One thing that has irritated me for the past few years is when I get advice or remarks from people about how “mind over matter” or holistic approaches may have/may aid in all the cancer bullshit I’ve had.
I’m currently waiting for my DNA results (no, unlike the movies you have to wait 6 weeks) to see what the diagnosis is with which syndrome I have. My mom and I already know, but doctors need it to assess the situation as far as my continued care. I’m already needing an organ removed as a precaution, and other complications have popped up that will always have to be monitored. It’s a DNA issue all around; it was pre-programmed, and getting cancer was going to happen to me no matter how I tried to avoid it.
As well meaning as it may sound, flippant remarks and pontification with regard to someone who has a pretty severe case of an advanced disease is just plain idiotic. I’d like it stop. That my “good attitude” saved me, that “God” had something to do with it; that maybe I got cancer because I smoked, drank, did drugs in high school and college. Keith Richards says you are wrong. Maybe I ate too much processed foods, too much meat, or my milk had additives. Monsanto didn’t give me liposarcoma! When I get people telling me, “I hear coffee helps prevent cancer” or “tomatoes are supposed to help fight cancer” I want to smack them with a 2×4. Listen, I eat tomatoes almost every fucking day (it’s weird, I have a thing for tomatoes), and I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 21. So no, it didn’t help. Acupuncture, ginger root, reiki and all of the crap that the Whole Foods going crowd tells me to do? Guess what, I had it all done at some point in time. It doesn’t now — nor did it then — aid in fighting cancer cells. I’m not going to go and spend money I don’t have (thanks to medical bills) on your Chinese medicine hoo-ha or color therapy practitioner in hopes it will stave off anything. It won’t. I actually had someone tell me I should try to avoid radiation because it was *bad for me* and try a more holistic approach. Clearly this person was an idiot with no understanding about aggressive cancers, and they didn’t seem to get that having a massive tumor with tentacles crawling through my leg, then dying, was also bad for me. “Maybe you should meditate”, no I’m pretty sure wine helped me not have a freak-out during my treatments. It was either that or Xanax, and my oncologist said wine was an awesome choice.
A sense of humor and a sassy attitude didn’t save me. In fact, I’m pretty sure timing, lasers, the top surgeon in the world for my case, and SCIENCE saved me. Attitude had nothing to do with it. Radiation and slicing me open = winning! In fact doctors kept telling me youth was a major factor as well.
So the next person who tells me about their herbalist, or an article they read in some stupid magazine about what foods I should be eating? Well, they can suck it. Would you tell someone with a broken spine to drink mint tea and get their chakras aligned? No.
Viva la SCIENCE!
2 thoughts on “Attitude and Cancer? I’ll Take Science”
Arabella, this is beautiful. Thank you for saying it! Holistic stuff is fine if you don’t really have a problem but feel like you do…or if you’re so far gone you just want to feel like you’re doing something to help. But in the thick of battle…where you fully intend to fight hard and win as long as you can, science and medicine and treatments can totally rock and kick cancer’s ass.
i freaking love you!!!!!