We just returned from the Cleveland Clinic for my quarterly scans and MRI’s. During those three days, I met a number of patients like myself who were on treatment or had liver transplants. What impressed me was their determination and intention to get the best care for their specific illness. They knew they could not be complacent and think that a pill or an operation alone, would save them. I got back to our home yesterday, and wanted to write down some thoughts about why I decided to start my “Lifelines” project. A lot of it had to do with having to struggle and negotiate ( for years) to attain personalized care.
Moshe Frankel, MD, has also done research on exceptional outcomes and found “connections” to be a common theme. There were internal connections, meaning a relationship with God or a higher power, and with oneself. And there were external connections, or those with family and friends, the medical system ( physicians, nurses and other staff ), and other patients. Personal activism was another recurrent theme that involved taking charge, getting engaged in the process of diagnosis and treatment, being more altruistic in one’s relationships with others, and changes in philosophy of life.
Toward Safer, More Effective Cancer Care
Crucial lifelines, such as personalized care, may or may not be found in your clinicians office. But the answer is more complicated. Other critical lifelines such as personalized vaccines, anticancer nutrition, animal surrogates, and other strategies might very well be found only outside the office. Moreover, of all the available lifelines, only a small percentage of patients are aware of these real opportunities; they often may not realize which precise lifelines could be potentially lifesaving for them. My work focuses on the specific targeted strategies/therapies of which most patients are unaware. This interaction assists them in building a “Triad of Survival” with their oncologists.
Following your initial diagnosis, you may find an overwhelming amount of material coming from well-meaning doctors, family and friends. Building your Triad of Survival, will help you discern the most critical factors in keeping you alive. Survival encompasses a whole package of things you need to do, even though it is sorely tempting to be a good, compliant patient and just take a pill, without doing anything else to help you survive.
Individuals facing advanced, unusual, or aggressive disease often need to go above and beyond the typical standards. They also need to understand the basics of survival, including outside the box thinking and tactics, along with innovative strategies.
You can rise above this
There is a way though it
You can survive!