W: Last week, I went home to Medan. I went to two temples to pray. I consulted the medium. I told him about my husband’s problems. I also told him about my plan to fly to Penang to see Dr. Chris. The medium replied: Yes, go and see Dr. Chris. Both the two medium told me it is better to consult Dr. Chris instead of the doctor.

C: The medium did not tell you to go for medical treatment?

W: No, go and see Dr. Chris.

C: Are you sure?

W: Yes.

C: Did you really go to consult these medium?

W: Yes.

C: (Asking Guna) Now the medium told you to come here. Do you believe that?

G: I have no choice. No other option. I don’t know what to do. So I have to believe what the Spirit told me.

C: If our therapy does not turn out right — no good results — who is going to be responsible?

G: That’s my fate.

C: So, you would accept it as fated. And you are not going to blame me if our herbs are not effective?

W: No.

G: Yes right (we will not blame you).

C: Since you have no other way out, let me explain again. You have two options. One is to follow your doctors and do what they want you to do — scan, operate, chemo and chemo. Spend all your money and eventually you die. This is one option.

Option two, is to see me and follow our therapy. No scan, no chemo. But there is no cure. You want that? You want to follow this path?

G: You say cannot cure. But does that mean we can make the cancer stop growing? Can live longer?

C: I cannot answer that. I cannot guarantee. Different people react differently. But I know this — if I am a businessman and only think of making money — I can say these to you:

Yes, the herbs can shrink the tumour, they herbs will stop the cancer from spreading, the herbs will prevent recurrence. Also if you take our herbs, it will prolong your life.

If I say all these to you, know that I am just bluffing — telling you a bunch of lies.

Do you understand what I am trying to tell you?

I don’t want to cheat my patients. Also understand this — if you take our herbs and you believe that you will not be cured, know that you will never be cured! You will not benefit from our therapy. On the other hand, if you believe that our herbs will heal you, may be you will be healed. I cannot tell you for sure.

Do you understand this?

I have many patients who took our herbs and followed our therapy after their surgery. They did not go for any chemo. They survived for many years — eight years, ten years and are still okay today.

What does this mean? Healing is about YOU. And only YOU can heal yourself. Do you really want to take care of yourself? Do you really want to follow our instructions? Do you really want to change your lifestyle and your diet? What is in your head is important — the worry, the stress, etc. These are all important.

If you want to take our herbs but don’t believe in what we do, then don’t take our herbs. It is not going to help you.  No use.

In the same note, after taking our herbs, everyday you worry and ask when you will be cured — my answer is, you will never be cured! You make your life too stressful, fighting inside you!

If you take our herbs and feel good. Can eat, can sleep, no pain — don’t think too much. And don’t ask for more.

The most important thing to remember is to take care of your diet. Don’t eat what we tell you not to eat.

Be at peace without yourself. May be you may end up living longer a bit.

We tell our patients to learn how to live with their cancer.

A Patient Who Does Not Understand Gratitude

There was a man who had liver cancer. The doctor could not cure him. He came and took our herbs and he lived for two and half years without any problem. He was strong and healthy.

But I told him, I could not cure his cancer.

He came to know about a treatment in China. Someone said in the hospital there they can cure your cancer! So this man told his family: Dr Teo’s cannot cure me. I want to go to China for my cure. He spent S$60,000 and after six months of treatment he came home on a wheelchair. His stomach was bloated. He died.

Too bad. He was with us for two and a half years. He did not have to spend that kind of money. He was okay and well. But he wanted a cure!

So if any one of you come here and ask me to cure you, my answer is simple and blunt: NO CURE!

CA Care Therapy

Back to you. If this is what you wanted to do — take our herbs and follow our therapy, let me remind you again.

Take care of yourself.

Take care of your diet.

Change your lifestyle.

Believe in what you are doing.

I don’t know — may be one day you may end up healing yourself. I have many patients who survived for years and are still doing fine.

But can I cure you? I don’t think so. But can you live a normal, healthy life? Yes, many patients are doing fine but the moment they don’t follow our instructions, they die!

Comments

This is another article which I believe for many would not like to read or find it difficult to swallow. I make no apology for saying what I have said. If you want to survive cancer, you have to be on the right track — do the right thing and have to make hard choices. The question is: Do you really want to live or to die? What a question to ask!

Yes, many who came always tell us — I have a strong desire to live. I am ready to fight. Really?

Seventy percent of those who came to us, are patients I know cannot make it — say what you like. It is easy to say I want to live. But for these people, to do what it takes to live is another matter! If I cannot eat laksa, life is not worth living! And you dare say you have the will to live!!!

There are a few lessons we can learn from Guna’s tragic story.

  1. 1. Medical treatments — surgery and chemo — did not cure cancer. Chemotherapy was given based on meaningless expectation. If chemo can reduce recurrence by only 10 percent, then what use is it?

Guna was not explicitly told by the oncologist the reality that the treatment had a 40 percent chance of failure, based on the statistics he quoted.

Patients want 100 percent chance of NO recurrence. You don’t need to have a university education to understand that what Guna was subjected to did not make sense from day one!

Patients are just like  pawns. Trapped like the foot soldiers fighting in the battle field, while the general sits in the safety and comfort of his bunker. Helpless patients are confused and desperate. Full of fear, they panic and don’t know what to do.

That was how Guna and his wife felt after the battle was lost. They did not know what the next step is.

  1. There is another failure in medicine. Dr. Barry Boyd in his book, The cancer recovery plan, wrote:
  • Many doctors don’t bother to counsel their patients after treatment. Once cancer treatment is completed, most patients are left on their own to cope with the rest of their lives. This is what I call falling off the cliff. Patients are left in free fall.

Correct. After surgery and chemo, Guna was left on his own, to fend for himself. There is no guidance of what to do after the treatments. When the cancer recurred, the doctors have ready answers for him: do PET scan, go for more surgery and more chemo — more of the same treatments that did not work, right?

Now, let me share with you a few quotations written by doctors who understand a bit more about cancer. Hear what they said.

Dr. Martin L. Rossman in his book Fighting Cancer from Within, wrote:

  • Conventional medical care for cancer has for many years concentrated on destroying tumors without paying much attention to supporting the patient as a whole person, with innate healing capacities … Most people put themselves in the hands of an oncologist and did what they were told. While you almost certainly need a good oncologist to prescribe and monitor your medical treatment, there is often much more to surviving cancer. 
  • A strong spiritual belief system is helpful when fighting cancer.

Charles Smith, M.D., is a prominent urologist who specialized for years in treating prostate cancer. Then he himself  had prostate cancer. After going through medical treatment, he wrote:

  • Cancer is not just a lump in your body that can be cut out or killed by radiation or drugs. I have come to the conclusion that you, as a patient, cannot simply allow the management of your cancer and your life to be limited by the narrow views of the physicians you encounter. 
  • A major problem with the conventional approach to cancer …(is) it does little or nothing to promote the health, vitality, and well-being of the person who is fighting that cancer.

Rachel Naomi Remen was born into a family of doctors and nurses. At age 15 she was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease. Throughout medical school, residency and fellowship she was a very ill person. In all, Dr. Rachel Naomi was chronically sick for over fifty years.

She survived her sickness and is now professor of family and community medicine at the University of California San Francisco. This is what she wrote (in Foreword, Fighting Cancer from Within):

  • A diagnosis of cancer is a personal encounter with the will to live … the will to live cannot be measured, which puts it beyond the reach of science. 
  • Science defines life in its ways but life is larger than science. Many things happen that science cannot predict or explain. 
  • In my forty years of medical practice, people have often told me that they have recovered from their cancer because of chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. 
  • Chemotherapy and radiation may be the means by which we recover but the reason that we recover may be something quite different, something we brought with us to our doctor’s office and not something that we found there.
  • We each heal in ways that are as unique as our fingerprints.

In other words, to heal and survive cancer, patients need more than just surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now many of you reading this, know this truth? How many of your doctors or oncologists dare to admit that patients need more than their surgery, chemo or radiation to overcome cancer?

Guna said he is just a layman. He followed everything what the doctors wanted him to do. He ended up in a deep, dark pit and did not know how to get out of it.

I really don’t know what is going to happen to Guna. I can only pray that he keeps to his words to live well, keeps up his spirit and perseveres.

 

 

 

2.3 cm Malignant Breast Lump: Surgery, Chemo and Radiation — Disaster

This is a tragic story which I find it real hard to “understand.” WF is 32 years old. In early 2014, WF felt a lump in her left breast. At that time she was pregnant and was about to deliver her baby. So nothing was done until after the birth of her baby.

On 14 March 2014, WF had an ultrasound of her breasts. “There is a 17 mm x 9.6 mm lesion at 2 o’clock position of left breast, 4 cm from the nipple.” A FNAC (Fine needle aspiration cytology) done in a Taiping private hospital showed “benign breast lesion.”

WF did another FNAC in April 2014. This time it was done in a private hospital in Penang. Unfortunately, the result showed “atypical cells … Highly suspicious of an infiltrating duct carcinoma.”

A trucut biopsy was done on 12 April 2014 confirmed an invasive ductal carcinoma.

WF consulted another doctor in another private hospital.

25 April 2014Ultrasound of Both Breasts Irregular hypoechoic lesion between 1-2 o’clock. It measures 23 x 18 x 12 mm. Some microcalcifications seen. In keeping with a neoplasic lesion.

Based on the above, WF had surgery. A wide local excision of the left breast mass was done (lumpectomy). The tumour removed was 23 mm in size. Two of the axillary lymph nodes were involved. All resection margins were free of malignancy. Immunohistochemical study indicated a triple negative tumour: ER negative, PR negative and c-erb-B2 negative. It was a Stage 2B cancer.

9 May 2014Ultrasound of Thyroid Multiple tiny nodules seen on both thyroid lobes, likely benign.

WF subsequently had 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Neither she nor her husband knew what drugs were used. Anyway, each cycle cost RM 6,000. WF lost her hair, felt tired and nauseous during her treatment. Chemotherapy was completed by October 2014. Then WF received 20 sessions of radiation and this was completed in November 2014.

About a month later, in late December 2014, the cancer spread to WF’s brain. There were 3 lesions in her brain. WF received 2 sessions of radiation to her head in January 2015.

Two months later, March 2015, CT scan showed the cancer had spread to her lungs, bone and liver.

WF was again asked to undergo 4 cycles of chemotherapy. WF did one cycle after which she and her husband came to see us and decided not to proceed with the treatment.

Chris: Did you ever ask the doctor if surgery, chemo and radiation were going to cure your cancer?

Husband: The doctors said there is a  80 percent chance of cure?

Chris: Did you ever ask what happen to the remaining 20 percent?

No reply.

Study the numbers of her blood tests.

Date CEA CA 15.3 (normal 0-32)
5 June 2014 Less 0.5 12.3
18 Nov 2014 0.4 9.7
10 Feb 2015 Less 0.5 13.2
10 March 2015 n/a 20.3
24 March 2015 n/a 37.0
7 April 2015 n/a 96.1
22 April 2015 1.4 142.6

In March 2015, WF was started on chemotherapy again because her CA 15.3 started to rise, indicating that the earlier chemotherapy had failed. Therefore, the answer is more and more chemo?

The following are results of her CT scan and MRI.

  1. Before chemotherapy
9 May 2014CT scan of Brain, Neck, Chest, Abdomen and Pelvis Recent wide local excision of left breast carcinoma and left axillary clearance.Brain: There is no shift in the midline structures of the brain. No mass or abnormal enhancement. No extracerebral fluid collection.Lymph nodes: There are no enlarged supraclavicular, axillary, internal mammary, mediastinal or pulmonary hilar nodes.Lung: There is no pulmonary nodule or other significant pulmnary abnormality.

Liver:  Liver parenchymal density is normal. Two small hypodense lesions in segment 8, both measuring 4 mm and another two hypodense lesion in segment 7, both measuring 3 mm. Likely represent small cysts.

Bone: no significant lytic or sclerotic bone lesion seen.

 

  1. After chemotherapy
9 January 2015MRI of brain Bilateral cerebral metastases.Left frontal cortex – 21 x 16 x 15 mm well defined multilobulated massLeft basal ganglia – 9 x 8 x 9 mm.Occipitotemporal cortex – 8 x 8 6 mm.

Lesions also associated with perilesional oedema.

10 January 2015CT scan Neck, Thorax and Pelvis There is no evidence of local recurrence.Interval development of a few small lung nodules within the right lower and left upper and lower lobes. They are too small to characterise but may represent secondary deposits.Apical region of left upper lobe – 3 mm noduleRight lower lobe – 3 mm nodule

Basal segment of left lower lobe – 4 mm nodule.

10 February 2015MRI of brain Partial regression of bilateral cerebral metastases.Left frontal cortical lesion – 11 x 8 x 10 mmLeft basal ganglia – 7 x 6 x 5 mmRight occipitotemporal cortex – 6 x 5 x 4 mm

There is no associated perilesional oedema.

No new nodule seen.

24 February 2015MRI of brain Cerebral metastases increased in size.Left frontal cortical lesion – 17 x 11 x 15 mmLeft basal ganglia – 8 mmRight occipitotemporal cortex – 9 mm

Perilesional oedema has also increased.

24 March 2015MRI of brain Cerebral metastases minimally increased in size. Reduced perilesional oedema. There are likely post radiation changes.Left frontal cortical lesion – 16 x 13 x 16 mmLeft basal ganglia – 8.3 x 8.0 mmRight occipitotemporal cortex – 9 x 9 mm
7 April 2015CT scan Neck, Thorax and Pelvis Increased size of pulmonary metastases. Interval development of hepatic and skeletal metastases. And mild retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy.Lung: Apical region of left upper lobe – 4 mm nodule with central cavitation.Right lower lobe – 4 – 5 mm noduleBasal segment of left lower lobe – 4 – 5 mm nodule.

Liver:  Numerous small hypodense lesions inn both lobes of liver. Larger lesions measuring up to 15 mm.

Lymph nodes: Multiple mildly enlarge para-aortic lymph nodes – measuring up to 12 mm. Smaller lymph nodes are present along the aortocaval space.

Bone: There is an irregular poorly defined lesion in the manubrium sterni eroding the bony cortex. There is also suggestion of similar lesions in the lower cervical spine.

We need to acknowledge that the oncologist did a “good” job of taking the base line of WF’s health before chemo and radiation were started. Yes, before the treatments, WF’s brain, lymph nodes, lung, liver and bone were all clear! Meaning at that point in time, her cancer did not spread anywhere! So the doctor confidently told WF and her husband that there was a 80 chance of cure!

Then chemotherapy and radiotherapy were started.

Barely a month after treatments were completed, problems started to show up.

First, the brain. There were 3 metastatic spots in the brain. There was no such tumour before right?

Radiation was given to the brain.  The tumours shrunk a bit —  by just a bit — and then started to grow again.

By end of March 2015,  WF’s CEA started to increase telling us that chemotherapy / radiation had failed.

Then, more chemo was suggested. WF had one cycle of this second-round chemo.

In April 2015, CT showed the cancer had spread to her lung, liver, lymph nodes and bone, besides the brain.

1-Mouth-sores

Sores causing difficulties to eat

2 Compo-Brain-Lng

Brain and lung

3 Compo-Liver

Liver

Ask these questions.

  1. April 2014 she was diagnosed with a 2 cm malignant breast lump. A year later, April 2015, the cancer had spread to her brain, lung, liver, lymph nodes and bone. She did surgery, chemo and radiotherapy as dictated by the doctors. How could this be? Why do the treatments when the cancer cannot be contained or cured?
  2. Dare you ask, what if WF were to do nothing? Just leave the lump as it is. Would she end up the way she is now – with more cancer all over in the body?
  3. Is WF’s case unique or exceptional? There are many more tragic stories like this. Here is another example, click this link: Does chemotherapy make sense?
  4. When asked if the treatment would cure her cancer, WF was told, There is a 80 chance of cure. Do you believe this prognosis? Listen to another story: Breast Cancer: Do this chemo – 100 percent cure! You believe that?
  5. In WF’s case, what made the cancer so aggressive? Do you dare ask this question? Read this: Chemotherapy SPREADS and MAKES cancer more AGGRESSIVE,

Is The Present Day Cancer Treatment Based on Faulty and Inadequate Science?

  1. Some people may wish to say this is a triple negative cancer. So it is an aggressive type! Some people may say it is just your luck! My response: Many patients live a healthy life by making a CORRECT choice! It is your life.

Paula Black was given 3 to 6 months to live after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She declined chemotherapy!  Read more https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/01/15/advanced-breast-cancer-part-1-you-need-not-have-to-die/ and https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2015/01/19/advanced-breast-cancer-part-2-to-die-or-to-heal-is-your-choice/

Jane had a 1.2 cm lump in her right breast. Like WF above, she did a lumpectomy. Her tumour was a double negative type — negative for ER, negative PR but strongly positive for c-erbB-2. P53 was strongly over-expressed.

Jane was told to undergo chemotherapy. The package of chemotherapy + Herceptin would cost RM 120,000 while radiotherapy cost an additional RM 35,000. Jane was told that the benefit of chemotherapy and radiotherapy would be 16 percent – i.e. 16 out of 100 women are alive and without cancer because of the combined therapy.

To Jane the benefits of chemo and radiation did not make sense. She promptly refused further medical treatments and came to seek our help on 10 January 2010.

Jane told us that she refused chemotherapy because she did not want to lose her hair. In addition, her mother-in-law had lymphoma and died after two cycles of chemotherapy.

It is now 2015 (five years plus),  Jane is still doing fine. Yes, your life is in your hands – to stay healthy or to die is your choice! More about Jane: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2013/06/10/breast-cancer-does-chemotherapy-and-radiotherapy-make-sense/

 

 

 

Die of Cancer But Don’t Die A Bankrupt!

It is bad enough to be diagnosed with a metastatic kidney cancer. The situation gets to be real grim when you are told that for this type of cancer there would be no cure. But how do you take it if on top if this you were told to take a drug that cost 100 million rupiah a month that would NOT cure you? And you were scolded for not wanting to take the medication! What can you do if you were just a 33-year-old man earning 1.5 million rupiah per month?  You have not accumulated enough savings to be able to transfer that life’s saving to the hospital’s account! Do people realize that with that amount of monthly income you still have to feed your wife and young children?  How could this world be so cruel? Perhaps the gods of the cancer world has gone crazy?

Let me share with you his tragic story.

Wanto (not real name) is a 33-year-old man from a town in Central Sumatera, Indonesia. He and his wife came to seek our help on 16 November 2012. Typical of a young man, Wanto was a smoker – burning away a packet of cigarette a day for the past 16 years. He was also a drinker. Two months ago, Wanto had backaches that lasted for about two weeks. Then he had   difficulty breathing. His chest was painful.

Wanto came to a private hospital in Penang. He had to travel for 9 hours by bus to get to Medan. After an overnight stay in Medan he flew to Penang. A chest X-ray and ultrasound of the abdomen were done on 29 September 2012. The results indicated:

  • Lobulated appearance of right hilum inferiorly suspicious of lung nodules.
  • A large solid heterogenous mass occupying the whole left renal bed measuring 142.1 x 11.6 x 121.6 mm.
  • Thrombosed left renal vein seen.

Blood test results were as below:

ESR

78    H

Platelet

499  H

Alanine transaminase

56    H

GGT

104  H

AST

117  H

Uric acid

518  H

Creatinine

98

Wanto was asked to undergo a biopsy. He declined. This procedure would cost about 8 million rupiah (RM 2,544.00). Then he was asked to take an oral drug, Sutent (sunitinib).  Wanto also declined. According to Wanto’s wife a month’s supply of Sutent would cost 100 million rupiah (that is RM 31,807.00) per month.  In addition, Wanto’s wife read about the various side effects of the drug.

Wanto then consulted an herbalist and took his herbs. This cost about 10 million rupiah (RM 3,180.00) per month. Wanto was told to abstain from taking broccoli, cabbage, beans, toxic fish, meat, etc.  (Note:  This is partly opposite of what we tell patients at CA Care). Wanto was told by the herbalist that the herbs can cure his cancer.

Initially he felt better after taking the herbs but after one and a half months he did NOT feel the herbs were helping him anymore.

Wanto came back to Penang again on 14 November 2012. He went to the same private hospital that he went earlier. This time a CT scan was done.

Composite-1-Kidney

Composite-2-Lung-Met

The results of the CT scan showed extensive well circumscribed nodules in almost all broncho-pulmonary segments of both lungs. The nodules measured approximately 4 to 25 mm in diameter each. Enlarged lymph nodes noted in both right and left perihilar regions and azygo-oesophageal recess. The nodules measured approximately 15 to 25 mm in diameter each.

About two weeks later, 1 October 2012, another CT scan was done. The results showed multiple well defined nodules of different sizes in both lungs and aortopulmonary region. Large mass lesion seen in the left lung with paraaortic lymphadenopathy. Conclusion: Carcinoma left kidney with paraaortic lymphadenopathy, lung metastasis.

Wanto and his wife came to seek our help on 16 November 2012. The following are excerpts of our conversation on that day.

Chris:  Was the doctor angry when you told him that you were taking herbs?

Wife: Yes, he was angry and asked me why I did not follow his advice.

C: But what did he want you to do?

W: He insisted that I take sunitinib (Sutent).

C: What was his reaction when you said you did not want to take sunitinib?

W: He said: “You must take the medication. Otherwise you have zero chance. The cancer will spread all over the body.”

C: Did you tell him that sunitinib cost so much money?

W: Yes I told him that. But he said even though it is expensive I must still buy it!

C: Oh, where are you going to get the money from? Rob a bank? You did not buy the medication but went to an herbalist instead. You told the doctor about this. Then you went back to the doctor again for more scan after a month or so.

W: Yes. The doctor was angry. He said: “You see the scan, there is no improvement.”

C: But was your husband getting worse?

W: According to him (husband), NO.

C: According to your husband, he was better after taking the herbs?

Wife: Yes (while the patient nodded in agreement).

C: What else do you want?

CT scan: Once is enough!

C: What is important for you to know is that there is no need to do CT scan all the time or too often. Once is enough. If the patient feels he is good means he is doing good. What else do you want? I am here trying to teach you commonsense. Go and do CT scan every month (every visit to the hospital) is not good for you!  Do it once is enough!

Take care of your diet

C: The herbalist told you not to take broccoli, cabbage beans, certain fish and meat. Did he tell you not to take sugar?

W: No, can take sugar. He (husband) drinks Milo everyday!

C: Oh no. Here we teach you differently. You need to avoid sugar, oil, table salt, dairy products and meat. Avoid taking anything that walks. That is the way we do here.

Expensive Drug That Does Not Cure

C: You saw the doctor twice – first in October and a month later you went back to him again. You did the scan and the doctor asked you to take sunitinib. Okay, did he tell you that after taking that expensive drug, it is going to cure you?

W: The doctor said sunitinib cannot cure his (husband) cancer.

C: Cannot cure? Then why did he want you to take the medication then?

W: Just to prolong his life. By taking the drug, he can live for another two years.

C: Prolong life by two years – that was what the doctor said?

W: Yes.

C: Okay, extending life for two years but the medication is going to cost you 100 million rupiah per month. If you live for two years, that is going to cost a lot of money. But that drug cannot cure?

W:  Yes, cannot cure. There is no guarantee.

C: In addition to this, there are a lot of side effects. How would you know that after taking the drug for a few months, he may even die?

W: Yes, exactly.

C: So, what is the meaning of all these? You need to understand that correctly. Even you take the drug it is not going to cure you. You have been clearly told about this. Everyone who comes to see me also wants to find a cure – wanting me to cure him/her. But in a serious condition like this there is nothing anybody can do – especially in your case, where the cancer has already spread extensively to the lungs.  I have read many medical books and I have not come across anything that says metastatic kidney cancer can be cured. To ask you to take medication – that is fine. After all somebody wants to sell his medicine and make some profit out of it. But the point is, there is NO cure. And in addition   you have to contend with all the severe side effects.  Then you have to find 100 million rupiah a month. Where are   you going to find that kind of money? In Indonesia, how much does an ordinary person with an ordinary job gets paid?

W: A worker earns about 1.5 million rupiah a month.

C: Oh, only 1.5 million? So you need to have a lot of people earning for him, to make 100 million rupiah.

W: Ya.

C: The solution provided for you is really NOT a solution at all. If you have to spend 100 million for a month and then it cures you,  that is fine.

W: Ya, if it is only for a month that is okay.

C: But that is not so!

Under Pressure and Facing Reality

W: You know doc. After the CT scan the doctor wanted to do a biopsy. My husband refused. But the doctor insisted on   doing the biopsy. It was going to cost 8 million rupiahs.  Actually I wanted to do the biopsy and even take the medication – sunitinib, but my husband just refused to do the biopsy. I was the foolish one.  In fact, before going home, I planned to buy the medication. But he (husband) refused.

C: Your husband refused the medication?  Let me tell you this truthfully. At this point, you need to face reality.

W: I was under pressure. The doctor said the longer we wait the more the cancer is going to spread and spread and spread. He said: Your husband will not have any more hope.

C: But if he takes the medication, would there be any hope?

W: The doctor said with the medication the cancer will keep quiet.

C: Keep quiet for how long? How many months or years? But the doctor said your husband will eventually die anyway.

W: Yes.

C: You take sunitinib and it cost you 100 million per month and the doctor said you can live for two years. If you go back and go to the bank and ask for a loan – can you  ever repay that loan? Can pay back the bank?

W: That’s true.

C: I know. It does not make sense – meaningless – having to pay so much for a drug that does not cure. What is the purpose? On top of that you suffer the side effects. Do you understand this? So yesterday you said you wanted to buy the drug – what was your expectation? You were expecting a cure?

W: Laughed!

C: And the doctor had already told you that there would be no cure. I want you to understand this first before we go further.

Misled & Misinformed – Herbs Can Cure Cancer!

C: Then you went to see an herbalist and you paid for his herbs – 10 million rupiah per month. At least that was cheaper! What did the herbalist tell you? Did he say his herbs were going to cure your husband?

W: Nodding.

C: Can cure? Are you sure that he said can cure? What does it mean by can cure? Do you understand him correctly? Some people say – take herbs today, tomorrow you feel well and he is cured. But the day after tomorrow the patient is dead. That is still cure! You need to understand what cure means. Do you really hear him correctly when he said he can  cure your husband?

W: Yes.

C: You have seen your medical doctor and he told you your husband cannot be cured. Now this herbalist said your husband’s cancer can be cured. Whom do you believe now?

W: I don’t believe the herbalist. That is why I come to see you doc.!

C: You need to think properly. Don’t be stupid. The herbalist said he can cure, the doctor said no cure. Ask – who is telling the truth? Do you want to know the real answer? I want to say this as frankly, honestly and directly to you – there is no medicine in this world that can cure cancer – even more so for the kind of cancer your husband has. Don’t be shocked – but you have already been told by the doctor anyway. In my experience helping cancer patients for the past 16 years, and I have read most of the books on cancer that are found in this world, I must say I have not found any medication that can totally cure cancer. So if you come to me and ask for herbs that can cure your cancer then I must say to you: NO, I don’t have any. So don’t have the wrong expectation when you come here.  You have gone to see this herbalist and you have taken his herbs for about one and half months and he promised you a cure. Why don’t you go and see him again and take more of his herbs? He promised you a cure, but when you come to see me I say I cannot cure you!

There Is No Cure For Cancer

C: To all those who come and see me, I cannot promise you a cure. I tell them this: After you take the herbs, you need to take care of your diet and if you feel better – can sleep, can eat, can more around – don’t ask for more! This is because I don’t   know of anybody in this world who can cure your cancer. But if you want to live longer without much suffering or problem, you need to change your lifestyle, your attitude and your diet. All these must change! By doing these, I hope you can live a bit longer without much suffering.  If we can achieve that, I have done my job. Don’t ask for more.

12 Wellbeing

C: Who ask you to come here?

W: I have been wanting to come and see you for a long time already but I did not know where to find you. Now, this uncle brought me here.

Comments

Wanto’s wife was told that sunitinib would cost 100 million rupiah per month or about RM 30,000. That is extremely expensive. I think she has been misquoted. The first time I knew about sunitinib some years ago, the cost was only about RM 20,000. I believe it is cheaper now? Nevertheless, by any standard it is still expensive to the ordinary Indonesians who earn about 1.5 million rupiah (RM 450) per month. They still need to burst their bank account to pay for such medication!

Let me be quick to say – this is not about money alone. Ask this question, What can I get in return? Cure? Not at all. Prolong life – probably, but for a few months. The doctor quoted the good side – two years of life prolongation which may be rare.  The norm is just a few months. Is it worth it? To the wealthy, every minute of life is worth all the gold he has but to the poor it may mean accumulating debt for the next few generations to pay!

Let’s face it. Even the Americans and English living in advanced countries of the world find the cost of this drug mind boggling –  the drug is too expensive and it does not cure the disease. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6087834/Sutent-for-kidney-cancer-approved-on-NHS-but-other-drugs-turned-down.html )

At http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aER.9zj2HmSk   there is this headline: Miracle Cancer Drug Extends Life With $48,720 Cost 

You may wish to read my earlier article: Dissecting Chemotherapy Part 4: How Much Is Life Worth? Erbitux for Lung Cancer. Let me once again quote what Drs. Tito Fojo and Christine Grady in the USA said:

  • The all too common practice of administrating a new, marginally beneficial drug to a patient with advanced cancer should be strongly discouraged.
  • In cases where there are no further treatment options, emphasis should be first on quality of life and then cost.
  • For therapies with marginal benefits, toxic effects should receive greater scrutiny.
  • We must deal with escalating price of cancer therapy now.
  • The current condition cannot continue … the time to start is now.

In addition, prolonging life comes with another price – severe side effects. The following list of side effects are obtained from the drug company’s own website: http://www.sutent.com/rcc.aspx

Common side effects of SUTENT include:  Skin and hair may get lighter in color, Tiredness, Weakness, Fever, Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, mouth sores, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and constipation;  Rash or other skin changes, including drier, thicker, or cracking skin; Blisters or a rash on the palms of hands and soles of  feet;  Taste changes;  Loss of appetite; Pain or swelling in your arms or legs; Cough; Shortness of breath and Bleeding, such as nosebleeds or bleeding from cuts.

SUTENT may cause serious side effects, including:

  1. Serious liver problems, including death.
  2. Heart problems—heart failure and heart muscle problems (cardiomyopathy) that can lead to death.
  3. Abnormal heart rhythm changes— dizzy, faint, or abnormal heartbeats.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Bleeding sometimes leading to death – Painful, swollen stomach (abdomen), Bloody urine, Vomiting blood.
  6. Headache or change in mental status.
  7. Black, sticky stools.
  8. Jaw-bone problems (osteonecrosis)—Severe jaw bone problems may happen.
  9. Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)—TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells and may lead to death
  10. Hormone problems, including thyroid and adrenal gland problems.
  11. Tiredness that worsens and does not go away.
  12. Heat intolerance.
  13. Loss of appetite.
  14. Feeling nervous or agitated, tremors.
  15. Nausea or vomiting.
  16. Sweating.
  17. Diarrhea.
  18. Fast heart rate.
  19. Headache.
  20. Weight gain or weight loss.
  21. Hair loss.
  22. Feeling depressed.

 Patient’s Experiences

To know more about the effects of Sutent on patients who take them, go to the links below:

1. Kidney-Lung-Brain Cancer: Sutent = Heart Damage

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-lung-brain-cancer-sutent-heart-damage/

2.Kidney Cancer Part 2: Two Oncologists Two Different Opinions – Is Sutent indicated in this case?

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/19/kidney-cancer-part-2-two-oncologists-two-different-opinions-%E2%80%93-is-sutent-indicated-in-this-case/

3.      Sutent for Advanced Kidney Cancer

https://cancercaremalaysia.com/2011/09/18/sutent-for-advanced-kidney-cancer/

Role of CA Care

In 1995, I prayed in my heart: O God, with the knowledge You bestowed upon me, show me Lord, Your way! Sometime later CA Care was founded. We adopted St. Francis Assisi’s prayer as our guiding principle:

23-Prayer-of-CA-Care

When I was confronted with this case, I could not help but remember our reason-to-be. Wanto and his wife came to us in desperate need of help. We at CA Care should do our best to help the best way we know how. So, help us Lord.

My first task was to tell Wanto and his wife the truth but without depriving them of hope. I asked them to face reality – no use burying their heads under the sand. Medically there is no cure for his cancer. Therefore for someone to tell him that herbs can cure his cancer is indeed tragic. It sounds like the herbalist is after his money rather than his cancer. On the other hand to offer a solution whereby the drug cost so much money but does nothing much to cure is useless.  It is bad enough to get cancer but it would be even worse to make a person bankrupt while he is still alive – perhaps leave a pile of debt that may require even his grandchildren to repay. What good is that?

While at CA Care we clearly tell patients our herbs cannot cure their cancer, but we also tell them they need not have to give up. We don’t want to raise unrealistic false hope but we also don’t want to extinguish hope. At CA Care we have numerous cases of terminal cancer – the doctors say: You only have 2 or 3 months to live. With our therapy, many of these patients go on to live for years, not months! We are optimistic about this because we have seen many successes.

It really sadden me to see that in the face of inability-to-do-anything-meaningful patients are pressured into  following medical  advice even if it does not sound  reasonable. Indeed Mrs. Wanto felt the pressure and wanted to do what she was asked to do. Amazingly, Wanto being the patient himself kept a cool head!

3 Dont-accept-everything-you-

4-b-Whitaker-Doctor-Biased-

The Virtue of Doing Nothing

It is human nature that once told that we got cancer we go into a frenzy – madly rushing here and there believing that we must get things done quickly. There is no need to behave like that. I always tell patients: Don’t panic. There is no need to rush. You did not get cancer yesterday. The cancer has been in you for years already – only that you don’t know that it is there. So take it easy and calm down.  At CA Care we ask you to relax and reflect to understand what has gone wrong. Then we sit down with you to plot your cancer journey using as much common sense as possible.

Many of you may not like to learn this. For certain cases and under certain situations perhaps doing nothing is more logical and humane. Read this interesting story: The Island Where People Forget to Diehttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Stamatis Moraitis, a 60-plus-year-old man living in the US was diagnosed with lung cancer. Nine doctors confirmed the diagnosis. He was given 9 months to live. This was in 1976. Moraitis declined to seek the aggressive cancer treatment. He and his wife decided to return to Ikaria – his native Greek island to live out the rest of his life. He figured a funeral in the United States would cost thousands, a traditional Ikarian one only $200, leaving more of his retirement savings for his wife, Elpiniki.   Moraitis said: I might as well die happy. With good, clean fresh air, simple but healthy diet, gardening, good company and care-free life Moraitis got well. About 25 years later Moraitis returned to the US hoping to see his  doctors again and to see if the doctors could explain it to me what had actually happened. Moraitis said:  My doctors were all dead.

This is indeed an inspiring story that we can learn from.

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2 No-tretment-dont die sooner

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My Last Word

I am glad that I have set up CA Care! Doing nothing is not about you not doing anything to help yourself. When you come to CA Care we teach you to live a “happy life” to take care of yourself – to take care of your diet, change your life style and mental attitude, take herbs and seek blessing from Above. All these, could probably make your remaining time on earth more meaningful. And you can also be sure you would not end up being a bankrupt when you go home!