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Mesothelioma Patient Shares His Story

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I'm a civil engineer with a master's degree in materials engineering (only of any interest here because I understand the characteristics of the asbestos fibre). For the past 17 years I've been lecturing in ecologically sustainable design and development. How ironic (actually bizarre is probably the best word) that this should strike me, given my commitment to the built environment.

I thought it might be important to relate to you, the reader, what happened to me in the diagnosis/ prognosis process. The reasons will become clear a little later in this text, particularly for those of you who are looking for solutions. So, here goes. Do try and stay with the next few paragraphs. I have included them not for reasons of ego but for other reasons, which (again) I trust will become clear a little later on.

On Saturday 17 December 2000 I was walking with my gorgeous, irresistible, stunning partner Jane (Jane is looking over my shoulder as I type this 'tome') and her friend, Jenny, around the headlands of Cronulla Beach in Sydney, when both girls told me they thought I seemed to be short of breath. Jenny is the wife of Martin, a general medical practitioner in Sydney and Jane is a nurse and Martin's Practice Manager. Jane insisted I have a chest X-ray (which happened on Wednesday 21 December 2000), which was followed by a CAT scan on Thursday 22 December 2000 and fluid was tapped off my chest on that Thursday afternoon.

I met with Martin and Jane the next morning (Friday) and Martin told me the pathology results overnight, suggested malignant pleural mesothelioma. This was very serious and as a result, an appointment had been made for me to see a thoracic physician a few hours later, who agreed to see me due to the seriousness of the problem (an incredible feat because of the approaching Christmas weekend and the lack of any notice). Martin had called in a favour.

So, it all happened so quickly for me as I approached the Christmas weekend.

Consequently, Jane and I visited arguably one of Sydney's most respected thoracic physicians on that Friday afternoon (his last appointment of the day -- at 1:00 PM). This physician put my scans up on the light box, looked at them for about 60 seconds, took them down and said he would refer me to a thoracic surgeon for a pleurodesis (where they glue the lung to the chest wall with talcum powder) after Christmas. Done. The rest of the conversation (as I remember it) went something like this:

I said: " Doctor, the general practitioner who reviewed the X-rays and CAT scans couldn't see anything remarkable. Can you show me on the CAT scans where the problems are?"

He said: (clearly annoyed that I had the temerity to ask for it to be explained to me) "Yes. These points here, here and here are of interest. A pleurodesis will stop the fluid building up and crushing the lung." (pointing at areas I could not even focus on given the speed of his arm movement)

I said: " I'm sorry, could you show me that again, I couldn't focus on what you were pointing at? "

He said: (clearly equally annoyed at having to repeat himself) "Here, here and here. The pleural effusion collecting at the base of your lungs will be stopped if you have this procedure."

I said: " They are such small anomalies you're showing me. I know mesothelioma is serious because of my own background in engineering. Does this mean that my life will be considerably shortened? Have I got another 10 years left? "

He said: " Oh no. Perhaps 6 to 18 months. "

I was diagnosed on Friday 23 December 2000 (the last working day before the Christmas weekend) but I had severe shortness of breath for 12 months and on reflection, I recognise now that I had minor symptoms for about three years before that.

I had a pleurodesis performed on my left lung on 15 January 2001 and during that operation they assessed whether they could remove my left lung. This was done far too quickly in hindsight, without allowing me time to really think about alternatives. I would have wished for a little more time to come to grips with the doom and gloom of this disease before allowing them to take that first step, but I was trusting of the medical establishment at that time, who encouraged me to act immediately after diagnosis. However, the tumours had spread to the lining of the chest wall as well, so they told me there was no point. They also told me that 1 in 5 die from that operation (of removing the lung).

BUT!! When I asked what happens when the tumours appear in the lining of the other lung, they told me that the cancer only ever appears in one lung. Think about that for a moment. How does your body selectively direct air-borne asbestos fibres to just one lung?? I am aware that air is probably more likely to be first diverted to the left lung, given the shape of the inlet 'plumbing' where the air enters the lungs, but, surely some of those fibres make their way into the right lung, too ! ?

What I think they were really saying was that I would die within a few years anyway, even if they took out the left lung, before the tumours had a chance to establish in the other lung.

So, if you take out one lung, what are you going to do when the same condition appears in the other lung one day, which it surely and inevitably must?

And if you survive the operation, would not the effect on the immune system due to the physical stress of surgically removing the lung be significant? That of itself would probably make the mesothelioma worse, in my view, by reducing the body's ability to resist the tumour growth.

Before you let them take the lung, answer the question: "What do I do when the mesothelioma appears in the remaining lung (which it surely must do one day given that the lungs cannot too selectively exclude tiny asbestos fibres from the remaining lung)?"

I think (along with others here in Australia) that the answer lies elsewhere.

My advice would be not to panic about taking out the lung just yet. Research and then research some more until you become as expert as the doctors. Then make an informed decision.

The greatest disappointment I found in this process was that surgeons were only expert in cutting out tissue. Oncologists were expert in treating cancer within the conventional medical establishment. Thoracic physicians were expert in whom to refer you to within the conventional medical establishment. But I found no one who could take over my case and manage me in an wholistic way, dealing with all of the possible therapies -- I was simply bounced from one professional to another and I was always able to ask questions that they could not answer.

The only person I respected finally (because she could answer everything I asked) was my naturopath. At 79 years of age and having practised for 50 years, her knowledge of cell chemistry and vitamins and other potions was inspiring. Sure, perhaps I've adopted her because she told me what I wanted to hear. But everything I heard was rational and logical (important for a dry boring engineer). Her advice was that she couldn't cure this.

Our strategy was therefore to simply sustain the body to fight on another day and to hold the condition and stop it from spreading, while leading a relatively normal existence with the benefit of both lungs.

I decided the only real approach was to first try to allow my body to fight the condition, by supplying it with the necessary resources and by giving it a break from the chemicals in our food and our environment.

My objective is to hold the advance of the disease until a better chemotherapy or gene therapy approach has been discovered. So far so good, apart from a lot of stress brought about by me trying to continue with my engineering/architecture practice, which has set me back a little in the first 6 months of 2001.

My advice to you is to explore/research first. My own research led me to the survivors I interviewed recently. There is hope!

Think carefully before you let them take the lung. At one time I thought it would be my only salvation. Now I am comfortable that there are other approaches and certainly approaches, which will give me a better quality of life. I understand how difficult this is. Be prudent but DO NOT PANIC.

When (and if) you have surgery, make sure you know it to be the best option by cross-checking with alternative therapists in order to 'test' the approach of your conventional medical advisers. I've learnt so much since I started my journey and I am a little jaded with conventional medicine. This is all the more surprising since I started out on this journey as an engineer (which means I had a philosophy somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan as my daughters would tell you). Therefore, for me to suggest there might be something else on offer out there, which the doctors won't tell you about, is quite something.

I don't know whether there are solutions but I can confirm the outstanding results above, which have been achieved by others here in Australia.

Put simply, my research suggests that having the lung removed may cause more problems than it solves.

God bless you all. I hope you all make the right choices.

Bye for now,
James In Sydney
Sydney, Australia.

*** POSTED MARCH 21, 2002 ***

Success Stories from Australia

Hi everyone and anyone!

This email is always a 'work-in-progress', which I try to update from time to time. I've tried to provide a little information and a little hope to anyone who is in the terrible position of having been diagnosed with mesothelioma or to a care-giver to such a 'patient'.

What I have summarised here is information gleaned from reading and talking to mesothelioma sufferers, which is presented along with my own opinions. Whatever you read here is not intended to be taken as a set of cancer cures. Like you, I'm reaching out for help. So, please don't sue me if you are unhappy with the outcome [isn't it a shame that I have to publish that at all in this litigious society of ours?].

Last update: 2 May,2002 Last revision: 26 July, 2001.

*************************************************************

1.0 My Story

I'm a civil engineer with a master's degree in materials engineering (only of any interest here because I understand the characteristics of the asbestos fibre). I was exposed to asbestos fibres in trenches, tunnels and in offices where two refits were undertaken during my time. For the past 17 years I've been lecturing in ecologically sustainable design and development. How ironic (actually bizarre is probably the best word) that this should strike me, given my commitment to the built environment.

I thought it might be important to relate to you, the reader, what happened to me in the diagnosis/ prognosis process. The reasons will become clear a little later in this text, particularly for those of you who are looking for solutions. So, here goes. Do try and stay with the next few paragraphs. I have included them not for reasons of ego but for other reasons, which (again) I trust will become clear a little later on.

On Saturday 17 December 2000 I was walking with my gorgeous, irresistible, stunning partner Jane (Jane is looking over my shoulder as I type this 'tome') and her friend, Jenny, around the headlands of Cronulla Beach in Sydney, when both girls told me they thought I seemed to be short of breath. Jenny is the wife of Martin, a general medical practitioner in Sydney and Jane is a nurse and Martin's Practice Manager. Jane insisted I have a chest X-ray (which happened on Wednesday 21 December 2000), which was followed by a CAT scan on Thursday 22 December 2000 and fluid was tapped off my chest on that Thursday afternoon.

I met with Martin and Jane the next morning (Friday) and Martin told me the pathology results overnight, suggested malignant pleural mesothelioma. This was very serious and as a result, an appointment had been made for me to see a thoracic physician a few hours later, who agreed to see me due to the seriousness of the problem (an incredible feat because of the approaching Christmas weekend and the lack of any notice). Martin had called in a favour.

So, it all happened so quickly for me as I approached the Christmas weekend.

Consequently, Jane and I visited arguably one of Sydney's most respected thoracic physicians on that Friday afternoon (his last appointment of the day -- at 1:00 PM). This physician put my scans up on the light box, looked at them for about 60 seconds, took them down and said he would refer me to a thoracic surgeon for a pleurodesis (where they glue the lung to the chest wall with talcum powder) after Christmas. Done. The rest of the conversation (as I remember it) went something like this:

I said: " Doctor, the general practitioner who reviewed the X-rays and CAT scans couldn't see anything remarkable. Can you show me on the CAT scans where the problems are? "

He said: (clearly annoyed that I had the temerity to ask for it to be explained to me)

" Yes. These points here, here and here are of interest. A pleurodesis will stop the fluid building up and crushing the lung. "

(pointing at areas I could not even focus on given the speed of his arm movement)

I said: " I'm sorry, could you show me that again, I couldn't focus on what you were pointing at? "

He said: (clearly equally annoyed at having to repeat himself)

" Here, here and here. The pleural effusion collecting at the base of your lungs will be stopped if you have this procedure. "

I said: " They are such small anomalies you're showing me. I know mesothelioma is serious because of my own background in engineering. Does this mean that my life will be considerably shortened? Have I got another 10 years left? "

He said: " Oh no. Perhaps 6 to 18 months. "

Then the telephone rang. It was his receptionist putting a call through to him. The next telephone call went something like this:

Dr: " Oh John. Thanks for ringing me. I had a new piano delivered to me for Christmas and it will not hold tune. They have been out to try to fix it but no good. They want to take it away back to the shop but I'll be without a piano for Christmas. I thought they should bring me another piano while they have mine away because I don't know how long they will keep it for. Is that a reasonable thing lawfully for me to insist upon? "

A brief pause ensued during which I assumed the good doctor was listening to his lawyer.

Dr: " Oh thanks John. I'm glad that's OK then. I'll insist they do that. "

The good doctor then turned back to Jane and me.

I felt physically ill -- firstly at the news that I had perhaps only 18 months to live and secondly because of the arrogance and insensitivity of this doctor.

[Now, remember he was aware I was a mesothelioma patient (the pathology report, which had been explained to him over the telephone when the urgent appointment had been made confirmed that). Remember, too, that there were no other patients in the waiting room, so his receptionist could have screened his telephone calls.]

The good doctor then looked at me and the blank expression on his face clearly showed he had no idea where we had left off.

The telephone then rang again. This second telephone call went something like this:

Dr: " Oh Bob. Yes I've got your cheque here for $120 for the lawnmowing. You can either call around here to the office this afternoon and pick it up or you can pick it up at home early this evening. "

Another brief pause ensued during which I assumed the good doctor was listening to his lawnmowing contractor.

Dr: " OK. You can pick it up at home early this evening. "

The good doctor then turned back to Jane and me again.

I frankly do not remember what occurred or what was said next. I know I got up and walked out of his office, past his receptionist, down the corridor to the men's toilet. I went in and leaned against the wall. I was too physically and emotionally drained to do anything. I felt like sitting on the floor but knew if I did, I probably wouldn't get up. Later I met Jane who had been looking for me in the corridor.

Jane confirmed she was absolutely appalled at the way we had been treated. Yes it was Christmas Eve and yes the good doctor had squeezed us in at the last minute BUT surely a person's life is worth more than a poorly-tuned piano and/or payment of a simple account for $120. Either matter could have been handled by a highly trained and highly paid nurse/receptionist sitting in the waiting room with no other patients to worry about.

Why is this experience of mine of any relevance to you, the reader? Because it demonstrated two things to me:

my frame of mind when I went in to see this specialist and

the fact that (to this man at least) his work was just a job, which earned him a great deal of money (my 30 minute consultation earned him $150).

Like you (probably) I went in to see a specialist for answers and solutions. He was dressed in a white coat (as expected). I automatically respected him (because of my upbringing/training/social conditioning over the years. I would have respected anything he told me, if his 'bedside manner' had been good.

By this I mean that if he had been a 'nice man' then I would have automatically followed anything he had recommended. He could have told me to take chemotherapy and radiation therapy and any other therapy and I probably would have followed his advice. BUT this doctor did me an enormous service. His appalling behaviour caused me to begin to research for myself what the issues really were. If not for the good doctor, I would not have taken on responsibility for my own wellbeing. I simply would have followed him wherever he directed me -- and isn't that what we have all been conditioned to do?

We seek a good doctor. A nice person. An apparently caring person, who is interested in us, don't we? Once we find someone we like (and therefore someone we trust), we would normally go along with their recommendations, wouldn't we?

Well. Given my experience with the good doctor, I have 'travelled' all around the world on the internet and across a number of Australian States to communicate and talk personally with other sufferers. What an amazing experience it has been and what an amazing array of information is out there for us, if only we can afford the time to seek it all out.

I sincerely thank the good doctor for the way he dealt with me. He may well have saved my life! I believe he truly led me to the right solution, which was to research for myself and to take responsibility for my wellbeing and try to understand what was happening within my body. His name? Why, his surname is Moses. Of course! And inadvertently, he led me to the promised land! Need I say more?

By the way, this type of arrogant insensitive behaviour by the medical profession has been repeated three more times in various ways over the past 7 months by two other medical practitioners. When I find a little more time, I'll document those experiences too, in a later edition of this document.

So, I say to you: Do not panic. Take responsibility and research. Don't look for someone else to hold your life in the same regard as you do yourself. Money and commercial constraints on doctors and the rest of the medical profession I believe conspire to work against the patient's overall best interests.

And if you are afraid of offending your doctor by talking about alternatives, then you are no longer in control. Offending your doctor? How could any fair thinking, intelligent and sensitive human being (I've just described your doctor, haven't I?), be offended because you ask questions? You can be inquiring without being aggressive. It's reprehensible that any doctor could expect you to make life-changing decisions with just (perhaps) an hour of effective discussion. Just think about that for a moment. How much time have you sat face-to-face with your doctor discussing the case? Add up the minutes. It will not have run into many hours.

In my architecture practice, I would spend typically 40 hours just to get to a polished sketch of a concept for a new home !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- without even getting to working drawings or specifications for the builder ! That's not life threatening stuff, either. How can anyone expect you to make life-determining decisions based on perhaps a few hours of consultation with a doctor looking at CAT scans that you don't understand?

For the medical profession, it's a production line.

The grim reality is that doctors have to inure themselves against the personal psychological fallout of a patient's death. They do not have the answers. They know they will fail. So they can't become involved. If they did have the answers, we would all survive and we would be treated as if we had the common cold. This is not just serious stuff, here. It is life determining stuff.

To be fair to your doctor, he believes we are going to die. And soon. All he can do is follow the accepted line of everyone else in the profession.

You arrive at his office with this condition; he can't cure you; he tries to prolong life but in doing that may cause more problems than he solves. From a professional indemnity point of view, he does not want to be sued. So he follows accepted practice. I know. I speak from experience. Show me a doctor with pleural malignant mesothelioma. I'd like to talk to him/her and find out what therapies he/she is pursuing!

Ask your questions. Expect him to demonstrate patience and a preparedness to explain the options. If he will not, then he really doesn't care, does he? If he doesn't know the options, then he really doesn't deserve your faith and trust, does he? And he really isn't such a 'nice man' then is he?

WE must take responsibility for our own well being. Many of us come from another age or generation, where high education was not available for all. Inculcated with the notion from birth that people who are university-trained (and particularly doctors who were the 'cream' of the bright high school students who went on to study medicine) are at a higher level in society and are by definition, cleverer than us. Add to that the feeling of despair and terror generated by this condition and, of course, it's understandable that when she seeks help from the only person she believes can help, she doesn't want to offend the good doctor.

Ask your questions. Then go away and research some more. Then decide. Please read the references I have suggested. If they are of no use, then at least you will be closer to accepting the good doctor's advice.

An Alternative Approach?

But you just might find another way. For example, here is a brief excerpt of some of the communication I have had with another mesothelioma warrior over the Internet, who I'll call Al, who is part of a mesothelioma chat group on the Internet:

The basis of what Al wrote to the public forum and to me is as follows:

" I've been going to a traditional Chinese Doctor and taking Chinese herbal medicines.

I was diagnosed in April 2001. During March and April I had a great deal of difficulty breathing, was developing pleural infusions such that I had 6 'taps' and was starting to need them every two weeks. Around the end of April I started taking the first of my herbal medicines. I got more of them in May and another set in late June. The pleural infusions stopped! With the stopping of the infusions, my breathing improved.

I should point out that my Chinese Doctor also put me on a meatless, alcohol-free, caffeine free and dairy free diet in April.

Two weeks ago I started Essiac using the original "tea".

Last week I started taking "Juice+" (more on this in a minute).

Where am I now? I just returned from a visit with my Oncologist, who confirmed what I had suspected: my breathing is definitely improving. (In April, I was grey in colour and visibly handicapped in my breathing.) Originally I had been told that by January 2002 I could expect to be bed-ridden and dead by July 2002. Now, my Oncologist is telling me that I have "several" months to continue my research and my Eastern/holistic approach to therapy. If it doesn't stop the tumour from growing, I will have to switch to "western medicine". meaning chemo and maybe surgery. Right now I am still researching all the available alternatives, including at least one stage 1 clinical trial. I want to be ready when and if I have to go "western". I don't know you feel, but I interpret all of this as progress.

I can also tell you that in the two weeks of Essiac, I have already felt a difference. I used to feel a constriction in my right lung whenever I took a deep breath. Toward the end of last week I noticed I wasn't feeling that "rubber band" any more. In fact, on Saturday, I worked in my yard and garden for a couple of hours, something I haven't been able to do all year!

Now, I promised to tell you about "Juice+". I don't sell the stuff and have no financial interests in it at all, but I can put you in touch with a person who does sell it if you want. We have all heard about James's vegetable/fruit juice diet. Personally, I don't know if I could drink that much juice a day. Juice+ is the equivalent of 3 lbs of fruit and 3 lbs of vegetables per day in 4 capsules. There is nothing artificial about this. The company juices the fruits and vegetables and extracts the water and sugar through a special means.

Lab tests confirm that all of the "natural" nutrition, including ALL of the vitamins and enzymes are still present in the power that remains after the water is extracted. They put the powder into capsules and you take two fruit caps in the morning and two vegetable caps in the evening, getting the nutritional equivalent of 6 lbs of fruits and vegetables. If you think you can't put 6 lbs of fruit and vegetables into 4 capsules, think about how small a package there is when a human is cremated.

Since I just started taking those a couple of days ago, I can't say whether they are living up to their billing or not. But the brochures about these capsules and the nutrition they contain convinced me they were worth the try.

Al "

I then wrote to the chat group and congratulated Al on his encouraging results and told of my experience with my oncologist, when I broke the news to him of Al's apparent success:

" Al ! I feel very confident you are pursuing something that may prove to have great significance.

I referred your result (in apparently stopping the pleural effusions) to my oncologist when I saw him earlier this week. I would have thought he would have been very interested in your outcome. I know I would have been if I had been in a role where I was responsible for trying to prolong the lives of other people. I certainly would have been interested in any new product or process, which had dramatic potential in my architectural/engineering practice.

I only wish someone had said to me in December 2000:

'James. Don't panic.

Yes we believe you should have a pleurodesis in order to try to stop the pleural effusions. However, you might be able to reduce or even eliminate the effusions by changing your diet/lifestyle/ work habits.

If you wish to try the latter then you will need to read these references or undertake this diet or take those supplements and you will also need to be prepared to have the effusions drained every few days or weeks if you are unsuccessful. However, it is better for your immune system to focus its efforts on the tumours rather than trying to deal with an alien invasion of talc and certainly better for your long term ability to breathe if your lung can move freely in the chest cavity.

BUT if all that sounds too hard, then we've got a bed for you next week and we'll open you up and fix you up and let you get back to your beer and fried food.'

Al, no one gave me that option !

James "

Al replied:

" That is no different than what has happened to me. In fact, my family practice physician AND my oncologist essentially told me I was going to die within 15-18 months unless I had an EPP with chemo and radiology and that even then, there was little chance I would live much longer. That's western medicine, no matter what country you are in. "

I wrote:

" I've had the pleurodesis. Hang out as long as you can before you have it. UNLESS by doing so (for whatever reason I cannot imagine), you somehow cause the tumours to grow. "

Al responded:

" I have no intention of having the pleurodesis. My eastern medicine has cost me an arm and a leg so far, but it is working to improve the quality of my life if not the length. If, after I finish the capsules I have the infusions return, I will promptly get new medications from my Chinese Doctor and pay the price. It is more likely that if the tumour does not reduce (or at least stop growing), that I will try western chemotherapy. I'm investigating a clinical trial of a new drug that was created specific to mesothelioma. I don't have a lot of details to share nor do I know whether I actually will participate or not. I live today, but I plan for tomorrow and checking into things like this is part of how I plan to extend my life.

Al "

I wrote:

" My understanding of the purpose of the pleurodesis is to stop the lung from being crushed by the fluid. Is that your wife's understanding too? If you stop the fluid, haven't you stopped the need for the pleurodesis? Anyway, more power to you. Good luck. I hope your results continue.

James. "

Al responded:

" I have no need of the pleurodesis, you are correct. One can actually almost drown from the infusion. I returned from a trip in April in great distress, almost unable to walk more than 100 meters (with baggage) without stopping to catch my breath. When I got to the urgent care clinic, they removed 3.2 litres of fluid. The only good thing was that the ER doctor agreed with me that if I could handle the trip I had just finished with that much fluid on my lung, my heart must be in excellent condition. Two taps later I was on my eastern medications and within 5 days I was able to walk a kilometre.

Al "

For now, back to my story.

I was diagnosed on Friday 23 December 2000 (the last working day before the Christmas weekend) but I had severe shortness of breath for 12 months and on reflection, I recognise now that I had minor symptoms for about three years before that.

I had a pleurodesis performed on my left lung on 15 January 2001 and during that operation they assessed whether they could remove my left lung. This was done far too quickly in hindsight, without allowing me time to really think about alternatives. I would have wished for a little more time to come to grips with the doom and gloom of this disease before allowing them to take that first step, but I was trusting of the medical establishment at that time, who encouraged me to act immediately after diagnosis. However, the tumours had spread to the lining of the chest wall as well, so they told me there was no point. They also told me that 1 in 5 die from that operation (of removing the lung).

BUT!! When I asked what happens when the tumours appear in the lining of the other lung, they told me that the cancer only ever appears in one lung. Think about that for a moment. How does your body selectively direct air-borne asbestos fibres to just one lung?? I am aware that air is probably more likely to be first diverted to the left lung, given the shape of the inlet 'plumbing' where the air enters the lungs, but, surely some of those fibres make there way into the right lung, too ! ?

What I think they were really saying was that I would die within a few years anyway, even if they took out the left lung, before the tumours had a chance to establish in the other lung.

So, if you take out one lung, what are you going to do when the same condition appears in the other lung one day, which it surely and inevitably must?

And if you survive the operation, would not the effect on the immune system due to the physical stress of surgically removing the lung be significant? That of itself would probably make the mesothelioma worse, in my view, by reducing the body's ability to resist the tumour growth.

Before you let them take the lung, answer the question: "What do I do when the mesothelioma appears in the remaining lung (which it surely must do one day given that the lungs cannot too selectively exclude tiny asbestos fibres from the remaining lung)?"

I think (along with others here in Australia) that the answer lies elsewhere.

My advice would be not to panic about taking out the lung just yet. Research and then research some more until you become as expert as the doctors. Then make an informed decision.

The greatest disappointment I found in this process was that surgeons were only expert in cutting out tissue. Oncologists were expert in treating cancer within the conventional medical establishment. Thoracic physicians were expert in whom to refer you to within the conventional medical establishment. But I found noone who could take over my case and manage me in an wholistic way, dealing with all of the possible therapies -- I was simply bounced from one professional to another and I was always able to ask questions that they could not answer.

The only person I respected finally (because she could answer everything I asked) was my naturopath. At 79 years of age and having practised for 50 years, her knowledge of cell chemistry and vitamins and other potions was inspiring. Sure, perhaps I've adopted her because she told me what I wanted to hear. But everything I heard was rational and logical (important for a dry boring engineer). Her advice was that she couldn't cure this.

Our strategy was therefore to simply sustain the body to fight on another day and to hold the condition and stop it from spreading, while leading a relatively normal existence with the benefit of both lungs.

I compared this advice with conventional chemo advice. I found here in Sydney that one hospital wanted me to participate in an international trial of drugs of one type, while denigrating the value of a competing trial at another hospital. Their approach was to take 500 sufferers worldwide; to give 250 a drug that they knew had not worked over the past 20 years and 250 a new drug, which had been hugely successful in dramatically reducing tumour size in 50% of the original small trial group of 10 people. No, I would not be told which one I would be given. That choice was the privilege of the oncologist.

Now, I understand statistics (I studied maths at university level) so I understand the reason for the 'blind' survey. BUT, we are dealing with human beings here, not grains of sand blowing in the wind. When I said I would waive any liability over anyone's actions but just, please please, give me the new drug, they said, "NO." In other words, they would knowingly allow 250 people to die, in order to statistically prove the value of the new drug in the hope of getting government funding.

I found this immoral and reprehensible. I know of one man in Sydney who has already died and just before his death, he was told he had been given the older (unsuccessful) drug. He was devastated and the news hastened his death.

Enquiries at the other hospital resulted in them wanting me to try thalidomide with similar comments about the first hospital's approach.

Both hospitals are fighting for government funding for their staff and facilities, so I might be forgiven for being a little cynical about their respective motives.

I decided the only real approach was to first try to allow my body to fight the condition, by supplying it with the necessary resources and by giving it a break from the chemicals in our food and our environment.

My objective is to hold the advance of the disease until a better chemotherapy or gene therapy approach has been discovered. So far so good, apart from a lot of stress brought about by me trying to continue with my engineering/architecture practice, which has set me back a little in the first 6 months of 2001.

My ideal (so far as current research suggests) regime, which I can't always seem to stick to, is as follows:

Resolve as many outstanding heartaches as possible (i.e. old hatreds, unhappiness, failed relationships etc).

Giving up work (which for me, like most men, means giving up stress).

Try to begin to have a little 'fun' again (which has been missing in my life for years).

On rising each morning, at least 200ml of freshly crushed carrot/cabbage/celery juice mixture(crushed with a low-EMF juicer, which cost me $AUST1,000.00).

30 minutes (minimum) later: cobra venom homoeopathic remedy under the tongue (scary huh?).

15 minutes (minimum) later: b'fast of rolled oats with organic rice milk (no dairy).

15 minutes (minimum) later: 20ml of dark brown murky liquid supplied by my naturopath (sourced from South Africa) of unknown content but which inspires you to get well because it tastes so bad you could not live the rest of your life taking something so awful, so you must get well ! ! [I choose to refer to this as " Panther Piss" and I do hope this does not offend you but it's a household joke here -- I have nothing upon which to base the name because I can assure you I have never shared anything so intimate with a panther in all my life).

15 minutes (minimum) later: 60mg CoQ10 antioxidant; sheep sorrel (' Essiac') and two multi vitamin tablets.

15 minutes (minimum) later: Mid-morning selenium homoeopathic remedy under the tongue.

15 minutes (minimum) later: at least 200ml of freshly crushed apple/pear juice (crushed with a low-EMF) juicer.

Morning exercise (power walking).

30 minutes (minimum) later: Lunch of fresh organic vegetables. 15 minutes (minimum) later: 20ml of " Panther Piss".

15 minutes (minimum) later: sheep sorrel (' Essiac') and two multi vitamin tablets.

Afternoon exercise (light weights or swimming although I haven't been able to organise this yet).

Mid-afternoon at least 200ml of freshly crushed organic green vegetables juice (say a mix of broccoli/spinach/beetroot), crushed with a low-EMF) juicer. Evening meal of organic vegetables with (perhaps) occasionally some deep sea fish or lamb or 'organic' chicken.

15 minutes (minimum) later: 20ml of " Panther Piss".

15 minutes (minimum) later: sheep sorrel (' Essiac') and two multi vitamin tablets.

After 3 months people remarked on how clear my eyes were and how well I looked. Apparently I looked much better than before! (I wondered how bad I must have looked before !!)

But this is not easy. I did "fall off the perch" at one point. It is hard to stay focussed. I gave up the PP after 3 months, thinking I was feeling great and I didn't need it anymore. It is hard to apply willpower and resist the entreaties of friends at social functions too (eg. " Oh, come on James, have just one drink. You could do with one to help you relax and God knows, you need to relax. One won't hurt you."). I did succumb, but I paid for it later. After months with no alcohol, one glass of wine produced a headache, which lasted two days, and I felt unwell for two weeks. Just goes to show you how we have conditioned our bodies to accept the chemicals and the poisons we would regularly feed ourselves.

At my next appointment with my naturopath, she was most unimpressed. [I think she had taken a real and genuine interest in me and was disappointed I had let both of us down by not being disciplined].

My advice to you is to explore/research first. My own research led me to the survivors I interviewed recently. There is hope !

Think carefully before you let them take the lung. At one time I thought it would be my only salvation. Now I am comfortable that there are other approaches and certainly approaches, which will give me a better quality of life.

Good luck to you and to your family. I understand how difficult this is.

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2.0 Mesothelioma: How does it develop?

mesothelioma appears to begin at a point of inflammation (such as where the asbestos fibre continuously aggravates tissue as the body moves over time).

Where you have hundreds or thousands of asbestos fibres, each aggravating a separate piece of tissue, you end up with hundreds or thousands of small tumours.

If those tumours are centrally located and form a 'clump', then debulking by surgery might be appropriate. However, where the tumours are spread over a large surface area, they tend to create a spiderweb or network of interlinked tumours of narrow thickness (particularly so in the thin pleural lining around the lungs and chest).

The concern about operating on any cancer is the fear of 'exciting' it and causing it to dramatically accelerate its growth, if it can't all be taken out during the surgical procedure (since any surgery must adversely affect the body's immune system thereby reducing the ability of the body to fight the cancer after the operation).

Since mesothelioma cells can be so widespread and not often able to be identified with the human eye, it is not surprising that a surgeon cannot 'get it all'. Hence possibly the reluctance to operate.

Oh, by the way, do you think any of my doctors told me any of this (any of my 4 thoracic physicians or my oncologist or my thoracic surgeon) ?????? Not on your life ! I had to research and work this out for myself and when I put the results of my research to these people, they readily agreed. But the medical profession is not about taking the time to discuss any of this with you. You are, after all, only the patient and there is not the time available to disrupt the medical process. So, please, just sit quietly in the corner and try not to get in the way, won't you ?

If you are dealing with recalcitrant doctors, then give 'em hell. Make them discuss the principles, issues, problems and alternatives. Then come and ask the mesothelioma Group !

My very best wishes to you. Truly. Don't panic and jump into any particular therapy. Research and ask questions. When you think you've got a handle on it and have all the answers, ask some more questions and get a 2nd and a 3rd opinion. As I said before, then come and ask the mesothelioma Group.

Take heart, we care about your options.

3.0 Mesothelioma 'Success' Stories

Case #1:

A builder who had used asbestos board for house cladding. Pleural mesothelioma in both lungs. Initial diagnosis December 1998. Initial prognosis: 2 years max. After 2 years his tumours have "significantly reduced in size".

His approach? He gave up work and sold his business in order to take all stress out of his life. Now a full time man of leisure. Still drinks his favourite red wines each night and eats lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (did not give up meat however). Takes vitamin tablets and sheep sorrel mixture in tablet form (a version of "Essiac" -- refer later in this email for description) and cycles or jogs every day, without fail - rain or shine.

No chemo therapy because his doctor pointed out that the pleura is so thin (a couple of mm thick) that it is difficult to get the chemo to the sites of the small tumours. So, you have to be dosed up to such a degree in order to get any result that the effect overall on other parts of the body is not worth it (the chemo can damage the kidneys, liver, brain etc).

He's had a small amount of radiation therapy on his back (where they cut him to gain access to the chest for the pleurodesis), to kill off any cancer cells which might have leaked down to the entry point. He's still going strong.

His May 2001 CAT scan showed the tumours had significantly decreased . Each winter he and his wife pack up the 4WD and aluminium boat and head to north to the sun for 4 months living in caravan parks and fishing.

Case #2:

A worker in a factory where asbestos was used in a heat exchanger. Pleural mesothelioma in left lung. Initial prognosis: 2 years max. After 1 year his tumours stabilised.

His approach? He gave up work in order to take stress out of his life. Gave up alcohol and ate lots of organically-grown fresh fruit and vegetables (grown in his own garden). Takes vitamin tablets, "Essiac", kilograms of juiced organic vegetables daily and probably 20 other herbs and potions and uses coffee enemas.

Feeling well again, he resumed work as an earthmoving contractor on a remote site away from his home for 2 months. With the stress of heavy work, running the new business and an accident with a horse, a tumour in his left breast grew out of control out of his breast (clearly visible through his shirt) and down through the left side of his abdomen to his hip. He's now back on his old routine of organic food, no work, no stress and is leaving for a 4 month caravan holiday across the top end of Australia to relax. He's now 4 years on. No chemo or radiation therapy. Still going strong.

Case #3:

A worker in an office where asbestos was used to cover hot water pipes which ran through her office. She used to heat the office lunches on the pipes!! Pleural mesothelioma in left lung. Initially diagnosed in about 1993. Initial prognosis: 1.5 years max.

Her approach? Gave up work in order to remove stress. Eats lots of organically-grown fresh fruit and vegetables and consumes juiced organic vegetables daily. Suffered severe emotional trauma when her daughter was killed in a car accident a few years ago but she is still doing OK. Plays competition tennis couple of times each week. Takes vitamin tablets, "Essiac" and other supplements and meditates daily. No chemo and no radiation therapy. Still going strong.

Case #4:

A schoolteacher who worked when a student for his father in an office where asbestos cement building board was used to refit his father's offices. Peritoneal mesothelioma spread throughout his stomach/abdomen, which was discovered after he booked in to hospital for a hernia operation.

His condition was so bad, they didn't bother to treat the hernia - they just sewed him back up and told him to "go home and get your affairs in order". Initial diagnosis 1997. Initial prognosis: perhaps 1 month max. After 4 years tumours have stabilised.

His approach? Gave up work in order to remove stress. Eats lots of organically-grown fresh fruit and vegetables. Takes vitamin tablets, "Essiac", CoQ10 enzyme and probably 10 other supplements. Has regular blood treatment with oxygen at a public hospital. Not sure about chemo or radiation therapy. Still going strong.

Case #5:

I have another man diagnosed in about 1988 with peritoneal mesothelioma. Initial prognosis: 2 years. Although, he did have chemotherapy. He was very ill, especially after his chemotherapy. Apparently, they regularly tapped off in excess of 10 litres (yes: 10 litres ) of fluid within hours of each chemotherapy 'hit'. So much fluid, that his liver was displaced in his body cavity ! He also took up smoking when he started his chemotherapy in order to calm his nerves! ! ! I wonder whether the nicotine had anything to do with killing the weaker cancer cells??

Apparently now deemed to be cured in 2001 and is back at work running the family business !

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4.0 Other Cancer Success Stories

Case #6:

A Sydney-based naturopath has a son who was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 12. After surgery to remove whatever carcinoma they could find in the leg, the prognosis was for a few months of remaining life, since secondaries had appeared elsewhere in the body (brain, chest etc).

This naturopath is well-connected politically (his sister is an Australian Minister) and he was given preferential treatment in one of our best hospitals for his son. Doctors told him chemotherapy would be useless but nevertheless, that was all they could offer and had already made arrangements for that to commence. The naturopath was appalled and relocated his family out of Sydney onto a farm and began growing his own produce.

After four years, his son has been declared free of any tumours.

I do not have permission to publish the full details of the therapies followed by this man's son. However, the regime followed by his son included:

Morning:

1 x Multivitamin Mineral + 1 x Bio ACE Plus Selenium

2 x Echinacea Plus Garlix + 1 x 1000mg Vitamin C

2.5ml Cod Liver Oil (vitamin A, D and n-3 fatty acids)

2ml of Fish Oil 1000 (n-3 fatty acids)

1 cup of Green Tea & Soy Milk [containing the Polyphenols, (+)-gallocatechin, (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epigallocatechin, (-)-epicatechin gallate]

1 x garlic oil (equivalent to 3,000mg fresh garlic)

1 x tablet of Milk Thistle + 1 x tablet of PhytoLife

Shark Cartilage: 6 capsules daily with food (may reduce blood supply to solid tumors)

Lunch:

2 x Echinacea Plus Garlix

2 cups Green Tea

1x Milk Thistle

Dinner:

1000mg Fish Oil Plus 1000mg Evening Primrose Oil (n-3 and n-6 fatty acids)

2 x Echinacea plus Garlix + 2 x cups of Green Tea

1 x garlic oil (equivalent to 3,000mg fresh garlic)

1 x Bio ACE plus selenium + 1 x Milk Thistle

Use tomato sauce with meals and include vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower every day. Eat more rice, tofu and lentils. Don't eat red meat, pickles, or processed foods

Rationale:

A literature search of Medline, cancer net and other general scientific and medical reference databases found the above supplements have been reported in numerous clinical and epidemiological studies to have immune stimulant activity and anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. These effects also have been shown to be both prophylactic and curative in some instances. Toxicology studies have found no adverse effects from any of the above at the dosage given.

All of the above at the doses given have been found to promote good heath.

Notes provided by the Naturopath:

1. Green Tea

The main physiologically active polyphenol in green tea extract is (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea extracts has an advantage over EGCG as a cancer chemopreventive agent for humans, as is apparent from the Japanese custom of ingesting green tea on a daily basis.

Green tea extract similarly inhibited protein kinase C activation by teleocidin, a tumour promoter, as did EGCG. In addition, EGCG and green tea extract showed inhibitory effects on the growth of lung and mammary cancer cell lines with similar potencies. An experiment using the oestrogen-dependent MCF-7 cell line showed the mechanisms of action of these compounds to be inhibiting the interaction of oestrogen with its receptors.

EGCG and compounds in green tea extracts block the interaction of tumour promoters, hormones and growth factors with their receptors: a kind of sealing effect. The sealing effect would account for reversible growth arrest, and may be induced by various kinds of compounds.

( Komori A, et al. Anticarcinogenic activity of green tea polyphenols. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 23(3):186-90 1993 )

Also See:

Yu R, et al. Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases by green tea polyphenols: potential-signaling pathways in the regulation of antioxidant-responsive element-mediated phase 11 enzyme gene expression . Carcinogenesis, 18(2):451-6 1997 Feb

Ji BT, et al. Green tea consumption and the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers, Int J Cancer, 70(3):255-8 1997 Jan 27

Valcie S, et al. Inhibitory effect of six green tea catechins and caffeines on the growth of four selected human tumor cell lines, Anticancer Drugs, 7(4):461-8 1996 Jun

Yamane T, et al, Inhibitory effects and toxicity of green tea polyphenols for gastrointestinal carcinogenesis, Cancer, 77(8 Suppl):1662-7 1996 Apr 15

Shi ST, et al. Effects of green tea and black tea on 4-(methylnitrosamine)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone bioactivation DNA methylation, and lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice, Cancer Res, 54(17):4641-7 1994 Sep 1

2. Fish Oil

MaxEPA, a fish oil concentrate which contains 18% eicosapentaenoic acid.

Indomethacin, a chemical cyclooxgenase inhibitor, has been shown to inhibit carcenogenesis in animal models ( McCormick DL, et al . Cancer Res. 45:1803-8, 1985 ) Since EPA is also a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, it may have similar effect.

Also See:

Jenski et al. Omega-3 fatty acid-containing liposomes in cancer therapy, Proc Soc Exp Bio Med, 210(3):227-33 1995 Dec

Kenler AS, et al. Early enteral feeding in postsurgical cancer patients. Fish oil structured lipid-based polymeric formula versus a standard polymeric formula. Ann Surg, 223(3):316-33 1996 Mar

Caygil CP, et al. Fat, Fish Oil and Cancer , Br J Cancer, 74(1):159-64 1996 Jul

Florence TM, Setright RT. The Handbook of Preventive Medicine, Kingsclear Books, 1994

3. Antioxidant Vitamins

Malvy DJ, et al. Antioxidant micronutrients and childhood malignancy during oncological treatment, Med Pediatr Oncol, 29(3):213-7 1997 Sep

Lupulescu A, The role of vitamins A, beta-carotene, E and C in cancer cell biology, Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 64(1):3-14 1994

Florence TM, Setright RT. The Handbook of Preventive Medicine, Kingsclear Books, 1994

4. Garlic

Garlic may be a potent anticarcinogen when consumed regularly prior to cancer onset or when cancer cell numbers are small. It appears to exert its effects by:

direct action on tumour cell metabolism

inhabitation of the initiation and promotion phase of cancer, and

modulation of the host immune response.

( Lau B, et al. Allium sativum (garlic) and cancer prevention. Nutr Res 10:937-48, 1990 )

Also See:

Riggs DR, et al. Allium sativum (garlic) treatment for murine transitional cell carcinoma. Cancer, 79(10):1987-94 1997 May 15

Ip C, et al. Selenium enriched garlic inhibits the early stage but not the late stage of mammary carcinogenesis, Carcinogenesis, 17(9):1979-82 1996 Sep

Dorant E, et al. Garlic and its significance for the prevention of cancer in humans: a critical review. Br J Cancer, 67:424-9, 1993

5. Echinacea

In-vivo immunostimulant activity in mice has been documented for echinacea, indicated by phagocytosis enhancement and by an increase in the serum elimination of carbon particles (carbon clearance test).

Documented in-vitro immunostimulant activity, indicated by phagocytosis enhancement and TNF (tumour necrosis factor)-secretion stimulation in human macrophages and lymphocytes, is stated to be indicative of non-specific T-cell activation. ( Wagner H, et al. Immunostimulating polysaccharides (hetroglycans) of higher plants. Arzneim-Forsch 35:1069-75, 1985 )

A long -chain alkene from E. angustifolia is stated to possess significant antitumour in-vivo, inhibiting the growth of Walker tumours in rats and lymphocytic leukaemia (P388) in mice.( Voaden DJ, et al. Tumour inhibitors. 3. Identification and synthesis oa an oncolytic hydrocarbon from echinacea roots. J Med Chem 15:619-23, 1972)

Also See:

See dm, ET AL. In vitro effects of echinacea and ginseng on natural killer and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity in health subjects and chronic fatigue syndrome and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients. Immunopharmacology, 35(3):229-35 1997 Jan

Facino RM, et al. Echinacoside and caffeoyl protects collagen from free radical-induced degradation: a potential use of echinacea extracts in the prevention of skin photodamage, Plat Med, 61(6):510-4 1995 Dec

Florence TM, Setright RT. The Handbook of Preventive Medicine, Kingsclear Books, 1994

6. Selenium

To determine whether a nutritional supplement of selenium will decrease the incidence of cancer, a trial was established in seven dermatology clinics in the eastern United States.

Trial Design: A multicentre, double blind, and randomised, placebo-controlled cancer prevention.

Patients: A total of 1312 patients (mean age, 63 years; range, 18-80 years) with a history of basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas of the skin were randomised from 1983 through 1991. Patients were treated for a mean (SD) of 4.5 (2.8) years and had a total follow-up of 6.4 (2.0) years.

Interventions: Oral administration of 200 microg of selenium per day or placebo.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary end points for the trial were the incidences of basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. The secondary end points, established in 1990, were all-cause mortality and total cancer mortality, total cancer incidence, and the incidences of lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers.

Results: After a total follow-up of 8271 person-years, selenium treatment did not significantly affect the incidence of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer. There were 377 new cases of basal cell skin cancer among patients in the selenium group and 350 cases among the control group (relative risk ÕRRÕ, 1.10; 95% confidence interval ÕCIÕ, 0.95-1.28). 218 new squamous cell skin cancers in the selenium group and 190 cases among the controls (RR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.93-1.39).

Analysis of secondary end points revealed that, compared with controls, patients treated with sel enium had a nonsignificant reduction in all-cause mortality (108 deaths in the selenium group and 129 deaths in the control group ÕRR; 0.83; 95% CI, 0.63-1.08Õ).

However, there were significant reductions in total cancer mortality (29 deaths in the selenium treatment group and 57 deaths in controls (ÕRR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.31-0.80Õ).

Total cancer incidence: 77 cancers in the selenium group and 119 in controls (ÕRR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.47-0.85Õ), and incidences of lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers.

Primarily because of the apparent reductions in total cancer mortality and total cancer incidence in the selenium group, the blinded phase of the trial was stopped early because it was deemed unfair on those not receiving selenium! No cases of selenium toxicity occurred.

Conclusions: Selenium treatment did not protect against development of basal or squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. However, results from secondary end-point analyses support the hypothesis that supplemental selenium may reduce the incidence of, and mortality from, carcinomas of several sites.

These effects of selenium require confirmation in an independent trial of appropriate design before new public health recommendations regarding selenium supplementation can be made ( Clark LC, et al. Effects of selenium supplementation for cancer prevention in patients with carcinoma or the skin. A randomized controlled trial. Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Study Group Isee commentsI, JAMA. 276(24):1957-63 1996 Dec.)

1. Sinha R, et al. Organic and inorganic selenium compounds inhibit mouse mammary cell growth in vitro by different cellular pathways, Cancer Lett, 107(2):277-84 1996 Oct 22.

2. Florence TM, Setright RT. The Handbook of Preventive Medicine, Kingsclear Books, 1994.

7. Tomatoes and cancer

Tomatoes or tomato-based products may be associated with a lower cancer risk. Almost 50% of studies reviewed by a team of researchers found an association, between consumption of cooked tomato products and a reduction in cancer risk of around 40%.

"The evidence for a benefit was strongest for cancers of the prostate, lung and stomach," according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci, of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. "The studies also suggest a benefit for cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, oesophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix." Of the 72 studies, 35 showed a link between increased tomato intake and lower cancer risk.

An antioxidant found in tomatoes, lycopene, might be responsible for the cancer risk reduction. "Numerous other potentially beneficial compounds are present in tomatoes, and conceivably, complex interactions among multiple components may contribute to the anticancer properties of tomatoes."

( Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1999;91:317-331).

These findings suggest that intake of lycopene or other compounds in tomatoes may reduce prostate cancer risk and support recommendations to increase vegetable and fruit consumption to reduce cancer incidence but suggest that tomato-based foods may be especially beneficial regarding prostate cancer risk.

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5.0 Reading List

The first reference deals with a fasting therapy of vegetable juices and herbal teas. As an engineer, it makes a lot of sense:

(a) the tumours need protein to grow;
(b) vegetable juices (not vegetable matter but juices ) provide little or no protein;

(c) the juices and teas provide the essential minerals and vitamins to sustain life;

(d) when fasting, the body scavenges itself for excess protein in 'unwanted' or 'unnecessary' locations and having identified the cancer tumours as an excess of protein in such an 'unwanted' or 'unnecessary' location, consumes the tumours in order to 'feed' other tissue which needs the protein.

The author alleges 40,000 people in Europe (and elsewhere) have been cured of various cancers and pleads for people to take him seriously. The author was about 86 years of age in 1996 and I don't know whether he is still alive. He does not refer to mesothelioma but this may be because he had no exposure to this illness during his professional life.

There are two diets referred to: a 21 day and a 42 day diet in which one only consumes juices and teas. The reference is:

"The Breuss Cancer Cure"
by Rudolph Breuss
copyright by Rudolph Breuss Publishers
Walter Margreiter
Im Hag, 23
A-6714 Nuziders/Austria
The version I have is published by:
The Australian School of Herbal Medicine
5 Jennifer Avenue
Ridgehaven Sth Australia 5097
Tel: 618 8396 4358 Fax: 618 8263 2033
Postal address: PO Box 346, St Agnes SA 5097
email: hilde.hemmes@herbalsupplies.com.au
ISBN 0-646-34773-X

*** [If anyone has read the Breuss diet I would be grateful to receive your opinion] ***

It is a fasting program where the person takes nothing but juice and herbal teas. It is not in addition to any diet because it is a fast. I think the philosophy seems to be that you either:

(a) fast for 42 days in order to hopefully totally remove the tumours and then follow a specific diet of vegetables, herbs and supplements to eliminate the likelihood of their re-appearance (I stress hopefully in our case)

OR

(b) fast for 21 days (if you can't handle the thought of sticking to a 42 day fast) in order to rapidly diminish the tumours to a less harmful size and then follow a specific diet of vegetables, herbs and supplements in order to manage the tumours and hold them in check (again hopefully in our case).

This is a summary of the Breuss fasting therapy:

Eat nothing for 42 days except for vegetable juice and the herbal teas listed:

1. Breuss vegetable juice

Up to 500 ml per day of Breuss vegetable juice can be consumed (the less the better, however). Breuss vegetable juice contains the following organically grown vegetables:

300 gm beetroot

100 gm carrot

100 gm celeriac (celery root)

70 gm potato

30 gm radish (Chinese)

Filter juice to remove fine sediment, which must not be consumed.

This juice is commercially available through the Biotta company of Switzerland and contains a little lactic acid as a preservative.

Preferably only take 125 ml to 250 ml per day.

Sip juice slowly by spoonful.

Do not swallow immediately.

'Chew' to mix with saliva.

2. Sage Tea

Take daily.

3. Breuss Tea mix

Breuss Tea contains:

Horsetail 15 gm

Stinging nettle 10 gm

Knotgrass 8 gm

St John's wort 6 gm

Take cold first thing in the morning, then in the middle of the day and also before bed, but for the first 21 days only.

4. Cranesbill Tea

Drink one cup cold each day.

5. Breuss BLT mix

Breuss BLT mix contains equal parts of:

Plantain

Iceland moss

Ground ivy

Cowslip

Camomile

6. The Treatment:

On wakening: sip half cup of cold Breuss tea mixture.

1/2 to 1 hour later: drink 1-2 cups of warm Sage tea.

1/2 to 1 hour later: drink 10-15 sips of juice.

'Lunchtime': drink a cup of Breuss tea.

Evening: drink a cup of Breuss tea.

Anytime: one cup of Cranesbill tea per day.

Anytime: one cup of Breuss BLT tea per day (for those with lung cancer).

Anytime: one cup of cold Wormwood tea per day (for those with stomach cancer).

Expect to lose 10 - 25 kg of weight.

Do read the book, though. The author claims to have helped 40,000 cancer sufferers since the 1930's and the testimonials make interesting reading.

Given the ongoing presence of asbestos in our bodies, it may be that this fast would need to be repeated every year or so, to keep in check the mesothelioma cells.

The problem I have here at home, is that my new partner (who is a nurse) and who manages a conventional medical practice, will not support me in a fast and I think this is something you would need to undertake only with close support.

But do buy the book. The testimonials and specific patient experiences make uplifting reading and we can all do with a little of that.

Can I just record one thing, though:

In June 2000 I met an old primary school friend (for those of you unfamiliar with Australian jargon that means we were both 10 years old when I saw him last). My friend, Henry, and I are both 51 this year (in 2001). Henry had a very serious cancer in 1988 in his sinus/ear/throat (I'm sorry I have forgotten the name but I'll find out for anyone who is interested).

Henry has now fully recovered. Henry had radiation therapy, which inadvertently burned his throat. The result was he could not eat solids until the burns recovered. Henry effectively lived only on water and supplements for 6 weeks before he could eat. Henry lost 40kg of weight. He is now in full remission and follows a naturopath's advice and believes totally in alternative therapies.

Why is this of anything more than passing interest?

Well, if you read the Breuss Cancer diet, you will find Breuss recommends a 42 day (i.e 6 week) fasting diet to starve the weak cancer cells of protein. The therapy is too long-winded to type out here but that's the essence: no animal protein, just juices/water and supplements. BUT you need to be under medical supervision while you are trying it. Although it does not take 42 days necessarily to have a significant impact on reducing tumour size. Someone in Sydney (with pleural mesothelioma) tried it and it apparently worked, although I have yet to track that person down to find out for sure.

Needless to say, my own doctor thinks its quackery. Isn't it amazing how closed their minds are to any hope? If only there was one of them who was on our side of the fence suffering with this issue. I wonder whether they might change their views then?

The real issue for each of us is how to summon the courage to try such a step. It's kind of like learning to snow ski. Anyone remember what you were told to do first? Lean down the hill (towards disaster!!!!!) and shift your weight. Don't lean back up the hill (away from disaster and towards safety) otherwise you will race down the hill out of control.

Well, I suspect this is something similar. How do you summon the courage to deliberately waste your body (and therefore apparently render yourself more vulnerable) in order to kill the tumour cells?

I have my own thoughts on: protein denial and protein re-routing (i.e. fasting/dieting and light exercise):

1. Fasting (21 or 42 days) to try to cause the tumours to wither in order to buy us some time.

2. Thereafter, dieting with vegetables, fruits and supplements.

3. Ongoing light exercise to divert the proteins in the blood to those muscle groups demanding the protein. e.g. for someone with pleural mesothelioma:

Static bike riding perhaps (at home or in a gym) to work the leg muscles, so as not to disturb the chest tumours. Leg muscles strengthen and in the process, protein is diverted to where it is needed (the legs). At the same time, the body consumes excess fat to meet the energy demand and just might also consume the weaker parts of the tumours (perhaps the newly-emerging tumour cells).

My successful pleural mesothelioma warrior in Canberra has used #2 and #3 above (along with giving up work and retiring early in life) to "significantly reduce" his tumours.

For the rest of us (including those who cannot economically give up work), perhaps #1 offers us something.

The question arises: "What happens when you have stopped fasting?"

I'd say that the tumours would begin to grow again. But the strategy here is to prolong life until such time as somebody discovers a genetic/chemical cure. If that means going on a 21 day / 42 day fast every 6 months or 12 months then we probably all would be prepared to go through that, wouldn't we?

Does not the Jewish religion have a fasting period within their culture? I wonder what the ancient imperative was behind that part of their culture? Surely something to do with good health rather than just penitence ! ?

---------------------------------

The second reference deals with the life work of a physician based in the USA, whose work is being carried on by his daughter:

"A Cancer Therapy: Results of 50 Cases & the Cure of Advanced Cancer by Diet Therapy
A Summary of 30 Years of clinical experimentation"
by Max Gerson, M.D.
Gerson Institute
PO Box 430, Bonita CA 91908-0430
Tel: 619-585-7600 or 1-888-4-GERSON
email: info@gerson.org
web: www.gerson.org

It was Steve McQueen (the then-famous Hollywood actor) who attended the Gerson clinic in Mexico some 20 years ago with mesothelioma. Back then they could not help him but much of what they publish seems to make sense. When I last looked at their web page, they had no mesothelioma listing.

---------------------------------

The third reference deals with a North American indian remedy and makes fascinating reading:

"The Essiac Report"
Canada's Remarkable Unknown Cancer Remedy
by Richard Thomas
published by
The Alternative Treatment Information Network
1244 Ozeta Terrace Los Angeles CA 90069
1 310 278 6611
copyright 1993 ISBN 0-9639818-0-3

I just found this book so fascinating - particularly with respect to the investigative Canadian journalist, Elaine Alexander, who intially set out to publicise the claims and ended up promoting the herbal drink and also with respect to Dr Brusch (personal physician to JFK).

On page 57, the following transcript from a radio interview in November 1984 is quoted:

EA: " Dr Brusch, have you studied Essiac ........? "

Dr B: " Yes."

EA: " Were the results significant ....... ? "

Dr B: " Highly significant. "

EA: " ...... any side effects? "

Dr B: " None. "

EA: "...... are you saying Essiac is a cure for cancer? "

Dr B: " I'm saying its a cure. "

EA: " Would you repeat that ...... ? "

Dr B: " Yes ...... is a cure. ...... reverse and eliminate cancers at such a progressed state that nothing medical science has could have accomplished similar results. I wouldn't have believed it myself had I not seen it with my own eyes. I feel very strongly ...... single most beneficial treatment for cancer today. "

I don't wish to sensationalise or over-dramatise. The words quoted are not mine. But you might like to read the book if you can get hold of it. I thought it worthwhile to refer you all to it so you could read and make up your own minds.

I take a pill form but it would make sense to actually brew the tea for yourself, since you would then hopefully have a more potent therapy. The pills I take are manufactured by MediHerb Pty Ltd of 124 McEvoy Street, Warwick Queensland Australia (www.mediherb.com.au) but I'm sure you will have a more local supplier. My naturopath sells me the pills because she (quite rightly) believes I'm too lazy to brew my own tea and, in any case, the four component herbs are difficult to purchase in Australia (because they are native to North America).

For one part of the Essiac story, go to http://comboweb.com/essiac/index.htm . There is only one Essiac: that is the "real stuff" and that web page will explain everything.

As one mesothelioma sufferer stated to me in an email:

" I got my Essiac within 5 days of ordering it even though it had to come from Canada over the border to me. When you call, no one will be able to answer any clinical or medical questions. It's against the law for them to do so. But there is a lot of history surrounding Essiac and I for one intend to keep the surgeons at bay as long as I can. That includes using any herbals such as Essiac first. My wife is a Masters prepared Nurse Practitioner who has educated me for years about herbal medicines. Although they are not always the answer, SOMETIMES they can be a better answer than traditional medicines. Before anyone takes a knife to me, I intend to give everything else its opportunity. That includes Essiac. "

---------------------------------

The fourth reference is a book written by an Australian cancer survivor, Ian Gawler who, while not suffering from mesothelioma, was diagnosed with osteogenic carcinoma and given two to three weeks to live.

Ian Gawler's brief story is as follows:

Diagnosed circa 1974 with osteogenic carcinoma.

Had a mid-thigh amputation.

Developed bony lumps in his chest about 2 cm (about 1 inch) in diameter (see photos on page 227 in book) within 12 months.

Was coughing up blood and small pieces of bone.

Gross opacities in X-ray films. Given a few weeks to live.

Adopted alternative therapies. Followed the Gerson therapy (see earlier reference). Meditated 1 to 3 hours per day.

Declared "free of active neoplastic disease" by 1984.

Started the Gawler Foundation in Victoria and runs workshops for cancer sufferers.

Was awarded an OAM in Australia for his work for cancer sufferers (the equivalent possibly of an English knighthood).

Ian Gawler wrote a book on his experiences:

"You Can Conquer Cancer"
Prevention & Management
by Ian Gawler
published by Hill of Content Publishing Company
86 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 Victoria Australia
copyright 1984 ISBN 0 85572 141 3
16 th Reprint 2000

Just goes to show you what the power of the mind can accomplish!

---------------------------------

The fifth reference is a book written by an Australian survivor of a particularly aggressive form of leukaemia, Petrea King, who was given a few weeks to live in the mid-1980's and who survived.

Petrea King has written a number of books, one of which is:

"Quest for Life"
by Petrea King
published by Random House Australia
20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point NSW 2061
copyright 1992 ISBN 0 09 182696 9

Petrea now runs the Quest for Life Centre in NSW and holds live-in workshops for cancer sufferers, which I have attended and found to be of enormous value. I found Petrea's meditation and visualisation techniques to be of enormous benefit.

---------------------------------

The sixth reference is a book written by an Australian survivor of melanoma (a particularly aggressive form of skin cancer), Ross Taylor, who was given a few weeks to live in December 1993 and who survived. Ross relates how he overcame his melanoma and his secondaries; relates how he was able to 'will' away a tumour a birthmark he had been conscious of all his life and describes his diet and techniques.

Ross Taylor's book:

"Living Simply with Cancer"
by Ross Taylor
published by Cancer Support Association (Inc)
80 Railway Street, Cottesloe Western Australia 6011
Tel: 618 9384 3544 Fax: 618 9384 6196 Email: csa@cancersupportwa.org.au

Ross Taylor now gives public lectures on his experience and on his visualisation techniques.

---------------------------------

The seventh reference is a book written by an American cancer surgeon, Bernie Siegel, demonstrates a very different attitude to cancer and his patients. In his book, Bernie Siegel refers briefly to a patient with mesothelioma, who apparently was cured (although there are no details).

Bernie Siegel's book:

"Love, Medicine & Miracles"
by Bernie S. Siegel M.D.
published by Arrow Books Limited Random House UK Limited
20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA
copyright 1986 ISBN 0 09 963270 5

Just wonderful to find a surgeon who actually cares! Bernie Siegel formed ECAP (the exceptional cancer patients' group), which practises meditation and visualisation techniques. Do read this one for inspiration, too.

*************************************************************

6.0 Summary of Significant Alternative Therapies Discovered so far

Here's what I've learned along the way, much of which is very difficult for me to 'digest' because I'm what my daughters describe as a conservative engineer and a work-a-holic with no leisure time. From reading and speaking to all of these people, I think the following points are valid:

I think it's important to exercise to try to divert the protein in the blood to muscle groups, which use it, rather than to stay immobilised and give up (which must leave the proteins free to travel to the tumour sites). It's too easy, don't you think, to say: "Well I'm sick so I get to sit here and watch TV and have others wait on me".

Removal of stress, reduction of protein intake (possibly even removal altogether for a temporary period as in the Breuss diet) taken together with exercise, I suspect are good therapies.

I firmly believe that the right food (no animal protein only vegetable protein which is assimilated differently, organic food to minimise the stress on the body of insecticides and other chemicals) and supplements, combined with no stress (yes that means giving up work and resolving personal conflicts and failed relationships), filling life with interesting experiences and thoughts (helped by stimulating reading) and combining daily exercise to degrade the weak tumour tissue and have it denied protein by the body (which requires protein elsewhere to fortify the body arising from exercising muscles), can all combine to minimise the hazard.

At least it may buy some time until some other 'medical' solution can be proven.

For the management of pain: reiki. Works for me every time!

*************************************************************

7.0 Thalidomide

My new thoracic physician tells me that they believe thalidomide suppresses the development of new blood vessels. Since the ever-growing tumours need to develop new blood vessels in order to supply themselves with nutrients through the blood, thalidomide might suppress tumour growth.

So, if you were to follow a chemo therapy regime, one strategy could be to take thalidomide to stop the feeding of the tumours, along with something else to destroy the weaker cancer cells.

My thoracic physician tells me that one 69 year old woman who has been taking thalidomide along with other chemo, has dramatically reduced her tumours (by about 85%) here in Sydney in the December 2000 - June 2001 period.

*************************************************************

8.0 Other Positive Chemo Results

Furthermore, another person here has just as dramatically reduced his/her tumours by following a new chemo therapy, which is part of a world-wide trial of a combination of drugs (involving 500 people). She started in December 2000 and has been the subject of a formal presentation by my oncologist to a group of medicos at a conference here in Sydney.

I should find out more by the end of August 2001 on this trial.

*************************************************************

9.0 Miscellaneous 'Stuff'

Solbec Pharmaceuticals

Have a look at Solbec Pharmaceuticals Limited for information on a possible future 'cure'. Amazing results with mesothelioma cells in laboratory experiments.

http://www.solbec.com.au/home.html

You'll need to carefully browse through every category to find the information but look for the "projects" section and Solbec's work on cancer. There are graphs and charts on the effectiveness of their plant derivative on various cancer cells (including mesothelioma).

I've spoken to the managing Director on a couple of occasions and Solbec's work looks promising.

Unique Water

20 years ago I read about cattle and sheep which were living to 24 years of age (normal animals would live to 12 years of age) in an area of NSW here in Australia called the Monaro (the highlands of NSW down in the snow country), where I used to live as a small boy. Cattle were still giving birth at 22 years of age and had an unusual incidence of twins (8% likelihood when the average for cattle is 0.5%). The statistics are accurate because the 7 privately-owned properties where these animals were 'farmed' were in fact stud farms, which needed to keep strict records of blood lines etc. This they had been doing for the past 100 years or so.

This phenomenon has been researched by the Australian Government through its CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation) since 1955. Over the ensuing years, the CSIRO focussed on genetics as the reason. But many of us always thought it was the water in the area, which drained through granite and basalt rocks, because there were many locals who lived to very ripe old ages (90 - 100 years), which was unusual in the 1970's in Australia.

Fortunately, a biochemist took an interest in this phenomenon and after nearly 20 years (I think this is correct) undertaking specific research on the water in the area, during which he discovered the water had an unusual mix of magnesium salts, he formulated an hypothesis about cell chemistry, acidity/alkalinity, carbon dioxide, poor diet and ageing.

Anyway, the short version is that by taking in alkaline water with these salts, the body transports the bicarbonates to the individual cells, where the bicarbonates neutralise the carbon dioxide in the cells (which otherwise leads to cell degradation and susceptibility to cancer amongst other things).

The other bonus is that this type of water has a relatively high pH (ie. its alkaline) where water would normally be neutral. By ingesting alkaline water and alkaline food groups (ie. vegetables not meats), the body can change its makeup to a more alkaline organism, in which cancer has difficulty in thriving (at least many other researchers believe this to be so -- researchers unrelated to this exercise).

Am I taking this water now? Of course. The factory is only 6km (4 miles) away from home. The cost? $1.25 AUST per 600ml bottle. Less than the cost of soft drink.

How much do I need to take? In my case, with a serious cancer illness, about 3 litres per day (about 2/3 of a gallon) taken on an empty stomach (I guess that would probably mean a half hour before meals). The problem? Two national television news programmes have reported on the hypothesis and the product and four other evening lifestyle news programmes have aired the story. The outcome? The small factory is running extra shifts of workers and cannot keep up with the demand from people who have turned up at the factory gates to buy cases of the water. The product is not sold retail. The current limit is 5 cases per head but they will have run out by tomorrow. Fortunately, the patent holder and the factory owners (a small family who sold out once before in the 1960's to Coca-Cola), have vowed that this time they are not selling and it will stay as a family enterprise and money is not the motive.

For those who are still awake, I'll keep you informed as life rolls along. For those who are covered in cobwebs with boredom -- sorry. But having read the earlier paragraphs, you're not really surprised, now are you?!

Plastic Wraps and Plastic Food Containers

"Carcinogens -- At 10,000,000 Times FDA Limits" Options May 2000. Published by People Against Cancer, 515-972-4444; COPYRIGHT 2001 The Townsend Letter Group COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.

As a seventh grade student, Claire Nelson learned that di(ethylhexyl) adepate (DEHA), considered a carcinogen, is found in plastic wrap. She also learned that the FDA had never studied the effect of microwave cooking on plastic-wrapped food. Claire began to wonder: "Can cancer-causing particles seep into food covered with household plastic wrap while it is being microwaved?"

Three years later, with encouragement from her high school science teacher, Claire set out to test what the FDA had not. Although she had an idea for studying the effect of microwave radiation on plastic-wrapped food, she did not have the equipment. Eventually, Jon Wilkes at the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Arkansas, agreed to help her. The research center, which is affiliated with the FDA, let her use its facilities to perform her experiments, which involved microwaving plastic wrap in virgin olive oil.

Claire tested four different plastic wraps and "found not just the carcinogens but also xenoestrogen was migrating [into the oil]....". Xenoestrogens are linked to low sperm counts in men and to breast cancer in women.

Throughout her junior and senior years, Claire made a couple of trips each week to the research center, which was 25 miles from her home, to work on her experiment. An article in Options reported that [h]er analysis found that DEHA was migrating into the oil at between 200 parts and 500 parts per million. The FDA standard is 0.05 parts per billion. " Her summarized results have been published in science journals. Claire Nelson received the American Chemical Society's top science prize for students during her junior year and fourth place at the International Science and Engineering Fair (Fort Worth, Texas) as a senior.

_____________

more...

Dr. Edward Fujimoto from Castle Hospital on the program is the manager of the Wellness Program at the hospital. He was talking about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers.

This applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxins into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body. Dioxins are carcinogens and highly toxic to the cells of our bodies.

Instead, he recommends using glass, Corning Ware, or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results without the dioxins. So such things as TV dinners, instant saimin and soups, vegetables, etc. should be removed from the container and heated in something else.

Paper isn't bad but you don't know what is in the paper. Just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He said we might remember when some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

"How to Heal Cancer"

What follows has some fascinating information. You may choose to ignore the blatant 'plug' for the sale of products but don't let that sway you from seriously considering the information.

Johanna Budwig Revisited

or

How To Heal Cancer

" This is probably the most important article on cancer you will ever read.† Just recently I sat and interviewed a genius who has continued and expanded on Johanna Budwig's work. I returned to my office to do some homework (research, reading, etc.) and finally, I fully understand what's going on, and I'm passing it on to you.

First there was Otto Warburg who was awarded the 1931 Nobel Prize for medicine for his describing the metabolism of a cancer cell. He stated that the cell suddenly became anaerobic (without oxygen) and required massive amounts of glucose (sugar) to metabolize in a form that could only be described as fermentation:

" The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the normal oxygen respiration of body cells by an anaerobic cell respiration." -- Otto Warburg

That is only the beginning.

The cell takes in glucose (sugar; cancer loves sugar) and gives off lactic acid which creates an acidic environment. Again, this is something that has been known for years. Cancer needs an acidic environment to flourish, and conversely, cannot survive in a balanced alkaline environment.

But again, this is still only the beginning. As Dr Garnett discovered in his research for Poly-MVA, there is an electrical connection to cancer too.

Chinese medicine for centuries (some 4 to 6 thousand years ago) has described the life force as energy. They mapped the meridian system that was re-mapped in 1994 by conventional medicine (using high-tech instruments that measured the tiniest amount of electricity). Along these meridians travels our life force: Chi (Qi) according to the Chinese, though we can call it energy.

As an aside, in 1968 it was discovered that living cells produce light. The amount of light determines the health of the cell. The brighter the light, the healthier the cell. Interesting stuff, eh?

In the fifties, Johanna Budwig added her two cents to the cancer equation. She said that in normal, healthy cells " we find a dipolarity between the electrically positive nucleus and the electrically negative cell membrane with its highly unsaturated fatty acid."

She goes on to state that, " Electrons have a great affinity for oxygen-they love it. They attract oxygen and stimulate our breathing…." By "breathing" she's referring to the breath of life in each living cell.

Now we have the picture of the healthy cell, a cell that will grow, thrive, and replicate in a normal manner. Budwig then goes on to describe the formation of cancer by first describing the changes to the cell membrane.

The cell membrane consists of lipids, or fats. The highly unsaturated fatty acid she refers to are called omega-3 fatty acids. These are related to the "fish oils" that even conventional medicine has picked up on. You won't find a drug store in America that doesn't have a row of fish oils on sale. These oils are also found in other foods (as we will show you below), but mostly in flax.

Another lipid in a cell wall is cholesterol. And you thought it was a terrible thing. The cholesterol in each one of your cells forms a "hydrophobic" bond within the cell wall. Hydrophobic means "fear of water." It's a cute way to describe this function of our cells, but in our lives it simply describes the reason we don't melt in a rainstorm or fall apart when we take a shower or bath. Our cells resist water. Without this resistance, we would be water-soluble and we'd all dissolve in a rainstorm.

Our diets in this country (and in Budwig's country at the time) lack these highly unsaturated fatty acids and contain an excess of man made oils known as trans fats (or partially hydrogenated oils). These oils are very much like cholesterol and our bodies cannot tell the difference. These oils get into our cell walls and destroy the electrical charge. Without the charge, our cells start to suffocate. Without the oxygen, the only way the cell can replicate is anaerobically. (They also are very tough oils and have a 20-year shelf life. They impede the process of cellular exchange, or letting nutrition in and letting wastes out. Trans fats are also responsible for Type II diabetes, since insulin is a very large molecule it has a difficult time passing through a cell wall created with man made fats and not cholesterol.)

Do you see what's happening?

Let's take a minute to look at our diets. I once went to the store with a naturopath who took along an instrument that measured very small amounts of electricity. It was so sensitive that before we went he measured the charges along my meridians and acupuncture points.

In the store, he measured the energy inside various foods. Yes, everything has energy and the better the food, the more the energy. He showed me that organic vegetables contained more energy than conventionally grown foods. When we got outside, he opened a few cans of vegetables we'd picked up. The beans and tomatoes (both canned) had more energy than the asparagus and canned fruits (which were nearly dead). He said that tomatoes and beans are the only vegetables to buy canned.

Life is electrical. To the Oriental physician, disease begins with a blockage or disruption in energy flow. In this country, disease begins with symptoms. The blockage or disruption in energy flow is about 7 or 8 steps before symptoms. So, as you can guess, preventative medicine is practiced in the Orient, and not here in our western, conventional medicine.

Back to our little cancer cell and Dr Budwig: she states there are many reasons for a cell to lose its charge, but peanut butter is a very common one. Can you believe it? Something as simple as peanut butter causing your cancer? Most peanut butters are hydrogenated. Why? To keep from separating. Go look at your natural peanut butters. Many are kept in the refrigerator section because that is how they keep them from separating.

By the way, she also went on to describe some of the collateral damage from chemotherapy: she said that chemotherapy causes this loss of energy in healthy cells too; that chemotherapy and radiation destroyed the normal energy flow in healthy cells making them ripe for cancer. She attacked the cancer industry for killing the cancer when they should focus on healing the healthier cells so they could over grow the cancer cells. In other words, take care of the healthy cells and the cancer will take care of itself.

A little aside here: as a writer, I must be responsible for all I write. If I make a claim that the National Cancer Institute buried hydrazine sulfate by killing off the cancer patients in a study, then I'd better be able to back this up. We have laws in this country. We are not free to lie about a business and in doing so cause them monetary damage. If you pass on a chain letter that libels a specific company, you are guilty of libel and can be prosecuted (there's a case already on record). So, anything I say at my web site or here in these newsletters had better be backed up with facts or I can be sued.

This is what happened to Dr Budwig when she attacked the cancer industry. She attacked them thusly: " It is not correct to regard the problem of tumors simply as a problem of too much growth and thereby to instigate all manners and means of growth inhibiting treatments…."

The Central Committee for Cancer Research that was studying and creating these chemotoxic drugs didn't like this woman running around making these statements that surely injured their industry and so they sued her in court for libel: for telling lies and hurting the wonderful people making these wonderful drugs.

In court, the judge, after having reviewed the evidence from both sides, pulled the cancer research people aside and told them not to take on this woman. The court records quote the presiding judge: " Doctor Budwig's documents and papers are conclusive. There would be a scandal in the scientific worlds, because the public would certainly support Doctor Budwig."

Do you understand the import of this? This woman had a documented method for healing cancer and the medical community did not. They could kill cancer cells, but they couldn't cure it. Budwig could help heal cancer by diet alone.

Now the real sad part is, science has known the cancer/fat connection for years. Years prior to Budwig's research they knew there was something in the fat. Years after her initial work we know that a high fat diet can lead to cancer. We also know that the Mediterranean diet is 60% fat, but they have a very low incidence of cancer. So we know that not all fats are the same. The Mediterranean diet is high in olive oil.

And now, you know about highly unsaturated fatty acids, commonly referred to as omega-3 fatty acids. They are also called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). They are called essential not because they are optional. They are not optional. They are essential to health because the body cannot make them itself.

And though they have been essential to health since the beginning of time, it is only recently that a group of international experts gathered at The National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C. to discuss the importance of Omega 3 fatty acids to human health. They came up with a recommendation for AI (Adequate Intake) of 2.2 grams of LNA (Alpha Linolenic Acid, the EFA found in flax, fish, olive, and other oils). AI is different from the RDA (Required Daily Allowance) which is determined by our government. Many nutritionists feel that the RDAs, as established, are just enough to keep us all on the verge of illness.

How can we get this requirement into our diet?

Many people take flax oil pills or brave a spoonful of the oil itself. Apparently, this is not the best or most effective way to take flax oil. Taking flax oil creates an acidic environment. Next, flax oil alone is missing all the co-factors to potentiate its benefits: magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, etc. Co-factors are those things that help something to work. Vitamin C is not ascorbic acid; vitamin C is ascorbic acid with the co-factors bioflavanoids, copper, and calcium.

And finally, taking flax oil capsules is not the best way to take it because the oils are not "body-compatible:" water-soluble and bio-available. They will not be stored in the body as well as if they were water-soluble. The health benefits that are potentially received via fatty acid metabolism will be limited or absent without the conversion to water-solubility.

Johanna Budwig solved this problem with her simple recipe that made the oils water-soluble: three tablespoons of flax oil to a third of a cup of cottage cheese. It tastes terrible, but I've experimented with this recipe and added all sorts of good stuff to make it even better.

In this form, mixed with the sulfured protein, the oil becomes water-soluble. Now the oils will stay with your body. They will bring the charge back into each cell. Healthy cells will flourish and unhealthy cells will starve. The oxygenated healthy non-acidic environment will, as Budwig points out in her lectures, knock out the cancer cells.

Can we get these oils from our foods? Yes, but to get 2.2 grams of LNA, you would have to eat….

2.5 cups of Wheat Germ

40 cups of Alfalfa Sprouts

9 cups of Mixed Nuts and Peanuts

157 slices of Whole Wheat Bread

1/3 cup English Walnuts

56 Big Apples

3.5 cups Tuna Salad

51 Eggs (6 Free-Range Eggs!)

7.75 quarts Milk 2%

244 Tomatoes

56 Granola Bars

72 Canned Sardines

81 cups Frosted Mini Wheats

So, as you can see, it's going to be difficult to get your daily requirements from your diet alone. And here I have a very special surprise for you.

I interviewed the man who has continued on Johanna Budwig's work, here in Minnesota. Omega-3 fatty acids (EFAs) have a long history here in Minnesota. They were first discovered at the University of Minnesota in the late twenties, and some 20 years later were named "Omega"-3 fatty acids.

His name is Stan Mann, and he has not only discovered a process for stabilizing milled flax seed (it normally goes rancid in just fifteen minutes), he's created a product from this process that adds rice bran, many other nutritional co-factors to aid in fatty acid metabolism such as magnesium B6, B12, Vit C, Vit E, zinc, and others.

Even greater amounts of antioxidant spectrums are added to help control the living fire that is created when your cells are suddenly hit with this "super" oxidative nutrition (Additionally, when cells find super nutrition, they dump their toxins immediately and without antioxidants to help clean up, you could get sick and feel terribly rotten from this process).

Working with the University Scientists, Stan has also helped to create a blood test that will measure how your body is storing these essential fats in addition to or in place of unhealthy fats. They've even trademarked one blood test whose results are called the Inflammation Index. It actually measures the body's potential to produce inflammation.

Inflammation should interest all of you, since the medical news lately, as well as television commercials, are hot with Cox2 inhibiting anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex or Vioxx. Next time you see their ad on TV, pay attention to the side effects. Science cannot inhibit the Cox2 without side effects. Your NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin or Motrin) all have terrible side effects and if you use them over a period of time you WILL feel the effects, because they are not just "side" effects, they ARE the effects of these drugs.

You see, when you inhibit the Cox2 enzyme using NSAIDS this same process inhibits Cox1 production and hence all prostaglandin production, even those prostaglandins that are protecting the stomach lining and kidney function. This produces the side effects.

This was supposed to be fixed with the new Cox2 inhibitors that do not inhibit Cox1 production, but sadly, look at the side effects.

Let's go back a bit here to Johanna Budwig. There is a book available by her called: Flax Oil As a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer, and Other Diseases. I used this book to help write this article. Now I want you to note that she aims at three disorders: heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Yes, there are the other diseases (like behavioral disorders: ADD, ADHD, and a host of others), but note the arthritis. This is just one more connection between her work and Stan Mann's work. With continued intake of water-soluble omega-3 fatty acids, your Inflammation Index drops and you do not need you need less and less NSAIDS or Cox2 inhibitors which both increase their effectiveness but reduces their damaging side effects. This was proven by the good Dr Budwig, and Stan, with his new product, Omegasentials ™, has taken it all one step further creating a product that is easily taken daily(you can put it on your cereal, in your yogurt, or in your morning breakfast juice). His company is also about to print an educational book that provides recipe ideas for all kinds of ways to incorporate the valuable supplement in your normal dietary habits like cookies, breads, muffins, salads, etc.

Let me tell you right now, in all my years of researching cancer, Omegasentials™ is the single most exciting product I have found to date. Johanna Budwig, in her life time, helped to heal more cancers than Sloan Kettering, the Mayo Clinic, and MD Anderson all together. This new product, Omegasentials™, takes her work a step further. Mix it with water and you'll see that it is already water-soluble. The oils do not rise to the top. It contains all the co-factors that potentiate (make work better) the action of omega-3 fatty acids, and they add the antioxidants needed to help control the healing oxidative energy created by bringing healthy oils into the body

(not to mention cleaning up dead cancer cells).

As an added bonus, they include Tuna Oil to the formula. Stan Mann happens to be a vegan. Vegans do not eat fish products. However, he felt so strongly about how our bodies need the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid; important for maintaining the fluidity and function of cell membranes, particularly in the retina and the brain) from fish oils, that he felt he had to include it in this product. Why? Because the average American either drinks too much caffeine, alcohol, or smokes too much and uses up their stores of DHA. Even those of us who don't smoke take in enough second hand smoke that depletes our DHA.

DHA, when stored in your body, fights depression. It is theorized that Postpartum Depression is caused by the developing fetus, who needs DHA for brain development, during the last stages of pregnancy, pulls all the DHA from the mother (there usually isn't all that much to begin with since our diets are so poor) leaving her bereft of DHA, hence the massive depression after giving birth. Increase the stores of DHA and you help prevent that depression and possibly get off your Prozac or whatever other drug that's helping you with one hand and killing you with the other.

Anti-angiogenesis Drugs?

With all the brouhaha (because they're non toxic) about anti-angiogenesis drugs (the drugs that stop the growth of new blood vessels to a tumor) lately, perhaps you should know this: You already know that I prefer natural anti-angiogenesis substances to the drugs (because they are cheaper and safer) but did you know that your polyunsaturated oils (corn oils sold in supermarkets everywhere) promote the growth of small blood vessels (by promoting the production of "bad" prostaglandins)?

Just Say No To Drugs

Omega-3 oils, the oils found in Budwig's recipe and in Omegasentials™ inhibit angiogenesis by inhibiting the prostaglandins that promote it.

So, there you have it. Omegasentials is the best product I've yet to find to prevent and fight existing cancers, reverse heart disease, prevent and treat arthritis, prevent and treat depression and a variety of mental disorders, and it has one more added benefit to you athletes out there.

Remember back where Johanna Budwig talked about how electrons loves oxygen? Well, the company making Omegasentials™, Integrity Direct, Inc., is receiving letters from their users. And these letters are confirming what Stan Mann theorized all along.

If you've ever worked out, you've probably felt that "burn" you get from a good work out whether you're lifting weights, playing tennis, or running long distances. It's caused by using up your oxygen stores. The muscles then produce lactic acid by burning glycogen without oxygen, and this lactic acid is what causes the burn.

The letters from users tell a different story. No matter how much they work out, lift, or run, they feel less and less of the burn; not during, or even after their workout. Recovery is much, much quicker too:

From Mike and Kati who successfully participated in the World Duathelon Championships held in October 2000 in France: " I was third overall and Mike was first in his age group too, and the amazing thing is we weren't hurting afterward!" Mike said, ' My gosh, my legs just don't hurt,' and we both were expecting them to the next day, and they didn't! So, it's going exactly the way you said it was, and we can't thank you enough…."

Quick note: Microhydrin™ is one other product that helps athletes avoid this lactate production. You can read about Dr Flanagan and his discoveries at:

www.mnwelldir.org/docs/flanagan.htm or go to this site: www.hearttoheartassociates.com click on Microhydrin and have fun.

So we come back to the basics: "Let your food be your medicine." When your body gets the nutrition it needs you stay healthy. If you are sick, you get better. This is the best food product I've yet to discover and you will not ever find my home without it.

Something Special For My Readers

The suggested retail price for Omegasentials is $25 per bottle. Go to www.integritydirectinc.com and you can order it for $20 per bottle, but if you call them at 952-891-1430 and tell them that the Wellness Directory of Minnesota sent you, you can order a case of Omegasentials (or some Omegavores Energy Bars) and get a special 30% case discount off the suggested retail prices.

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Antideppressants

The following is a response I sent on the ACOR Mesothelioma List in response to an enquiry from another participant about his father and his father's depression:

From: James In Sydney <jfirbank@OPTUSHOME.COM.AU>

Date: Fri Apr 19, 2002 06:09:13 AM Australia/Sydney

To: MESOTHELIOMA@LISTSERV.ACOR.ORG

Subject: Re: [MESOTH] R: [MESOTH] from Italy

Reply-To: "MESOTHELIOMA (Cancer) Support & Information"

<MESOTHELIOMA@LISTSERV.ACOR.ORG>

Cosimo,

I took anti-depressants for about 6 weeks when Jane observed me to be in a state of depression.

I now know after experiencing life with them, how much better I felt and how much more relaxed I felt and how much more I enjoyed life.

I also now know how a drug addict must feel and how dependent you could become on them too !

So, Dad might like to try that approach for awhile.

However, I no longer take them and am coping again, now (I think).

Rather than continue to take anti-depressants orally, I decided to immerse myself in them by buying a new car. Of course, since my cancerous body cannot tolerate the chemicals out-gassing from the upholstery of a new car, it had to be a convertible (sorry kids but Dad's health must come first !!!) and no, this had nothing to do with the girls drinking lattes in the piazza, who the salesman assured me would throw themselves into the car if I just slowly meandered past their tables.

So, I just ordered my own Ferrari this week. Well, not quite a Ferrari, more like a Mazda MX5 Turbo (a two-seater rear wheel drive roadster). I'm having it fitted with a flying foxtail (Oh and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank a most generous and most accommodating fox), fluffy dice hanging from the rear view mirror and a poodle puppy strapped in just behind the two seats. Guaranteed chick puller.

It arrives in about two weeks.

What do you think girls?

Now all I need is a piazza to meander through.

Have to go Cosimo -- here comes Jane.

James from Oz

Pleurodesis

The following is a response I sent on the ACOR Mesothelioma List in response to an enquiry from another participant about her mother and her mother's forthcoming surgery:

From: James In Sydney <jfirbank@optushome.com.au>

Date: Sat Apr 20, 2002 10:10:30 AM Australia/Sydney

To: Elaine Masten <nanae52@yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: MOM IN MICHIGAN--USA

Hello Elaine.

A "pleurodesis" (which I have had), involves 'glueing' the outer lining of the lung (the pleura) to the inner lining of the chest wall (the pleura), using talc and antibiotics.

The idea is to encapsulate the tumours and prevent them from generating fluid, which would otherwise drain down to the floor of the chest cavity and crush the lung as the fluid builds up over time. Such a phenomenon is common with mesothelioma and one of the reasons why we become short of breath (due to the reduced capacity of the lung to expand since it has been crushed by fluid).

However, there is strong evidence to suggest that you can stop the fluid by diet and supplements (and other protocols), thereby preventing the need for the pleurodesis in the first place.

In my case (and I believe with most cases), they entered from the back not from the front by taking out a rib.

However, it is commonplace that the pleurodesis is not 100% effective anyway. You can imagine how difficult it must be to efficiently and/or comprehensively achieve an outcome whereby the entire chest wall is glued to the entire lung. The surgeon only needs to miss a certain area which might still generate fluid.

This is my understanding from the point of view of a patient with no professional training.

I hope this helps.

Love from James in Oz.

*************************************************************

10.0 Summary

Here's what I've learned along the way, much of which is very very difficult for me to 'digest' because I'm what my daughters describe as a conservative engineer and was a work-a-holic with no leisure time:

Of the thousands of people exposed to asbestos, only a small percentage develops grave symptoms. In my case and in the cases of those people whom I have interviewed and in 7 other cases known to my naturopath (a wonderful woman of 79 years who looks and talks as if she were 60), onset of the disease appears to be able to be tracked back to one or more extremely emotionally distressing events, which may have occurred 2 - 5 years earlier. Such events, it would seem, have lowered the patients' immune systems, enabling the tumours to develop and take hold. [I know this is in no way a statistically significant sample but I am just telling it the way it is].

A positive attitude is essential but of itself is not enough. A positive attitude is not something you can wear like a cloak. I have lost count of the number of people (without cancer) who glibly told me "You can beat this James - just develop a positive attitude". The positive attitude is something that must be derivative - ie. A state of mind which arises from a series of related prior decisions about:

  • life
  • self
  • relationships with others
  • nourishment of the body and mind.

A sense of joy must be introduced into life along with variety, stimulus and exciting events to look forward to. A variety of reading and other stimuli (theatre, movies etc). Avoid stressful experiences (such as violent or distressing movies).

Giving up work to remove stress appears to be essential. To this end, after 6 months I am now only working 2 days each week, which will reduce even further to nil shortly. Don't say silly things like "I won't let it beat me". Stop work and survive on unemployment benefits (which are OK in Australia) and change the lifestyle if necessary and do without the luxuries but survive!

Eating organic food appears to be significant. Also, no bacon (nitrates and sulphates???). No fried food (most oils become carcinogenic if either heated above a certain temperature or if they are re-heated having been used once for cooking -- of course, all fast food outlets use oils that have been continuously reheated).

No alcohol - a poison and an unnecessary load on the liver.

No meat. In Australia every cow is injected for the Brucellus virus; chickens are injected with hormones and fed food laced with chemicals and hormones. This ban also extends to seafood, other than deep sea fish occasionally. Small deep sea fish of any species are acceptable, so long as they are at the bottom of the food chain to minimise the likelihood of ingesting chemical runoff from the mainland or from boat harbours/moorings (marine antifoulants in the water). In any event, the idea appears to be to restrict protein intake so there is no surplus left over for superfluous tissue such as cancer tumours to grow. The thinking is that the body will naturally distribute ingested protein to those essential parts of the body which are in the original 'blueprint' and will only allow protein to be distributed to cancer tissue if there is a surplus to normal requirements.

No grains - other than perhaps oats.

If you are not going to try fasting, then you need to hit the problem with the natural enzymes and anti-oxidants that only fresh fruit and vegetables can supply. At least 3 fresh juices daily prepared from organic fruit and vegetables - particularly green vegetables. As a guide, perhaps 600ml to 1 litre daily as an average.

Light daily exercise (no debilitating heavy weights or marathons) for at least 30 minutes with the pulse rate at a safe but elevated level. That is, not just a leisurely stroll occasionally but energetic exercise which generates a sweat. [Some may need to build up to this level over time].

Meditation daily.

'Essiac' or sheep sorrel mixture daily. CoQ10 and vitamins.

Attention to the home: no new wall paint (other than biologically inert paint - very hard to find); no new carpets (chemicals outgassing from carpets which have been treated to prevent staining, carpet beetle infestation, mildew resistance etc); reduction of EMF's around bedheads etc (i.e. make sure there are no unshielded wires behind the bedhead); if you use an electric blanket to heat the bed, turn it off and remove it from the wall outlet before going to bed.

No use of mobile phones next to the cranium; no new cars (that new car smell is toxic).

So, there is hope. Be prudent but DO NOT PANIC.

When (and if) you have surgery, make sure you know it to be the best option by cross-checking with alternative therapists in order to 'test' the approach of your conventional medical advisers. I've learnt so much since I started my journey and I am a little jaded with conventional medicine. This is all the more surprising since I started out on this journey as an engineer (which means I had a philosophy somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan as my daughters would tell you). Therefore, for me to suggest there might be something else on offer out there, which the doctors won't tell you about, is quite something.

I don't know whether there are solutions but I can confirm the outstanding results above, which have been achieved by others here in Australia.

Put simply, my research suggests that having the lung removed may cause more problems than it solves.

God bless you all. I hope you all make the right choices.

Update May 2003

I started chemotherapy (Alimta + Carboplatin) in December 2002 because my disease had progressed to the point where I was advised by more than one doctor that I only had a few weeks of life left. Due to a range of personal issues (divorce, property settlement, business losses etc), I ' fell off my perch ', stopped my diet, supplements and meditation protocols. The disease progressed rapidly. My CAT scans tell the story of what happened next:

Herewith the images:

Image #1: Chest scan of 4.12.02

Note the mediastinum (windpipe, bronchial tubes and heart etc) has been displaced across the chest (to the left as you view the image but which is actually towards the right side of the chest). The mediastinum appears as the darker 'pipe' leading from the bottom of the chin (at the top of the image). The first image on the left is a ".jpeg" file, whereas the second image on the right is a ".tiff" file:

*** RE-POSTED OCTOBER 28, 2003 ***