My Dearest Doctor,
Let me begin by saying I appreciate the care that you have given me over the last few years. You have done your best for me and I truly appreciate it, but the time has come to end our relationship.
I realize this decision may come as a surprise to you. You will likely doubt my sensibilities and may in fact think “the cancer has gone to her brain”. I assure you it has not. In fact I feel confident when I say I have never been more in touch with my inner wisdom.
You see I realized that our relationship, your very office does not promote my healing. Every time I visit you I spend weeks before hand trying to ignore the dread I feel. Trying to strengthen my resolve to not let what you say affect my inner balance. The thought of seeing you or having you call stresses me out.
You see we come from two different schools. Your medical degree is very much in pharmaceuticals. The options you offer treat the symptoms and not the cause of the cancer. Even if your options work I remain in fear that the cancer can return and I am helpless. There is no nutritional guidance, no talk of lifestyle, of changes that can be made to reduce the chance of recurrence with the exception of remaining on medication for as long as possible. Medication that I cannot take for the rest of my life due to the cumulative harm it will do to my body. Your words of hope are that this may buy us enough time until the cure is found.
You speak as if cancer is this big mystery and in doing so you do me and every other cancer patient a disservice. It is time that we are honest with the problems that we face. They are a creation of our own lifestyles and of our society. The food we eat, the water we drink, the chemicals we use in our shampoos, sunscreens, and bug sprays to the chemicals we use on our house and garden, to the air we breathe, to stress we place ourselves in every single day. There is no big secret cancer cause, it a breakdown within our body because it is being bombarded in numerous ways. Lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, lack of purpose, continuous medications, and the list goes on and on.
I know you deal with patients day after day and many of them are unwilling to take responsibility for their own health. The thing is I am not one of those patients. I realize that you probably don’t know what to do with me, but I am an opportunity. We live in a world that is constantly changing and the amount of information and communication available to us is at a new high. I understand that much of this information has not been through the process of clinical studies, but I also recognize that much of it will never be studied within our current system. Our current system is very much based upon profit. This system ignores some very vital information and it does so with the response of “it hasn’t been studied” or “there are no statistics to back it up”. Well, I am a statistic, but no one is tracking me. No one wants to, not even you.
I have spent hours, so many hours that at this point it would translate into a degree, researching healing. My curriculum has not been decided for me by those within a given system. My educational institution has not partnered with any companies or organizations that then are able to influence the information I am given. My grant money does not come from organization hoping I will further their agenda.
This battle is personal to me. I very much have a stake in the outcome. It is my life that is on the line. I have walked your path. I have tried your chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and pharmaceuticals, and I have found them to be very wanting. To the point where I have found myself in the same place again, and you recommend the same weapons for the battle. I can no longer agree to this plan of action. I almost died the first time we chose these weapons. I do not think it likely that I would survive wielding them again (and again and again). Regardless, these weapons are not something I care to wield. I have grown in strength and knowledge in other areas to the point where I will not subject my body to these treatments again. It is time for a new battle plan with new weapons. There are so many options out there that you seem unaware of.
Every time I come to see you I have to remind myself that cancer is not this big scary unknown thing that we have no clue about or why it happens. To me your reality is the one where we are pretending. As I watch people die from this disease I see how they have had chemo and radiation to the point that their body can no longer withstand it, yet still it continues until they are a shell and then you send them home with no hope. I’m sorry; to say these things to you, but you are one of the major lines of defense in this disease. I like you and I just don’t understand why a smart man like you hasn’t started to connect the dots. Then I think that most people don’t want you to connect the dots and to go against the establishment is suicide, yet we need more doctors to do exactly that.
If you don’t believe this to be the case then let me give you a list of books to read. Let me tell you my life story. Let me interview your patients and have them share their stories with us. In all of our time together you haven’t really gotten to know me. You run a test and provide me with results and then tell what my options are based upon your learning. There is never just one path to anyplace, but especially to healing. For you to act as if there is, is again a disservice to me and to your patients. Healing is personal; we are not statistics or a number given to a case file. Each of us is unique. Our habits our own, yet we refuse to look at this. We refuse to treat the whole person. Medicine needs to be individual, yet we are treated based upon the average. Individual medicine isn’t profitable; it doesn’t equal billions in drug sales.
This last round of blood tests where my tumor markers were slightly raised doesn’t take into account what has been occurring in my life. I once again face major life decisions. I have been unhappy and I have been scared. I have noticed that I have been tense, meaning I walk around with my brow wrinkled and my shoulders pinched. I have been doing a treatment that I do not agree with and is in fact responsible for causing further cancers within people, something you downplay. I know if secondary cancer does occur then you will just suggest further chemo or radiation that will weaken my body. It is a cycle that I refuse to let begin again.
Regardless of what happens, I know that this path I’m travelling allows me to have a life that I enjoy. A life that I will savor every minute of. I will give my body time to heal. I will give it the tools it needs to heal. Your system poisoned me for a year and a half. In one year I’ve managed to shrink my tumors, but even more so I feel stronger, I can breathe better, the pains I use to have on a regular basis no longer occur, I’ve gained weight, I no longer cough all the time, I can walk for miles and still have energy. I couldn’t do this at the end of your treatment. The truth is that I feel healthier now than I have since I was first diagnosed.
The thought finally occurred to me as I sat dreading our future visit that I had the power to end this. If you were a normal person and you made me feel this way I would avoid you. As my doctor, I’ve actually paid you and even when you have delivered good news I have felt as though it is only a matter of time before I find myself dying. In the course of healing I have chosen I don’t have room for people like this. You either help me, encourage me, empower me, or you get the hell out of my way.
I may not get as long of life as everyone else, but then again, I may outlive everyone. No one knows the future, but I must walk this path. I’m afraid our paths must diverge my dear doctor. Our futures lie in opposite directions. Maybe we will encounter each other in the future and I’ll be able to tell you I’ve managed to heal myself completely and you’ll ask me how and I’ll tell you the story. I’d like that. Then maybe next time when a patient hesitates and says there has to be another way you’ll remember me and be more open to them exploring other avenues without adding to the sense of immediate doom and sudden death they feel. You have so much power and I know you have the best intentions, but it’s time for me to reclaim my power from you and put my faith in myself.
Until we meet again dear doctor, be golden.