I am post surgery by 9 months, and radiation, 6 months. At this point I can offer some suggestions to those who may be at the start of their cancer journey. These tips are in no particular order.
First, for all consulting appointments, bring an advocate with you. There is too much to absorb. Even if you are an information guru, bring someone along. Be it family or a neighbor. They can listen and learn and often ask questions I did not think about…which leads to this next tip…
Write down all your questions and concerns BEFORE you attend your appointments. Some of your questions may get answered along the way.
Read all the info given to you. The materials are time tested. There will be procedures that might be upsetting. Mainly because the staff did not mentally prepare you. Staff working this field are so familiar with it, they forget to tell you the basics. If info is not offered find out procedural practices through those who’ve been there, YouTube videos, Internet cross-reference searches and support groups.
Be your own best advocate. Ask questions. Assess what is right for you. Do not be timid. This is your body and your life. Cancer treatments are prescribed by what works for most folks. But if something does not feel right, take your time to assess it. And research it heavily because a lot of info is put out by those who benefit the most. Do not let anyone – mostly the protocols of the Doctors talk you into anything. Doctors are wonderful. Yet, they have their own biases. Ask them questions and the ‘whys’. Tell them you want to learn their perspective, not challenge them.
I followed the surgical requirements 100%. I did 18 of the 20 radiations. I did NOT do the Rx prescriptions they pushed on me at all. Here is why…
Surgery is surgery. Standard fair. Remove my tumor. Straight forward agenda there.
Radiation was prescribed. It is optional. I got educated. I asked the Dr. lots of questions. There is a risk to all prescribed formats, this one included. The Dr. strongly suggested radiation. I understood his reasoning. Figured if there were stray cancer cells still roaming they would be annihilated. During surgery a small clump .5mm of cancer cells were found near a lymph node. And taken out to study. Figured radiation was like sweeping the extra cob webs out of the corners.
I did 3 weeks of radiation. By the third week, I only tolerated 3 days of the boost. After the third session I felt as if something was done wrong. Told the Doctor. He said I was not suppose to feel anything. But I did. The boost was concentrated and given at a lower vibration level…which did not agree with my body. I could not recoup over the weekend and decided to not return. They called me. Encouraged me to return. I politely refused. In my best interest I simply quit. I spoke with resolution and was firm about it when I spoke with the Doctors who wanted me to finish.
Then my Oncologist prescribed aromatase inhibitors. These prescription drugs had side effects to liver, heart, other organs. Dr. wanted me to stay on them for 5 years- to the rest of my life. Because my tumor was estrogen grown, and the Rx prohibits your body from producing estrogen so tumors cannot grow again.
I gave it a try. First Rx within 5 days my teeth ached. Really BAD. Like all my teeth needed a root canal. I could not eat. I felt weirdly awful. I quit. There is nothing wrong with my teeth. Had a dental appointment after to find all my teeth are very healthy with no cavities.
My Oncologist insisted I try another Rx. I got strange bruising on my body. I went off that Rx. Saw my Oncologist again. She ranted and raved at me. Told me it would not cause that effect. Told me I had a 34% chance of cancer recurrence. She was really pushing the pills. Hmmm. Stats originally said 17%. Now the number doubled? I questioned her. She would have nothing to do with my conversations and research. Didn’t want to hear about foods as medicine. Convinced me to try again. So I did. Got bruising again. So that was it for me. On our last visit to discuss another Rx I decided to hold firm. (Even if she had another tantrum.) I believe the Radiation Oncologist spoke with her as she was very cordial, and told me she would support my decisions. See. I am nicely vocal to peers when professionals get pushy with their biases. Had 2 doctors in this experience that literally screamed at me. Not pleasant.
Here is what I concluded: Big pharma pushes their meds through fear. I don’t buy fear based reasoning. The Doctors have jobs with tight guidelines and timelines. They don’t want to look beyond their rules. And can’t. I respect their knowledge and expertise totally. But I do not trust anything that is pushed with fear.
I did a lot of research on these aromatase inhibitors. All studies that I could find are funded by big Pharma. Yup. Biased. Studies showing these pills worked. Women didn’t die of cancer. But they did not say what they did die of eventually. Heart disease? Kidney failure? All organs that these pills may have deteriorated? All was left unsaid. I found forums, around the world. Many women hated the pills side effects. But they took them because they stated they were afraid not too. Fear.
I had another appointment with my Radiation Oncologist. I still had radiation effects 6 months later and wanted his input. He had his standard answers: Everyone is different. Radiation can linger for months. I question the boost I got. And discussed the tech’s procedure because my radiation hurt the last 3 days. He had no answers. I was asking for too much. Then, he also pushed the Rx pills. I asked him why; since the .5mm cell pack of death had not entered the lymph node stream of fluid, and was extracted, and radiation got the rest, why the pill push? “To be sure,” he said. “I’ve see cases where the cancer metastasized years later.” (And yet, he admitted most women eventually quit the pills.) These were the same words the lady Oncologist said! Seen independently, they sounded like parrots from the same cage!
I did not buy their pill program. Pills to heal should not hurt. My medical friend and I researched. Too many inconsistencies. Studies, videos, and more, output for years were-are backed by BiG pharma. I can only think these pills are targeted for women after menopause, because we are (perhaps) perceived as no further value?
All the cancer world pushes these pills with the belief if you don’t take THEM you will die. Geez. WE are ALL terminal. Cancer is BiG business. Has been- and will be for a long time to come. There is no money in curing it. Lots of doctors would be unemployed… along with other industries.
So, my big take away from this cancer experience is one of validating what I already knew. And reflecting on humanity. It is perplexing that humanity has a strong propensity to kill all living beings; yet has the imagination to create such beauty. Look at history. Its story repeats. Glorious empires turn into bloody battles, wars, genocides, exterminations. This has not changed in all of civilization. It appears we are on a predestined cycle. At some point you would think humanity might take a turn. And put our conscious efforts towards permanent intentional, and responsible stewardship.
Have I turned cynical? Maybe. However, I am a pragmatic observer of human nature and seek to know WHY. I am also hopeful because the human spirit is a dynamic force of goodness and when aligned a sheer delight.
Suggestions, I leave you with…
– Learn! Educate yourself.
– Be Your Own Best Advocate.
– Research, Find Facts.
– Ask Questions.
– Set Boundaries.
– Get a 2nd Opinion.
– Suspend Learned Beliefs.
– Listen to Your Inner Guide.
– Know ALL sources have biases and agendas.
– DO NOT Blame Yourself for Causing Your Cancer.
– Just Do the BEST You Can and Be Gracious.