A lot of people struggle with whether to listen to the doctors and take the conventional medical treatment being recommended. I didn’t hesitate…and here’s why. Just under 4 years ago I had to nurse my mum through a long and painful death from cervical cancer. Her doctors at the time wanted her to have 4 days of radiotherapy and 1 day of chemotherapy a week for 6 weeks. She ended up having about 4 weeks of radiotherapy and refused the chemo, convinced it would kill her. It was the cancer that would kill her in the end. She went to all manner of healers (one gave her a ‘psychic operation’ in which she claimed to remove part of her tumour…my mum honestly believed that this was true!), did intravenous Vitamin C, modified her diet to remove things that were overly acidic.
She kept the cancer at bay for a while, but I could soon see it had come back. She lost a lot of weight from her already small frame, needed to nap every day and seemed in a lot of pain. But she refused to let me take her to a doctor. Finally, on Boxing Day, she tearfully admitted she was in terrible pain and I took her to the emergency department at The Alfred. Scans showed that the cancer was back and ravaging her entire body. Of course now she wanted to follow whatever medical advice she was being given. But the problem was they were saying there was nothing they could do and she had around 3 months to live.
I look back on this time and I wish I had taken mum for a second opinion. I think definitely at the diagnosis stage we should have done that. She just wanted them to cut the cancer out which at this particular hospital they said they didn’t do, but I’ve subsequently learned that it’s the first thing they do at another hospital. So yeah…second opinions are important at any stage.
Watching my beautiful, kind, wonderful and smart mum die from this terrible disease was the hardest thing I have been through. In her final days in palliative care she was so skinny she was like a broken tiny bird. And it has unfortunately given me a preview of what it’s like to die from cancer and that completely freaks me out when I let myself think about it.
It’s so hard for me to now be battling cancer without my mum here. You never get too old to not need your mum, especially when you’re sick. I miss her like crazy but there is a part of me that is glad she isn’t here to watch me go through this. We were best friends and I know this would be so hard for her. No doubt though she is watching from somewhere above and helping me along the way.
By the way I’m all for doing natural things to support your body. I meditate, keep a gratitude journal, eat healthy, see a kinesiologist, take Curcumin tablets, take medicinal cannabis oil, wear detoxifying foot patches after I finish a round of chemo, exercise most days. But I feel better doing this in conjunction with the medical treatment. But I certainly don’t judge anyone else for how they choose to approach treating their cancer, we are all on our own journey.