Chapter 13

A brief intro to TCM and then off to Hawaii

I not sure who it was who introduced us to Traditional Chinese medicine. Coincidence is a strange thing, or is it coincidence at all, one thing leading to the next almost orchestrated. I remember seeing this TCM doctor in downtown Victoria for some sessions with acupuncture. I only went a few times as it turned out we choose to go to Hawaii next to be treated by another Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor who came highly recommended.
We had come to the conclusion that the grape fast, although helpful, wasn’t the answer, the laetrile, although touted as the next big cure, was suspect, and were just beginning treatments with the acupuncture, when we received a serendipitous call from a school friend of my mothers. She was a private nurse in Hawaii and she knew of this Naturopath doctor, in Hawaii, who worked with cancer patients. He utilised a special brand of vitamins, derived from parts of animals, as well as acupuncture. So off we were to Hawaii; we could check this guy out and have a honeymoon, sort of like double or nothing.

We were met at the airport by the friend of my mother’s, and taken to this Japanese doctor. He was extremely personable, he counselled me on the vitamins I would need to take, (about 150 a day).

He also had me eat this green gunk. I think it had mashed asparagus, broccoli, with a concoction of other stuff with an overbearing taste of mint in it. It was gross!! It also made my teeth look green!! He then worked acupuncture with me, leaving me full of needles from head to toe for periods of time. This was when my husband thought it would be a good opportunity to take pictures to send back home. So now I can remember that time in my life as the time I was laying down, full of needles, with green teeth. Great!

We went to see this fellow daily; he even found us an apartment we could stay at, rent-free for some of the first while. After about three weeks things weren’t looking much better so my mother joined us and we stayed at her friends place right on Waikiki Beach. We were counselled thoroughly on nutrition, again. All this focus on diet was something almost foreign back in the 70’s, deep fried food was the mainstay and nutrition was something pursued by those into free love, who had long hair and were into deep, deep, deep, meditation. Watching what you ate wasn’t mainstream like it is today. We continued our daily visits for treatment though I was showing no sign of improvement.

I met some of the other clients, one in particular I will never forget. He was being treated, though I was never sure for what, I think it was leukaemia, and with all he was going through, he was always a pleasant and positive role model. He noticed, in me, that I had a lot of strength and told me how he was sure I was going to do well. This of course rejuvenated my own, somewhat depleted, convictions. He presented me some of the pieces of jewellery that he had been selling. His show of kindness and generosity though lightened a difficult time in my life.

I learned a lot from him about positive attitude, and how lucky I was to be a Canadian. I learned how whole families in the states would go into debt to have one relative treated for cancer, whether they lived or died. I was having a first hand education into not only health and nutrition but into the toll of an illness as well. I never knew his name and yet I’ll remember him always, as a positive influence towards my recovery. I still wear his necklaces and remember his attitude and kindness.

As it was, during this time, I was still deteriorating, unfortunately the lump in my throat was getting bigger and it was becoming more and more difficult to swallow the vitamins that were needed for the type of treatment that I was on. I had huge sores in my mouth and my energy was non-existent. We called my father to also come to Hawaii.