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Now we are getting somewhere (I hope)...

Well, it wasn't much of a choice. If I was going to wait three months to see if my tumor grew (what tumors don't), I might as well spend some time with alternative treatments.

My studies on the web had introduced me to the web page of Ralph Moss of the Moss Reports, a weekly cancer treatment email newsletter. (See my Links page).

There have been numerous references to alternative treatments and clinics that perform them. I found Ralph's list of what he called the "Clinics of Excellence". There were only a few, and they were all in Europe except for one: a Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico which, by the way, at that time also housed the Issels Clinic. For me, that's an hour and a half drive. That settles that, I would look into this alternative treatment stuff.

I made contact with Mrs. Issels of the Issels Center.  They seemed to have the most comprehensive regimen of cancer treatment. A study of the various treatments led me in that direction. But that was just my personal choice at the time.

After discussing my present situation at length with Mrs. Issels, I received a treatment plan and cost estimate. It was going to be at least three weeks of treatment.

I have medical insurance but with their history of paying, I didn't even consider trying to bill them for "alternative" treatments in a foreign country. Some people do try and I understand they do reimburse some expenses. It is just not my style. Anyway, that's why one saves for a rainy day.

Remember that I had been studying treatments ever since my diagnosis. I had enough knowledge at that point to make what I believed to be an intelligent decision. I decided to go.

I found the Issels Clinic to be a modern, clean facility. The Issels area was even more impressive. More like a private resort room than a hospital room, clean, comfortable, and even included an  double bed for your "care giver" (family member or companion) along with the usual hospital bed and curtain. 

At the Issels clinic, companions are not only allowed, they are encouraged and considered a key to good treatment. Guess what? They are absolutely right! My wife could be there to learn about the treatment, help me keep up with the busy treatment schedule, and also prepare for the home care afterwards which is so critical to long term survival.

While I was getting some particular treatment, my wife might be off attending a cooking class organized by the hospital or perhaps one of the lectures on nutrition. My diet had to change and who better to learn the requirements than my wife.

I am not going to get into an involved description of all of the treatments. Visit the Issels web site and also my links. Suffice it to say that everything was natural, vitamins, vegetable juice regimen, vaccines produced from your own blood, laetrile, and a diet of fruit, vegetables, and small amounts of protein. OK, I am skeptical but I could be convinced.

From the first day, the juice drinks came every half hour. There would be a laetrile infusion, fruit brought to my room, vitamins to take, coffee enemas to cleanse the liver and on and on... They make an extraordinary buffet of fresh vegetables, tropical fruit, salads, and other healthy items. I am very busy. I am starting to be impressed.

Following my first week, I had to discard the medication for my blood pressure, it had now dropped 40 points and I didn't need it anymore. That is after 15 years of hypertension! I am also feeling 200% better, regaining strength by the day. I seem brighter and my awareness has peaked. My immune system is responding. My acid reflux had also disappeared. So far so good.

My next treatment was based on the Coley's Toxin, a fever treatment which had been discovered in the U.S just after the civil war but discarded later in the 50's when Chemotherapy became the craze. Be sure to read my link to Coley's. 

By the end of the third week I had the all important chest CT scan. IT WAS CLEAN. Totally clean. I could hardly believe it. They had managed to put my new tumor into complete remission with nothing more toxic than apricot pits and vaccines. Now I am really impressed.

I left the Issels Clinic cancer free in March of 2003. I continued on the home regimen that they prescribe. More of all of the same. It is required to keep the monster at bay. For me, that was a six month treatment.

By the way, when I came back home and visited my regular oncologist, he didn't believe the result. He told me they most likely missed the tumor on their CT. He scheduled another for a couple of months later. It too showed complete remission as have all the others including my latest CT scan in October 2011.

It is now more than nine years since my visit to the Issels Clinic and 10 years since my first diagnosis. And believe me, I enjoy and appreciate each and every day. I DO know what I missed!

Just as an aside, I found the Clinic staff to be kind and caring to the one. From the lady that mopped my room to the physicians and administrative staff, their motto is to "love thy patient as thy self" and they do. When is the last time your doctor came in and gave you a hug... and meant it?

I did have a few down moments at the Clinic. My catheter clogged (I think due to my platelets reaction to the chemo) and the replacement was pretty painful. I finally asked to be put out during the insertion. They have made some changes to the procedures so hopefully, others won't have that problem. It was traumatic at the time but that memory is lost in the euphoria that comes every morning when the sun comes up and I am there to see it.