Jun 15, 2011 - 7:39 pm
I've been lurking for a few months, checking out the threads on complementary therapies and appreciating the insight and wisdom shared here. Most of the time, I haven't felt "qualified" to jump into the dialogue, so I guess I've been a sort of free-loader for a while. But in the past couple of days--prompted, I think, by a very sobering consult with a radiation oncologist, with whom I think I'm going to have treatment in a couple of months--I finally have a comment worth starting a thread over.
First, some brief background: I was diagnosed with endometrial adenocarcinoma, grade 2, clinical Stage I, in January, 2011, after about six months of increasingly heavy vag bleeding & some clear discharge. I was perimenopausal, or so I thought, being 52 and not having reached a year since a "real" period. A transvag US, 2010 in August was unremarkable; D & C scheduled without urgency at that point. But by January, my bleeding was dangerously heavy, and so the initial pathology results didn't surprise me. Unfortunately, during surgery it was obvious that I had some lymph node involvement, so I entered the system in February (so to speak) at Stage IIIC2. Since then, I've had 4 of 6 scheduled rounds of Adriamycin & cisplatin, supplemented all but the first time with Neulasta. My lab results (after a first WBC crash) have been good and my exams clear to date.
I can't say that I have ever been a great fan of allopathic medicine, but it was true that I was terrified and desperate upon getting the staging news, and the chemo/radiation route seemed the "best" to me at the time. However, I have been checking into other treatments, and at present consult regularly with an osteopath about vitamin D levels and other supplements. I also do yoga, meditation, and t'ai chi regularly; I'm about to add qi gong and some other supports.
My oncologist is not a touchy-feely sort of woman, but she is encouraging along with being matter-of-fact. The radiologist, now, was far more ominous to me. Maybe it's just because he was blunt. And so that started me (re)thinking, after a half-a-day's meltdown, about what it is, really, that I am looking to chemo and perhaps radiation to do for me.
What I realized, again, was that I don't believe these treatments will "cure" me in and of themselves. They're tools, rather crude ones at that. What they can do, in the best case, is supplement my body's own healing capacities. Ultimately, whatever health I have is my body's doing, mysterious as it may be. I want all my tools to work; I'm acting in ways to help them work. But I'm also seeking as many ways outside the oncology clinic as I can to promote my own body's resources.
Although my revelation may seem very obvious to many of you already, it took me quite a while to figure it out with this level of certainty. It feels good, oddly enough, even though there are no guarantees. I wanted to say thank you to those of you who have been posting so regularly and sharing your resources and insights for our collective benefit. I'll try to do better about being a contributing member myself.