Lifelines will help you build and maintain a personalized treatment plan, or what I call the Triad of Survival. The Triad of Survival is a crucial element of any cancer patient’s journey. It is a fluid, constantly updated set of targeted treatment plans developed by you, your oncologist, and your inner circle.
Following your initial diagnosis, you may find an overwhelming amount of material coming from well-meaning doctors, family, and friends. The information you find here 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.
Cancer patients with advanced, unusual, or aggressive disease often need to go above and beyond the typical standard of care. They also need to understand the basics of survival, including outside the box thinking and tactics, along with more innovative strategies. The tools and lifelines in this book, as outlined below, may very well help you to stick around.
Of the many lifelines I tapped into, below is a short list of my integrative medical lifelines. You can see that it is hard work to stay alive. Clearly, I have had more than one doctor and have used more than one treatment! When people ask, with great trepidation, “Do you think I should get a second opinion,” I can’t help but smile. Take a look at my history:
- Several leading-edge liver procedures, including a transplant and radio frequency ablation
- 20+ oncologists
- 7 liver surgeons
- 5 interventional radiologists
- Countless medical opinions from medical centers in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, California, Texas, New York, and Massachusetts
- Numerous phone consults, including those with:
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
- Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
- Tufts Medical Center
- University of Massachusetts General Hospital
- Physicians in Europe, including:
- Great Britain
- Countless immune boosting IVs
- 6 different chemotherapies
- 5 years of clinical trials
And this is the short list! As you can see, it takes intention, hard work, discipline, and persistence to stay alive when you’re diagnosed with a serious cancer.