WITH over 100 cancers affecting humans, and more than 14.5 million people currently living with the disease, cancer is second only to heart disease as the number one killer.
Yet, even given these alarming statistics, Carlos Cruz, a cancer survivor, says that cancer is not a death sentence.
“I had a problem and urinated blood,” Cruz related his story while we sat at the coffee table in his home in Masonic Street which is also the business address for his company, Funky Fings.
“The first time it happened Jacquie [his wife] took me to the hospital. The doctor there suspected it was a bladder infection and gave me antibiotics.”
However, when this happened a second time, about a year later, he and his wife suspected something more was going on.
“I never felt any pain,” Cruz related. “I still have never been in pain, but it was worrying.”
“This time when Carlos went to see the doctor he was given every test in the book,” said Jacquie, “but they still didn’t find anything wrong.”
Still, Cruz knew something else was happening and finally, after more tests, the doctors diagnosed stage 4 bladder cancer which had also affected his lymphatic system.
“Men don’t generally like going to the doctor. I don’t know why. But you should not wait too long when you suspect you might have a problem as early diagnosis is key to survival,” he said. As soon as the doctor told me I had cancer I decided that this disease was not going to kill me.
“You have to be positive, and maintaining a positive state of mind is probably the most import part of the cure.”
Cruz is a fit-looking 51-year-old, and many believe he looks better today than even before his diagnosis.
Cruz and his wife would wake at 3am to leave their Port Alfred home at 4am and get to Livingstone Hospital at around 6am on the days he was due for chemotherapy treatment. Cruz said the hospital sees about 250 patients a day, but that the staff were amazing.
“Chemo is a problem. You feel terrible, and it makes it impossible to enjoy eating as everything tastes the same, like cardboard with a metalic taste to it,” he said. “I would ask Jacquie to cook something but, when it was prepared, I couldn’t eat it. I used to go to the fridge in the middle of the night and pick at the food, so much so that Jacquie suspected we had a mouse in the house.”
It was then that Cruz discovered one of the most important things that helped save his life.
“I know it’s controversial, but I don’t care what the government or anyone else says about it. It was cannabis oil that saved me,” he said. “Chemo destroys good cells as well as the cancerous ones. Just a small drop of the resin, the size of half a grain of rice either rubbed onto the gums or, like I did, taken in a capsule form or, more effectively, as a suppository, is all that’s required. I regained my appetite, and having a healthy body is critical when you’re fighting cancer.”
Cruz said that sugar, along with processed foods that contain sugar, are the major problems.
“Cancer loves sugar, and all the processed foods contain sugar, so you should only eat a balanced diet of organic foods. That’s a little expensive, but it’s also essential,” said Cruz.
He said he visited Nature’s Way, and Sanjay Khoosal assisted him with herbal remedies that also helped speed up the healing process.
“Sanjay said that, since his father had died of cancer he wished he had caught it earlier so the same herbal medicines and supplements could have helped his dad,” said Cruz.
“Mental strength and the support of family and, of course, my faith, are also responsible for my recovery. Eating the right foods and being a fitness freak also helped.
“But, if you think you are going to die then you will. Cancer is not a death sentence, but you just have to believe you are going to get well. I have seen a lot of people die since I’ve been on treatment. But you must never give up.”