I believe what I’m about to write is so important it deserves a post of its own. I hope you’ll agree.
My primary physician, a trusted, lifelong friend and person of great integrity, offered me the most helpful gem of cancer treatment wisdom I could ever have hoped for. I want to share it with as many people as I can. I had just shared my post-op revelation with him (please see post #2, below), and told him I was now open to considering chemotherapy. Here, to the best of my memory, is his response:
“Chemo is not for everyone. But if you think you have it in you to ever consider it, even as a last resort if all else fails, the best approach is to just go ahead and do it first. You’ve already had surgery, and the best outcomes occur when the window of time between surgery and the first treatment is as small as possible. When people wait and use chemo as a last resort, it’s usually ineffective, and it’s because that critical moment when its efficacy would have been greatest has long passed.” (I've since learned one of the reasons for this: primary tumours often secrete substances which mitigate the growth of smaller, younger tumours, preventing them from "stealing" circulation and nourishment from the larger growths. Once those primary tumours are removed through surgery, that mitigating force is no longer there, leading to a sudden "blossoming" of the smaller, remote tumors and micro-tumours.)
At first I felt stunned, then grief-stricken. So many people I’ve known had followed exactly the route my doctor described, trying numerous other healing methods first, and leaving the fearsome spectre of chemo to deal with later “only if necessary.” How many thousands of people have been deprived of the opportunity to make an educated decision based on this equation? How many of them would have been happy to follow the wise counsel I’d received, if they’d been offered it it? How many may have, in fact, lost their lives on this point alone? In all my time as an R.N., not a single one of my cancer patients has ever mentioned this concept when relaying discussions with their physicians regarding treatment options.
More conversation ensued, but the point had clearly been made. I’ll always be profoundly grateful for my doctor friend’s advice. It guided my decisions, and come what may, I will never have any regrets about my choices; I will know I have done my very best to meet this challenge face on, eyes open. Surgery and chemotherapy are forceful and immediate solutions when such is needed. If (o happy thought) they do their job and buy me a future here, I will have lots of time to repair the damage done using the natural, time-honoured methods I have always embraced and trusted.
I wish the very same good fortune for you. I wish the same for everyone. Please share this with as many people as you can… we all know someone who is dealing with cancer.
Postscript: Some cancers are very slow growing, and when detected early, can be eradicated or managed very well using a naturopathic approach. I have also witnessed complete healing using prayer alone. I am not advocating for one treatment option over another - only for educated decisions. You and I will find the greatest success in that, and by following the guidance that speaks in our own hearts.