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When you get a diagnosis like mine, and are told your life expectancy is three months without treatment, you face an immediate decision. You don't have time to experiment with some alternative treatment that has not gone through rigorous scientific testing that shows it stands up to traditional methods.
Remember Steve Jobs, the Apple man? Architect of the most powerful company in world history. His amazing creations were based on taking a chance, going on an extraordinary instinct. Why not do the same when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer? Why not try alternative methods to the nastiness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy?
Because it almost certainly shortened his life by months or possibly years, that's why. He faffed around with alternatives, finally having to admit that they were useless as primary treatment, and regretting not going down the path a scientific evaluation of options would have told him to immediately.
The one time his instinct let him down was over the most important thing in his world.
In cases like mine, there is no time to experiment with homespun remedies. If you want to have a try with them when traditional methods fail you, go ahead. Some cancers do retreat, often for no apparent reason. Some cancers may well be restricted by the use of a complement to regular treatment by diet and non-invasive methods – that's why I am a fan of anti-angiogenic foods for my condition.
This isn't to say that all traditional methods work in all cases. I suspect some of my treatment was not very effective, but that's a guess. It's only with the benefit of hindsight that I can say that, and even then, how do I really know? I couldn't afford not to do things the way we did, anyway.
When this 'advice' about rejecting a traditional method comes from a person who has not used it themselves to recover from my form of cancer, pardon me for being sceptical. I don't have time to experiment in the shortened time I have left. I am not keen on someone tinkering with my hopes, naivety and fears, however good their intentions.
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I think (as an observer) that the cruellest comments are things like "You can beat it!" and "You have to fight this!" It implies that if you don't 'win' you've failed somehow as a human being. We seem to need to bring a lot of judgement to bear on how people behave after they have been diagnosed.ReplyDelete
It can seem like this if people express it in terms that appear to suggest you aren't trying hard enough, though that's not the way I've felt it aimed at me. I think it's sometimes a misguided attempt to spur you on somehow in a positive way, but it really isn't a good idea. The reason why people survive is good care in every way, and even the strongest 'fighters' succumb early. That why it's a bad thing to make this sort of judgment.Delete
You speak my mind and experience beautifully and eloquently. Exactly! Thank you Denis. Looking forward to the Higgs Boson episode/(p)article of your blog!ReplyDelete
I don't know about Higgs, but it will certainly deal with the other side of terminal illness, and may involve some revisiting....Delete
Reading this ,I find I am curious as to why you are going over this ground at this time, ie what has stimulated your need to address this issue again? It is one that clearly evokes lots of comments, and this is a serious question I ask. As for alternative treatments, some of them may best be described as 'supplementary' eg your angiogenic foods (will have to 'dictionary' that term!!). Foods such as fish oil and turmeric, as anti-inflammatories, can surely only be beneficial, but anyone with a serious cancer would be pretty unrealistic to rely on them alone.ReplyDelete
The reason is that many new people are reading this blog and they don't have time or the desire to go back searching through older entries unless pointed to them via a newer one.Delete
This is simply a fact of blogging life. People go to the one entry that's pointed out to them via Twitter or Facebook and that tends to be the one they read for that time.