Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eighteen: Part 1

Faithful readers of my blog know it started when I traveled to Arizona for an alternative cancer treatment, Insulin Potentiation Chemotherapy (IPT). That was two years ago. I always planned to write about why I chose to avoid surgery and use an alternative treatment, but I never really did. 

It was simply because the potential for healing an aggressive cancer with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation offered me only a 3% chance of living five years. Looking at the statistics, and thinking about how those treatments would affect my quality of life, I decided the odds weren't in favor of the things oncologists were offering. And if I were to die tomorrow, looking back would bring no regrets as to the choice I made at that time, because I've been healthy and strong every day. I didn't put my body through the trauma of surgery, or the cancer-causing assault of other harsh treatments. Instead, I opted for quality of life over the slim possibility of a longer life.

Since having a personal involvement with cancer, I've met many other cancer sufferers. Several women come to mind - women who also had aggressive cancers, and who opted for surgery, chemo and radiation, or in a couple of cases, surgery and IPT. All have had cancer return. Some have done further treatments and were doing well the last time we talked. But several, most younger than me, didn't live long after the second round of treatment. 

Research shows that some cancers - and I'm not aware of a test to learn which ones, but I tend to think it is the more aggressive ones - put out metastases right away, yet they also circulate a chemical which keeps these metastases from growing. As soon as the tumor is removed, this chemical no longer circulates and the metastases grow rampantly. 

I had been reading about alternative cancer therapies and cures for at least 15 years, since my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer, and later my mother, so I knew that there were sometimes amazing successes, and that the therapies were never as harsh and hard on the body as those proposed by most doctors.

It is true that we all know women who have had typical treatments and are still well years later. But, did they live because of the treatments, or despite them? So much of what I've learned over the years leads me to believe they are still alive, not because of what the doctors did to them, but simply because their bodies were able to survive the treatments and eventually bring them back to health. 

Studies show that more than half of small breast cancers would never progress, and would be healed by the body's immune system, but instead women are treated, often over-treated, for something the body was designed to deal with effectively. 

You have seen stories in newspapers, magazines and on television about how the war on cancer is progressing, how early detection is helping heal more cancers. But is this really true? No, it isn't. Using breast cancer as an example, what is happening is this: women get regular mammograms, powerful X-Rays that can actually cause cancer when the body's tolerance for more and more radiation has been surpassed. A tiny lesion is found, resulting in surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, reconstruction. Then more surgery follows, so the second breast can be rebuilt to more closely resemble the one that had the cancer. All this involves tremendous amounts of pain, discomfort, and suffering. Yet, more than half of these little cancers would have been healed by the body's own immune system!

But, you say, isn't it still better to find cancer early? I guess that depends on the type of cancer and how it is followed. Cancer is a panic word for just about everybody. It is so easy to be sucked into the machinery of today's medicine. And, because the drug industry is so very powerful in this country, your doctor could actually lose the licence she needs to continue practicing simply by NOT dictating the terms of the war you're about to be drafted into, which has been spelled out mostly by the drug cartel referred to as Big Pharma. And Big Pharma has its eye on profits over healing every day of the week. Almost no doctor will even acknowledge the possibility that any alternatives exist, much less tell you about them and know that many of them are more successful than the Big 3 therapies they offer. 

And yet, we aren't winning this cancer battle, much less the so-called war. As many women die of advanced breast cancer as did back in the 1940s and 1950s. It just looks like this isn't true because those with tiny cancers that could and would heal themselves are being treated. This skews the statistics. Then, ten years down the road, another cancer crops up - one that is much more difficult to treat - and, sadly, it was caused by the very treatments used on the original cancer. 

Even though IPT worked well for me, I always saw it as only part of the picture. Chemotherapy in any form has a very poor track record for most cancers. There are a few notable exceptions to this, such as for lymphoma and a few rare cancers, but for most cancer patients, chemo really only contributes longer life to a tiny percentage of people. 

When you think about the mechanism of chemotherapy, it becomes obvious why it doesn't really work well for the vast majority of people. Chemo works by killing rapidly growing cells. While cancer cells are the main target, other rapidly growing cells are hair follicles, white blood cells and platelets, and the cells lining the mouth and throat. There are exceptions to these, but for the most part, this is how it works. 

So your hair falls out, you develop sores in your mouth and throat, and your immune system, in the form of your white cells and platelets, goes down the tubes. But we all know your hair is going to grow back, your mouth sores will heal, and even your immune system will make a comeback. And so will the cancer! It's pretty simple. If these vital body cells grow back, no wonder cancer cells grow back as well. Only there is a significant difference. The tumor cells that survive to reproduce are the ones that were resistant to chemo in the first place. So now new drugs must be tried, new poisons introduced into your poor body, to try and do what the first round of chemo didn't. And the merry-go-round of treatment continues until the poor patient can no longer take the assault of all these toxins and her body shuts down entirely.

Here is another oddity of cancer treatment. Cancer is the only disease which is considered cured if the patient lives five years following diagnosis. So, get this: you manage to drag along on toxic treatments for five years. You're healed! Whoopee! But you're actually quite sick and the next week you succumb to this battle raging inside you. Guess what? You're now considered both healed and dead of the same disease! So, what does this do to cancer statistics? I'll leave that to your imagination.

So, because of all this, while I'm grateful for this past two years of good health, I've never stopped looking for other alternatives, and learning what more I could do to prevent the return of cancer. I wrote a few months ago about using oleander. It does have a much better track record than the usual treatments, and I tried it for several months. But you must build the dose up slowly, as it causes diarrhea, and you cannot take a higher dose until that stops. As it turned out, I could never get my dosage up to an effective level because of continual diarrhea with each attempt at a higher dose. 

This was frustrating, because I could see changes in my breast that indicated new tumor growth. I could both see and feel differences. I could even see new blood vessels forming just under the skin, blood vessels that I knew were there to feed the tumor, which was awakening. 

Yet, something stopped this growth, and the newly forming blood vessels. I recently had a clear PET/CT scan, showing no cancer activity. At the same time, a blood test for circulating tumor cells came back negative. So, what happened? What alternative did I find that actually stopped the visible growth and changes I saw in my breast? I'm excited about the answers to those questions, and I really hope everybody will get the significance of what I want to tell you about. But this post has gotten too long already, so I'm going to make that Part Two. I'll leave you with all this background, and I'll get back to what I've been leading up to as soon as possible - maybe even tonight or tomorrow. If I don't make it by then, we'll be taking a little trip to celebrate Dave's 75th birthday (July3), so I may not get back to finishing my story until late next week. So don't hold your breath, but I definitely will get back to finish this happy tale...

To be continued