Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More Nutraceuticals for Cancer

In my search for a good supplement for cancer patients I revisited some of the sources I found early in our cancer journey. One of these was a product by BioImmune Inc called Enhanced Immune Response. Dr. Robert Moore, a naturopathic physician from Indiana first suggested the product for Jim in 2003. The powder which is taken dissolved in juice contained every vitamin, mineral and herb touted for immune system support that I had come across in my research. And it contained adequate amounts. The driving force behind the company was Arnold Takemoto a researcher devoted to the production of nutraceuticals in cancer treatment. BioImmune was not a multi-level marketing or pyramid level business. The products were only available through medical professionals. Everything checked out and I was convinced that the products were of high quality.

Jim took the supplement for two years along with a buffered Vit C powder also manufactured by the company. Was it effective? Well, Jim remained healthy during the year of aggressive radiation and chemotherapy and he had no evidence of recurring disease during that time. Would that have happened without the supplement? Maybe. Maybe not.

Fast forward to 2010. As I was researching, another nutraceutical company, GNLD, for f.a.i.t.H., it occurred to me that I should probably speak again with Dr. Moore and offer the group information about the supplement Jim had taken. Dr. Moore was, as he has always been, very helpful. He suggested that I contact Arthur Takemoto directly to tell him about Jim’s recovery and about the f.a.i.t.H. group.

I called on a Friday. On Saturday, Dr. Takemoto’s wife Colleen called me back and talked with me for more than an hour about their philosophy, their company, and their “mission”—to help people in their cancer battles. I was pleasantly surprised to hear her say that they are Christians, eager to share Arthur’s gifts with the world.

I’m thinking: Wow! God must have sent me here—all part of his plan to help us find a team of Christians to cure everyone in our group. She told me all about the science behind their newest products (nanotechnology) which, when combined with Immune Enhanced Response make an aggressive alternative program which has been successful in treating late stage cancers. I mentioned to her incidentally that I was somewhat concerned by Jim’s recent physical which showed an elevated blood calcium level.

On Monday, out of the blue, I got a call from Dr. Takemoto himself. No niceties. No small talk. Right to the dagger-like point.

“If your husband’s calcium blood level is elevated, I am 95% certain that the cancer has returned to the bone.”

“Couldn’t it be the result of prior treatment or an indication of a heart irregularity?” I asked, hoping he was wrong.

“Did you not hear what I just said?” he replied in a patronizing tone.

He then went on ad nauseum about his many accomplishments and accolades while I struggled to digest the long distance diagnosis he had just delivered.

Basically he was saying that the only hope was for Jim to start immediately on his program including intravenous vitamin C which could not be administered in TN. The program would cost 4,500 dollars a month (not covered by insurance). When I expressed shock at the cost, he allowed that if there were some others in my group who used his products he could give me a finder’s fee-- greatly reducing our outlay.

Finally, I said, “Look. I hate to be rude but I am really upset and I need to get off the phone to call my oncologist to set up a pet scan. What you’re saying may be true but I need to see exactly what his blood calcium level is and get further tests set up.

I’m sure those of you who have never been in the passenger seat on a cancer journey are wondering why the red lights weren’t flashing in my brain. How a medically savvy adult could, with no reservation, buy into this doomsday diagnosis from a man whom she had never met, can only be understood by those who live under cancer’s shadow.

When I finally was able to extricate myself from his clutches (only after he told me to get my affairs in order), I called the internist’s office leaving an urgent message to get back to me with the results of Jim’s blood work. She returned my call an hour later giving me enough time to call everyone in the family raving like a lunatic that Jim’s cancer was back and I was packing my bags for Houston. No, I’m not exaggerating. I wish I were.

When the nurse did call back she reported that Jim had misunderstood. It is his cardiac calcium score that is elevated NOT his blood calcium level. He goes for a Thallium stress test tomorrow morning. Calcium build up in the arteries is not good but probably not fatal. Preferable, at least in my somewhat twisted mind, to cancer.

I sent Dr. Takemoto an e-mail explaining that we had the wrong information and wouldn’t need his full treatment at this time. Not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I was very polite, and requested more information for a man I know who wants to use only alternative treatment.

I have not heard another word from the good doctor. Jim and I will not be using the BioImmune products.

Another magic bullet disintegrates.