Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cancer, The sadness of losing a sister! But can we afford the cure?

I haven't been able to blog lately.

Last time I blogged it was about my sister and the news that she had terminal cancer.

Sadly she had 6 weeks from diagnosis and as a family lost a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend!

Given my background in complementary health and my despise of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, it was very hard to accept that the fear that is so very present and sadly capitalised on, albeit without intention, drives a person and in this case, my sister, to opt for chemotherapy.

It was offered on the basis that it may extend her life by months, sadly it went very wrong immediately, and my sister went from walking into the hospital to have her chemo, and being told how well she looked, to the very next day, bedridden and at deaths door!

I spent that night and the next with her in hospital,alongside her husband, while she had scans to see what went wrong. The chemo had caused the tumour to bleed and filled her lungs. I was told by the oncology doctor at 1.30am after an emergency scan, it was rare for that to happen but can sometimes.....Rare? i wonder as less than 24hrs later i heard of exactly the same thing occuring to a man in hospital in kent.

When my sister was diagnosed with cancer in the lung and in 2 places in her spine, she was told there was nothing they could do.

At that point all hope seems to have been taken away and you are left with a poor prognosis.
Just because this hospital had nothing they could offer, to say there was nothing that could be done may be wrong.

It should be at that point that you are given encouragement to find what else is out there and family encouraged to look for hope and help.

It is not about false hope, but about some hope and after all, who has the right to say that your life will end and take hope away.

In the 2.5 weeks that followed the initial news of the extent of the condition, I used CKT to establish a programme of hydrotherapy, oxygen therapy, alkaline diet, the use of Vit C, hydrogen peroxide and homeopathy.

Everything indicated that my sister had a good chance of changing her fortunes. The testing machine used by a very capable homeopath who had seen success in his treatments of cancer patients, showed that with the right combination the body could change back the unhealthy cells to healthy cells. After all, there were still more healthy cells than unhealthy ones.

CKT confirmed this and during this time, my sister went home and managed, albeit taking things easy, but still managing trips to the theatre, and out for dinner, shopping etc. The hospital had agreed, much to my surprise, that she could have oxygen at home from BOC to help with the oxygen therapy. Of course it couldn't be written up for that purpose, but the doctor could see the logic behind it i guess.

That logic being that the vast amounts of cancers do not like oxygen rich bodies and that they do not thrive in alkaline states. As most of us have acid up bodies and shallow breathe, we give it prime conditions to develop!

Doing so well was perhaps to her detriment, as it was then decided to offer her chemotherapy as they thought her body could cope with it. Interesting that you have to be relatively well to have this!

My sister felt she had to try both options and couldn't risk putting all her eggs in to one basket, (the non medical route) as she said.

'Pity you chose a basket with a ruddy great big hole in it' - quote from her son, after the chemo had caused her massive problems.

She promised she would keep up all the other routines, but I knew her body would not have the strength or will after the chemo.

She asked me to use CKT to see if her body would benefit from Chemo and it was a firm no!, but she still felt that she couldn't risk not having the chemo.

It is so deep in our psyche, that these are the only options and we have to try them, never mind that they rarely work in the long term and the suffering caused by the radiotherapy and chemo is like torture in this day and age. That is what so many members of the public think they have to do for their best chance of survival.

Lets not forget, cancer is a business and look at how many jobs it supports and drug companies and subsequently shareholders etc that 'benefit' from this illness!  Where is the incentive to truly find a cure?

So ignoring all the advice from her body, my sister turned up for her chemo.......6 hours too early!! She was sent away. Could the universe send her a bigger signal? She  returned when she was told, 6 hours later. from that day she never really recovered.  Basically sent home to die!

But with the help of homeopathy, we used remedies to help begin to clear the chemo from her body and she never lost her hair! Hair that had been a signature for her. Known for her willingness to try a new style or some bold colour through it. None as bold as an electric blue streak she once had in her very dark hair - stunning!

Remember i said she was sent home to die, well she didn't do it in the time span that was felt, a matter of days if that!, but 3 weeks later. In that time the hospice at home nurses had their input and the encouragement to keep the morphine going in, despite her not being in pain!, was too much to watch...anger, oh yes!!

My other sister doesn't believe in any other approach other than the medical one and basically encouraged my sister to accept her fate, thinking acceptance is the best way. This, despite the medical establishment failing our sister  badly in the 2 years up to the cancer diagnosis!
This caused such trauma and unforgiveable in my eyes.

Her children and husband just wanting her to keep fighting, but the more morphine that goes in (unnecessarily) with what ever is used to dry up the fluids, basically dehydrating the body, of course the body ceases to cope and closes down!

I was so shocked to see how quickly the nurses wanted my sister to have the morphine, even suggesting it before any pain had been experienced. My sister wasn't taking mild pain relief at this point and nothing regularly, but i watched how they talked my sister into it...a vulnerable and scared person can be convinced of anything.  'better to have the morphine going in now so you don't feel the pain when it comes' was what one 'well meaning' nurse told her.....I mean do you take an aspirin just in case that day you get a headache?

So the body had no chance of doing what it need to do, as everything was beginning to be surpressed by morphine.

I was horrified at how much control over medication is left to one nurse in this home situation.....not the same had my sister been in a hospice environment i'm sure, where the monitoring and increasing of a drug is much deliberated on and not a set course of just doubling it up.

At one point, even a visiting GP thought the amount of morphine the nurses had given was too high and reduced it.  She was barely aware of anything, but when the effects of the morphine started to wear off she remembered that i had to go away for 2 day for work and where i had been. the morphine etc had her so sedated she couldn't have voiced her wishes even, but that night, they put it up again and added some. They used  the excuse she was distressed!

How could they establish my sister had 'capacity' in compliance with the 'mental capacity act' even?

A small point you might think....but one that is there to safe guard and was it followed in this situation?

If they established she was distressed then she had every right to be, but distress and pain are not the same. The distress isn't always due to pain, it is far more likely the entire circumstances and do we give morphine and sedatives to numb that?

I would be distressed if i had been given no hope and everything to hasten an end.

Interesting that when my sister first came home after the chemo disaster and she was anxious, a visiting GP was reluctant to give her anything of any real strengh to help the anxiety as it would exacerbate the lung condition and she would find it hard to breathe, yet so very quickly and with no change in her condition, a sedative was being given? 

My sister told me she was always careful to tell them (the nurses) she was having aches not pain!  Aches from having to lay in an awkward position, but that we could massage away. Pain is quite a different story.  So in those early stages, she was having morphine for aches!

Prior to the chemo,I pleaded with my sister to ask for another scan that day, as all that she had been doing would have had an effect, but she wouldn't. Convinced they would say no and wouldn't have time before the chemo....all to the good in my mind if she had to delay it, but she didn't want to do anything that delayed it.
The hospital based their chemo on a scan from a  few weeks back at that point. can that be right?

The saddest thing was, that when she fell so very ill after the very first dose of chemo, she told her husband and daughter, she made the wrong choice!  That breaks my heart! and as i type it, it rips at my stomach still!

We were with her when she died, her daughter, eldest son, husband and myself, plus a nurse who was far too accurate for comfort at the timing that night/early hours that my sister would die! Experience of body signs or experience of how the medication in the driver would work?

Well that is one question we will never know the answer to and for my sister, purely all academic.

All  the money that gets ploughed into cancer research....where does it go? It must be billions world wide, and yet still no cure???  When was the latest chemo drugs produced for general use? Certainly I don't think we can declare them to be 'state of the art'
Don't forget charities are a business too and how much of the money raised goes into keeping the charity going and all whose jobs and work rely on it.

Does the money only fund research into drugs? that case, we may as well  raise money for Pfizer of GSK or any of the other drug company. Would that get the money rolling in I wonder. Would you 'Race for life' if you knew the money may end up in a drug companies hands or is it better to ' Race for life' under 'Cancer Research' Is it or is it not the you know how it works?
Does it ever fund research into cancer treatments from a non drug approach...probably profit!  Where is the profit if we find that Hydrotherapy or Hyperthermia or Alkaline diets etc etc etc when put into a formal programme for someone, have the effects of reversing the results in a cancer stricken body?

Do we just expect medicine to be complicated or formed in a pill etc to work? If so we are just as much to blame for the system we have.

Of course if you have spent years qualifying as a doctor and you have entered that profession to heal. you have gone through a certain learning and indoctrination that after all that time, to question it would be questioning all you have ever done and impossible task perhaps to expect of anyone. Shame!

But if billions of pounds/dollars were put into any other business and not showing matching improvement....what would happen!

We assume all must be working to the ultimate cure....where is the incentive for the ulitmate cure?