As I have mentioned before, I think one of the biggest challenges with Cancer is the loss of control. I have felt that I have been able to gain some control back based on the alternative therapies I am choosing to do. One of them being acupuncture. Although, I have never participated in this practice my dear friend Ann does and she recommended her acupuncturist to me. There I was in this office with this adorable woman from China, Jing Fei. I explained to her my diagnosis and she told me how she has had many cancer patients in the past. Although, I was a bit skeptical of how having many needles put in me would help me feel better during the battle of my breast cancer, I took the leap of faith and laid down on the table. Like an artist on a blank canvas, or a seamstress needling thread,she began to expertly insert needles allover my body. Each one felt like a mosquito sting or a tiny little pinch. Then like a magician done with her magic she left the room. So there I lay with a bunch of needles poking out of me listening to meditative music. I felt like a forgotten voodoo doll. What if there were an emergency? A fire alarm? I couldn’t very well bounce up from the table that I lay on looking for the nearest emergency exit. Thus, I lay as still as a mouse, for fear that any slight motion would hurt or interfere with the magical power of the acupuncture needle. 20 minutes had passed or so when Jing Fei entered the room again. Just as quickly as she inserted the needles she pulled them all out. There I lay and wait, waiting for a “new feeling” to come over me……it didn’t. Jing Fei reassured me that acupuncture takes time. I walked away from the office, still a bit skeptical but confident that I wanted to go back and continue my “voodoo doll” experience again, confident that someday I would feel the benefit.
Armed with my blue bag (affectionately known as my cancer bag) filled with numerous file folders labeled oncology, insurance, family medical leave, research etc.. I walk into yet another doctors office. BUT, this office is different…I hear the sounds of melodic music and trickling water streams, today I am visiting an alternative medicine doctor. Since my diagnosis one of the biggest struggles has been the loss of control and feeling of helplessness. I know that no one can say what caused my cancer but I have my theories. I believe that the major amounts of stress that I have had to deal with in the last six years have been balled up into a 1.6 cm tumor in my breast. So here I am at a place to help me understand how I can better deal with that stress and what are other ideas that they may have.
I meet Dr. Neu and he asks me many questions. He wants to know if they are going to do chemo if my lymph nodes are negative and definitely questions it if they are. He believes the targeted therapy of herceptin is beneficial but not the chemo drugs. He goes onto say that if I choose to do chemotherapy that they can help complement with their own herbal medicines and then when my chemo is over detoxify me to rid my body of the toxic drugs that were put in me. He wants to order very specific blood tests that will determine different levels in my body. I walk away from that appointment feeling empowered. I don’t feel like a hapless victim but rather someone who is being proactive in searching out other methods. He has put questions in my head–and things to research. For example, the onco test? He thinks I should get it. I have never even heard of it. An onco test is a blood test that determines the necessity for chemo. It looks at many factors and then based on the score chemo will or will not be recommended. I am excited about this test and the types of information it can give me. Some control is coming back, if anything I can at least help my body feel better while going through chemo. If I even need chemo at all………….
- Acupuncture may ease cancer-related fatigue (updatednews.ca)
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Back It or Attack It? (whyhealthpsych.wordpress.com)
- Alternative Breast Cancer Treatments (keyetv.com)
- The changing picture of breast cancer (jacksonville.com)