Oasis of Hope

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“Caring for the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
Sharing the healing power of faith, hope and love;
Advancing medical science to end cancer one person at a time.”

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The Oasis of Hope is a clinic in Mexico that has been treating people with cancer in integrated and pioneering ways for over 50 years. They have received a lot of bad press and significant resistance over the years, but many of their results continue to outrun conventional oncology – particularly with prostate cancer and lung cancer. Its founder, Dr Ernesto Contreras, was ahead of his time and showed great courage and commitment in offering an approach to cancer that attended to the mind and spirit as well as the body. He was shut down, arrested for drug smuggling (the drug in question being Vitamin B17) and his reputation vilified, but his legacy continues to this day through his son, who now runs the clinic where I have come for three weeks of treatment

Scroll down for a photo journal of my experience.

Flight to the States

I finally found a watch I like (never wear one), courtesy of British Airways duty free catalogue. You can’t see it well, but it it royal blue and chunky. Yum.

I finally found a watch I like (never wear one), courtesy of British Airways duty free catalogue. You can’t see it well, but it it royal blue and chunky. Yum.

My companion* and dear friend Catherine also has a deeply debilitating disease called EDS so here we are being wheeled through Atlanta airport together.

My companion* and dear friend Catherine also has a deeply debilitating disease called EDS so here we are being wheeled through Atlanta airport together.

*Early in its history the clinic realised that their patients did 20% better with a companion so all their hospital rooms have a patient bed and hotel bed. Catherine offered to come with me so I could leave my daughter at home with her Dad while I’m here. More about her in other posts.

Weekend stopover in Atlanta with friends
Perfect Peace

Sometimes you can live a perfect life in a single day: tears of grief, peels of laughter, exchanges of mutual tenderness and swollen moments of unexpected peace. These two glorious days with my dear friends Catherine, Elaine, Tom and Peggy left me in no doubt that I am loved and imbued me with an unbridled joy that now colours many of my precious days on earth.

Mexico
Tijuana

Sunset  From the freezing temperatures in Atlanta to the balmy warmth of Tijuana, Mexico. Blue sea, big sky treatment begins before any pill is taken or catheter inserted.

Sunset

From the freezing temperatures in Atlanta to the balmy warmth of Tijuana, Mexico. Blue sea, big sky treatment begins before any pill is taken or catheter inserted.

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Dr Contreras


Dr Contreras  After a bumpy start at the Oasis of Hope, Dr Contreras lifted my spirits with his incredible warmth, professionalism and depth of experience. He is like a priest and a doctor rolled into one. He has a wicked sense of humour and literally exudes hope. He lives his brand.

Dr Contreras

After a bumpy start at the Oasis of Hope, Dr Contreras lifted my spirits with his incredible warmth, professionalism and depth of experience. He is like a priest and a doctor rolled into one. He has a wicked sense of humour and literally exudes hope. He lives his brand.

Cherished friends

With Cathy and Steve    Low glycaemic organic breakfast with instant friends Steve and Cathy. Cathy was the first person I met here and she has exactly the same cancer as me – lungs, lymph nodes, bones and brain. She and her husband radiate beauty and faith. They made our first week here very gentle. Check out the light pouring off their faces. Can you believe she is seriously sick?

With Cathy and Steve

Low glycaemic organic breakfast with instant friends Steve and Cathy. Cathy was the first person I met here and she has exactly the same cancer as me – lungs, lymph nodes, bones and brain. She and her husband radiate beauty and faith. They made our first week here very gentle. Check out the light pouring off their faces. Can you believe she is seriously sick?

People keep mistaking Catherine and me for sisters.

People keep mistaking Catherine and me for sisters.

Catherine and Morgan, whose Mum is a patient here

Catherine and Morgan, whose Mum is a patient here

Lovely Linda, Morgan’s Mum who has breast cancer and the most cheerful spirit I have ever met.

Lovely Linda, Morgan’s Mum who has breast cancer and the most cheerful spirit I have ever met.

Retail Therapy

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Treatments

Several hours of IV drips a day: mega doses of Vitamin C and B17 every week day and mineral detox every Saturday (plus coffee enemas, but I will spare you the visuals of that thrilling experience).

Several hours of IV drips a day: mega doses of Vitamin C and B17 every week day and mineral detox every Saturday (plus coffee enemas, but I will spare you the visuals of that thrilling experience).

Several hours of IV drips a day: mega doses of Vitamin C and B17 every week day and mineral detox every Saturday (plus coffee enemas, but I will spare you the visuals of that thrilling experience).

Several hours of IV drips a day: mega doses of Vitamin C and B17 every week day and mineral detox every Saturday (plus coffee enemas, but I will spare you the visuals of that thrilling experience).

Ozone therapy  (above) three times a week: taking blood out, filling it with oxygen and putting it back in because cancer cells hate oxygen.

Ozone therapy (above) three times a week: taking blood out, filling it with oxygen and putting it back in because cancer cells hate oxygen.

Hyperthermia   Tumours hate heat so here I am being heated up to 41 degrees Celcius to take out the bad guys! They knock you out at fever pitch because it’s too intense and you sweat like you’ve run a marathon. Exhausting, but effective I am told. This has been common practice in Germany for thirty years, but is not available in the UK. Urgh. Dr Carlos on the left is passionate about Shakespeare and waxes lyrical about Hamlet (tears in his eyes) while I turn into a lobster.

Hyperthermia

Tumours hate heat so here I am being heated up to 41 degrees Celcius to take out the bad guys! They knock you out at fever pitch because it’s too intense and you sweat like you’ve run a marathon. Exhausting, but effective I am told. This has been common practice in Germany for thirty years, but is not available in the UK. Urgh. Dr Carlos on the left is passionate about Shakespeare and waxes lyrical about Hamlet (tears in his eyes) while I turn into a lobster.

Invisible Service

Tomas – Catheter King   This is Tomas, the head nurse at Oasis of Hope and one of an amazing team who work tirelessly in the background to extend, save and improve the quality of lives like mine. When I asked to take his picture he dived at the lens so he’s a bit in your face. I think he did that because he’s quite big and feels embarrassed about his weight. He native tongue is Spanish, but the other day he told me in English, “I lost 30 pounds, but then I found them again!” It made me hoot. Tomas can always find a vein to use when it seems there are none left. I wouldn’t let him use my hands, but he managed to find three weeks worth on my arms anyway. So thank you Tomas!

Tomas – Catheter King


This is Tomas, the head nurse at Oasis of Hope and one of an amazing team who work tirelessly in the background to extend, save and improve the quality of lives like mine. When I asked to take his picture he dived at the lens so he’s a bit in your face. I think he did that because he’s quite big and feels embarrassed about his weight. He native tongue is Spanish, but the other day he told me in English, “I lost 30 pounds, but then I found them again!” It made me hoot. Tomas can always find a vein to use when it seems there are none left. I wouldn’t let him use my hands, but he managed to find three weeks worth on my arms anyway. So thank you Tomas!

Eber – Macho mexicano (his self-description)  This is Eber, my favourite nurse. He has a daughter the same age as mine and works shifts from 7am-9pm most days. He is incredibly attentive, conscious and gentle with a wonderful sense of humour. He is also ace at catheters but keeps it quiet because Tomas is the legend round here. But mainly he filled my IV drips and took my catheters out so Tomas could replace them again. Thank you Eber for taking such good care of me and all the patients who come here.

Eber – Macho mexicano (his self-description)

This is Eber, my favourite nurse. He has a daughter the same age as mine and works shifts from 7am-9pm most days. He is incredibly attentive, conscious and gentle with a wonderful sense of humour. He is also ace at catheters but keeps it quiet because Tomas is the legend round here. But mainly he filled my IV drips and took my catheters out so Tomas could replace them again. Thank you Eber for taking such good care of me and all the patients who come here.

Early morning shift. The nurses prepare Vit C and B17 infusions for all the patients today

Early morning shift. The nurses prepare Vit C and B17 infusions for all the patients today

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