One of the hardest times in living with cancer is the shadow time. For instance a physician might find an abnormal reading in a blood test. Physicians have a duty to tell their patients if they find anything out of the “normal” ranges. They make a diagnosis by asking for further tests to rule out more serious diseases. The skill in being a physician is to positively reassure patients that nothing is proven until it is found, but to maintain a rigorous investigation until the most likely cause is known. All that has to be done in a consultation time of up to ten minutes!
You might have gone through this experience. The surgery phones to call you in to see them. The investigation has begun. Your imagination moves through all the possible causes. The big questions are: Is it a false alarm? If it is true, where is it? If it has spread, where is it now? If you are in that situation think about it this way.
You might have one of those unspecific conditions such as a virus, a slipped disc, arthritis or a frozen shoulder. You might have a cyclical condition for instance breasts can swell and go lumpy before a period, an ovary might swell at around ovulation. Abdominal pain referring to the back might increase because of constipation after taking codeine based pain killers. Incidentally lumpy breasts before a period might be helped by cutting caffeine taking vitamin E or foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, wheatgerm or hazelnuts all of which are high in vitamin E. Men also suffer cyclical conditions too. Their hormones and moods also fluctuate. Did you know that the highest natural hormone production is early in the morning between 4.30 and 5.30 am?
You might have something more serious but why spoil today by letting your imagination play with tomorrow? Once a diagnosis has been made you have something to overcome. A friend of mine had a rare condition called Charcot Marie Tooth disease. It can cause loss of feeling from the knees and elbows downwards and difficulty in walking because of the development of the feet. He went to a help group but never again. Everyone had a negative story to tell. He arranged funding from his company to come and see me over two years. We worked on developing a healthy spine, mobilised all the major joints, balanced the pelvic muscles and best of all improved his rotation to help with his golf. Most of the credit must go to him for setting specific goals, taking up swimming and golf lessons. Over the period of treatment his golf handicap went down by 11 points! You would not know that he had an “incurable condition”.
What if the tests come back as cancer? For many of us the fear of cancer is much greater than the process of managing or overcoming it. A friend said to me, “The fear of cancer can kill you.” Let’s go back to the beginning, What type is it? What organ or joint or tissues does it affect? Is it likely to have spread? Can you combine orthodox medical treatment with complementary therapies? Who can you associate yourself with who has fought and won or taken life on the chin in a positive way? Someone said to me, “Healing begins in the mind”.