[BACK] From

December 5, 2002

By Marilyn Holasek Lloyd

In the mid-1990s, when Barbara Folden was diagnosed with carcinoid tumor of the small intestine, it had spread to her liver. She had lived with symptoms for many years, but no one could figure out her problem. Finally, a CAT scan showed something, and a surgeon went exploring. He ended up taking out several feet of her small intestine and noticed numerous spots on her liver. Although, carcinoid tumors can be slow growing, cancer already attached to a person’s liver is an ominous development. The oncologist was called in. Barbara knew this caring cancer specialist because he had attended to her father. She recalled that when he put his arm around her and said he would take care of her just like he had taken care of her father, "At that moment I knew I was going to die."

Barbara is a small woman, and with her illness and surgery weighed only 85 pounds, and was very weak. The oncologist recommended chemotherapy immediately that "wouldn’t help her very much, but would help others." (Now we realize he was talking about palliative chemotherapy, because if you look up the standard of care for her illness, chemotherapy does not statistically help--but the doctor did not tell her that) He had the shunt put in her chest, practically before she knew what was happening.

Even though Barbara felt very weak, she had enough sense to say, " I need to go home and build my strength up." The encouragement that her chemotherapy would "help others" didn’t sit well with her. She was all for helping others, but she wanted to live. She was only 49-years-old.

Barbara’s daughter recommended an alternative medicine practitioner and she agreed to see him. She then said "no" to chemo. First, she went on a three-month cleansing regimen. She did not eat solid food, took mega-doses of vitamins, drank 64 ounces of fresh vegetable juice a day, and took protein and herb bulk supplements.

She soon began to get strong and put on weight. Then three months later, she had another CAT scan. Her primary care physician called her with the good news. Her CAT scan was clear.

Barbara organized a wellness group, which I have joined. We meet once a month and discuss alternative/complementary medicine, have a healthy lunch, and support one another in our various journeys. Barbara sang with a Big Band for years and also started singing jazz with a wonderful accompanist and has made 2 CDs in Nashville.

She tells her medical story any chance she gets, and has helped countless people. I wish I could end the story here, but medicine tried to interfere with her wellness. Several years ago, a gastroenterologist called her in to see him. Barbara thought it would be to know what she did to get well. But he told her "if she continued down the path she was on, she would kill herself." Barbara stomped out of his office and refused to pay the bill, saying, "he asked to see me; I didn’t ask to see him."

Some doctors just won’t give up on their toxic treatments.

Barbara continues to do well. She believes that it is likely that she wouldn’t have had these great years had she opted for chemo.