C Teo, C Beng Im-Teo
C Teo, C Beng Im-Teo. Comatose Patient with Pineoblastoma Revived by Herbal Therapy: A Case Study. The Internet Journal of Third World Medicine. 2006 Volume 4 Number 2.
Daisy (not real name), then a 21-year-old female, presented with vomiting and headaches. A CT scan indicated obstructive hydrocephalus. Her condition returned to normalcy after the installation of V-P shunts. Barely one and a half years later Daisy suffered a relapse. Subsequent imaging indicated tumors in the brain and this was diagnosed as pineoblastoma. Daisy was in a coma and had to be warded in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Medically she was written off. Doctors told her parents to find whatever "cures" they thought would help Daisy. A stranger told her parents about CA Care herbs. Two weeks after taking the herbs, Daisy emerged from coma and was discharged from the hospital. She suffered total memory loss and had to learn how to read and do the basic household chores all over again. Daisy remained well for more than 5 years. She only took herbs. In June 2006, Daisy suffered pain in her eyes and had blurred and multiple visions. Her problems were resolved after taking more herbs.
Declaration of Interest
The senior author is a practising herbalist and therefore has financial interest in the herbs mentioned in this article. However, please note that these herbs are not commercially available and has to be specially prescribed by the author.
Introduction & Literature Review
Brain tumors are perhaps the most feared of all human malignancies. This disease affects both children and adults (1 ). One rare and very little known type of malignancy is pineoblastoma, which involves the pineal region of the brain. Pineoblastomas represent less than 0.1% of all primary brain tumors. They occur mostly in children although less than 10% of cases were reported in adult ( 2, 3 ).
The rarity of pineoblastoma is reflected in the number of cases reported. Throughout a period of 30 years (1969-1998) the Brain Tumor Registry of Japan recorded only 34 adults, aged 16 to 66 years, with pineoblastoma ( 2 ). In the US, Mayo Clinic recorded only 15 patients with pineoblastomas from 1939 to 1991 ( 4 ). The University of California, San Francisco recorded 11 cases of pineoblastoma in patients ranging from 17 to 59 years old from 1975 to 1992 ( 5 ).. In Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, Korea, only 2 patients were treated with pineoblastoma over a period of 1982 to 1996 ( 6 ).
According to Nomura ( 7 ) the incidence of pineal tumors was higher in Asian countries compared to Western countries. A review of literature also reflects this – much more reports about pineal tumors have been written by Japanese researchers than from any other countries.
It is said that because of their highly invasive tendency, poorly defined borders and location, total gross resection of pineoblastomas is very difficult and could be outright dangerous. Although the effectiveness of external irradiation and chemotherapy has been reported, the outlook is extremely poor ( 18 ).
Because of the potential danger of surgery in and around the pineal gland, some investigators have recommended radiotherapy without biopsy. Unfortunately the tumors were not curable by radiotherapy. Initial response did not last and relapse generally occurred ( 10). Fisher et al. ( 3 ) pointed out that in the past, surgical treatment of pineal tumors resulted in mortality rate as high as 90%. For this reason a more conservative management such as shunting and radiotherapy are preferred.
Duffner et al. ( 19 ) reported the outcome of 11 infants with pineoblastomas who underwent partial surgical resection and had shunts. They were treated with prolonged chemotherapy to be followed by craniospinal radiation. Survival following diagnosis ranged from 4 months to 13 months. All children died. Balas et al. ( 20 ) suggested a non-resective treatment approach to pineoblastoma comprising of: stereotactic biopsy, cerebrospinal fluid diversion, both external radiotherapy and interstitial irradiation with iodine-125 seeds and sometimes integrated with chemotherapy ( 21 ). However, Chang et al. ( 5 ) observed that although patients with pineoblastoms are often treated with adjuvant systemic chemotherapy after craniospinal irradiation, the benefits of this approach are unclear.
Episode 1: Hydrocephalus and Installation of V-P shunt
Daisy (not real name), then a 21-year-old female, started to feel lethargic and had frequent headaches. Her doctor did not suspect anything seriously amiss and treated her for typhus. For headaches she took painkillers. The pains went off only to resurface later. Sometimes, Daisy suffered from tremor of her hands if she overexerted herself during training. The tremors would last for one to two hours. As a result, Daisy had to stop her rigorous judo training. One day she vomited and was brought to the Gotot Soebroto Military Hospital in Jakarta.
The doctors in the hospital were baffled as to what had gone wrong and continued to treat her for typhus infection. Daisy became disillusioned. One night she pretended that she had a severe headache. This was to attract her doctor's attention. The next day her doctor ordered a cranial CT scan which showed obstructive hydrocephalus. The doctor installed ventriculo-peritoneal (V-P) shunts (Figure 1). After this intervention, a CT scan on 10 November 1999 showed normalcy (Figures 2). In all, Daisy spent three months in the hospital recovering from her first ordeal.
Episode 2: Pineoblastoma and In a Coma
After her discharge from the hospital, Daisy was not given any medication. She returned to Puncak and became a judo coach. She taught judo to young children and brought them to different neighbouring countries to participate in competitions. Life went on normally for about three years. Daisy did not know the seriousness of her illness. Neither did she had any inkling that she might suffer a relapse.
In March 2001, Daisy started to experience dizzy spells. Her dizziness came on and off every three to four days. She ignored the problem. Then for three days she experienced acute ptyalism. Finally she slipped into unconsciousness. She was admitted to the hospital again on 30 March 2001 and subsequent imaging showed tumors in her brain (Figures 3, 4 & 5). Her problem was diagnosed as pineoblastoma. Her medical report stated:
Daisy was in a coma and was placed in the intensive care unit (ICU). Doctors told her parents that they were open to any alternative suggestions to help her. Medically, there was not much that medicine could do. While in a coma her only contact with the outside world was a feeding tube inserted through her mouth to the stomach. It was at that point in time when someone introduced the family to CA Care. Two weeks after Daisy started to take the herbs, she regained her consciousness.
To obtain different perspectives of Daisy's recovery, we interviewed three people: the late Drs. Patoppoi Pasau, CA Care representative in Indonesia who prescribed the herbs, Daisy – the patient, and her parents. The following are excerpts of our conversation:
Interview with the late Drs. Patoppoi Pasau on 21 June 2001
P: She was in a coma and could not do anything. She could not eat. Feeding was through the tube.
P: No. Only the parents reported her condition.
P: They told me that after taking the herbs for two days, she vomited. But I ask the parents to continue with the herbs.
P: During the first week (of taking the herbs) there was a reaction. She emerged from the coma. She was able to see. The second week after taking the herbs, she could talk. But as the tube was still in her mouth, it was difficult for her. Sometime in the third week, she took out the tube from her mouth by herself.
P: Only two types of herbs: Brain Tea and Capsule A.
P: In the third week (after taking the herbs).
P: I had to wear the hospital's gown to enter the room. I shook hands with her and also talked to her. The first words from her were: “I want to eat satay kambing” (barbequed mutton on stick). So I said: “Wait, wait”.
P: During my first visit: No. She was later transferred out of the ICU, so during my second visit she was already in the regular ward. Anybody could visit her there. When I came in, she was already talking with other people. And she was eating normally.
P: Last week – that is mid June 2001. (This conversation was recorded on 21 June 2001).
P: No pains.
P: Yes. She talked with me and was laughing like a normal person would. She could walk.
P: Yes, because of the herb boxes on the table in the hospital room. The nurses helped to boil the herbal teas. The doctor only asked the father for my address.
P: Oh yes, this is a military hospital. Even the President of Indonesia goes there for treatment. It is better compared to other hospitals. They took her there because the Chairman of the Olympic Committee is a military general. (Note: Daisy is Indonesian's judo gold medalist and therefore is provided with the best of medical treatment without charge).
Interview with Daisy on 14 October 2002
While in the hospital, mine was a dark world. I did not see any images, and I did not feel any pain. And I did not remember hearing anything too. But although I was in a coma, I was not brain-dead. According to my mother, I did react to what was going on around me in the ward. When my friends came they cried and told me not to leave them yet. My mother said my eyes were also full of tears when my friends cried. At one time, I became very angry. At times, I laughed. When my judo coach from Korea came, I talked to him in Korean much to the amazement of those around me. There were times when I asked for pizza,
D: No. I have to be fed through the tube.
D: No, I do not remember at all. My mother said that after I took your herbs, I started to pass out a lot of urine and it was dark and dirty. My parents panicked and called Uncle Patoppoi to check what had happened. Uncle Patoppoi asked my parents to continue giving me the herbs.
My friends told me that while I was in the ICU, my skin peeled off like a moulting snake. They have to apply oil to my skin.
D: About four months and I spent almost two months in the ICU.
D: No, I could not remember anything at all. But this is what my mother told me. After taking your herbs for a while, one day I started to talk. My mother was beside my bed and she usually would be singing hymns. I said to her: “Oh, your hymn is out of tune”
D: Yes, this was after I came out of the ICU and I was in the regular ward. I spent about a month doing physiotherapy. I remember telling the nurse who wheeled me to the physiotherapy room: “Where are you going to bring me. I am not sick. I am alright”.
D: Oh, I lost my ability to move around and to do things. When I saw a toy block, I thought that I could pick it up. No, I did not have the strength to do that. During physiotherapy I had to learn to do things all over again like a young child. I had to learn the alphabets, A, B, C. I rearranged the toy building blocks from one place to another.
D: No. My memory came on and off. Sometimes I remembered things, sometimes I did not. There was a doll in my home. I asked my mother: “who's doll is that?” In fact, it was mine and it was with me all the time when I was in the hospital. My mother had to teach me how to sweep the floor, wipe the table and do other house chores. Slowly, I regained all these basic skills.
I helped my mother to sell things in her shop. One customer paid me 500 Rupiah. I gave him back 1000 Rupiah as change!
D: I was home for almost a year. I did not suffer any headache or pain. However, there was one occasion when I had seizure. This caused my parents to panic. But it only occurred once and then everything was back to normal again. There was only once when I vomited while taking a walk with my father. Apart from those two events, I was recovering without any problem.
D: Yes, after one year I became normal again. In mid-2000, I decided to dedicate my life to God. So I left home to study at a seminary (Sekolah Tinggi Telogi Berita Hihup) in Solo, West Jawa.
D: No, I did not see any doctors at all. I was only taking your herbs and nothing else.
Interview with Daisy's parents
On 20 August 2001, Professor Anwar Pasau (the late Patoppoi's brother) interviewed the family in their home in Makasar on our behalf. The following are their answers to our questions:
Answer: She had headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. Her body trembled. She lost her memory and her vision was hazy.
A: She was alright and had no more of problems mentioned in question 1, but she was not able to train in judo anymore. She became a judo instructor instead. She also studied English literature in University Pakuan, Bogor – about an hour ride away from Puncak, her judo training centre.
A: She felt dizzy, had nausea, and vomited. She became sleepy and discharged a lot of saliva. Her body trembled.
A: She was in a coma.
A: The brain doctor could not do anything because the tumor was found in the middle of the brain and thus inoperable. She was prescribed many drugs to take.
A: She was in the hospital from 30 March 2001 to 27 July 2001 (four months) and she was 6 weeks in a coma. Her muscles were all stiff.
A: No, she was not able to remember, hear or see anything.
A: She remembered that she urinated in bed. She remembered Dr. J (brain doctor) and Dr. H (nerve doctor). She also remembered the bitter taste of the Brain tea.
A: We were hoping for God's mercy.
A: In the beginning, we were not sure, but we wanted to try. I have tried many things and I would want to try anything.
A: Before taking the herbs, my daughter was in a coma and her muscles were all stiff. After taking the herbs, my daughter woke up from the coma, the muscles were not stiff and her condition was much improved.
A: Getting to be normal, except for her eyesight.
A: No, she can remember events of the past.
A: She needs to rest and cannot work as a judo instructor yet. Apart from that she is recovering and doing fine.
Episode 3: Earthquake, Blurred and Multiple Visions
In 2006, Daisy had successfully completed her course at the seminary. We thought it would be a good occasion for celebration and invited her to come and stay with us in Penang, Malaysia for a week. However, on 28 May 2006, about 6 weeks before leaving for Penang, a strong earthquake struck Jogjakarta, Indonesia where Daisy was staying. Daisy was sleeping in her church unharmed while the houses in the surrounding area collapsed. On Saturday, 17 June 2006, we received an e-mail from Daisy. It read (translated from Indonesian):
Interview with Daisy on 8 July 2006, in our home, Penang, Malaysia.
D: Yes. I had no problem at all. I was well.
D: I had to organize relief activities, cook and feed 30 to 40 homeless people who came to our church for food. It was hard work. Everyday we had to find whatever we have to feed these people.
D: No, I was very tired and sleepy but still we have to work and get things going. I was not able to sleep well too.
A: It was on 13 June (about two weeks after the earthquake) that I felt pain in my eyes. I tried to get some rest and fell asleep from 12.00 noon till 8 p.m. I was unable to wake up. It took a long time for my friends to get me on my feet again. After that my vision became blur and I saw multiple visions. I saw 3 to 4 images of each person.
A: Four days later I went to see a doctor who referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist asked me to roll my eyes to the left, right, below and above. I could do all except rolling my eyes upwards. To look above I have to turn my head as well.
A: He was reluctant to tell me what was wrong. I then told him that I had a history of brain tumor. The neurologist then admitted: “That is it. But I was reluctant to tell you that it might be a tumor pressing on the nerve affecting your eye movement. I am afraid that I might frighten you”. I told the neurologist that I am planning to go to Penang and see a Dr. Teo. The neurologist suggested that this was a good idea. He did not give me any medication. So with the help of my friend I sent you an e-mail on 17 June 2006. The message was actually written by a friend as I was still not able to see the words on the computer screen.
A: I took your herbs and also some other local supplements. Three days later, I could focus my vision and also direct my eyes to see above. There were some improvements. But I was still not able to read. To focus on the print of the printed page, I need to close one eye. With both eyes open, I could not see clearly nor focus.
A: I was still not able to see objects far away. When I climbed the stairs, I was not able to see the steps.
A: The air stewardess had to help me walk up the steps to the aeroplane. I was not able to fill the immigration embarkation card. Someone had to do that for me.
A: Yes, I could read better. I could focus but it was not very clear yet.
A: No, I cannot read.
On 12 July 2006, we asked Daisy about the condition of her eyes. She said:
One point of contention about this story is the correctness of the diagnosis. Did Daisy really suffer from pineoblastoma? But what does it matter if it is another type of brain cancer? The fact still remains that Daisy was in a coma and there was nothing much modern medicine could do for her. As herbalists we are in no position to verify that diagnosis. Over the years, cancer patients are asked to bring along their medical reports when they come to us for help. We do not diagnose their cancers. We only help to manage the illness. Of the 1,039 cancer patients we have seen over a period of two years, 21 of them suffered from brain cancers and probably 3 cases involved the pineal region. Daisy's case was specifically diagnosed as pineoblastoma.
Daisy was in the ICU for 5 weeks in a coma. After taking herbs she discharged a large quantity of dark, dirty urine and within 2 weeks regained consciousness. It has been more than 5 years since she took herbs and Daisy is still alive and well. Medical science may like to call this recovery a
We have helped thousands of cancer patients, who have been given up medically, for over a decade now. We have seen many cases of miraculous healing. Daisy's case is just one of the many stories. Based on Daisy's experience, we were able to help stabilise disease progression in at least three other brain cancer patients. To us, when medicine does not provide any more hope, we still see there is hope, as seen in Daisy's case. And hope comes with minimal cost. The total cost of herbal therapy for two weeks that brought Daisy out of coma is $70.
It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss how holistic herbal therapy heals cancer. The words of Dr. Norman Shealy, a neurosurgeon, who wrote an aptly titled book,
Chris K. H. Teo CA Care, 5 Lebuhraya Gelugor 11600 Penang, Malaysia. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: http://www.cacare.com