THIS is Your Choice

A few days ago I saw a Facebook post about cancer that disturbed me both as a two-time cancer survivor, and a holistic health professional.

It was even more disturbing for being on a colleague’s page.

Because in my humble opinion, it was dead wrong. And I mean that literally.

It was one of those rants about how no one should ever use “slash and burn” conventional treatment and that all doctors care about is money.


I say NO to that for so many reasons. I started to respond in a comment, and then when I hit about 500 words, I realized that a friend’s Facebook page was not the place for my rant, and hit delete.

But I want you to know, because it can truly be a matter of life and death.

When I went through breast cancer, I lost 2 friends, both colleagues as well. One refused any conventional treatment. One refused any holistic treatment. At the end, close to death, they each recanted, but it was too late; they were too weak, too ill, too ravaged by the cancer.

I can’t know why people live or die. I have been fortunate to come through one serious illness after another and bounce back with even greater resilience than before, again and again. (I just went through something else, but that’s a story for another day.)

But here are 2 things I do know.

1. People have asked me “what’s the point of doing all that healthy stuff if you get sick anyhow?”

That IS the point. That we ALL face challenges in our life. Inevitably. Whether it’s illness or loss or anxiety or depression or pain or…. And the more robust your health – body, mind and spirit – the better you will ride those waves.

2. It’s not about taking sides. It’s not either/or; zero/one. Ideally, we want to pick and choose the best of everything that’s available to support our health, from the weirdest techniques (if they work) to the most conventional protocols (same).

And then stop judging.

When I got hit with ovarian cancer last May, here’s what I did.

I’ve worked in the holistic field for 24 years now, and have taken a deep dive into studying cancer in the past decade. I have a lot of knowledge and experience. But I didn’t assume, especially in that context, when I was ill and in shock, that I knew how to proceed. I called many people for suggestions and advice.

With breast cancer, I had plenty of time to explore and decide. This had to be immediate.

I consulted with 5 oncologists, 2 herbalists who specialize in cancer, and a couple of nutritionists who have dedicated their entire careers to this as well. I found a surgeon who would listen to what I had to say, and it wasn’t the first one I called. I  called someone with 20 years experience using medical marijuana for cancer patients, and a man I’d met once who authored a not-yet-published book interviewing many top alternative oncologists as well as people told to say their goodbyes who had survived for decades beyond their terminal “sentence”.

Of course, I also called my kids and my friends and family to ask for help. Those were the toughest calls of all.

Here’s my point:

The choice is not alternative or conventional. The choice is two-fold:
  • whether you will put measures in place to take care of your health and well-being before you’re in dire need. After all, that makes everything about life better when you’re not ill!
  • whether you will educate yourself, as best you can, to the full range of possibilities, so that you can make the best decisions for your circumstances.

My life’s work is dedicated to helping people with both of those.

Does this resonate with you? If it does, would you take a moment to like share and comment here?

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