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
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
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
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