It’s my choice, it’s my way

Feb. 10, 2012

It begins, the symptoms, some thing is not right with the world; like most we wait and see, not long if the symptoms are interfering with our daily schedule, but we wait and then we make the appointment. Waiting for the appointment might be a long wait, such waiting makes time slow. We wait, just to see what is ailing us, probably nothing, perhaps we are over reacting but better to an exam, just to be sure.

The appointment comes, forms filled, the dialogue between receptionist leads to nurses taking information, the explanation of symptoms; then the doctor steps in, asking more questions. A schedule of tests appear on the horizon and the further waiting process begins; then ends with the tests. The processing of information, the dialogue between attendants, technicians and more nurses; each needing something from you. The fear rises and falls; the good will pours in, you feel well taken care of; or do you, this  you wonder. Tests being completed the longest wait in your life begins.

Minutes turn to hours, hours to days; how is it that time has moved so slowly, how can science turn the clock to such slow motion. The world outside goes faster and faster; how does the world spin so quickly yet you are moving ever so slow; too slow, life is slow motion. The tests come back; and you want time to stop maybe reverse, go backwards, to a time without this stress, leave you off in a time when all things were better, without this fear.

The results are told to you, the voice of the doctor seems loud, who turned up the volume; the voice is too loud, and the only words you are hearing is the doctor, all other sounds are gone, absorbed by the sound of the voice. Your mind races in every direction what to do, how to live with this, what will your life be like; then your brain lets it all register. The realization hits you, the words you heard, loudly, but did not completely hear, but your mind heard them, and your mind was already processing what to do, how to do it; now you are listening to yourself, your brain playing it back for you. Cancer you you have cancer.

A second, third visit, the choices come fast and furious. What do you do? You hear Chemotherapy, but everyone throws Chemo around like it is an everyday, benign treatment, function of the system; making it an innocent harmless word, comforting even, like apple pie and warm milk. But it is not, a close look finds chemotherapy to be a poison, to the cancer and to the body. You ask yourself, how does your body distinguish between the chemo killing the cancer and killing innocent cells; the answer is it does not, hair loss, loss of nails, and other fast growing cells all take the hit; not to mention the liver, working over time to rid the body of the poison. The body has no mechanism to tell the liver beware of this poison; the chemo is not designed to warn the body of impending danger; therefore innocent cells die and the liver takes a hit. Radiation, another choice, designed to pin point tumors, great advancements have been made, tumors otherwise untouched by chemo, faster growing tumors are slowed, shrunk using pin point radiation. New techniques are developed, making inoperable tumors a likely candidate for the new radiation techniques. Are they save? You ask, and want to know the risks, the side effects; but mostly you are reassured, the latest techniques will be used; be calm, only the latest methods will be used. But, often insurance companies are slow to pay well for the newest and the latest, even if safer or the old techniques or some facilities cannot afford the newest machines, so the older methods are used for years after newer methods are available. You have to know, research who does which method. Then there is the option for surgery, if the cancer is located in one area, surgery is suggested, get it out, then use the chemo and radiation for anything left over,  Other cases, involving metastasized  cancer  makes surgery difficult as it has spread. What do you do?

Choices, there are usually only the three choices given to you, but are there others? There are many other choices, most are what is called, non-conventional, integrative treatment or alternative treatments; all meaning, not one of the trinity and all with less or no side effects.  Doctors will not suggest any of these treatments, and if asked about them, will no doubt warn you of the dangers. Yet, statistically, the deaths from cancer are far higher than with non-conventional and in fact, the non-conventional deaths are most times from patients that come to such treatments only after being diagnosed as terminal when the trinity of treatments did not kill the cancer.  Most of the non-conventional have little or no side effects, causing no harm to the patient, where is the danger? Waiting, to see if the non-conventional works, could allow the cancer to worsen if the choice of non-conventional is not extensive enough or the cancer does not respond; yet this also is true with the trinity, many times the cancer is not effected and the cancer grows. Such a risk is high, either choice, trinity or alternative, both present such a risk. The choices beyond the trinity need be put into your list of options.

Now you alone are faced with all the choices, as it should be, all choices and you review them all, look at the risks and the benefits, how you will feel, your quality of life; all aspects of each choice needs assessing.  Opinions and advice come your way, well meaning, loving people, all have their choices, but they are their choices, their opinions. What is your choice? What does your heart tell you? This is where you need to look at all options, knowing the risks and benefits, putting aside all opinions of others; now what choice instantly feels right, that your ‘intuition’ is telling you to do? Whatever choice rises to the top, looks like a shining bright star, that is the choice that will give you peace of mind. Now in spite of all other opinions and advice you need to do it your way. Your friends, family all need to respect your choice, it is your choice, it is your way.







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