Making Right Choices
Cancer is a cruel joke. Why is it that some people who have wonderfully healthy habits get cancer while others who have terrible habits don’t? Why do some people live to a ripe old age in spite of unhealthy practices like smoking, bad diets and a sedentary lifestyle, while young people who have barely had a chance to develop bad habits die? Why do vegetarians get cancer although they shun meat, while voracious meat-eaters get away seemingly scot-free? Why do people who try to live as organically as possible, including eating primarily organic food, still succumb to cancer? Why are the cancer statistics in Asia climbing, considering most traditional Asian diets are generally healthier than modern Western diets? Why do people who believe that God will heal them die, while unbelievers live?
We’ve all heard of people who followed everything their oncologists told them to do, and still died of cancer. They suffered through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, even mutilating procedures like masectomy, only to succumb to the dreaded disease. Of course, there are also many cases of people who chose an alternative cancer treatment approach – generally gentler, free of side effects and not harmful – who also lost the battle. Clearly, there’s no one approach – whether conventional or unconventional – which can guarantee a cancer cure.
In a forum thread which I stumbled upon recently, one person wrote about a friend who “lived’ an extra couple of months following the traditional medical route for cancer, but suffered terribly during those last days. Another person wrote about a friend who had rejected allopathic cancer treatment, opting instead for an alternative approach. He felt great on this natural path and enjoyed a good quality of life until he felt unwell about a year later, when the cancer was found to have spread. He died within a week. So which of the two cancer patients had made the right decision? There’s no simple answer to this. After all, both ultimately passed away. However, the fact that one enjoyed a better quality of life is important.
I had a friend called Lesley once. She developed breast cancer when she was in her late thirties. She had tremendous faith in God’s healing, so she refused all conventional medical treatment when she was diagnosed. She went on to follow an alternative cancer treatment approach which included eating healthily and taking health supplements. Within two years, the cancer spread down her body to her hips and her legs. It ate away at the bone and walking became difficult for her. Reluctantly, she agreed to chemotherapy but rejected surgery, as she did not want her body to be mutilated. The chemotherapy caused her a great deal of suffering, but the cancer retreated and she went into remission. Her immune system had been severely weakened, though. That Christmas season, she left her home for a rare outing and contracted flu. Shortly thereafter, she was found in the toilet, dead. Officially, it was recorded that the flu had caused her demise, not the cancer or the toxic and aggressive conventional cancer treatment.
What to do, what path to take – there’s no easy answer. I can’t say that I always know for sure that I’m doing the right thing to try to keep breast cancer at bay, so what helps me decide? Mostly it’s whether I have a sense of peace. It’s difficult, if not impossible, for me to follow something through if I don’t have that. I don’t know how long I’ll live – nobody does – but as long as I do, I need to feel comfortable with myself. Nobody else can live in my body but me, and no-one can experience what I do.