Since my cancer diagnosis and subsequent change in lifestyle which called for a complete overhaul of my diet, my dad has considered me a sort of family health guru. He calls me for advice on everything health related (much of which I cannot help him with because it calls for the intervention of an actual physician). He also brags about me to anyone who will listen and gives out my phone number at a whim. He will then let me know that this one or that one may be calling for advice relating to their own or a relative’s recent cancer diagnosis or other such health issue.
I have to say I have mixed feelings about this. While I am happy to share my experiences with folks who may benefit, I don’t feel that I am qualified to give cancer advice in lieu of a trained oncologist! My path has worked for me but is not a one size fits all cure all. In fact, that is the problem I had with the oncologists I dealt with when I was exploring whether or not I would but my body through the radiation and chemotherapy that was recommended for my early-stage breast cancer. The cancer had not spread and was stage 1. Although it was an aggressive type, I felt that subjecting my body to these harsh treatments may be more harmful than beneficial. My goal was to completely reverse the damage by nourishing my body and building up my immune system. The doctors had a protocol that was recommended whether you were in stage 1 or stage 4 of a cancer nightmare. There was no modification of treatments based on the individual needs of the patient. So, I opted to have the surgery required to remove the cancer but refused radiation and chemotherapy. I went for vitamin C drips for over a year and adjusted my lifestyle profoundly.
In a nutshell, for me, cutting out all processed, refined foods and adding an abundance of green drinks, smoothies and lots of salads to my diet seems to be working well. It has been over 3 years since my diagnosis and I have had no evidence of any return. I am under the care of a wonderful holistic-minded physician. But, he is not an oncologist. I feel that an oncologist would simply try to put me on drugs that I do not want to take. I monitor my blood, do regular MRI, ultrasound and occasional mammogram screenings. This is everything that an oncologist would do, sans the drugs.
Back to my dad, his recent health-related call to me was to ask advice on how to deal with his diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. What? Me? I know nothing about atrial fibrillation and would never dare “prescribe” a treatment course for him! He has way too much faith in me. This is sort of an odd paradigm since while I was growing up and to this day, I consider my dad extremely critical of everything and everyone, including and especially his family members! I suppose I should be flattered.
I actually did have a recommendation for him. I told him I would contact my doctor to see if he has experience dealing with A Fib. My doc is the only doc I have ever known who is actually available via email. If I have a question or concern, he is only an email away. And, he always responds fairly quickly. He is a treasure.
I sent my wonderful doc an email and as expected, he responded. What was interesting was his course in treating this condition. He said that he has successfully dealt with A Fib patients by identifying food sensitivities or other nutritional imbalances. When I let my dad know, he was excited. Of course, no other doctor had ever suggested evaluating his diet or had tested him for food sensitivities. I am intrigued as well. So, off to the doctor we will go. I will fill you in on what he uncovers after my dad has the necessary evaluations.