February 7, 1997 – I Don’t Want Abominable Surgery!
Friday morning, I had to have a sonogram for my gall stone. Aside from the long wait, it went fairly smoothly. When I finished, my friend, T. R. was waiting for me. We had breakfast together and talked about my options.
After T. left for work, I joined a cancer support group at Marin General led by Leslie Davenport. She had worked with my wife the previous year doing guided imagery for her hip problem that was caused by an automobile accident in 1992. I was the only man, but this didn’t stop me from trying to find out what was the best course of action. One of the women said that she had no side effects from the chemotherapy whatever!
In the early afternoon, I had another session with Yokey Kim. Once again, I had a wonderful treatment.
Then came the long-awaited appointment with Michael Broffman, a Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist, who runs the Pine Street Clinic. He has a fabulous reputation for knowing a lot about cancer, and my wife and I were blown away by his knowledge of bladder cancer. We talked at great length about alternatives to radical cystectomy. One surprising note was something that no other physician mentioned. Michael said that after seven or more years, they may have to go in for another operation for the urinary diversion. After this statement, decision was really moving rapidly towards the Shipley approach! Michael proceeded to tell us that there is a lot of bladder cancer in China and that a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and chemotherapy, with or without radiation, is the primary means of dealing with the disease.
By the time we left Michael’s office, we felt comfortable that the Shipley method combined with the protocol Michael was going to send us would offer me a better chance than just the Shipley method alone.