Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend Ramblings

I wonder how other cancer patients make their big decisions on their treatment? The first time I made a big decision was when I chose alternative treatment much to the disappointments of some of my family members. When I started to blog about my cancer journey, some concerned readers (even now) encouraged me to take conventional treatment. One reader even went as far as pointing out to me to read some information on kidney cancer sites as she felt I had been misinformation when I made the decision. I know all these people meant well. I realised that when I make a decision that is not inline what some of them want, the back off, even close ones. I don't blame them. So, I feel very lonely when I make such decisions. At work, I do give a lots of recommendations and yet when my boss makes a different decision, I will continue to support him. But I find that I don' get this kind of support in my cancer decisions. It's like either we are on the same page or I be wasting my time. I know of some cancer patients that will follow their spouse, children or sibling's decision. Unfortunate for me, I make my own decisions. If I don't follow the advice of a loved one, he or she is disappointed. For me, I have different reasons and most importantly, I should not burden someone else with my life and death decisions. This has to be my own responsibility while I may consider their views under advisement. So overtime, people will leave me alone, because they say I don't listen. I just wish that there would be someone who will unconditionally support me for whatever decisions that I make on my treatment. Someone who will not judge but encourage me because this is the time I am vulnerable and need support most.

I spoke to some cancer seniors, people who had cancer earlier than me, about their cancer journey. Almost all of them would say their first two years are problem free. Problems starts to set in on the third year onwards. Then the tumor would start to grow and/or the therapy that they are taking is not working so well. I think the logical explanation is that a person's body is still reasonable strong after a cancer diagnosis and by the time two years is up, the body becomes weaker. The cancer and the body feeds on the same nutrients available but the cancer cells have the advantage. I believe this observation is highly suggestive of the likely hood that the real battle starts from the third year onwards for people who lives more than two years but are not in remission. When I look at my own case, it does fit into the model. So what am I trying to get at? I don't know if it's a co-incidence that a number of patients that I know did not make it during the third year. So what I had in mind is that cancer patients should pay particular attention to their body/therapy during the third year onwards. It just an observation. Perhaps I have been thinking too much and frightening myself for no reason at all.

Talk about bad luck. How low can one's luck go? The other day, I received a renewal notice for my car insurance. So I read the noticed but noted that the insurance company has put in a loading of 10%. As far as I know, the loading only comes in when the car is 10 years or older and my car is only coming to 7 years old. I bought the car new and have been driving since. What shocked me most was towards the end of the notice, I saw the words printed in large bold letters "Renewal Not Invited". I have been insuring with the same company for the last two years and my track recored was good enjoying maximum no claim bonus. There you have it for no apparent reason, the insurance company loaded me extra 10% and then at the end it tell me I don't need your business. I was really lost for words and wondering why on earth this is happening. I am so disappointed that I will not be asking for an explanation. It like getting a slap on the face. It never happened before but I guess there will be a first time for everything. Well at least they have the decency to inform me earlier. Anyway, I will take my business elsewhere.


  1. I totally agree with you. It is difficult enough to make decisions about your own treatment and you do not someone else to add to your doubts. Fear and ego drives people's actions.

    About your car insurance, let it go. Like you say, take your business somewhere else.

  2. There's no right or wrong in any decision we make for our treatment option or the road that we choose to deal with the small "c" .
    In your case you decide to go for alternative treatment and there's people not agreed with it .
    For me , I choose conventional treatment with chemotherapy and ... :) ... there's people not agreed with it too .
    I believe all cancer patient face the same of what we go thro' . Whatever decision we make, there's comment or support and not support .
    So, just choose what is right for you and go ahead with it .
    No one know our body better than ourself .
    Especially for you, you have did so much of reseach and you are continue doing it . So, you are not making decision base on hearsay, therefore , don't let all the comment bother you.
    I have a very good support from my family and friends for whatever decision I make , as they know that I did my reseach and I know what is best for me .
    Anyway, people are still surprise with my way of dealing with chemotherapy, as I did not follow the normal way of other patient did. After the 1st year , I start to use the wait and watch approach . I go for chemo therapy for two to three cycles , once it stable my condition, I stop and enjoy some quality of life , sometime for upto a year .
    Yes ! I am fully agreed that after the 3rd years things is different, I personally feel it . Last few months, I am thinking alot over this issue too. But, not worry about it , as I have prepare to face the worst and have told my wife all the possible thing could happen in coming months/years and she is ready to face it too . Pray and wish all the negative possibility will not come and I can go for vacation as plan.
    Good luck to you and me . Wish we will continue putting up our sharing in our blog many many more years .

  3. Dear CT,

    Since you chose to post this on your blog, I shall provide some insight. You are not presenting the full picture to your readers.

    People back off not because you do not follow "their choices" but because you actually don't listen to advice yet keep complaining abt your problems.

    An analogy wd be like this. We advise our grandparents to avoid unhealthy foods but they refuse to listen yet they keep complaining about their high cholesterol. You are like the grandparent.

    As concerned friends, we try to protect you & make you see your ways. However, you will still go about your old ways expecting different results.
    Yes, when one is concerned for you, one will be disappointed especially when one wants to see a better outcome for you. If such concern is construed as a lack of support & not accepting your decisions, then I suggest you find some better friends who will agree with everything you do be it harmful for you?

  4. Chang,

    Talking support, it is indeed your own life so it must be your own decision, let be blunt abt it, reflect the scenario of pledging egg and bacon breakfast, the hen & the cow are obviously making very very different level of support.

    Since not many people have gone this far as you into alternative therapy so what is the worth of their views.

    To me you are very bold indeed , firstly in choosing a non-traditional therapy and now honestly telling us that you have lost some friends and perhaps even some relatives because you are firm in your decision with the therapy

    I support you, my friend


  5. Dear Kok Piew,

    Some close friends and family members becomes disinterested. Like when I stopped homeopathy, I am out of their radar. Some therapies I do are are experimental and I agree I do complain a lot.

    I have lost one very good supporter because of my stubbornness.

  6. There was a cancer warrior who recently returned to the Lord, who took a similar path like you, ie opted for alternative treatment over conventional treatment. After doing her research, she decided to go for Gerson therapy, and her entire family supported her decision. Her sister had even accompanied her to mexico for the Gerson therapy. She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at that time. Followed the Gerson therapy very strictly for 2 years. But body condition did not improve over that period. It came to a point where pain started to seep in, causing extreme bodily discomfort, and she found herself bed ridden. By that time, she yielded herself to conventional treatment after much encouragement from family members. Cancer had unfortunately metastasized to stage 4. She suffered a lung collapse, and could not walk any longer due to weakness in her backbone. Chemotherapy helped prolonged her life for another 2 years or so.

  7. Do visit for an uplifting journal of another cancer warrior, stage 4 colorectal cancer. Diagnosed at 28 at stage 4, she is now 30 years old and soldiering on with much courage and living a life full of hope despite the challenges. A remarkable story that's unfolding each day. She had a total 17 cycles of chemo and a very extensive surgery, and welcomes the challenges ahead with bravado. While undergoing chemo, she still works full time, hit the gym after chemo, and busy herself with her own new cancer foundation. A devout vegan, a wife, a lawyer, a fighter....

  8. Dear cancer warriors, do read the autobiography of Lance Armstrong, another cancer survivor, 7 times tour de France winner. Another remarkable survivor story. Miracles do happen. Mental state is critical. You must believe you will live and have faith. Surround yourself with people who will uplift you.

  9. Speak life, not death, each day to yourself. Through meditation and prayers, put yourself in a state of calmness, and positivity. Speak each day like a warrior who is about to win the war against your condition. When you fill yourself with positive energy, you will attract positive people and energy around you. Speak LOVE each day. All of these will breathe life into you.

  10. Hi CT,

    I support you.