Friday, July 6, 2012
I won a Challenge to make a Feature Documntary
Went to a movie and saw Ingrid Veninger's I am a good person/I am a bad person. I loved it and when I left the cinema I spoke to her. She recounted her first memory of me. She was running away from the bad guys on camera and tripped but bravely got up and kept running. Finally the director yelled cut. She remembers me standing over her with a bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy asking her if she wanted some. I looked up her site Punk Films and there was this $1000 challenge. Here is the outline that got me one of the five prizes. For many thousands of years mankind has explored one form of medicine or another. It comes as no surprise that there are possible complimentary and alternative treatments to "modern" medicine which merit study. Here is my exploration of 25 years that ends with the use of bee stings in an effort to cure my own cancer. Me, the Bees and Cancer – a documentary feature In 1986, at the age of 52 while working as a 1st Assistant director on feature films, I had the pleasure of being on set with Louis Malle for the feature film, Atlantic City, Norman Jewison on Agnes of God, and I had begun a string of films with David Cronenberg: The Brood, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, and The Fly. I had worked with stars like Sophia Loren, Jeremy Irons, Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Bert Lancaster to name a few. Life was wonderful and full of challenges. I started a TV movie, A Christmas Wife, starring Jason Robarts, Julie Harris and Don Franks. There was only one problem, I had arthritis in my left hand, joints that ached, and my baby finger would not curl up properly. On Agnes of God, I used to go with Jane Fonda to small towns near Guelph and do her video workout program with the local ladies who came to participate. It was fun, but did I ache! Arnica cream brought relief. It helped my arthritic hand for a while, but I knew I would have to do something more serious to get rid of the problem. More by accident than anything else I went to Thompson Homeopathic on Yonge St., just north of Bloor. It’s been there since 1868. They gave me two remedy mixtures, and my arthritis disappeared for almost a decade. That was an epiphany, and my interest in alternate healing techniques began. I started to carry homeopathic books and remedies on film sets. Colleagues on Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, M Butterfly and series like Friday’s Curse and Pit Pony used the remedies so often and so effectively I became known as “Dr. John”. Over time, I found that the homeopathic remedies were excellent for acute situations. I learned more on every film. For the next 10 years I plied my avocation, and wrote up the case histories and the events that led me to a favorite group of remedies. My question became, how could I tell the world what I had learned? In 2004 I created the Hollywood Survival Kit using remedies I had found most efficient and effective. I began to market this kit to film companies, stars and crews. Jeremy Irons bought the first 10, and Woody Harrelson bought 11. The kit was a bit expensive, so I introduced a Pocket Pack with 5 remedies; a smaller version of my first kit, and a good way to approach the public with an inexpensive way to treat themselves. By 2008 I was raising money and completing business plans to expand my market. Presently, I am designing fiscal and marketing plans to bring these kits to the general market place. In August of 2010 I found a lump the size of two peanuts in my right armpit. I took the normal route: biopsy, CT scan and blood tests. The diagnosis was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage 1. The doctors said it was an early stage, and I could go on working producing the feature film, Hello October; and deal with the cancer after that. We filmed in October, and I had to direct the last week, as the director my best friend Doug Dales became dreadfully ill and hospitalized. He had terminal cancer and he died in little more than a month. In January of 2011, my CT scan and blood tests were almost the same as the first tests. I had lost my best friend and the awareness of my own circumstance became more real. Motivated by my loss and inspired by those who were helped through belief in what I had preached, I took my own "leap of faith". I decided to opt out of Chemo Therapy and Radiation. I had already changed my diet to organic and vegetarian foods. In addition, I was taking supplements including baking soda, magnesium, resveratrol, curcumin and vitamins B, C, D, and E. My August 2011 blood tests showed a slight deterioration and the addition of Epstein Barr Virus, which at first they thought was Aids. Again, the oncologists at Princess Margaret Hospital recommended the standard treatment. Again, I refused. I felt I could succeed with my diet, supplements and homeopathy. In November of 2011 I went to Costa Rica to spend the winter in a hot climate and swim in the ocean. I lived in the mountains about 18km from the Pacific Ocean. For the first months I fared badly, and lost more than 10 lbs. I decided to do more exercise, swimming, hitchhiking and walking between rides up and down the mountain. I was able to gain some weight and strengthen my body. I arrived back in Toronto in mid-April, brown and looking healthy. My spring blood test results were slightly better which gave me hope. My weight was up to 130lbs. My Epstein Barr Virus was still present and this was worrying everyone. I added Vitamin B12 and folic acid to my supplements and took up swimming again to add more strength. At this point my brother, Stephan, who is an apiarist with about 200 hives, suggested I try bee stings to exact a cure. He had already helped a woman survive cancer after the standard treatment of mastectomy with chemo and radiation had failed. I was apprehensive, as were my nutritionist and homeopathic doctor. My brother introduced me to Don Downs who had taught him the art of using sting therapy for ailments like MS and arthritis. Don is a board member of the American Apitherapy Association and a teacher of sting therapy. My advisors remained skeptical, so I set up a conference call between them and Don. The call satisfied my advisors. I began a course of bee stinging every other day. I currently do 20 stings at a time around the lymph node and 2 in the top of my head and aside from the initial pain of the stings I feel ok. I have done about 200 stings so far. I hope by the time I have 500 stings under my belt I should see clinically positive results from my efforts. I would like to make a documentary that chronicles my years exploring alternative remedies and my seemingly radical struggle with the relentless disease: cancer. The Visual Presentation. As I go through my experiences using Apitherapy I will present the healing and learning events of my early career to express a continuity of experimenting with alternative remedies. I will relate through pictures and narration what I have learned from the stars and crew members who showed me, through use, the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. The film will deal with my experiences using Apitherapy and the use of bee stings to help heal my cancer. I will visit my brother’s honey farm and interview him to better understand the use of bee products for healing. My homeopathic doctor and my supplements advisor will add their wisdom to my case. You will hear and see what I have tried so far. Throughout the film I will be building to a climax of whether I have progressed or not during the filming period. By the end of July I will have stung myself over 500 times and it will be clear to me how I am. My final question will be what to do in the future to continue healing. The good and the bad of me, John Board, will be there too as I work to bring my smoking under control and essentially clean up my own act. It will be the adventure of one man’s search for good health in the world of alternative ways of healing.