Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Chemo Diaries: Round Three

It’s all about that back…

So, the third round of chemo has come and gone. Quietly. At least, relatively speaking. Pleasantly, the overall effects appeared lessened over the previous round. Cannot complain about that.

What I can complain about, I guess, is the acne. That’s right.

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Nutritional Advice: Sometimes It Doesn’t Feed You

When people believe that you are not healthy, they often want to give you really genuine advice about what they believe will make you better. In a way, this is one of the nicer aspects of human nature. And many people truly, fervently believe that their advice is not only worthwhile, but absolutely correct to almost mystical proportions. This can be especially true of information that is not even relevant to the person’s direct experience, but instead is based entirely upon anecdotal information that the person simply, deeply wants to believe. And this is the problem with so much advice about how to get healthy: it is based on belief and not on knowledge.

Diet is one of the first topics that is likely to come up when talking about cancer treatment. There are a lot of good reasons for this, including
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Cancer: What You Think It Is May Be Just Bad For You

Cancer Is Not Intelligent, Cancer Has No Will

Discussing cancer in general terms often leads to insinuations that Cancer has a motivation. It “overcomes” the immune system. It “figures out” how to defeat a drug. It “is surprisingly good at mutating” into something that can continue to grow in spite of whatever is attacking it. It is “nefarious.” All of these descriptions, and there are hundreds more, imply that Cancer wants something, that it is making an effort, that it has an agenda or goal; the implication is that Cancer has a mind. This is a fallacy of thought that not only makes general discussion more difficult, but it actually can impede treatment and healing. Continue reading Cancer: What You Think It Is May Be Just Bad For You

The Chemo Diaries: Round Two

So the second round of chemotherapy began even smoother than the first. The nurse and I had a good chat about how it really ought to be more of a “spa experience,” perhaps with at least a good foot massage thrown in. I would also like to see some umbrella drinks. Because the patient is essentiality stuck there, attached for several hours to a drip IV, making it as pleasant as possible is always a good idea.
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Cure for Cancer Discussion on Quora

I recently participated in a discussion on Quora that was framed as a question about the possibility of finding a cure for cancer. The other responses were largely interesting, though it was clear to me that the question itself (and some of the responses) indicate that there is still a lack of understanding with regard to the progress already made in the field(s) of cancer research, as well as a lack of understanding about what a “cure” really means.

Click the link to read my contribution to the discussion and explore some of the other voices that chimed in.

 

Living In the Past Isn’t the Path Forward

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot

One of the biggest roadblocks I see in communication about cancer is the notion that it stops the future. This, of course, is complete nonsense, and yet the sense prevails for many with a diagnosis and for many who receive the news about their friends and loved ones. I hear stories about how a cancer diagnosis has caused patients to essentially give up on their lives and dreams, and I see the responses in people whose first reaction upon being told of someone else’s diagnosis is a palpable sense of loss. Yet the future keeps on drawing us all forward, inextricably, into new days and experiences and our collective evolving lives.

This is a beautiful thing.

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