The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A note on Dr. Wayne Dyer's passing

The last couple of days my stats have been through the roof with people landing on my blog after searching for Dr. Wayne Dyer on Google. What seemed to arouse the most interest in relation to this blog was whether Dr. Dyer had died of leukemia. As a result of a Facebook posting I was directed to, I am now able to relay that his death was related to something to do with his heart and that he did not have leukemia at the time of his death.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In memoriam Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, the controversial cancer doctor who appeared in Suzanne Somers' book, Knockout, has died of an apparent heart attack in his home on July 21st. A full obituary, with details of his life and career, is given here. The site also contains a comprehensive video interview, in which Dr. Gonzalez talks about his training, his mentors and his work, and describes in detail what inspired him to treat cancer as an alternative physician.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Making assumptions - Part 2 (also continues the theme of cats and energy healing)

In "Making assumptions" we visited with Truffle, an elderly feline whose newly developed habit of not finding the litter box was attributed to old age and decline, instead of a bladder infection that needed medical attention.

More recently Truffle experienced breathing difficulties. The next morning her owner took her to the vet, and the vet said "your cat is dying" and offered to euthanize Truffle right on the spot. He detected a heart murmur and diagnosed heart and lung insufficiency, and essentially predicted progressive organ failure. He warned Truffle's owner that if she had to rely on an emergency vet for euthanasia over the weekend, she'd be paying upwards of $800. If she availed herself of his services, however, while he was available, she'd be paying a lot less.

Truffle's owner declined, mostly because she wanted to consult with her husband. So she made an appointment for Truffle's final visit with the vet for the next morning. This would allow Truffle's "family and friends" to say the appropriate goodbyes.

Truffle's admiring circle of family and friends, however, includes some enthusiastic energy healers. Over the course of the afternoon she received plenty of tearful goodbyes as well as Reiki and applications of the Domancic Method. The next morning her owners took her to the vet -- and then brought her home, very much alive still.

The Truffle is still with us. Her breathing difficulties appear to have resolved. She can now find the litter box, at least most of the time. She can climb up to her favourite sleeping spot on the third floor and jump up on the bed to claim it. She is thoroughly enjoying her new geriatric cat food. She may be old and declining, but she is still enjoying life.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Mind blown - Reiki at the Mayo Clinic

Periodically I check my standing on Google, entering the search term "energy healing cancer." I am pleased to see that this blog remains near the top of the first page. Today's search, however, turned up something else I found interesting: "Energy therapies offered at the Mayo Clinic". Yes, the Mayo Clinic is offering Reiki and Healing Touch to support the healing of cancer patients and cancer survivors. The site explains that
For people living with cancer, the healing energy of Reiki and Health Touch can be used to provide relief from conditions such as fatigue, stress, pain, anxiety and side effects of cancer treatments.
It also says that "energy therapies work in harmony with standard medical care and treatment" and that "Reiki promotes relaxation and enhances healing within the body." Way to go, Mayo Clinic.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Making assumptions

My friends Stephen and Alison have an elderly cat named Truffle. Truffle is 18 and a half, a Methuselah in cat years, and blind as a bat. Not too long ago Truffle started peeing in the kitchen. Someone would go down for breakfast in the morning or arrive home at the end of the day and find a puddle in the kitchen. The inescapable conclusion was that because of her advanced age Truffle was becoming disoriented in addition to being blind, and could no longer find the litter box.

Wrong. What Truffle was desperately signaling by peeing the kitchen was that she had a bladder infection. Because everyone came to the wrong conclusion, the problem was only flagged when she stopped peeing altogether and needed emergency veterinary care.

The same kinds of assumptions are made about elderly humans. Since there is an expectation that their health, mental acuity and quality of life will invariably decline before they die, solutions to their problems are often missed. It could be that the culprit behind their confusion or poor balance or forgetfulness is their medication or their insufficient diet, but that is often not investigated, even though a small tweak in dosage, a different medicine, or some supplements and fresh fruits and vegetables could make all the difference.

Illnesses are treated the same. It is assumed that once you have an illness, especially one decreed to be fatal, all your pain and discomfort can be attributed to it. Several years ago some colleagues and I treated a pancreatic cancer patient who responded with an astonishing turn-around from being on his deathbed to reversing his jaundice and being released from the hospital. Even though he went home to receive outpatient care and continued to improve (being able to get out of bed, walk around the house, go up and down the stairs, walk to the park, go grocery shopping, spend weekends at the cottage) the expectation was that he would eventually decline and die. Because of this expectation, his multitude of healthcare providers all missed the clues of the impending septicemia which in the end killed him.

A friend of mine who is an MD tells an interesting story from his days as a resident. He was on his neurology rotation and he was asked to go down to admitting and take a history on a woman who was about to be admitted to the neurology department because she kept falling down. When he got to the waiting room, my friend found a very large woman sitting in a chair holding her hugely swollen knee. After she complained to him that her knee was giving out on her and causing her to fall, it didn't take him long to discover that she had a torn ligament. My friend then logically sent her to orthopedics and got into big trouble with his supervisor for not playing along with the assumption that her problem was neurological.

It can take some powerful advocacy to get the right kind of care for the right condition in the face of mistaken assumptions.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Report says there will be a 40% increase in cancer patients by 2030

According to a report cited by the Globe and Mail, Canada's hospitals will see an increase of 40% a year in the number of cancer patients they treat by 2030. The article claims that
By the year 2030, an average of 277,000 new cancer cases are expected to be logged every year, up from nearly 200,000 this year and about 155,000 a decade ago, according to Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015, an annual summary of cancer figures and projections published Wednesday by the Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The difficulty for the medical system will be how to deal with the sheer number of new cancer cases, driven by an aging population of baby boomers. A particular difficulty will be what to do with those patients who are too frail and elderly to endure the usual highly toxic and debilitating cancer protocols. The article and the report recommend advance planning, with "more oncologists, specially trained nurses, diagnostic services, cancer centres, cancer therapies and palliative care."

If I may beat my little drum here, what the system needs, in particular for those frail elderly patients whom chemotherapy would devastate, if not kill outright, is more specially trained energy healers. As I've pointed out in this blog many times over, energy treatments trump conventional ones for giving patients peace of mind, quality of life, and even added time. They are less taxing on the patient and less expensive to deliver. Perhaps by 2030 someone in a position to change things in the healthcare system will figure this out, for all our benefits.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Iatrogenic disease - part 4

This is a topic that just keeps giving. This morning's haul is an article in the National Post, entitled "Inside Canada’s secret world of medical error: ‘There is a lot of lying, there’s a lot of cover-up’." It was published in January, but I just ran across it. It begins with a story containing a shocking verbal image: a woman whose eyeball literally pops out her eye socket because botched eye surgery caused a build-up of blood behind her eye. The same woman had a few months earlier mistakenly received a hernia operation instead of having a cyst removed from one of her ovaries. She is in continuing pain from the unremoved cyst and she now has a prosthetic eye.

The article continues with a litany of other hospital errors before citing a frightening statistic: 13% of people coming into hospital in Canada will experience some kind of adverse event, and that includes the possibility of iatrogenic death. A 2004 study showed that 7.5% of adult patients entering hospital, or approximately 185,000 Canadians a year, experienced a serious adverse event. The percentage for children was higher at 9.2%. Up to 23,000 people a year die in Canada as a result of preventable hospital error. According to Hugh McLeod, chief executive of the Canadian Safety Institute, "With the pace, the increase of new technology, new drugs, new approaches … the probability of risk and incident has grown."

If you have a strong stomach, read the article in its entirety. It will inspire you to do everything in your power to stay out of hospital.