In the past three months since my diagnosis, the flood of information has been non-stop. Between my doctors, my friends and the internet, I am overwhelmed with all the different approaches to treating my cancer. I have even had doctors in the same practice give me conflicting advice. For example, my urologist answered my question about removing my prostate after it had metastasized with an emphatic “No” saying that there were no studies that showed it would any effect. Seems to me that if the prostate is leaking cancer cells it would make sense to yank it out of there! On the other hand, my radiology oncologist claimed that he had attended a lecture earlier in the year where a speaker claimed that either removing the prostate or radiating it would extend the effectiveness of the drug that I’m on now.
Recently, a close friend loaned me a nine hour DVD series entitled “The Truth About Cancer” and although I’ve only watched one of the five DVDs the evidence that chemotherapy is manipulated by the medical industry and that it is killing people is compelling. According to the program, colleges that taught holistic medicine were systematically forced out of business over the last hundred years and replaced by schools that espoused the administration of synthetic drugs. Instead of prescribing drugs that cure illnesses “Big Pharma” exists to make a profit. One website (https://www.statista.com/topics/1719/pharmaceutical-industry/) reports the U.S. pharmaceutical industry generated over $440 billion in revenue last year! I plan to watch the rest of the documentary but it’s almost hard to watch.
Another good friend arranged a conference call with a former doctor who was diagnosed with advance prostate cancer 16 years ago. He claims he is living cancer free today because he was introduced to Dr. Gonzalez in Manhattan. Dr. Gonzalez has written several books and developed a protocol of enzymes, supplements and coffee enemas. Can you imagine ordering that at your local Starbucks? He too claimed that chemo is toxic and refused to take it. I just started reading his massive book “Conquering Cancer” and hope to learn as much as I can.
The most exciting development was an introduction to the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) in Bethesda, Maryland by a friend at church who is going through exactly what I’m going through except that he was diagnosed five years ago. NIH is a Federally funded research facility that is responsible for discovering many of the drugs and treatments that are being used today. My friend participated in a two year clinical trial at NIH and feels they are responsible for improving his quality of life. We both agreed that even if the study didn’t cure us the data generated by the study could help future cancer patients. I emailed the person at NIH who is over the prostate cancer trials and within a day Anna called me to discuss the trial but there were several seemingly impossible hoops that I had to jump through. On Thursday morning I prayed that if participating in this trial was God’s will that He would provide a way. God answered my prayer and we leave for Bethesda on Monday!
Right now I am conflicted about the type of treatment I should turn to. It would be hard for me to put all my trust in a strictly holistic approach when all I’ve known has been traditional medicine. I also recognize that every doctor knows a lot about their area of expertise but very little about other modalities and even less about nutrition. For example, I asked my urologist to recommend a dietary protocol and he faxed me a one page sheet suggesting I drink pomegranate juice and eat a handful of walnuts every day! It’s like the saying “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. It seems that there are two extremes, holistic or traditional medicine, or an integrated approach that combines elements of both.
It’s at times like this that I remember my life verse Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”. I made Jesus Christ the leader of my life and have surrendered my will to Him over twenty years ago. I certainly don’t trust everything I read on the internet and I don’t completely trust my local doctors but I trust my Heavenly Father with all my heart! Psalm 103:2-3 says “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases”.
I’m reminded of a former pastor who was fond of telling the congregation that “Your knees don’t knock when you’re kneeling on them”. Please join me in praying for discernment as I weigh out all my options.
In Christ’s love,