Lawrence Barnikow (Stage 4 Melanoma)

Hello, my name is larryand I would like to tell you a short story. First I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, Dr. Eva Kubove and Dr. Marquis at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston Texas for simply saving my life, although this was far from being routine.

At the end of October of 2007 while at a friend’s house to get ready for a motorcycle trip, I was watching him work on the equipment. As I was talking to him, I tapped my chest and discovered a lump the size of the tip of my little finger under my skin. The lump was not visible. I made an appointment in November with a surgeon to check it out. Some of my family members had cysts removed over the years so I was not overly concerned.  As it turned out when the surgeon removed the lump on January 3, 2008, he held it up and said, “I have not seen anything like this before”!

The specimen went to two or three labs before they could figure it out. It wound up in Massachusetts with a diagnosis of Stage 4 Melanoma. This was not a good thing, but as my world started to shrink, my stars began to line up.

My dermatologist was floored when I told him. He had been checking me for about a year and a half but there were no visible signs of melanoma. He told me to see one of his patients who is a surgeon working on melanoma cases. The doctor was outstanding. He performed all his tests and it was determined that I had Metastatic Melanoma Stage 4 roaming through my body. For some reason, stage 1, 2 and 3 had not appeared. I was at the worst stage of aggressive melanoma with an unknown primary. The “Big C” is the term I use and (I won’t use that C word ever), was in my liver, lungs, chest, lymph nodes in my neck, back and leg at this point. He happened to be doing a study with melanoma patients in my same condition using a drug that is prescribed for ALS patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He asked me to consider being on the clinical study. We also talked about the time I had left to live, maybe until January 2009. It was now February 2008. A second doctor in Philadelphia gave me her opinion and said six months to a year.

I consented to being on the study to help out if I could. The study lasted for two weeks for me just prior to my major operation on my birthday in March. The surgery went very well and the “study drug” worked somewhat on me but nothing significantly enough to be hopeful. The melanoma was popping up again in my back and legs and that was also surgically removed. There was a study at Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC using gold particles available to me, but I had to be “Big C” free. Unfortunately the melanoma kept coming back.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, so to speak, I came into contact with a fellow police officer who had retired. He was doing research on Lime’s disease. When he came over to my home, he had a pile of information on doctors and contacts. One of the names was Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. He also told me about a Dr. Ralph Moss and his “Moss Report.”  I ordered Dr. Moss’s report about melanoma and in it was a page or two on Dr. Burzynski and how Dr. Moss visited his clinic in Houston on two occasions. The stars continued to line up.

The melanoma was now completely out of my body, so I thought. I took a trip to visit my daughter in California. While out there another lump appeared. I had a phone number in my pocket and hope in my heart. That’s what the Burzynski Clinic is all about, HOPE and choice. When there is nowhere else to turn, unless you want to receive heavy doses of chemo therapy and radiation, which I was not going to put my family or myself through. I would rather use my six months to a year to be somewhat normal before life was over.

The call was made to the Burzynski Clinic and my wife, daughter and I flew out to Houston, Texas in the first week of May 2008. As soon as I walked into the clinic, I could feel that this was the place for me. The staff was very professional and courteous and amazingly upbeat for a “Big C” clinic. Smiles and a hearty welcome go a long way when you are feeling down.

Dr. Burzynski, Dr. Kubove and Dr. Marquis filled us in on how the clinic works and what they expect of me. It now was time for lunch. I took a break and walked outside. I started up a conversation with a gentleman who was also a Burzynski patient from Canada. He was in a dead end situation for about two years. He shared with me his diagnosis of a brain tumor the size of a baseball. His doctors in the US and Canada told him to get his affairs in order. He had about a month to live, that was two years ago and the tumor was now the size of a pea. Burzynski !! Another star lining up.

We went to lunch and the three of us decided that we are here now, we liked what we heard, we liked what we saw and we liked the folks.

My wife and I stayed ten days while the doctors did their testing and figured out a specific plan just for me. It was a personalized regimen that I was to follow. I was to take approved drugs that were used for other diseases and were targeted for my needs. I mentioned to Dr. Burzynski during our consultation that the drug I used on my two week study in New Jersey worked somewhat positively.  Along with the selection of other drugs, Dr. Burzynski also made the drug that I was given in New Jersey part of my prescription for success. He said he had knowledge of it already. Included with the other drugs was sodium phenyl-butyrate (PB’s), a compound he produces himself.

Dr. Burzynski, Dr. Kubova and I decided to leave the tumor alone and not to remove it. This was done so we could monitor the progress of the tumor. In the meantime, a few more hot spots were showing up on my scans. By June 11, 2008, blisters were forming on my finger tips, palms and heels. The end of June showed a slight progression of the tumors. 

On July 9th, I flew back to Houston. Dr. Burzynski changed the drug combination by taking two of them off and adding three more. I trusted this man 100%. I was all in.

By the end of the summer, Dr. Kubova called and gave me an update on my tumors. I held my breath and waited for what word would come out next – “receding.” The tumors were getting smaller. I stayed on my new regimen for approximately a year, all the time receiving excellent news and results of all my MRI’s and scans. On September 9th, 2009, on a visit to Dr. Burzynski, he told me that approximately 94% of my disease was gone and I was in remission.

Now it is February 2010 towards the end of the month and I am back in Houston at the clinic. We are at the conference table discussing my condition when Dr. Burzynski said your case is going well. “The melanoma is gone and you are in complete response.”

Over the next seven or eight months, my medication was being lowered or raised according to Dr. Burzynski’s knowledge and research over the years. Around the end of September 2010, I was taken off two drugs altogether. On my last visit to Dr. Burzynski’s clinic in October of 2011, I was given a clean bill of health. My meds continued to be reduced and I am now off all medication.

It was a long haul in a short period of time. In my own way, I chose the right door (the Burzynski Method of Life through Hope). The Final Star!

I was about to retire from my job of 36 years in law enforcement in 2008 when my journey to Burzynski began. God had other plans for me. I have to thank the Lord, my family and friends and Dr. Burzynski for being there for me. It is my hope that when others seek out Dr. Burzynski, he is there for them. THE MAN KNOWS……….