I was diagnosed with colon cancer in August 2011. This was classified as Stage 3 / Dukes C with a significant number of lymph nodes involved.
The diagnosis was a total surprise as I had regular tests, led a good lifestyle, was vegetarian and did not smoke.
The base treatment included surgery and six months of intense fortnightly chemotherapy. I believe persistence helped me through the chemo, but there are many side-effects and symptoms that persist which effect my quality of life.
Also, a key aspect of my treatment regime was exercise. It is an absolute proven fact, via many clinical trials, that for some cancers (particularly Colon and some Breast cancers) EXERCISE provides a considerable increase in the odds for survival. In some cases this is as much as the benefit of chemo. So it was a conscious decision to take the chemo, my oncologist claims that it increases survival by 19%, the operation alone ranks about 50% survival, together the odds are on my side, I hope. .. AND at the same time I started a rigorous exercise programme.
After exploring holistic complementary treatments during chemo, and having read and talked to many survivors and practitioners, I realised that the crucial period was in the 2-3 years post chemo.
An organisation in Adelaide whih helped me, especially in the early days after diagnosis, was the Cancer Care Centre – www.cancercarecentre.org.au The centre provides complementary care and advice for cancer patients and their families.
Success is based upon survival after 5 years post diagnosis, with years 2-3 the period where metastases can cause extremely dangerous secondary cancers. I explored options throughout the world and realised that Germany, my country of birth, had great complementary and alternative treatment options. John and I visited the Herzog Clinic for Integrative Oncology in Bad Salzhausen, Hessen:
and after consultations and research decided to follow a preventative treatment regime based upon Hyperthermia and complementary treatments with periodic intense visits of about 2 weeks every 3-6 months.
The treatments occur during the walk for rhinos which is supported totally by Prof Dr Herzog in Germany and doctors in Australia.
After the walk was finished I have had a series of tests and my progress and prognosis is good !! I will continue my exercise and my treatment regime to maximise my survival chances.