Cancer and Chemotherapy Almost Killed Me In January 2007.
My name is Peggy Sue Roberts of Southern California, USA. (Chemo took my hair after the first treatment.)
In early 2007 I was diagnosed with Stage-4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and given as short as 3-months to live.
Oncology started me with a double bag (two-liters per infusion treatment) of chemo and scheduled me for 7 treatments, given 2-weeks apart.
How Do The Patients Look?
Picture in your mind: 10 to 20 bald people with scary bleached (some appear gray) wrinkly skin sitting around an oncology treatment room plugged up to IV drips while covered with blankets, eating donated candy and donuts.
It will raise the hair on the back of your neck, and your mind won't let you forget it.
I know it isn't proper English but, have you ever heard the expression, “It Ain't Pretty?” Well, neither was I after the first round of chemotherapy.
(I looked similar to this guy, at right.)
After Chemo, My Skin Looked Like All Pigmentation Was Gone.
If you saw me walking on the beach, I'm sure you would turn around and run in the opposite direction.
It was scary seeing my chalky white skin; I had no color left at all! My skin also appeared old with lots of wrinkles. It lost its elasticity.
When Do Cancer Patients Lose Their Hair?
My hair started falling out about a week after my first chemotherapy.
At first, I noticed some hair on my pillow when I got up in the morning.
Within a day or two after that, big clumps began coming out when I shampooed my hair. Oncology had told me cancer patients on chemotherapy could expect this almost immediately.
They were right.
When our children were actually children, we had a small dog named Rough. We named him that because that name best described his coat of hair: rough. Rough also describes what I had remaining of my beautiful hair. There wasn't much of it left, and what was left looked rough.
When my husband wasn't around, I cried when I looked at myself in the mirror. Heck, I cried “at the drop of a hat” about most anything and everything at this stage. My tears just kept “going and going.” Ladies, it was worse than “that time of the month.”
To prepare for this time, I ordered a couple of wigs from a mail-order magazine about a week before they were needed. When they came I set them aside.
Being a woman and taking a lot of pride in my appearance, I just didn't want to think about not having my hair.
One wig was natural hair and one was artificial, only the price told the difference because they were as identical as possible. I only wore a wig when someone came over or when I went out into public. Wearing a wig around the house just wasn't comfortable, so I wore a scarf.
Cancer Patients Shaved Heads
I became so uncomfortable having only splotches of hair; I asked Jim if he would shave my head for me.
He agreed, and I retrieved the clippers we use for our standard poodle named, Sugar.
At this point, I didn't care if we did use them on the dog. Right then, to me, they were just clippers.
Jim didn't seem to have any problem as he shaved the rest of my hair down to a burr-cut, leaving me with about half an inch all over. I looked like a cancer patient for sure now. He said he thought that would be better than shaving it down all the way, like a completely bald person. He felt a little hair would act as a pad for my wig, that way my scalp wouldn't become irritated.
He was right, and I was glad he left me with something. Comparing notes with Jim later, we learned that each of us went into separate rooms and cried after the hair cutting session. Jim was strong for me at the time, like he usually is. He is good at hiding his emotions until he is alone. After everything is all over, then he can fall apart. We were both glad we didn't see each other in those private moments.
Oncology had a large room for cancer patients to receive their chemotherapy IV drips.
We sat in recliners and read or watch television to pass the time away. Blankets were available because cancer patients usually stay cold.
Volunteer groups made blankets and quilts for us. Other volunteer groups brought in sweet treats for us to snack on. (Bless their hearts; they don’t know that sugar feeds cancer. They are just trying to do something good for us, but they are making things worse.)
Second Chemo Treatment
My second chemotherapy was two weeks after my first. This second time was much different than the first. Jim had left to do errands while I again went through more than five hours of drip. Checking up on me, Jim called after about four hours and spoke with the nurses to learn how I was doing, and if I would be completed on time.
The answer was that I was having a chemo allergic reaction to the Rituxan, one of the chemotherapy drugs.
Allergic Reaction To Chemotherapy
I broke out in huge red streaks and welts all over my body. Dr. H, my oncologist, ordered the nurses to give me Benadryl in my I.V. drip to see if that would counter the allergic reaction I was having. The Benadryl had started working when Jim called, but I was still having difficulty.
I knew it was Jim on the line, so I asked the nurses to allow me to speak with him.
When we're on the phone together, it's like holding hands.
I wanted to explain what happened, so he wouldn’t be worried as he drove back to pick me up. I later learned he worried anyway.
My Allergic Reaction To Rituxan
The allergic reaction to Rituxan turned out to be a VERY big thing! (I later learned other cancer patients have similar allergic reactions to the chemo.) Jim and I stopped by a pharmacy on the way home and purchased Benadryl to take home.
It gave me some comfort that evening, but by the next morning, I had real troubles. The red streaks and welts were back with a vengeance and brought along blisters for company.
I had blisters in the roof of my mouth and on the top of my head. The top of my head was red and hot, like a bad sunburn would appear, and it was also hot to touch. The blisters in my mouth were causing severe breathing and swallowing problems. Calls to Dr. H brought little help or information: his instructions were to keep taking the Benadryl, just more of it.
Jim and I tried all that next day, after the second chemotherapy, treating my burning head, blisters, and red streaks with Benadryl. We treated my head with ice cold washcloth compresses.
Living In Southern California
Did I mention this was winter in Southern California?
I know you who live in very cold snowy climates don’t feel too sorry for us in Southern California, but it was freezing with an ice pack on the top of my head in the middle of winter!
Body Heat Loss
We all know that most body heat has been proven to be lost out the top of the head, and I had an icepack on mine. (Like they say on TV: “Don’t try this at home.”)
By nightfall, I was in real trouble. I asked Jim to take me to Urgent Care. I needed more help than I was getting from home remedies. The drive was only about 15 to 20 minutes to Urgent Care, but because I was in a great deal of pain and discomfort from my burning head and blisters, it seemed like hours.
After check-in, Jim suggested I wait in our vehicle. There were lots of sick people in the Urgent Care waiting room coughing, sneezing, and blowing their noses.
Immune System Seriously Damaged By Chemotherapy
Jim knew I couldn't be in the same room with all those sick people because my immune system had been seriously damaged by chemotherapy. Anything I caught at this point could have killed me, and the oncology doctor had already cautioned me to be careful. I didn't object because the seat in my vehicle was much more comfortable than the waiting room chairs.
Because I had little-to-no immune system left, nurses at Urgent Care took me in through a side door when my turn came up. Staff got me comfortable on a bed. Now remember, I was freezing with an ice pack on my head.
Twenty blankets would not have been enough to warm me up, although staff did come up with around three or four that they wrapped me in.
A doctor came in, spoke with Jim about my condition, and ordered an injection to “make me more comfortable.” In a couple of minutes I was asleep. They didn't give me anything for the infection, fever, or blisters.
THEY GAVE ME A TRANQUILIZER!
And that was it!
That’s all they did for me other than to give Jim some tablets to “make me more comfortable at home.” The rascals put me to sleep.
My immune system had pretty much been wiped out by two heavy rounds of chemotherapy. My body could do little to heal itself.
That’s the best our great medical system in America could do for me: tranquilize me? That got my attention. It appeared they did not care.
Have you ever had one of those moments in life that is called a “watershed moment,” a moment that you can turn down the corner of a page? Well, this was one of mine.
With the “healthcare” I was receiving from my doctors, I started taking care of myself at home, anything to get relief for my burning head. I must have been a pretty sight when Jim discovered me in our bathroom with children’s white creamy diaper rash ointment spread all over my head.
Life's Lighter Moments
When he found me, I was in the process of creating a make-do bandage for the entire top of my head. Now, don’t laugh out loud too much.
Can you just imagine what I must have looked like with white greasy ointment all over my entire head? Boy, let me tell you, the honeymoon was over when my poor husband came in the bathroom and caught me applying that home-remedy to the top of my head.
Talk about the lighter side of marriage, we had our laughter moment during all that misery I was enduring. I was a funny looking sight. I know, because I was looking at myself in my mirror.
(No, thank God, there is no picture of me looking like that. Cancer patients are sensitive enough as it is.)
This picture of me (at right) will have to do. . .
Now for the results. You probably know that stuff just made a greasy mess and didn't help a bit.
It was for diaper rash, and not for blisters. I just knew for sure that the ointment would stop some of my burning, but no, not a bit.
It sure was a mess getting off though. Neither Jim nor I remember just how we removed it; I just remember we had a very difficult time at it.
I did mention I bought wigs so I could feel “half-way normal” in public, didn't I? Well, wigs were out, and anything else that felt scratchy and rough to my burned scalp. I had to dig out my scarves, anything light weight and soft to the touch. The top of my head was a real mess at this point.
Chemotherapy Side Effects
It was good that the red streaks started going away after a few days. They really had me worried. The blisters were a different matter though; they took a very long time to go away. In a later chapter, I’ll disclose how I finally got rid of them.
With the way I felt, eating was almost a memory. I could hardly stand the smell of food, let alone eat it. When Jim brought me a meal, I barely ate a spoonful or two. I had a weight problem before becoming a cancer patient, and I constantly tried to loose a few pounds.
Chemotherapy And Weight Loss
But . . . “I wouldn't recommend this weight loss program to anyone.” I was down about thirty-five pounds from my top weight by this time. I was “using up my reserves” fast and my body smelled like the body of a dead person.
Hired Help For Cancer Patients
Jim hired Katie, a non-practicing RN from our church, to help during this time. Katie told Jim she could use the extra money, and wouldn't charge RN fees. She did my laundry daily to rid the house of the odor.
Katie also helped Jim with the cooking, cleaning, and ran errands for us. She did anything we asked her to do around the house. She was a real blessing to have in our time of need, and Jim sure needed the help because I was a “real handful” at this point.
So, all wasn't going as I planned.
Risks And Consequences Of Chemotherapy
When I made the decision to take the chemotherapy, I had no idea it would “knock me on my bottom” like it did. You know, we all read the warning labels of what could happen, and (if you’re like me) you think dreadful diseases will happen to the other person.
But this time, it happened to me; I was one of the cancer patients. There are consequences to our actions, aren't there?
I was now living the consequences of my decisions and actions, and it wasn't pretty. I knew way down deep within me that if I went through the third chemotherapy, I would die. There is just no way to sugar-coat it. I’m telling you exactly what I knew at the time: I would die if I had chemo round number three. The next paragraph may explain my reasoning.
Most Cancer Patients Die of Chemotherapy!
Here is shocking information to the reader.
It was revealed in "The RAVE Diet & Lifestyle" that the origins of chemotherapy date back to chemical warfare agents in World War II, which used mustard gas. The book goes on to say chemotherapy is just as toxic to today’s cancer patient as it was to the enemy soldier it was intended for. It appears the cancer industry simply changed the name from chemical warfare to chemo-therapy and coined the phrase “war on cancer.”
The book continues to give survival rates quoted from articles in the “Scientific American” back in 1985.
Chemotherapy was able to save only three percent (3%) of cancer patients.
From 1990 to 2004 in the U.S. and Australia the numbers remained the same, a shameful three percent.
Compare that with the medical profession’s requirement that any drug that shows less than thirty percent effectiveness is no better that a placebo.
The last sentence is worth re-reading . . .
Alternative Cancer Treatments That Works Fast
At A Mexican Clinic
My Name is Peggy Sue Roberts, the author of this website.
In 2007 I lived in Riverside, California, USA when I was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer and told I had as short as 3-months to live.
Oncology almost killed me with chemo, and then sent me home to die.
I researched the internet, talked to friends, networked, shopped, and found a wonderful Mexican Cancer Clinic which was recommended in a book by a nationally known author regarding ‘Natural Cures’ which I found at my local health food store in Riverside, CA.
The author had researched over 300-natural clinics worldwide and recommended this one particular clinic in Tijuana, BC, Mexico.
This clinic has an impressive 5-year success rate which you will definitely want to go to!
After a few weeks of non-painful, natural treatments, I walked out of the clinic clear of cancer and ready to live again. I’m sure you can too if you get there in time for them to help you.
“My people are destroyed
for lack of knowledge.”
The Bible, Hosea 4:6
Thank you for stopping by my website. I wish you and your family the best of health and happiness,
Peggy Sue Roberts, USA
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