Please pray for my friend, Peter Trayhurn

Now more than ever, my friend, Peter Trayhurn, needs your prayers.

I first met Peter (an Australian) at Hallwang, the German oncology clinic, in 2013.  He went there with Stage 4 Colo-rectal cancer, having been given six months to live by his oncologist in Australia.  His cancer vanished within six weeks’ of treatment, only to rear its head again when he returned to Australia.

Since then, he’s been playing a painful game of whack-a-mole with the cancer.

What’s remarkable is that Peter has outlived most of his doctors’ worse predictions.  He’s outlived most of his friends on cancer forums.  And he’s done so with a very good quality of life.  He’s driven himself all over Germany, flown all over the world in the search for cures, gone scuba diving, lived on an ashram and done yoga.  And been a father and husband.

He’s also the author of a blog:  http://petertrayhurn.blogspot.co.uk/.  It’s a step-by-step account of his cancer journey.  It’s full of infuriating typos and spellos, but it is also full of the latest treatments.  It’s full of his zest of life.  And I can vouch for the fact that the positivity and optimism in his posts is real and authentic, and not a mask.  I think he’s the closest I’ve come to a genuine cancer saint.

A few weeks ago, his condition worsened when he was in Australia.  He was throwing up non-stop and wasn’t absorbing nutrients. I managed to persuade him to Skype me when he was in hospital.  I saw how bad he was.  He was in agony throughout the call despite morphine.

I whispered nervously to him:  “Is this the end?”

He looked into the screen and a small smile lit up his face.

“No, I think it’s just the beginning,” he said.

Please pray for my friend Peter.  Now more than ever, he needs your prayers.  And please also pray for his family.  For his children, who cry every night in their beds.  For his wife.  For his doctors to make the right decisions.  Pray that he pulls through the surgery to help him eat, that his guts heal, that the pain lessens, that he manages to eat, that the cancer vanishes.

Please pray.  Because the world needs more people like Peter to show us how to remain human despite the inhuman trials.   Who can pull smiles out of pain.

****

http://petertrayhurn.blogspot.co.uk/

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Hallwang Clinic #16 – Update and good news

I received this comment from a reader who has recently come back from Hallwang.  Thank you for posting the comment, A.S. and for giving me permission to republish it as a post!  It is great news that Hallwang seems to have improved its performance and services, and this reader had a positive experience there, with fantastic results.  I hope this helps other readers who are searching for viable alternatives to treatments:

“Hello there! I also found your blog and read it with great interest! You have really been around and your infos are very helpful for lost ones likes us searching for help-anywhere. I am also reading with great interest your bisforbananas..blog, especially on the Hallwang Clinic.

Interestingly, after a long online search on clinics in Germany, I decided to visit that clinic and just came back two weeks ago, and I think it is important to know that many things have changed since your last post.

I have to admit I was really insecure an6.d nervous before going there because of so many ambivalent posts, but after talking to the doctors there I decided to give it a try-and I feel so blessed and happy I did.

Right now there are 3 oncologists working on alternating shifts, and the medical director is a very innovative and caring doctor-I actually never met someone like him.

As I understand, staff has changed and the doctors from two years ago are gone, but this new team offers a wide range of treatments I have never seen anywhere else-that is the first time I actually have hope and my tumor markers are gone down-according to my previous doctors I should be dead by now!

I also met many very lovely fighters like us, and am touched by their success they achieved due to the treatment here, in my case immunotherapy in form vaccines and antibodies.

My friend Steve that I met here with mets pancreatic cancer is now in complete remission. You should see him!

Having said that, I also have to agree that everybody needs to find his or her right treatment and what is good for me, might not benefit someone else. And no one knows how long the success lasts.

But I am grateful for every month more with my family and seeing my lab results today and feeling the first time alive again I wanted to share this info with you in case you are considering Hallwang as an option.

Good luck to you all, and don´t give up, sometimes you find help where you least expect it.”

Posts like that make my heart glow.  Congratulations, Andrew!  So happy for you!  I pray that you get lasting healing and have a happy and healthy 2016 and for many years to come.

Best of Breast: news for week ending 14 February 2014

I am now fundraising for treatments at:  GoFundMe http://www.gofundme.com/78jh2w  and https://www.justgiving.com/goBananasforRona

Here is the weekly summary of news alerts from Google Breast Cancer and Cancer for week ending 14 February.

ValentineMouse

We love you! We’re helping to cure cancer!

I was spoiled for choice this week – all my favourite topics came up (and not a single tedious cohort study):  curcumin (wow!), intravenous Vitamin C (double-wow!), more mouse trials (see Valentine’s Day card they sent us), cancer vaccine, new drugs (wow-wow-and-wow) and tamoxifen.

Curcumin:  One of my most popular posts is on curcumin.  Scientists have now discovered that putting an implant of curcumin into mice halted tumour growth vs ingesting it orally.  Before we all rush out and get one … remember, it’s only been tested on mice, and only available in mice-size implants.  However, the good news is that intravenous curcumin is available.  The bad news, it’s in Germany and only six clinics at the moment have access to it.  The good news, it’s available from the reputable PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner integrative clinic in Frankfurt (costs about Euro1,600 for six infusions).

Intravenous Vitamin C:  There’s a study from the University of Kansas on the efficacy of intravenous Vitamin C in ameliorating chemotherapy symptoms – I’m not sure why it’s “new” news – this has been part of the protocol at the University of Kentucky for awhile.  If you’ve followed my blog, you know I tried IV C and it didn’t work i.e. shrink the tumour.  Having said that, in the two years I was on IV C, I never got any metastasis, so maybe something was working.

Tamoxifen:  In Best of Breast (w/e 31 Jan) I mentioned that bodybuilders were taking tamoxifen, i.e. going out and buying it.  Well, this week it’s revealed that bodybuilders may be unwittingly taking tamoxifen in bodybuilding supplements – it’s not even listed on the label.  In case you were wondering … they take tamoxifen because they want to stop their man boobs from growing from steroid use.

This week’s headline:  Finally … with all the juicy topics lined up, I chose to lead with a computer game that you can download to your iPhone or Smartphone and play and help scientists analyse real genetic data for cancer faster.  Wouldn’t it be great to help beat cancer and have some fun too?  Game on!

PalyToCure

1.  Video game to help find cure for cancer

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Happy 2014 – lessons learned in 2013

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

Updated 10 Jan 2014 – previously “Happy Christmas and 2014”

Updated 22 Feb 2014:  please note that the process for culturing Maf314 is different from Bravo Probiotic.  I am therefore unable to offer any cultures because I suspect my Maf314 culture is no longer viable.  I suggest that if you want to start, you buy a fresh set of cultures from Bravo as only they can guarantee the activity of the cultures.  Compound 1 must be cultured afresh from powder each time.  Compound 2 can be re-propagated from the existing culture.  

Here is the link to Bravo Probiotic:  http://www.bravoprobiotic.com/

And for further information on GcMAF and Maf314:  http://www.gcmaf.eu/

Happy 2014 to all my friends and family.

It’s been a year when the rug’s been constantly pulled from under my feet.  So thank you for seeing me through a challenging year.

It was a year in which I found a voice through this blog, I also met Grace Gawler who is a wise and generous cancer strategist who has held my hand throughout 2013, and been an integral partner in my journey.

To my friends on the cancer journey – may this year bring you NED and good health and loads of money for and success in all the treats and treatments you may need.

********

Winter at Hallwang video

(Here’s a short video I found, that I took from my room at Hallwang – the magic of the soft, falling snow and wintry scene in the Black Forest seems apt for this festive message)

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German Clinics – PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner in Frankfurt

Siebenhuner

Updated 3 Dec 2013

I’m in Frankfurt on a business trip and thanks to Peter, managed to steal some time to visit a German cancer clinic.

The clinic is PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner and is on the outskirts of Frankfurt.  Peter uses it for hyperthermia after a trans-arterial chemoembolisation session with Vogl.  It’s about a 30-minute taxi journey from the University of Frankfurt where Prof Vogl practices.

I was impressed by the set-up at the clinic.  It was pristine, very clean, and everything was tasteful.  The infusion room was huge, about three times the size of one of the clinics in England, and was separated from the nurses’ station by muslin drapes.  There was a lot of use of warm colours and wood, and it didn’t look or smell like a hospital.  All the beds in the treatment rooms were clean, and covered in fresh linen. The nurses and doctors were friendly, and made time to chat to me about the treatments.

Treatments were standard for a German oncology clinic:  IPT, full-body hyperthermia and local hyperthermia.  Infusions included B17, DMSO, DCA.

They had one Heckel tent for whole-body hyperthermia, and two oncothermia machines.  They also had some new equipment I’ve not come across.  One was a Galvanotherapy machine, and the other a Bemer machine.  My understanding of the latter is that it is used before the patient has infusions, and it primes the body to be in a better state for the infusions, by promotion circulation in the body’s micro-capillaries.  The effects apparently last for 12 hours.

I had a quick chat with Dr Siebenhuner – he was very friendly, and kindly gave me a free consultation and some suggestions on what his clinic could offer me by way of treatment plans.  I told him my dilemma:  that chemo and radiotherapy had been recommended, but would be counterproductive to my nerve injury.

He told me to avoid folic acid and iron as it would feed the cancer cells.  Because my tumour markers have always been within reference range, he suggested getting some genetic blood markers done, then a 2-week course of infusions, and then another test to see if the treatments were working.  If not, then perhaps chemo and radiotherapy would be the best options.  The cost of the bloods tests would be about Euro300 for each set.  He also mentioned getting the circulating tumour cells count (CTC count), and that apart from RGCC, there was a lab in Germany that also did this test.

Incidentally, PraxisKlinik Siebenhuner is one of the few clinics in Germany offering intravenous curcumin.  A course of infusions is expensive – approximately Euros 1,600 for a set of 10.

There are loads of photos of the clinic on the website:

http://www.erweiterte-medizin.de/home.html?lang=en

Dr Siebenhuner is one of those doctors who’s open to trying new things, and learning new things and that for me is a hallmark of a good doctor.  I met him again at the weekend at an integrative treatment conference in Fulda.  He asked me questions about the RGCC test and was keen to find out more so that he could integrate it into his practice.  I chatted to him some more about his clinic, and he was very open about the services he could offer.  For example, IPT, DCA, B17 which are not currently on Hallwang’s menu.  Also, because his is a day-clinic, there aren’t any in-house nursing charges, so he is a cheaper alternative, if the patient doesn’t need 24/7 nursing or intensive doctoring.

I wanted to stop by on Monday on the way to the airport to get some blood tests run because Dr Siebenhuner offered a different approach from Hallwang, and I thought it would be interesting to see what more could be done.  Also, he very kindly offered to give me a free consultation based on the tests.  Alas, I ran out of time on Monday and couldn’t fit in the consultation.

What was particularly perceptive on the part of Dr Siebenhuner was a discussion we had on why some of the treatments I’d had had not touched the tumour to the extent that they should have, e.g. intravenous vitamin C.  Dr Siebenhuner said that perhaps it was due to lack of perfusion to the tumour, i.e. the blood supply to the tumour was limited, so the infusions couldn’t get to the tumour.  He offered to do an ultrasound to see if this was the case.

If indeed, perfusion was an issue, the solution would have been to add DMSO or Procaine to the infusions.  This would have increased the permeability of the cytotoxic agents.

It was as if a light bulb had gone off over my head.  As readers of this blog know, I’ve tried many complementary therapies, with limited success with regards to shrinking the tumour [the only thing that really worked was the TACE procedure using chemotherapy, by Prof. Vogl].  And it would explain why the only two women I know for whom IV C worked had had DMSO and Vitamin B12 in conjunction with IV C.  Unfortunately, the use of both DMSO and Vitamin B12 are now illegal in England.   But not in Germany.  No one so far has suggested doing an ultrasound of the breast region to see what the blood supply is like there.

So I think Dr Siebenhuner is definitely worth a visit and consultation for his willingness to explore new avenues of treatment, ability to think out-of-the-box, his warmth, and also his clinic’s proximity to Frankfurt airport and Prof Vogl’s hospital.  Please note – Peter Trayhurn was introduced to Dr Siebenhuner on the recommendation of Prof Vogl, so that is a very good testimonial.

Hallwang Clinic #15 – Some lessons learned and helpful tips

Hallwang3

The bus-stop at Hallwang

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

Updated 1 January, 2015 re. the importance of having a companion when you go for the trans-arterial chemoembolisation procedure with Professor Vogl in Frankfurt.

 

Here is a summary of my experiences which includes information on how to get to Hallwang Private Oncology Clinic, accommodation, a few other bits-and-bobs which didn’t fit into the posts I wrote previously, and how to send an enquiry.

Some people have accused me of being biased in favour Hallwang, and it’s true that I haven’t been to any other German cancer clinic, so there may be an element of truth there.

However, my experience at Hallwang was largely positive [apart from encounters with pointy sharp things] and as far as anyone can enjoy an experience in a cancer clinic, I was blessed in my stay there by the magnificent staff, the doctors, and the support, laughs and camaraderie of the patients there.  Had I gone there on my own, it may not have been such an uplifting stay.

Also, I met a few people who had been to other cancer clinics around the world (including other German clinics and Mexican clinics), and they had positive things to say about Hallwang.  One of the patient’s wives, a very gracious Southern-type belle from California with exacting standards said: “My god, Hallwang is like a spa!  If you wanna get cancer, get it at Hallwang!”

It’s therefore up to you, the reader, to do your research if you’re thinking of going to a German cancer clinic.  There are many clinics in Germany, and all of them have their good and bad points, and none is perfect.

23 July 2014:  Before you go to a German cancer clinic, get written confirmation from them that the chief doctor, or an oncologist will be on-site for the length of your stay.  This applies to any clinic which is dependent on a “star” doctor, and Hallwang which is currently going through staffing changes.

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Hallwang #14 – Saying goodbye to home

Hallwang5

Home from home

Staying at Hallwang is like being in a hospital.  It’s a very posh hospital, but still a hospital.  The routines are governed by the treatments and the mealtimes.  It can be regimented.

If your physical state is not robust, you may need to get the permission of the doctors before going out.  So you get used to asking the doctors if you can do this or that, like a child.

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Hallwang Clinic #13 – Whole-body hyperthermia

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Outside the clinic, snow lay thickly on the ground.  Inside, I lay under hot lamps, my core temperature raised to 39 degrees.  The doctor wiped my forehead with washcloths dipped into the snow from the balcony.  How cool was that?

This was my introduction to whole-body hyperthermia, two days after the trans-arterial chemoembolisation (TACE) treatment.

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Hallwang Clinic #12 – trans-arterial chemoembolisation (TACE) with Prof. Vogl

Forest4

Shadow of branches on floor of Black Forest, so much like the network of arteries in the human body

TACE leaflet1

TACE leaftlet 1

TACE leaflet2

TACE leaflet 2

TACE leaflet3

Updated 1 January 2015 re. importance of having a companion with you to make sure that your appointments during TACE run smoothly. There have been reports of patients being left on trolleys in the hospital corridors, the language problem, and patients being overlooked and having to discharge themselves.

Of all the treatments at Hallwang, Trans-arterial chemoembolisation (or TACE) was the one I dreaded the most.

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Hallwang Clinic #11 – Meltdowns, downtime and handholding

Update 5 February, 2015:  please note that I have been receiving reports from patients that Hallwang Clinic’s services are not meeting expectations and Grace Gawler no longer runs Medi-Tours to Hallwang.  Therefore, before you go to Hallwang, please get it in writing that the oncologist and Prof Vogl will be there throughout your stay.

Think of a desert island filled with survivors of a shipwreck.  Life is filled with challenges.  In the midst of this stress, there is conflict.  These survivors have one goal in common: to stay alive.

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Hallwang clinic

Just like the desert island survivors, there is one goal in a German cancer clinic:  to stay alive.  The weeks spent in the clinic are crammed full of treatments in order to beat the cancer.  There may be challenges from the side-effects of the treatments.

Under these challenging circumstances, it would take a saint to remain calm and joyful 100% of the time.

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