page 49


WE BOTH wanted children to give fulfilment to our lives. When there was no sign of them by the end of 1948, she drove across to Albury to consult a doctor about why she had not become pregnant. The doctor examined her and diagnosed uterine cancer. He advised a hysterectomy.

This was shattering news to me. Having a family seemed hopeless, a delusion; life was suddenly empty. When I recovered from the shock, I took her to the two doctors at the clinic in Wangaratta, and they confirmed the first doctor's diagnosis. I was horrified by the prospect of a childless marriage and could not accept such a certainty if the operation were performed. Still hoping it was all a mistake, we went to Melbourne for a consultation at the Royal Women's Hospital. Two ladies' doctors, Dr Gleddell and Dr Hennessey (who were male and female respectively) gave the same opinion. And so, desperate to hear some dissenting voice, we went on to consult the man who was known as the leading gynaecologist in Melbourne, Dr Dick O'Sullivan. He was even more forthright in his verdict and suggested an operation at Mount St Evans Hospital during the following week. He then assisted us to make arrangements for the operation.

On the journey home I clung to the hope that the life-threatening growth could be arrested without such major surgery. I confided this to my wife. I told her of the ordeal I had survived in 1943 due to my wonder salts, whose formula derived from the sheep-lick trials. I told her how this medication had reversed the cancerous lump in my left hand. Bonnie herself needed little persuasion. She dreaded the operation. So it was agreed to give my home-grown medication a thorough trial before submitting to a hysterectomy. Back home, to give both of us confidence in the decision, I made up a lick for the sheep and had her watch. They were ravenous for it.

We cancelled the Melbourne arrangements and I set to work. All the study and medical knowledge that I had acquired to protect and ensure the good health of the first girlfriend were now called upon. The tumor in my wife's uterus by this time was a noticeable lump in her abdomen, and her periods had become very erratic. It seemed to me the medicine had to work commensurately better than for curing the lump on my hand. After hours of study of possible chemical combinations, I felt that the medication could be improved in several ways.

I altered the quantities of the main nutrients and added two trace elements to the mixture. Some of the chemicals were not stocked by local chemists and so I had to return to Melbourne for them. All were carefully weighed and blended. There was no grinder to powder the mixture, but I thought the crystals, being mainly sulphates, would dissolve in water.

In my ordeal, I had come to trust the action of lemon juice with the mixture. So again I added the powder in a level teaspoon to a tall glass of lemon and chilled water. If the water was too warm, the lemon juice would fizz violently and lose its value. Taken in chilled water, the mixture made a pleasant drink. Bonnie agreed to take a dose every second night at bed-time: at night because this gave the salts virtual control of her body for maximum effect, and every second night to prevent any excessive build-up of the chemicals within the body. (Too high a dose tends to cause constipation.)
Crucial to the effectiveness of the treatment - this mix of minerals in the role of food supplement - was the elimination from the diet of every food rich in phosphorus. Not to pay attention to this would be to feed the cancer. The safest foods in such a case are fruit and vegetables, and fortunately these were plentiful on the farm. Where possible I favored certain varieties of fruits and vegetables over others, according to the rating given in DuPain's food-composition charts.

As far as I can remember, the first doses of the medication were given in mid-September 1949. After a couple of weeks an improvement could be seen in her condition. There was no pain and the lump, which could easily be felt in her lower abdomen, began to shrink. After three or four months it had shrivelled to half its size. The powder seemed to kill it. The bulge was there without the lump now, just a flat shape. By the beginning of 1950, the improvement in her looks and health was plain to see.