Cancer: Taking back control

Cancer.  Even the word scares us to death.  It is easy to start down a path of thought: why me?

Cancer not only invades our body but our mind.  It is a tentacled beast that infests and afflicts all aspects of our life. We start talking about “my cancer” as if it has become you.  It is the invading force of an army that has planted its flag and declared you the land of your disease.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We do not have to live in fear.  We do not have to become cancer. Easier said than done I know especially when you like me and many others might have seen cancer’s devastating toll on close friends and even family members, some who might even have eventually succumbed to its vice-like grip. I absolutely appreciate the feelings of terror that this whole cancer subject evokes even in the bravest of hearts.

First, let’s take control of the tentacled spread of the disease into our lives.  Let’s try to learn something from nature and understand why cancer has become so powerful.  The answer lives in plain sight, it is all around us. 

Humanity, with the cleverness of a curious animal, has developed techniques that take advantage of the whole of the periodic table – the toxic and the non-toxic elements – always with what appears the best of intentions – and sometimes with horrifying consequences.  A consequence is a rise in the number of us who have been impacted by cancer.

Nature, the pets we live with, the woods we walk through, that ocean depth – it only uses those non-toxic elements of the periodic table.  The answer is living all around us.  We can take control by taking heed of what we now understand of our natural world and look to the example of the animals. We need to live more naturally.

But, what if we are already in the grip of the disease.  How can we take back control when it already seems to be governing our lives?

Meet the powerhouse Aussie Barbara Gannon, with some typical Aussie tough love that comes from her heart.  She demands that you “be the storm.” What does this mean?

Well, she asks you to toughen up and don’t feel sorry for yourself.  She tells us not to ask why – for why doesn’t have an answer for us as individuals and resolves nothing about our situation.  ‘Why’ is self-pity – and this is not being the storm. Mind you, its easier said than accomplished and I should know because I do have my many pity party, ‘oh Lord why do you hate me so much’ moments! 

Barbara Gannon’s advice is both simple and complex.  She asks that you not let the cancer absorb your mind and your psyche.  She asks that you get angry and be courageous – to stand up and declare “no” and that this disease will not become your death sentence.

Does she have room to talk? Simply stated, yes! She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 3 – 6 months to live.  She is now three years from her diagnosis and is cancer-free.  She had no chemotherapy and no radiation treatment.  She just determined she would change her diet from the very start and maintain her positive, determined attitude.

Instead of remaining sad she decided to do something practical and proactive and refused to allow the cancer to takecontrol of everything she was.  She became the ‘Storm’ and didn’t allow herself to be blown about by the disaster that could have befallen her life.  Don’t rely wholly on what the doctors say, she says. Instead, find ways of making a dynamic difference to your health – become a student of how you can heal yourself.  Become a part of measuring your progress with your health professionals – empower yourself to understand how well you are doing.

The first practical thing Barbara Gannon did was learn to read her blood results.  She learnt quickly that inflammation markers show disease. 

The markers she speaks of are ESR and CRP.  Together these reveal the level of inflammation and the potential response to treatments and the response of your body to the underlying disease.  Along with your Vitamin D levels, these blood results are a baseline measurement that you can use to consider how well you are doing in taking back control from cancer.

If you are going to be like Barbara and be the ‘Storm’ then you are going to have to be prepared to change doctors if they won’t work with you in this “teacher/student” model of learning about your body.  If they will not answer your questions – then move to a doctor that will.  This is part of being a survivor and not a victim.

It is about looking to ourselves and to our world for the answers.  We are not powerless to cancer.  With the right attitude, the right outlook and the will to act – we can take back control.

 Hey, as you read this, you probably know someone who has cancer or who has had cancer. You might even be reading this as one who has been diagnosed with it in the past or even fighting through it. I have known many personal friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even family members who got diagnosed with the disease and some who even died. To say cancer can be devastating is an understatement and for all the hate in the world (I don’t hate by the way), I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

I hope with all my heart that you never have to experience anything close to cancer and that you remain healthy and fit for as long as you care to live. If however you are battling cancer please never ever lose hope and never give up. Encourage yourself with the testimonies of the countless many who have beat the disease even when sometimes the prognosis was bleak. Find out about these success testimonies and research what they did, what they took etc. Consider whether there might be some merit in exploring those options.

Ofcourse always consult a trusted medical practitioner who is knowledgeable not just about conventional cancer treatments but is also open to the benefits of holistic, complementary and alternative health therapies and remedies. If the situation is that you happen to know someone who is battling cancer then perhaps it is worth using this article and other ones out there to motivate and inspire them. You could even help them with doing more extensive research on the success stories of other cancer survivors. I am certain they’d be grateful for the proactive support and will appreciate the feeling of not being alone in their hour and time of need. Just don’t let them rely solely on what conventional cancer doctors might be telling or offering them; particularly if the prognosis is negative.

Of courseI am practical enough to appreciate that sadly not everyone gets miraculously healed from their health ailments and that includes cancer; one of the mysteries of life as I guess we simply are not created to have all the answers to life’s many conundrums. However, as much I have lost loved ones to cancer, I have also witnessed cancer healing miracles in cases that were considered near hopeless.  I choose to live life every day believing in miracles and expecting them too and why not; for the honest truth is that waking up to a brand new day each day is in itself a miracle; all things being considered.  So, I definitely believe in miracles but I also believe in the power of aggressivefaith-based prayer (for me it’s Christian faith) and the mysterious links between these sorts of prayers and consequently being divinely led to the very thing that could end up being the answer or solution to the healing, cure or  whatever you might be seeking.   

I wish you health, I wish you longevity, I wish you fulfilment in life purpose.

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