I Have Breast Cancer But I Am Not Sick

Abstract:  I was very upset with the oncologist when he took one look at my report, and without asking questions, said that I HAD to do 62 weeks of chemo!  When I told him I didn’t WANT to do chemo, he said, “Well, then it’s 100% chance of recurrence.”  When I asked what my options were, he told me I didn’t have any!  His attitude ALONE lost me as a patient, without even CONSIDERING anything else!

Chris K. H. Teo & Chn’g Beng Im

CA Care, 5 Lebuhraya Gelugor, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.

www.cacare.com  or  www.CancerCareMalaysia.com or www.cacare.org

Declaration of Interest: The authors are practising herbalists as such have financial interest in the use of herbs mentioned in this article.

Copyright: This is an open-access journal and the reproduction of this article in any medium for educational purposes is allowed provided the original work is properly cited. The use of this article for commercial purposes, however, requires our prior permission.

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Sixty two weeks of chemo followed by radiotherapy and 5 years of aromatase inhibitors – will these make you sick?

 

Introduction

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women worldwide. About 1.38 million new female breast cancer cases were diagnosed in 2008 (1).

About 31% of women in the UK suffered from breast cancer, making it the most common cancer in the UK since 1997. It is the second most common cause of cancer death among English women, after lung cancer, accounting for around 15% of female deaths from cancer (1).

In the US, it is estimated that 1 in 8 women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in American women, along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.  Of these, about 39,520 women were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer (2).

Breast cancer is the also the most common cancer among Australian women, accounting for 27% of all cancer diagnosed in 2007. The number of Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer increased from 5,291 in 1982 to 12,567 in 2007. By 2015, the number of new breast cancer cases among women is projected to be 22% higher than in 2006, with an estimated 15,409 women expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer and lung cancer are the two leading causes of cancer-related death in Australian women (3).

A similar picture is also seen in Malaysia. The incidence of cancer in Malaysia is on the rise. Nearly 70,000 new cases were reported over a two-year period recently, with breast cancer the biggest threat (4).

Medical Treatment for Breast Cancer

It seems that each woman inflicted with breast cancer will be subjected to the same one-size-fits-all   “recipe.” The medical gold standard for treating breast cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy.  These treatments may be given singly or in combination depending on the seriousness of the problem.

The question that begs an answer is: how effective are these treatments? Ponder carefully the following quotations and make up your own mind about this.

 

 

In this article we present a case study to show that this patient, Anne (not real name)  is no dead fish!

Case Study

Anne  is a 51-year-old Canadian. She had a lump under her nipple. A CT Scan on 14 February 2011 showed a 1.5 cm tumour in left breast, multiple enlarged lymph nodes but no spread to the surrounding tissues or organs.

Anne underwent a left breast mastectomy and removal of 13 axillary lymph nodes on 1 March 2011. It was a Stage 2 infiltrating ductal carcinoma. The margins were clear. Eleven of 13 lymph nodes were affected. The tumour was positive for Estrogen (4), Progesterone (3), P53 (80%) and HER2 (3+). 

This was what Anne wrote:

My doctor has left all of the treatment options up to me.  She is not pushing me in any one direction.  She suggested I “shop around” and get lots of information and statistics.  She gave me the names of three oncologists at three different hospitals. 

  • Oncologist One said SIXTY-TWO WEEKS of chemo!  Twelve weeks TAC (Taxotere + Andriamycin + Cyclophamide), 12 weeks TH (Taxotere and Herceptin) and radiotherapy. Herceptin for the remainder of a year, and 5 years of aromatase inhibitors!!! He did a blood test to confirm that I am menopausal. He told me if I did radiation alone it would give me 5%, with hormones up to 20%, with chemo and herceptin up to 50%.  BUT the prognosis is only good for 2-3 years, as they haven’t done long term studies on Herceptin! Those numbers do NOT impress me!
  • A radiologist said almost the same thing as the oncologist. 

I was VERY upset with the oncologist when he took one look at my report, and without asking questions, said that I HAD to do 62 weeks of chemo!  When I told him I didn’t WANT to do chemo, he said, “Well, then it’s 100% chance of recurrence.”  When I asked what my options were, he told me I didn’t have any!  His attitude ALONE lost me as a patient, without even CONSIDERING anything else!

We all walk different paths, and have different experiences.  But one thing I DO know.  Most of the people who have seen, or been close to, someone who went through all the chemo and radiation, swear they would never do it themselves.  Those who have actually DONE the chemo and/or radiation tell me they would NEVER do it again.

I have observed FAR too many people go through chemo and radiation, and die anyway, or have such bad after effects that their quality of life is non-existent.  I choose quality over quantity!

I do not walk down this path blindly.  I have looked in many directions.  I have searched through the light and the dark.  I have looked at both my insides and my outsides.  I know that I am now on the correct path to help myself.  Whether this leads me to a long life of health, or whether this gives me 2 or 3 years of health and happiness and then I die of cancer doesn’t matter.  What matters is the here and now, and the fact that I BELIEVE that this is the path that I need to take.  

I have NEVER been a great believer in conventional medicine, due to personal and family experiences.  I have always sought out alternative or complementary medicine, through naturopaths and homeopaths. 

Anne decided to forgo further medical treatments and was started on CA Care’s herbs. About seven months later, I had a chance to meet up with Anne again. From our conversation, I have learned something new – Anne pointed out that having breast cancer did not make her sick! She was a “healthy” person and it just happened that she had a cancerous lump in her breast! But surely, with chemo and radiation – these so called “cures” would make her sick!  You get her message?

Comments

Of course, from what the medical reports said, Anne’s cancer was indeed serious. But she decided against the “conventional wisdom” of undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy or taking Tamoxifen. And she was aware of the risk that she was taking but she preferred quality life rather than quantity but “miserable” life. That was her choice. Cancer patients – you too can make your own choice. Go where your heart tells you to go. 

It has been more than a year now and I was told that Anne was doing fine and is still taking her herbs. She last saw her surgeon on 14 March 2012 and was told that everything was alright.  Since after her breast cancer surgery Anne remained active – she flew to Canada to visit her family, attended her friend’s wedding in South Africa, and went to Kenya many times on her school project.  Although she has cancer, her life still goes on. Imagine what could have happened if she went into a panic / fear mode and agreed to what the oncologist wanted her to do – undergo sixty two weeks of chemo followed by radiotherapy and 5 years of aromatase inhibitor? Would she be what and where she is today?

Let me recommend that you visit the website of Professor Gershom Zajicek, professor of medicine at the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

This learned professor reminded us that health is our responsibility. Do not mortgage this responsibility to our doctors and other specialists. Do you believe they know more about our health better than us? The medical establishment may want us to believe that this is the correct thing to do – to trust them all the way! This may not be the right thing to do when it comes to cancer. Many patients have found out this the hard way – much too late. Professor Zajicek said: doctors’ arguments are wrapped in hypocrisy and double talk. 

Professor Zajicek painted the reaction of a woman after she discovers that she has a lump in her breast. Ponder what he said seriously. You may not want to be this woman!

Yesterday, a woman felt healthy. Today, she discovers a small lump in her breast. Suddenly she becomes ill, realizing that she carries an evil disease. The lump is her death sentence. In reality, she is healthy. The lump does not pose an immediate threat to her. Nevertheless she panicked. It is not cancer that causes her misery, but society and medicine that promote this fatalistic perception.

Now this woman is alarmed and rushes to her doctor the next day. She undergoes a mammography and biopsy and is told she has cancer. The doctor tells her that she is very ill. Her world turns upside down.

Before detecting the lump, this woman is otherwise a healthy person not until she is given the cancer mask to wear. Her doctor is now preoccupied with her cancer mask. Fear is generated. Everything needs to be done quickly and urgently to fight and save her life from this evil disease – the tumour! So this woman has to act, to conform to the roles of the mask that she wears. She now acquires a new disease called the mind-cancer. From then on she sinks into the abyss of misery, believing that she will die rather soon.

Ask these questions: Before the discovery of the lump, and before consulting her doctor – what was her life like? She was as fit as a fiddle, wasn’t she? Then suddenly a change of fortune befalls her just because she had discovered a lump in her breast. What is the real cause of her misery? The lump in her breast or the perception of evil being spun by society and the medical establishment?

Anne was an odd ball when it comes to her cancer. She wrote: 

  • Nobody knows my body like I do, and trust me, it’s taken a lot of years, and a lot of fights with doctors, to get to that point!  But I DO know my body, and I DO know what it will or will not tolerate.  No doctor can tell me any different, because he or she HASN’T walked in my shoes, or lived in my body.  When doctors begin to understand that ONE simple thing, the world will be a much better place!!! 
  • I think many, if not MOST, people react out of fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of the future.  Fear of failure.  Fear of death (their own AND others).  Just plain old FEAR, period.  If they don’t understand it or can’t explain it, they don’t want to have anything to do with it.  They don’t trust it, so they fear it.  Many people are so afraid of dying that they will believe ANYTHING the doctors tell them, in hopes of NOT dying.  Many people feel they “aren’t smart enough” or “don’t know enough” to make their own decisions.  After all, these doctors have YEARS of training and experience. 
  • Many people also have not had the “experience” with cancer that I have.  I have watched far too many friends, both old and young, go through the devastation of chemo.  And I told every one of them to PLEASE stop the chemo, because it is THAT that was killing them, making them too weak to fight for their lives. 
  • I refuse to let this cancer rule my life.  I have so much more life to live, and so much to be thankful for.  Not ready to give up and let the cancer take me.  So I live each day BELIEVING that I can beat this.  I laugh about it, joke about it, and treat it like a “friend”, not an enemy.  I’m living WITH it, not AGAINST it.  If I keep my body, my immune system, healthy and strong, it will take care of the cancer.  I don’t need to fight it, my body (my BRAIN, actually!) will take care of it for me! 

Let us reproduce some of the e-mails that Anne wrote. We believe you will be able to understand who she is and what she stands for. 

History of cancer – Mother’s side:  Grandmother –  49 yrs old (lived to 86 yrs) had ovarian cancer and had radiotherapy. Uncle –  74 years old (still alive at 76), had prostate cancer, underwent surgery and no further treatment. Mother –  67 years old (still alive at 74), had breast cancer Stage 2, underwent a mastectomy and took Tamoxifen (but discontinued after 1 year due to side effects.

History of cancer – Father’s side:  Grandfather –  82 years old (died at 84), had Stage 4 lung  (smoked all his life). No treatment. Uncle – 60 years old (still alive at 76), had Stage 3 colon (sigmoid), underwent surgery and  did 1 cycle of 5 day chemo treatment and stopped.  Aunt – 58 years old (still alive at 68), had breast lump  (DCIS), underwent a  lumpectomy and had   radiation  (25 regular plus 5 boosts), took Tamoxifen (5 years) and later Arimidex (5 years)

Sibling:  Brother –  51 years old (still alive at 54), had Stage 3 prostate cancer. He had surgery and no further treatment.

22 March 2011: Thanks Chris.  It’s pretty much what I feel about the cancer – that medical science has no idea what they’re doing!!!  Too many times I’ve seen the results of the “doctors” knowing best!!!  I’ve watched too many friends go through chemo, be so sick they could barely breathe, and then die of the cancer anyway.  I don’t plan on dying anytime soon, and I’m going to help my body wage this war against the disease.  I’m NOT going to cause my body more stress and wreck the immune system that I desperately NEED to stay healthy!!!

22 March 2011: Hi Chris, Just had to tell you this because I found it very funny!!!  I was looking at some stuff on Keladi Tikus the other day, and had actually contacted someone about it.  From what I’d been reading, it sounded pretty promising.  I was going to e-mail you and ask you if you’d heard of it, or if it was okay to take it with your CA Care herbs, as you’d said we should NOT be taking other herbs while under your care!  I decided to look a little further, and do some more research before e-mailing you.  Imagine my surprise (and DELIGHT!!!) when I saw YOUR NAME as the ‘discoverer” of Keladi Tikus. I am a great believer in that all things happen for a reason.  It seems to me that all roads are leading back to you!!!  Thanks for everything!

23 March 2011: My breast specialist … She’s been amazing!  She has NOT pushed me to do chemo or radiation.  She told me to “shop around” for oncologists, because she doesn’t like the fact that they “lie” to her patients, by telling them they WILL be or ARE cured!  She doesn’t like the statistics they offer, either.  They vary too much from oncologist to oncologist …    So far she has been open and helpful every time I’ve met with her.  Luckily for me, I seem to have found “a good one”, who is actually interested in her patients’ overall health, and CARES!!!

At the moment, even my sister, who WORKS in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute in USA, is looking into alternative therapies.  Since I was diagnosed, we have both spent COUNTLESS hours on the internet, looking things up.  The statistics for chemo and radiation get drearier and drearier.  And in some cases (like Herceptin and brain tumours!!!) are downright SCARY!  Seeing as my cancer is HER2 +3, we both initially thought that Herceptin would be a good drug to try.  Now definitely NOT!  Same with aromatase inhibitors!  My ER and PR are both positive, but low, and most research indicates that with low numbers it’s not nearly as effective as with the higher numbers.  Again, are the side effects worth it?  Hmmmmm.

Problem is that all factors point to the fact that I have an aggressive type of cancer, yet all the “treatments” sound worse than the cancer itself!  I’m hoping that with the Ozone treatment, and your herbs and diet recommendations, it will at least hold it at bay for awhile.  Prognosis is not good.

I read your book, Breast Cancer:  The Herbal Option  today.  I had to laugh at some of the comments.  I have indeed taken all of this in stride, have not cried, have used lots of humour, and don’t intend on letting it kill me any time soon!!!  I did not go into panic or shock when I was told the biopsies were positive.  Like some of the women in your book, I think I already knew, before the verdict came down.  Unlike most of the women in your book, I had given this LOTS of thought, LONG before I was diagnosed.  I have watched FAR too many friends go through the roller coaster ride of chemo and radiation and recurrence and devastation and suffering!!!!

I spent a week on an Alaska Cruise with a friend who had terminal stomach and oesophageal cancer, last summer.  She had always been so radiant and alive and fun-loving, even though she had severe fibromyalgia.  The drug she was taking for her fibro probably CAUSED the cancer, because they DIDN’T TELL HER that methotrexate was carcinogenic! And they weren’t monitoring her for cancer! I cannot BELIEVE that they would do that!  By the time the cancer was diagnosed, it was already Stage 4, and they basically told her she could do chemo and radiation to “prolong her life”.  Prolong her AGONY would be more like it! She was on a stomach feeding pump, taking a ton of medication, and so weak and sick to her stomach all the time, that she was not LIVING, she was EXISTING!  Still, I got to spend that whole week with her, just the two of us, and I got to make a lifelong wish come true for her – she saw ALASKA!!  We had lots of chances to talk, and she told me about the hell of chemo and radiation, and how in the end, she was just too weak to take any more.  She died the day before her 51st birthday.  She was two weeks younger than me!

I don’t intend on following her path.  I intend on doing everything I can, NOW, while I still HAVE my health, to make myself better.  That does NOT include chemo and radiation! I know I need to make my immune system STRONGER, not WEAKER!  I know I need to detoxify my body, and eat healthy foods.  I know that I need to keep a positive frame of mine (not hard for me, as I’m a pretty optimistic person, and get great pleasure out of being happy and having fun!), and BELIEVE that I can continue to fight this!

24 March 2011: Hi Chris, Was down …. for the PET/CT scan today, so decided to give Khadijah a call.  She was there. She says the MAIN change I need to make is SLOW DOWN!!!  I knew that!!  The diet should be no problem, because I’ve been pretty much vegetarian for 25 years already.  I do eat chicken breast sometimes, but haven’t had red meat for EVER, and don’t like seafood.   The herbs I will take even if they DO smell and taste disgusting.  And I have a very positive attitude and a great sense of humour, so that part is okay.  But the part that is going to be difficult for me is going to be learning to take it easy, not expect so much of myself, and learn to relax more.  I definitely am, and always have been, a perfectionist and a workaholic!!!  She said “the big C” is CHANGE, not cancer!!!

25 March 2011: Hi Chris, Got the results from my PET/CT scan today, and it’s all clear.  YAY!!!! I saw Dr. Surgeon today, too, and mentioned CA Care and Khadijah, and you, of course.  I was wondering what her reaction would be, and WOW!  She said that when her sister had colon cancer, they came to CA Care!  She was quite surprised (and I think quite RELIEVED, actually) that I found you.  But she told me you’ve done some GREAT work with your group.  She said that she was impressed with your attitude to cancer, and the way that you teach people to deal with it.  She has great faith in what you do!!!   She also told me, “If anybody can beat this, YOU can!”

26 March 2011: Hi Chris, I think THAT is probably the most important part that you want to do what is best for your patients.  I think oncologists (and a lot of doctors, too), treat everyone like they’re just a number, or a formula.  You have x,y,z – so we give you p,q,r.  And on with the next patient!  I was VERY upset with the oncologist when he took one look at my report, and without asking questions, said that I HAD to do 62 weeks of chemo!  When I told him I didn’t WANT to do chemo, he said, “Well, then it’s 100% chance of recurrence.”  When I asked what my options were, he told me I didn’t have any!!!  His attitude ALONE lost me as a patient, without even CONSIDERING anything else!!!

I have never believed in one size fits all.  As a Special Needs teacher, my job is ALL ABOUT meeting individual needs.  About finding out what each of those kids needs, and then finding ways to provide it, or make things work for them.  Medicine is no different.  Matter of fact, it should be even MORE individualized, because it’s really life or death you’re talking about.  Doctors need to get to know their patients, and understand how their bodies work, before they can make diagnoses or hand out drugs.  But all too often, they don’t!  It’s the part of the whole profession that has always bothered me, and why I have, for the most part, steered clear of them!!!  I have gone with naturopathic or alternative medicine for most of my life!!!

And I have to say, that Dr. Surgeon basically “putting her stamp” on me going to you for treatment, just made me think again, that all roads lead back to you, and this is the path that I NEED to take!!! Thanks for taking so much of your time to send me articles, e-mails, and most of all, for caring enough to do so!!!

26 March 2011: Hi Chris, Like I said, I’ve been doing nothing BUT research since this all started.  I have been working with computers since 1977, but I’m sure that all told, I’ve spent more time on the computer in this past month and a half, than I have in my whole lifetime!  I have checked out hundreds of medical journals, research articles, alternative therapies, complimentary medicine, vitamin supplements, different diets, you name it, I’ve read it!!

Like you, I am a voracious reader and will read anything and everything I can get my hands on.  Khadijah almost FLIPPED when I told her the other day that I’d printed out Breast Cancer – The Herbal Option and read the WHOLE THING in ONE AFTERNOON!!!  But that’s the way I do things.  I’ve always been an information hound, and luckily for me, I can read very quickly, and even better, I remember pretty much everything I read.

So, having said all that, I will repeat what I have already told you a few times – all roads keep leading to you!

I  am firm in my belief that alternative medicine – naturopathy, homeopathy, Chinese Traditional Medicine, whatever you want to name it – is FAR superior to the modern medical practices.  The traditional medicines have been around FAR longer and have proven their worth over the test of time.  I’ve seen modern medicines do far too much harm to people, including myself, my own children, and my family.

Like I said, the diet and herbs I have no difficulty with at all.  I have had to be very aware of what I eat for a very long time!  My stomach does not tolerate, or process properly, a lot of different foods.

My system does not tolerate a lot of chemicals (hence the knowledge that chemo would DESTROY me!).  I react to MSG, Aspartame, sulphates and sulphites, nitrates and nitrites, and who knows how many others!?!  I try to stay away from artificial flavours and colours.

By the same token, I very rarely take any kind of medication or drugs.  I have never taken aspirin or any of the “everyday” type medicines.  Never needed them!  If I have a kidney infection, I will take anti-biotics, because nothing else seems to knock it out, but other than that, I try to stay clear.  I was given Tylenol 3 with codeine for my migraines, but haven’t taken them in years.  If I take one, it knocks me out cold for about 12 hours.  Yes, it also knocks the migraine out, BUT . . . I feel drugged, and like a zombie, for DAYS afterwards!

I was once given  muscle relaxants for a pulled muscle in my back.  I couldn’t even FUNCTION!  My speech was slurred, my vision was blurred, I had NO co-ordination!  Over the years I have taken anti-inflammatories because I have a lot of old sports injuries, etc.  I take them sparingly, and ONLY when I am in so much pain I can barely walk, which, thankfully, has not happened often in the past 15 or so years.

Well, I’m not a strong Christian, or a strong follower of ANY faith actually, but I DO believe in a higher being, and I DO believe that all things happen for a reason.  I would definitely tell people that this is “God’s way of giving me a wake up call!”  I DO believe that the power to heal myself MUST come from inside, and that attitude is a HUGE part of that healing process.  And I DO believe in the ability of my body to tell me what is right or wrong for it, if I listen to what it is telling me!  I am a firm believer in looking at the bright side, and being thankful for the good things in life.  I love nature and am always happiest outdoors, away from the noise and pollution, and to be honest, away from people as well.  People fill your head with too many thoughts and you can’t just relax and be yourself!!!

I come from a very small town on the BC/Alaska border, in Canada.  I grew up not watching television or playing computer games, but outside playing in the snow, hiking, biking, skiing, swimming, snowshoeing, camping, and loving the outdoors.  I love animals, children, flowers, nature, the night sky, thunderstorms, and of course, sunshine!!!  My holidays tend to be somewhere where I am NOT in a city, where I can “get away from it all”, or somewhere that I can go explore the mysteries of history and religion and culture.

Although my day to day life is hectic and fast paced, and demands a lot of me, my away from work time tends to be focused much more on myself and being able to have that personal time and space to just BE!  I learned a long time ago that I get what I call “peopled out” very easily.  In a job where I am working one on one with people all day, by the end of the day, I’m finished with people, finished with talking, and finished with the general NOISE of chatter!  I spend my evenings doing crafts, or talking with friends and family on the computer (usually TYPING not TALKING), listening to music, reading, sewing, or just relaxing in the sun for awhile.  I love to swim.

Right, I think I’ve babbled on long enough in explanation.  I am not making any rash or rushed decisions. I have thought this out very carefully and been very thorough in my research.  The fact that Dr. Surgeon  basically put her “stamp of approval” on it yesterday, just makes me more comfortable and more determined to follow this path.

I am travelling to South Africa for a friend’s wedding in a couple of weeks, so would like to have at least started with some basic herbs to maybe codify and strengthen my system before then! Will talk to you again soon.

Hi Chris, I think many, if not MOST, people react out of fear.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of the future.  Fear of failure.  Fear of death (their own AND others).  Just plain old FEAR, period.  If they don’t understand it or can’t explain it, they don’t want to have anything to do with it.  They don’t trust it, so they fear it.  Many people are so afraid of dying that they will believe ANYTHING the doctors tell them, in hopes of NOT dying.  Many people feel they “aren’t smart enough” or “don’t know enough” to make their own decisions.  After all, these doctors have YEARS of training and experience.

Many people also have not had the “experience” with cancer that I have.  I have watched far too many friends, both old and young, go through the devastation of chemo.  And I told every one of them to PLEASE stop the chemo, because it is THAT that was killing them, making them too weak to fight for their lives.

I have one friend who did chemo and radiation twice, and chemo a third time.  She has now had both breasts removed (FINALLY!) but has so many devastating residual effects from the chemo and radiation.  She will be chronically ill the rest of her life, due to her “cure”!

I have another friend who had bowel cancer, did all the chemo, and now has serious issues with her kidneys and liver, as a result of the chemo.  She, too, will be chronically ill, I fear.

I talked to a friend recently who has watched 4 family members die of cancer, after doing all the chemo and radiation that the doctors told them to.  She herself, had a large brain tumour, but refused surgery OR chemo.  She was part of a research project using a specific natural product (can’t remember the name of it, sorry!), and that was 24 years ago!  She remains alive and healthy to this day!

I have another friend who has never known anybody that died of cancer.  And SHE, of course, is VERY concerned that I’m NOT doing chemo.  However, she has known me for many years, knows that I always do things my own way, not necessarily the “accepted” way, and she trusts my instincts, because she’s seen the truth of them too many times to deny it!!!

I have one friend who works with the terminally ill, and has seen sooooooo many people die of cancer.  She VOWS that the cancer kills them!

We all walk different paths, and have different experiences.  But one thing I DO know.  Most of the people who have seen, or been close to, someone who went through all the chemo and radiation, swear they would never do it themselves.  Those who have actually DONE the chemo and/or radiation tell me they would NEVER do it again.

Despite the fact that my brother-in-law is so worried about the outcome of my cancer, I can’t satisfy his request that I at least CONSIDER the chemo, and/or the Herceptin.  I made my mind up a LONG time ago, that I would NEVER subject my body to that.  And I have never strayed from that path.  Nobody knows my body like I do, and trust me, it’s taken a lot of years, and a lot of fights with doctors, to get to that point!  But I DO know my body, and I DO know what it will or will not tolerate.  No doctor can tell me any different, because he or she HASN’T walked in my shoes, or lived in my body.  When doctors begin to understand that ONE simple thing, the world will be a much better place!!!

And THAT, once again, brings me around to you!  You don’t have a one size fits all attitude.  You take each patient individually.  You learn about them, about their past (and not just medical past), about their lifestyles, about their families, their fears, ALL of it!  You treat each person as a PERSON, not just another case.  That is the NUMBER ONE FACTOR in a good person.  In ANY good person!  You don’t have to be a Christian or a Buddhist or a Muslim to know that.  You just need to understand that people who are good to others are good to themselves, and much happier and content with their lives.  They have a clear conscience.  They are happy to help others.  They smile more.  They LIVE more!!!

As a teacher, I have to do the same, in order to be effective.  I need to be compassionate.  I need to understand.  I need to learn all about my students, in order to do good with them, and to teach them to do good for THEMSELVES, not because others expect of them.  It is so rewarding for me, and brings such a huge smile to my face, when I walk into the classroom, and have all my students light up with pleasure at seeing me!  I only teach two full classes, the rest I work with either one-on-one or in small groups.  Both of my classes have made me beautiful GET WELL SOON posters, and they have all signed them.  I keep them up in my office/craft room, where I spend most of my time.  I also have a poster from the girls on my volleyball team last year, up on my wall.  Seeing these things makes me know that I’m doing a good job and I’m making other people happy.  And that they care enough to do these things for me!

I went into the class on Thursday – and these are 16 and 17 year olds, not little kids – and they all just ERUPTED in happiness.  They tell me they love me, as I tell them I love them.  They ask questions of me that I fear many adults, and certainly many teachers, would never allow them to ask.  And certainly wouldn’t answer!!!  One of the boys asked me on Thursday, what I’m sure ALL of them have been dying to know, but have been afraid to ask.  He asked if I was going to have to do chemo and radiation.  The absolute RELIEF and pure JOY on their faces – ALL of their faces – when I said no, was amazing to see.  Humbling, really, to see that they all care so much, and are so worried about me!!!

When I said I was going to do Traditional Chinese Medicine instead, there was a mixed reaction, but they were curious and asked many questions.  You see, they trust me to be honest with them, and to tell them the truth.  They trust me to answer their questions, and if I CAN’T answer their questions, they know I will do my best to find an answer for them.  And I have taught them all to QUESTION!  NOT to take things at face value.  To ASK if they don’t understand, to make sure that they GET ALL THE FACTS before they make decisions and to look at things not just from one point of view, but to consider many points of view, and all the different angles.  And most of all, I teach TO DO WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU!!!  I tell them all the time that I can show them MANY ways to do things, but I cannot tell them what will work for them.  Only THEY can decide that.

So, you see, I am like you in many ways!  I see your attitude towards CA Care and your patients in the same light as I see my relationship with my students.  I don’t push them in any one direction, but I give them a helping hand, the information they need to make their own decisions, and the space to try those decisions out for themselves.  It’s not a common philosophy in schools, unfortunately, but I hope that in the long run, it will make them all more capable, compassionate, and successful in making good lives for themselves.

I have always said that nobody can make me happy, until I am happy within myself.  Nobody can like me if I don’t first like myself.  Nobody can make me do things I don’t want to, if I trust in myself.  But all of those things take time, time to get to know yourself, time to believe in yourself.  Too many people don’t TAKE that time, and that is when they are easily led by the hand.  In the end, it is only myself that I have to face in the mirror, and accept whether I am good or bad, and determine if I CAN look at myself in the mirror and accept MYSELF.

I do not walk down this path blindly.  I have looked in many directions.  I have searched through the light and the dark.  I have looked at both my insides and my outsides.  I know that I am now on the correct path to help myself.  Whether this leads me to a long life of health, or whether this gives me 2 or 3 years of health and happiness and then I die of cancer doesn’t matter.  What matters is the here and now, and the fact that I BELIEVE that this is the path that I need to take.

30 March 2011: Hi Chris. Me again.  My sister, the one who works in cancer research, called this morning to tell me that she’d gone through your website, watched some of the videos and stuff, and she thinks that I’m doing the right thing!!!  I was actually surprised, seeing as she WORKS in cancer research, but, like she said, she works in the Natural Products division, so this is right up her alley.  She DID say again, to ask if she could get some samples of keladi tikus to test in her lab.

And just thought I’d tell you that I don’t think the tea tastes like “snake venom” or “ditchwater” !!!  The C-Tea just tastes like normal tea, to me, and the Breast M tastes like, and has the same texture as, hot cocoa without any milk or sugar.  Not the best thing I’ve ever had to drink, but certainly not as bad as I was expecting!

13 June 2011: I once had a doctor tell me that with all his medical knowledge and equipment, he couldn’t “cure” my friend, but I did, just by giving her unconditional love.  Letting her know that someone really cared and treating her like she was LIVING, not dying!!!

The power of the mind is amazing.  If you want to be happy, THINK happy.  If you want to be healthy, THINK healthy.  If you want to feel young, THINK young.  If you want to be loved, love others.  If you are feeling ill, believe that you will get better.  Learn to live each day to the fullest – see the cup as half full, not half empty.  Look for those silver linings.  Look on the bright side.  Be mesmerized by the moon and stars.  Stop and smell the roses.  Take pleasure in splashing in the puddles.  Play with little children.  Laugh.  Dance.  Smile.  Give out free hugs.  And most of all – LIVE!!!

I refuse to let this cancer rule my life.  I have so much more life to live, and so much to be thankful for.  Not ready to give up and let the cancer take me.  So I live each day BELIEVING that I can beat this.  I laugh about it, joke about it, and treat it like a “friend”, not an enemy.  I’m living WITH it, not AGAINST it.  If I keep my body, my immune system, healthy and strong, it will take care of the cancer.  I don’t need to fight it, my body (my BRAIN, actually!) will take care of it for me!

I guess maybe this is why the doctors all keep telling me I’m “too healthy” to have cancer!!!  All of the doctors have said the same thing – my cancer was probably caused by STRESS!  There you go!  The power of the brain and the immune system – I’m a believer!!!

References

(1)    http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/breast/incidence/

(2)    http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics.jsp?gclid=CLLd3ZGOwbACFUYb6wodcVxyXA

(3)    http://canceraustralia.nbocc.org.au/breast-cancer/about-breast-cancer/breast-cancer-statistics

(4)    http://www.makna.org.my/cancer.asp

About CA Care

In obedience to God's will and counting on His mercies and blessings, and driven by the desire to care for one another, we seek to provide help, direction and relief to those who suffer from cancer.

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