Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer will be all too familiar with the feeling of being bombarded with information. From booklets, leaflets and info sheets from the hospital and charities, to books and the myriad of information available on the internet (some of which isn’t necessarily true or helpful and a lot of it is very frightening). It’s easy to feel very overwhelmed by your diagnosis and with the whirlwind of beginning treatment there is so much to take in.
Well meaning friends and relatives filled my inbox with research, statistics, things to try and I filled my time reading books, websites, blogs and articles. I welcomed information on alternative treatments, and was grateful that people had been kind enough to think of me and send on different possible avenues to explore. I was also reading a book called “Choosing To Heal: Surviving the Breast Cancer System” by Janet Edwards, which I’d picked up in the library section of the complementary therapies centre where I was having acupuncture. I’ve always been interested in, and have regularly used complementary therapies such as reiki, reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy and crystals etc.
The more I read about the “cancer system” and possible alternatives to conventional cancer treatment, the more confused I became. How could the hospital be recommending treatment to help to cure me, yet be part of a system, or ‘establishment’ that wasn’t looking after my best interests?
I know some are particularly dead set against conventional cancer treatment and I fully respect others’ own individual views. I admire and am pleased for those who have walked away from medical treatment and have had successful results. It’s such a personal, and difficult, decision to make. When you’re still relatively young, or at any age for that matter, and are looking down the barrel of a weapon loaded with cancer – with your life being the gamble – I decided it was a risk I personally didn’t want to take.
I know that there are many amazing professionals working every day to help people battle and fight this disease and to help find a cure and extend people’s lives. The progress that has already been made in terms of increasing survival rates over the years would not have been possible without the research and advancement in medicine and technology. If I had been born a few decades earlier my prognosis probably wouldn’t have been as it is today, and for that I must be thankful.
Once I’d finally made the decision everything seemed a little easier to cope with, no questions over your head about whether it was the right or wrong thing to do. Now I just had to crack on and get through it.