In my hutch I have a Mr Benn mirror. It allows me to transform from Guinea-pig to Scribe without any accompanying music (sorry those of you did not receive Mr.Benn in your formative years, I’m sure you can find him on You tube). Today after completing this neat little trick, after a rather busy and varied weekend I find some-one has posted ‘Do you think there is any danger that someone reading this might be mislead into refusing medical treatment (which is likely to be more successful for most people)?’ – Wanting to use this blog to try and give a considered answer to this valid question has somewhat delayed by a week my usual Monday guinea-pig scroll.
Do I think there is any danger that some-one reading this might be mislead into refusing medical treatment ( which is likely to be successful for most people?)
Hmmm. Squeek. Hmmmm. Mind whirrr and cogitate.
Firstly I think that refusing medical treatment is not the same as choosing alternative approaches and treatments. We are culturally informed that medical or allopathic treatment is the only way of dealing with cancer. But the truth is of course is, that there is not one truth, and the purpose of this blog is to provide, in a gentle and compassionate manner my own thoughts, commentaries and resources on how I have chosen to work with a cancer diagnosis. The fact that this viewpoint runs counter to accepted medical narratives does not make it invalid or dangerous.
I mean some people get cancer and die, some people get cancer and live.
Some people like Micheal Gearin Tosh get diagnosed with one of the harder cancers to treat and given 3 months or so went on to live and work (he was an Oxford professor) for eleven more years using only the Gerson diet and then if I remember rightly got a tooth infection, refuse antibiotics and die of blood poisoning. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2005/aug/06)/guardianobituaries.obituaries). Some people might spend twenty years having treatment, being in remission, having more treatment, being in remission, getting more treatment etc etc and then die a horrible death. Some people might be in remission from the cancer itself but die of side effects that manifest years after the original treatments (and hence statistically remain on the success rate index of cancer drugs). Some people might survive savage treatments and go on to have a natural life span in relatively good health, others might choose other means of working with cancer and live.
Cancer is personal, arbitrary, and endemic.
Secondly, allopathic medicine tends to occupy an imperial position of absolutism and thus unwittingly creates binary opposition for anything that does not come under its remit.
Thus in the Blue corner we have the ” we have the drugs, we have the knowledge, we have the technology. Step out of the way and let us get on with it (and we will deal with the consequences later)” – and in the Red corner : “Cancer is an immune system malfunction and by repairing and strengthening it through gentle and natural methods, the bodies natural wisdom will prevail. Anything that further destroys the delicate ecosystem of the body is counterproductive and is to be avoided. The body has it’s own knowledge and is its’ own best healer.”
Yet for a cancer diagnosis how many of us believe that latter in our deepest heart of hearts, but would choose the former out of fear, cultural pressure and perceived necessity.
It is true that for structural problems -bone breaks – and emergency situations (like car crashes) that need some linear focused problem solving, the blue corner comes out quite well. For more systemic problems the nature of the pathology is often bigger than the presenting symptoms, which points to the need for greater understanding of the subtle inter-connectivity of the unseen workings of the body, and this is slowly being accepted in parts of the medical world. There are people trained in medicine and oncology who are bridging this polarity between red and blue corners and instigating the concept of a healthcare that is integrated and holistic. Dr Nicola Hembry, Patricia Peat, Dr Rosy Daniels, Dr Julian Kenyan to name a few, though of course as the NHS doesn’t pick up those particular tabs the individual pocket has to be lined with golden silk and a piece of plastic some people use for other purposes.
There are many reasons why I knew that allopathic medicine would not be right for me in the treatment of the cancer I was diagnosed with. I chose a long, and some would say arduous path of integrated body learning, that is ongoing, and that is not most peoples’ path. We all have our professions and our apprenticeships, and for some of us it might be appropriate to learn our craft outside of institutional learning in unconventional situations. I am lucky I could do that in this lifetime. And if I can help others along the way then bonus.
But am I dangerously encouraging people who would otherwise go and get cured by conventional treatment that is proved to work, to chase a dream and thus jeopardize their health? Well I have no conversion mission in place. I would imagine that most people reading this are intelligent enough to make their own informed decisions if push came to shove and they found themselves in a similar situation. Informed decisions mean being aware of all the facts and coming from a place of empowerment, but also being aware of the bias behind the production of some facts. As I said much earlier in a previous post I have full respect for people who have chosen the allopathic route, (and I myself have danced with it briefly but that is another story). This blog is meant as a reminder that there are always ways to think outside the box and that illness and wellness themselves are a never ending, subtly shifting dance not dichotomous fixed words.