GOOD NEWS ON MY LIVER CANCER RECOVERY

 

           In writing this report on the providential recovery from my colon cancer surgery and liver cancer treatments, my heart overflows with gratitude to God for giving me a new lease on life. Words fail to express my gratitude for all the prayers you have offered on my behalf. It is hard to believe what you see on the image of the PET/CAT scan taken on April 24, 2007. The image shows that the presence of cancer in my liver has been reduced by almost 80% after three treatments. This is the impressive color image of the PET/CAT scan.

 

To appreciate how the Lord has answered the many prayers offered on my behalf, let me take you back to the beginning of this emotional roller coaster experience. Two days after our family celebrated my 69th birthday on January 29, 2007, a colonscopy revealed that I had an advanced stage of colon cancer that required immediate surgery. After the colon cancer surgery on February 20, 2007, my family members were told by the surgeon that the cancer had metastacized to the liver, infesting 90% of the organ. The prognosis was bleak. Unless God performed a miracle, I had only a few months or at most two or three years to live.

My family members decided not to tell me such a devastating prognosis. They felt that such heartbreaking news would crush my spirit and prevent any possible recovery. But, a few days later, I heard the same prognosis from the oncologist of the Cancer Treatment Center in Kalamazoo. After looking at the Cat Scan of my liver which I brought to him on a CD, the oncologist told my wife and I in frightening terms that my liver cancer was stage 4, that is, the worse stage, that allows a patient to live only for a short time, somewhere between a couple of months to a couple of years. The only treatment he could offer me was chemothrerapy, which could prolong my life for a few months or years at best.

The impact of the consultation was evident on my wife, Anna, face, which turned very sad. In fact on our ride home we were both pretty silent. We were only hoping that the next day consultation at the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, would be more hopeful. Incidentally, the first thing I did when I got home was to set up an appointment with a lawyer to prepare a living will.

The Consultation at the Center for Cancer Care

I learned about the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, from an email message I received from Vladimir Radivojevic, a Seventh-day Adventist who serves as Assistant to the President of this medical institution. He subscribes to our ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER and he wrote to reassure me of his prayers for my recovery.

When I noticed in his salutation that he was the Assistant to the President of the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, I called him to find out what his center had to offer. He reassured me that his center is staffed by leading oncologists who are conducting clinical trials on various forms of cancer. Moreover, the Center has all the latest equipment for the treatment of cancer under one roof.

We set up an appointment for Wednesday, March 7 for a consultation with Dr. Seza Gulec, who is a Nuclear Oncologist and a pioneer in what is called microsphere embolization. The consultation lasted about two hours and we came out of the meeting with renewed courage and hope. My wife was smiling again.

During the two hours consultation, Dr. Gulec projected on a screen the images of my liver CAT Scan taken at Lakeland hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan. He confirmed to us that the condition of my liver cancer was serious (stage four), but curable. To prove it, he projected the images of similar cases he had treated with liver cancer worse than mine. He explained to us how he plans to attack the cancer cells in my liver with a combined strategy of chemotherapy and microsphere embolization. He showed us with pictures how this procedure has worked in other 15 cancer patients who have been part of his clinical study. Half way through his presentation I told Dr. Gulec: “You have made me a believer of your strategy. There is no need for us to take more of his precious time. I am ready to sign the consent form and set up the appointment.”

My wife and I wish to thank God for leading to this Center for Cancer Care, which is less than one hour away from our home. What we appreciate about this Center is their clinical studies on different forms of cancer. They are committed to test new procedures for cancer patients like me, whose conditions are viewed as hopeless.

Microspheres Plus Chemotherapy not Usually Recommended

Surprisingly, most cancer treatment centers have NO on-going clinical studies for advanced forms of liver cancer. I spoke with oncologists from Loma Linda Medical Center, M. D. Anderson in Dallas, and Chicago University Cancer Center. They all confirmed that they treat cancer simply with chemotherapy, not with a combind procedure of chemo and microspheres. In fact, they advised me against using such procedure, because it could destroy my liver.

I reported these conversation to Seza Gulec, MD, the Nuclear Oncologist, who leads the team that is treating me. I asked him what he thought of the advice to treat my liver cancer first with chemo, and later with microspheres, if it should prove necessary. He explained to me that the reason these oncologists oppose his procedure, is because they do not know yet how the combined use of chemo and microsphere works. He is a pioneer of this combined method. In fact, he was the main presenter on May 4-5, 2007, at the Third Annual Clinical Symposium on “Nuclear Medicine,” held in Chicago. He invited me at this symposium to share the results of my treatments with reporters. I interacted with several doctors eager to learn about this new procedure.


How my Liver Cancer Was Treated

           To get a more accurate picture of the presence of cancer in my liver, Dr. Gulec asked me to take a combined PET/CAT Scan on March 19, 2007, at their Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana. The images of this scan are quite revealing. The three dimensional images show that the left lobe of the liver was 70% affected by cancer cells, while the left lobe about 50%. You can see below the image of my liver before and after the treatment. There is no question that my condition was serious. Look at the picture of my liver before and after the treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The strategy adopted by Dr. Seza Gulec consists of both chemotherapy and microspheres. On Monday, March 26, I was infused with a special brand of chemotherapy. Then on the following day, microbeads were placed with a catherer on the left lobe of the liver which was badly infected with 70% cancer cells. I am told that these beads are like micro atomic bombs that attack aggressively cancer cells. Two weeks later, on April 9, I received a second infusion of chemotherapy. This completed the first round consisting of two chemo and one miscrospheres procedures.

On April 23, I underwent another PET/CAT scan to see what the chemo/microsphers procedures had accomplished. The results surpassed our fondest expectations. At a consultation held on April 30, Dr. Gulec showed to my wife, our daughter Loretta (who is Professor of Nursing), and myself, the difference between the PET/CAT scan image of my liver taken on March 19 before the treatments, and the image of the same scan taken a month later on April 23 after the treatments. The difference between the two is incredible. The image of April 23 shows an almost 80% reduction of cancer cells in my liver, as you can see from the image below.

To eliminate the remaining cancer cells, I underwent two more treatments which have further reduced the activity of the cancer cell. The latest PET/CAT scan of May 30, shows that the substance produced by the cancer cells, known as Carcino Embryonic Antigen (CEA), has been reduced from 1760 before the treatment to 20.7 after the last treatment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord is Giving me a New Lease on Life

One thing is sure. I feel like a new man, with an unprecedented surge of energy and a burning desire to praise God for restoring my health and for giving a new lease on life. Few months ago the major cancer treatment centers in the USA that viewed the CAT scan, gave me from few months to a couple of years to live. Now I feel like a new man with a new lease on life. The only thing that I can say is: Thank you God for healing my body and restoring my health!   God still has a work for me to do. To this end I want to with to dedicate the rest of my life.

How to Contact the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana


           To express my gratitude to God for leading me to this unique Center for Cancer Care, in Goshen, Indiana, I decided to post the information on how you can contact the Center. The Assistant to the President is Vladimir Radivojevic, who is a gracious and caring Adventist Christian. Feel free to contact him at this address:
Vladimir Radivojevic MS, MBA
Assistant Vice-President
The Center for Cancer Care
200 High Park Ave.
Goshen, IN 46526
574.535.2970 phone 574.535.2535 fax
Email: vradivoj@goshenhealth.com
Websites: www.goshenhealth.com or www.cancermidwest.com
If you or someone you know has cancer, feel free to contact Vladimir. He will talk with you personally, gather your information, and place you in contact with an oncologist who can examine your situation. Vladimir informed me that it is very important for them to receive the medical records, especially CAT/SCANS. That will help them determine if one of their clinical trials programs fits the cancer needs of the patient.

What is unique about this Center for Cancer Care, is that they have a dozen of clinical studies on different forms of cancer. This means that they use different procedures not available in most hospitals. I contacted various Cancer Centers in Chicago, Dallas, Loma Linda, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Detroit, but none of them conduct clinical trial on cancer. All what they have to offer is chemo treatments. Chemo alone would hardly have shut down the activity of 95% of the cancer cells.

Feel free to contact Vladimir by email or by phone. You will find him to be most helpful. Incidentally, the Center provides free accommodation in a nicely furnished Guest House with several rooms, each with private bathroom facilities. Vladimir will also arrange for someone to pick you up at the South Bend airport, which is about 30 miles away. You will be impressed by the caring and compassionate service the Cancer Center offers.


Seven Important Lessons Learned from this Cancer Experience

This cancer experience has taught me seven important lessons which I would like to share with you.

First, life and health are a divine gift that we cannot take for granted. Every day we ought to thank God for a new opportunity to live and to serve Him.

Second, when confronted with a desease regarded as incurable, we need to maintain a positive outlook, trusting in God’s ability to heal us. If we allow discouragement to overtake us, our capacity to fight desease is greatly impaired. Throughout my whole experience, I never lost faith in God’s ability to heal me.

Third, the prayers of fellow believers are heard and answered by God. Let us claim the promise of James 5:16: “Pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effect.” Only eternity will reveal how the prayers of countless believers in different parts of the world, have contributed to my healing process.

Fourth, do not accept the first diagnose and/or the first proposed treatment with unquestionable trust. Remember that your local doctor or specialist, may have a limited understanding of your medical problem. Ask God to lead you to a specialist who can diagnose your medical condition and offer you the help that you need. I believe that the Lord led us to the Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Indiana, because He knew that there I could receive a chemo/microsphere treatment not readily available elsewhere.

Fifth, be willing to use both the conventional and unconventional resources available to you. Some Adventists warned me against all forms of radiation therapy, urging me to use exclusively supplimentary natural products. Some believers on our campus who have followed this advice, are already resting in their tomb, awaiting resurrection morning. I believe in the efficacy of some natural product to strengthen the immune system. In fact I am taking several of them every day. But I also believe in benefiting from the dedicated research of scientists whom the Lord has led to find better treatments for “killer” deseases.

Sixth, our ultimate goal is not to seek desperately to prolong our life, but to live every day, honoring God in all our endeavors. Ultimately, what counts is not how long we lived, but how we lived. How many lives have we touched with the love of God? What legacy are we leaving to our family members and fellow believers? Great men of God like Paul lived a relatively short and painful life, yet his teachings and commitment to the mission of the church, are still influencing million of Christians.

Seven, seek to understand what lesson is the Lord trying to teach you through your desease. In my case I sensed that the unexpected diagnosis of cancer in my colon and liver, was a wake up call from God, telling me: “It is time to slow down Sam. At 69 years of age, you are no longer a teenager. You can no longer afford to work during the week 15 hours a day, and then fly every weekend to conduct seminars.” I plan to take heed to this wake up call, by changing my life style. I will devote more time to exercise and rest, and reduce my travels to only two weekend seminars every month. 

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Christian regards

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,
Retired Professor of Theology and Church History, Andrews University
4990 Appian Way
Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Phone (269) 471-2915 Fax (269) 978-6898

E-mail sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com
         

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