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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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Oasis of Hope

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… (click on the photos to enlarge)

FLIGHT TO THE STATES

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Buying time

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 royalblue and chunky. Yum.

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What a pair

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

(Mouse-over left/right images to see more; click on any image to enlarge)

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
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
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
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

Retail therapy
Retail therapy

Treatments

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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).

 

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Running out of veins after a week here. They put new catheters in every other day due to ozone therapy which requires a new one each time. But I’ll take it over chemo any day.

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

hyperthermia01.fw_fwHyperthermia (above)

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
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!
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)
Eber – Macho mexicano (his self-description)
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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Comments(12)

  • Miguel Blanco
    25th Dec 2017, 12:55 am  Reply

    I’m here now with my brother in law and sister. 2nd day for them. A little rough considering it’s 12/24/17. Pancreatic cancer for my brother in law. He’s skin and bones but we’re hopeful. Hoping to share a positive story in the future.

    • Sara F Schauf
      8th Aug 2018, 4:56 pm

      Looking forward to hearing a positive story and outcome from Oasis of Hope, anything to share?

      • Sophie Sabbage
        15th Aug 2018, 5:30 pm

        I hear many success stories from Oasis, but it is very expensive and there are clinics just as good in Germany. Where do you live?

  • julie
    1st Mar 2017, 2:32 pm  Reply

    hi sophie was given your name by sarah at chartwell suite where I had chemo.Not sure if reacurrence waiting for results very interested in clinic etc.would be great to make contact and talk ,hope your well juliexx

  • 9th Mar 2015, 3:05 pm  Reply

    Dear Sophie, I am so grateful to you that you are taking the time to share your journey with me and the world. You write so eloquently. Wonderful to hear of Miranda Shaw’s father’s experience with the Oasis of Hope. With love and eternal hope – and trust that all is well. Issy xx

  • 9th Mar 2015, 3:05 pm  Reply

    Dear Sophie, I am so grateful to you that you are taking the time to share your journey with me and the world. You write so eloquently. Wonderful to hear of Miranda Shaw’s father’s experience with the Oasis of Hope. With love and eternal hope – and trust that all is well. Issy xx

  • 11th Feb 2015, 3:14 pm  Reply

    My father in law was given weeks to live with cancer in the UK. Dr Contreras’ father and the Oasis of Hope saved him….about 25 years ago. I am so glad you have found the place. They seem truly inspirational. As are you.

  • 11th Feb 2015, 3:14 pm  Reply

    My father in law was given weeks to live with cancer in the UK. Dr Contreras’ father and the Oasis of Hope saved him….about 25 years ago. I am so glad you have found the place. They seem truly inspirational. As are you.

  • clare Calkins
    3rd Feb 2015, 9:51 pm  Reply

    I am in awe……, of the Hospital, the treatments, the wonderful sounding staff but most of all Sophie, of you, your bravery, your spirit, your faith, in all of this…………. your blog is an inspiration. Cxxxxxx

  • clare Calkins
    3rd Feb 2015, 9:51 pm  Reply

    I am in awe……, of the Hospital, the treatments, the wonderful sounding staff but most of all Sophie, of you, your bravery, your spirit, your faith, in all of this…………. your blog is an inspiration. Cxxxxxx

    • Alevtina
      31st Jan 2017, 6:00 pm

      Thank you for sharing this information with us and the world. My mother, the endometrial cancer patient with metastasis in liver and lungs, had treatment in October, 2016 for three weeks at the Oasis of Hope. Three months later, the CT scan showed the large tumors have shrunk for about a 3rd. That is a big victory in such small amount of time and with no chemo! Thanks to God and the doctors!

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