March 30, 1997 – Easter Sunday
I wasn’t able to write anything yesterday because I was feeling quite badly. I felt like sleeping most of the day, which I did, even though D. and S. came from Arizona. They’ll be here next weekend, though, and I will be better by then. I’m already better today, but the raw feeling inside my body persists. I still feel a lot like sleeping. Perhaps this is quite a normal response to 5FU and cisplatin. I haven’t had too much nausea, and it has been quite controlled with Ativan.
About the best thing that I can recall about yesterday is that I was able to return to my belly breath quite frequently, in spite of feeling awful. I still remembered, “breathing in I’m healing myself, breathing out, I’m clear of cancer” or simply, “healing… clear”, with each breath. This practice removes me from the remorse of having cancer and controls my discursive thinking quite a bit.
We had a pot luck at our house today. Our best friends showed up with the best food! I was still feeling like my insides were raw, so I tried to soothe my insides with Aloe Vera and Rescue Remedy. They worked a little, but not 100%. I was nervous about the Aloe Vera that was bought because of its potency and purity. I’m still wondering if T-Up is worth buying.
March 24, 1997 – Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves
I passed up an opportunity to play tennis today because I didn’t want to be too exhausted for my chemotherapy and radiation therapy tomorrow. We still need a fourth and I wasn’t about to play singles. So I spent most of the day working except for a two hour break to visit on of the members of Cancerport who hadn’t be showing up and who sent her husband as an emissary. The visit was something I felt I could do for the lady and I also wanted her to know about Aloe Vera and Cesium Chloride treatments.
Speaking of cesium chloride, I had a rather long conversation with Michael Broffman about the meeting with C. H. and especially about the strategy for what we were going to do after Thursday. Cesium chloride seems like a good possibility.
At night, I went to Anna Halprin’s class only to find that she wasn’t there. The class was taught very capably by two of her students, and I felt tremendous joy as I shared my experience with Leslie Davenport on Friday. I felt totally loved and supported. I danced and drew the experience. In the drawing, I wrote,
Breathing in, Breathing out,
Healthy cells grow all by themselves!
I am free of cancer
Naturally, this was based on the Zen poem previously mentioned.
February 25, 1997 – A Day of Work
This morning, I resolved to fix some of the bugs that had been assigned to me. In doing so, there is often enough time to surf the web while programs are being compiled. During one such compile, I started looking for information on Dr. Stephen Sallan. He appeared on the ABC news cast last night to report on some remarkable achievements in the cure of cancer. I was really impressed with what he had to say, so I found his email address and fired off a message. The content of the message was as follows:
Dear Dr. Sallan:
I watched your presentation on ABC last night and I was really impressed. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions. I’ll be happy to phone you if that is easier and if you provide your office number.
1. Could you please tell me the name of the agents you are using to achieve a cure? I was not able to write them down fast enough. I do remember that you use something that prevents cancer cells from constructing new blood vessels. Someone mentioned endostatin, but I thought it was after you spoke.
2. Have you done any tests with T2N0M0 bladder cancer? I have been diagnosed with such and plan to have Dr. Shipley’s protocol beginning on March 10. I’ve had two TURBTs. My guess is that you know his protocol very well. If not, I’ll be happy to send it to you, or you can find it on my website (see below).
3. Does your research have anything to do with concentrated Aloe Vera or Cesium Chloride? I have heard that these naturally occurring substances have great immune building properties. Do you know anything about them?
4. Are there any trials for bladder cancer using your methods that you know of?
Thank you very much for your attention. If you have a chance, please see my web site: http://yellowstream.org. Dr. Shipley’s protocol is available there.
I have found an interesting quote in Cancer as a Turning Point on page 95 that provides excellent support for my decision:
In contemplating the removal of an organ or organs, remember that Nature does not indulge in luxuries. As Galen wrote: “Nature does nothing in vain.” If it is there, there is a good reason for it. No substitute is going to be as good (Mother Nature knows best). An organ should be removed if the alternative at this time is completely unacceptable. You can always have it removed later. You can’t have it put back.
Other topics of interest from LeShan’s book are how to survive in the hospital and how to deal with despair. He also establishes four axioms for holistic health, which I quote:
- The person exists on many levels, all of which are equally real and important. Physical, psychological, and spiritual levels are one valid way of describing the person, and none of these can be “reduced” to any of the other. To move successfully towards health, all must be treated. All must be taken care of and gardened if health is to be maintained.
- Each person is unique. A valid program of treatment, whether it focuses primarily on nutrition, meditation, chemotherapy, or exercise must be individualized for each person. A standardized approach to a condition is not valid under this concept.
- The patient should be part of the decision making team. Each person in a program of holistic health is given as much knowledge and authority as he or she will accept.
- The person has self-healing abilities. Following the first three axioms helps to mobilize these abilities and bring them to the aid of the mainline medical program
February 13, 1997 – More Resection?
I called Dr. Hoffman this morning and spoke with him about the treatment of bladder cancer with cesium chloride and/or aloe vera concentrate, and he basically said that these were not to replace chemotherapy and radiation. This was confirmed by a later conversation with Michael Broffman, who knew of Dr. Hoffman, and told us that Dr. Hoffman’s protocol was something to consider at the end of the Shipley treatments.
Then we received a call from Dr. Neuwirth. He said that Dr. Gullion had called him about the Shipley method, which requires an additional transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT), which he wanted to schedule for next week. We spoke to Michael Broffman about this and he recommended that we talk to Dr. Carroll. After further discussions with Dr. Huang, Dr. Gullion, we finally received a call back from Dr. Carroll. He said that he was out of time next week and the week after, so he wouldn’t be able to do anything until the week of February 24. He suggested that I go with Dr. Neuwirth, whom he said was a competent surgeon and could do this job effectively.
The last time I had a TURBT, there was no plan to do anything other than a radical cystectomy. Now Dr. Neuwirth would go in with the idea of doing bladder saving therapy. This could account for Dr. Neuwirth’s apparent reticence to do the second round of resection.
February 12, 1997 – Back to Work
This morning I spoke with Francine Halberg (H 10), a colleague of Dr. Wayne Torigoe. She knew who I was because she had already spoken with Dr. Gullion and Dr. Shipley! She wants to see me to discuss the difficulties and side effects of Dr. Shipley’s regime.
On the way to NGC, I listened to a tape of a lecture by Dr. Allen Hoffman in which he spoke about his work with a concentrated form Aloe Vera and the use of cesium chloride in the treatment of AIDS and cancer. The lecture was very understandable, and I want to see if he is simply selling, “snake oil!” Later that evening, I spoke with P. R. and Dr. Huang about is, but was unable to get any further information.
February 6, 1997 – The Big Surprise!
The next morning, my wife and I had another helpful conversation with Sara Huang. Once again, she was emphasizing the possibility of saving my bladder, but we were predisposed to think about surgery.
Then came our consultation with Dr. Gullion who had the tumor board results from early in the morning. To our shock, amazement and surprise, the tumor board came to the decision that I could take my choice between radical cystectomy and the Shipley treatment! They felt that the entire visible tumor had been removed by Dr. Neuwirth and my chances were the same with either treatment. We were stunned! We had no idea that this would be the result of the tumor board! Now what was I going to do?
One thing was clear: I didn’t want abominable surgery! After speaking with Dr. Belknap about the results of the tumor board, I received a call from J. W., a close friend of mine from my enneagram centers group. She had gone through surgery and chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and was finally beginning to feel more like herself. I asked her what she thought of my two options, and she said that abdominal surgery was horrible. She would vote for the chemo and radiation. I liked her reasoning and knew that she was speaking personal experience.
Joan also gave me advice in the following areas. She suggested that I check with my insurance company to see if I was covered for a social worker to come in the house and help out when I was going through the worse part of chemotherapy. She also said the cisplatin was very hard on the kidneys and that I should allow for eight hours of rehydration. She prepared me for short-term memory loss during chemotherapy, and wanted to make sure that I had a cocktail of drugs. The typical Shipley treatment is to apply cisplatin with methyltrexate and vinblastine together, so I may not have to worry about this. However, she was careful to emphasize that I should carefully check what is being fed into me because there have been many cases of chemotherapy overdoses! She cautioned me to stay away from anti-nausea drugs and use sea-bands instead. She recommended getting a hold of the National Cancer Institute (1-800-4-CANCER) for specific information about the drugs I’ll be taking and how to best deal with the side effects. She recommended taking caraloe and aloe vera combination with vitamin E and suggested that I read, “The Chemotherapy Survival Guide.”
By the time I finished my conversation with Joan, I was on my way to my decision not to have radical cystectomy.