Together we will beat cancer


Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

18 May 2019 22:12

Last year, after giving birth to our third child, my wife was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. After an operation to remove it, we soon discovered that it had metastasized to the liver to the extent that it was incurable. From the initial diagnosis my wife was put in touch by a friend with a 'healer', who claims to have a special ability to heal cancer through prayer. She quickly developed complete faith in his abilities and has been totally dependent on the reassurance he provides her every day. He has her believing that he has healed her cancer, and seems to have a gift for putting her at ease for any health problem that she has had this past year. He requests no payment and sees it as his role in life to help people in such need.

As a consequence of her being put at ease like this, she has been full of happiness and life this past year. I have been off work and we have had a wonderful time watching our three children grow. She has fortunately not experienced any significant symptoms of her diagnosis, putting tiredness down to dealing with a new baby.

Three weeks ago she started developing frequent high temperatures and chills. She is now regularly exhausted for most of the day, is losing weight and struggles to find the appetite to eat food. These seem to me to be symptoms of the cancer taking hold (though I guess it could just be a nasty virus of some sort). However the healer claims it is of course something else, her cancer is gone, that she will be fine and there is no need to see a doctor because he will be able to heal her. He has told her it is important for her to not doubt that she will be fine.

I am in quite a difficult situation. I don't believe the healer (though in this world of miracles he could of course be right). I have convinced myself that she will not be with us much longer. Rather than think about the juggernaut of grief headed our family's way I spend every minute trying to plan what I should do to deal with the practicalities of looking after my kids for the days and weeks after she leaves us. I do not want to say or do anything that may cause my wife doubts, which are likely to lead to overwhelming negative feelings. It may even be the case that if I try to suggest the cancer is still there and things are starting to look very bad, she may trust the healer more than me causing problems between us. So I continue as if all will return to normal, meanwhile struggling to look after 3 kids and my exhausted wife. Our support network is not good: my family are 5 hours away and my wife doesn't like most of them, and her family are abroad with commitments.

I don't really have anyone to talk to about this so thought I would just post it here. I'm not sure what reply I'm looking for. I guess I'd obviously quite like some one to say that miracle healers do exist and my wife and our young family will be fine...

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

18 May 2019 22:36 in response to canon433

I’m so sorry you’re going through such a difficult situation, I don’t have any answers, I just wanted to add that I think that by preparing for the worst while hoping for the best, and supporting your wife’s choices medically you’re doing the best you can. You sound like a wonderful father and I hope that everything works out well for you all. Lots of love and good luck xxx

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 03:15 in response to canon433

Hi cannon if I were in your shoes get in touch with your doctor explain everything to them see if they can pop round when (healer) isn't there, just a friendly visit to see how things are going on, best wishes.


Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 06:57 in response to canon433

Hi, I have just come across your post. I am so sorry about what you are all going through. You sound like you are doing an amazing job in impossible circumstances. I dont have any real experience in this but my mum (who did have bowel and liver cancer and now metastatic brain cancer) has a very similar belief and it brings her so much comfort. It calms her down when she is at her most upset. (She believes in God and that he is her healer) Did the doctors ever offer your wife any treatment? I know that my mum has now got to the point that if they find any more in her body she will now refuse chemo (she has just had whole brain radiotherapy) as she cannot cope with it anymore. I guess my thought is, if the doctors could not offer any treatment options would it be best for your wife to lean on the healer or could the doctors help her. 


Hope's and prayers are with you and your family. 



Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 10:04 in response to canon433

I'm so sorry to hear of the invideous position you are in. I can see that your wife is gaining comfort from this 'healer' but it also means that she is not accepting what will happen in the future and dealing with it for all your sakes. I agree with Billy that you should contact your wife's doctor - if he is also your doctor it will be even better because you can discuss the situation from both your points of view. Your wife's doctor will need updating anyway because any palliative or end of life care will be arranged through them and they need to know how your wife is getting on. Can I also suggest that you contact Macmillan who may be able to give you help and support from an emotional counselling point of view. I'm sure they will have been presented with this type of situation before and may have advice that will be helpful. Another font of advice may be your local hospice - give them a ring and see what they suggest. As for your wife's loss of appetite and weight - a large proportion of cancer patients suffer from a condition called Cachexia which causes these symptoms - this CRUK website explains it further

Please seek professional help, if only for yourself so you can continue to care for your wife in the wonderful way you are doing. My love and best wishes to you all,


Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 18:09 in response to canon433

Hi, Sorry to hear you're in this situation.

I have to say that I consider the 'healer's' attempts to dissuade your wife from visiting a doctor, as abuse.

If I were in your position, I'd consider him a charlatan and want to punch him in the throat.

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 19:27 in response to Tillyj

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 19:29 in response to Billygoat

Many thanks for the advice, it is very much appreciated.

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 19:40 in response to canon433

Hi Canon,

I'm so sorry to read about your predicament. I'm afraid that I don't believe in miracles but I do believe that the World is full of charlatans who prey on us cancer patients. He may not be getting any monetary gain out of his actions but he'll be getting a feeling of power and maybe even a misguided feeling of altruism.

If his actions and your wife's beliefs aren't doing any harm fine, but if this is stopping her from receiving any palliative care or pain relief that would be another thing. 

Cancer doesn't just go away but symptoms are quite often masked or become dormant for months on end. Only a CT or MRI scan will show what the current position is. I have incurable stage 4 cancer which is currently dormant. If I'd met your wife's so-called healer, I might also be claiming he'd cured me - instead of thinking that my chemo had worked and I'd been so very lucky. 

It is actually illegal to claim to have a cancer cure - legislation dating back 80 years.

I wish I could offer advice, instead I'm just so angry on your behalf!


Best wishes



Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

19 May 2019 19:47 in response to Rmac3060

Thank you for your kind words, and I'm sorry to hear about your mother. The oncologist did indeed offer chemo 'to give her longer' but by this time my wife had already convinced herself that she would be fine and therefore not need it.

I decided not to question her about this because the choice was between having her go through the emotional and physical difficulties of chemo because it might have given her an indeterminate amount of more time, and having her live healthly and happy, in denial, for at least some time. And it has been a lovely time. Though as another poster points out we've not addressed the possibility of her passing on any time soon (I'll talk more about this in my reply to them).


Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

20 May 2019 19:54 in response to AngieT

Thank you very much for your great advice and kind words.

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

20 May 2019 20:08 in response to davek

Thanks very much for your thoughts. My wife is not experiencing any pain as yet. I wonder though if she is missing out on drugs (steroids?) that might help counteract the fatigue.

I think she is becoming aware that, after these weeks of feeling so ill, there may be something that she could gain from a visit to the doctor. However I wonder if deep down she really wants to avoid that trip and the realities that it may force her to face.

The healer is actually abroad (in the EU) - they talk via Skype. I don't know what that means for the legal side of things.

After all the fantastic advice from the posts here I think my next step is to get advice from Macmillan, and try to persuade my wife to have a check-up with the GP.

Alternative healer has convinced my wife she will live

20 May 2019 20:16 in response to canon433

Hi there ...

Just thought I'd add my thoughts to the good advice you've already had ...

Why can't she do both ... this time waiting for a mirical, could be time spent not getting treatment .. yes she may feel better chatting to him .. but if he's genuine he will advise you to do both ... 

I left my lump for fear of what I'd go through ... I was lucky to still be here nearly two years later .. it reminds me of a bit of brainwashing ... things can go hand in hand ... alongside things we hope will work .. but putting all her faith in him is really worrieing .... 

Though the final decision is you both and only the two of you ... l hope your call to McMillan is helpfull .. they helped me in the beginning... chrissie x