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Chapter 2, The Research

The Research Begins

That night my husband called from Europe and right away asked about the results. I think he was even more shocked than I had been. At first, he didn’t know what to say. Then he asked me what I was going to do and assured me he’d pray for me, but it was a very difficult thing to talk about. I briefly shared what the doctor had said, what my options were and what I was thinking and feeling about it so far, but, probably like most people, I knew so little about the subject and really wanted to make an educated decision.
I didn’t sleep much that night, or the next night or the next or the one after that! So many unknowns and blanks to be filled in, problems to be tackled, questions waiting for answers, decisions to be prayed about and carefully made: these are the kinds of things that kept my mind stimulated. What is cancer? Why is it in my body? Why is it so deadly? What natural methods are there for dealing with it? Etc., etc., etc. I prayed and prayed, but my prayers were unfocused and disjointed. This was indeed a time of confusion for me.
I used any free time I had researching about cancer on the Internet and re-reading the 2 books I had on the subject. I had already collected pages and pages of text on healthy eating, tips for effective exercising and the importance of getting enough sleep. But now my attention was focused on finding out what my options were for dealing with cancer.
I was at my target weight of around 57 kilos and I was 170 cm when this all started. I actually felt pretty good and had a normal amount of energy. I had only had one cold and no other sickness for a long time (except the gastritis nearly 2 years earlier.) Why did my body let me down with this? I wanted to find a natural means of healing and the more I read, the less I wanted to subject my body to the medical profession’s solution of the big three: slash/burn/poison. It just seemed so destructive!
One thing I found out right away when researching cancer was that nearly all the medical and scientific (mainstream and non-mainstream) articles contradicted each other regarding why cancer grows in the body, specifically, what feeds it, but there is nearly universal agreement on the many things we should do to prevent its occurrence.
Then as I searched and searched, especially looking for natural cures once one has the disease, I found quite a few different theories on both the path for healing and the understanding of what cancer is and how to look at it. There was certainly no consensus there about how to best get rid of it after you got it. Most everyone agrees on some great ways to prevent it, but after that, if you’re not inclined to go the pharmaceutical route, there’s a lot of pick and shovel work to do to find your own path and what you feel best suits you and your situation.
Living in Vietnam means special challenges regarding healthy choices. We have wonderfully fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables readily obtainable, but a great dearth of anything certified organic. There are countless pharmacies full of prescription medicines as freely accessible as over-the-counter remedies are in the West, but not a single health food store (that I can find) in the largest metropolis in the country! Even though there seem to be no nutritionists to be found, one thing that is available here in large quantities is traditional medicine doctors.
The Research Continues

Even though much of my time was occupied by our volunteer projects and prior commitments, it seemed the rest of my waking hours were mostly dedicated to reading everything I could find on how to cure cancer naturally.
I began to apply the guidelines in “A Cancer Battle Plan” as best as I could, but found it wasn’t as straight forward as it looked. Mainly, because I didn’t have a nutritionist or any other professional to advise me and in my zeal to get everything right, I put myself under too much pressure. I could hardly even enjoy my meals anymore because I was overly concerned about following the food-combining counsel, balancing the ph, keeping the right ratio of raw to cooked vegetables and getting enough protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. That problem began when I was diagnosed and continued for many months.
I owe a great deal of thanks to the friend who originally recommended the book. She handled my panicky e-mails with such grace and patience! God bless her! It was so comforting to be able to talk with someone who’d been there, had followed the advice in this book and the patient was cured! (She didn’t say he was cured because of the book, but felt that that could very well be the reason.) If you remember, earlier I mentioned that her husband had had lung cancer, went through all that the medical profession has to offer and was still not free from cancer, but was then “sent home to die”.
Another major blessing I have to mention here is our cook! She has been helping us for many years and is more like a member of the family than an employee. Besides her being willing to adapt to whatever we asked of her regarding the kitchen and our food preferences, she often shared very helpful information she learned from her sister who is quite wise in health matters and is very familiar with traditional Vietnamese remedies. She also knows about current trends in the market (that’s the local food market, not the money market!) and newly available produce as Vietnam’s agricultural industry grows. Very helpful.
When we told our cook about my cancer, she mentioned that her sister had been seeing a traditional Vietnamese herb doctor and that she and a friend had both experienced healing following his herbal treatment. She enthusiastically recommended him. Since we’d come to respect her sister as a consistent source of good advice in health matters, we decided to give this a try, too. It also seemed to fit very well with my overall plan to go the most natural route possible, aside from my first line of attack: prayer, which is of course, supernatural!
So, less than a week after being diagnosed with a 2 cm. long malignant tumor in my right breast, I found myself sitting on a plastic stool facing a pleasant-looking, traditional Vietnamese herb doctor. His office is located in a small building off a courtyard, adjacent to a local Buddhist temple, where there were often young men practicing martial arts there in the mornings. He spoke a little English with me, but I hadn’t expected that we’d communicate in English, so a close Vietnamese friend had come along to help as my Vietnamese language skills are limited.
He took my pulse on each wrist for some time, but didn’t do much else that I could see. We hadn’t told him my diagnosis yet as we wanted to hear him out first. If I remember right, he said right away that my stomach, liver and maybe kidneys were weak. After that, we told him about the breast cancer. He seemed only a little surprised, not like he’d been mistaken, but rather that I, a foreigner, had come to him with such a serious case.
We talked a bit through my interpreter and he said his plan was to take care of the organs he knew were not functioning properly and that somehow, at the same time the tumor would begin to shrink. In fact, he recommended that I go back to have the tumor checked in only 2-3 weeks after beginning his treatment. He said he wasn’t promising anything, but that he’d had another case of cancer before and that she had gotten healed. He expected the tumor to shrink.
The impression I have is that if people don’t have their symptoms checked using the standard Western medicine equipment, they might actually have cancer without knowing it. Then if they are treated by a herb doctor because of the discomfort or other symptoms and healed through traditional means, neither the doctor nor the patient would necessarily know what a “miracle” that was. They wouldn’t even see it as a miracle, because they know the herbs had done what they were “designed” to do (by the Great Designer).
So, I began drinking herb tea twice daily.

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