Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Hope and a Future.

Stage 4.
Breast cancer
Lung cancer
Rectal cancer
Prostate cancer
Brain cancer

Makes you want to stop reading, doesn't it? So depressing. Hopeless. Edge of death.

There are six black recliners on one side of the room and six on the other - side by side with a small glass top table between. We're close enough for conversation. Close enough to hear each other's business. But then, it doesn't matter. We're all fighting the same battle. We're all comrades on the front lines up against the same foe. We watch each other's back. Care about each other's outcome, test results, setbacks and victories.
Some of us have been together from the beginning of the 3 week cycle. Others, we say good-bye to after only a few days. Some will say farewell to us and continue on to fight for another week or two.

Let me share a few of their stories.

Betty started out with lung cancer, which moved into her brain. She went the conventional way. She's undergone different chemos and treatments. All of them made her sick. All of them came with the price of side effects. She's from Wyoming.
Berry, also, started out with lung cancer which moved into his liver and brain. Conventional treatment - side effects. The day after his last radiation, against his doctor's advice, he and his wife hopped a plane so he could begin treatment at Century Wellness on Monday. They came from Massachusetts.

Jerry has prostrate cancer. He also did the conventional treatment. Same story. Sickness and side effects. He still has cancer. An avid golfer, he now has a hard time walking around. He's from Southern Nevada.

Mel is from California. He's in advanced stage stomach cancer, and has to carry around his stomach feeding tube machine. As all the others, he tried the conventional approach. Same song, different verse. Side effects. Some days are better than others for him. He's determined to kick the disease. Seriously, he should be dead by now, but he's not.

Aaron has rectal cancer - again. After the full round of conventional - chemo, radiation and surgery, he was given the "in remission" title. However, that didn't last. It came back. All within a year. He's from So Cal.

Each person speaks about the living hell they went through with their treatments. Not one of them speaks highly of their journey. They all dealt with doctors who considered any other alternative something only witch doctors dabbled in. They were all categorized, staged, given the dreaded countdown to eternity numbers and sent on to the infusion rooms and radiation rooms.
"This is how we do things. There is no other viable way. No studies to prove any other approach."
And in the immortal words of my dear ol' surgeon, "when are you going to use real medicine?"
But each of my comrade's stories don't end on a sour note.
They've all survivors. Not of their cancer. No, they are survivors of conventional methods that did not work, or caused more issues.
Each one of them walk in to the center every morning with hope and a future. They all look pretty good. Sure, there are red light and green light days. A little nausea; looking forward to an afternoon nap. Let's face it, we're still doing chemo - albeit in small doses. But the chemo is sandwiched between layers of nutrients, vitamins, minerals which repair and protect the healthy cells. Our bodies are fortified with life and energy to fight the good fight.
And along with that - something that I feel is the yummy sauce which holds the fixins' in place - we are given hope, encouragement, laughter, joy, peace, kindness...
We're told every day by the staff, whether in word or deed that we're important and cared for. They are on our sides. They want us to thrive - not because that's what pays their bills, but because they see on a regular basis the results of love and compassion and G~d given tools to repair and restore our bodies.
Combining science, nature, hope and prayer in the treatment of cancer.
Yes, this about sums it up.
(I've changed names to protect privacy)

Next - Graduation Day


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