Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

20130301-162450.jpgSince western medicine offers no cure for stage 4 colorectal cancer, I became interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

I finally found a TCM practitioner who I feel had the right credentials, and is highly respected both in Australia and China.

The difference in attitude between east and west is very different and apparent within just few minutes of the initial consultation. Just like my qigong Master, the first thing he said is that we will beat this disease. He said that I am the healer and that he will just give me the tools to enable me to cure myself of my cancer. Overall a very positive attitude and you walk out feeling and believing that you will indeed beat this disease. Its most likely just false hope, but I believe that psychology has a lot of impact on physical and emotional wellbeing, which ultimately is reflected in the immune system.

In contrast, with western medicine, all traditional oncologist I consulted with simply told me that there was no cure, no hope for a cure and that my average life expectancy was 2 months without treatment, 12-36 months with treatment (assuming that it works that is). When you are told this, you feel devastated and feel like there is no hope. Still, it forced me to research alternative treatments and follow the path less travelled. Had my oncologist given me hope with chemo, I would most likely undergo dozens of chemo cycles until the cancer, or the treatment killed me. Many cancer patients, like one of my close friends, do not die of cancer itself, but the secondary infections due to a destroyed immune system. My friend almost beat his cancer, but died of pneumonia he contracted at the hospital where he was being treated and his immune system was too weak to fight it off.

Acupuncture

As part of my TCM treatment, I had my first acupuncture. I felt like a pin cushion, but it was not too bad till the doctor stuck a pin in-between the toes of my left foot. For some reason it hurt like hell. He then told me that this specific point was for liver detox. I found that very interesting considering that my liver is the major source of my trouble.

I was left alone in the room for the next twenty minutes with needles and all. I must say that I did feel extremely relaxed after the 20 minutes were up. I have not noticed any other obvious benefits. Unlike sessions with my qigong master, the acupuncture had no effect on my daily nausea. A pitty.

TCM Herbs

Lastly I was given 32 tablets containing extracts from various chinese herbs. (Great, more tablets. I was expecting raw herbs that I would brew as a tea, but I will enquire about this next week). I was also advised not to try too many different therapies at the same time so as not to congest my body and overwhelm the liver and other organs. This certainly is food for though and I will consult with the TCM doctor next week and go over and possibly prune my current supplement list. In addition to the herbs I got some weird powder, a mixture of 5 different flowers, I was told, to make into a smoothie 2x a day.

I was recommended yet again a different diet. Very few restrictions, with focus on light, easy to digest foods and preferably low GI. The 4 foods that were out were Sugar, White Rice, White Flour, Dairy and all processed foods.

I have scheduled weekly appointments with the TCM doctor and will continue to update my blog if there is any progress or noticeable benefits.

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About Ren

I have been diagnosed with stage 4, metastatic colorectal cancer in October 2012, 3 days after my 44th birthday. There is no cure, but I am determined to go down the road less travelled to find one. I have setup this blog to document my journey and hopefully help others in the process. My view is that if there is a cure, it does not lie with traditional chemo, but with the immune system. Time will tell.
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