We were inspired to make cancer the main theme of this issue of WDDTY by a miracle (or so conventional medicine would view it). It concerns my own 77 year old mother and the work and methods of Dr Patrick Kingsley.
The story began on a Sunday last March when my father told me in confidence that my mother was to see the local doctor the following day because lumps had developed on one of her breasts. There was no history of cancer in the family, as far as I was aware, and I tried to assure my very anxious father that lumps were common and were often benign.The following evening my father phoned with the shattering news that the lumps were indeed malignant, but they were so advanced that it was too late to perform chemotherapy or any other intervention. The doctor prescribed Tamoxifen and morphine as a powerful painkiller.
It appears my mother had been secretly nursing the lumps for 18 months and had been dressing what had become open ulcerated sores.
So powerful was the morphine that my mother collapsed in the street and again at home. I spoke to the doctor who believed this was a direct result of the cancer. He tried to prepare us for my mother's death, which he estimated would be within three months.
It was pretty obvious to us that the morphine, and not the cancer, was causing my mother to collapse. He had prescribed so powerful a drug because my mother said she wanted something for the pain; on seeing the open sores, he had assumed the pain was great, although he never asked. In fact, the pain was slight, and mother just wanted some powerful aspirin.
We suggested she come off the morphine and, to her credit, she agreed. The next challenge was greater.
Fortunately, because of our association with medical pioneers through our work at WDDTY, we were aware of the good work of Dr Patrick Kingsley, particularly in treating MS sufferers. But could he help people with terminal cancer?
So confident was he that we were able to convey that assurance back to my mother who, from the outset, was to believe implicitly that Patrick could and would cure her.
Nothing would make her waiver from that view, even though Patrick's treatment must have been far removed from anything she had experienced before.
His first concern was her diet. After a blood test, he immediately put her on a strict exclusion diet which cut out many of the food and drink dairy products, wheat and the like that formed the staple of her daily regimen.
The treatment must have seemed equally as bizarre. Patrick believes cancer can be treated with very large dosages of vitamin C and other antioxidants. This is aided by intravenous doses of oxygen peroxide; oxygen is lethal when introduced directly into the blood stream, but supposedly safe when administered in this method.
The diet is also vital in the treatment. Patrick maintains that many of us have allergic reactions to many everyday foods which can trigger disease and also inhibit the body's natural defences.
For the first month or so, my mother would make trips to Patrick's surgery in a small village called Osgathorpe twice a week for her intravenous treatment.
She immediately started to look better, presumably a combination of the drugs and the restriction on the foods that were apparently giving her an allergic reaction. But was she really going to be cured?
It is a question on which Patrick would never be drawn. The cancer might recede (and so presumably could return if she returned to her "poisonous" diet) but a patient was never cured as such, or so it appeared.
Cure or no, my mother was making great strides. Within three months, her visits were down to one a week, the health visitor was calling just once a week instead of every day to dress her wounds, and she was starting to take the vitamins in powder form to complement the intravenous treatments.
Within the last month, the lumps have disappeared, the sores save one have completely healed, and she now visits Patrick just once a fortnight.
Two weeks ago the local doctor who had issued the death sentence asked to see my mother's breast. It was a look to treasure, said my mother afterwards, and to him it was a recovery of a sort he had never seen before.
My mother accepts that cancer will always be a part of her life, that she must always be vigilant through a good diet and taking vitamins.
In treating cancer with the anti oxidant vitamins, Patrick seems to be years ahead of the medical establishment which, just last month, confirmed vitamins may contribute to its prevention. They have yet to endorse oxygen peroxide therapy or indeed to embrace all of Patrick's findings on diet and allergic reactions. (Indeed, a recent medical journal attempted to label a new allergy test of his dangerous.)
Although most women are urged to seek help at the first sign of a lump, in our case, we were lucky that she waited so long. Most likely, it was only because medicine considered her a lost cause that she agreed to go along with our unconventional suggestion in the first place. In a sense she is unique one of the few patients who has had nutritional treatment with no orthodox intervention none of the cutting, burning or poisoning that might have weakened her system further.
Equally significant, I believe, was my mother's unswerving belief and trust in her doctor. This had a lot to do with Patrick's approach when she first saw him, his refusal to be discouraged by cancer or to betray any doubt. His confidence gave her hope and hope is saving her life.
Another essential factor was his steadfast refusal to characterize the likely path of her illness to make a judgement about "how long" the illness would linger or how long she would live. Very few doctors have the humility to realize that no scientist, no matter how learned, can predict how a given patient will respond to the challenge of illness and healing, or say with certainty who will live and who will die.