Beating the odds!


I have beaten the odds according to my surgeon.

A couple of weeks ago I had a follow up appointment at Tauranga Hospital. This appointment was primarily for me to listen to what my surgeon thought about my latest results given that he wasn’t particularly happy that I chose to refuse conventional treatment. My results showed that I have no spread to any organs, and the one remaining lymph node which does have cancer cells has reduced in size since the previous scan.

As I patiently waited for him to arrive, he wandered into the consulting room and announced to me ” it’s really good news” & you are looking so well!  He admitted that he was surprised to see me looking so well, and he didn’t expect that we would be having this conversation 3 years down the track.


Does that mean he has no faith in my approach to healing with holistic therapies, in changing the way we could look at healing naturally? Well YES and NO.

I had already found out about these scan results from my GP several weeks before this session, however I especially wanted to have the opportunity to meet with him to get a better understanding of his observations with the current rate at which cancer seems to return after conventional treatment methods and to just show him how well I actually am.

This has always been a bone of contention with me, I know I am no expert, however my observations are showing that chemo may help with a survival rate of another 5 years, however the side effects are somewhat permanent and incredibly detrimental to daily living for so many.

So what did this confirm for me?

This appointment confirmed for me that in general the system has let many people down, those who have chosen to follow a completely holistic path, the system has no statistics on patient survival with out conventional treatment.  They do however have the data to support the results of a group of people who are given chemotherapy & radiation treatment and the statistics to support it.

I asked my surgeon if he has seen a trend with patients who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer that also had lymph nodes affected by cancer (as I did) if the cancer had spread after surgery. His straight up answer was YES. Along with a relapse and/or a spread to other organs.

According to him the main factor to consider is the biology of the tumour which determines how it behaves and which modern medicine is not very good at deciphering. He thinks science will get better in the future, but certainly not in his lifetime as a surgeon. I explained that as a holistic health coach I am seeing an increasing number of clients who have gone down the path of conventional treatment and been given the all clear, to then be faced with a relapse or spread to other organs within the following two years or sooner.

Should we be doing Chemotherapy?

I asked him if that was an observation he is noting too..….”certainly in rectal & colon cancers after radiation or chemo the reoccurrence usually happens within the first 3 years and some cases even 10 years down the track”. 80% of the reoccurrences are in the first 2-3 years.

I asked him if it made him question the current treatment options we have and use,  his response was “it is better than no treatment, and if you have lymph nodes involved then the evidence is pretty solid that treatment is beneficial”.

Essentially they look at groups of 1500 patients with bowel cancer, when they give chemo post surgery 70% are still alive at 5 years, you don’t give them chemo then 40% are still alive at 5 years. So effectively there is still 30% of patients who have had chemo and are not alive.  He said it’s not perfect, or the panacea but it does lead to a survival benefit, because we are looking at it from a group perspective we are not looking at individual cases and that’s the best evidence we have from the big cohorts of information and thats what they base their treatments on.

He said its not that we hang on to chemotherapy as the cure and that if something else was out there that was better we would switch to that, but there is not enough evidence yet.

Some of the newer chemotherapy agents they are trialling are looking very positive according to him, however I couldn’t help add into our conversation –  Well so are some of the more health enhancing “alternatives”, besides look at me! He begged to differ, he had seen no evidence that natural treatment protocols are successful – I have just missed the bullet! HUH very narrow minded point of view in my opinion.

However stranger things happen don’t they….

“We can’t measure what happen’s at an individual level if we don’t understand the biology of the tumour and individual biology and there are things we cant predict. He suggested that I may of just had a stroke of luck with my healing!!! Stroke of luck….hmmm, maybe I have had a stoke of luck however my GUT tell’s me otherwise.

I do believe that my healing has come from many of the holistic approaches I have embraced, not just with nutrition or ozone therapy, or soul purpose stuff but an approach that mean’t I was healing my body, mind and soul on many different levels.

The funny thing is that he had never heard anything about Ozone Therapy, and what it does. He normally is not interested either, however I hope I have sown a little seed in this mans’ mind as he finally went on to ask me more about it and what I have have actually done to support myself!!!

He told me he was glad we were sitting here having this conversation today, because he was genuinely worried that the disease would progress rather aggressively, that I have “beaten the odds” in some respect, and whether its my robust constitution that got me through or something else –  it was predominantly likely that genetics had the role to play and that nutrition and lifestyle had a very small part to play. ….

Well go figure!!!

Considering my oncologist and the gene research centre who tested my blood said my cancer was likely to be only 2.5% genetically related.

However I am sure most physicians truly care about their patients, however their training is overwhelmingly biased towards pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to treatment, they virtually have no training or background in clinical nutrition and zero training in non-conventional approaches to treatment of disease. This should make us somewhat cautious when relying on their advice, especially when our lives may depend upon it. I strongly feel we must all take control of our own health and do our own research.

I guess the important message here is that we each need to be given all the information from both sides of the table and take action without the pressure of fear of what we must do. My advice is to do what sits right for each of us, we are all so different, and not one therapy works for all.

I totally recommend everyone who is affected by cancer in some way to watch Ty Bollinger’s movie series called “The Truth about CANCER” this information may well help you decide what sits right for you.

As for me, I am eternally grateful I did listen to my GUT instinct and not go down the conventional path! Truly blessed that I have had the HUGE support of my husband and family and amazing friend’s who were always behind my decisions. Life is GOOD!!!

Meet Justine

I’m Justine Laidlaw – Colon Cancer Survivor, Integrative Cancer Coach, Life Coach, Dr. Kelly Turners RADICAL REMISSION workshop facilitator and Thermography Breast Screening technician (Godfrey Integrative Medical Clinic) based in the beautiful Bay of Plenty town of Tauranga in New Zealand. Read More

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