Deprived of body, property, and life: a case of Arsenicum iodatum and Diospyros kaki
A 34 year old woman came to me with the diagnosis of lymphoma of the thymus, which was discovered on examination two months ago. Today, after the first chemotherapy, she is extremely tired; it is even difficult for her to talk. A further eleven chemotherapy treatments are planned. The tumor has grown into her lungs and heart, so an operation is impossible and her doctors are not at all hopeful. She does not know this fact because she did not want to hear about it; I only got this information from her family members.
For more than a year, she has a prickly pain in her stomach, aggravated by lying on her abdomen. She also feels a pain around the navel, aggravated by touch. She has a burning sensation in her stomach and heartburn. She often has loose and smelly stools. She is shivering.
She had a dry, irritating cough, which appeared a year ago, aggravated by talking. It recently ceased. Six months ago, she had an X-ray examination to investigate the cough, but the results were negative.
In childhood, she used to be healthy and had no recurring illnesses.
She likes embroidery, playing the violin and doing physical exercise.
Patient (P): I got divorced three years ago from a man who was 18 years older than me. We established a company together, but when we divorced, the firm became his. I still work there because my mother and sister are working there, too. If I leave, they would lose their jobs. Our sexual life was not good at the beginning, so my husband advised me to go into treatment. I found a lover and I realized that the problem was not on my side. After the divorce, I didn’t have any money; he took everything from me, even the car that he had given me. Many friends turned their backs on me. He didn’t have his own friends, only my friends, and he took them all; he took all my life. I felt betrayed. I didn’t fight, I didn’t push him to do anything. I felt worthless. At night, I used to cry on my boyfriend's shoulder. I moved into his house in another city, but I was missing home and I felt lost.
In the past, I used to be active, I exercised and went for trips, but now, I just sitting at home doing ordinary things. I don’t like the city. I keep returning to the past, to a time when I had financial support. I had worked for ten years, I had everything, a business, a house... I don’t regret leaving my husband but now, I'm starting all over again, I don’t have any security. I don’t have even my personal belongings. I have to ask for everything, even for new clothes. It is a betrayal. I feel anger and humiliation.
According to her story, it is very interesting that although she got divorced, the problem is not the break up but the property losses and the financial security. After the divorce, she lost her property and business, she had to start all over again. It means a total breakdown, which, according to Jan Scholten, is the theme of Arsenicum (loss, stage 15). She also moved to another city, losing her friends at the fitness centre where she used to exercise. In a strange city, amongst unknown people, she feels like a stranger, an emigrant. This is a theme of Iodium (emigration, loss of one’s own culture).
Arsenicum iodatum, according to classical literature is a remedy for chronic diarrhoea, chronic cough and also cancer.
Prescription: Arsenicum iodatum 30C alternately administered with Carcinosinum 58T LM, plussing method according to Ramakrishnan. In addition, I advised her to take 1 dose of Okoubaku 30C to counteract the effects of chemotherapy.
In less than two weeks her boyfriend called me to say that a tumor had ruptured into the colon; no one knew about this tumor. A colostomy was done and the wound was healing well; she was released from the hospital within a few days. Her chemotherapy treatment was postponed for three weeks. At that time, the tumor on her chest had diminished to half the size.
Prescription: Arsenicum iodatum 200C and Carcinosinum 58T 200C.
After 8 weeks: her family informed me that she has been hospitalized for a long time already. Her hands and legs gradually stopped working and she had impaired vision. After neurological examinations, it was discovered that these are side effects of chemotherapy and that the functions of the eyes, hands and legs should be restored in future.
She is still receiving chemotherapy but her condition is gradually getting worse and worse. They had to operate her again because of adhesions in the intestines and of faeces which appeared in the stomach probe. She is doing very badly; her blood pressure is high, she has heart problems with an irregular heartbeat, palpitations, and pulmonary oedema. She is not urinating and is not passing stool.
Eventually, her state became so deteriorated that doctors tell the family that she is likely to die in the next 3 or 4 days. Despite her extreme state, the doctors insist on continuing the chemotherapy. She eventually refuses, as she is extremely ill. She is so weak that she cannot even go from lying to sitting position on her bed.
After consultation with Vladimir Petroci, we decided to give her the remedy Diospyros kaki because of the side effects of chemotherapy. We had a good knowledge of this remedy from repeated provings (2011) in the Slovakian Academy of Classical Homeopathy. This remedy was discovered and introduced in the homeopathic practice by Marijke Creveld, who found it to be one of the best remedies for the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Prescription: Diospyros kaki 30C dissolved in water, a few drops every hour. She took the remedy all night.
Next morning: the patient’s blood pressure decreased, but the fever increased to 38 °C.
Prescription: continue dosing 4 times a day
Three days later, a phone call from the family: she feels much better; she started to eat, was able to urinate and pass a stool on her own. Her heart medications are discontinued.
Prescription: continue Diospyros kaki 30C 2 x daily
After ten days: she get up from bed and tries to walk. Her appetite returns. Breathing remains difficult. The wound on the abdomen is opened and drained.
Prescription: Diospyros 2 x daily + Calendula 30C 3 x daily
During this period, a CT scan was done. Result: the lymphoma has disappeared.
After 6 weeks: she left the hospital two weeks ago and comes to see me for a follow up, the first one since last summer. She seems to be doing very well, gaining weight; her hair is growing and her vision is now completely normal. Her hands and legs are still numb, and she has a slight numbness of the skin. She still has fluid in the lungs. She moves slowly, because every motion gives her stomach pain and brings on nausea. She feels good when lying down. She is still very weak. She goes to hospital in one month to start radiation therapy.
Prescription: Bellis perennis 30C, three days in a row
A month later: she is doing well, no pain in abdomen. A few days ago, she danced at a Country ball with her friends.
Prescription: continuing with remedies Arsenicum iodatum 200C and Carcinosinum 200C according to the plussing method.
Two months later: she called to say that she feels very well. She is going for surgery for the removal of her colostomy. All oncological indicators are normal. We adjust the remedies accordingly to only once per week, still alternating both remedies. She is intending to stay abroad for three months. On arrival, she will continue to take these remedies once per month.
Half a year later: all tests are fine; she feels very well and is practicing yoga and wool spinning. She found herself a job which she likes and she is living again with her boyfriend.
The next year: she is planning to have a baby. She has passed the gynaecological examinations and everything is fine. She looks great.
Three years since the beginning of the treatment: she is perfectly fine: no physical problems, satisfied with her life, partner and job.
Lot's wife; painting by Candace Charlton
Wikimedia Commons; Diospyros Kaki in Serres d'Auteuil; Liné1;CC BY-SA 2.5
Keywords: lymphoma of thymus, loss of property, emigrant, chemotherapy, radiotherapy
Remedies: Arsenicum iodatum, Diospyros kaki