INTERVIEW with IPTQ
your illness, you had lots of energy for your responsibilities as a wife, a mother of two
children, a counselor, a friend to many, and an individual dedicated to contributing your
time and effort in volunteer work. How did you find out that you had cancer, and what was
A: In June of
1996, I noticed a very slight, almost unnoticeable change in the shape of my right breast.
I decided that I would get a mammogram. In July, I did both a mammogram and an ultrasound.
The diagnosis was fibroids.
I was confident that I did not have
cancer. Because I believe in preventive medicine, I immediately engaged in a cancer
prevention program by doing extensive cleansing programs. I worked with a naturopathic
doctor to eliminate the fibroids. I began hormone therapy, worked with herbs and
homeopathy. I did everything that was possible and available to me in a natural approach.
My physical symptoms were quite simple. At
the time I did not relate them to cancer. I was extremely tired. No matter how much rest I
had, I was still fatigued, exhausted. At that time, there was no pain in my body. For
years prior I had experienced excessive hair loss. The hair on the sides of my temples
would only grow to an inch and a half. I had a split nail on my right hand. My hair was
turning white at the temples and the top front of my head. I was experiencing incontinence
when I laughed or sneezed. By August of '96 I was experiencing debilitating pain in my
lower back and left hip and upper leg. The chiropractor said it was a disc problem, but it
never went away until the cancer was gone.
I was frequently falling into negative
emotional states. This was unusual for me, as I was generally a very positive and
upbeat person. My husband thought I was going into perimenopause. I felt I was
too young for menopause. Something was wrong, but I was unable to identify the cause of
all of these changes. Is this what happens when you turn 45? I had been working very hard
and traveling extensively for a number of years prior. Was I simply exhausted, burnt out?
Cancer is a very quiet disease. I
remember saying to my husband that I couldn't imagine what it was like to be 80 years old,
because I was only 45 and I felt so exhausted.
The main symptom of extreme exhaustion
continued. I created an alternative program for myself. It was very extensive. It took
tremendous discipline. I charted my program: Thirty items to complete each day from
special breathing exercises, to hot sweat baths, to fasting and enemas, to taking herbs
and nutrients... It could not have been more thorough. I worked with a number of
nationally known "expert" healers. Put it this way: for the average person, it
would have been considered an extreme program. By January of '97, I knew I was dying, but
I was unable to face the fact that it was cancer that was killing me. No one else was able
to detect cancer either. I refused to go to a gynecologist, because I knew what would be
ahead of me.
I continued in an alternative approach,
exhausting every possibility of treatment. In July of '97, there was a sudden change in my
breast. The tissue was thickening all the way up to my collarbone. I could feel what felt
like a vein growing under the skin. My husband described it well: "It was
as if there was a large hand over the breast spreading its fingers up to the
collarbone." I could even put my
fingers behind the growth at the base of the collarbone.
At this point I was no longer in
denial, I was in full resistance. I did not want to face what was happening. I remember
researching "thickening tissue". I recently reread the material. It stated
clearly that any thickening of the tissue was more than likely cancer. At the time, I was
unable to accept what I read, and became blind to the words. The first available
appointment was one month away. I was in such resistance. I simply accepted it, continuing
to reassure my husband that I did not have cancer. Over that month, the hand continued to
grow and the tissue of the entire breast was calcifying.
When the appointment finally arrived,
the gynecologist was in utter shock. She wanted me to have an immediate biopsy. I was now
in 110% resist mode. It took quite a bit of expertise on how to move a rock to convince
me. My husband did. I finally was able to face the facts. I knew I had cancer.
On September 4, 1997 I had an
incisional biopsy. Today, that is my one regret. I wish I had a needle biopsy. The mass
was large enough that a needle could not miss it. The surgeon was firm about an incisional
biopsy. I was already losing my sense of self empowerment and agreed. I am happy, however,
that the night before the biopsy I drew up a document stating that the surgeon had the
right to remove "only tissue that was absolutely necessary" and no more unless
it was to save my life on the spot. I am so glad I did that as my breast returned to
normal after the IPT, save the damage from the biopsy.
did you feel, physically and emotionally, after your condition was diagnosed? What actions
did you take at that point?
A: The second
my condition was diagnosed, I felt 100% powerless. The surgeon announced to me that we
would do a modified radical mastectomy the following week. It was emotionally devastating
to be diagnosed with cancer knowing the lack of options. It was like receiving a death
sentence. I understand why I waited so long to get a diagnosis. When you know that your
only options are cutting, burning, and poisoning, who would be in a hurry to stand in
line? Now I understand why so many other women wait so long as well. Cancer has such a bad
reputation as being a terminator, it is difficult to feel anything less than devastated.
After the biopsy, my husband took the
action of getting the opinions of additional doctors. It took three days for the
anesthesia to wear off. I spent that time in bed praying for clarity and protecting my
life force. I was indeed dying and had been for the last year. All of the physical
symptoms started to make sense. I was finally accepting the reality that I had
For years prior to the biopsy, I was
running my life on will power. I was living in the fast lane, pushing myself to
fulfill all of my personal responsibilities. I could not listen to my body. There
was too much that needed to be done. Even when I was tired, I would push myself to finish
my tasks instead of resting. When I felt like I couldn't walk, I would make myself run to
increase my endurance.
Upon receiving the news of the
biopsy, I stopped responding to all of the tasks that I felt were my responsibility, and
finally started responding to my physical condition. I was certain that I was
dying. It wasn't a bad joke. It was no longer a theory. It was real. I could no longer
force my body to move because if I did I could feel an increase in the loss of my life
force. It was like slamming the brakes on in a car after driving for years at 110 miles
per hour. I came to a complete stop in my life. It was a cold, sobering
As soon as the anesthesia wore off, it
was obvious to me that I did not want to proceed with the scheduled mastectomy. The
doctors we were consulting felt adamant that I needed to go the conventional route of
mastectomy. After the mastectomy, we would know if chemotherapy and radiation were needed.
They knew of nothing else that could offer even a possibility of my survival. It was their
only hope for me. I spoke with one of them and at one point even said that I would
proceed. I felt so powerless. Their opinions had a strong impact on both my husband and
me. He didn't want to lose me. I didn't want to die. It was like being in the middle
of a bad dream.
I heard you were ill on September 6, 1997, I called immediately, and followed up with
information by fax and mail about Dr. Donato and Insulin Potentiation Therapy. I felt the
importance and urgency. You picked up the ball from there and ran with it. So what was it
like to get this information?
A: I was
still quite foggy from the anesthesia when your fax arrived on the 6th. It was as if
I heard a distant whisper about another possibility. I remember seeing the fax, but I
never read it. I didn't have the energy to read it. I didn't even know where it came from.
I didn't care about the details.
In my deepest self, I did not want to
accept a mastectomy, or the radiation and chemotherapy that would likely follow, unless
they could guarantee that it would save my life. I didn't have the strength to stand up
for myself. I was preparing to die.
By the next day, the 7th, the
anesthesia had worn off. I felt a little more like myself. I felt like I had a little
spirit to me. I told my husband to tell the doctors to "go cut off their privates and
then talk to me about a mastectomy". I was alert enough to look at the article you
had faxed us. I remember seeing two pictures: one that showed the outline of a tumor in a
woman's breast and the other that showed that it was gone. That was enough for me. I had
an option that was non-threatening and non-invasive. If it worked on one other woman, it
could work for me. I had hope. After looking at the article I went back to bed.
I asked my husband if he could further
investigate IPT: "How could anyone willingly let someone cut them up if they
knew they had a real option?" I lay in bed still, searching deep within
myself for the answer. I just couldn't say "Yes" to the mastectomy.
I explained to my husband that if I had more than a week to live, I wanted to try the IPT
first. The next day, I asked the surgeon a life changing question, "If I don't
proceed with you, how long could I live given the nature and progress of the cancer?"
Her response, "less than a year." Retrospectively, knowing what I now know about
cancer, I feel I had about 6 months, if that. The tumor mass was 3.9 centimeters in
diameter. I had already been dying for a year. I was in very bad condition and the cancer
was very aggressive. Less than a year was plenty of time to try IPT. We were told that we
would know within a few weeks if it was going to work.
There is a gentleman by the name of Dr.
SGA in Illinois. He is the only doctor that we could find in the United States who
was familiar with the treatment. We were given his name and number by a personal friend,
also a medical doctor, who was aware of Dr. SGA's involvement with IPT. Evidently, he had
been working with you and Dr. Donato for a number of years in an effort to gain acceptance
of this treatment in the United States. Dr. SGA was very kind and fully cooperative. He
spoke with my husband first and explained the protocol to him. Then he spoke with me. He
asked me if I had any questions. He took the time to point out the scientific strengths of
the treatment. He helped me to understand the nature of cancer cells and the impact that
IPT could have on them. He supported my decision and my courage to proceed. He was a
wonderful support. He called Dr. Donato, in an after working hours call, and scheduled my
first appointment for the next day.
Once this was set in motion, I felt
like a new person. I had hope for Life. It empowered me. It put me back in the driver's
seat. My deepest feelings told me that with the help of IPT, I could win this battle. My
husband and I set off for Tijuana the next morning at 5:30AM with smiles on our faces and
hope in our hearts.
I will always be deeply grateful to you
for making an immediate effort to respond when you heard I was ill. I was unaware of your
involvement with IPT up to that point, so I am also deeply grateful to our friends Tom and
Margot, who called you with the news of my condition. Timing was a critical factor
and it could not have been more perfect. Again, many thanks for your kind and caring
efforts. Now that I am a survivor, words will never ever in a lifetime of effort be able
to express my gratitude to you for the part that you played in the fact that I am still
alive and healthier than I have ever been in my entire life. Thank you Chris.
all the treatment options you were considering, why did you choose IPT?
A: I already
knew that alternative health approaches were not going to work for me. I ate healthier
than 95% of the population. I had already processed through every alternative health
therapy that existed throughout years of training in my work. I had already put in a year
of extensive efforts in an extremely well designed and implemented program. I knew that
the cancer needed to be killed, but without harming my body or my immune system. It was
strong and powerful and it needed a kick that was stronger and more powerful than any
herb, supplement, or energy force I had worked with. It had already progressed too far
into the physical to be scared by a little pat on the bottom. I felt hope that the IPT
treatment could do the job.
There is no real way to describe what
it is like to be conscious of the fact that you are dying. I was on automatic, following
my instincts to live. I felt that I would indeed die as a result of conventional
treatment. Some women are strong enough to survive such intensity. My intuition told me I
I am the kind of person who can hardly
bear a scratch on my hand. I am not a good sick person. I might have even chosen death
over putting myself through the pain and suffering of conventional treatment. I have a
tremendous respect for the courage women have exhibited in going through conventional
breast cancer treatment. I could never do that to myself. The only way I could even think
of doing it was if it was determined that it was absolutely, 100% necessary to save my
life with no other possibilities or hope. Perhaps at that last moment, I could do it out
of desperate wish to live. Fortunately, I have a belief that says , "When faced with
a seemingly dead end problem, there is always a solution. Don't stop till you find
it." I am not one to give up easily.
was it like going to see Dr. Donato in Tijuana for the first time?
went with complete trust, hope, and faith. It was a journey of hope. It was a breath of
fresh air. It was a possibility for Life.
you feel any improvement after that first treatment?
I felt more energy and greater strength. I felt and looked stronger after the treatment.
Because of the severity of my condition, most of my time was spent sleeping after the
treatments. I have no memory of it, but my husband tells me that for at least 4 months I
spent all but a couple of hours a day sleeping. I do not feel this was a direct result of
the treatment but rather a result of the severity of my condition. With each treatment I
felt a little stronger and the tumor got a little smaller.
was the timing of your treatment plan after that? And what did you and your husband do to
accommodate this process?
had three treatments within the first week and then two every week thereafter for the next
three and a half months. That took me from September to December. Then from January
through May, I had one treatment per month. I had a total of 23 treatments.
According to Dr. Donato, it is possible for beginning phase cancer to be cleared in 6 to 8
treatments with IPT. That gives you a better understanding of my condition. It is because
of the duration of my treatment that I also feel that the cancer was more advanced than we
realized in the initial diagnosis.
Sometimes we would stay in San Diego
and drive down to Tijuana on the morning of the treatment. Other times we would drive from
Phoenix (a six hour drive) the day before the treatment. There is a great hotel called the
International Motor Inn just north of the border. They offer a free shuttle to Dr.
Donato's office and other clinics in Tijuana when you stay the night there. They even have
kitchenettes available for people who are staying for a long period of time. They also
have a wonderful staff of caring people. In the last three months of treatment when I was
only receiving one treatment per month, I was able to fly into San Diego the night before
my treatment and fly back after the treatment. I was still moving very slowly, but it was
a rewarding step for me to be able to do this on my own.
other treatments, supplements, and disciplines did you undertake at the same time as IPT?
was very careful about not interfering with Dr. Donato's treatment. I received no other
cancer treatment during that time. I only took supplements on the 5th through 7th
days after the treatment. I did not want to interfere in any way with the treatment. I
practiced no other therapeutic disciplines during the critical phases of treatment. In Dr.
Donato's experience IPT worked. I did not want to take a chance of interfering in any way
with the effectiveness of the treatment. I did nothing until Dr. Donato said the cancer
was in remission. At that point, which was after the 18th treatment, I began doing quigong
treatments (an energy treatment which originates in China) to support and strengthen my
body. I also increased my intake of herbs and nutrient supplements to rebuild. I
still feel strongly that it is important not to mix treatments. When you find something
that works all by itself, why interfere?
Taking supplements is based upon
individual need. Because I had been dying for so long, my body was in need of significant
nutritional support. I would rather not go into the details of my vitamin therapy, Chris,
as it is very uniquely individual and is best addressed by a doctor.
In terms of food, I drank a lot of
fresh juices, particularly fresh green vegetable juices on the day of the treatment and
for four days after. I felt that it helped my body to eliminate the dead cancer cells and
the toxins that the cancer cells produce. I also ate fish at least two times per week.
This was Dr. Donato's request.
I got plenty of rest and sleep
throughout my treatment period so that my body could heal.
did you realize that IPT might actually work for you?
first realized that it might actually work for me when I received your fax. As I said
earlier, if it worked for one other woman, I felt it could work for me. There was an
immediate change in the tumor after the first three treatments and that gave me greater
confidence in the process. Throughout my treatment I made lots of effort to not think
about whether or not it might actually work. I trusted Dr. Donato. I trusted the
treatment. As long as I could see continued progress, I had continued hope because I could
feel the positive changes. I just kept trusting and doing what I was supposed to do.
was it like to watch the progress?
is it like to be restored to life? I was filled with gratitude and continued hope.
there any particular milestones?
day I stopped dying three months after treatment began. I woke up one morning and I knew
that I was no longer dying. I could feel it. The life force was no longer leaking from my
body. The leak was sealed. I was in ecstasy and remained so for about three months. I
imagine it is the way children feel and see. Everything was filled with a beauty and
radiance which I had never experienced prior to that moment.
Another milestone was the day I had my
liver and lung CAT scan. If I had lesions in the liver, it would mean I was in trouble.
Both lungs and liver were clean. It was a day of incredible relief and even greater hope.
you do testing to verify progress?
A: Yes, my
case was documented from the beginning to the present time with ultrasound tests, cancer
antigen blood tests, CBC's and Smack tests, CAT scans, bone scans, lung x-rays, and
mammograms in conventional testing. I also did some very progressive testing called
Acudiagnostics with a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. He was able to accurately trace the
progress of the cancer after conventional tests could not. Through his testing I
discovered cancer in the lymphatic system. I pursued additional experimental vibrational
testing which came up with similar results. It was these test results that inspired the
last two treatments I had with Dr. Donato. Two days after my final treatment, I retested
with Acudiagnostics and vibrational testing and had a clean slate--no cancer anywhere in
you ever have any negative side effects from your IPT treatments?
was sometimes constipated. Dr. Donato addressed that with herbs. My female cycle stopped
three months after the treatments began. I am not so sure I would consider that a negative
side effect, though. It has actually been quite nice. There is a possibility that my cycle
will return after I stop taking tamoxifen in December. Also with tamoxifen I
have had challenges with night sweats, hot flashes, and swelling legs. I have been able to
remedy all of that with exercise and herbs.
I had a little skin discoloration
(brown spots) on the tops of my forearms from the medications running through the IV into
my veins. I don't really feel that any of these are negative side effects. They are minor
differences that someone else might call "negative side effects". I never lost
any hair. In fact, my hair grew thicker. Thicker than it has been in at least 25 years. I
am healthier today than I have been in 25 years as well.
did it feel to finish your treatments? And when was the last one?
felt both joyful and slightly vulnerable. I received my last treatment on May 25th, 1998.
I had come to trust Dr. Donato and the treatments in that each time I went I felt better.
It was like being a child who had been sitting in her mother's lap for 11 months and was
now expected to walk on her own. My body would now have to take over killing any
cancer that showed up. Though my body worked hard for me throughout the treatments, I
wondered if it could take charge on its own. This was a slight uneasiness that came and
went for a short period of time. Dr. Donato had prepared me by informing me that the only
stress that I might encounter over the next 18 months would be psychological.
Being able to accept wellness and
recovery after dying and having a disease that is feared as a death sentence does have
psychological components. Facing people who can't believe you're alive, and who believe
that almost everyone dies from cancer, had its challenges. The fact is, however, that
these were minor inconveniences compared to what I would have been facing if I had chosen
mastectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy.
I can't really say that any of this
treatment was stressful. I felt more like I was on a long needed vacation. I was so glad
to sleep because I was so tired for so many years. Even though I had completed treatment I
knew that my adventure wasn't over. I still needed to go through the process of rebuilding
my body to a point of full recovery. By that point in time, I was listening carefully to
my body, grateful to be alive, and did not really care how long it took for me to recover
from the process of dying and the chronic disease of cancer. The nice thing was that I did
not have to recover from the treatment itself.
you continue to have any tests to verify your health status?
since 1998 I have tested every 6 months with blood tests and ultrasounds. Next year
I will test only once. Eventually, I believe, I will skip years.
was amazed to see your vibrant energy and lightness the last time I saw you. How are you
feeling these days?
feel better than I can ever remember feeling since I was about 25. People are astounded
when they see me. They say I look ten years younger. Some say that I don't even look like
the same person. I feel much more than ten years younger. I had a biological terrain test
in January of '98 after I had stopped dying. My age was estimated at 76. I must have
been at least 100 when I was in the middle of the cancer.
I am still not fully recovered in that
I am still building my reserves back. Though I can put in a full day's work, I do not have
my complete endurance back. I suspect that will take another six months. I don't know that
this would be the same for someone who had early stage cancer. Coming back to life has
been a long road for me. I must admit though, I have loved every minute of it. I don't
know how strong I will be ultimately, but my sense is that I will have a strength and
health that I have never before experienced in my life. I used to look so frail. Now I
look quite sturdy.
you doing anything in particular to maintain (and improve) your current healthy state?
take 5 mg of tamoxifen per day. Last year I took 10 mg per day. And I take 75 mg of
silymarin three times per day for the liver, and 7.5 mg of an anti-inflammatory. This is
all of part of Dr. Donato's program.
I maintain a very disciplined lifestyle
that supports mental, emotional, and physical wellness. That's not new for me though. I
have lived that way since my mid twenties.
I have worked very hard on
rebuilding my health, Chris. I have worked on it so much that most people would be
overwhelmed if they thought they had to do it, too. I do include this information in my
book [in preparation], but it has a tremendous amount of supportive material that keeps it
in a realm that is not too overwhelming. I don't want to mislead people into thinking this
has been a piece of cake. For the average person, recovering from my condition would not
be a piece of cake. Hopefully, women would come to Dr. Donato [or another IPT
practitioner] early on, knowing that there is another option. Their recovery would not be
so challenging as mine.
that you have your life back, what are you doing and planning?
live my life day by day, moment by moment. I am still in recovery and will not make any
major plans until I am in full and complete recovery. My plans are for full recovery and a
lifetime free of cancer. I have documented my journey and have been working on a book
throughout the last two years. Whether or not I will publish it is yet to be determined.
Ask me in another six months.
a woman receives a diagnosis of breast cancer these days, I've heard it is devastating,
wrenching. And she typically faces extreme pressure to quickly undergo disfiguring
surgery, followed by months of radiation and/or high-dose chemotherapy, all of which are
generally unpleasant and can have serious negative side effects. How does it feel to have
experienced the initial shock, but to have avoided all that usually follows, and yet be
restored to health?
feel like I am the recipient of a miracle. I feel a gratitude that words will never
express. Even if I do publish the book, no one will ever know the innermost truths about
this journey because it is not one that can be put into words. All I know is that I am
here, alive, and cancer free. I did not experience one second of pain, discomfort, or
violation in the process. I often think about how fortunate I am. I have not suffered
through anything. I bear no wounds -- psychological, emotional, or physical (other than
the biopsy). I have no treatment-related problems to be concerned with for the rest of my
life. Sometimes, I can hardly believe that I had cancer. I was spared from so much
suffering and pain. You can just bet everything that I am one happy camper.
As for all of the women out there who
do not know they have an option, I feel a deep compassion. I tell as many women as I can.
Everyone needs to know they have an option. Whether or not I have a part to play in the
delivery of that message...time will tell the story. I do not feel that it is my
responsibility to tell all women. If I do play a small part in telling women, it will have
to be done in a balanced, healthy way that puts no risk on my wellbeing whatsoever. I have
already come as close to death as I wish to for a long, long time. I am here to live, to
enjoy my life fully. Time will tell.
reactions have you had to your return to health, from friends and family?
Everyone I talk to about my story is in awe. Everyone is thrilled as ever that I made it.
We are constantly celebrating Life.
what was your impression of Dr. Donato?
is a very professional, capable, perceptive, intelligent Medical Doctor who is completely
dedicated to his work. He is genuinely caring and completely respectful and trustworthy.
He does not play games with life.
overall, what was your impression of IPT as a medical option?
wouldn't be alive without the support I received from the treatment. What is really
wonderful is that I don't fear reoccurrence due to a damaged immune system. I feel
confident that I will be free of cancer for the remainder of my life. Being able to live
without that fear makes all the difference. So Chris, you could say that I am completely
biased towards IPT and you would be right. I feel that it is the best breast cancer
treatment available today. Cancer is a powerful disease. I firmly believe that in order to
win in the battle against cancer, we have to be able to kill the cancer without damaging
the body of the host. IPT is the only treatment I am aware of that can fulfill that
requirement. If there was a vote to be cast, I would, with full confidence, vote
"Yes" on IPT.
you like IPT to be more readily available to people in the US and elsewhere?
course I would. I would wish that every woman on this planet could have the knowledge that
IPT is available, that they have an option besides conventional treatment.
Q: Not everyone has the time, support, determination, and resources to
go to Tijuana for IPT treatments. And many people have a lot of uncertainty, skepticism,
and fear about going to another country for a treatment that hasn't yet been properly
tested in clinical trials. Any comments?
have more fear of the conventional treatment that has been clinically tested than I did
working with IPT. IPT has over 50 years of positive results with patients. That was plenty
for me. I wasn't going to wait around another twenty years for clinical trials. I didn't
have twenty years.
As for time, support, and
determination--if I can't take time to get the support I need to live, I have another
problem much deeper than cancer. The cost of the IPT treatment program is a very small
price to pay for life. A loan works just perfectly. As for determination, all that was
asked of me was to get my body to Dr. Donato's office. When you want to live, nothing is
too much to ask.
There are many women who would not
choose IPT even if it was available in the United States, and there are also many women
who would choose it if it were more readily available. That is an individual and personal
decision. There are women who were diagnosed at the same time I was whom I told about IPT.
No one chose to follow the path I did. Amongst those women, some are still alive and some
are dead. This is a very personal choice.
Fortunately, you have taken the time to
create this website. [IPTQ.com] I hope that many women hear about this
website and learn that they, too, have an option. It provides a resource that I can point
people to without having to spend hours on the phone. Many people call me with many
questions. I prefer not to be spending my life answering their questions. This makes it
simpler for me, too.
there anything else that you would like to say to IPTQ.com guests?
A: I am
just very happy to be alive. Thank you.
Donna's Update, January 18th, 2002:
Donna remained free
of breast cancer. Her health continued to improve. Her body continued to strengthen and rebuild. In January of 1999 Donna began practicing qigong to rebuild her body and maintain a cancer free life. In
March of 2000, she began teaching classes in Phoenix, Arizona.
Donna passed away on March 9, 2004.
Her breast cancer never came back, and she enjoyed several years
of incredibly good health. In 2003 severe ovarian cancer
symptoms developed. IPT helped, but did not save her.
It was her wish that this interview stay on IPTQ.com because it
helps so many people. She spent much of her precious healthy
time talking and emailing with cancer patients considering IPT.
We will miss her...
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