Clinton Beattie

Personal stories from survivors
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Bronwyn Beattie
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Clinton Beattie

Post by Bronwyn Beattie » Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:42 am

1994 - I was 12 years old,
- Diagnosis of brain tumour in 1994 after really bad headaches
- first brain surgery – endoscopic - relieve fluid - hydracephalus - Tumour on aqueduct of brainstem, blocking 3rd ventricle

The operation failed to remove any tumour and all I got from it was meningitis

year nine- 14 years of age - big year

I remember playing for the 2nd eleven cricket trials [I was a pretty good batsman having played rep cricket for a couple of years] –it was pretty competitive cricket. I faced the fastest bowler in the school, started to see 2 balls flying at me – scary - signpost for something really wrong.

September – the surgeon said that the tumour was inoperable but that he had to do something. He booked me in for an exploratory op – again endoscopic for October after his trip overseas. He said he would be talking to other surgeons about my case. He returned from overseas and said that he had seen a French surgeon reach a tumour like mine and that he felt that this was the way to go but we would proceed with the endoscopic op first to get a piece of tumour and two weeks later do the craniotomy.

I went in for preliminary op on my head but the morning of the operation, whilst in hospital, I decided that it would just weaken me for the big craniotomy planned for 2 weeks away. Gods intervention gave me a gut feeling. My parents were alarmed at my decision but the surgeon fully agreed with me knowing that the op he proposed for 2 weeks later would be 11 hours.

After the 11 hour craniotomy, I was hooked up to every conceivable machine as I was put into a deliberate coma for two days to assist healing. The op was successful in that I was okay but the surgeon was only able to get a piece of tumour for biopsy – could not remove bulk as it was too involved with brain tissue. The biopsy on tumour revealed a Grade 3 astrocytoma.

When I was taken to a room after ICU, my friends came to visit, including my girlfriend Amy. My head was bandaged and my eyes were not lining up very well. She didn’t say very much and stood back a bit. I was trying to joke a bit and suddenly Amy keeled over and hit her head against the wall, in a total faint. The nurses attended to her and brought a wheelchair – mum had to wheel her down to casualty! Fortunately she didn’t have to have her head bandaged!.

December / January - stereotactic radiotherapy. I had been measured for this incredible contraption that was placed on my head each time. The Christmas holidays weren’t a lot of fun! I started the RT two days after my 15th birthday and finished on 31st January just in time to start school.

3 months later in March, my eyes started to close up – called ptosis -very serious situation - I was admitted to hospital for tests.

Doctors half heartedly offered chemo but we were told we stood no chance with it – pointless exercise. I wasn’t told this at the time but the head of Children’s oncology suggested to mum and dad that I be taken home to enjoy the short time I had left and to look at quality of life, rather than quantity.

No hope.

We were left to our own thoughts – the silence was deafening. The doctors had given up.

It was then that the tide started to turn.

It was then that I am convinced God intervened.

The day after I came out of hospital, my family received 3 phone calls from people they hadn’t spoken to in several months. The calls were totally independent of each other yet all pointed us in the direction of the Gawler Institute in Victoria.

Then mum whizzed me off to the Gawler Institute, Yarra Valley Junction.

We went on pure faith - I even gave Dad a code that if it turned out to be a weird cult, I’d ring and say the word "McDonalds"

At the Gawler institute we had 10 days learning about getting rid of the stress in your life, meditating, visualizing, organic vegetarian diets, soul searching etc…..

After the Gawler program we felt empowered to fight the tumour ourselves and I took six months off school. Mum and dad had always been very positive with me and this positive thinking was an integral part of our fight.

The diet consisted of at least 3 vegetable juices a day, 2 with pure carrot, the others with beetroot, celery, capsicum, cabbage.

I tried to cut out all added salt, all added sugar as well. I basically tried to avoid dairy products and red meat and chicken. I had more energy for living with vegetarian diet,

The Gawler 10 day residential was inspiring and empowered us - it gave us something to fight with.

I was vigilant with my diet - with God's grace I realized the seriousness of the situation and my recovery became my all consuming passion.

I fought every day to keep my immune system going well.

I faltered with my diet along the way but rarely did I eat food that I would regret having eaten an hour later. My diet consisted of foods that would boost my immune system and hence fight the tumour.

I assessed my situation and realized how serious it was. I looked at most things as one of two possibilities. Those that would be beneficial to my health and those that would not.

Once in remission, I recalled what Ian Gawler said of diet. He discussed the place of diet in someone who is now in remission and said that once someone is in remission, it is what they eat most that is of greatest importance.

But during those crucial months in 1997, diet was of vital importance, positive thinking and affirmations were also crucial. Keeping a positive frame of mind and a focused one was what God gave me the grace to be able to do.

During this time my faith as a Christian developed and gave me the drive to fight.

By November the tumour had decreased in size and my eyesight had improved a little – still double vision but the ptosis was gone.

1998- terrible year
A cyst developed, causing havoc with my eyes.

A reservoir was inserted but I had to be anaethetised every few weeks to have it drained and the tube kept blocking - it was a horrible time.

In September Ytrium was inserted into the cyst – a short life radioactive product - the timing had to be perfect as it came from the U.K. and the doctors had to be ready to insert it immediately. I don’t think it made any difference but I do remember the agony of having the contraption screwed onto my head in order to ensure the reservoir was placed in the right spot.

1999- another terrible year which ended with me being rushed to Emergency on New Years Eve.

On Feb 23, Dr Stening operated again, 9 hour craniotomy decreasing the cystic component but again the bulk could not be removed. The doctor redefined the tumour as a grade 4 and my parents were told that I wouldn’t make Christmas.

After the operation Dr Stening was apprehensive about whether I would be able to walk or indeed just how much paralysis could have occurred. I was in a coma for a couple of days. We were grateful that in fact I had no paralysis at all. He reluctantly handed us over to Dr Smee, knowing that further surgery was out of the question.

Dr Smee decided to go with the new chemo, Temodal which had trialled well in the U.S. - The dosage was 400mg for 5 days then a 23 day break. I used Zofran for nausea. I was lucky because it reduced my tumour by 75% within 7 months.

June, 2002, after 2.5 years of chemo I decided to give it a break, using Chinese herbs, acapuncture to get my immune system back.

The tumour is still there on the MRI scans and the cyst is rearing its ugly head a little bit but I honestly believe that what is left is now dead.

I continue to do relaxations, have 3 glasses of fresh vegetable juice a day and eat a healthy vegetarian diet with some fish and a little chicken. I take Selenium, Ester C, Wheat Grass. My immune system is very good .

I believe that all this complements the treatment doctors have given me.

I work on the committee for Canteen trying to help other kids with cancer or their siblings.

I am studying Psychology part time – hoping to help people with cancer deal with the situation.

In two weeks time I am going to Kenya to experience life in a very different culture and in a poverty stricken country, working with the local church.

I can now look to the future, hoping that I can help other people with God’s grace.

-Brain tumors are horrible things
they cause much grief
cause much suffering
many side effects
sometimes death and sometimes not
a form of cancer which effects all the body and like other forms of cancer, effects all those around the sufferer.
My name is Clint, I am a Christian and that is my story.

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Clint's Story

Post by avandijk » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:01 pm

I am currently on the brain tumour rollercoaster, and was inspired by your story. It is very heartening to hear stories such as yours and I admire your courage and determination to live.

I congratulate you on your improving health. I too have heard about Ian Gawler and am very interested to visit Yarra Valley to learn about diet, mediation and positive thinking.

Thank you for sharing your story.

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Re: Clinton Beattie

Post by romina81 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:43 pm

I have just read Clints book again -amazing!
How are you going?

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Re: Clinton Beattie

Post by mike59 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:36 am

Hi Clinton,
I like you turned to diet and boost my immune system to control the growth of my tumor. I'm on a Ketogenic diet, it's been very successful for me, I can't say that it will work for you but it may be worth a try, the information that best describes it is the wikpedia listing, in the other application list I quote "Case reports of two children indicate that it may be a possible treatment for astrocytomas". It works on a very simple assumption, cancer cells either close down or eject their mitochondria, all normal cells in the body can use glucose or fat to fuel themselves but for a cell to use fat as a fuel itself it must have active mitochondria, so if you cut out all sugar in your diet and lower your glucose levels from that then it starves the cancer cells. I get the feeling that all diet based cancer treatments do this in some manner such as the Gawler diet, Paleo diet, Mac-grow biotic diet, etc. The difference is that a ketogenic diet makes you aware of enzyme sugars such as lactose and starch sugars such as rice and wheat. I have done this for close to 6 months and if you get the balance correct then you will not become skinny and unhealthy, it has reduced the inflammation around my tumor and reduced it's size.

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