Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.
It is amazing that I am having this conversation with someone in Chattanooga. I grew up in Chattanooga. I am a graduate of the McCallie School.
I sincerely hope this public dialogue will help others.
Yes, I do take a rather combative tone towards western medicine at times, which might not be wise. But I think one can understand the fear and frustration of someone in my situation. I am getting a lot of contradictory, confusing, and incomplete information.
For instance, I assumed that the colonoscopy biopsy (there’s your Western medicine right there, and I am glad I did that) would be very straightforward. I was awake for the entire procedure and I saw them snip samples with that colonoscopy thing. I saw it on HD TV, in fact. No one told me that if these samples came back negative, there would be more probing. This was an immediate indication that not all was as it seemed. It is easy for the patient to assume that negative means negative.
Surgery certainly emits a clarion call, doesn’t it? Just let us snip that bad boy out of there and then everything will be fine. But as you say, backed up with evidence, the recurrence rates for surgery are high. No one bothered to mention that either. Of course, it is not something a patient wants to hear. And here in China I am dealing with a language barrier, so there’s that.
One of my main arguments against surgery, which by the way I am totally considering, is simple: It’s rich man’s medicine.
The cost of the operation they want to do in China is prohibitively high for most Chinese citizens, though certainly a very large percentage could afford it. So you are telling me that I have to deplete ALL my wealth for an operation that has a high chance of recurrence? And then with what money will I pay for the subsequent operations? With what money will I pay for this and that drug that is necessary in case of complications? Furthermore, it seems there is a significant chance that money may be better spent elsewhere, so spending all my money on surgery would negate potentially life-saving options.
On a practical side, what bloodwork are you talking about? An American nurse here in China recommended the CEA test. But when I go to the Wikipedia site for that, it says that the results of such a test are not conclusive, that cancer could exist on the site in the colon and not show up in the bloodstream. So what good is that?
Finally, Chinese medicine existed thousands of years before colonoscopies, biopsies and CEA tests. While I agree that such tests are helpful, it stands to reason that some practitioners of this system of medicine encountered similar symptoms, and without naming them as “cancer” or “microbial infection” treated these maladies effectively.
Alas, then people died too. There are no easy answers.
Thank you again,