CANCER STORY: Success & Hard Truth

NHL-Kidney: Cancer-free

After Six Months on the Herbs

Peter shared his story with us in July 2000.

The kidney specialist told me I had to go for a kidney biopsy. First, they did an ultrasound on me. The doctor told me: Mr. Tham, I’m sorry to say that the report has come back, and you are in the third stage of cancer. You have a cancer in both kidneys. I was shocked. I just didn’t know what to say. So I told the doctor: I need a rest. After that I went to a university hospital for a second opinion and the doctors confirmed that it was cancer.

I was put on chemotherapy. It was terrible. I suffered very, very badly. After the first treatment, I didn’t want to go back anymore. I just couldn’t eat and my stools couldn’t come out. I began to worry too much. That was the first chemotherapy. They told me that I had to go for at least six cycles. The drugs used were: cyclophosphamide 500 mg, + epirubicin 100 mg, + vincristine 2 mg, and Prednisone 100 mg (oral).

My life was miserable. I just couldn’t face the facts of life. Cancer meant death. I was really, really down. I prayed to all the gods for peace in my life. But I just couldn’t find one who could give me the peace. Then my daughter said: Why don’t you go to church? My wife agreed. At that time, I couldn’t sleep at night. Every hour I woke her up to be sure that I was still alive. I went to church and the pastor prayed for me. That night I could sleep. I felt brave, knowing that God was with me. I put my faith and trusted in the Living God. Since God gave us life, He also had the right to take it away. Then and only then did I go for chemotherapy, the second, third, fourth, until the sixth time.

The doctors said that I was OK. I had no guidance about food. The doctors told me: You can eat anything you want but they also told me not to touch red meat. I went to two hospitals every three months for check-ups.

In June 1999, the doctor advised me to go for a CT scan (Gallium test). I also went for an ultrasound and two weeks later, a medical check-up. My kidneys were swollen.

The doctor told me that I had cancer again.

The doctors didn’t want to give me liquid chemotherapy, because they found out that my heart was weakened from the first chemotherapy. So they prescribed oral chemotherapy instead.

At first, these drugs were 100 gm cyclophosphamide and 100 gm procarbizide as the first dose. I couldn’t complete the first course of fourteen doses over fourteen days. I felt very weak, and couldn’t eat or sleep properly. I lost weight. My stools were sometimes very soft, sometimes very hard. But all these were not as severe as the first time I underwent chemotherapy, though.

On the 12th day of the course, I collapsed when I was in church. I didn’t realise that my stools had came out. I had loose stools. It was most embarrassing. I was carried out to another room and people prayed for me. I was awakened by those around me, and I was helped home. At home, I collapsed again, twice.

I went to see the Professor at the university hospital again. This time, I couldn’t even walk properly. I had a limp. I think the medicine affected my legs. My stomach was cramped. It was really, very painful. The doctor prescribed a reduced dose, half of the original dose I took earlier. During the second course, I still felt horrible. They seemed to be poisoning me. But, after a while I felt I was getting better, although I still couldn’t eat or sleep well and had no appetite. I continued to take the oral chemo-drugs for 14 days. I was miserable, but at least I didn’t collapse.

I was on the second course for about a week, when I saw the article on herbs in the newspaper. I called the Centre (CA Care in Subang Jaya). That was the turning point for me. When I came, I saw that I was not alone. Why not give it a try? I was doubtful but the article said that there was hope, and I had no choice. I explained my problems to Mr. Yeong and brought my medical records to him.

I was prescribed Capsule A and deTox tea. I continued with the chemotherapy. Within a week, I found that I could eat. I felt hungry. For about two weeks, I farted a lot. It was very, very smelly. My bowel movements progressively improved. The first week I had very bad diarrhoea. I panicked as the stools just gushed out. I wondered if something was wrong. I thought everything was loosening up inside me. I called the Centre and they told me to keep on taking the herbs. So I continued. Gradually, the sweating and the diarrhoea disappeared. I found that I could eat and sleep. That made me feel secure. I found hope. If I couldn’t eat or sleep, it made me miserable. I knew that this improvement was the effect of the herbs. I began to trust the herbs more.

Apart from the herbs and the oral chemotherapy, did you take anything else?

No,nothing else. Only oral chemotherapy and capsule A and the deTox tea. And I felt much better.

How long were you on chemotherapy?
I was on chemotherapy for six cycles.

So let’s recall – you went for the first cycle of fourteen days, then you collapsed. You had the second cycle at a reduced dose for another fourteen days, rested for fourteen days before going on to the third cycle (again for fourteen days), still at the reduced dose. You kept going until your completed six cycles (of fourteen days with the drug and fourteen days of rest).

Yes. When I took the herbs during the chemotherapy, I felt great, and I found that my creatinine readings kept decreasing. After the sixth cycle it was 145. From 280 to 290, it gradually went down to 145.

Did the doctor ask you anything?
The doctor told me that I was improving. I wasn’t sure whether to tell the doctor about the herbs or not. As you know, doctors don’t like you taking herbs. So I didn’t tell her. But I did talk about the herbs with other cancer patients while I was in the waiting room. I don’t know if that got across to the doctor.
After you finished your six cycles of chemotherapy, what happened next?

They gave me an appointment to come back and see them in three to four months’ time. Every three to four months, I was to have a check-up – they check the urine, blood, everything. The doctor advised me to go for a CT scan … That was done in March 1999 at the university hospital. … When I saw the doctor, she told me: I have very good news for you’re completely healed. I was stunned!

Medical report from the Nuclear Medicine Unit – UHKL, dated 1 March 2000 indicated that: The repeat Gallium study now shows no Gallium uptake on both kidneys indicating complete healing of NHL of both kidneys. Inference: Complete healing of NHL of both kidneys.

After the report, what did the doctor say?
The doctor reminded me of the previous blood sample that they took in 1996, after I had finished the first course of chemotherapy. They refrigerated it, intending to put it back into me. (This is to do the bone marrow transplant – BMT). The doctor suggested that perhaps I should do the BMT. The doctor told me that it would cost RM20,000 to RM30,000 to do the procedure here, but it would cost over a hundred thousand in Australia. I might suffer some side effects and might also die during the process of returning my cells to my body.

The first thing I said was: I can’t tell you now (if I would do the BMT or not). I have to discuss it with my family. I thought about it and called the Centre and asked for advice. The answer given to me was: Why must you go through all this? You’re doing well, why must you take the risk? You’ve got the herbs! My family agreed. I told the doctor that I had decided not to go for the BMT.

When was the offer to do the transplant made to you?
After the report was released, after the CT scan, when I was cancer-free.

After you were declared cancer-free, they wanted to perform a bone marrow transplant on you? Why would they want to do something like that?
To prevent a relapse – they said by doing that I could live ten or fifteen years longer. But I thought to myself: Why should I take the risk?
Since March you have been cancer-free. How have you felt these past four months?

I am feeling good. Yes. I go back to see my doctor every three months. I saw the doctor on 7 July 2000. Now, I can drive. Before, I dared not even drive.
Besides driving, what other things do you feel that you are able to do?

I am able to work. I find that I can walk without getting tired, go fishing, reading any books or newspapers without feeling tired in my eyes.

Note: As of this writing, June 2009 – Peter is still doing fine, living a happy, cancer-free life.