Stella Maris-Ann Caputi's visit

I've been nomail for most of the last month, having returned to Tijuana for treatment with Dr. Keller after a spike in my tumor markers.

Living with this disease gets more and more confusing as the years go by. My markers spiked, but were more in line with their usual range when I got to Mexico. Also, Dr. Keller uses other tests to evaluate health/cancer status, and these gave us more perspective on what is going on.

He uses a LASA-P test, which measures levels of syalic acid, and gives an indication of tumor activity and the aggressiveness of a tumor. This test came back with a number firmly in the center of normal range, and my immune status profile looked excellent.

My helper to suppressor cell ratio was very impressive to them. He considers this one of the best windows in to assessing how anyone is managing their cancer. I am grateful to have access to these other tests, they are so much more revealing and comprehensive than what they do here.

Needless to say, conventional medicine here doesn't have much interest in a more extensive immune status evaluation of patients who are receiving immune compromising chemotherapies.

It's fascinating to go to Tijuana. Most patients actually stay in San Ysidro, the border town in S. California. There is a motel which caters to patients with a very low rate and van service across the border, to and from the clinics every day. So you meet alot of other patients through the communal transportation.

Sadly, many of them have had more than their share of chemo"therapy",(if one could in good conscience ever call it "therapy"), and are quite ill. Most have experienced in very tragic and painful ways the failure of the US medical madness. I travelled with my youngest brother, who is 29, 14 years younger than I am.

When we first joined the community of patients who gather to wait for the van, I assumed it was obvious that one of us was a patient. After the first day of treatment, I had a catheter in the back of my hand, which was an obvious sign that I was a patient. When we got on the van the second morning, I turned around to speak with people behind me and put my hand on the back of the seat for support.

It was then that I discovered that people were surprised that I was a patient. They thought that my brother and I were doctors who were there to tour and evaluate the clinics.

This astounded me. Having never had chemo or radiation, and doing so many health enhancing trreatments throughout my four year journey with cancer, and having been devoted to health and wellness for 20 years prior to my diagnosis, I guess I don't look like the typical cancer survivor.

Needless to say, I was surprised, and I suppose, flattered or honored to be perceived as a healthy person/professional here to learn more about non-toxic treatments for cancer. It's true I guess, that I look strikingly different than those who have been throught alot of ineffective toxic therapy.

And I am a health professional and a cancer survivor, but it made a profound impression on my brother to witness how I was perceived and how others were so compromised in comparison to his sister.

The truth is, that although many people go to Tijuana for "alternative" therapies, it is also astounding to me how many clinics use chemo or other toxic therapies, either in conjunction with, or recommending it for when patients return to the states. I heard many unpleasant stories of unethical and deceptive practices at some of the more famous clinics there. I have no substantiation of these stories, which I heard from a doctor who has worked at many of the other clinics, but asking patients what they were receiving and what was being recommended to them did corroborate to some extent the stories which I was hearing from the behind the scenes professional side.

These experiences always deepen my appreciation and gratitude for having a long term relationship with a doctor who I know, trust, and respect, and whose philosophy and treatment methodologies I am certain about.

A man I met who was going to one of the other clinics told me of a very young woman with breast cancer who had refused conventional treatment. She had come to Tijuana for treatment. They treated her some, then sent her home to have surgery and chemo, insisting that chemo was necessary for some breast cancers. He gave her my name and number, but I have not heard from her to date, and have no way to reach her. There is so much tragedy in this world of cancer.

Best to all. Happy Summer.(June 2001) Anne Caputi

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