Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chemo is crap --The Two Percent Factor.

Seriously. Her books are truly amazing and I feel like such a nincompoop for not having listened to a pal who suggested reading them a year ago, Like the unenlightened naive twerp I was, I didn't associate Suzanne with cutting edge views on cancer and staying well that are now shared by so many leading doctors, oncologists, radiologists and people like Ralph Moss PHD who is not a doctor but has devoted his life for the past 40 years to cancer research. Do yourself a favor and buy her latest book Knock Out which is a series of interviews with all these doctors and without any preaching, the message is deafeningly loud and clear and truly quite devastating. Chemo does not work for breast cancer. Time and time again these reputable people, and I'm now familiar with many of them from reading so many books, say the same thing. Chemo will help your chances of survival by a mere 2%.
Two per cent. That is it.


A 98% chance that it will do absolutely fuck all. And worse. It will all but destroy your immune system for a year or two or more and actually increase your chances of it returning.

The STANDARD OF CARE is crap. As Julian Whitaker MD states in the foreword to Suzanne’s book, “conventional medicine’s approach to cancer prevention and treatment is a debilitating, often deadly fraud.”
It’s simply all about money. Cancer is big business. It’s all about cookie-cutter treatment and maximizing profits -with big Pharma funding a lot of medical schools and paying established oncologists to speak at seminars recommending the benefits of a particular new drug.
A new drug, for instance, like Avastin—which just had, in a very rare move, it’s approval for breast cancer treatment rescinded as it DID NOTHING TO prolong life – but not until the drug company concerned had made a few billion.

The book just makes you gasp every few minutes – with rage and sadness but total appreciation for Suzanne and her passionate challenging of the conventional cancer treatment paradigm.

Oncologists, alone among all doctors in America and any other industrialized country, get to BUY chemo drugs WHOLESALE and sell them to patients at RETAIL PRICES. Eighty percent of their income comes from prescribing poisonous chemo drugs to we patients – around 600,000 of us each year. And by and large, it simply doesn’t work.
Chemo, it has been proven time and time again, truly works in only three types of cancer-testicular, childhood leukemia and some lymphomas.

And so when an oncologist or the American Cancer Society says that chemo works—they are generally referring to ludicrous statistics like 25% shrinkage of a tumor that lasts for a couple of weeks –or patient survival being ONE month longer than they might have had without the drugs. But a month or perhaps two where the patient is so ill and depleted that quality of life is virtually non-existent.

Suzanne points out that “The FDA did an internal investigation of itself last year where they declared themselves incompetent, unable to keep up with the science, understaffed and ineffective.”
Dr Ralph Moss adds that “The FDA was originally created to stop quackery and to allow for more scientific drug development. So they have this attitude that that if something is coming from small developers whose ideas are not mainstream and who don’t have deep pockets, then there is a presumption of guilt…They are very much disposed against the individual or small company that has a bright idea in the cancer field.

They HAVE NEVER approved any non-toxic drug or herb for cancer. The rule seems to be that nothing of a nonpatented, less profitable nature gets through the FDA system. The only things that get through are these synthetic patented agents that are generally very toxic and ineffective. They are so ineffective that the FDA keeps lowering the bar and allowing things to be approved on lower and lower standards of effectiveness and lower and lower standards of safety. “

It just gets more and more depressing….and appalling….but it’s all stuff we NEED to know…

Ralph Moss again --“The government and the medical establishment have a high standard of proof called “increased overall survival through randomized control trials”. The problem is that this standard is rigorously upheld only for the nonconventional cancer doctors; it’s bent for the conventional doctors….you don’t have a level playing field. In fact the people who are least able to afford to perform these trials are the ones from whom it is most often demanded….
There’s a terrible injustice to the way that drug development is set up. It’s an injustice to advocates. New, less toxic and more promising treatments are never adequately researched to the point where they could be scientifically confirmed…The FDA act like the loyal enforcer for Big Pharma. And that’s what they are.!”

So anyone who thinks they may be taking too many prescription drugs—rest assured, you probably are. People from other countries are stunned by the number of drug commercials- with those extraordinary lists of side-effects, that bombard us on TV screens here.

But what I’d like to stress is that if anyone has cancer---or just in case it comes knocking---TRY TO REMEMBER IN THE CHAOS and FEAR that follows diagnosis, that chemo is not necessarily the answer.
And just because so many doctors and hospitals and specialists SAY TO DO IT, DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT.
Don't take my word for it. Read the book. It's there in black and white, stated over and over again. I felt like I was being beaten over the head by the horrifying statistic of TWO PER CENT. And people simply need to know!
And they need to know it before sitting in that little room and hearing the fateful words 'you have cancer' at which point, certainly in my case, one is in complete meltdown Panic and Fear mode and doesn't feel like one has time to see lots of different oncologists or bone up on all the newest statistics.

In my case several people all recommended this one oncologist I saw and she said it would improve my chances by 40%. Seriously, that's what she said and my 23 year-old daughter was a witness. Although reluctant I felt I had to do it. I HAD to. For my kids. Months later, I started on the path of knowledge and went to see Dr John Glaspy at UCLA. The first words out if his mouth after looking at my chart were, well tactful.

He said “Well if you'd come to me not wanting chemo, you wouldn't have gotten an argument from me.”
It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I wanted to think I’d done exactly the right thing – although I was beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that I’d just finished poisoning myself for absolutely NO good reason. I had just read the figure of 2% in a 300 page Moss Report on breast cancer that I’d bought.

‘Why not?’ I asked Dr Glaspy.
‘Well because it only increases the survival rate of people with breast cancer by two per cent!!’
‘Oh my god, really? I just read about that two per cent figure in the Moss Report. So you agree with him?’
‘Yes, I'm afraid so’ But, an incredibly kind, lovely compassionate man, he could see the tears sprouting from my eyes and added.
‘Think of it this way. From now on you’ll do everything right.’

I drove home after that first consultation with Dr Glaspy –who I decided on the spot would be my new oncologist and knew I had at least found someone who was savvy enough not to follow conventional wisdom.

But I also knew it would now be hard to get rid of the feeling that I’d FUCKED UP and put my poor body through hell. I mean, I tried to bury it and forget I'd ever heard the TWO PER CENT figure and told myself all manner of trite idiotic truisms like 'better safe than sorry’. And then it started cropping up once or twice in books I read. Only to practically jump off the page, no longer allowing me to ignore it and live in any kind of denial, once I read KNOCKOUT (which was the NY Times Number One Best Seller for months.)

By the end of the book, I can’t imagine anyone not convinced that, except in rare instances of stage four cancer, chemo just doesn't work for breast cancer.
And I now know that through ignorance, I did myself and my body so much avoidable harm. I did both chemo and surgery- something else the book discusses – VERY negatively- in the last chapter. And now, as I discovered here weeks ago, I need yet another surgery – as one breast has ‘collapsed’ and needs more reconstructive surgery.

And good ol Dr Bob—when he told me how it was best that we get this next surgery done soon – then announced that as of a few weeks ago, he no longer accepts my insurance. But far worse was the fact that when I mentioned that if he was opening me up again, could he perhaps this time put in smaller implants, since all along I have begged for small breasts—he looked at me as if I had not in fact mentioned it about eighteen times—always very politely, as one is to the person who will wield a scalpel as you lie there like a lump- yet again the unconscious party. Indeed, he looked up at me in what resembled shock – as if it were the very first time I had made the small tit request and it hit me hard then and there. I had gone unheard and short of writing in Sharpie on my forehead – SMALL TITS PLEASE- I had been helpless and ignored by the arrogant surgeon and my blood boiled.
Oh, don’t think I haven’t tried to find another surgeon—and the quest is ongoing but the trick is to find one who takes my insurance AND might be prepared to take over what has now become an epic saga of surgery. So far two have pleasantly but firmly refused to go anywhere near me with a knife. It may end up being Dr Bob. A sixth surgery. Fan-fucking-tastic.

It’s all pretty depressing to say the least and hasn’t helped my recovery in that it’s hard not to dwell on the damage that’s ongoing.
My hair –to give just one small instance—has almost stopped growing altogether….about 2 inches in the fifteen months since it came out and absolutely nada for months now (And yes – I actually have resorted to measuring it with a cotton tape measure to prove I am not paranoid and crazy) and alas, there is no denying that’s it just a tad slower than the average rate for humans of half an inch per month. I should have seven inches of lovely style-able locks. I don’t. Not sure why but it makes me sad. And I know that if I had tons of dough I would be having vitamin infusions and acupuncture and various treatments that would probably help—but, who has tons of money?

The book continues to amaze and gobsmack you----
There are tests available now that can tell if you will even benefit from chemo at all!! Not given here in the United States.
There are supplements given in other parts of the world that have been proven to help counteract the effects of chemo. Not given here.

It’s impossible to do the book justice. I simply say BUY IT. Get informed. There are some amazing ‘alternative’ doctors (who’ve been vilified and attacked and shut down for years) out there who ARE CURING PATIENTS. Particularly in cases of people with stage four brain, liver and pancreatic cancer (who have tried all the conventional methods with no success) they are giving these people year after year AFTER YEAR of life with no cancer.

And yes, of course the book goes out of its way to point out that conventional medicine can often work very well.
Are there drugs that save lives?? Of course. Do quadruple bypasses and all sorts of surgeries give people a new lease of life? Definitely! My own brother had a heart transplant in Australia that saved his life! And ER doctors must be applauded for saving lives every minute of the day. It's just that too many doctors prescribe too many drugs that are toxic and we need to be informed, ask the right questions and keep asking til something resonates and truly feels right. Doctors are not Gods and must not be treated as such. We need to be our own advocates.
Too late for me but not for others.
And the summer marches on—no energy to go anywhere….the teen working hard right through the summer as a camp counselor in training and my daughter Lola just back from a fabulous adventure in Argentina back-packing and traveling in rickety buses through the country. Having announced to me via skype a few weeks ago that she had decided she was NOT, after all, going to law school and that I should try to get a refund on the witty graduation gift of an 8-week study course for the L Sats, she’s wondering what to do with the rest of her life.
Funny, but so am I.
I have ideas for TV shows, a documentary on cancer, a movie, a book…but hard to keep pushing the boulder uphill. One can do nought but keep on being grateful for what one has and I have plenty.
What I don’t have is a date---or even the prospect of a date and after three years MINUS a date you’d think that I’d be grasping the concept that my dating days are over but nooooo, I had to go and renew some idiotic subscription with Salon.com’s dating site. It was their 900th email asking me to renew a long-dead subscription and so, in a wild moment of lonely late-night hope and desperation I did the deeply tedious and gave them my credit card details.

Sure enough three days later they announced- in definitive terms- they had FOUND ME A MATCH.
With eager anticipation, I opened the email—to find that some dickhead was ‘looking for a ménage a trois – preferably with mature, experienced, married women.” !!!!
So a big THANKYOU SHOUT OUT to the folks at Salon who are almost certainly so moronic that they wouldn’t know a ménage a trois from a hole in the wall.
I even wrote to them saying as much and guess what—they didn’t respond or apologize.
If I had the energy I would call and demand my money back –but I don’t. It occurs to me that no one I know will ever set me up on a date again. I have been tainted with the "she has cancer" stain. Does it ever go away?
I have just doubled my anti-depressant dose. On MY orders.


janetleigh37 said...

Just wanting to know how Lyndell is doing, thank you janet.

The Eye of Faith said...

Thank you for the fascinating read. My grandfather is going through hell with lymphoma diagnosis, but we (as a family) did not wish to induce our dear Dad to the horrible pains of chemotherapy. If it wasn't for my own research, I definitely would NEVER have known the killer side effects, not to mention, the politics of the pharmaceutical trade industry.

Sad, really. To think we have so much knowledge, resource, and technology to share, and yet the world is filled with such greed that there doesn't seem to be any chance of a [safe] cure in the near future, if Big Pharma is making billions.

Quite a sham.

I stumbled across your blog looking for your daughter's work online. Your words are truly inspiring, and I can see where your daughter gets her fight! (Big fans!)

We have been watching our favourite show Work of Art, and love this season even better than the last because of the extraordinary talent of your beautiful daughter, Lola. Don't know if you've been keeping up yourself (I know it must be strange to watch your own daughter on television), but she's really quite the one to watch.

The Eye of Faith said...

Would love for you to check out our website! We try to fill it with inspiration, laughs, and a little mystery.

We would be honoured!