Richard’s diagnosis came on quickly. With what was thought to be a simple small corneal abrasion turned into something much more. Richard was being treated for a small abrasion with antibiotic ointment and told his vision would gradually improve. Within a few weeks Richard instinctively brought himself back to the eye Dr. because there was no improvement in his vision. In that same day he was referred to a retinal specialist as he was found to have a retinal detachment. With further studies Richard was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma Choroidal tumor of his right eye.
Our whole life changed..
We retreated and did not see family or friends. Richard retreated completely from any outside influences knowing that true healing was of body mind and spirit and needed to afford himself this time. He knew intuitively that discovery of why his body’s environment allowed the production of a tumor needed to be explored.
We had many intimate discussions and did a lot of review and research of Cancer in general and malignant melanoma. Aside from Qigong , at the forefront of our research was diet. It came into our awareness that there had been a recent change in Richards’ diet. In the past six weeks it was noted that he had begun to crave sugar. Many desserts were appearing in our house which was not our norm for the past 20 years. We knew then that it was not Richard that was craving the sugar , but the tumor. He immediately ceased all ingestion of sugar. There is such a theory to starve the tumor. Our diet awareness also included more plant base and less animal proteins. There was more in the coming weeks to discover about diet as well. Our diet usually was fairly healthy with no processed foods and plenty of fresh vegetables from our own garden but now we would bring it to another level
Our research brought us to our Qigong practice. As Qigong practitioners we had a solid foundation but went on to discover more that was specific to Cancer recovery.. There are hospitals in China where people are treated successfully with just Qigong. (Qigong, simply put is the cultivation and flow of your energy)
Upon diagnosis, Richard being a Qigong practitioner and integrative therapist began using his knowledge and practice to shrink the tumor
Richard was referred to a Dr. Brian Marr, an Ophthalmology Oncology specialist formerly at Sloan Kettering and now at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC. It was a difficult decision for Richard to attend such an appointment due to his knowledge and strong belief in Chinese Medicine. To soften this we made an appointment with Andrew Huey, LAc a much respected acupuncturist we have known in NY just prior to seeing Dr. Marr. on that same day. It was very helpful and encouraging to see him and made the visit to Dr. Marr a more open minded experience. Dr. Marr turned out to be someone we highly respected and admired. Not only was he an expert and one of the best in his field but also a warm and open hearted individual. He listened to Richard’s belief in chinese medicine and understood his conflicts. He strongly suggested brachytherapy which is a radiation implant to kill the malignant cells. He was open to suggesting that whatever we could bring with our practices of chinese medicine would be helpful as well. Because of Dr. Marr’s demeanor Richard was able to confidently pursue what he had suggested. At the time of that first visit it was found that with Richard’s Qigong practice and intention the tumor had already reduced from 9mm to 7.6mm.
So two and one half weeks after seeing Dr. Marr Richard was admitted to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and rec’d brachytherapy (radiation implant) to his eye. On the fourth day the implant was removed and Richard was discharged. Needless to say, post op care continued at at home with his eye being swollen, bloodshot, draining. Cleansed twice a day and ointment applied and a shield worn at night.
Prior to surgery and after, Richard received acupuncture treatments and counsel from a much respected acupuncturist we have known for years, Therese Balagne, LAc who is local to us. Her input and deep discussions with Richard were invaluable along with her support
Her broad knowledge and experience with Chinese Medicine is priceless.
Two weeks post surgery we traveled to Florida to attend our Medical Qigong school that had been scheduled months before and prior to the awareness of Richard’s diagnoses. We studied with Lisa Van Ostrand, a Doctor of Chinese Medicine we had known and befriended for years. She decided that with the protocols we would be learning, that Lisa , out teacher would exclusively treat Richard. So Richard rec’d several medical Qigong treatments in four days. Her expertise and attentiveness to Richard was very sincerely appreciated.
Prior to these treatments his energy was quite low. After and traveling home Richard seemed so much better and getting back to himself.
We returned to Dr. Marr for his first post post op visit, one month after surgery. All practitioners that examined Richard that day were amazed at his healing progress
The Nurse/tech that first examined his eye stated that 90% of pts on the initial visit still have so much redness and healing left to do and that his eye looked amazing. Dr. Marr said to Richard, “Did you have surgery?” that is how good his eye looked. Dr. Marr was astounded. Also upon exam the tumor had reduced to 6mm. Dr. Marr explained that the tumors do not usually BEGIN to shrink until the 3 month mark. (the radiation kills the malignant cells and then in time the tumor shrinks)
Dr. Marr was so impressed that he asked Richard to keep a log of all the alternative practices he had done in the hope of helping others. At this writing we have already been contacted from Dr. Marr’s office to give permission for our contact information to another pt to share what we have done.
So Richard is still on a healing journey. To bring complete recovery and return to full health. We were already aware of the work of Dr. Kevin W. Chen on Qigong for Cancer recovery and were anticipating attending for our own knowledge so as to treat others. Richard now will be attending for his own recovery. It is a week in Maryland followed by 2 weeks in China at wellness clinics for further healing Debra, his wife, also a Qigong practitioner and Integrative therapist will accompany him.. She is taking an unpaid leave of absence from work.
The first goal at this time as mentioned is for Richards complete return to health. The second but equally important goal is to bring what we learn back to treat others. Richard and Debra are devoted practitioners teaching Qigong, seeing individuals privately, and facilitating retreats for many years. They see this journey as one of healing but also bringing greater depth and knowledge to their practice in order to be of service to others. That is their passion in life.
Chinese Medicine is for healing of the mind, body and spirit. It is an important and great complement to western medicine. We are of an age to be blessed to have the meeting and full complement of care from both the east and west
The campaign is for $5,000 to assist them. (The total cost will be approx $10,000plus)
This will be updated soon. Emphasis has been placed on recovery not the web page. A quick update is- the China trip did not happen instead a travel made to Kokolulu Cancer retreat Farm in Hawi Hawaii - where Richard and Debra became fully exposed to Zhineng Qigong and Hun Yuan Qi Therapy.
The tumor was succesfully dissolved in 120 days. It is now only scar tissue. Richard is now working upon seeing again in his affected eye. His unaffected eye has gone from 20/30 to 20/15. Dr Marr in October said Richard was at least years ahead of traditional recovery schedule for this process. He also said he is still trying to wrap his head around all that has happened.
We re grateful for this all happening.