After A Cancer Diagnosis – Some Cancer Basics To Think About
Upon your cancer diagnosis you may initially feel inundated by all the sudden decisions your doctors – and family - would like you to make.
Usually, the pressure is on cancer patients to have their surgery, or start their chemotherapy or radio as soon as possible, before they've even had a chance to emotionally come to grips with this sudden and massive change in their life.
So, which cancer treatment, or combination of treatments would in fact be best for you?
Spend Some Time Now On Further Research – It Could Save Your Life
In most cases, despite the urgency with which medicine would like you to start therapy after your cancer diagnosis, you can actually take some time to do a deeper investigation of what your options are.
After your cancer diagnosis it's important, therefore, to empower yourself from a wide variety of sources – some of this information will be provided in a separate alternative health article, titled: "Cancer - A Naturopathic Perspective". Click here to access this information.
Such explorations and information-gathering allows you to ask far more pertinent questions of your oncologist, and thus lets you also make more constructive treatment choices.
Beware the Possibility Of 'Info-Overload'
With instant access to the Internet nowadays - and with every Tom, Dick and Harry offering advice! - one problem you may end up with is a serious case of 'information over-load', so, it's important to carefully sift through all this data.
Hence, be willing to get second, and even third opinions from a wide range of experts – both natural and medical – in the field of cancer treatment options and diagnosis.
The aim is to create – out of this maze of facts and figures – a workable; affordable and realistic plan of action.
To try out every therapy you hear or read about will end up in a totally unmanageable, unsustainable, unaffordable – and potentially – dangerous situation.
Choices will have to be made from the extensive range of options you will come across!
Respect Medical Opinion – But Also Be Willing To Stand Your Ground
Ask questions of your doctors. Don't be fobbed off by vague answers.
If they don't know something – especially when this relates to more naturopathic or complementary options - let them be honest and say so.
Whatever you do... don't have the attitude of: 'I'm in your hands doc!' Especially when dealing with a cancer diagnosis, such a mind-set can be psychologically – and physically – lethal.
Seek out at least one medical person who is open to your desire for a more complementary treatment approach, and willing to support you in such choices.
Resisting Cancer Diagnosis
Sometimes, when a newly diagnosed cancer patient decides to seek out more alternative or complementary cancer treatment options, they may be judged as resisting their verdict.
However, as Mary Budinger (1) states: 'so many people get pushed into conventional treatment with the sales tactic of fear. That isn't right. You really do have time to educate yourself. What you don't have is the opportunity for buyer's remorse later when you learn more and know better.' (emphasis added)
Be Willing To Accept Help From Friends and Family
This is something which most people dealing with new cancer diagnosis find almost impossible to do.
However, this is not the time to act-out from a sense of 'false bravery', and continue to soldier on!
Cancer isn't just a 'lump somewhere'. It is a multi-layered, whole-body phenomenon requiring a wide range of life-changes – not just the 'right' treatments; be that medical or complementary.
During any stage of acute ill-health with your cancer, or during your chemo or radio, the flood of well-intentioned phone calls and messages may be too taxing to deal with.
This is a good example of where you can tap into offers of help from friends or family.
Have someone be your 'informational-update manager', allowing them to act as a central coordinator in letting friends and family know how you are doing.
Rest and Peace is Essential in This Healing Journey
For most people with a recent cancer diagnosis, if they look back over the last 1 to 3 years, they'll see that more likely than not they have been under excessive stress and demands over that time-frame, or suffered some major emotional trauma.
One crucial and fundamental aspect to come to grips with, once you know you have cancer, is to eradicate as much stress from your life as possible.
And where certain stresses can't be eliminated, it becomes even more important to then at least learn how to compensate for them.
To discover more about managing your stress, you might like to check out two simple, easy-to-read eBooklets – one titled: Stress Management, and the other: Meditation.
Science now vindicates that stress is a major immune suppressor – and it is precisely your immune system which has the daunting role of neutralizing the daily production of abnormal cells in your body – even when you're healthy.
It bears repeating how essential it is to your survival that once you've had a cancer diagnosis, every possible stress is cut out of your life. This is something that most people with this health issue simply don’t want to hear – or feel they are unable to do.
Yet, it is one of the most crucial components to any realistic cancer management plan, and over the 30 years of being a natural practitioner, I've seen far too many people ignore this fundamental aspect to dealing with their malignancy – often with disastrous consequences.
Time For a Complete Life-Review
You'll also need time to re-evaluate your life on many levels – diet, lifestyle, any long-standing emotional issues you may be struggling with, your future...
What is it you really want to do with your time here on planet Earth?
What aspects to your life have you constantly put 'on hold' due to the chronic intrusion of supposedly more 'important' commitments?
What dreams have you long shelved because there was no time – or energy! – left after taking care of other people's needs?
You might like to write these things down, as well as explore them with a close friend, family member or even a Counselor.
Again, let me truly reinforce this one simple concept... once you've been given a cancer diagnosis, do not initially try to 'soldier on', continuing to deal with all the stresses and commitments you may have in your life. This can be a most dangerous choice to make.
Make a list of everything or everyone who is a stressor in your life. Then ruthlessly cut them out of your life!
As challenging as it will be, it's essential that at this point in time you focus exclusively on yourself and getting better.
Enough of looking after others - for now; you'll need every ounce of energy directed towards your own healing.
Work Related Issues
We all have to earn a living; we all have our bills to pay – totally acknowledged. So, issues around generating an income may become an especially potent challenge for you.
Initially, you may feel you have no choice but to continue running full-pelt on the treadmill of your daily work-routine.
However, an inevitable consequence will be that your cancer treatments and management – especially the more time-consuming complementary approaches - lose center-stage, and just get squeezed in wherever and whenever you can.
Do whatever it takes to stop your work or seriously cut back on your work-load. Negotiate with your employer; seek out governmental support services for those who are lucky enough to live in a country where you have them available.
This is not a time for false pride; be willing to accept help and charity – your life may depend on it.
Some Concluding Thoughts
So, as you can see from the above brief discussion, after a cancer diagnosis there is much more to your cancer treatment than simply having your surgery, followed by chemo or radio – and then continuing 'life-as-normal'.
Cancer is a genuine 'wake-up' call in one's life, and to maximize your ability to remain alive it may require you to make a lot of fundamental changes to your way of thinking, as well as your way of life.
You can make the necessary changes, as overwhelming as they may seem at present, but take it one step at a time... and stop being the hero. Seek out, as well as ask for help!
A powerful eBook that you may find useful in negotiating such major life-changes is titled: Lifenotes – a user's guide to making sense of life on planet earth. You can check it out further by clicking on this link here.
(1) Budinger, Mary, 'Sir Isaac Newton – You Lost the War On Cancer: News from the 9th Annual International IPT/IPTLD Conference, Townsend Letter – August/September.2011.337/338.64
Click here to read: "Cancer - A Naturopathic Perspective".
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