This is an update of my topic Certainties and Inevitabilities from back in January 2013.
On Saturday my dear wife, who had been dealing with bad anemia and an apparent intestinal tract infection (on top of her colon tumor), spiked a fever into the 105 degree territory, despite a course of antibiotics prescribed for the infection. I called 911 and she was transported to the hospital. They brought her fever down and did some extensive testing to find out the cause of the trouble. They finally discovered it, and it wasn’t good news.
In short, the colon tumor had grown so much that it had caused perforation of her colon and wild growth of bacteria in her abdominal cavity. The doctor offered her two outcomes, depending upon the treatment options available: (1) do nothing and within a week or two die from sepsis, very painfully; or (2) undergo a colostomy operation and live for the rest of her life with a bag attached to her (a repair is no longer possible due to the extent of the damage). She, who had sworn she would never do “the bag” chose option 2 nevertheless, and on Sunday the surgery was completed. She is now in the hospital, and will stay there for five to seven days before going home to finish recovery. She is not a happy camper. But at least she will live for a while longer.
Back in November of 2012 I urged her to do a course of radiation and then have the tumor cut out. She would have had to deal with a colostomy for a few months, but then the surgeon would have been able to rejoin the cut ends and all would be back to normal. My wife is a wonderful woman, but she has a problem with black-and-white thinking. She highly dislikes the medical profession because of their arrogances, and holds strongly to the notion that all alternative medicine is better. She has told me several times that the doctors want to make tons of money on their ignorant patients, all the while either denying the efficacy of “natural” medicine, or are totally and intentionally criminally ignorant of it. Sure the doctors are great for broken limbs and such, but vaccines? antibiotics? surgery? it is all a conspiracy.
I was in some despair over her choice to use so-called “natural” remedies. Note that I do not feel that herbal remedies are in themselves all useless, for I have myself used various herbs for minor ailments and found them to be effective in many cases. But cancer? And useless treatments like the Hulda Clark Zapper?
As for the zapper, we spent about $200 for a store-bought version. Being an electronics technician, once upon a time, I can tell you that this zapper is nothing more nor less than a square wave generator. I could build one from parts for less than $10. And I did, once! Useless piece of crap, but apparently the “special” frequency of the zapper is a doggoned cure-all. But nothing I could say about the zapper could convince a true believer. Even if using one produces no perception at all of any effect, this doesn’t cool some people’s jets. Eventually, I convinced my wife she was wasting her time using the stupid thing. And managed to convince her that the Hulda Clark “cure” for cancer was a complete fraud. This was my last success in my campaign to get my wife to do something that might actually have a prayer of working, and it was helped by the fact that Dr. Clark (yes, she was a real Doctor, although a biochemist, not an MD) died of cancer herself, and her own “cures” didn’t help.
And then there is the Essiac Formula. This is a tea formulated from burdock, Indian rhubarb, slippery elm bark and sheep sorrel. Some formulations include a couple of other herbs, but whatever. The base formula was supposedly originated from a medicine man of the Ojibway tribe, and passed to Canadian nurse Rene Caisse by one of her patients. You can read the history of this thing in the link, I won’t elaborate further, except to say that I read about it very thoroughly and couldn’t find any compelling reason to believe that the tea would help. I did find that apparently one of the studies found that it might even make a cancer grow faster, but I couldn’t see that even that had been clinically proven. Plus, I know my wife: once she has decided that something is right, she goes at it guns blazing (metaphorically), and nobody dares to try to tell her differently.
Well, the Essiac Formula is what my wife decided upon as her primary treatment mode. So, she has been making and using this Essiac stuff for the last year and a half. Because she is a very provident and thrifty individual, she has been making her own from the raw herbs. So every two weeks she has made a batch of the tea, and keeping it in the fridge, drinks a cup of it religiously twice each day. When she has run out of the formula, she has made more. And roped me into helping her prepare it. A week and a half ago I even went so far as to make a big batch of the formula for her (she was not feeling very well).
As you can tell from the beginning of this post, the Essiac seems to have made utterly no difference at all to the progress of my wife’s cancer. It has gone from Stage 2 (eminently treatable) to where it is now, Stage 4 (virtually untreatable and ultimately fatal), apparently without even pausing to think about it.
And ironically, my wife plans to continue drinking the Essiac when she gets home from the hospital. And I will not object, because I don’t think it has hurt, and I’m certain it won’t help. There something to be said for continuing to take an action which has proven to not work, expecting a different outcome. But I won’t say it, at least to her. She has a proven history of not listening on points like this, so there’s little point in raising the issue.
BUT I HAVE A THING TO SAY TO THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK THAT ESSIAC (OR THINGS LIKE HULDA CLARK’S “THERAPY”) ARE SOMEHOW “MIRACLE CURES” THAT ARE SUPPRESSED BY THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT: there is NO suppression — this junk is all over the Internet — the failures of these QUACK remedies are their own suppression. If they cured people, don’t you think this would be noticed?
Rene Caisse and Hulda Clark and their devotees have combined with my wife’s gullibity to kill her. She isn’t dead as of this writing, but the writing is on the wall. Her cancer has metastasized to the point it is now useless to treat with radiation or surgery. Apparently there’s a small chance that chemotherapy might slow it down, but that’s a very bad bet. And there will be no chemo for her — she’s still a “true believer”.
Note that in my original post on this issue I said that I expected to be a widower in about year from that time. Well, it’s been a year and a half, so I was wrong about the timing. Thank God.
But NOT about the certainty and the inevitability.