Time to Take Control of My Health
In the book, “Radical Remission”, Chapter 2 is titled, “Taking Control of Your Health”. It was a real page turner for me. The author, Kelly Turner, Ph.D. tells her readers that in the medical profession those patients who listen and follow instructions are considered “good” patients, while the “annoying” patients are those who ask a lot of questions, bring in their own research, or – worst of all – challenge their doctor’s orders. I tend to fall on the annoying patient side, one of those who do not automatically do whatever their doctors tell them to do; not out of rebellion, rather out of a spirit of collaboration and wanting to do my own evidence-based research.
Kelly further reveals that those survivors of cancer approach healing from a different perspective, where taking control of your healing is not only considered good but is essential for the healing process. The first of three things involved is that these individuals take an active (versus passive) role in their health. How many of us were told over the years, be sure and do what the doctor tells you? We have sat by and watched loved one suffer by simply doing what the doctor told them. My former mother-in-law had breast cancer in the 80’s. She had a combination of radiation and chemo. I was horrified when I saw her chest after a radical mastectomy of both breasts. She was burnt to a crisp. The next year she died, not from cancer, rather the stress on her body from all that she went through.
Over the years I’ve heard story after story of people that died from the stress of their bodies due to treatments that stripped their immune systems of the ability to heal their conditions. In my own family, my father went through 4 years of doctors attempting to get a diagnosis of his failing health. My mother knew he had Multiple Sclerosis because she had an uncle that had it. She attempted to get doctors to test daddy, but all refused telling her he could not have MS because he was too old. It was after he was given a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) that I began to research on my own. No way he had ALS because he did not have the 1st symptoms. I searched and found a doctor in Montgomery, Alabama who was willing to see him and test him for MS. That is exactly what he had, but by the time they correctly diagnosed it, the disease had progressed to the point where medications that could delay the progression did not work and he died the next year. This is only 1 of several personal stories I could write about when doctors refused to listen to the “annoying” patients that simply attempted to get involved in their own health.
Patients have every right to discuss protocol and procedure with their doctors, and those doctors need to listen.
Kelly states that the second thing the healers she studied also believe is that patients must be willing to make changes in their life, to go inward and carefully examine the ways they can change in order to regain their health. I concur with this. Ultimately, we are the ones that cause most of our illnesses so we are the ones that can heal them. Our lifestyles, our diet, our attitudes, etc. are a part of our ills. Kelly addresses each of these in future chapters.
The third is that her healers believe they must be able to deal with resistance. That is frightening when you are sitting in a doctor’s office and they are using every fear tactic they can muster to scare you into treatment their way. I remember well the day I told my doctor I had decided to go alternative. I was prepared for resistance but not as much as I received. In brief, I am not supposed to be here today writing this, however, I will add that I am not playing God with my body. It was only after MUCH research and prayer that I chose to be an “annoying patient” although did not know this was the perceived impression at the time. My choice was made before I discovered this book. The book has only confirmed what I was already doing and gave me an added measure of faith to follow through with my decision; it has motivated me onward. Today, I am constantly fighting to rid my mind of the words he spoke to me. The upside is that this exercise is building my faith.
The point is that there is far too much data today that gives us alternative ways to attain optimal health. Starting with Integrative Medicine can at least make your healing experience more tolerable. We just need to do our homework. The best would be to collaborate with our doctors in a mutually agreeable setting where the patient is a part of the plan. I am confident enough after all my personal experiences to suggest that if you have a doctor that simply refused to listen to you, then change doctors.
There is a story in the book of a man named Shin, a young Japanese entrepreneur, that was sent home to die when the medical profession had exhausted all attempting to heal his body of a large tumor on his right kidney, and advanced renal cell cancer. He had less than a year to live if chemo and radiation were not effective; they were not. Cancer had spread to his right lung and rectum giving him only a few months to live. He had nothing to lose so he began to apply alternative techniques. That was in the mid 80’s. Shin has been cancer free since 1988. His story is remarkable and proves that the power of love (one of the chapters addresses love) healed his body, along with other alternative measures he took to regain his health.