CET Testimonials part 3

Chinerchi helps bowel cancer patient restore to good health          

I thought I was doing all the right things!

At 66, I saw myself as fit and healthy. I had an annual “Well Women’s Check up” in July 2017 and my doctor thought the same. However in January 2018 I was in hospital for an emergency operation for a tumour in the colon and it was bowel cancer.

So what went wrong?

I felt well until November 2017. Over the next two months I had tummy problems with diarrhea but thought this was because my two little grandsons had been sick and I had picked up a virus from them. At the time, I was working teaching full time - it was the end of term so thought I just needed a good break. About this time my back started to give me trouble despite doing strengthening exercises, Tai Chi and acupuncture. Over Xmas I felt miserable with constipation (I had never experienced before) and horrible tummy cramps. Two days after Xmas I went to a power yoga class. After this, I had an extremely sore back.

The sore back and tummy problems were making me feel pretty sick so I returned from holiday in early January to get well. I looked on google to find an expert in digestion and found Angela at the Chinerchi Clinic. I had one treatment but by the end of the week the pains were getting worse and I had been constipated for a week - the prescribed laxatives from the GP were not working. I had gone to the doctor that week and discovered that I had lost 5.5 kilos (from 55.5 kilos down to 50). Blood tests showed I was low in sodium. I was told if I was still feeling ill and losing weight the next week, I would need more tests. However a few days later, the cramps became acute and when they were happening every few minutes, I admitted myself to hospital. A few hours later I had emergency surgery. Luckily I heal quickly so 9 days later was able to have surgery to reverse the ileostomy - which meant no bag and I was back to normal.

My chances over the next five years are 70 percent recovery and 30 percent the cancer returning. I was a borderline case for chemotherapy. I decided that I would try this approach (oral medication taken at home) because the research indicates that this improves the chance of recovery by another 5-6 percent. I am in the middle of the chemotherapy and the doctors think I am coping well with the side effects.

I am sure that my treatments at the Chinerchi Clinic have helped a great deal. I have learnt about the best sort of diet for me - and this results in normal (sausage shaped) bowel motions. The muesli (full of nuts and seeds) that I had every morning for breakfast was not good for me and the cold salads with raw vegetables that I had for lunch were not good for me and I think I was eating too much protein. I am now having porridge and fruit for breakfast; a little protein at lunch which is often consists of steamed or stir fried vegetables; and rice noodles, rice, or another grain plus cooked vegetables for dinner. Not only are my bowel motions normal but I feel so much better.I am putting on weight which I really need to do - I went down to 47 kilos after the operation Angela has taught me that with a healthy digestive system you can cope with any other ailments and life generally so much better.

I am also walking for some 30 minutes every day, continuing with Tai Chi and doing strengthening exercises for my back and glutes. I have taken the first term off work but am starting back next week (beginning of the second term). It will be interesting to see if I can manage this. Overall I feel optimistic and hopeful for a full recovery.

Barbara (Stewart-Brown)  

27th April, 2018