This is one of those things I don’t like to think about, but here it is: from PZ Meyers I’d feel schadenfreude, except that it’s such a damn sad waste. The gist of the article? Those that try and treat their cancer with herbal supplements might actually be increasing their cancer risk. Even worse? Replacing medicine with herbal supplements nets you a five times higher risk of dying of the disease in five years.
So what is my mother using to treat her DCIS? Cruciferous vegetables and vitamin supplements.
Before you ask: yes, she has a prescription for tamoxifen. She took the first three month round, got a refill and now the untouched jar is sitting in her medicine cabinet. Rather than spend money on drugs, she’s paying a website called Life Expectancy–or something to that effect–somewhere between forty and fifty dollars in order to get some book that has all these “protocols” for “natural healing”. If you read PZ’s blog and what he linked there, this may not be money well spent.
I have this gnawing fear that I may get a phone call in the future. One that involves me taking a trip to North Carolina. An unplanned one. Because things aren’t going so well. And time might be limited or running short.
It’s not something I like thinking about. But it is a real possibility.
For the past year, I’ve asked myself questions, a lot of questions. Am I doing the right thing? Will taking this drug actually benefit me? Am I on the right course with my condition? Will I be okay? Is there an easier way? What if there are other methods that could help? You name it, I’ve mentally asked it. Because this has been an uncertain journey, a path that is fraught with self-doubt and self accusations. It’s been a rough road, one that still unfurls before me. If I thought that eating a bucket of kale could cure me, you better damn well believe I would do that! If lemon juice could fix the problem, I’d be drinking it every single day. But those methods aren’t proven; there aren’t any facts to back up the claims. So I keep taking my medication every day.
I know that my mother is doing what she feels is best for her. But the facts aren’t there. There isn’t a lot of evidence that what she is doing will actually help. So I sit by the phone with a sense of deepening dread, wondering if today will be the day I get the call.
It hasn’t happened yet. I just fear the day that it will.