Scientific Fact or Intuitive Crap?

Scientific Fact or Intuitive Crap?

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I’ve always held the view that alternative therapies are valid treatment options to use alongside, or at times in place of, conventional modalities. In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure society, there are many times when the answer to a simple health issue can be found in slowing down, taking time out, eating better and exercising more. Not always, but often.

I wouldn’t say I’ve been an active patron of alternative therapists through the years. I have a pretty healthy respect for modern medicine and its fastidious process of evidence-based, peer-reviewed research to substantiate treatment claims. I’m not going to turn away from science unnecessarily.

That’s not to say I’ve never engaged in anything but standard medical care. I have seen the odd Naturopath, had acupuncture at various times, a Kinesiology ‘balance’ with a practicing friend, and used herbal remedies occasionally to combat illness.

However, while I’m willing to give most things a go, I approach everything with a questioning mind, and put a lot of effort into researching the validity of different healing practices. If there’s no proper evidence-based scientific research to back up its declarations, I steer clear. I follow the premise that when things sound too good to be true, they generally are – Caveat Emptor.

Until my Breast Cancer diagnosis, I’d never really had any reason to examine the claims of so many therapies in detail, but having Cancer fills you with uncertainty and conventional treatments prescribed by teams of Oncologists, like chemo and radiotherapy, are scary and brutal. There are no promises that they will succeed either, and besides quoting the latest survival stats, no right-minded medical specialist can give you the survival guarantee you so desperately seek.

It’s a tough road to travel. And all the while, everywhere you look, there are shiny proclamations of ‘natural’, easy alternatives. Ones that don’t make your hair fall out or have a whole host of scary side-effects. Amazing treatment protocols with fancy sounding names, incredible cures unearthed in the depths of the Amazon, wellness regimes and dietary crazes spruiked by smiling celebrities, and conspiracy theories that tempt, confuse, and ultimately mislead.

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There are people everywhere proclaiming to have cured terminal disease with nothing but food, or juice, or frigging snake oil and bicarbonate soda, willing to sell their secrets or include you in their ‘wellness crusade’ for a fee. There are apps and cookbooks to buy, health retreats to go on and supplements to take. There are plasma amplifiers, electro-magnetic devices, supplement strategies and spiritual remedies. There is B.S. everywhere.

We Cancer patients are easy prey I guess. Desperate to be well, searching for hope, and struggling daily to push away the fear of metastases and a plethora of unanswerable questions like, ‘Why me?’, ‘What went wrong?’ and ‘What will happen to me?’ It’s easy to capitalise on despair.

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It makes my blood boil.

Selling false hope and unsubstantiated quackery to vulnerable people is not only morally reprehensible, it’s downright dangerous.

Because I am very comfortable with my decision to follow the advice of my surgeon and oncologists and pursue conventional treatments for my cancer, I don’t actively search for alternative therapies or seek out the opinions of practitioners outside my team. I feel like I’m in sound, capable hands. It hasn’t, however, stopped me from wondering about the reason for my cancer and wracking my brain futilely.

Yesterday I stumbled across an article professing to extrapolate on the reasons Breast Cancer occurs, or as the author put it, ‘the reasons we create the Dis-harmony of Breast Cancer’. While there were no proclamations of cure, there was an insane amount of garbage spewed forth by someone professing to be a ‘medical intuitive’, who describes herself as a ‘walking, talking MRI’ and charges exorbitant fees ($185 per half hour) to supposedly ‘use their self-described intuitive abilities to find the cause of a physical or emotional condition’.

Apparently, I ‘created’ my cancer because I don’t LOVE myself enough, don’t view myself as a ‘pure, sensual woman’ was NEGLECTED as a child (by a male figure, because my cancer is in the RIGHT boob), am TOO NEEDY with my partner and I’m RESENTFUL of others.

YUP.

Breast Cancer = Needy and Resentful. My cancer is my fault…or maybe my dad’s…or my bro’s.

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There was more. A lot more, but I found myself reading through a clenched jaw and gritted teeth.

Way to go, lady! What a service you are doing to the cancer community by spruiking your clairvoyant crap! Let’s make cancer patients feel even worse about their plight! Let’s concoct a whole host of wacky reasons for Cancer under the guise of helping and healing.

Take your freaking nipple chakras and internal vibrations and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. There’s my little bit of intuition for you!

Ugh.

 

For those who would like to read this drivel in full, go here. Feel free to voice your own response on her Facebook page here, although don’t be surprised if your comments are deleted. Apparently any kind of alternate view to hers is unacceptable.

Holy Shit You Look Amazing!

Holy Shit You Look Amazing!

A few months ago, there was not one measly little hair on my scalp. Not one. The chemo drugs had killed off every single hair follicle, and with them, the hairs they contained. I was completely hairless! Everywhere.

Which makes THIS picture pretty fucking fabulous!

 

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It’s so good it deserves a close up…

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After everything it has been through this year, I almost find it hard to believe my body is able to recover at all, let alone start doing so this quickly. But ever so slowly, I am starting to see and feel the healing process at work. It is wonderful! Here I sit, a mere six weeks since my last chemo infusion, with a fine fuzz adorning my head. Yes, it might be greyish white and still quite sparse, but I don’t care! It is HAIR!

Hooray for hair!

I want all of you to stop what you’re doing right this minute, find the nearest mirror, and instead of bemoaning your regrowth, your rain-induced frizz or those few sneaky grey hairs, announce loudly, ”HOLY SHIT YOU LOOK AMAZING!”

For optimal levels of self-love, I recommend repeating that process on a daily basis.

I’ve taken it a step further, on the recommendation of funny-girl Zoe Foster Blake, and have popped a sign with that very phrase on it in the middle of my bathroom mirror. No matter how gross I feel, It makes me smile every time I see it!

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Life’s too precious to waste feeling crap about yourself. I knew all this before, but now that I’ve been pushed to the absolute brink of self-acceptance and have had to dig really (REALLY) deep to love the face that’s staring back at me in the mirror and the body I no longer really recognise as my own…it’s something I try to actively engage with every single morning.

What’s the point in wasting time on ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’! Believe me, I have said more than my fair share of both in my life, and I’ve spent a lot of 2015 pondering where I went wrong, what on earth I did to bring on Breast Cancer, and ‘WHY THE HELL ME’!

Well…the only meaningful answer I’ve been able to come up with, in all my hours of wallowing in self-pity and questioning the unfairness of a cancer diagnosis is –

WHY THE HELL NOT ME?

I have met so many truly fab women this year, all travelling a similarly tumultuous road to recovery after a diagnosis of cancer. And I can tell you, amongst all the fear and despair, they still amaze me with their optimism and good humour, their ability to shove cancer to the back of their minds and get on with living.

It’s made me realise that the human spirit is a powerful force. We all have a lot in reserve to draw on when things are testing.

I’m off to look in the mirror again!

Kate x