Doris was a 46-year old lady. Sometime in December 2000 she experienced an excruciating pain in the right shoulder. The pain persisted and a full medical check up indicated serum alpha fetoprotein at 171. A CT scan showed a huge mass in the liver. Doris was asked to go to Singapore for a liver surgery.
On 30 December 2000, 70% of her right liver was excised. Then, she underwent chemotherapy in February 2001. Her surgeon told her that she needed only one cycle of chemotherapy. The surgery cost Doris about S$30,000 and an additional S$10,000 for the chemotherapy.
Doris felt well after all these treatments. She had good appetite but she was bothered by the loss of her hair and distended stomach. She was optimistic having been given such a high hope by her doctors and believing that they had a magic bullet and wonder cure.
29 March 2001 proved to be a very sad day for Doris. An ultrasound showed a moderately enlarged spleen measuring 16 cm. Also there were residual tumours in the remnant of liver parenchyma. A follow up CT scan done on the same day showed at least three, less than 10 mm round hypodense nodules seen in the left lobe of the liver. The spleen is enlarged. In short, the cancer had come back.
Doris came to see us on 29 March 2001. Since she only had 30% of her liver left, we requested that she take only one-third of the normal dose of our herbs. However, Doris did not continue taking the herbs. After about two months on the herbs she switched to Gerson Therapy.
A CT scan done on 28 May 2001 showed presence of three nodules in the remaining liver … the largest nodule was in the upper section and measured 4.5 cm. The other nodules, 2.5 cm and 2 cm were located in the lower sections. The second diagnosis: multicentric hepatoma in previously resected liver.
In the first week of August 2001, barely eight months after everything said and done, Doris died.
Doris came to see us in Penang. She was indeed a pleasant lady to talk to and help. But we knew there was that much we could do to help. There was already a tumour recurrence in the liver when she started to take the herbs.
Doris underwent an extensive liver surgery in search for a cure but it was sad indeed that she failed to have even a fighting chance, let alone a cure. The surgeon in Malaysia considered her case inoperable because the tumours were more than one. He gave Daisy a year to live. However, the surgeon in Singapore was more heroic. He removed almost 70% of Daisy’s liver, followed by chemoembolization. And the end result, Daisy died 8 months later, instead of 12 months if she was to do nothing.
Perhaps, there is one thing we can learn from this case. No matter how encouraging and heroic your doctor would want to be, resecting 70% of the liver would not make sense. Sometimes it is better todo nothing than to do something.