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.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Open Letter to Oncologists

Dear Doctor,

Let me begin by saying that I respect the care and devotion you give your patients and that I understand that you are working within a widely accepted paradigm that you were taught many years ago in medical school.

But I am writing to you with some frustration because I have seen the suffering that this paradigm can cause.

I am not speaking of the many cancer patients who experience successful outcomes through the accepted practices of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. I am speaking of the ones who come to you to whom you have to say "I am sorry. Your cancer is too advanced to treat. All we can offer is palliative chemotherapy or radiation to improve your quality of life when it becomes compromised."

All too often "palliative" chemotherapy and radiation mean weeks or months of suffering (nausea, vomiting, hair loss, weight loss, exhaustion, pain) for a few weeks or months of added life. It is questionable how this improves quality of life.

I fully understand that because of your training you are not aware that there are alternatives. The purpose of this letter is to make you aware of at least some of them.

For eighteen months in 2007 and 2008 I trained in an energy healing method that was specifically said to be effective for cancer. Since then, I learned another one that is likewise said to be helpful for cancer sufferers. Over the past four years I and a colleague have worked with many cancer patients. I would like to tell you of our experiences.

In our work treating end-stage cancer patients we found that most of them experienced significant pain relief. In one case a patient in hospital who was expected to die within days of stage-4 pancreatic cancer instead rallied, and was sent home a week after we began treating him. Five days after the first treatment he no longer needed morphine. His jaundice reversed. Instead of dying within days, he went on to live another 10 weeks, able to resume some normal activities, including shopping, barbecuing, and going to the cottage. This was an extraordinary case.

In other instances we asked end-stage cancer patients in significant pain what their pain level was after treatment. Before treatment, it was 10 out of 10; after treatment 2 out of 10. Pain relief could last a couple of days.

In one instance a patient with end-stage bladder cancer, who developed a large inoperable metastatic tumour while receiving chemotherapy, came in supported by his wife, visibly in considerable pain. After treatment he walked out unassisted and laughing. He then opted for a round of heavy duty last-ditch radiation and died. His wife said he told her he wished he had continued working with us.

Energy healing modalities such as Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are already accepted under the current medical paradigm as adjunctive treatments. So a terminal cancer patient might receive palliative chemotherapy and radiation, and then receive Reiki or Therapeutic Touch from a nurse or a hospital volunteer to deal with the side effects of the treatment. But I would submit that the new energy healing modalities, which seem to pack more punch than Reiki or TT, would not need to be adjunctive to chemotherapy or radiation. In cases where the aim is palliation, they can be used as stand-alone treatments.

In our experience patients who have no hope of beating their cancer can live far longer and far more productively with energy treatments than allopathic ones. One man we treated who had bile duct cancer with metastases to the liver, and was expected to live 7 or 8 months, instead lived 20. Significantly, for the first 12 months while he was receiving energy treatments, he was able to walk the dog, paint his house, rearrange his garage, help the neighbour build a deck, and (at the end of the 12 months) travel to a national park to go salmon fishing and white water rafting. After 12 months he terminated energy treatments and was eventually persuaded to try chemo and radiation. He died 8 months after ending his bioenergy treatments and once again his family told us that in retrospect they believed it would have been better if he had continued working with us.

You are too quick to dismiss us. One doctor said of our pancreatic cancer patient who was sent home to live 10 extra weeks, instead of dying within days as expected, that his sudden turn-around was probably "the natural course of his disease". This in spite of the fact that man's own doctor called it "a miracle".

My point is that the patient has nothing to lose and a lot to gain. No side effects to treatment. An extended life span. Pain relief. More energy to live daily life. Society would also benefit, given the runaway costs of allopathic hospital treatment (e.g., $5000 a month per patient for chemo pills). I would think doctors and nursing staff would also benefit in not having to witness, helplessly and on a daily basis, the suffering of these patients.

All I ask is that you be willing to work with us, in particular if the terminal patient in question is a child. I just saw an interview with Dr. Andrew Weill in which he said that already twenty percent of medical schools are teaching an integrative healthcare model. What I propose is as good as integrative medicine gets. Everyone benefits.

Please think about it.

No comments: