Those who follow this column know that for the last nine months my dad has been wrestling with lymphoma, the same thing that killed my mom back in 1991 and her brother soon after. Now, after eight infusions of poison (at an oncology center he jokingly referred to as The Cancer Shoppe) designed to kill the cancer without killing him, the report from his PET scan yesterday revealed… no presence of cancer.
After the initial congratulatory portion of our telephone conversation last night, I asked my dad a question that stems from 28 years of hanging around the vitalistic profession of chiropractic.
“So, what did the doctor suggest that you do differently from now on to best assure that you remain cancer-free?”
His answer alarmed me.
“Not a thing,” he said.
This alarmed me for several reasons.
First, it was clear proof that the medical profession really does treat the problem, instead of the person with the problem. Other than the purely mechanistic notion that his cancer was the result of a “bad gene,” there was little interest in what might have been the cause of his cancer. Instead, all resources were directed at squashing the unwanted tumors.
I’m guessing this misguided notion afflicts chiropractors as well. Many claim to address the “cause” of a patient’s problem, but neglect to see the patient’s subluxation pattern as merely a symptom; a defense mechanism to physical, emotional or chemical stress that exceed the patient’s ability to accommodate. Instead of inquiring about the patient’s stress levels, they mistakenly believe that if they simply improve a patient’s biomechanics (and take pressure off the nerve), they are resolving the underlying cause of the patient’s problem. Talk about classic symptom treating!
Second, failing to offer even the simplest guidelines for post-cancer survivorship increases the odds that my dad could suffer a relapse, just as my mom did who had a similar remission (and lack of doctor direction) culminating with a vengeful return of her cancer several months later.
So, while I’m grateful that the heroic measures employed by modern medicine have saved my dad’s life, the absence of recommendations designed to prevent the recurrence of his cancer and advance true health, is a sober, if not personal, reminder that the medical profession is truly clueless (or uninterested) in prevention, much less wellness.
No matter. I have the ear of thousands of chiropractors. I’d like to impose on that franchise to supply my dad with some of the best recommendations possible. Will you help?
If I was my dad’s doctor, or at least responsible for communicating with patients who are leaving The Cancer Shoppe after dropping $100,000, I would have sent him home with a list of at least 10 things, similar to this one. Please use the form at the bottom of this page to improve upon or add additional ideas to these:
Avoid all refined sugar. Stands to reason that if they use radioactive glucose to find the tumors, tumors must feed on sugar. Seems it would be wise to eliminate all such “tumor food.”
Supplements. Besides fish oil, supplement your diet of fresh raw foods (organic as much as possible) with whole food supplements. Consult a practitioner familiar with Nutritional Response Testing to uncover foods to which you may be allergic and avoid them.
Aerobic exercise. The lymphatic system is the body’s sewage disposal system. Yet, unlike the circulatory system that has a pump (heart), the lymphatic system depends on movement to collect wastes and promote circulation. The key is to get your heart rate up for 20 minutes at least three times a week.
Get chiropractic care. This goes without saying, if for no other reason than the relationship between the nervous system and the immune system.
Laugh. It’s true that laughter is the best medicine. Norman Cousins made this very clear in his book, The Anatomy of an Illness. Sign up for Netflix and rent their comedies. Watch standup on the Comedy Channel.
Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol is an immune system suppressant. You need to give your immune system every possible advantage. Especially now.
Monitor your pH. There is growing evidence that illness and disease are virtually impossible in an alkaline environment. Avoid foods and beverages that turn your body acidic. You can get pH testing strips and directions for using them at just about any health food store.
Avoid all negative thoughts and words. You cannot afford the luxury of a single negative thought. Eliminate the news and corporate media that attract viewers and readers with lurid headlines and reminders about how bad things are. Most “news” is irrelevant to your life and simply advances a mass hypnosis and herd mentality.
Forgive. Make a list of every one and every situation in which you harbor anger, resentment or regret (even being afflicted with cancer). Forgive them all, by writing a letter (and not mailing it) or confessing your feelings to another. Forgiveness is for you, not them.
Pray. Be thankful for all the benefits that your bout with cancer has produced. (Can’t find any? Dig deeper!) Be grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead. Be more appreciative of this thing called life.
Follow the money and you realize that the profit is in the treatment, not the cure.
What are you doing in your patient communications to equip patients to no longer need you or at the very least, avoid a relapse? Even a less invasive, side-effect-free dependency is still a dependency.