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The power of love (Part 3) - Raymond Kirlew 'cures' wife's cancer with soursop leaves

Published:Monday | January 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer

Raymond Kirlew stands at the entrance to a cave that he discovered in his backyard three years ago. - Photo by Paul williams

On July 16 and 23, 2007, we told the story of how Raymond Kirlew, of St Ann, helped to nurse his wife, Yvonne, back to health when she had cancer of the lymph nodes. It was a poignant love story that softened the heart of the toughest man, but it took a bittersweet turn last year when they were told the cancer had come back.

"She has been going for tests routinely every three to four months to make sure the cancer (lymphoma) remains in check. Up to March 2009, Yvonne's test results were basically the same. In fact, we went on a Caribbean cruise with two friends in April 2009," Raymond Kirlew said.

But between December 2008 and March last year, Yvonne was feeling pain and having frequent nerve spasms in her limbs. From March 22 to 26, she underwent a series of tests. Continued medication and shock treatment for the nerves that were damaged by chemotherapy were suggested. They decided against the shock treatment.

However, the pain and the spasms in the legs continued, accompanied by night sweats. More tests and examinations, including a brain/body CT scan, were done between June 23 and 28 in New York. Cancer movements were detected and a detailed positron emission tomography (PET) scan was recommended to be done as soon as possible.

By now, Yvonne was feeling pain in her limbs, abdomen, groin and lymph nodes. July 28 toAugust 2 saw her undergoing the PET scan and blood tests.

The PET scan is a unique type of imaging test that helps doctors see how the organs and tissues inside the body are actually functioning.

That examination, done at the end of July, was conclusive. Cancer was once again invading Yvonne's lymph nodes. And to find out how fast it was moving in order to determine when chemotherapy would have started, the doctor ordered another scan.

Slow movement of the cancer cells was detected. A month's monitoring and administering of chemotherapy as needed were suggested.

Cancer returns

"Together, Yvonne and I started contemplating what arrangements to make regarding starting and continuing the chemotherapy treatment," Ray said.

"When Yvonne started to have restless nights and cold sweat, I feared the worst. I also prayed for the cancer not to come back. Then my fears turned into my worst nightmare. The dreaded cancer had returned. I was so devastated. We all know that when cancer returns it is harder to treat."

Yet, things took a strange and positive twist when Yvonne's sister sent Ray an email. The message contained information claiming that the leaves, stems and bark of the soursop tree could cure cancer.

"I had also started seeing several articles on this miracle fruit and set about reading and researching these claims. One claim said that it was 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy and did not harm good cells," Ray said

"I got so convinced of its power, I advised Yvonne to try it. It couldn't hurt, I thought. Moreover, since she has hypertension and nerve spasms, it should help as I read that it also lowers blood pressure, and repairs damaged nerves. I thought, 'This is too good to be true'," he recalled.

Fact or fiction, Ray set about to cure his wife once again. "He convinced me to try it; I consented. He boiled leaves and bark from a tree in our yard. The taste was awful and I hardly slept due to all the pain I was in. I decided not to take any more, but after Ray suggested that the pain may have been a result of the soursop fighting the cancer, I continued to drink the mixture, sometimes diluting it with other juices to disguise the taste," Yvonne said.

"After a while, it was easy to swallow without dilution. After taking the soursop tea about three times a day, the pain started to subside and she got less and less spasms over time. After a month, she felt no pain in the areas where they once were prevalent," Ray added.

There was no room for complacency, however, and more check-ups took place from September 20 to 24 in order to decide when the chemotherapy would have started.

Good news

A call from the doctor to hear the results of the lab tests did not come as expected after three days. Two more days, and nothing. Afraid of hearing some bad news, Yvonne didn't call either, but Ray did. And a baffled doctor told him the cancer movement had stopped. Joy, unspeakable joy, was what the lovebirds felt.

"Yvonne returned in November 2009 for a check-up. I visited both doctors (oncologist and general practitioner) with her, bringing some soursop leaves along to show them what Yvonne had been drinking. The GP was amazed that no chemotherapy was necessary. A blood test was ordered for Yvonne. The doctor called three days later to advise that Yvonne's blood was perfect ... So far (January), she is still without pain. She is due for a check-up in March," Ray told The Gleaner.

For now, Yvonne has no doubt that her seemingly cancer-free system is due to the 'medicine' extracted from the bark and leaves of the soursop tree in her yard. "I had suspected in the past that the soursop had some medicinal worth because whenever I occasionally drank the fruit juice, I became drowsy and my blood pressure fell significantly.

"Having myself experienced the other amazing properties of this remarkable plant, I have become a believer in its inherent, God-given properties. I am hopeful that the cancer will eventually be defeated and, if and when it does return, that it can at least be halted, thereby extending life," Yvonne said.

A quick search on the Internet revealed many links making claims about the healing powers of the soursop tree. There is even an article published in The Gleaner on Thursday, June 25, last year, about such claims. The headline is 'Soursop: a natural cancer killer' and the source is listed as

"When I got the news about the soursop treatment I was over the moon with joy. As of now, the cancer has been stopped in its track; both of us are very happy. Every day we pray that this dreaded disease does not return, but if it does, we just have to face it head-on. As a husband and a friend, I'm committed to help Yvonne defeat this monster, with God's help," Raymond declared in retrospect.

Yvonne Kirlew stands in front of the soursop tree in her backyard at Discovery Bay, St Ann. She claims the concoction that her husband, Raymond, made from the leaves and bark of the tree killed cancer cells in her lymph nodes. - conrtributed