Carbo Taxol and Other Little Poisons

I try not to complain, and I try not to be too intensely passionate about things. My midwife told me 32 years ago that I hide my pain as stoically as anyone she’s ever seen. My husband often tells me the same now. I don’t do this to earn points of any kind, or because I’m so generous that I don’t want to risk bringing a cloud into your day. I do it because pain bores me. Ignoring it (and trying to appease it, sometimes medicating it) seems like a reasonable response.

But. Every now and then, an apparently unrelated issue brings it all into hyper-focus. Put together a virus of some sort, a flare-up of my autoimmune issues, time to think, and a few discussions about the safety and non-neurotoxicity of aluminum and mercury and squalene delivered in vaccines, and suddenly my resolve not to be passionate about it flies out the window.

Dr. Scott Ratner (CBS News) once said his daughter would have been better off getting cervical cancer than her Gardasil shot. She “went from a varsity lacrosse player at Choate to a chronically ill, steroid-dependent patient with autoimmune myofasciitis. I’ve had to ask myself why I let my eldest of three daughters get an unproven vaccine against a few strains of a nonlethal virus that can be dealt with in more effective ways.”

I haven’t had a Gardasil shot, but I did live on Carbo Taxol for a while, which saved my life, but which is also a neurotoxin, so I get what he’s saying. This is my life now too, autoimmune stuff and myofasciitis and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and chronic everything that is neurotoxicity.

Vaccine proponents say things like “yes, there are always few casualties, but the risks are low.” To which I say, low risk matters only if your own life hasn’t been forever altered.

For me, it was at first just the expected neuropathy in the feet and hands. I was euphoric to be alive. I met a woman who, as a result of her Carbo Taxol, now eats Neurontin like I ate Smarties as an adolescent. I felt so thankful. What I didn’t know was the foot thing was the least of my worries, temporary, contained to one part of my body.

I’m an optimist they tell me, but the fact that it’s been well over three years since I finished treatment challenges my innate optimism. And (I don’t allow this into my brain very often), the fact is that autoimmune responses can become intractable, even potentially lead to things like multiple sclerosis, or cancer recurrence. (The correlation between inflammation, autoimmune responses and cancer is not something to be taken lightly.)

Not to complain, this is just to say I may never again expose myself to a Carbo Taxol cocktail again. I may, but I may not. My choice. First time around, great, it bought me time, which I’m beyond thankful for. But now that I know the price tag, I may think twice before jumping into an even deeper end of the ocean. Everlasting heavy debt loads can kill too.

But neurotoxins in vaccines are different, right? We get more neurotoxicity from a tuna sandwich than a vaccine. Just a few little points to that, if I may. One is that we don’t feed eight pound babies tuna sandwiches. We know they have underdeveloped nervous systems in which the protective myelin sheath covering nerve cells isn’t yet fully formed, and that this makes them particularly susceptible to neurotoxins. We know that they have immature livers and bile function, which is crucial to mercury excretion. We also know that mercury injected rather than ingested isn’t readily excreted anyhow. As UBC’s neuroscientist Chris Shaw says, “the route of exposure is absolutely critical. This is a key principle of toxicology and it never ceases to amaze me that the argument equating dietary to injected aluminum (or mercury) is made at all. Most dietary aluminum (or mercury) will be excreted. Injected aluminum is not easily removed, hence one reason it is used as an adjuvant in the first place.” A neurotoxin that stays in the system is what delivers a long-term immune response; without this component vaccines wouldn’t work.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Chris Shaw a number of years ago, and what he’s seen in the lab, he told me, is alarming.

Also good is perspective on all this—dysentery, TB, malaria, cancer, heart disease, liver disease and diabetes kill far, far more of us every year than do viruses. And they kill more of us than have viruses since the arrival of (be ready for it)—not vaccines, but modern medicine. Across the board, the death rate (not incidence rate) of infectious childhood diseases was negligible when the vaccines were introduced, at least if official mortality records (readily available online) are telling the truth.

I don’t doubt that vaccines have saved lives. But I also don’t doubt that they’ve taken others, and that they’ve severely compromised quality of life for thousands and thousands. The fact that developed nations with the most rigorous vaccine schedules tend to have the highest infant mortality rates ought to make us pause. The fact that autism, supposedly genetic, was first described in the medical literature in the decade following the first vaccine programs, and that it, along with all kinds of neurological and immunological epidemics, has continued to mushroom ought to give us pause. Even the NIH’s own Bernadine Healy has said we need more open minds, more research.

I know what most of you are thinking right now, herd immunity and all the rest, and I’m not asking anyone to agree with me; I just had to get it off my chest. My argument is simply that when it comes to aluminum and mercury and chemotherapies, the waters are muddy, literally. We’re poisoning our entire ecosystem with neurotoxins and drugs and chemicals of all kinds, just ask the fish.

What we know to be true scientifically always changes. An unorthodox position isn’t necessarily an irresponsible one; this is how science progresses. Life always includes death in one form or another, eventually. We draw and colour in our lives differently than will the next person.

And finally, for the parents of injured children, those who saw it happen before their eyes over the course of a short vaccine schedule, for you, and for your children, I’ve had little taste of Carbo Taxol neurotoxicity, and you have my deepest empathy. At least I was no longer on the cusp of my life when it happened to me.