Wednesday, October 11, 2017

No Pink, No Battlegrounds

     I've delayed writing about the theme of breast cancer for a couple of reasons.  First of all, there are so many people writing about their experiences and a I'm not an expert on the topic in any way.  Secondly, the other question is how long will I be here to write.  That' I have no way of knowing.  But here goes anyway.
      On my last visit to physical therapy (to try to mitigate the effects of a mastectomy that leaves nerve damage among other dilemmas) there was a trampoline set up in a corner.  I mentioned to the PT that it was good for lymphatic drainage.  Her response was, "really?"  Every cancer patient I've encountered has heard about it and some have a mini trampoline installed in their homes. 
     Therein lies the disconnect.  Through treatments I've spoken to many women who are trying alternatives to the standard chemo, radiation, and pills.  Almost none of them discuss this with their doctors unless they're lucky enough to be in an integrative medical center. 
        When I mentioned to a nurse that I was trying fasting before chemo to lessen the severity of the effects, she didn't think it was a good idea.  No wonder there is no discussion here. It helped me a great deal and it's written about in alternative and traditional articles.  Instead, she described a patient who loaded up on chicken wings before treatment. 
        Conventional treatment has turned the physical body into a battleground which is precisely the metaphor that is not working for us.  Cancer cells are in everyone's body.  The key is to keep them in check, from growing and invading  healthy tissues.  Another point is to keep them from returning.  Conventional medicine gives their cure rates of 5 years with some luck and a lot of suffering.  How many patients have a recurrence?  A cure in my definition means it does not come back. There are no guarantees on this journey.
        So keep the faith.  Try whatever works for you.  Don't blame yourself for not being cheerful enough or whatever else you may be told.  Give yourself a break!  

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