Monday, November 11, 2013

Alternative Medicine; Is it for You?

When I was first diagnosed with Leukemia I received an influx of advice; some good, some not. I know that each and every person that offers advice simply wants to help; they wanted to share their knowledge and beliefs, in an effort to heal me. I believe that it is human nature that leads us to this behavior; we want to help, we want to fix what is wrong and most importantly, we hope to cure the person that we care about.

Sometimes these efforts are from personal experience, but more often than not, the advice comes from what a person has heard or read. I am certain that they are all well intended but I believe that each and every one of us must choose our own path; when you are faced with cancer, you most likely will choose the path that has the most documented success.

Medical professionals are constantly researching and learning how to treat illnesses, such as cancer; and to some degree, we are all guinea pigs. While I do not doubt that there is often harm associated with a cure, sometimes it is our only option.

For now, my type of leukemia IS experimental; it has only been treated for a little more than a decade; there is still so much that is unknown. For example, we do not know what the “long term” effect, the medication that currently keeps us alive, will have on our bodies; say ten MORE years down the road. I choose to take that risk and live. I hope that somewhere down the road, there will be an alternative. Maybe even a cure.
As far as alternative medicine is concerned, I truly believe that treating what we can with herbs and oils and other such things is totally feasible. The first thing that I grab when my chest is congested is eucalyptus oil; I use it in the steam shower and it opens my chest beautifully. Peppermint is great for mild nausea, chamomile is soothing and melatonin is a terrific sleep aid.

I also believe that yoga helps my overall well-being and by “feeling” good, I believe that my body is better suited to fight cancer. I know that a massage makes me feel like a million bucks and that when I take time to meditate; it is easier for me to focus. I LOVE my chiropractor and trust him explicitly. I try my best NOT to ingest any unnecessary drugs, eat a healthy diet and exercise. All of these things that have been pounded into our heads, our entire lives! So, I guess that this form of alternative medicine is works for me.

I continue to research practically every type of medical condition that is brought to my attention, and attempt to use my best judgment when dealing with my own health. I understand when people ask me whether or not I have tried some hair-brained treatment, slept in a vinegar wrap or spend three hours a day hanging upside down, I know that it is their way of “helping”; most often I simply smile and reply, “No, have not tried that one; yet!” But please excuse me if I respond by saying, “You let me know how that works out for you, when you have cancer!”

I know that that may seem harsh, but what each and every person that has a disease that they are fighting on a daily basis really wants, is your support on whichever path that you have chosen to take.
The only real alternative is; Do we live? Or Do we die?

I choose to LIVE!

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