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Living in the mountains

They decided to move away and live in the mountains in order to find a solution and they asked relatives to take care of their children. Dr Chang was doing moxibustion and brewing herbs for his wife. On the other hand he was reading books and he was reading them desperately quickly. He organised books by subject and by names of doctors and found a doctor in Beijing called Dr Sun, who was very famous. He specialized in the treatment of tumors.

Dr Chang asked people to bring some medicine for him from Dr Sun. At that time Dr Sun had already retired and his daughter was working in his place so she had prescribed herbs for Dr Chang’s wife. When he received the herbs and herbal pills, he accepted them as treasure. Following the instructions, he brewed the herbs and administered them to his wife. However, each time after taking them she felt very weak. Sometimes she was even shaking. She took herbal medicine for a period of time, Dr Chang saw her symptoms getting more and more serious. As a doctor with many years of experience, he knew this was not right. He spoke with Dr Sun on the phone and changed herbal ingredients many times but still couldn’t solve the problems.

Finally, he simply threw the rest of herbs away as they were not helping at all. He then started prescribing and brewing herbs himself and giving them to his wife. After taking his herbs, the wife was feeling better than taking the herbs they bought from the mainland in China. He was pleased to see that. At that time Dr Chang’s confidence recovered a little bit, but he still wasn’t convinced yet that he could cure her from cancer. So he continued to read books, looking for more famous herbal specialists to help his wife.

He found one herbal medicine online which was in San Xi mainland China. It was described as a treatment for cancer with a very high cure rate. Dr Chang felt very excited. He asked people to travel to San Xi and get the herbal medicine for him.

At that time transport wasn’t as good as it is today. There were no direct flights from Taiwan to mainland China. One had to change in Hong Kong then travel to mainland China and from south China to San Xi. Since it was a very long journey he asked people to bring a few boxes of herbal medicine. But unfortunately his wife didn’t feel any better nor there was any improvement after taking them. Most of the herbs were left unused.

Since these noble herbs were not helping, Dr Chang decided that he could try and treat his wife himself. He was already prescribing herbs for his wife and helping her with moxibustion. At the time she had pain almost all over her body, from head to toe. Even a slight movement when lying down in bed and trying to sleep could make her cry due to pain. It took her 20-30 minutes to just fall asleep. Every night when it was time to sleep she began to struggle and hesitate. She started getting afraid of her pain and Dr Chang was feeling really helpless. He felt sad. One time when his wife was walking, she felt a lot of pain in both feet.

He started helping her with moxibustion on her feet. He read in the book that bathing the feet with ginger and rice wine in warm water helps reduce the pain. He let his wife try it but that didn’t help.

As a result, due to pain in her feet his wife was bed bound for two months, she couldn’t move. Her condition was deteriorating day after day. Dr Chang promised that he would help her fight cancer until the last minute, but at that time he felt alone and unable to cope, feeling sad, really worthless and could only ask God for help.

Family Reunion

It was almost ten months in the mountains, the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching, his wife felt that her illness was deteriorating more and more. It was a long time since she saw their children.

She said:

”- why don’t we leave the mountains and reunite with them, since there is no hope to survive, then let’s just go home”.

Dr Chang felt so sad. This was a major blow to him. Leaving the mountains was equal to surrendering to the illness. But that was the fact, they had to accept it. They were helpless and so left home and spent a Mid-Autumn Festival with their children.

But the problem hadn’t yet been resolved, his wife’s condition was getting worse and finally even her heels and hands were swollen, she was short of breath and had to wear an oxygen mask. Finally, his wife said:

“- My life is an agony, can we find some place where I can be free of pain and quietly leave?”

At this time, they have decided to contact the hospice room. They visited the doctor of the hospice who heard about his wife’s condition and he knew that it was very serious. He said he would inform them when there was a bed available and they could come in immediately. Soon they have received a call from the hospice. Lying in the ambulance, his wife was wearing an oxygen mask and was straight away taken to intensive care unit. Her condition was critical.

A doctor who was assigned to her care gave her two bags of blood transfusion right away and all kinds of tests were carried out. The next day, after the tests, the physician told them to be prepared as her condition was very serious and he thought that she had probably about seven days left to live. Dr Chang had no doubts that his wife’s condition was deteriorating fast.

The doctor also pointed out that cancer spread to his wife’s left lung and that there were less than one third of normal cells left in the right lung. Her heart was weak, as if she was 70 or 80 years old and it was beating over one hundred times per minute. Her whole body was severely deformed, her height changed from 160cm to 150cm, because the bones were seriously squeezed and damaged. She looked like a refugee from Africa, skinny, muscular atrophy… Dr Chang had no doubts it was serious but he just wasn’t willing to accept it. He promised his wife that he will help her fight cancer until the last minute.

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