Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"God Bless the Evidence Based Medicine!"

   Hi  everybody,
   for eight months I was out of touch, I could not walk or sit -- any movement that relied on a functioning spine was impossible. I could not type on a keyboard -- at times I was too weak to hold up a phone. Since a couple of weeks I'm again capable to walk and type. So -- read a short summary of the events until today:
   It was around Halloween 2014 when I accepted the offer to have a supposedly misaligned vertebrae chiropractically  aligned. That was a terrible mistake, and I should have known better! Years ago I had researched chiropractics, and learned that there are good reasons to be extra careful when you manipulate the alignment of your bones, particularly the vertebrae.
   After the treatment I realized something was seriously wrong -- I could not stand on my legs anymore, and for all practical purposes, was paralyzed with a permanent killer back pain, which several doctors and therapists tried to treat with increasing amounts of painkillers, to no avail! I could not stand, could not sit -- the computer was out of reach, and I was out of communication.
None of the painkillers did work, several visits to the UCLA emergency were inconclusive.
   This winter was the coldest winter since temperatures are being recorded, and our house was - like most Californian houses - not equipped to deal with 3 weeks of winter. I had lost over 20 pounds in a couple of weeks, and was ready to shed those last pounds too -- I had not slept for weeks, and had not left the bed for months. On all four I was able to crawl as far as the bathroom. I fell several times while under the influence of vicodin, or similar painkillers, and can testify to the fact that bathrooms are the most dangerous rooms in the house. The ability to do damage to my body was only limited by my inability to move.  I experienced types of pain I had not been familiar with. Nothing helped, a young black nurse came every couple of days to wash me, and cover me with hot, wet washing rugs to help me deal with the pain. It was bad -- not only did I feel I was dying -- I was actually looking forward to death to escape this excruciating and unexplainable pain. 
   Then came the day when I decided to pull the plug on all the experimenting! From now on I would stop all medication, only drink water, and protein drinks.
   Which I did!
   After three or four days the withdrawal from the diverse painkillers came to an end. I had reached a drug free baseline and now started cannabis oil for the pain. I will have to admit that I was paranoid enough to start it off with a vaporizer, and the lowest dose conceivable. I wanted to be able to stop instantly, in case the cannabis oil would not have the desired effect. But it did -- it's always  a miracle, when you take a painkiller and it really works...
   The cannabis oil makes a big difference -- at times it unmistakably removes horrid pains within minutes, but then again -- sometimes not so fast.  And: easing pain cannot be confused with healing cancer. Having grown up in a Christian environment, I was taught to believe that after enough suffering comes the miraculously deserved cure. One night, when I was bracing myself  for the oncoming pain, I realized that "heroically suffering" was probably not helpful -- in fact it will rather exhaust you at a time, when you need all the energy you can muster. So now I feel empowered to take any painkiller, as long as I not let it control me.
   Nevertheless, about every third day, when Robin would look at me in the morning, or lets say, what was left of me, she would freak out, because I was seriously wasting away. I had lost more than 20 pounds.  Robin decided something needed to be done -- instantly!
   She called Dr. Lieber, my oncologist, and told him that I had not been out of bed for months, and was in permanent pain. He called for an immediate appointment. An X ray revealed that the eights vertebrae had been completely eaten up by a tumor. That finally explained my state of health -- or lack thereof. I was instantly anesthetized, and after 4 or 5 hours in surgery, they had deflated one of my lungs, had removed the tumor, and replaced the vertebrae with a metal-cage, to connect the seventh and ninth vertebrae. Now my body needed to accept this construction and I would have to heal! -- A strange proposition, when you think that my immune system is currently deliberately being bombarded with chemo!
   Still -- "God Bless the Evidence Based Medicine!"
I didn't do too well with the chemo, and Dr. Lieber stopped the treatment twice, because I was not in shape to deal with the collateral damage.   
    Then, about four weeks after surgery, one morning, I noticed that I could stand up without supporting myself with my hands. A great moment, because after lying in bed for six month, I was not so sure if I would ever be able to stand, walk, or even dance. When lately I went to the clinic -- now walking on my feet, the first time without a wheelchair or walker -- I was received at the chemo department with the equivalent of a standing applause.
   Nevertheless, Dr. Lieber, after looking at my vitals and looking at me, decided that more chemo would not be helpful, and asked if I was interested to start an immunotherapy -- something he had already suggested some time ago, but at the time there were only studies available to participate in. I have not much of an idea how this might work, but now I have another field of research. As long as my back, and my computer will hold up.
Bye for now,
love and greetings,
das Brummbaer


Sunday, October 5, 2014


  When I was diagnosed with bladder cancer I did not make a secret of it, but was nevertheless amazed how quickly the illegal market got my address, and now the SPAM for Viagra, etc., increased by the power of ten.
   Then, last summer, when I had just started with the HDR Brachy therapy I received an email that said something like: “We have everything you need. Just let us know...” Just before I pressed the SPAM button I realized the email came from Valerie at W.A.M.M., (Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana) in Santa Cruz. Of course it was cannabis and not Viagra. I have a lot of friends in Santa Cruz, and Valerie was in the loose internet-group around Robert Anton Wilson. And I also remember, early this century when we heard that the Feds had descended on W.A.M.M.'s house, behaved like insecure cops behave, aggressive, and destructive.
  But the Feds did not know they were dealing with a group of people with ethics – when they wanted to leave they found the one street leading out was blocked by friends from Santa Cruz. The Feds finally had to call the local cops to escort them out!
   That is what I remembered about W.A.M.M.!
   Maybe half a year later my HDR Brachy therapy had killed the muscle invasive cancer, but as it happens with bladder cancer – a new carcinoma in situ was already there, ready to grow. A course of BCG should take care of that, but didn't. Then the standard procedure is a radical cystectomy, but the muscle invasive cancer had been beaten back, and I was not going to lose my bladder now.
   During the course of events I had written two emails to W.A.M.M., expressing my interest in their products, but no answer.
    I asked my ueber-psychedelic friend of thirty years – Dave J. Brown what to do. He instantly    responded and told me to call them on the phone: “they get so much email, that they are always behind...”
   And so it was! Next I had Valerie on the phone. She sounded like her email: “What do you need?” So she worked out a dose – according to my body-weight and constitution.
   Since I have smoked cannabis most of the time in my life, the psychedelic effects are very familiar, and I did not have a problem ramping up to the desired dose.
   I told Valerie that after ten years of cancer, and living of social security, I was broke -- like really broke! All she said was: “Just get healthy, don't worry about the money, you can pay when you're cured.”
   I was absolutely thrilled – because a full treatment could get very expensive for somebody with no income.
   Of course any type of regular cancer therapy costs ultimately more, and I hope to be able to pay them back, once I'm again able to make a living.
   I also started a series of fractal paintings dedicated to W.A.M.M. : Receptor sites, cannabis oil distribution, tanks full of cannabis oil – I paint what I see! (See recent blogs.)
   Maybe some medical marijuana store chain would like to sell these -- definitely therapeutic -- paintings and prints. They work with most wallpapers, and probably all hallucinatory styles!
    W.A.M.M. On the other hand has been inaugurated in the “Halls of Intergalactic Fame” by me personally. (On some faraway planet...)
   In a month I will have the next cystoscopy and we will see if the oil worked. Of course – with cancer it is like – never over! But it can be beaten back. 
   And we probably need a lot more W.A.M.M.s then!
   Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Is a Leap of Faith a Quantum Leap?

During my meeting with Dr. Mitch Kamrava, in the Radiology Department of UCLA, a few weeks back, I got to look at the MRI of my bladder and saw the two locations of the cancer, which looked smaller – or let's say less differentiated than I had expected. It is an art to read these files and usually there is – for the hard to interpret cases – an expert in every hospital, whose years of experience allow him to see if there is anything wrong. So we have to trust the expert, but in fact -- there was no large tumor clearly visible. Nevertheless – the standard treatment is a radical cystectomy – with a highly probable protective round of chemo and radiation after surgery.
   Now, I am over a month into my cannabis therapy, and have ramped myself up to a gram a day. (Ca. 50/50 – THC/CBD)
    Before I commit myself to a life with a colostomy bag, recurring infections, and a fairly possible death from complications during surgery, I would like to have one last try with cannabis oil -- which sounds a lot more desperate than it is!
   In this blog I have been trying to debunk a lot of myths about cancer cures, but also found credible information with many good reasons to believe that cannabis does kill cancer – we just don't quite know exactly how!
   According to the current theory, cannabinoids regulate and modulate the central nervous system and the immune system. Cancer cells have an abundance of CB1 and CB2 receptor-sites, which, when loaded with cannabinoids, commit metabolic suicide.
   A study by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK mentions the dosage of cannabis oil as the possibly most important variable to determine if cannabis kills – or promotes cancer.
   Back to my meeting at UCLA:
   I was prepared like a lawyer fighting a death-penalty case – all the studies, the statistics were ready to roll over any bladder-amputating argument.
   But not so!
   My doctors are much smarter than me!
   Dr. Kamrava suggested that we wait two months for another biopsy, because that's enough time to see if the cannabis works, but not enough time to pass a point of no return. (I'm not suicidal!)
   So instead of fighting some narrow-minded expert, I was listened to, and we worked on a solution which would not put me at risk unnecessarily. I was elated!
   When I left the Radiation Department I felt more optimistic than I had for a long time. It is good to know I am not alone in this!

   Of course I'm coming with a lot of questions: How does one take it? Four times daily – a quarter gram? Or once daily – a whole gram (at night)? Is it better to peak with large amounts of cannabinoids all at once, or is it better to take small amounts regularly to acquire a stable level of saturation? Or: CBD in the morning -- THC at night?
   Also: Eat it with food – or put it into a capsule to slow down the process of absorption?
   And what would be a maintenance dose? These questions don't necessarily have an answer yet, and since a patient is regarded as cured only after five years – we will have to wait before we can holler victory from the rooftops.
   Now back on earth we have the very real problem where to get the precious oil? After all – even though it is legal in California – there are no rules and regulations determining quality, strength, and purity. The internet is full of tutorials on how to make your own oil, which gives you complete control over the product, but you also might blow up your house.
   I am incredibly lucky to have WAMM (Wo/men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana) in Santa Cruz supply me with the oil. Not only do they have the longest track-record in growing medical marijuana, they also have a very precise quality control. A fact that should not be underestimated!
   (That's what's so nice about pharmaceutical drugs – you always know exactly what dosage you are playing with.)
   I was taking a daily gram of a THC/CBD-mix approximately 50/50. When through some unpredictable circumstances the mail failed to deliver – I had still enough for a couple more days, always hoping it would arrive the next day. I ran out Saturday – and Monday was a holiday. I would have to stop and then ramp up again. As unpleasant as it was – I decided to turn it into a test, to find out what happens, when you go from a gram of oil down to 0.001 gram within a day. My previous experience with “marijuana-withdrawal” was a certain irritability in the evening, which would lead to a frantic five minute search of the apartment in case there might be a forgotten joint or something... and that was about the extent of the marijuana withdrawal.
   This is, of course, a little different in the size category!
   And it wasn't exactly enjoyable! I realized now how a certain harmony between the organs had installed itself, but now had no cannabinoids with which to regulate and modulate the endocannabinoids, and consequently every part of my body suddenly developed it's unique problem, and one organ after the other, including muscles and bones, fell out of sync.
   This goes along with my theory of how organs communicate with each other – I regard each organ as a self-regulating loop, made out of smaller self-regulating loops, which again are made of smaller self-regulating loops – down to the submolecular [cellular?] level. These self-regulating feedback loops are being fed with cannabinoids until they start humming happily. Then there is no more room for dysfunctional cancer-cells, and they die. Just a thought...
   I will have to add that it was very hot – California August heat – which didn’t help! Strangely the only part of my body that remained painless was my head. And I could not resist to take fairly small doses of vicodin to deal with the acute pain of the urethritis.
   I was miserable – no doubt about that.
   Wednesday the mail came!
   Right away I took a quarter gram – and could not believe what was happening. Within 30 minutes almost all the pain had disappeared -- it was a “take up your bed and walk”, said Jesus moment.
   Two days later I have ramped myself up to a daily gram again, and after the euphoria of this pain-free moment had disappeared – it turned into a whole different experience! Like the cannabinoids introduced a standard, by which all bio-chemical processes in the body would be regulated, and this standard helps to synchronize complex processes, far too advanced for my comprehension.
   After taking the cannabis oil for a while there comes a moment of saturation – when it feels like all the water of my body, including the water between the cells, is loaded with cannabis.
   I can smell and taste it! I'm drenched, it is penetrating every cell in my body.
   (This seems not to be an unusual sensation, because eating garlic or onions, or receiving chemo therapy – has a similar effect – I can smell it in my sweat.)
   Now I've relatively well adjusted to the large amount of cannabinoids – finishing this blog is proof that I'm capable to think of more things than three -- at the same time!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Finally, last Monday, I had the cystoscopy I had been waiting for – the proof that one year of the best known cancer treatments had succeeded and I would see a clear, healthy bladder wall.
The cystoscopy last December showed a fairly healthy bladder surface – the only unexplainable phenomena were two bumps underneath the mucosa. It turned out that these bumps were residues from the markers they set before radiation, but the biopsies also showed the presence of CIS (carcinoma in situ) at the top of the bladder. This is usually treated with 6 weeks of BCG, and because of my bad experiences with BCG I received only 1/3 of the regular dose, which still was more than I could handle. The treatment was interrupted, and then terminated. It took over a month to recover. Since then I have started to treat the cancer with cannabis oil, and at the moment I take approx. 75mg of THC, and 370mg of CBD containing oil daily.
Now to the cysto: My bladder looked trashed, like a squirrel had tried to get out through the bladder wall – only some nasty graffiti were missing in the arrangement. My urologist Dr. Chaime did not look too happy either.
The truth though – there were no identifiable tumors etc. to see, but the squirrel left such a mess in my bladder that it would be hard to decide where to biopsy.
Of course I wanted to schedule a biopsy as fast as possible, but the next opening was in a month! Luckily my general practitioner Dr. Chang suggested that it might be a good idea to wait, because it is understandable that I want to know if there is cancer present, but the state of my bladder would not necessarily allow for a reliable result.
So now I wait again.
It wasn't good – it was ugly –  and it was  really bad!
Bad squirrel!
"1200 Gallon tank for Cannabis Oil Storage" from the series: "A Visit at the Cannabis Oil Manufacturing Site" dedicated to WAMM ( Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana )

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Broccoli cures cancer!

Potatoes cure cancer!

Garlic cures cancer!

Capsaicin cures cancer!

Tobacco cures cancer!

The head research of that study also has a patent
for his discovery. Anticancer tobacco cembranoids
United States Patent 7977384

Solanaceous plants, like eggplant cure cancer!

Apples cure cancer!

Carrots and Ginseng cure cancer!

Mushrooms cure cancer!

Maple syrup cures cancer!

Cocoa cures cancer!

Beans (soybean) cure cancer!

Collection thanks to Jules – of course we're missing many --
baking soda, flax seed oil, vitamin C, coffee enemas,
raw potatoes, ad nauseam.
And not to forget: positive thinking, praying, meditation,
mantras, mudras, yoga, a pilgrimage (Lourdes or the Kumba Mela)
the healing touch, acupuncture, iscador, green tea, laetrile,
a stress free living...
 – with so many cures,
you wonder why anybody would still die of cancer.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


(Are You Experienced? Ah! Have you ever been experienced? Jimi Hendrix)


   For the last ten years I have been beating back cancer, and consequently, I learned a lot. I survived some unlikely odds, like a 20% chance of survival with “Squamous head and neck cancer”, so many people ask me for advice. Lately most of the questions have been about the cancer fighting properties of Cannabis oil. A mighty rumor is hitting the cancer community: “The cancer killer Cannabis!” And they want it!
   Usually people get cancer after their retirement, and surprisingly many of those I advised never smoked marijuana in their youth. Now they are 65, and to cure their cancer with cannabis, or at least ameliorate the pain, they need to get high. For the first time! This can be a frightening experience and might keep patients away from a promising therapy.
   Of course, if a cancer-patient gets a little bottle with cannabis oil in the mail and all it says is to “take two drops” or something like that – this is not much of a preparation for the possible mind-expanding effects of an unfamiliar drug.
   Most people I know smoke marijuana or have smoked it – they wouldn’t be alarmed by the psychedelic splendor, the short-term memory loss, etc... They know well that the worst that could happen is an overdose which one will have to sleep off.
   But a first-timer on a questionable dose alone at home – that's just not right!
   One has to remember how much of an acquired taste, and how much of a learned high, this experience is. When the Beatles sang “I'd love to turn you on...” they were singing about personally initiating a friend and sharing the experience.
   And it was not necessarily that easy to turn somebody on, because I have seen people smoke hashish for the first time with no idea what might happen. Next thing they were rolling on the floor, incessantly laughing, because the idea that this hashish could have had any effect on them seemed just too silly...
  When you do take it upon yourself to turn somebody on to a psychoactive compound – you as the knowledgeable guide are responsible for a successful transfer of knowledge and a pleasant experience.
   When I started to smoke (Moroccan kif at the time), I had no idea what to expect. There was no knowledgeable friend to introduce me -- I had read all the literature, but Baudelaire and the other adventurous literati of drug history did not prepare me for something trivial like the munchies...
   So I will tell the story of a friend of mine, to illustrate and remind, that people who want to take cannabis need to be turned on by a well intended spirit.
   Richie was in his mid twenties, grew up in Brooklyn, and already had a few years of jail and a few years as a junkie behind him. Now, in 1969, he lived in Frankfurt, dealt in hashish, and usually would carry a few bricks of Afghani with him, wrapped in an old newspaper, always ready to wipe out the scales, and to open up shop on the roof of the next parked car.
   When he got busted, we translated the report of the British Government about Cannabis and had it read in court. He was sentenced to the time he already had done (a couple of weeks) and was released. We became friends. Richie was a wild man. Lots of unruly, curly hair over a beautiful, classically proportioned face that could change expressions within seconds, from divine bliss to devilish mischief.

   One day I was visiting friends of mine, who were students at Frankfurt University, members of the SDS. Members of the SDS (Sozialistischer Studentenbund Deutschland) were intelligent, progressive, curious, anti-authoritarian, and they all wanted to get high.
   – Or to be fair: Most of them... There were exceptions!
   It was late in the afternoon, it was getting dark, and just as I wanted to leave, the doorbell rang.
   It was Richie, the latest LP by Pink Floyd under his arm.
   He obviously did not come unexpected, and instantly went to work. Out of his pocket he took a baseball covered with little mirrors, and with the help of a string he pinned the ball to the ceiling. Then he placed a little flashlight under the rotating ball, turned off the light, and the room was magically changed into a rotating star-field. He sat down next to the record-player, rolled a mighty joint, lit some incense, started the music, and suddenly we are all sitting in a circle on the floor, flying thru the universe, on a mighty cloud of smoke emanating from us.
   It was magic: It still was the same universe, but everything had changed – it was just a different perspective.
   That was how Richie turned people on!
   We have to remember that the initiation into the use of Cannabis, for medical or recreational use, is a personal teaching. If you face cancer or any other deadly disease, you need to be fearless and joyful – otherwise: why bother with a therapy?
   My suggestion: Find an experienced friend – or/and clean the house, maybe take a shower, pick some excellent pieces of music you like best, turn off the phone, and get comfortable. Cannabis has a very friendly, gentle character, most people do just fine.
   But then there will be cancer-patients, who just won't like being high at all – for them luckily the miraculous Cannabis plant provides CBD, a non-psychedelic cannabinoid – all the cancer-killing, none of the irritating high!

P.S. Richie burned his candle on both sides and I don't know if he is still around. But it's the time of the internet and if anybody knows... let me know. B.

"Are You Experienced?"

If you can just get your mind together
then come across to me
We'll hold hands an' then we'll watch the sun rise
from the bottom of the sea
But first

Are You Experienced?
Ah! Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

I know, I know
you'll probably scream n' cry
That your little world won't let go
But who in your measly little world are trying to prove that
You're made out of gold and -a can't be sold

So-er, Are You Experienced?
Ah! Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

Ah, let me prove it to you
I think they're calling our names
Maybe now you can't hear them, but you will
if you just take hold of my hand

Ah! But Are You Experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?

Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful

Jimi Hendrix

Thursday, April 10, 2014



   Months went by since my last blog.
   February I started the BCG therapy, six installations in six weeks, only one third of the usual dose.
   I found the term “one third” a little suspect – doesn't “Western Medicine” use grams, milligrams, etc? But indeed, I found studies that claimed that one third of the usual dose was just as effective as the full dose. Now I wonder, why is everybody still overdosed with BCG, a vaccine with countless brutal side effects?
   The answer is most likely that the unpleasant side-effects of BCG are not side effects, but are the desired effects! Very much like chemo, BCG attacks the bladder, and we have to stop in time, when the damage still is reversible. Then we hope the bladder will be rebuilt – according to the original design, without cancer.
   I had two BCG treatments in the years before, after surgery. The first treatment (six installations) was tolerable, but also did not terminate the cancer. After another surgery, six more weeks of BCG was the standard treatment.
   This time the BCG got rid of the cancer, but also left me a “bladder-cripple” – as my second opinion MD called it – unkind, but correct! It took almost a year until urination frequency and pain was relatively normal.
   Having to pee urgently every 20 minutes is not a death sentence, it's so trivial it hardly compares with a bad headache – but after a year of non stop pain and peeing you will have turned into an hermit – at least until your bladder heals.
   So I wasn't too excited about the procedure. Nevertheless, the first two installations were tolerable. Starting Thursday mornings – I would be back on baseline by Monday.
   Then my luck changed – I did not recover from third installation within a week, and could not even hold my urine long enough for the 40 minute drive to the clinic. So we postponed treatment for a week. Installation number four repeated the pattern – another postponement.
   After the fifth installation I did not recover at all – at least so far! Since about a month ago, I spent my time on a pilgrimage between bed and bath. Every five minutes. The pain, along with the painkillers, the interrupted sleep patterns, put you into an unpleasant somnambulistic state.
   Somewhere far away a plane disappeared without a trace, and I'm not sure if the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” were among the victims...
   I was mostly alone in the house and last weekend started to keep records of my urination frequency. This does make a lot of sense, because it is a relatively objective measurement of the damage to your bladder.
   Since last Sunday I'm getting better, the breaks are longer, the pain – still have to take those painkillers, and relaxants, etc....
   This weekend in hindsight I see myself as a strange Kafkaesque creature, between bed, bath, and beyond, whose entire purpose in life is to record every time it has to urinate.
   I'm a lot better now!
   I still can't go shopping, but I'm up at the computer desk – at least some of the time.
   My urologist at UCLA, Dr. Chamie agreed that we fulfilled the purpose of the therapy, and I do not need to endure another installation.
   What am I doing now? A pound of Zhu Ling mycelia, a medicinal mushroom supposedly as effective in preventing cancer as BCG, is waiting to be turned into a tea. And cannabis oil is, and will be, very appreciated.
   In six weeks we will have a cystoscopy and find out if any of this worked.
   Until then I have to recover as fast as I can, because I don't want to die of boredom!