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A more detailed CT scan ordered by Professor Morris in November showed that both the chryo and laser options were not available for me, as the number of tumors (12) made the condition inoperable. The scan showed no further metastases to the lung or bone marrow. That was the good news. Lungs and bone marrow are targeted by the colorectal brand of cancer, along with the liver.

Throughout this our goal was always clear: to maintain a good quality of life, and we knew the yardstick for that would be my game of golf (I played off 4).

Our strategies therefore became to minimize damage to the immune system (which can be lethal in itself); to maximize nutritional support (40% of cancer patients in the US die of malnutrition and not the cancer itself); and to inhibit further cancer cell growth, at the same time enhancing the effect of any conventional medical treatments.

We found that few medical institutions in America, and none we could find at the time in Australia, had any knowledge of published findings in nutritional science which can benefit cancer patients greatly by managing their health and helping to prolong their lives, with or without mainstream treatments. The focus of conventional medicine is, probably understandably, on killing the cancer. It is unfortunate, though, that patients seem to run a poor second.

It really started from Day 1 of our exhaustive search to find the best of nutrition and complementary therapies to keep well. It intensified after my liver got involved. We didn't want to go with these gentler therapies as a last resort, when the best that could be hoped for would be pain reduction and prolonging survival. We wanted to make the most of their benefits while it could really count.

The figures on cancer patients using complementary nutrition therapies are impressive; we found reams of published material and statistics. For the sake of brevity, the bottom line is that significant numbers of cancer patients (more than 40%) who complement conventional therapy with recognized nutritional therapies, live significantly longer and have a better quality of life.

Professor Morris recommended surgery as soon as possible, to insert a catheter into the liver to deliver direct intra-hepatic arterial chemotherapy in an attempt to reduce the size and number of tumors so that a combination of resection and cryosurgery may become an option later. Our research didn't look at all promising or even worth it, but we had to take a shot at what this respected surgeon was telling us.

There are significant risks associated with intra-hepatic artery catheter insertion and the subsequent chemotherapy treatment, not the least of which is disturbance to the liver during surgery. There's a popular theory around the alternative medicine networks that disturbing a cancer tumor where it has "settled" can cause the cancer to take off in search for other friendly sites where it forms metastases, like the lung and bones.

Professor Morris' opinion was, however, that without the operation, survival could be as short as six months, and time was of the essence. Was it running out? If this round of chemotherapy was successful, he said, then cryosurgery and resection could mean longer survival--between two and five years. What else? Explored option of electrolysis to remove tumors (by laser), which is a test program being run through the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide.

My physical health was excellent during this whole period, particularly following consultation in August with Professor Shan Liu, a professor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Professor Shan prescribed a course of Chinese Herbs based on the SQT1* formula plus four others. By this time Suzie had undertaken considerable research on the subject and concluded that liver detoxing, strictly organic fruit and vegetables, daily juicing, organic everything else we could purchase, water and a minimum of fat. It was a modified macrobiotic diet, plus enzymes, and various supplements. It was fortunate we were already vegetarian and had given up the drink 8 years previously.

A decision was made to go ahead with the operation which was scheduled immediately prior to Christmas 2002 at St George Hospital. Despite a several hour operation and major abdominal incisions, there were no complications, recovery was quick with immediate return to good physical health.

Chemotherapy commenced six days after surgery through St George Hospital oncology unit/cancer centre, on a seven-day-on on followed by a seven-day-off continuous drip/cassette delivery schedule. Chinese herbal and vitamin supplement treatment continued through hospitalization and chemotherapy, together with strict diet to which fish has been added to lift protein levels and Omega 3. Excellent physical health continued; some fatigue during the "on chemo" weeks and some difficulties with bleeding around insertion point.

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