Don't tell cancer patients cures they could be doing.
The article below came up in my news feed and I thought it was fitting as I had written a post about essentially this same thing. The article does a great job, so I just piggybacked my thoughts on it. The post was about help and the various ways people want to give help vs. the ways someone going through this wants help. The red parts are from the article I wrote that got vetoed by my editors. They said it was a little bit too raw...go figure. But I did keep some of the stuff!
Read this article because it fit nicely into this blog post. The below, in black, was what I was going to post on FB. But then I figured..hey...it's long enough let's do a blog post on it!
Here's the copy and paste in case it didn't work.
The day before I went in for my last chemo appointment I watched a video called "The Truth About Cancer." It was a huge mistake and I violated one of the rules concerning cancer treatment - do not do research on line.
The video caused me such emotional turmoil and anguish.
I already have a problem with drugs...not the kind you get from Tony in the parking lot of Dunkin Doughnuts. The kind you get "prescribed" to you. (I use quotations because I do think that most medicine is over prescribed. However, I do not think it's the doctors fault - I think it's ultimately the patients faults. After all - we have no problem voicing our objections/concerns when a mechanic says they want to do work on your car. And yet, when a doctor prescribes something a large percentage of people just blindly take it.)
It's true. I have a physical problem sometimes - where I actually throw up. However...maybe more importantly, I have a spiritual problem with it that stems from a long held spiritual belief in -
Let Food By Thy Medicine.
Work that shit out.
You could take that both ways - literally - poop more. Figuratively - get to the gym/get exercise in and that exercise/working out will often times fix what ails you.
I think we have the power to help and treat a lot of the issues that plague us.
But, I am realistic about it all too - some things can't be helped with just food and exercise.
The video brought to the surface thoughts and feelings that I was already having:
Is chemo the best thing for me? (yes).
Is the medical machine a biz? (yes).
Are there competing interests in people's health? (yes).
None of those questions should be revelations to anyone.
So, when I went in for my treatment, those thoughts were still swirling around in my head - I just lost it and cried for about 15 minutes with some of my oncology team. Eventually, I got it together, but let me tell you...crying because you are having emotional and psychological issues over your treatment BEFORE you go in for chemo is not healthy nor productive.
In the article (did you read it?) the author hits on the exact same things that happened to me. I got (and still get) messages from people who mean well, who really want to help me and who genuinely do not have an ulterior motive suggesting a whole slew of things. They just want to help. They don't want to sell me anything. They just want to pay it forward because they are good human beings and/or we have helped them in the past.
But, please...read the article, reflect on it and...
Cancer is not the cold or flu.
Cancer is not a simple cut.
Cancer is not a stomach ache.
Or a whole host of other relatively simple ailments that can be treated through non-medical ways.
Cancer is a disease that invades the mind and heart (literally sometimes) as much as it invades the body.
And when you have a disease like that your desire to WIN must be ALL IN - ALL THE TIME. There can be no doubt. You can have fear. Fear is normal. And...I supposed you can have doubt. But, to question and doubt your treatment plan because of ideas that were placed in your head (through good intentions) is NOT beneficial to the person going through cancer treatment or their loved ones that have to deal with that person.
However, there is a time and a place for supplemental medicines in rare circumstances. I won't talk about now however.
Remember that post I talked about writing? The one that my editors vetoed? Well, below are my thoughts that I still wanted to share with you. These were thoughts that I had written down BEFORE I read the article.
This may offend some of you, because...well...you did what this whole post is saying NOT to do. However, as I have said before - ignorance is not a reason to get upset with someone.
Ignorance is not knowing something.
I can't get upset with someone for not knowing something.
I want to break down the types of help I generally get offered and how this led to an emotional break down at my last oncology visit:
Traditional cancer treatment is dangerous/will kill you/will give you cancer/etc., do this alternative treatment plan instead – insert magical mushrooms, medical cannabis, low carb/high fat/ketogenic diet, detox, up your PH, lower your PH, curcumin suppositories, etc.
Ok people. I appreciate your suggestions. But listen, at the expense of sounding like a total stuck up asshole…it’s doubtful you know something that could drastically alter my life in any given way, especially concerning cancer, that I don’t know. Unless of course you are in the cancer/oncology field. Health is my life. I read. I talk and lecture. I practice. I own a gym that has helped thousands of people change their lives. I am not saying that I know everything, but as far as the really big things go…there isn’t a lot that I don’t know about.
Plus, when I ask for scientific studies supporting what you’re telling me…the answer I generally get is “well the research is out there, look it up.” Super, thanks for giving me your help by making more work for me because now I have to go read through a study to try and figure out – dosage, what was used in the study compared to what I can get commercially, how the study was funded, how the study was put together (double blind, case study, etc.), what types of cancer were they treating (hint – to say “this cures cancer” is stupid at best and dangerous at worst. To refer to all cancers as the universal term of cancer, is like say all cars are just cars. It doesn’t matter if you drive a Honda or an Audi. End rant.)
Education on cancer.
When going through chemo, trust your oncology team. If you don’t trust them, talk to them…and if you still don’t trust them, get another team. It’s a team! I meet with 3 people on average every time I go in. Let’s say, that those three people have a combined “dealing with cancer age” of 30 years. Do you really think they aren’t going to be fairly knowledgeable on cancer? There is a video that is floating around right now, I think called the “truth about cancer”. I watched about 45 minutes of it. It wasn’t anything I didn’t know, see or other wise was not introduced to.
But it did make me question my treatment. Fast forward to the next day – treatment day. I broke down and cried to my team. There were a few things that were going on, but I can’t help but believe that me watching that video was an impetus to me losing my shit. It was an awful night before and an awful day off.
Whenever you see these videos about cancer being a business and you shouldn’t do chemo because big pharma is making so much money off it and doctors get kick backs and blah blah blah. You need to get to the heart of it – these people who are telling you NOT to trust the medical profession because it’s money driven are then turning right around and ASKING YOU FOR YOUR MONEY! What the hell people! Don’t use that treatment because big pharm and medicine make too much money. Give us some of that money instead! How the hell is that any different?! Fucking assholes. That’s what that is.
Of course it’s a business! Why not make money from something if there is a need there! Tell me WHY your way is better, show me the research, and win me over with education…not fear-mongering. Cancer as a business has been around for over 100 years. That means lobbyists, big money, drugs and a whole slew of other things. I mean it’s probably damn near close to a 500 million dollar biz!
I called up a medical marijuana provider in California that sells high concentrate oil. For 3 months it was $9000. Ok….can you provide me with any studies to back up your work? No. Ok…can you tell me what strains are in the oil? NO. Ok…can you tell me anything about it. Well it works and we have 1000’s of people that swear by it. Groovy, I can probably come up with a 1000 people that swear by allowing leaches to suck your blood to clean it out. Shit…I can probably come up with 10,000 people that think the moon landing was faked. Doesn’t mean anything. Where’s the research and data?
“Brand new” studies on cancer that have just come out.
Stop it. Even if there was some miracle drug that just came out, the likelihood of me being able to get it via finding an oncologist who is versed in this new miracle drug is pretty low.
I think of it like this. I know what works to get someone their goals. But, let’s say that something new comes along. Ok, great. Is this new thing going to offer better results then this old thing that has been evaluated ad nauseam over decades and with TONS of supporting documents? Probably not.