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Alternative cures

mbh97766's picture
mbh97766
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 2010

I am scheduled to begin my treatment of chemo/radiation on December 2nd. Going through the process is pretty overwhelming but once I made up my mind to cure this thing, I've just put my head down, and one foot in front of the other, doing what I need to do. The problem is, I'm getting a little bit of pressure from some very well-meaning friends to look into alternative cures. Many people believe that there are better ways to treat cancer than pumping poisons into our bodies. And maybe there are, but these treatments are not well documented and the statistics are "iffy". My friends are encouraging me to try alternatives (i.e., the hydrogen peroxide treatment?) first. The short term and long term side affects for chemo and radiation in the "nether regions" is pretty daunting. My fear is that what would happen to me and my cancer if I waited? Would I be doing more harm than good by trying something different first? And what about the emotional yo-yo that I would be one - I don't know if I could handle that? The minute I was diagnosed, my immediate reaction was "get it out of me"! I don't want to give this thing time to grow and spread. I feel quite lucky right now that it hasn't (I"m stage 2 NOMO).
The other issue is that I feel my cancer doesn't belong to just me. It belongs to my family as well, namely my husband and my daughter. They don't want me to die any more than I do. My prognosis is good - 80 - 85% and in cancer speak, I call that 100%. So why would I mess with those figures? They want me to go the traditional route and get healed.
I can take a little discomfort for a few months. It won't kill me. But long term affects do scare me. So I find myself taking pause right now.
Has anyone else dealt with this? Has anyone else considered alternate cures?
I have two weeks to decide for sure how to proceed. I was tattoo'd today and am on target for the 2nd. Why do these people make me question myself?

z's picture
z
Posts: 1273
Joined: May 2009

I know this is a hard decision to make. I know I never thought about an alternative treatment, I was told from the beginning that this is a curable cancer, and you can't say thay about a lot of cancers. The main thing is to catch it early and treat it early in its smallest stage. I had Stage IINOMO Anal Verge cancer. I went through the standard tx and finished on 6-30-09, and I feel better now than I have in years. Yes the side effects are not pleasant but there are many things you may do to counter act them. Yes I did'nt want to put poision in my body either. Until they come up with better treatment options this is the curative treatment proven to work. I wish you well in your decision, and until someone goes through cancer, its really hard to say what they would actually do. I think they are just scared and don't want you to have any issues with the treatment. The drs moniter you and your blood very carefully and the radiologist checks you weekly to make sure you are not burned. Its a very short treatment period and the recovery is what takes longer. Lori

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3119
Joined: Jan 2010

When it comes to cancer, well meaning people can be a real pain in the ass (excuse my choice of words--but it's true). All they do is serve to put doubts in our heads about what our doctors are recommending. Chances are none of your "advisors" have M.D. after their names and I prefer to get my medical advice from someone who does. I'm not saying that alternative medicine can't aid in getting rid of cancer, but the protocol that your doctor has planned for you has proven results. It's very true that the chemo and radiation you will be getting will wreck havoc on your body, but most of that will dissipate once you are done with treatment and recover. Yes, there can be lingering effects. Some people have digestive issues, others have bowel issues, and some have joint issues. Some people have all three--like me. However, I have learned to control most of these things through proper diet and exercise and they have minimal impact on my day to day living. You stated that your first reaction after being diagnosed was "get it out of me." Well, radiation is considered non-invasive surgery and will get it out of you. Your tumor is small and localized. Delaying treatment may give it time to invade surrounding areas. Things to think about. Obviously, you are the one who has to make this choice. If you are even considering alternative treatment instead of the standard protocol, do your research--specifically for anal cancer. I think you'll find all information will point to chemo/rad.

mbh97766's picture
mbh97766
Posts: 39
Joined: Nov 2010

Amen to that - and I don't need doubts right now, I need strength. That's what I love about this discussion board. You've helped me feel better about my choice. I'm an intelligent person, and I've been doing nothing but research for 4 weeks now (hello - I'm on this board and haven't even started treatment yet)I know that doctor's are not Gods, but they do know a whole lot more about this than most people do, just as I know how to make a perfect pair of drapes. We are all specialists in our own right. I must put my faith and trust in them now, and yet stay cognizant of what my own body is telling me. I appreciate your input.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3119
Joined: Jan 2010

I agree, we all must have faith in our doctors. If we run into one who we do not believe in, then it's time to find another one. But it sounds to me like you have a good medical team who are educated on the standard protocol. There are no guarantees in medicine, but I will always go with what gives me the best odds. I think you are headed in the right direction. I hope you know that we are all here for you to see you through this. Those of us who have already done this can make things easier for you--just tell us what information you need. You will get through this!

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Hello, I tend to agree with Martha and those on the board. With my latest diagnosis and waiting to hear if the tumor has shrunk, I'm starting to get 'well meaning' friends telling me to go to a 'better hospital', try something else, etc. And while I intend on doing a lot of research and get second opinions if necessary, ultimately it is my body and my choice. When it comes times to make some choices and decisions you know I will be back in here to ask those that went before me what their thoughts are. Please know that everyone in here is supportive and care about your well being. I hope that you will be in here often before, during and after treatment with questions if you have any. Prayers and thoughts are with you. Marilyne

TJ30
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm Big on intuition. Some people on their first thought think Standard, Others Think alternative.

I know some people who were in later stages then you with differant cancers and thought only about alternatives. They did very well by them and were cured.

I think something is to be said for Integration of the two. Oasis of Healing (stop makeing cancer.com) in Arizona Is a Intergration of both, useing (IPT) Low does chemo and natural methods.. Diet and exercise and methods of creating a body that is inhospitable to cancer for a life time of health.

Usually it is the other way around people telling friend's or loved one's to go conventional. This is your body so you make the calls!

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

I've read about them. But with Anal Cancer there is a protocol that has proven to cure 85% of the cases. The treatment is short compared to other cancers. For me, the odds are in favor of the proven protocol and I personally wouldn't take any chances with just alternative treatments. The people on this board are a testimony to the success rate of the chemo/radiation protocol for anal cancer. Thank God, we have lost very, very few members - still sad of course, just saying that the survival rate of those of us on this board speaks volumes for the success of the protocol.

Just my opinion, of course you need to do what feels right for you. Either way I wish you healing.

Liz

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

That's what my onc called it - the gold standard of treatment for anal cancer. It has such a high cure rate that I didn't consider anything else. As I recall, Farrah Fawcett decided against aggressive chemo and pursued alternative treatments which did not work too well for her. I would rather stay with something that works.

nonichol's picture
nonichol
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I have to agree with Martha, Marilyne, Lori and Liz. the chemo/radiation is a proven method to deal with this cancer. My cancer was pretty far advanced T4N1Mx. I finished treatment August 27th and just two days ago I found out my biopsies are clear. Waiting for the results was so stressful. Now I am breathing a sigh of relief and have no more tests for four months.
Please visit the board often for strength and support.
Best wishes,
Norma

z's picture
z
Posts: 1273
Joined: May 2009

Hi Norma,

I must say again how great this news is of your clear biopsys. I know what a relief it is to have the results. I told my oncologists that 1 of the worst parts of the treatment, is waiting for results from biopsys and scans. So my next scan I have an appointment with him the next day. He better have the results. lol. Lori

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 522
Joined: Jul 2009

Good news! So very happy that all is clear! I've been off the board for a few days so not sure if I congratulated you yet. Doesn't matter, your news deserves lots of congrats!

Thank God all is well for you!!!

oooxx
Liz

nonichol's picture
nonichol
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks Liz! Lori, thank you also, and I hope for our doctors sake he has the results ready:)

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Norma - what fabulous news to hear!!! Congratulations on your clear scans. Made my whole day reading this. Marilyne

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

your excellent news Norma! It is so difficult not to get scan related anxiety. Wonderful that you don't have another one for four months!!!
Smiling,
Joanne

nonichol's picture
nonichol
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Joanne,
Thanks, and yes I can not believe how stressed I was. I am so relieved and trying to just enjoy the good news.
Norma

nonichol's picture
nonichol
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Marilyne,
I have been reading your posts the last few days about your December exam. That is exactly what I was going through waiting for the multiple biopsy results from my ultrasound last week.
It was stressful, the most stressful test yet, of course I am only a couple months out of treatment. I also still have a mass and the Doc told me the other day that with a tumor as big as I had, it is not unusal to have a nodule.
So, it sounds like we have very similar situations and I hope this puts you at ease at least a little. But, I cetainly know how nerve racking it is.
Norma

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

Oh Norma, I came in here to check on people and see if I could add some encouragement or information if needed and I happened on your post to me...it lifted my spirits more than you know. Not that I want you to have the same thing, trust me, but the fact that there is a possibility of a nodule still left from a large tumor that someone else has gives me some hope that perhaps it will have shrunk some by the time I have my December 9th dre and scope...and even with a biopsy there is a chance it can come back clean...I'm being as hopeful as I can be - but I admit I have my moments where I tear up and worry...so thank you so much for adding this in here...sometimes you just need to hear that someone has gone through this too to feel better, if that makes sense. Thanks Norma. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Hugs, Marilyne

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

I would never tell you what to do...But I can tell you from personal experience what happened to me.I did the usual protocol for anal cancer and am now 27 month NED.This treatment works! Yes there are lots of side effects,but small compared to death.Your "friends" are not living with this diagnosis..you are!!!Easy for them to say..Let them walk in your shoes...alyse

sissy310
Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

How wonderful you are 27 months NED, congratulations! Also, just wanted to add that your statement that the 'friends' are not living with this dignosis rang true. Everyone is ready to give advice but they are not going through this. This is why I love this forum. We are all in the same type of boat so to speak and hearing of each other experiences and suggestions and coping mechanisms mean so much more. Everyone here KNOWS what this is like. Thanks for your comments. Marilyne

TJ30
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2010

Increase your results with both. Tell your friends to research and help you put together supplements that go well with standard treatment. Also look into diet, herbs that help ease chemo reactions, Aloe on radiation,vitamins, Exercise, yoga, massage, infared saunas, etc... There is a cancer survival guide cook book. http://pcrm.org/shop/cancerproject/survivors_guide.html most of all prayer! Perhaps your friends suggest things because they want to help. Of course run alot of things by your onco and doctors first. I'm not sure if Farrah Fawcett started with conventional treatments or not but I do remember her doing alot of Alternatives out of country. Alternatives work in some cases but not alot is known about them with anal cancer the standard treatment is 85% those are good odds.

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi All!

first of all nice to see everyone on the board and seem all are doing well! HAPPY HAPPY THANKSGIVING! So much to be thankful for!\

I have to just chime in as this is one of my favorite topics! I love to see the varying views. Not to alarm, but I had Stage 1, and was supposed to be NED and then found out it went to my liver. I still wonder how that was possible with Stage1 and nothing in lymph nodes, etc......but as far as treatment.....I just want to say that I believe a combination of eastern and western philosphies is something to consider. I truly feel that shiatsu massage, acupuncture, herbs, etc., can benefit us greatly. I did the whole chemo/rad treatment with the original diagnosis
I chose surgery only, when I was diagnosed with the mets to liver. I did not feel going through chemo again was going to benefit me.....since at that point it was preventative. I wanted my body strong to recover from surgery and my oncological surgeon agreed with me even though my regular onc did not. My daughter was furious, but now understands why I made that decision. I feel great 9 months later....but if it pops up again somewhere, I will go with the chemo again......I think :)
Anyway, I wish you a quick and successful treatment!!!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1273
Joined: May 2009

Hi Sue,

Its nice to see you, and you have a Happy Thanksgiving too. I agree some of both is good. I only did the standard tx, but I ate well and started walking and drinking lots of water. I have had occasional massages, and need to do that more to get the stress out of my body.

Lori

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