“Cancer is a Gift”
By Steven Strong
I have heard this glib phrase many times before, and it always sounded just a touch trite and even more disrespectful. Any cancer is unpleasant, and when the words terminal and palliative are attachment to the prognosis, there seems to be no joy whatsoever. Even more so when my wife was told she had a very advanced primary liver cancer and there was no possible way for her to recover, and a stay of six months at most was all the medical experts could guarantee. Of all the primary cancer locations there seems to be none worse than the liver, the research is unequivocal in affording “a dismal prognosis” simply because ”no consistent survival benefits for anticancer agents in hepatocellular cancer have been recorded in approximately 100 randomized studies reported during the past 30 years.”
With all the medical facts collated and the white-fella medicine-chest empty outside pointing the bone, my wife was told there was no hope of survival because there wasn’t any drug on this planet that could help. With a blood cancer count of nearly 664,000 the primary tumour (hepatocellular carcinoma) in the liver measuring 15.5 cms x 12 cms (187.5 square cms), another large cancerous growth in the spleen and talk of four smaller lesions, the task at hand was beyond the ability of oncologist or surgeon. What they offered was a drug made of many chemicals difficult to pronounce, spell or swallow, that if taken at full dose and prepared to endure all manner of adverse reactions, could extend her life by up to two months. From this point until death there will be no idle talk of recovery, it was a downhill slope with one possible minor deviation.
At the time when the medical experts were passing verdict, within a second of hearing an opinion as to what could be the end-result, one ray of hope sprung to mind: Medicinal Cannabis Oil. My wife was in hospital for over a week and so grave was her condition the nurses suggested I sleep beside her. So debilitated was her general health and body, the charts recorded that she exhibited all the symptons of anorexia, and even after releasing her it was two weeks before the doctors felt confident enough to prescribe half dosage of this new drug that just might provide a brief stay of execution.
In the meantime an alternative natural regime of the highest calibre was being established in preparation for the first dose of the chemical poison with a ‘truck-load’ of side effects. Above and beyond this pressing need to defend the body there was an even higher priority, attack and neutralise the cancerous cells found in no less than six separate positions. We made no secret of our intention to combine three treatments, the illegal Cannabis Oil, Zeolite (to be discussed in the next article) and the mainstream manufactured drug Nexavar, and nor did the oncologist given my wife’s case make no secret of her disdain for our choice, adamant that the cannabis can “not kill one cancer cell.”
Three Months Later
My wife’s cancer count at her last blood sampling is 1,460, her main cancer has “decreased markedly” to a size of 30 square cms, the cancer in the spleen is “much smaller” and all other smaller cancers have been destroyed. The experts are stumbling in the dark deposited well outside their comfort zone and the professional assisting us is still in a state of denial. Without going into all the many components that lead to recovery, as this is meant to be an introduction, we are rapidly reaching the stage of full recovery and the potential of creating some sort of preventative dose to strengthen this remission.
Obviously the Medicinal Cannabis Oil and Zeolite will continue but at a lower dosage, the manufactured product has to go asap, as it creates too many unpleasant side-effects and that can only get worse. Will it be phased out quickly, gradually or completely discarded? The pace of exclusion really is the only question remaining.
To assist in deciding future directions, my wife’s oncologist sent us a copy of the research and science that led to this drug’s approval, and it is from this point her tale of an inconvenient medical success begins. This account is somewhat back the front in that we are using the present situation to provide a background setting, then we shall step back in time in detailing what happened after the bone was pointed and death-sentence proclaimed. We felt the reply I sent to the doctor who has been advising us highlights all the relevant science and provides not only proof that Cannabis Oil can kill liver cancer cells under the right conditions, but explains how this can come about. Until we can present the science and data retrieved, the officially sanctioned impossibility of recovery still remains as the major obstacle. Science insists these positive results cannot come about, so what comes next is a copy of my reply upon reading the official paper that led to this drug being approved for public use.
“Sorafenib in Advanced Heptocellular Carcinoma” (The New England Journal of Medicine, July 24, 2008)*:
NB. This is a direct copy of my response to the supervising oncologist, the only alteration was the changing of names so as to ensure the focus is only on the events and science, not people and places.
Thanks so much for sending the science and I have had a close look and I now understand why what is happening is difficult for you (and us) to absorb. I see the paper as purely positive.
I note the biggest hurdle is that primary liver cancer carries with it a “dismal prognosis” and there has been “no consistent survival techniques” available after over “100 trials over 30 years.” Therefore, what Del has is a death sentence, if relying solely on what is available in the ‘mainstream’ medicine-chest.
The trial was predicated upon no chance of defeating the cancer, and as such it is to be expected that “no patients had a complete response.” I noted that they included a “one sided false positive,” just in case through some miracle this mortality rate of 100% is upset-but that did not happen.
That being the case, the markers are actually “measured stages of regression,” and all that has to be done is measure the time occupied at each descending rung. They are actually factoring in as ‘gospel’ the “date of randomization until the date of death.” So there is no need to measure or expect a decrease in cancer blood count or tumour size, simply because the drug acts as an “inhibitor” and its assigned role is to “delay disease progression,” so death is inevitable and any other measurements serve no purpose.
The selected patients could only qualify for treatment if they had “well-preserved liver function.” As my wife almost died in hospital and with a cancer count of 664,000 she would have been rejected as a candidate. As for those whose livers met with the researcher’s approval, of the 299 who volunteered to take this experimental drug, no doubt with the hope of an improved condition or lengthier stay, “80% had adverse reactions,” 70% were so badly affected they either had a “dose reduction” or “interruption.” If only 71 remained and “468 had discontinued treatment,” the side effects are severe and this negative result seems to be downplayed through emphasising the extra time gained. But if miserable and unwell, what has been gained bar a proportional increase in illness and suffering? Living extra days yet feeling unwell and drained of energy is hardly an enticing bonus, and that view seems to be held by most who withdrew.
We suspect that a huge majority of those sampled are not from Grade 3 or 4, which is my wife’s category, but mainly contains patients from the less severe Grades 2 and 1, and from that group many had previous operations which failed to stem the flow, but their liver was still functioning. What still puzzles me is a selective and subjective claim that “five year survival rates of up to 60-70% can be achieved in well-selected patients.” “Up to” is not specific, and one can only assume the cream of the crop were chosen to highlight the positive aspects. But what is a “well-selected” client and how are such individuals recognised? Are we seeking the least damage to boost the averages, those with a positive outlook, someone just diagnosed in an early stage, or perhaps friends and relations of the main researchers? Not knowing the condition of the liver, cancer count or what Grade the “well-selected” patients brought to this equation, such poor science does raise concerns.
All we do now as a certainty is that if any operation was attempted, irrespective of the size and level ascribed, if just one cancer cell remains in the liver, it does return with accelerated vigour and no manufactured drug can stop its progress until death.
Now the pressing question relates to where do Del’s results fit into this paper and the answer is it does not, and the reason for this, in what seems a touch ironic, is clearly stated in the paper. The researchers, to their credit, were very candid in conceding their drug is lacking in a colleague and limited in its applications. They state that “Sorafenib is likely to delay progression,” which means it cannot reverse, only stem the flow. But there amongst the despair and limitations is one carrot.
“Future studies should assess the benefits of combined molecular therapy, as compared with Sorafenib alone.”
Absolutely, spot on, but they have no idea what other test tube conceived drug could effectively combine, just that there is a vacancy unfilled and is needed in attendance. The real pity is that they needed to look outside the laboratory and into the earth.
Arnold, as you no doubt know, the drug you prescribed works through “apoptosis,” what you are having some difficulty accepting is that apoptosis is the same ‘game plan’ employed by Medicinal Cannabis Oil. “Unlike chemotherapy … cannabis has the ability to seek out the affected cells and destroy them through apoptosis, reducing the size of the tumour. In other words, it actually possesses cancer-preventing properties.”
Before cringing in cynicism let me share with you three of the sources who support our belief Cannabis Medicinal Oil is the perfect leading partner: the Australian Federal Government, the Head Professor of Medicine from Harvard University and a team of eminent academics from Sydney University.
At Norfolk Island broad acre full strength THC sativa cannabis strands are being grown solely to make Medicinal Cannabis Oil to be exported and sold to Canada as a medicine to combat a huge array of disorders including cancer. As it is an illegal substance, and Norfolk Island is undeniably part of Australia, it can only be sold as a medicine if gaining approval by Government scientists-that is the law. An article in the SMH carried an interview with the company spokesperson who explained why their product was sold intact with the THC. He spoke of the way the THC literally escorts the 9 identified “key cannabinoids” to the each cancer cell.
Three years ago on a Four Corners program there was an interview with the Head Professor of Medicine at Harvard University, he said that, and I can still remember every word of this sentence, “Cannabis Oil will be the wonder drug of the 21st Century.”
It is one thing for a radical academic to spruke the oil’s credentials, but for the Chief Administrator of Norfolk Island to wax lyrically about the growing of full-strength cannabis as an approved exported Australian product pushes the boundaries considerably. And that is before the amazing announcement made by Sydney University in relation to Cannabis Oil and a $33,700,000 grant they gratefully received to examine to the countless benefits of this natural drug, many of which they are openly extolling (more on that at the end of this article).
On more than one occasion the researchers clearly held out hope for a complimentary drug of unknown origin or make, they make it clear “future studies are warranted to evaluate sorafenib as an adjuvant therapy.” “Adjuvant“ means “serving to help or assist,” and by admitting this drug is in need of a senior partner, all that is needed is to find the principle ally in apoptosis. Alas, the problem is this paper was written in 2008 and they are still hoping for the leader in this confederation will be discovered inside a test tube.
So knowing Sorafenib is utterly incapable in being responsible in killing >98% of the cancer count, then the Cannabis Oil and Zeolite must be doing exactly what the doctors hoped for. They are working in concert and as a unit, with the exotic chemical very much the junior partner.
Arnold you did say that the massive reduction in the cancer count could be misleading and until a cat scan was taken nothing was certain. So we reluctantly agreed to a third cat scan, knowing each treatment equates to one hundred X-Rays, it was something that had to be done to confirm what we knew to be true. The smaller cancers are gone and the larger two are much smaller, there are no ‘delaying’ tactics by Sorafenib on display in this exchange, here the cancer is being vigorously attacked and neutralised by the oil and volcanic ash. We aren’t even convinced that the drug is making any worthwhile contribution, once factoring all the insidious side effects, but cannot be sure as it could act as a catalyst or make a minor contribution.
Make no mistake we do appreciate your expertise, real concern and suggestions, but as you know from the very beginning we have been on different paths and to this stage ‘never the twain has met.’ I believe you have to factor the Medicinal Cannabis Oil into her short and long term recovery, but you are finding this request nigh on impossible. In our last meeting you asked my wife whether she was using one of two appetite inducing drugs that could only be prescribed by you, and thus explain why she was eating so well. That was so disappointing, cannabis has one effect everyone knows about, it is called the ‘munchies.’ In a recent Big Bang Theory show three of the stars accidentally ate some marijuana cookies and spent the rest of the show chasing up anything resembling food to satisfy their insatiable cannabis inspired craving to eat. Knowing from Day 1 we were using the oil and you clearly denied it had any use, I was stunned when you asked this and make it very clear the cannabis is not on your radar.
Medicinal Cannabis Oil is certainly on the radar of Sydney University, big time! An amount of $33.7 million has been donated to Sydney University to “research the medical applications of cannabis.” So huge is the donation it is “the largest research donation in the University’s history.” Professor Iain McGregor leads a very diverse team and correctly observed when assessing the prospects of cannabis that it has “incredible potential for the relief of human suffering … and to repair damaged bodies and brains.” It is undeniably, as the Professor claimed, “one of the most exciting questions in modern medicine.” The Premier of NSW, Mike Baird, is also just as excited by this development confident in his belief that “this is something that is going to reverberate around the world.”
Along with a variety of cancers and brain disorders they believe will be cured the researchers “argue cannabis is a potential treatment for obesity, schizophrenia and drug addiction.” Without doubt this could end up to be the most versatile and effective drug known to mankind, now I am starting to sound like that loopy left-wing Harvard academic, and the extremely conservative Australian Government, and the highly esteemed academics at Sydney University, and so it continues and grows as each day passes. You told me I was wrong to place such faith in cannabis and you claimed you had science in your corner, I am sorry but the science is on our side in this debate and you are wrong twice over.
And while we are on the topic of what constitutes good science, have a closer look at the front and back page in the fine print, where “potential conflicts of interest” are declared. Twenty one of those working on this paper have been paid by Bayer, the two leading academics are paid by Bayer, the “critical review of the manuscript” was performed by an employee of Bayer and the article was “supported by Bayer.” Equally, I also found puzzling and confusing the use of the two major forms of measuring the regression in health that takes place before death. Using the terms “survival” which really means how many months left before you die, and the “progression” to a lower stage of functioning has a ‘feel good’ approach masking a tragic conclusion. It sounds more like a sales pitch focusing on semantics and glossing over the flaws, than an impartial scientific investigation.
The problem is the next time we meet the blood count will be lower and the last two tumours smaller and some decisions need to be made. All of the proponents of the Medicinal Cannabis Oil are urging us to dump the chemo post haste and go clean and natural. You sit on the other extreme and dismiss the natural agents and place all your ‘eggs in the Sorafenib basket.’ We always wanted to walk the middle path, but have no-one to accompany us. So we are forced to decide our next move without anyone to seek counsel from.
I do hope this gives you a clearer understanding of our take on this. Again this is not a critique, just a statement of our stance on the causes and effects and the research done on Sorafenib. I don’t expect you to agree or alter your poor opinion of Cannabis or Zeolite, but at least you can see our take on this.
A Mid-Semester Report
We have measured the progress of this “gift” by the cancer count collated by through blood samples and as we began it was thought of by the thousands, anything just in the hundreds seemed so far off in the distance. The cancer cell count in the blood is the first port of call for the oncologist to discuss and gives the best general indicators as to general health and often, the increasing rate of decline. Over the last eleven weeks my wife’s count started to marginally decelerate beginning at a slightly better, but still extremely grave count of 623,900. Four weeks further on the descent had accelerated markedly, 173,192 was close to half a million less and this certainly was more than encouraging. But what if that was it, what if after an initial surge the cancer cells take an initial hit and then re-establish their tenure?
The next cancer count took place four weeks after and resolved one issue, the cancer was still suffering heavy losses, 17,007 was just over a tenfold decrease and maintained this rapid rate of attrition. There was now a consistent pattern for the last ten weeks and as long as everything stayed the same we saw no reason to doubt it would continue. The past three weeks have seen another drop at an increasing pace (1,160%), and the last count of 1,460 brings us very close to the starting line. The fascinating consequence of this last number is that over the last 21 days between blood samples the cancer cells have been dying at an average of 720 per day. If, and that is an assumption only and won’t be confirmed until the next blood test, it continued at that pace, three days after her blood sample was taken the task was completed.
Or could it be, and the odds are remote, that right at the finish line the most resilient cells residing at the core of the growth rallied and multiplied. Perhaps there is final step to be taken at this crucial final moment that is yet unknown. But at the very least, if this is a journey of a thousand steps, with a success rate of 98%, nine hundred and eighty steps have been negotiated, and the path taken so far deserves to be closely scrutinised.
The ever-present issue is simple, is the Medicinal Cannabis Oil capable of killing the cells of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma? We believe the answer is a resounding yes, with one caveat. If unable to appreciate why my wife firmly believes this huge tumorous growth and the five others in attendance are gifts that can be life-changing, then it all goes back to no better than ‘a 50/50 chance.’
P.S. The result of the next blood test is in, sixteen days after the reading of 1,460 the cancer count is now 345 and the oncologist told us the large carcinomas have shrunk massively and the number of cancer cells, as measured in mid-March, has now dropped by over 99.5%. We are now instituting a plan of gradual reduction, as this manufactured chemical is undeniably toxic. There is no more talk of combating the cancers, but more of maintaining the present readings and recovery.
* Paper’s Full Reference Citation:-