I thought my last blog about cancer was exactly that – the last one I’d write. It just shows how unreliable I am. It appears this subject is not finished with me yet. For those readers who have shown forbearance with my obsession until now, thank you. I can only hope that I have something more to say which justifies your patience.

This blog is in response to a politician in Ireland who recently died of pancreatic cancer. I remember hearing about his diagnosis 18 months ago and thinking that Dr. Gonzalez had a good record with pancreatic cancer and that were I in his position I would seek the advice of that doctor. I’m sure he didn’t. Such doctors as he lie outside the pale. They are unknown to all but those who actively seek them out.

They have no support outside the system because their methods do not follow those considered to be best practice (or any kind of practice at all). Instead of support they receive harassment from authorities who ignore the many stories of cancer cures and/or remissions emerging from their patients.

The question struck me this morning: what would I do if I had a cancer diagnosis given to me today? Was there ever a cancer patient who expected to hear that he or she had this disease? I doubt it and yet the statistics are so stacked against us that it’s probably worthwhile considering the question every day.

Just imagine: you wake up and ask –  do I have cancer? Nobody can live like this, I hear you say… It reminds me of the stories of the religious orders who kept skulls to remind them how short life is – the so called “momenti mori”.

I believe that disease is fundamental to the human condition. It’s fundamental to the condition of all living organisms but I guess naturally we’re more concerned about what happens to us. We live at the grace of the Universal Intelligence. We have checked into the universal Hotel California of Life. Every day the front desk calls us to ask whether we want to check out. If we consistently refuse to answer the phone, the management decides we need a more serious reminder and slides the bill under the door. That’s cancer. The wake-up call beyond all wake-up calls.

So if I had cancer tomorrow, the first question I’d ask myself is: is it my time to check out? For most of us I assume the immediate answer is, no. I have too many things to do, too much life left to enjoy, my purpose on this planet is not done, I still have family to look after, the mortgage to pay, etc, etc, etc… Well all this may sound important to you but until now the Universal Intelligence hasn’t been too impressed.

So you decide that it’s not your time, you’re going to fight this thing. That is one strategy. It will certainly rouse the troops; a call to arms for the immune system. But you might be better served by a subtler response. Perhaps life is calling you to the negotiation table. Your job now is to find a way to demonstrate to Nature on all levels that you should live.

I don’t like the sound of my own words here because they imply that there’s some sort of fairness on an individual level. There is no fairness or meaning to life and death on an individual level and no guarantees. I believe these concepts do have value beyond the chaos of our individual existence but even that is just an opinion. Nevertheless I think there is a dialogue and the cancer cells are nature’s representative at the negotiating table.

The first thing I would do is to sit back and research my options. The one advantage you have is the ability to think consciously and evaluate your options. This is not as easy as it seems. There is a whole cancer industry, a giant cancer-treating machine which has the government stamp of approval. It’s waiting just outside your door to treat your cancer.

This entity employs many, many well meaning people who are convinced that this is the only way to move forward – your only chance to beat this thing. Among its ranks are the experts, the specialists, the oncologists – the only ones who have the legal right to claim that they can actually treat cancer.

Many years ago a friend of mine in business told that me that if 9 people tell you you’re drunk it’s time to start staggering. He was referring to the power of advertising but I think the observation is a more accurate statement about the power of public opinion. If you want to consider options beyond the scope of the cancer machine then you’d better be prepared for the naysayers, those who are going to tell you that you are irresponsible for waiting, for not jumping immediately into whatever combination of chemotherapy, radiation or surgery is considered best practice for your cancer.

I’m not asking you to ignore these options but they need to be evaluated in the light of the alternatives. The trouble is that the alternatives are practised by doctors and practitioners who operate outside the cancer machine. As a result, they are the renegades, the heretics and they are for the most part harassed and hounded for their heresy. As a result, you’ll need to dig a little to find them. Thank God for the world wide web because at least you now have a tool to research these brave souls out. Because they are there. They do exist and cancer treatment isn’t just about the Big Three.

Understandably fear is the most immediate reaction for all of us. We don’t want to die because we are afraid. However, fear is probably more deadly than the cancer itself. It will paralyse your thought process. You need to think clearly, creatively and individually. So as fearful as you are now, you have to pull courage out from deep inside you and face the situation coldly and analytically.

Apart from bravery you’ll need time and respite. This is not a luxury most of us seem to be able to afford. The imperatives of life do not stop just because of a cancer diagnosis. However, if you decide that it’s not your time to check out then you have to step off the wheel of the daily grind or at least slow down sufficiently to figure out your best options and gather your resources.

There are people out there who have devoted their lives to researching, studying and/or treating cancer without resorting to the Big Three. Find them and consult them. The knowledge is out there but you have to go and find it and evaluate its relevance for your situation. You have to widen your bandwidth of knowledge. Embrace the entirety of cancer treatment options.

Be careful how and where you start because this will have an influence on your chances. Most who try alternative treatments do so only after conventional methods have clearly failed. The trouble with chemotherapy and radiation is the damage done to non cancerous issue. This all-out attack on the cancer cells may seem to work for a while but if the cancer survives the initial onslaught it will adapt. If you come to the negotiating table with guns you’d better kill the other party completely and quickly because any survivors will become immune to your bullets. Meanwhile the collateral damage has weakened your ability to continue the fight…

Part of your thought process should be to consider what may have contributed to the formation of cancerous tissue in the first place. Consider toxicity and nutrition.  These are subjects traditionally ignored by the cancer machine. Reversing any conditions likely to have caused cellular stress in the past will obviously increase your chances of survival in the future. I believe that these are necessary conditions for survival but not necessarily sufficient. Unfortunately, once cancer grows beyond the single cell it develops a life of its own…

Cancer is a whole person disease so apart from whatever physical and biochemical treatment options you choose, there is most likely a spiritual and emotional dimension to address. Cancer is perhaps the most personality-changing disease known to man. So many of those who survive come out the other end transformed.

Once you have reviewed all your options, make a plan. You need help so enlist a team to support you and ask for help.

It would be nice and neat if I could offer you a cure-all formula of remedies, the silver bullet drug, the definitive schedule of treatment to reverse all cancers. Sadly the source of our foe is deeper than that. It seems that for every cancer patient there is a unique cancer journey. So I’ll just recapitulate my meagre words of advice for anyone who is facing this diagnosis today:

–          Decide whether it’s time to check out or not

–          Don’t assume the conventional route is the only (valid) option

–          Don’t be driven by fear – you may be afraid but find the courage to guide you

–          Research your options and enlist the help of those who know more about your condition (especially those who have treated your condition with success)

–          Take a break from your daily grind – you need the time to think and the extra energy to face the days and weeks and months to come

–          Consider what aspects of toxicity, nutrition, and your emotional & spiritual life may have created the conditions for the cancer to form in the first place & make the changes to address them

–          Make a plan and adapt it as necessary

–          Enlist a team to help you

–          Be open for all outcomes – for some patients, cancer turns into a chronic condition they live with for the rest of their lives.

Good luck, and may I have the courage to follow my own advice should the day come.