Hi my name is Douglas Mizzi, I am a healthcare professional and nutritionist specialising in immune rehabilitation, anti ageing protocols and sensitivity/intolerance assessments. You can imagine my shock when all of a sudden after 13 years of practice I am now the patients father.
Here is our story......
Every parents nightmare is to be told that something may not be quite right with their child. Its bad enough being told that your child has asthma, maybe a tummy problem, or even chronic fatigue syndrome, but when the doctor in charge of the ward where your precious child is sleeping happily away asks you to sit down and then proceeds to tell you at 2 am that your child has cancer, nothing short of a nuclear bomb goes off in your head. You try to be strong as you try not to cry uncontrollably, but finally it hits you . This was my night of hell. To all those parents that have experienced this I share a moment of sadness with you, not sorry or "oh my God" but just sadness as no words can explain your hurt.
Some children will be worse off, and everyone cries for their own family, our story lies with a common childhood cancer known as Acute Lymphoblastic Luekemia or A.L.L. We thank our dear Lord that this is what is termed as a curable cancer with a cure rate of 80-85%, but its not 100%.
So what does this mean.? For years I have sat on the other side of the desk treating patients with many varied and aggravating conditions particular to the immune system, and here I was a patient now caring for my child. When dealing with something like this you want every chance that your child is going to improve, but how do you do this. I can only tell you about our Zoe's condition, however I found useful little information anywhere regarding the information that I write about, so here is my legal disclaimer.
"The following information is the accumulation of our information regarding complimentary and nutritional supplements given to our Oncologist checked by his Pharmacist for negative reactions with regards to interference with chemotherapy protocols. You are advised with any similar or non similar condition to consult your specialist and discuss with them that you maybe keen to look at a protocol to help your child's recovery. What is written here is not a cure, or a help in anyway and may in fact be a hindrance to your child's recovery if given at the wrong time of treatment."
In saying this however useful information may sometimes be hard to find, so if you think that anything I write about here is useful please discuss the use of our protocols with your child's specialist to see if you can use them. Tips when talking to your doctor may be
They generally do not know too much about the positive effects of nutritional supplements
We were told that as long as we did not give them during intensive periods of chemotherapy (including 1 week prior and post Intensive chemotherapy) that nutritional supplements should be fine
Be assertive and positive, ask the questions and don't be shy. " we want to use nutritional supplements in conjunction with our child's chemotherapy, we understand that there may be times this is not advisable, but also that there are times when extra supplements could help fight off infections and help her recovery",
Ask when the best time to use supplements would be, even if it was just a week or a few weeks at a time in between chemotherapy treatments.
What we found out about our cancer
Chemotherapy in Australia for A.L.L. comprises of several different protocols depending on your final diagnosis and whether you elect to partake in any studies. However basically they follow crudely a similar format of times of intensive treatment when supplements should not be given, with times of less intensive treatment when supplements may be able to be given with your doctors advice. For us we were given this following protocol, yours very likely may be different so check everything with your medical team
An Initial Block of Intensive treatment of chemotherapy using very strong drugs for 1 Month ( Not advised to use any supplements at this stage)
followed by 3 months of low level Chemotherapy ( The use of immune protective supplements at this stage for us was deemed as acceptable from 1 week after the previous intensive treatment to 1 week prior the new intensive treatment).
Followed by 2 months of Intensive chemotherapy treatment (Not advised to use any supplements at this stage)
Followed by 18 months of low level chemotherapy treatment (The use of immune protective supplements at this stage for us was deemed as acceptable from 1 week after the previous intensive treatment)
After the 2 years in total of chemotherapy, an immune protective protocol may be maintained for several years just to be sure that you offer as many chances to stay healthy as possible.
Ok, got it so far ?
You may be at the start of your protocol, or anyway through it, but where ever you are there maybe an opportunity to give a little extra help.
A point that was stressed to me by our Oncologist was regarding the liver, during chemotherapy, you do not want to stimulate the liver too much as the liver could process some of the drugs just too quickly, and not allow them enough time to do their job in the body. Unlike external toxic influences that need to be eliminated QUICKLY, we want these chemotherapy drugs to stay in the system for a set amount of time. Don't worry to much about this as generally the doctors run many blood tests to see if the liver is processing too quickly and you can discuss this with the doctor if you feel that any supplement may have increased liver toxic elimination too quickly for the optimal results.
Ok then, so what do we use ?
Its funny but since 2002 we have been advocating the use of a particular type of supplement known as an Isotonic supplement, a totally Isotonic supplement such as the one we use that has an absorption rate of about 92-95% after 10 minutes, tastes great and is readily acceptable by children and adults alike. You know as a patient you ask the question "is this practitioner really giving me something as good as he / she says it is, or is it just a sell??", Well here's my opinion, In the time that I have utilised these products I have had nothing but faith in them, the results have been magnificent for so many thousands of my patients and when it comes to my little girl, who needs not only the best medical care, but also the best supplements that I can give her, I have no other decision other than to use these range of Isotonic SUPPLEMENTS on her, so much in fact that if I was to consider using something else I would feel guilty that she was not receiving the best of what I had available. as i write this statement I wish I did not write it, as this would mean that my little Zoe was not sick, but she is sick and this is my testimonial to a range of products that I feel would do her body and her bodies recovery justice.
Our Protocol for periods of low level chemotherapy
Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic OPC, Vitamin C, Multi Vitamin, Calcium. These we give 2x daily ( between 2 and 5 years old consider 1 x daily) above 6 years old consider this dose
Mix the above supplements using the supplied measuring cup. Basically each dose consists of 1 metric teaspoon to 60 mls of water. So for the above program we have 4 separate products where we measure 1 metric teaspoon of each , adding this to a glass, where we add a total of 60 mls of water x 4 which is 240 mls of water in total. We make this up 2 x daily, adding the supplements to a glass where the child is encouraged to drink this if possible on an empty stomach. If unable to do this on an empty stomach try to this throughout the day even with food, as this will still allow large amounts through to absorption, but not as efficiently as taking it with no food.
After chemotherapy has finished and the all clear has been given, consider using this protocol, with the exception of changing the multi vitamin to the anti oxidant. The use of the calcium should be given for many years as several drugs used on these treatments such as methotrexate have been implicated with high levels of osteoporosis.
A warning for other Family Members
Infection, infection, infection, these were the words that kept coming up through so many consultations with our specialist team, and it struck me like a brick as I have never considered it before. Infections are the complicator's in all of this, bring a cold or virus into the home and guess what if my Zoe spikes a temp she's in hospital for several days. not good for Zoe and not good for us. So we put ourselves onto a program that consisted of some Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic OPC, some vitamin C and a B-12 every other day,. This was then taken 1 x daily by myself and Zoe's mother and if the stress was creeping up, then this went to a massive 3 doses of Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic OPC, 3 Doses of Vitamin C twice daily for 3 days at the first sign that we were getting anything like a cold, flu or infection. If we were sick, then chances are that with Zoe's run down immune system she was going to catch it. For our little son that may pick up an infection we went to Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic Isotonic OPC, and Vitamin C twice daily for 3 days. Keeping the household healthy and infection free was every bit as important as looking after Zoe directly, as everything has a potential to impact on her life.
In addition to the Isotonics supplements please consider using a good quality pro biotic such as acidophilus and bifidus maybe in a capsule 1 x daily ( strongest one you can find), other things that may be useful is liquid zinc about 20mg elemental in total for a day.
You can order your Isotonics if living in Australia by Clicking here
REMEMBER speak to your medical team before you embark on any type of recovery or improvement program that includes chemotherapy in children or adults
On another note I just recently had some great feedback from a patient of mine, who's father in law had terminal stomach cancer, his general level of health was deteriorating rapidly as his inability to absorb nutrition was becoming more obvious, we looked at a protocol during his treatment of OPC, Isotonic Multi-Vitamin and the Anti Oxidant. His general appearance and overall health has improved dramatically, colour back in his cheeks, and family asking even if he was really sick. This is not deemed as a road to cure, but as his family said, "we know its terminal, but if we can make the rest of his stay with us more bearable closer to the inevitable end rather than battling pneumonia or other opportunistic infections and it improves the quality of his life whilst he is still with us and maybe even add a few extra healthier months overall, then we are all for it" and so the Isotonic seem to be doing their job better than expected..