Beating the silent killer
Some time back, my sister became diagnosed with cancer.
As is usually the case when anyone gets a serious cancer prognosis the body momentarily goes into shock. Fear grips. All you want to do is to survive somehow.
Knowing she had cancer growing inside her was like imagining some form of alien mass that had silently invaded her, turning her into its own hideous self.
The problem is that often the “alien” will move along a person’s blood vessels towards other targets despite the person hoping that all had been successfully removed.
People battling cancer therefore sometimes – not always – will face numerous forks in the road where one organ site will clear up only to be followed by another subsequently affected.
Some cancer sufferers will have one crucial missing element in their fight to survive. “Mind” gets omitted from their equation! That may be because being under medical care, many people will leave it all up to the professionals to do the thinking and fighting for them.
I also suspect that being told there is little or no chance for some is reminiscent of what used to happen in indigenous communities when “the bone” was pointed at someone. Those who believed they were going to die, did die shortly afterwards.
On the other hand some with cancer don’t succumb. You occasionally hear of someone defying all odds and miraculously becoming completely cancer-free within months.
It’s not that they don’t utilize orthodox medicine. They do. But it’s more that they also utilize a number of other approaches – eg, mind/body techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, modified nutrition and so forth. Unfortunately you do get “snake-oil” salespeople peddling their false dreams, but there are also some exciting new approaches looking to make a major difference.
One of the more interesting approaches aims at boosting the body’s own immune system. Because this doesn’t necessarily involve expensive drugs, a number of researchers going along this path don’t get too much support from large multinational drug corporations because their research mightn’t lead to prospective drug sales. That’s why public support for cancer research is so essential.
This approach was what my sister elected to try after surgery and chemo had shown limited success with her cancer continuing its relentless spread throughout her body.
The experimental approach she elected to have as an absolute last ditch option involved harvesting from her own blood a number of cancer-fighting T-cells and Natural Killer Cells along with some cancer cells, growing this in a bio-reactor and cryo-freezing for later use as a cancer fighting vaccine. When later injected back into her these immune system cells immediately started attacking the cancers they were programmed to do plus worked on mobilizing the rest of her immune system to follow suit.
At the time of writing this piece, it’s unknown what the eventual outcome will be for my sister. Our family’s collective worry is whether it’s now all too late. My heartfelt commiserations for anyone – sufferer or relative – facing a comparable situation.
Article by Peter Perisce, Psychologist