Monday, February 28, 2011

We Live On

Over the past 18 months, I have met 8 other cancer patients. We exchange and share experiences about our own cancer treatments and provide mutual support to each other. Recently, I received some depressing news from a friend as I learned the passing away of yet another friend. AN was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2009 and I met him to introduce the Gerson Therapy to him in December 2009. But he could not take the diet and subsequently went for conventional treatment.

More depressing for me is that 4 of the 8 that I know has moved on. I guess when we are all stage 4 cancer patients, we only have hope to ride on.

I think the low dose naltrexone (LDN) treatment is having some positive effect on me. I do feel much better and my back pain is somehow minimal. The only side effect so far is that I am still having problem falling asleep though occasionally I still feel tired.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Living With Cancer

What is life? I have thought about this question for a long time.

When I was young, my grandma (who brought me up) would tell me that life is fated. Whatever will be will be. My life has been predestined. That's why I am born as a Chinese in Malaysia and not an Englishman in England. There are so many that's why. It's determined at the time I was born. As I grew older, I began to doubt this fate theory. It would seems unfair for I could be born as the son of a Sultan and live a life of luxury. But I also see many people suffering, some don't even know whether they will have the next meal or not. I began to ask, who determines all this? Why are some luckier than others? Why are some born smart while some born blind and deaf? Why are some born in poor countries? Why are there so much sufferings?

If I am born in Malaysia and as a Chinese, what is my purpose being here? Of course, some of the answers can be found from religious angles but I am not convinced by some of the answers. There's too many unanswered questions. Later I did chance upon Liao Fan's Four Lessons - Changing Destiny that gave a different perspective view about fate. That I can change my destiny rather than just blame it on fate.

I have always live life as a path or as a friend put's it, stages of life. You are born, get an education, have a career, get married, become parents, get old and then move on. My life is focused on reaching a destination or achieving some result, such as getting educated or have a career to become rich. I end up always planning for the future. I would anticipate the next stage along the path and every action/step that I take is just to achieve another destination. Yes, there are good and hard times along the way. At certain point in time, I reflect what I have achieved in life. Am I happy with my progress and what I achieved?

What is depressing is that I believe I have definitely achieved certain milestones and yet I think I have missed what life is all about. As I reflected more on my "achievements", I realised that all these so called success measurements are all implanted into me by parents. This is followed by peer pressure or community pressure that you must have this or that in order to be called successfully. So all this while, I was just living based on somebody's standards. I am existing but I am not living.

I know the saying life is short. But in my mind, I thought I would live to a ripe old age. Now afflicted cancer, I could just die and that's the end. Is this my life? Is this my purpose of living? Because of my cancer, I am forced to pause for a moment. The thing is that life goes on no matter whether I pause to think about it or not. I realised that as long as I don't change my outlook and the way I live, then life just goes on.

If life is a way I chose to live, then it must involve love, compassion and joy. It's to enjoy this very moment with the people and things around me. That is not to say I do not care about the future. There is so much planning one can do. I realised that the more I connect to people around me, the more I experience love, compassion and joy. My family and friends respond to me as I open myself to them. I find my life becomes much richer and happier.

So, the purpose of life as I discovered is what I make of it. It's purpose is what I define what I want to do. So looking back at what I have done, I don't think I have been successful in the business of living as some people puts it. In short, I am doing other people's bid. Now, I want to live the way I think I want to live, my own terms and I define what is acceptable to me, not my peers or my parents. In that way, I believe I will live a much happier life. Life then is more meaningful and satisfying for me. It's to live a life without regret, the highest level of living.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Health Status @ 26 February 2011

New information are presented in italics.

Tumor mass of size of about 15cm on the right kidney and 21 and 20 nodes all over my left and right lungs respectively with one up to 3cm in size on both lungs. Confirmed that it has not spread to the liver. All other organs are also normal.

Latest scan on 26 November 2010 showed slight improvement in the kidney tumor (shrunk from 15cm to 11.4cm) but the nodes on the lungs were also a little larger. In the August 2010 scan, it was the other way around.

X-rays scan on 26 September 2010 over the scapula (the bone of the shoulder), pelvic and upper back areas shows no obvious bony metastasis.

Consulted four urologists (one in Singapore and three in Malaysia) and two oncologists (one in Malaysia and one in Singapore). Both oncologists suggested removal of right kidney. Singapore urologist also suggested removal of kidney. The three urologists do not recommend surgery or chemotherapy. The last urologist consulted said most of his patients died within six months of surgery while two on the expensive (RM20K per month) drug Sutent is not responding. All agree that is no cure for the moment.

My urologist said my cancer is at stage 4 and did not recommend me to take any treatment. It is also my own choice not to take conventional treatment after considering all the facts of the case.

Subsequently during the 1 year review on 2 September 2010, my oncologist in Singapore recommended that I consider:

a. Tumor debulk and
b. Sutent medication or
c. Interferon treatment

I have so far rejected the recommendation.

a. Gerson Therapy
a1. Coffee Enema
Following Gerson Clinic's recommendation of three enema daily and alternative day castor oil enema. Due to the strength of the coffee, my enema formula is 4oz coffee, 8oz camomile and 12oz of water.

a2. Nutrition Diet
All fruits and vegetables mentioned are organic.
i. Juicing - 13 fruit and vegetables juices a day beginning around 8am and ending 7pm. 1 orange, 5 apple+carrot, 3 carrot and 4 green vegetable juices every hourly.
2. Diet - No oil, no sugar and no salt on all cooking. For breakfast and supper, mainly oats with some raisins, sometimes a little Manuka honey is added. For lunch and dinner, vegetables such as Siew Pak Choy, Lettuce, lady's fingers, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach are mainly steamed or boiled. K-salt is added for flavoring. A teaspoon of flaxseed oil is added when serving (but not during cooking). Mainly boiled potatoes and sometimes Somali organic brown rice (once a week) is consumed. Hippocrates soup are also prepared every other day for daily consumption.
3. Supplements - K-salt, niacin, lugol solution, pancreatin, pepsin, Q10, Inflamezyme, Milk Tistle, Colostrum. Thyroid, Liver and B12 injections daily.
4. Others - Rye bread, papaya, guavas, oranges and bananas are consumed at regular intervals.

b. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Clinic: CA Care, Subang Jaya Center (
Main Consultant: Dr Chris Teo
Treatment Started: 27 August 2010.
Medication: Capsule A+B, 4 capsules 3 time daily. Lungs, liver and kidney herbs to be taken once a day. C-tea to be taken throughout the day.
Reaction: Stomach a little uncomfortable after taking Capsule A and the herbs. Increase frequency in night urine.
Status: Suspended since 3 December 2009.

c. Conventional Medicine
Clinic: Self Administered
Treatment Started: 8 February 2011.
Medication: Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), 4.5mg a dose administered at 11pm nightly.
Reaction: A little difficulty falling asleep and fatigue during daytime.

d. Oxygen Therapy
Started using a personal oxygen generator with effect from 8 March 2010 about 1 hour in the evening, 20 minutes per session. Richer oxygen does help in controlling the growth of the tumors. It also reduces fatigue.

e. Zhineng Qigong
Started practicing qigong on 11 March 2010. I have stopped attending classes and instead will practice on my own.

Health Status
My last weight check three days ago shows that I now weigh 64kgs.

I have not been able to fall asleep so soon possibly because of the LDN. My backache and shoulder pain is now minimal and not sure if it was due to LDN. My initial tiredness arising from taking LDN has been much reduced.

My coughing is not as frequent as before though the phlegm is still stained with blood. Sitting is painful. Occasionally I do fell a little pain around my ribs area.

There are much improvement over the last few days and I am feeling much much better now days.

A new feeling of hope and well being engulfs me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What Is Life?

I suppose everyone of us at one time or another will have asked ourselves this question. The answers will of course depend on our own different cultural and ideological backgrounds.

What is purpose and significant of my life on earth? Why am I here? What is all this means to me? What is life all about?

I think all this while, I have not paused to think about it. I will share with you my thoughts on this matter this Sunday under the post "Living With Cancer".

I am a little lazy today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Noni Juice

This morning I received a package from the local post. Mona, I would like you to know I have received the two bottles of Noni and Goji juice that you sent all the way from North Carolina, USA. I am really grateful and words alone cannot convey my appreciation for what you have done. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

After reading the brochure, I think the Noni plant is also grown in Malaysia. I know some locals have been using the plant for traditional medicine. I did not know the name of the plant then. Now that I know a little bit more about the plant, I would like to explore with Noni juice.

According to Noni Connection, its quite easy to make Noni juice right at home. It's not a big secret, and it's not complicated. Here's how it's done: After harvesting, the delicate golden fruits are washed and spread out on racks to aerate and ripen completely. Within hours the skins turn translucent, the flesh begin to soften, and the fruit begins to emit the characteristically foul odor of Noni. The washed and ripened Noni fruits are then carefully packed into aging tanks and left outside to ferment for an optimal period of 6 to 8 weeks. During this period, the juice seeps out naturally from the fruit. After aging, the tanks are drained, and the juice is bottled in a sterile facility. Noni juice has a very distinct and often bitter taste alone therefore mixing it with water, or additional fruit juices is advised.

Just after lunch, I harvested 3 Noni fruits and will try to make Noni juice based on the Noni Connection's method. I will let you the outcome in 8 weeks.

While many people consider Noni Juice to be a primary cancer treatment, Cancer Tutor considers Noni Juice to be a primary cancer treatment only for newly diagnosed cancer patients. For advanced cancer patients this treatment is considered a highly recommended supplemental protocol! For more information on Noni Juice Treatment For Cancer, please visit Cancer Tutor.

I have been on the low dose naltrexone (LDN) for quite sometime now. I think my body has more or less adjusted to it. I don't feel so tired now days though I still find falling asleep a little difficult.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Life's Lesson - Part 2

Lesson Three: Doctors Don't know Everything About Cancer Cures
It seems ironic but it's true. Despite all the years of medical training a specialist doctor underwent, his understanding about cancer is only from one point of view that we called conventional medicine. Yes, he is qualified to give advice on cancer treatment but that does not mean he knows everything. Second, third and forth opinions does not mean there is no hope. There are all educated from the same schools of thought. It is very important as a patient (and also as a caregiver to a patient) to also read and understand what you are facing. Don't let the doctors sentence you to death. Have an open mind and do explore other alternatives.

Had I just listened to my doctors, I would have been dead long ago. If I had taken their words go and eat whatever my heart desires and eat more protein from animal source, I would have died of a quick and painful death. I believe there are alternatives. While no forms of medication can guarantee a cancer cure, at least there are other ways to deal with cancer. Many have survived using alternative therapies when conventional medicine cannot do. I hope I will be of them too.

Lesson Four: Live In The Present
I spent most of my time preparing for the future. I am always planning what to do tomorrow. I have not taken a moment to reflect on the present. Even when I got this cancer, I still plan what I am going to do after I recover. It's always in the future.

As a result, I missed a lot of things. I did not observe what's going on around me. Now I try to live in the present. Get closer with my family, spend more time with my children and do things that I can do now. Don't live a life of regret that I did not do this or that when I had the opportunity. Don't postpone till tomorrow.

No matter how much wealth you’ve accumulated, when you leave this earth you cannot take a single penny with you. No matter how close you are to your spouse, you will be swiftly separated at death. No matter how respected and admired you are in your community, you have to go alone without any support. You should ask yourself, when you are facing death, will you leave feeling satisfied, or will you regret that you haven’t lived your life in the most meaningful and fulfilling way? ~ H. E. Shyalpa Rinpoche

MOST IMPORTANT LESSON LEARNED: There Is Nothing More Important Than Health
The first priority in life should be health. Not career, family and even God. If you don't have any health, you just cannot do any of those things. Prioritise your health as the most important thing you need to do and then you will have a family, career and perform service to God for the rest of your life. There will be so many things open to you.

Have you ever wondered why kids at a tender age of a few months get cancer? While a small percentage can be attributed to genetics, the health of the parents are also important to ensure that their children born are also free of disease. So your health not only affects you but your next generation as well.

Do remember it takes years for the cancer to grow. As such you must start looking after your health now. Not when you are forty or fifty years old. If you have not started, start now. For a start, go for your full checkup. If you are a male above 40, do scan your kidneys too. Change your lifestyle. You will have a different outcome.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Life's Lesson - Part 1

I would like to share with you some of the lessons I learned from this cancer.

First lesson: Cancer can happen to every one.
One of the questions some people asked me is if do I smoke? Most people have preconceived ideas. They seems to think that smoking is associated with lung cancer but you will be surprised that many lung cancer patients do not smoke. Cancer does not discriminate though some cancers seems more susceptible to females (like breast cancer) and males (like kidney cancer). If you think you are least likely to get cancer, think again. I have been very active in exercising, jogging at least once a week and going to the gym two to three times a week. Over the years, I have changed my lifestyle. I sleep by 11pm and only drink some liquor occasionally when I have to entertain clients. I also cut down on meat intake, eating more vegetables instead. I thought I would be the last people to get cancer. It's my pure ignorance and ego not to spend time to understand more about cancer that lead me to my present predicatment.

Thinking "it's not going to happen to me" is not going to help. Cancer strikes silently and without warning and when you know you have it, it's normally too late. Some of the nicest and generous people I know have cancers. Cancer may seems to strike randomly and yet over the years some doctors have found certain people are more susceptible to cancer. Please see my posting on cancer personality for more details.

Lesson Two: Why me?
I am sure many readers will have different views of this lesson and I would like to hear from you. For me, there is no why me? I have had so many good things that happen to me, family, career and friends in my pre-cancer days. I also had some breaks. So when something like cancer strikes me, why can't it be me? When you get good things, you must also prepare to accept bad things can happen to you. Of course, I learned from research that one of the major causes of cancer is due to lifestyle. Lifestyle does not just mean diet but the way we live.

Though it is very easy for us to engage in self pity, such depressing thought will only bring more pain. Occasionally, I do slip into such a state. Once way of overcoming such depression to let people come into my life. Let people help you. Accept their love and support. Pray, meditate, and surround yourself with all the goodness this world has to offer. And then, when there is an opportunity, give it back to another patient walking along the path behind you. I have learned that there is no necessity to survive to make someone else's journey a little easier, I can use the time given to me to return all the love and support that was given to me.

To be continued.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Savour The Moment

You might be wondering on one hand, I have been crying in pain not so long ago and now I talk about making some traveling plans. Perhaps the frequent changing nature of my condition serves as a reminder that I better make good use of the time that has been given to me.

I can safely say every cancer patients suffers from pain and the degree of pain is reflected in their stage of the cancer. Further when you are a stage 4 cancer patient, many things becomes uncertain. For me, I do not know how much time I have left. At the moment, I do feel I still have certain mileage left and hence would like to take this opportunity to travel. However, I am also been told to rest more often and when I do travel I will be on an unapproved diet further complicating or worsening my condition. But that's the equation I have to balance. Do you wait for recovery and then travel? That day may never come. On the other hand, if I do travel will I risk my condition? I really do not have the answers. However, what I do know is that at this moment, that's what I want to do.

Today, I woke up to a sunny sky. Again I overslept but I did have a good rest. I feel good and it's been a long time I had this feeling.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bitten By Travel Bug

Tibet, is a place that I have always been fascinated. My imagination of that place was fired by the documentaries that I watched over the years. It's also second item on my Bucket List. However, at the moment, I don't think I can travel to Tibet because of the thin air and it will be risky in view of my lung tumors. That's Makalu in the back with Mt Chomolonzo (7790m), Makalu's Northern peak in front.

I have also been mystified by Mount Everest. Although I will never be able to climb that mountain, the thought of getting close to the base camp itself generates enough adrenaline for me. Why do I like Mount Everest so much? I just have some incredible attraction that I cannot even describe in words, similar to being totally in love with a beautiful woman – your descriptions don’t seem to do her justice to the feelings you have for her. Make sense? Viewed from base camp, lovely, isn't she?

Two photographs Copyrighted by Eric Bolz. Let me help you fire your imagination here. Do tell me what do you think?

Two of my friends have again kick start a fire in me. India! Yes, my friends wants me to organise another Buddhist pilgrimage trip to India towards the end of this year. Normally, my planning horizon is about a month but when you travel on a pilgrimage, there will be some forward planning. So far, I already have 6 potential pilgrims and we are inviting 2 more friends to a max of 8 of us. This time round, I plan to start from New Delhi and the pilgrimage is expected to take between 10/11 days.

At this moment, it may be a bit presumptuous for me to commit because realistically I do not know what my condition will be towards the end of the year. Still, it presents a very good motivation for me. I make a promise to you. I'll be there!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed

Yesterday evening, two of my longtime friends came to pay me a visit. Since my cancer days, they have been coming over to my place instead of meeting at our common meeting venue and yesterday, through their Buddhist fellowship, raised some funds for me. During the Chinese New Year, my childhood friends also pledge to help me out. I am touched by their gesture and honored to have such friends. To all of you, thank you for your kind generosity. There is no dearth of friends in this world but finding a true friend is really difficult. It is said that people are really lucky will have good friends. I am indeed lucky.

My sleeping problems continues and even if I managed to sleep, it seems to be sort of semi conscious dreaming state. Yesterday night, I dreamt my friends and I was walking along the river bank at the back of my grandfather's house. I saw several sets of mahjong that was thrown into the river, blocking the water flow. I thought to myself why would people throw mahjong sets into the river? Before I got my answer, I woke up for my night urine. I did try to continue my dream after resuming sleep but could not. Are you able to continue your dreams when you resume your sleep? Sometimes I can.

My first pill of low dose naltrexone (LDN) which I diluted with 10ml of water is supposed to last 10 doses but I only managed to get 8 doses out of it. I think I forgot to factor in the evaporation. For my second pill, I have now diluted with 11.5ml of water. It will take a few tries before I get it right.

Since last week, I have been having continuous mouth ulcers. They keep coming when one recovers! It really painful. Eating is really uncomfortable. What else is new?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shattered Dreams

I could not recall when was the last time I had lunch with my elder brother and two sisters together like in the good old days. Yesterday, all four of us, including my father and niece went to a nearby organic restaurant for lunch. Ever since I had cancer, my brother and two sisters have been coming over to visit me every week. Occasionally my eldest sister would stay overnight to help me in my juicing. My brother has been very active in reading for alternative therapies and every now and then would share with me some of his findings. I consider myself to be very lucky to be able to spend time with them together with my parents, though I wish our meeting was done in healthier circumstances. We have all grown to be very close though I feel bad when they have to put up with my bad temper some of the time.

I think the last time the four of us ate together was probably at our grandfather's house. Built in the 40s, we live in a place called New Area Road in Sentul Pasar (just a few miles from downtown Kuala Lumpur) and as the names suggest, it was a new development area. The land was privately owned but the landlord has allowed us to build a house on it in payment of rent. During the 50s and 60s, that area was still wooded. There are no electricity and piped water. The house was build of wood and had attap roof. It's very cooling to stay in such a house. For lighting, we use kerosene lamps, cooking with firewood and dug a well for clean water. We only had electricity in the mid 70s but piped water remained a dream.

I had a carefree childhood spending most of my time climbing trees and roaming the secondary jungle behind my house. Two of my favorite pastimes were playing Chinese Chess and watching my neighbors gamble! By 10 years old, I was quite good with Chinese Chess and could play 3-dices, poker, blackjack, a few other card games and mahjong. As I grew up, I was still a country boy at heart and started to think about my future only when I was in Form 6. I thought it would be very nice if I could own a Mercedes Benz, a dream I copied from Patrick Teoh. In those days (1977), only the rich could afford to buy such cars, so by owning such a car, I would have sort of achieved some form of success. I still have not owned my Benz yet.

Although I am trained as an accountant, my passion lies in information technology (IT). I was 20 years old then and spent all my early years (since Apple II days) learning to program the computer. I would moonlight as a programmer. In 2000, I joined an IT firm and became a consultant for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. As the ERP market began to mature, I realise I need to look at other promising areas and started to turn my emphasis on business intelligence (BI). I did managed to dabble a bit on BI but overtime, I went back to accounting work. My dream was to learn the SAP BI system. But I could not get hold of a SAP BI system to learn. So for over 10 years I waited patiently for the opportunity.

After several years of searching the Internet, I finally managed to find a torrent where I can access the full SAP ECC6 IDES (a full demo system). A 50gb image of the full system! I managed to restore the image but found that the license has expired. After tweaking with it for a while, I managed to get the system to work. However, as luck would have it, I had cancer and the learning of the system would now have to take a back seat. There is so much reading to do, thousand of pages of documentation. To take my mind off from the daily therapy a bit, I now spend some of my time learning about the system. However, I must admit this is one of the most complex systems I encountered in my life. I do not know if I will be able to even learn 50% of it and whether I would be able to use it in the future. But I am happy to have achieved the wish of at least having the opportunity to dabble with the system.

Because I spent most of my childhood playing, I really did not study and I remember one of my neighbors said to my mother, its a miracle that your son passed his exams. Well, I scraped through my exams. Of course, I did my payback time when I had to study part-time at night while working in the day. I realised that I missed my opportunity during my early days and decided to make up for it. Several years after completing my MBA, I decided to pursue my PhD. I prepared a research proposal on whether it is possible to predict the price movements on KLSE, the local stock market. Together with a friend, we visited the Dean of Postgraduate Studies at UTAR and submitted my research proposal. That was in August 2009. In September 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer and my research proposal was approved in October 2009 and classes to start in November 2009. What a timing! At that time, I did not enroll since my doctors had only given me 6 months or less to live. Now that I have lived much longer, would I still want to accomplish this dream? Well, I think at this moment, its no longer relevant.

Over the years, I made some wrong career choices and made many mistakes. One of the thing I realised is not to turn my passion into a profession. Its not going to make it a dream job and I just killed my own passion. Some dreams are never meant to happen or be fulfilled. Now a song for you.

Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz
So much for your promises
They died the day you let me go
Caught up in a web of lies
But it was just too late to know
I thought it was you
Who would stand by my side
And now you've given me, given me
Nothing but shattered dreams, shattered dreams,
Feel like I could run away, run away
(From this empty heart)
You said you'd die for me
Woke up to reality
And found the future not so bright
I dreamt the impossible
That maybe things could work out right
I thought it was you
Who would do me no wrong
(From this empty heart)
I thought it was you who said you'd die for love
Oh no no no - you said you'd die for me
Oh oh, oh oh, die for me
So much for your promises

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thank You For Your Support

The rule of friendship means there should be mutual sympathy between them, each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit the other, always using friendly and sincere words.

I would like to thank all my friends and readers alike for taking time to visit and read this blog. Some of you even took time to leave a comment or two. Your support is greatly appreciated.

The last two days, I suffered stomach cramps just after dinner time. I have also been getting very tired by the day and according to Liz, another of the side effect of low dose naltrexone (LDN) is fatigue. I am amazed at Liz for she is now able to take short jogs. It's too taxing for me to jog at this stage. The energy is somehow lacking. Now days, I find it extremely difficult to get up in the morning. I feel really tired, cannot open my eyes and just want to continue to sleep.

I will take my rests now.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Joy of Jogging

My first experience with long distance running was when I was in Form 4 (16 years old then). Every year the school would organise a cross country and participation is compulsory by all the students. I was only active in two sports, namely badminton and hockey. So when it came to cross country, the first thing on my mind was how to skip the running. I would try to find out in advance the route and during the run, I will then take shortcuts. I don't know why I hated long distance running but I guess it has to do with the aching after the runs.

After my Form 6 examinations, I joined a bank as a clerk while waiting for my results in 1979. I am a lazy student with just average grades. I knew my results would be nothing spectacular and may as well find a job and study part-time. I was posted to the Current Accounts Department (CAD). CAD is known for its long hours because we have to process thousands of checks before the day's end. During those days in the late 70s and early 80s, the mainframe system was used mainly to keep current account ledger and balances. All the checks are keyed into a data entry cartridge by 6pm and thereafter transferred to IS Department for uploading and processing. The transaction listing would be ready by 8pm for checking. So, we are rather free during 6-8pm. Most of my colleagues would take dinner during this time. My immediate officer was a very keen long distance runner. He runs during this period of time. He encouraged me to join him for the one hour run and I did. That started my love affair for long distance jogging. Despite being heavier than me, he seems to run better and faster than me.

Subsequently, when I joined another bank, I continued to run almost on a daily basis after work at the Lake Gardens with my new colleagues. As years passed, I decided to take jogging more seriously by joining quarter and half marathons. As I got more experience, I decided to join the full KL marathon, 42.195km. My training intensified and I began to jog at least 10km at a time for 3 times a week. As luck would have it, on the actual run day, after crossing the 35km mark I suffered severe leg crams. I was walking and limping the last few kilometers. I took comfort in that I could complete the marathon, after 6 gruelling hours. I remember after the run, I went to my friend's house to compete in a mahjong marathon! Two marathons in a day!

When I first started long distance jogging, my main focus was completing the course. During the initial stages, while building stamina and getting into shape, every step I took seems so heavy and difficult. I am a firm believer in no pain no gain rule. As the more I practiced, the better I became, at my own level. I made one big mistake for I wore normal jogging footwear during my jogs. Over the years, the tendons on both my legs were sort of damaged and as a result, I began to take shorter distances to minimise the pain. I seen quite a number of doctors and acupuncturist but it did not help. At the recommendation of a friend, I saw a sports doctor and decided to take two mild steroid injections on each leg. As if a miracle drug, the pain went away overnight. That was in 2004.

After that, I continue to jog but invested in better shoes to protect my legs. I did not continue to participate in marathons. Instead, I took leisurely jogs around country roads. I would keep my jogging shoes in my car and would stop at any nice place to jog on my way home from work. I discovered something I have not noticed in the past, the joy of jogging. In the past, I was competing, timing, heartbeat rate, etc. not that I will be placed first but just being competitive.

Now when I jog, I take a slower pace. When you take away the competition, the jog starts to give you new meanings. I noticed after a hard day's work, jogging is therapeutic. It relaxes the mind and release the fatigue of the mind and body. I feel good as more and more oxygen is breathed into the body. I see nature along the way, green trees, flowers and birds chirping cheerfully. On a lucky day, I can see a snake creeping across the road. In the field, I can see children playing happily. I bath myself in the evening sun as I listen to soothing music from my mp3 player. I am now in the world of my own. As the mind becomes clearer, I reflect the kind of day I had. When things goes well, I am pleased but if I had a hard day, I will make tomorrow a better day. When I have some difficult problem to resolve, I would seek inspiration through jogging.

The best thing in life after a jog is that I don't feel tired at all. All I have is a wonderful feeling of well-being and happiness.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Since I started taking the low dose naltrexone (LDN), I have been sleeping much later. I would fall asleep between 12midnight and 1am. This is a bit taxing for me because I am not able to get up by 6.45am the next day. I feel very sleepy and most days, I would wake up only at 7.45am. As a result, my schedule for the morning is always behind time. By 11am, I would feel very sleepy and would take a nap. By 2pm, I would also feel very tired so I would normally have to take another nap as well.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was resting on the bed, I felt some throbbing pain around my right abdomen area. This is not the first time. The pain emanates from the front. The last time I experience excruciating pain from my kidney tumor was at the back.

Well, Chinese New Year is almost over. I thought this year, I would not go out visiting so much but in the end, I ended up traveling much more than last year. Besides visiting my brother and sisters, I had quite a number of reunion lunches with my ex colleagues and childhood friends. It's good to keep in touch because we would meet only about once a year. It's really nice of them taking the trouble to meet me. Thank you all for your well wishes for my speedy recovery.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Flashback: First Twelve Months (Part 3)


January - June 2010
This period of time can be classified as ups and downs. I experienced quite some pain during this period, especially on my shoulder area. My body is a living apparatus and I listen to it closely. It would send me signals if I ate something wrong. My sister gave me a book on cancer therapy and one of the recommendations was to take apricot seeds which contains vitamin B17. Within two weeks of consumption, I was feeling needle like pain on my ribs and when I stop the consumption immediately, the pain stopped. As such I use my body reaction as an indicator to vary my diet. This is the best I could do since I am on self medication.

In March 2010, I did another CT scan and the radiologist reported that another new tumor of size about 3.5cm was found on my T6 area. If I recalled correctly, the only time I departed from the Gerson diet was when I was in India. I knew from the very start when I followed the Gerson diet, I could not follow it fully. So I added a new complementary Homeopathy therapy in November 2009. Homeopathy does not have dietary requirements. Why is it not helping me? Can only 9 days of normal vegetarian diet makes so much difference?

Healing reactions are bound to happen and in the Gerson protocol most of us patients welcome it although it can be painful and uncomfortable. I had stomach gases problems, fevers, blood clots in phlegm and body pains. Most of the healing reactions occurred from March 2010 onwards.

I do my enema fully naked in the privacy of my own room. However, I experienced something I cannot understand. As I lie in the fetal position for 15 minutes, I began to feel very moody and many a times, I cried too. But I guess when I was lying in the fetal position, it reminded me of my helplessness situation like that of the body of a prenatal fetus. I was feeling sad and a sense of loneliness prevailed but I did not know why.

In an effort to improve my own well being, I started practicing qigong in March. In June, I experimented with the use of snake plant in my juicing. After about 4 weeks of experimentation, I abandoned it because the herb was very cooling and giving me back pains. I was very sensitive to negative developments in my body and would immediately adjust my diet or add some therapies in the hope of improving my condition. This was really stressful because I keep reacting to the situation. Meanwhile, I was also researching on an area called German New Medicine.

July - August 2010
This period of time was my saddest and as doubts began to creep in.

In July, during one of my own self examination sessions, I discovered a new lymph node, the size of a marble just above my left collar bone. Again, I reacted badly.

In August I did another CT scan. The kidney tumor grew 2.5cm to 15cm. During this time, I was also contemplating on whether to proceed with Nephrectomy to remove my kidney tumor. It's going to be a major open surgery. I went over to Singapore to see my oncologist who concluded that my cancer is slowly progressing. My urologist was very confident of the surgery but as before, he said it may not be of any benefit to my body because of the growth of tumors in my lungs. I subsequently secured a surgery date on 22 November 2010 so that I may pursue this option when the time comes. Meanwhile, I added a new therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine to compliment what I was doing.

I was looking for some answers and decided to take a morning walk one Saturday morning and bumped into an ex-colleague that I have not met for over 10 years. For a moment, I thought she was sick too as she also looked really thin. I later found out she was on a candidia diet. Later she would loan me books to read and said diet is not the only area. Some important areas to address includes the holistic emotional & spiritual aspects, lifestyle changes, self love, family bonding, to relax and let the body heal. If there is any person that I would like to credit for helping me turn around, it is this friend.

It is certainly not easy to do alternative therapies. There journey is long and bumpy. It takes time before you can see any tangible results. If I were to do it all over again, would I still do the same? I would make several changes. I would hire a therapist to assist me in my mental and emotional aspects. I would registered with some cancer support group to help me out instead of going it all alone. I would hire a maid to help me out. However, I would still start the Gerson therapy on my own for a few months to make sure I am capable of following the strict Gerson diet. After that, I would immediately go to a Gerson Clinic in Mexico or Hungary to get proper guidance and supervision. Thereafter I would continue the therapy at home.

In the end, there is so much I can do. There will sure be some misses, the could haves. But so long as I did my best, I can live with that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Flashback: First Twelve Months (Part 2)

Today I begin my 18th month in therapy. I believe more excitements awaits me along the journey. There is only one way, forward!

The First 60 days (cont...)
The Gerson book recommended the Norwalk juicer but I could not find a distributor in Malaysia. Subsequently I found the Greenpower juicer and settled for that. I was also not sure if I could sustain on the Gerson diet of no salt, no sugar, no oil and low protein diet. Meanwhile, I found a MLM company that sells some of the Gerson supplements and the enema set.

October 2009 was a very difficult month for me. I had just started on the Gerson diet but found the enema difficult to do. I just could not bring myself insert a tube into my anus. I really struggled for a few days before I finally found the courage to do it. I had very little problem drinking the juices except that the green juices. The lunch and dinner was almost impossible to eat. I can take without sugar and oil but no salt? It's like eating grass. Every mouthful was a drag but I told myself I got no choice. To make the transition easier, I ate apple and guava alongside. Of course, it was slightly easier to eat after that. I ate as much as I could but meanwhile, I continue to loose weight. I was beginning to lose some hope and thought to myself, perhaps the end is near.

I happened to watch the movie The Bucket List. It was a timely watch as I learned how two men (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) cope with cancer. I also drew my own bucket list. But I had only a few items on my list to do given so short time left and they are:
1. To take a pilgrimage trip to India and Nepal.
2. Visit Tibet (including Everest Base camp) and
3. Take a journey along the Silk Road

My body was deteriorating by the day. At this time, what my doctors said to me echoed through my mind. Take care of your personal affairs, travel to any place you want to visit and eat whatever food your heart desires and then prepare to move on. Don't worry, I have all the medications to help you manage the pain. I was in a very pathetic situation.

I thought to myself, luckily I took the Hangzhou trip as some of my friends was not sure if I should go. The trip was difficult for me because I had to endure some needle like pain all over my ribs. Although my doctor had prescribed some pain killers, I did not take any of them. I booked a hotel that was close to West Lake, about 15 minutes walk. I thought, this could be my last trip, so may as well enjoy. I left my cancer back home. Together with my wife, we explored parts of Hangzhou. We spent a lot of time walking and eating all over the place, basically where locals would eat. Although I can speak Mandarin, I could only read and write a little. So it was quite fun looking for food, taking public transport and finding places to visit. We did not take any taxi but instead preferred to travel by bus after reading many tourists were fleeced by taxi touts. After one day of fumbling, we finally managed to understand the bus system. We visited many of the tourist spots along or surrounding West Lake. It was really tiring for me and by the end of the third day of the five day trip, my legs was aching.

By now I think I have lost another 3kgs and I cannot sit on hard surfaces. Even sitting on soft cushion becomes painful. I thought I should go for my pilgrimage trip while I can still walk and planned the trip to happen in early December 2009. My family members were worried about the diet I was taking as I had become quite thin and suggested that I should consider removing the kidney tumor. I was not too keen because all my urologist's patients died within 6 months of operation. Why spent two months on bed recovering if I am going to die anyway? May as well utilise the time and spent with my family members and travel a little while I still can.

November and December 2009
By November my weight has stabilised somewhat but I was still very weak. I could not walk for long and was worried if I can sustain for 9 days of the pilgrimage trip. There will be so much walking and carrying my backpack. It's almost three months and I still have not told my parents. Earlier I told them I got to stop work because during a medical checkup, the doctors discovered a growth on my right kidney. During this period, I slowly talk to them about the subject of cancer and finally I decided to tell. My mother took it badly blaming herself for the food she cooked that caused me to have cancer. I told her if that's the case, then it would be likely my brother and sisters would also be having cancer. But they did not. So it has nothing to do with the food made by her. I explained to her from the Buddhist point, that part of it is due to my own past karma.

Based on the trip plan made by a friend, my whole family (wife and three kids) went for a pilgrimage to India and Nepal backpacking style. It was really fun and I did not experience any problems. I suspended Gerson therapy and went on normal vegetarian food. The food, although simple was really good. The temples were awesome and inspiring. I really like India and vowed to make future visits if I have the opportunity.

My wife took a different view of my cancer. She felt that my life sustaining karma will not be ending so soon. She also thought that by helping me, my condition would deteriorate as I would become too dependent and lose hope. So I ended up most of the time supporting myself. My mother offered to help me prepare lunch and dinner.

To be continued...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Flashback: First Twelve Months

I think I am getting used to low dose naltrexone (LDN), although I did take a much longer time to fall asleep, I have no problems sleeping. I hope my back pain is a thing of the past but today, I developed a headche. This is apparently, another side effect. I felt better after a self massage around the temple area.

My first encounter with cancer was in my teens when I visited my sick relative in hospital. She had cervical cancer and I visited her days before she passed on. I vividly remember that she was really frail looking, white hair, balding and the most scary part was she was really thin to the bones. I had also seen her in her pre-cancer days. It took a while, but soon like all painful events, forgotten.

When the doctor first told me that I had untreatable stage 4 kidney cancer and sent me home, I did not know how to respond. Shocked was too mild of a word. I sat outside the hospital for two hours thinking what to do while waiting for the rain to stop. What am I gonna do? I think my survival instincts kicked in and offered myself hope by saying I will cure myself. But I have no clue even how to begin.

I told my wife, brother and sisters about my cancer and they too were at a loss what to do. Of course I was very very sad and could not control my emotions and cried. However, to prevent my parents from knowing my condition, I requested my wife, children, brother and sisters not to discuss my condition while at my patent's home. Discussion about my condition with my brother and sisters took place outside of the house.

The First 60 days
The first thing I did was to get second opinion. Subsequently I consulted more doctors to see if I have other treatment options but they all leads to one conclusion, no cure; whatever treatment is just to lengthen my life span of a few months. I was only given 6 months to live.

I was really stressed out thinking what to do. I had booked a free and easy trip to Hangzhou, China a year ago and decided to proceed with the trip in mid September 2009, perhaps my last trip I thought.

I came back from the holiday and decided to quit my banking job to earn my life back. Google was my starting point as I searched for alternative medications. Meanwhile, I also told my close friends about my condition. It was by chance that I stumbled on the Gerson therapy while on the last few days at my office but I was not sure if it was for me because I only managed to get some basic documentation on healing cancer. Meanwhile, I met my brother and passed him the documentation. I also did something I thought I would never do. Never say never. I started urine therapy. I drank my first urine of the day!

I received a lot of suggestions and recommendations from friends. One group of friends sent me some information on potential therapies but I was not convinced. The second group sent me videos of God's miracles and the third group, my Buddhist friends recommended I hasten my meditation practice. I realised that the second and third group of friends wants me to prepare for my afterlife.

Two weeks passed and I still have not started any therapy. Time was running out. I have begun to start losing weight. During the third week, I managed to get hold of Dr Max Gerson's The Cancer Therapy book. After discussing it with my brother, I decided to follow the therapy. I took my parents (who still did not know of my condition) out for dinner and I had my last meaty meal. One of the dishes I ordered was clay pot crab rice. It really looked good but the taste was just average. The very next day, I turn vegetarian. I took normal vegetarian food. At the time, I still did not know where to buy organic stuffs. Prior to my cancer, I have never eaten in an organic shop or restaurant before.

Thus began my new diet adventure. Buying vegetables proved not to be much of a problem but buying a good juicer and getting the Gerson suplements was much more difficult. I began the forth week on a normal vegetarian diet but still have not started juicing yet. By now, I have lost about 3kg of my weight.

To be continued...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Taking A Break

Yesterday I took a much longer time to fall asleep, but so much better than the first day. I guess my 3rd dose of low dose naltrexone (LDN) is still give me sleeping problems. Hopefully, my body will adjust as it get use to to LDN. One thing is for sure now, the LDN gives me a very dry mouth. For three days in a row, since taking LDN, I found this out when I get up for my night urine. I guess will have to drink some water after my night urine. As part of the Gerson protocol, I normally do not drink any water. I also did not have any back pain problem this morning.

I am kind of tired today and as such I will make my posting short and take a break.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Slowly But Surely

My recent posts and in particular yesterday's post seems to evoke quite some response from some readers. I really appreciate you all taking your time to comment and share your thoughts. I hope you will continue to share just as I have.

Last night, I had my second dose of low dose naltrexone (LDN). But this time, I just slept perhaps due to the lack of sleep the night before. This morning, I also noticed I did not have back pain. Could this have anything to do with LDN? It does not matter, I am just enjoying the reprieve. Hey, I want more please.

This is just my daily journal, I just blog daily how my body feels and what happened. It's a frank disclosure of my learning to pick up the pieces of my life arising from a no hope medical condition. I was and still am unprepared and unorganised as I started. There is no track to follow, each step could to lead to something new or a dead end. I make a u-turn and start again if the situation allows.

You may say I have been in existence for the past 50 years but I only started learning to live the last few months. My existence is in programmed mode, just going through the motions of the day. This cancer has forced me to change my life. I am still learning to cope with this journey because I keep discovering so many new things (at least to me), some of which I don't know how to handle.

I am thankful to my friends and also to readers like you who cared and took the time to share with me your thoughts and experiences, thereby making the steep learning learn curve easier. I am least comfortable when dealing with emotional stuffs, they seems rocket science to me. I had the fortune to meet a friend who patiently went through and explained to me some of the emotions that I am going through. She says there are still more work to be done and I agree. For me, the process seems painfully slow but is necessary step not just for my healing but for my spiritual well being as well.

Well, so much of theory but do I walk the talk? I try to do as much as I can. I spent an average of about two hours of my evenings doing self motivation and another hour for chanting Buddhist prayers and mantras.

Oh, one more thing. Me giving up? Never! But do allow me to lament and whine a bit. It's therapeutic.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There's Hope

Last night, I took my first dose of low dose naltrexone just before I slept. It tasted really bitter. One of the side effects is difficulty sleeping and I just could not sleep all night. I hope I will have a better experience tonight. The good thing is, this morning I noticed I did not have any back pain.

Many have asked me what's happening since I came back from Mexico. Instead of getting better, I seem to be getting worst. I can only guess this is what is happening to me. I do expect that my body to react differently than before even though I was already on the Gerson diet because I started taking the full supplements. I started taking new supplements which includes Colostrum, Milk Thistle, Inflazyme and the liver and thyroid injections. I believe my body is going through a phase of detoxification and healing. Another reader, Mona said that "The Healing Crisis" mentioned in Herings Law of Cure which states, "All cure comes from within out, from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared in the body." Healing is also painful, so best not to get sick.

If I were to look back at my experience in the past, I believe I also went though a period of pain and difficulties which lasted for about three months. So this is not something new for me. When you have stage 4 cancer, you just try to do whatever you can to help your body. I am always looking for additional therapies to boost my immune system. So long as these therapies are complimentary to Gerson therapy, I am keen to explore. You may interprete it as an act of desperation but you will noticed that I have also been very selective of my other complimentary therapies.

I know of a stage 4 cancer patient who was on conventional medication for 1 year but the medication is now no longer effective. There are nothing much the oncologist can do. Just imagine the stress the patient is going through now. From the outside, sometimes it appears the things we are doing looks silly or desperate. But when you have no medications or therapy to hang on to, where do you draw your strength and hope?

One reader, Mona has offered to send me a bottle of Noni juice as a gift. I thought I would collect it from her personally so that I could thank her personally but I was pleasantly surprise to find out that she hails from North Carolina! I am touched by her gesture and the trouble she will have to take to sent the juice all the way from USA. I am indeed lucky.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Abandoning Me?

This morning I woke at about 4am, again by the back pain. I also realised that my mouth was so dry (it happened many times before) and felt a bit bitter. I think this could be a result of my breathing problems and I was breathing through my mouth. I tried to sleep back. I was tossing and turning looking for a better position to sleep and before I knew it, the alarm rang and it was time to get up.

My morning routine usually consist of boiling coffee and also making camomile tea for the day's enemas. This is then followed by breakfast and just when I was eating my oats, I experienced a throbbing pain around my right rib cage area. I also have been coughing more, especially at night.

On my 4th February post, an anonymous reader commented It tells me that you don't see a point in going through this therapy unless you are sure you are able to recover and you want to live only on your own fixed terms. It is energy consuming and taxing financially. As a result oriented person, you are losing motivation because you don't see the results you want. And gradually losing hope and this adds to your tiredness every day.

I have been thinking and I think I am indeed losing motivation. 17 months on the therapy and I am still at where I started. In my calendar, 17 month is a very long time because every day is a battle, fighting for my life. I am not as disciplined as I was a year ago. I not only take things much easier now, I am also less efficient. I know it and yet I find it so hard to get myself out of this situation.

My initial motivation for survival is termed as hardiness which determines
how we respond to the pressures of life, which includes coping with sickness by psychologists. Known as the 3 C's of hardiness, they are challenge, control, and commitment. I do not know if I am losing hope, but I know I am slowly losing all the Cs. In a protracted fight over the last 17 months, I am losing resistance. Perhaps being a General and a soldier is too much for me to handle.

I do not know how to look at my own progress using other methods other than by looking at the results. My body acts as daily progress indicator. At the same time, I am affected by events that I cannot control, pain in my body. I still have not learned how to deal with pain effectively. It consumes me in the beginning and I would lose control of my emotions. Then a battle ensues and slowly I get control back but not without mental bruises.

The response that I know is to bring in more soldiers. I am starting with the low dose naltrexone that I got from Liz yesterday. I prepared 10ml of water solution with one crushed pill and then stored the solution for use over the next 10 days. My first does was supposed to be last night but the General was caught sleeping. I forgot to take my fist dose last night just before I slept. I only remembered this morning and I was really disappointed with myself. All the initial enthusiasm just evaporated. This is really a bad start and a sure way of losing a battle. Lose more battles and you lose the war! Well, I still have today but this time, I will depend on my trusty friend for help, my handphone alarm.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's Up To You

You will have noticed that I have included an image in my blog banner. The picture depicts a situation that can be viewed as sunrise or sunset. This is just to remind myself that I can chose see a gloomy view of sunset or a hopeful view of sunrise. I hope you like it too.

Incidentally, the two times of the day I like the most are just after sunrise and about an hour just before sunset. At these times, I feel very serene and like to take long walks, especially if it along the beach, wooded area or high up in the mountains. By the way, these are some of my other best days:
- best day of the week is Friday
- best day of the month is payday
- best day of the year is bonus day

Traffic this morning was surprising smooth and there was also ample parking space. I met up with Liz at Newlife. She looks good and does not give any hint of being a cancer patient. Beaming with joy when she spoke and full of life. I hope she will continue to be this way. We chattered for a while. Later she passed me some of the low dose naltrexone pills that will last me 200 days of use. Thank you for being so kind. In return, I also gave her some Liver pills that I think she will need to nurse her Liver back to health.

I have been going through a period of low for sometime now. I feel lousy. As in the past, when under such circumstances, I would begin self motivation. The way I get out of the rut is by watching some movies or dramas. This time round I am watching a Korean costume drama series. Basically, the motivation that I get from watching the series is that no matter how bad the situation seems, the rule is never to give up. Always hold to the very end. A friend always reminds me that there will always be provisions.

I like to watch Korean costume dramas because I get to see beautiful sceneries (yes, the actresses too). Stunning beautiful mountains, forests and beaches.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Incoherent Rantings

Yesterday I was feeling a little bit yacky when I woke up. The pain on my back persisted and now I know the problem is not my bed. The back pain stayed with me the whole day. I also noticed that the ribs just below my right armpit all the way down to the abdomen is also painful. The abdomen pain has taken a new twist. It would also cause me some pain when sitting. Previously I would only experience pain while lying down in bed.

Liz and I have been in contact and I will be meeting her on Monday morning to collect the low dose naltrexone pills so that I could start my therapy as soon as possible. I also hope to start the Budwig therapy sometime next week after I understand enough on what to do.

I am now self motivating myself every evening after feeling low for a while. I hope to refocus and get back on track.

I think real living is to live a life without restrictions. That means no restrictions on your mind, heart and soul. However, that is easier said than done. If we were to look at yourself, what you will notice is that you are living the exact life of the adults you grew up around. Many of us grew up miserable and unhappy as they were. We live by certain rules that society made. People around us expect us to behave in certain ways and take certain expected decisions. Non conformity would possibly result in isolation. A friend once told me that when we are living our lives according to society, that means we are living our lives in accordance to the standards of other people. We feel unhappy and miserable.

Sure, when you begin to live a life without limits not only many doors become open to you, many opportunities that you may not have noticed shows up. However, it is really a daunting process because many if not all of us were never taught how to live our lives freely. This may look like an excuse not to change.

I have started to live life differently, not just because there may not be a tomorrow, but to cherish the very present moment, of people and of things around me. Setting up palliative care for myself is to give myself the chance to start living freely. I believe in having a palliative care in place after learning from some of my friends what difficulty they went through with their love ones. Palliative care is designed not only for the well being of the survivors (i.e. family and love ones) but for the patient as well.

Having palliative care does not mean I am going all alone and giving up. On the contrary, when I have it, I think I can now live with one less fear. If I continue to live, I just don't use it. There is an interesting news item from BBC. You can read Extreme world: Dying here .

I have personally experienced when I started to change my life (albeit in a small way) with the help of a friend, I begin to attract to things, people, situations and solutions, something that I never thought would happen. I do want to live freely and in order to do that I must free my mind of preconceived ideas first. Some people can change very fast, but for me, it's like turning a big ship, painfully slow. As I have taken the first step of change, I believe I would be able to complete the journey soon.

The most tragic thing of life is not death, it is to live without living. - Unknown

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Health Status @ 5 February 2011

Tumor mass of size of about 15cm on the right kidney and 21 and 20 nodes all over my left and right lungs respectively with one up to 3cm in size on both lungs. Confirmed that it has not spread to the liver. All other organs are also normal.

Latest scan on 26 November 2010 showed slight improvement in the kidney tumor (shrunk from 15cm to 11.4cm) but the nodes on the lungs were also a little larger. In the August 2010 scan, it was the other way around.

X-rays scan on 26 September 2010 over the scapula (the bone of the shoulder), pelvic and upper back areas shows no obvious bony metastasis.

Consulted four urologists (one in Singapore and three in Malaysia) and two oncologists (one in Malaysia and one in Singapore). Both oncologists suggested removal of right kidney. Singapore urologist also suggested removal of kidney. The three urologists do not recommend surgery or chemotherapy. The last urologist consulted said most of his patients died within six months of surgery while two on the expensive (RM20K per month) drug Sutent is not responding. All agree that is no cure for the moment.

My urologist said my cancer is at stage 4 and did not recommend me to take any treatment. It is also my own choice not to take conventional treatment after considering all the facts of the case.

Subsequently during the 1 year review on 2 September 2010, my oncologist in Singapore recommended that I consider:

a. Tumor debulk and
b. Sutent medication or
c. Interferon treatment

I have so far rejected the recommendation.

a. Gerson Therapy
a1. Coffee Enema
Following Gerson Clinic's recommendation of three enema daily and alternative day castor oil enema. Due to the strength of the coffee, my enema formula is 4oz coffee, 8oz camomile and 12oz of water.

a2. Nutrition Diet
All fruits and vegetables mentioned are organic.
i. Juicing - 13 fruit and vegetables juices a day beginning around 8am and ending 7pm. 1 orange, 5 apple+carrot, 3 carrot and 4 green vegetable juices every hourly.
2. Diet - No oil, no sugar and no salt on all cooking. For breakfast and supper, mainly oats with some raisins, sometimes a little Manuka honey is added. For lunch and dinner, vegetables such as Siew Pak Choy, Lettuce, lady's fingers, cauliflower, broccoli and spinach are mainly steamed or boiled. K-salt is added for flavoring. A teaspoon of flaxseed oil is added when serving (but not during cooking). Mainly boiled potatoes and sometimes Somali organic brown rice (once a week) is consumed. Hippocrates soup are also prepared every other day for daily consumption.
3. Supplements - K-salt, niacin, lugol solution, pancreatin, pepsin, Q10, Inflamezyme, Milk Tistle, Colostrum. Thyroid, Liver and B12 injections daily.
4. Others - Rye bread, papaya, guavas, oranges and bananas are consumed at regular intervals.

b. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Clinic: CA Care, Subang Jaya Center (
Main Consultant: Dr Chris Teo
Treatment Started: 27 August 2010.
Medication: Capsule A+B, 4 capsules 3 time daily. Lungs, liver and kidney herbs to be taken once a day. C-tea to be taken throughout the day.
Reaction: Stomach a little uncomfortable after taking Capsule A and the herbs. Increase frequency in night urine.
Status: Suspended since 3 December 2009.

c. Oxygen Therapy
Started using a personal oxygen generator with effect from 8 March 2010 about 1 hour in the evening, 20 minutes per session. Richer oxygen does help in controlling the growth of the tumors. It also reduces fatigue.

d. Zhineng Qigong
Started practicing qigong on 11 March 2010. I have stopped attending classes and instead will practice on my own.

Health Status
I have not check my current weight since my last check which was 62kgs.

I have not been sleeping well. Despite making the bed as comfortable as possible, I am still having bad backaches. Perhaps, its not the bed problem but rather due to weight of my own body resting on the bed that is causing the pain.

I have been coughing almost daily now. The phlegm are always stained with blood. The pain around my shoulder and shoulder blade area seems to be sharper and at times needle like poking sensation is felt occasionally.

I find sleeping and sitting painful now days. I wonder if others find their butt painful from the daily injections that they give to themselves? Or could it be that my technique that I used to give myself the injections is wrong?

I have been thinking how to improve my weight. Taking cue from Emily, I am now reading on the Budwig diet to see if I can combine certain aspects of the diet with Gerson diet.

Notwithstanding Chinese New Year, a depressing period of pain.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Year Reflections

Last night, I was awaken by needle like pain on my left shoulder near to the existing lymph node. Although the pain was sharp and short, it left a tinkling painful after effect sensation. I could not sleep after that but I just continued to lie on the bed. I slowly drifted to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. This morning, I woke up to a bad backache. I am not sure what else can I do to sleep better.

A friend, after reading my recent posts, emailed me on Chinese New Year. She must be getting worried and this is what she said:

... Yes, it really is a tough and lonely fight for you are the only one who will know and understand why and what the fight is all about. In my 2 cents worth of opinion, you may have subconciously lost the reason and aim for the fight. Or maybe your original aim was to outlive the 6 months which you so successfully did.

Shall we do a review now ha ha just as if we are doing a job performance appraisal, we have achieved last year's target. What are we setting for the coming year? ...

I have been reflecting on what she said. While I am happy to be able to live another day, every day that I survive adds another layer of tiredness to my body. For the past 17 months, what I have managed to do is only to slow down the growth of the tumors. As much as I hate to admit it, my oncologist is right. I am dying slowly. Before I am accused of giving up, I am not. Even though I can try and continue with this therapy for another 2 years, unless I see more positive results, it would be like walking in circles. There is no end! Of course, that does not mean I just stop. I will continue to do what I can. I am also looking for adjunct therapies to combine. I will take more risks.

Physically, my energy levels are getting worst compared to a year ago. I am not able to do my regular qigong exercise as I do not have the energy even to hold my hands straight upwards for a few minutes. More recently, I was not able to lift even a carton of 1.5lt of bottled water. I feel tired everyday and spent most of my time lying in bed. Most times, I don't even want to wake up to prepare my juices.

Mentally, although I am able to maintain a positive attitude most of the time, but it comes at a cost. I find it very tiring. The pain, which can easily modify my mood comes and goes as it pleases. Crying can help to release some of the stress and sometimes I am not even aware as tears just flows down. A friend reminded me that I should spend more time meditating as it would certainly help. It does not have to be long, even for a brief 5 minutes if done effectively would have a good calming effect.

There is one other thing I will do after the New Year. My friend has suggested contacting Hospice as she has first hand experience with them when her mother passed away with cancer some years ago. I have downloaded the form. My consulting oncologist and urologist are both based in Singapore and it would be difficult for me to get medications when I need it. Hospice provided not only palliative care but also counseling as well. They will come to my house when the time comes. My friend said it is important to get this setup because when the time comes, everybody knows what to do. Forget about my ideals, I am a coward. I would like to move on painlessly.

My instincts tells me that this year will be a very difficult year for me. But all is not lost because I have not given up. Like Emily said I hope for the best, and prepare for the worst, but also be prepared for the best.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Celebrating Spring Festival

To all my friends celebrating the lunar new year,

Happy New Year!

I have omitted the word Chinese because on this day, the Vietnamese and the Koreans too celebrate the new lunar new year as with the Chinese all over the world.

May the New Year bring all of you abundance of health. May you all be well and happy always.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Tomorrow is Chinese New Year and as with Chinese tradition, my family members will have a reunion dinner at my mother's place. As with last year, most of the food were catered except for a few dishes that my mother cooked herself. Like last year, I also did not partake in any of the food, instead I took my vegetables noodle soup.

This year's reunion dinner was not too a happy one, all because of me. I had a quarrel with my wife and mother over some placements of some stupid vegetables. I think my mood was kind of bad and when I found out that I have lost control of even where to put some the vegetables, I just could not take it. If any, it's was my stupidity.

I believe this has to do with my preception that I have lost independence. I have always valued my own autonomy to move about at ease highly and if this is really lost, I think I would also lose this cancer fight for I think I have lost my only hope. All the fears that I talk about in the last two posts would surely engulfed me. Therein lies my deepest fears, something which I have identified and not managed to resolve many of them yet. This may seems strange to you but I feel trapped inside, trying very hard to free myself of such fears.

I think I am also losing a bit of myself everyday. The discipline has been slacking, my routine has not been on time and I am finding excuses for this and that. I am becoming lazy! You don't survive cancer by being lazy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unchartered Waters

I read with interest the comments made by a anonymous reader on my post Surviving Cancer Program. Thank you for commenting and please continue to share your thoughts with me.

After 17 months of doing Gerson Therapy, I think I am getting tired of the diet. Sad but true. I am finding it more difficult to eat now days. Sometimes I just don't have the appetite to eat. Loss of appetite causes cancer cachexia, a medical term for excessive wasting due to a combination of poor eating and the physiologic effects of the cancer.

I am thinking of moving into unchartered territory, mixing the Gerson Therapy diet with another diet such as the Budwig diet for example. There is no right or wrong here but only what make sense to me. Mixing two different therapies' diet can be adventurous. Compatible additions or adjuncts to the diet can help their healing process or it can also accelerate the disease. Something for me to research further.

Characteristics of Terminal Cancer Patients Who Committed Suicide
In a study carried out between June 1996 and January 1998 and published in 2001, a team of researches from National Cancer Institute of Milan tried to identify the vulnerability factors of suicide in five terminal cancer patients who committed suicide while they were cared for at home by well-trained palliative care teams. The results are not that surprising for me.

All the patients showed great concern about the lack of autonomy and independence, refused dependence on others and had fear/worry of losing their autonomy. Four patients presented functional and physical impairments, uncontrolled pain, awareness of being in the terminal stage, and mild to moderate depression. They had a feeling of hopelessness consequent to their clinical conditions, fear of suffering, and feeling of being a burden on others. They had a strong character and managerial professions. They had isolated themselves from others and they had previously talked about suicide. Before committing suicide, three patients had adverse physical/emotional consequences to the oncological treatments - they showed aggressiveness towards their family and one towards the home care physician. Multiple vulnerability factors were present simultaneously in all patients. However, the loss of, and the fear of losing, autonomy and their independence and of being a burden on others were the most relevant.

It is often believed that only cancer patients in the late stages are more pronounced to commit suicide is not entirely true. Cancer patients may commit suicide at any stage of the disease.

Caregivers should probably learn to deal with the fears and not to brush them aside. By allowing the cancer patient to talk about his/her feelings could alivate the burden off their minds.