He was admitted because of uncontrolled nausea and vomiting. We thought it might be a malignant bowel obstruction but his bowel sounds were normal. He would vomit at least three times a day. Strangely the vomiting didn’t seem to bother him, in fact at times he and his wife seemed happy after he vomited. We weren’t sure of what was causing his nausea and vomiting, his blood tests showed evidence of dehydration, but there was nothing obviously reversible going on to explain his symptoms. He looked unwell and after a few days on our ward he appeared more gaunt. Our attempts at controlling his symptoms were not working, we hadn’t solved the mystery yet, until we noticed the half-filled blue glass bottle on his table. “Keep out of direct sunlight.”
He did not want to die, and they had spent most of their savings on the treatment – $800 per bottle. Imported from the USA, they could quote all the benefits of the medication from the website, which they showed us. His Oncologists had told them that there were no further conventional treatments available. They searched online and found an alternative, the reviews were good, and they latched onto the thin sliver of hope. It wasn’t just about them, they were still wanting to pursue IVF – in vitro fertilisation. They really wanted to have a baby, and had been trying for the three years prior to his cancer diagnosis, since they were both 29 years old. The medication though expensive was their last chance of becoming parents.
Every time he took the medication, he would vomit 20 minutes after swallowing it.
All bases were covered, there was always a way out. If you vomit that is a good thing, it is your body expelling the cancer cells. Our medicine liquefies the cancer, so it looks bigger on a scan, that is a good thing. If you are tired, that is a good thing, your body will need to rest more as it heals. It means that the medication is working. Keep on taking it, you will be cured. We’ve managed to keep our prices down as we really want to help save your life. Just look at all the testimonials on our website, people all over the world have been kept alive because of our medication. You’d better secure your purchase now, because stocks are limited. You have to take the medication regularly at exactly the same time of each day, if you don’t do this it will not work as well. You’re asking about the people who died while on our medication? There’s not many, but they did not follow the instructions properly, that’s why it didn’t work.
We told him we thought the alternative medication was making him worse and that we wanted him to try not taking it for a day to see if his nausea and vomiting would improve. He and his wife were reluctant to do so, but he felt so drained and desperate that he was willing to try anything by this stage. His nausea and vomiting improved, but he continued to deteriorate and within three days became unconscious. The care emphasis shifted to supporting his wife through his last days of life.