A Chapter from the Forthcoming Memoir, Healing Cancer Peacefully: When Your Body’s Not a Battlefield, It Can Tell You What It Needs
By Dr. Nancy Offenhauser, D.C.
IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER…
Take a deep breath.
Realize that fear is a natural response. Also realize that there is much more to the total picture than your doctor is telling you. The Western approach is fear-based, not hope-based, and is only one of many that you can take. Fear depresses your immune system and makes it harder for your body to handle challenges. So, therefore,
Take another deep breath.
Do nothing. This is the fabulous Step 0 on herbalist and author Susun Weed’s decision tree, without which you cannot make a sound decision. You need time to get yourself accustomed to your new reality. This is the time at which you are most vulnerable to your doctors, family, and friends who might be pressuring you into a course of action that may be best for them but may not be best for you. Let them state their case once. Then it may be necessary to withdraw from them and think about things. In most cases, you don’t need that expensive and toxic diagnostic test today that may lead up to an expensive, toxic, and invasive course of treatment tomorrow. You have time to think about it.
Take another deep breath.
Take a good look at where your life is now. What is the cancer telling you that you must change? Think about how you’re going to change it.
Now you may be ready to go on to Susun Weed’s Step 1: Gather information. A warning here: If what you’re reading and hearing is too scary, put it aside and go somewhere else. If you’re finding Internet chat rooms frightening rather than empowering, avoid them. While you do need a certain amount of medical information about your condition, what you’re reading about it may well be a worst-case scenario.
Check out what the herbalists, Chinese herbalists and acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, alternative medical doctors, and Ayurvedic doctors have to say about it. There is an abundance of material out on alternative methods of treating cancer, with many differing philosophical approaches. Until you have some idea of several of these multiple approaches, along with the conventional Western one, you are NOT
prepared to make an informed and balanced decision.
Take another deep breath. Sit with the information you’ve gathered for a while. There’s a lot of it.
Begin doing things that improve your general physical and mental health. Do what you want. Figure out what that is. Give yourself permission for the long-awaited vacation or change your career to do that thing your heart desires.
Take another deep breath. Sit with the information a while longer, as you keep doing things that make you feel better. Never underestimate the value of feeling better or the cost of feeling worse.
Listen to your heart. Please only yourself, not anyone else, in making your choices. Don’t wait until the eleventh hour before surgery, chemo, etc. to decide whether you really want it. Once you’re that far along in that process, it will be increasingly difficult to stop it.
Listen to your heart. Pray for and listen to inner guidance. Take another deep breath. Continue to gather information. Choose a course that you are free to change if you wish.
Figure out what you need to know, as opposed to what your doctor thinks you need to know, and discuss these differences with him or her. Keep toxic and invasive procedures to a minimum.
Watch movies and read books that make you laugh. Norman Cousins emphasized and popularized this concept. It works.
Others have been on this path before you. Read and listen to as many heartwarming and uplifting success stories as you can.
Remember, you are not alone.