Updated: Mar 16
The first week is assessment week. I'm impressed by the centre's approach. Part of me had feared, that this was another money-making machine, where cancer is what keeps the till ringing. Before I arrived, €408 a day seemed a hefty sum to pay for a room without TV or internet. (When I leave, I think it's an absolute bargain for what you get in return.) I hadn't expected them to spend the first week assessing whether their approach might work for you or not. And I am even more surprised that they will send you home and give you your money back, if they don't think they can help.
During the first week, we all have an appointment with the centre's resident healing practitioner and cancer advisor, another with a doctor and a third with a specialist in dark field microscopy.
The latter is absolutely fascinating. I cannot believe I've never heard of it and it doesn't get used by every doctor in the world to establish what's wrong with a patient. A little prick in your finger draws one drop of blood, which is put on a petri dish and under a dark field microscope. Red and white blood cells, T-marker cells, proteins. There is a whole world inside one single drop of my blood! My red cells were all shriveled up, apparently a sign of dehydration (I am awful at drinking my 2 litres a day!). My white blood cells and my T-cells are looking good, indicating a healthy immune system. This surprises me, as I always thought my immune system must be weak to not be able to fight endometriosis. According to the microscope however, my problem is not a weak immune system.
There is a snowstorm raging under the microscope and I learn that all those snowflake like moving dots are proteins. Quite a considerable amount of them are clustered together to crystals. I can see other little cells "nibbling" away at the crystals, trying to break them up. Apparently snow flakes are better than crystals. The crystal formations indicate that there are too many toxins and fungi in the body, putting a strain on the system. Due to the sheer volume, the white blood cells and T-cells are unable to eliminate the toxic load efficiently.
This ties in with the result of another test, equally mind-blowing, which discovered that my liver wasn't working optimally. As the liver is our main detox organ, it makes sense that my body is overloaded with toxins. The test I have to do to find this out is super simple: I drink a shot glass of an alkaline solution. Depending on your body's deficiency, the solution you drink will taste differently, giving the medical staff an indication of what is amiss within you. If it tastes salty, there is an issue with your connective tissue or muscles. If it tastes bitter or metallic, your kidneys are the problem. A fishy taste - as was the case with me - means your liver is not working properly. A "rotten egg" taste means gall bladder problems. A sweet taste indicates issues in the endocrine system and the pancreas. Sour, chlorine taste means stomach issues. A sharp, burning sensation indicates poor blood circulation and heart problems.
It's a shot glass of a drink! How much money do we spend on MRI scans, ultrasounds and all sorts of tests when a single shot of alkaline solution can tell us this much about our body? Can this be real? Fast forward and I will do this test again and again at home, using a glass of water with a little bicarbonate of soda, which works almost as well, even though the taste is less intense. In the months after my 3E centre stay, this test will give me an indication on my toxin levels. But I'm getting ahead of myself, lets go back to Germany...
I pass all the tests, which means I'm well enough to stay. They do make it clear again, that they have never treated anyone with endometriosis. But I just trust my gut and the study paper linking endo cells and cancer cells. Everything I have learned and experiences seems to make total sense, at least to me.
Based on the tests, my medical records and assessments, the month's programme gets designed for my individual needs. The centre has a PAPIMI machine, which everyone gets to use every day. The PAPIMI device creates a pulsed electromagnetic field which can be applied to different parts of the body. The idea is that it helps to stimulate and activate the normal healing process, including the growth and repair of tissue. It basically raises the energy levels in the cells using specific frequency waves.
Dr. Johanna Budwig's approach is all about raising the energy in the cells. Cancer cells vibrate at a low frequency, healthy cells vibrate at a high frequency. The aim is to raise the energy in the cells. A healthy cell will heal itself, so so speak.
In addition to the daily seminars and a whole variety of treatments included in the programme, there are optional extras. I choose to have Vitamine C infusions, and an immune boosting supplement.
Everyone apart from Rita passes the first week assessment. Rita's cancer is so advanced, that the centre recommends her to have a round of chemotherapy. There is a clinic that actually does what they called localized chemotherapy. The chemo drugs are fed only into the tumour and filtered out of the blood stream the minute they exit the tumour. This means, only the cancer cells are killed, the rest of the body which is healthy can function as normal. It's an amazing treatment, but not offered in the mainstream healthcare system. It is much cheaper than conventional chemotherapy, as you need a smaller amount of the drug and there are hardly any side effects. To the patient, however, it's more expensive, as it is only offered privately, so no health insurance will pay.
Unless Rita does either a localized or conventional round of chemotherapy, she will not have the time she would need for Budwig's approach to work. It takes 2-3 months for healing to start. Rita does not have that time. She has, however, had chemotherapy before and refuses to have it again. The memory is making her shiver. She would rather die. A few days later she is too weak to come out of her room. Her husband comes to pick her up and we learn a week later that she passed away at home.
It's a sobering experience for all of us. The choices we make may be choices of life and death. I imagine it's a scarier realisation for the others than it is for me. I know endometriosis will not kill me. But I assume all of us have that little doubt creep in: was it the right choice to come here? To go against normal school medicine? To try a natural, alternative, holistic approach to healing?
Our little team of fighters is down to five.