Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The myth of cancer cure....

Times and again, I was told by well intended people that, in order to better my chances of survival against cancer, I must alter the pH balance of my cells environment. In other words, I must put more “Alkalinity” into my body because cancer cells can not survive in alkaline environment.

In this regards, I had been introduced “Alkaline supplements” to create a “less acidic” body condition so that my body environment is less friendly to cancer cell. It really amazed me that, there are so many over enthusiastic sales personnel from direct sale companies suddenly became so eloquent about cancer cure. Mind you, these people are not medically trained, but will always tried to convince and confuse you with their “cure all” supplements with all sort of conspiracy theories of large pharmaceutical companies suppressing their so called “proven” alternative cures. Sometimes, I do wish all these peddlers of “Cancer cure supplements” can be enlightened with ethic, less driven by profit motivation, and blessed with basic medical knowledge to cause less harm to cancer patients.

The great scholar and philosopher, Confucius, once said “ A little bit of knowledge is very dangerous”. While I am not denying the fact that there are many researches that concluded that high alkalinity inhibits growth of cancer cells, but these researches are done in laboratory condition ! Our human body is a very complex chemistry driven eco system. It is virtually impossible to alter cell environment to derive high alkalinity condition by taking “alkaline liquid or supplement”.

In fact, our body is chemically conditioned to obtain balance by excreting any excess acidity or alkalinity through urine and sweats. So, as an educated man with a sound mind, I don't think by intensively taking supplements or alkaline liquids is going to improve the chances of cure for cancer. As a cancer patient, I hope, our Ministry of Health can come up with guideline to regulate the over enthusiastic of direct sales companies to prevent further misinformation of their hocus pocus alternative cures.

So, the question is, “Can cancer be prevented or cured by intensely taking alkaline liquids or supplements ?” I don't think so ! So, if next time you are approach by person claiming otherwise, please take the person's calim with a bucket of salts. My take on this is, to minimize the risk of cancer and to improve the chances of recovery, perhaps, we should not deny ourself evidence based treatment protocol, maintain a healthy lifestyles by having regular exercises to improve the oxygen intake into our body, eat everything in moderations, eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods, consult your doctor and don't miss your annual medical check-ups, and most important of all, be more jovials to lead a less stressful life.

And, lastly, if you are strickened with cancer, it caused no harm to seek spiritual comforts in the Almighty., by faith, the Almighty is our ultimate healer !

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Life goes on....

It's been more than a year since I was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. In addition to the dreaded treatment protocols such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc,, daily pains and discomforts has become part and parcel of my daily existence. Not wanting to sound perverted, I am beginning to get used to these pains and discomforts. I guess, that is the normal price to pay for wanting to prolong the life. The only option I have now is to find ways to improve the quality of my existence.

I am blessed to be able to enjoy good medical services to help me cope with the management of living with cancer. On this score, I would like to thank Dr Tan Meng Kuan of TungShing hospital for making chemotherapy less painful for me, Dr John Low of Pantai Medical Centre for managing my present treatment strategies such as oral chemo, radio therapy, etc., Dr SY Loh of University Malaya for advising me on qualitative aspect of my remaining life, and Hospice Malaysia for helping me to cope with symptoms management. I am also greatly indebted to my family members for their understanding and untiring efforts to provide care to me. Indeed, I thank God for given me the opportunity to receive the best medical care, a loving family to take care of me during my times of distress, and my friends for providing me with moral support. One undeniable fact is, modern medicine, while not completely able to knock off the cancerous tumor in my body, but it does significantly lessen my discomforts and greatly improve the quality of my remaining existence. The Almighty with his amazing grace has provided me with abundances ! Praise the Lord.

In late September 2009, I visited my hometown, Taiping. The foods, as usual, are as fantastic as always. The Lake Gardens, the Burmese Pool, my alma mater, and various other places of interests, are also as beautiful as always. I hope they will be forever beautiful as long as the Taiping Hills stand. I hope I can be given more opportunities to visit my home town as often as I want.

The Taiping Lake Gardens
The Taiping Lake Gardens
Taiping War Cemetery
A pre-merdeka tri-cycle
My Alma Mater

I went back to good doctor last week for my scheduled consultation. The blood test indicated that my CA19.9 marker has increased compared to last month's result, but the doctor advised me not to unduly worry about the latest result. The doctor advised me to come back for another consultation in a month's time. In the mean time, the doctor gave me the green light to eat whatever I want, have my regular coffee, enjoy my cold beer as often as I want, and enjoy my life !

My main concern now is, since the completion of my radiation therapy, I lost a lot of weight, probably due to lack of appetites. I am now weight only 56Kg compared to my pre-radiation therapy's weight of 75KG. So, the immediate objective is to bring my weight back to around 70Kg before I consider new treatment protocol. At the moment, the doctor has not prescribed any maintenance medications for me. For the time being, I am taking a dicotion of herbal drinks on alternate day. It is basically a combination of garden herbs consists of 黑面将军 (Strobilanthes crispus), 爬樹龍 (Rhaphidophora decursiva), 甜 (Stevia rebaudiana), 四方藤 (Caulis Cissi Hexangularis), 紅田鳥 (Alternanthera sissilis), and 白鶴靈芝 (Rhinacanthus nasuta).

Yesterday evening, while brushing my teeth, I broke a tooth. Well, after months of aggressive treatment, my teeth are becoming brittle. I got to be more careful in brushing my teeth in the future. This morning, I went to the local dentist to assess the damage. The dentist took half an hour and managed to reconstruct my broken tooth, and it costs only RM 80 ! A job beautifully done.

I am now writing my second book, “Conversations with CK – Living with Cancer”. I hope to complete the draft for final editing by January 2010. The proceeds from the sales of this book will go into charity, most probably an orphanage. In the mean time, I am still sourcing for sponsorship to cover the costs of editing, design, and production. I hope the funding can come in during these two months. I have faith that the Almighty will made the necessary facilitations to ensure success of this small project.

Praise the Lord......