Thursday, July 15, 2010

The ABCDs of Fighting Cancer

I am glad my ordeal is partially resolved. My Oncologist reported that I was curable and that I was doing fine. My response to the hormone and radiotherapy were very successful. My PSA reading is now 0.09 down from an all time high of 27. I am celebrating life inspite of my problem being only partially resolved. I survived the hospital so to speak, but I had not really survived cancer. We all know there is no real cure for cancer, for cancer is not a disease per se. Cancer is very complex and hence it should be better categorized as “a problem to be solved”. Cancer patients are not sick people as in other diseases. We have a bio-chemico-medico-psychological situation existing in our body. Period. See the relationships? Things go wrong in our bodies when there are imbalances and conflicts in these relationships. No drugs, chemo’s, therapy’s will completely cure cancer. Cancerous cells will emerge and relapse soon enough when they become immune to your treatments. Traditional medical practices can only treat the patient and stabilize the situation as in fire fighting. Thus cancer patients are given a reprieve until the next fight. Even radical surgeries, to remove body organs affected by cancerous cells does not effectively cure one of cancer.

How then do we fight cancer ? In reality it would involve an Oncologist, Radiologist, Surgeon, Nutritionist,Physician Phycologist, and Chemist to sort it all out. And at best they would have to agree to disagree. In my case, my hospital team( HUKM and Putrajaya hospitals) comprise an Oncologist, Physician, Urologist, Radiologist and Nutritionist). We should also not forget the important medical supporting personnel like nurses and system operators who are specialists in their own rights, and most importantly our care givers.

In my relatively short time of 11 months since detecting cancerous cells in my prostrate gland to my excellent prognosis today, I applied myself to the problem to be solved. I do not know anything about cancer, save that my relatives and friends had cancers and that they are going to be cured by specialist. How wrong I was. When I first met my Oncologist, he had tried to explain everything to me. I am convinced that he is the specialist and that he could fix me up. So I said with full confidence “ Doc, you are in charged. Fix me up”
While being fixed up by my Oncologist via a dual modality of hormone and radiotherapy, I started to meet other cancer patients. I then had a fuller realization. It is not that simple to be cured of cancer. I went into full time research into cancer in general and prostrate cancer in particular. I talked to people, read books and browsed the internet. The sea of information available is mind bogging. Prostrate cancer is supposed to be a slow cancer, but reading in-between the lines, prostrate cancer is slow only in relation to other types of cancers. So it does not mean years and years of extra time for prostrate cancer patients.

Todate, I am more knowledgeable and confident of cancer, my cancer at least. If cancer is a problem to be solved, then we must apply ourselves to solve it. Period. Nobody else can solve your problem, others can assist and complement the solutions to your problem. I am not a doctor, much less an Oncologist, I will have to rely on my other talents and skills in leadership, physiology and management. There should always be a dual approach to solving the problem. Do not ever forsake traditional treatments and medication. The Oncologist is the only person who can do damage control and effectively stabilize or halt the cancerous growth quickly. We could then apply ourselves to partake in helping the Oncologist to do his job.

My first task was to do an appreciation of the situation, which would result in courses open for me and needless to say I would select the best course of action. Whilst the Oncologist would follow through with his best medical practices and protocols, I would embark in self actions in alternative approaches to prepare myself for full cure in the shortest time possible. The caveat here is to always tell the Oncologist what you are doing and what are your body responses to his treatments and yours. Your actions can be done before, during and after your hospital treatments. But I will certainly not recommend your actions, except for safe actions, before and during your hospital treatments, but you must do your part, post treatments. Whatever the case, always consult your Oncologist on whatever you do.

My guiding principles have always being ABCD.

Attitude starts with being happy and don’t worry. It is true for it doesn’t help being otherwise. You must have a good attitude towards yourself, your immediate families, your work and your life. Be calm and rational and be decisive. Don’t be angry at yourself or with the world.

You must believe the following:
1. Cancer is curable. You are lucky to have cancer now not 10 – 15 years ago. Treatments are almost perfected. You can almost be guaranteed of enhanced morbidity. You will need the time to cure yourself.
2. There is always GOD who will help us when we asked for help in prayers.
3. There are always peers and other people out there for you.
4. Can I be bold enough to ask you, to believe in me? No don’t believe me. Believe in ABCD.

Change is a must. You must change your lifestyle. Period. For it was the old lifestyle that you had allowed cancerous cells to grow in your body. Change your food to accommodate value added food in the fight. Eat more alkaline making food. Proper nutrition’s and essential minerals are force multipliers in your battle against cancer. Do exercises to oxygenate your body. Qi Gong and short walks in the sun not only allows you to smell the roses, but you will get free Vitamin D to boot.

Discipline is not only for the soldiers. It is critical for us cancer patients. With discipline we can solve and overcome any problem head on. It is a matter of whether you want to walk the talk, or take a walk from it all. There are so much that we can do, change, eat to assist our Oncologist in our personal fight against cancer.

I do not wish to preach nor teach you how to suck eggs. But I am sure you can survive cancer with ABCD like me.

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