I know I have written about this before - but it needs repeating as it has occurred again and again this year and it continues to happen to so many people I know, or of someone known to them.
Last year I wrote - “A 52 year old larger than life friend of mine died last year of sepsis or what used to be called septicemia. His last year was hell on earth.
Nine months earlier, he was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. He spent long bouts in hospital recovering from the horrendous direct effects of drugs and radiation administered to him.
Eventually his cancer care team told him he was cancer free. Much joy all round.
A few months later he was admitted to hospital. He could’t produce his own bile, because his body had been ravaged by his “treatment”. Whilst there, he picked up an infection his body was too weak to fight.
He was dead in just 3 days.”
A cancer diagnosis induces visceral fear in a patient, only for it to be reinforced when the written form arrives in the post about 2 weeks later, bringing your reflections on your mortality into sharp reality,
You are now living in perpetual fear and looking for answers. Quick ones will do nicely. And there is only one place you have been reliably informed, you will find these answers - your cancer care team. Unfortunately, this team only have 3 options and you won’t find any answers to any questions outside of these options. None at all.
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The fear of your prognosis was gently softened by the comforting words of your professionally capable cancer care team, who convinced you and your family (this is critical) that their planned treatment pathway for your cancer was in your very best interests and that getting started immediately was of the essence. Whilst there are fast growing cancers, the majority of them are slow growing and up comes an immediate question. Why do the cancer care team want to move so quickly on their chosen options, when time may not be of the essence in their treatment pathway? After all, the majority of men die with and not from prostrate cancer.
When will doctors stop assuming all that they do is medically acceptable and that they hold the moral high ground in all patient outcomes? When will they accept that there could be reasonable doubt as to the wisdom of their medical decisions and its consequences for their patients and their families?
How could they visit their very sick patient, hospitalised from the ravages of chemo, for example and remain convinced that it is for the good of the patient and it is the right thing to do? How do the families accept this state of affairs - after all their doctors are supposed to heal their patients - not make them sick?
This is clinical iatrogenesis, as described by Ivan Illich, in his 1975 classic - Medical Nemesis - the Limits to Medicine, “the injury done to patients by ineffective, toxic and unsafe treatments”.
This is all a very sad reflection of how patients are treated in this era of forced obeisance to the medicalisation of our society, as more and more of ones’ life, seems to succumb to medical intervention.
All doctors should have Illich's polemic tucked into their medical bags, to serve as a firm reminder of their duty and obligation to the health and welfare of their patients lives, by the medical decisions they make and the consequential impact on their families, their work and their communities, in sickness and in health, at all times.
Options and choices
You need more options to choose from and you won’t get any of these options from your conventional cancer team.
So you start doing your own homework to the questions you are asking - like - what caused your cancer? A difficult one. Less than 5% of cancers have a genetic causal link. 62.5% is caused by random cellular mutation - particularly in older people - so that could be just bad luck. The rest is down to lifestyle.
But you already have cancer and you need to learn more about it.
You find out that cancer is a fungus and it is a symptom of a deeper underlying condition that is affecting your immune system, which normally deals with this and is now unable to, which is why you now have cancer.
Did your team tell you what cancer feeds off? No - they didn’t - yet they must know - as they willingly prescribe hormone treatment for men with prostrate cancer, as testosterone is a well known cancer growth promoter.
So why didn’t they tell you the rest of the story about the favourite titbits of cancer cells?
Cancer feeds off whatever food you eat and liquids you drink that breaks down into glucose.
So thats all carbs, all sugar, most fruit and fruit drinks, all dairy, all processed food, a lot of high alcohol liquids and more.
You find out that other growth promoters are stress and obesity - just for starters - there are many others - like not getting a regular good nights sleep.
Something really interesting comes up in your research - cancer can’t stand a high oxygen and a highly alkaline cellular environment.
And you find out more and more about cancer that you won’t get from your cancer team - as they only know about the 3 options.
You find out that there are simply loads of vegetables and some fruits that have anti-cancer agents in them.
You begin to become aware of the effects of Vitamin C on cancer and that opens up a huge area of research, currently ignored by your cancer team. So the list goes on.
And then comes the dawning realisation that the more you look into it - the more options you find - you are spoilt for choice.
Now you need the one thing that you never thought you would need in this context - to have the courage of your own convictions to make the right decisions with regard to your conventional cancer team and their helpful clinical investigative procedures and what you believe will be the best solution for your own health and welfare.
We all know that there are other options out there - options that could just work with our immune systems and not compromise them - options that could provide us with a higher quality of life - options that just don’t work on the symptoms only but the causes and that could lead to a full recovery from cancer.
So...if you can ...take your time and remember- its the quality of your life that you lead that is important and not life itself at any cost.