Patients Talk About... Complementary Therapies and Cancer: Gitka's Story Video Transcript

Patients talk about... Complementary Therapies and Cancer
Gitka's Story
Time: 2:38

Narrator:
Before coming to M. D. Anderson, Gitka received several different doctors' opinions about her symptoms. One said she "might" have cancer. Another said her tongue would have to be removed. With such frightening news, Gitka headed to Mexico for one month of intense alternative therapy.

Gitka:
I had radiation, and I wasn't monitored. I lost half of my red blood cells, and I was dizzy, I was fainting. I met a lot of people they, conventional doctors gave up on them, so they went to Mexico, and most of the people I was there with, they died after it.

Cancer dentist:
What current medications are you...

Narrator:
Gitka returned to the states and went to M. D. Anderson where she had surgery to remove a tumor at the root of her tongue, and several other surgeries to deal with related issues. All the while, Gitka used various complementary therapies to enhance her health and well-being.

Gitka:
I strongly believe that especially if you have a problem, you are the one who is in charge, and, you know yourself, and you should be responsible. And doctor is your help, but he is not your main cure.

Narrator:
Gitka tried a little bit of everything to take care of herself. At her doctor's suggestion, she got a pet to help lift her spirits. She tried various herbs, and practiced good nutrition, eating mainly organic foods.

Exercise instructor:
Bend your knees.

Narrator:
To keep physically fit, she tried different types of exercise... like Pilates.

Gitka:
If you are really sick, you can do Pilates even in the bed. If you are halfway, you can still adjust Pilates. If you are completely healthy, you can have really advanced Pilates that's excellent.

Narrator:
Gitka is also a big believer in Reiki one of various energy therapies, which include Healing Touch, Qi Gong, and Therapeutic Touch.

Gitka:
It's kind of hard to believe for us when we were raised traditionally, how can touch heal? You know. But it does.

Narrator:
Gitka traveled far in her cancer journey trying both traditional and complementary therapies along the way.

Gitka:
I believe the cure is somewhere in between. A lot of traditional doctors don't believe in herbs and Tai Chi, Reiki, vitamins. Lot of them don't. And the truth is somewhere in between.