“Is That Your Best Answer?”

Not a day goes by without people hearing about someone with cancer, whether it’s a co-worker, friend, family member or celebrity. It is also the subject matter of a lot of commercials, television shows and movies. Unfortunately, because many of the shows and even some movies are sponsored by the major pharmaceutical companies, there is a certain slant or bias to most all of these programs. This can create a culture of fear, influencing our thoughts, causing many of us to reject alternative medicine. The word cancer can create the worst fear that most people will face in their lifetimes.

When people are afraid, traumatized or panicked about something, they tend to become compliant and can be relieved when someone makes decisions for them. Their ability to figure things out and make rational decisions is diminished. They may even be unable to comprehend the medical procedures that are explained to them. In an environment that is geared for only one answer aligned with the traditional medical mandate, it’s easy to understand why most people agree to chemotherapy and radiation without investigating other options. In light of this, it is amazing when someone like Mr. Rhio O’Conner can take the reins of his own treatment choices and ask the medical community, “Is that your best answer?”

While it’s fair to say that no one would know how they’re going to react to a prognosis of cancer until it actually happens to them, if you already live your life in a certain way, then it might be an indicator that you would not blindly follow the traditional path of chemotherapy and radiation. Thomas Edison was hopeful when he said that the “doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and the cause and prevention of disease.” It’s clear that you must live like you were only given one body to have the best chances of having a good quality of life.

Our family lives on four acres, so we’re able to create a vegetable garden each year and maintain some free range chickens. We cook from scratch, got rid of our Teflon pans and don’t own a microwave. We don’t smoke or bring soda into the house. While we rarely get sick, we always utilize natural remedies before consulting a medical doctor or even over the counter medicine. We don’t even have a bottle of aspirin in our medicine cabinet.

There are probably hundreds of ways to heal the human body and when we participate in our own recovery, we’re already engaged a synergy into the process that wouldn’t exist if we were living in dread and fear of our ultimate demise. If I were to face the same challenges that Mr. Rhio faced, I would start out by reading all I could about the particular cancer I had and make sure that all of my tests had corroboration to eliminate the possibility of a false positive.

I demand a lot of my general practitioner, so I would consult him since he is as fluent in traditional medicine as alternative medicine. I would recommend that everyone find someone like this because it’s like having the best of both worlds. There are also online directories, like at http://www.ctds.info/holistic_doctors.html, with lists of holistic practitioners for those who cannot find one doctor that does both.

Most people are unaware that there are places like The Gerson Clinic in San Diego or Cancer Treatment Centers of America that provide both conventional and alternative treatments, tailoring a patient’s plan to their individual need and preference. Their locations and philosophies can be easily researched online. A preliminary visit would probably be in order before checking in to be sure that they’re a good fit for your needs. Hospice care is another possibility that strives to keep people healthy, functional and comfortable for as long as possible while still living at home, with the option of checking in if and when the patient’s needs become too great to manage without sustained care and monitoring.

Some people prefer to try alternative treatments from home, especially if their prognosis is fairly good and the cancer is not aggressive. The neighborhood natural health food store is usually a good source of natural health information and should carry anti-cancer staples like Essiac tea and Una de Gato, otherwise known as Cat’s Claw. These things can also be easily found online.

Changing your lifestyle could help minimize cancer risk. For instance, exercise oxygenates the blood, increasing circulation, improving digestion among other things. Nutritionally, you can change your body’s pH level from acidic to basic to make your inner environment less hospitable to cancer cells. This can involve incorporating or increasing fresh fruits, vegetables and salads into your daily routine. I eat a salad for lunch almost every day, and even make my own “green drink” which contains a green powder of cruciferous vegetables along with chlorophyll and just enough berry juice to make it palatable.

Eliminating bad things from the diet, like sodas and artificial sweeteners helps the body be more able to heal itself, while increasing the consumption of water will help flush harmful toxins from the system. To take it one step further, there are extensive Japanese studies about alkaline water and how it helps change the pH of your body enough to help reverse many cancers and keep them away. The body is designed to naturally want to maintain health, and anything we can do to help our bodies achieve this is in our favor.

In light of the fact that bio-feedback has proven to be beneficial to most patients, it is important to not allow other people’s negativity to affect you. If friends, family or medical personnel say that they know someone who tried to heal themselves naturally and died, it is important to say that someone like Mr. O’Conner, who outlasted his prognosis by six years, are among your inspirational success stories. There are also many people who suffer through chemotherapy and radiation treatments only to pass away before their treatments are even over. They are portrayed as valiant, brave people while someone who died despite natural interventions of every sort is portrayed as tragically misinformed. There are no guarantees either way you go.

My philosophy of natural healing is very similar to my view of having mammograms. Evidence shows that mammograms do a lot of physical damage to the breasts by force and by radiation. There are far less detrimental technologies out there to test with, one of which was invented by an electronic engineering professor at the University of Arkansas. The problem is that so much money is invested in mammogram machines that it will take decades for women to be free of these devices and for insurance companies to start accepting new technologies like an electro-magnetic scanner.

One of the reasons why I don’t have regular mammograms is because my body is naturally cystic. These types of baseline situations are not always taken into account in conventional medicine. Plus, I don’t want to go down the road of constant fear, the pain of surgeries, or the self loathing at the scars or missing parts of my body.

Personally, I would not choose to do chemotherapy nor radiation for any cancer. I would rather live my life without fear of dying and enjoy a good quality of life, even if that life wound up being shorter than one spent going back and forth to the hospital, losing my hair, feeling constantly nauseous and ingesting all kinds of poisons. Everyone needs to make their own choices and I just ask people to respect my choices. There is no reason to live in a free society unless you can truly exercise your freedoms. One of the most fundamental freedom includes what medical treatments you decide on or if you accept any treatments at all.

I simply want to live free of fear and with the best quality of life until the end, whenever that end naturally occurs. It’s precisely the quality of life issues that are ignored whenever conventional practitioners discuss cancer treatments. When organs start failing, I will do my best to support them nutritionally and through other natural means. I want to go out like Randy Pausch, the 47 year old Carnegie Mellon professor who lived life to the fullest the whole time he had terminal pancreatic cancer. The important thing is to treat each living day as a blessing and everything else will fall into place.

By: Donnelly, Cat

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