To be considered

Posted on October 22nd, 2008 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I have been up since about 3 this morning with a lot going through my mind. Down the list someway is the concern about future treatment.

I watched a DVD last night about healing cancer. When I bought it, I was under the impression that it focused on fighting cancer through diet. Well, I have watched an hour of it and all it did was talk about the cancer industry, and how much money was being made from ‘cancer research’ and treatment. They really came down hard on radiotherapy, chemotherapy, mammograms and a few other forms of treatment that they believe aren’t really effective against cancer, and maybe responsible for causing cancer.

So difficult. I came away feeling very confused. It is not the first time I have heard this perspective of course, but when you are in treatment under such radical regimes, your faith needs to be placed in the treatment you are under to keep peace of mind. I can’t imagine being in the middle of a stem-cell transplant and processing the perspective that the treatment is useless. But it all does make me wonder how I am going to approach treatment in the future.

For me, and many others I believe, chemo and radio therapies at least bought me some time. I would’ve loved to do without them, but I still believe it was the right move in order to keep me here this long. At least it has given me time to consider all these options.

Just before my high-dose chemo and stem-cell transplant, I heard some encouraging statistics about the survival rate. The stats are usually given in 5-year survival rates and for Multiple Myeloma it was around 40% when I was reading stuff just after my diagnosis. Then that figure became 50-55% just before my stem-cell transplant. I am more aware now that these figures seem to be affected more by early detection (as the 5 years begins at diagnosis) and a whole swag of number games that can influence the way the absolute figures appear. I am not convinced either way at this stage, just a little more confused than before in how this will affect the future.

As I have mentioned before, I have found statistics useful when coming to grips with how severe a situation can be. It has the effect of grabbing my attention appropriately and motivating me to do all I can to fight against the situation. I have never felt as though the statistics are a sentence or that they bind me. My outlook is still for a long remission, healing or cure. I don’t live in fear, but I still have a concern.

The choice to refuse mainstream treatment can be seen as a resignation to the situation or a ferocious determination to keep one’s breath in one’s body. There are other reasons, I am sure, but at this stage I really have no idea what I would do next. It would be great to take the mindset that I am just going to forget about my cancer so that I can live happily without a shadow over me. But at the moment I am doing the thinking that I don’t want to have to do under pressure if symptoms come back. I want to be able to confidently direct the treatment pathway based on knowledge and experiences of others.

For now, my goal is to remain stress-free (some say it is possible), have some spiritual healing take place, exercise a lot, enjoy life, eat well 96% of the time (the other 4% is reserved for the ‘enjoying life’ part). At the moment, my back aches, my arms ache and my legs ache. I am happy that they ache because I built a block wall on the weekend (Big thanks to Dad for doing the heavy lifting!), put some shade-cloth up, and have been exercising more. It is so good to be feeling sore for the right reasons.

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