Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sitting with uncertainty

Overcoming vanity by posting
this pic of recent SFBC fundraiser.
I've missed a few movie updates: In the last few days I have seen Cloud Atlas and Safety Not Guaranteed. Cloud Atlas, the book, was one of my all-time faves. The movie was a decent attempt at an epic project.

I am obsessing over a calendar I'm making in iPhoto. It's killing my shoulders.

Here are some books I've gotten from the library, recommended in different places, though I haven't looked at them yet:

  • How to Live Between Office Visits, Bernie Siegel, M.D.
  • Choices in Healing, Michael Lerner
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book, Jack Canfield, et al (freebie at Art for Recovery)

This Sitting with Uncertainty discussion page is part of the Commonweal website, a local place that offers six retreats per year for people with cancer. They charge $2,500 for a week's retreat. (I remember when I first heard that, I thought it was expensive!) Anyway the discussion is interesting, not unlike what I am tending to write here.

I found that page because I was checking out Kokolulu Farm and Cancer Retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii, a place mentioned by Misha but that offers something way beyond what I am looking for and for that reason way beyond what I am willing to ask someone else to pay for! (I applied for a scholarship but I was unclear as to whether I got one. In any case, the rates they were quoting were close to 1,000/day.) Wow, there's something kind of horrible about talking about money. Anyway the people there are super nice.

Here's someone else's interesting cancer blog: Bonnie Gintis. After a chat with Candradasa (visiting from New Hampshire) yesterday I realized I should make this blog searchable so more people can have access, which I have done. Anyway, on one of Bonnie's posts she sites a study done by a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley about spontaneous remissions of cancer. Six things were found in those who thrived:
  1. Deepening one's spirituality.
  2. Trusting in intuition regarding health decisions.
  3. Releasing negative and/or repressed emotions.
  4. Feeling love/joy/happiness.
  5. Changing one's diet.
  6. Taking herbal/vitamin supplements.
Panel at Entheogenic Wellness meetup.
Older guy, 2nd from rt., did a cool ritual at the end.
When I read stuff like this I think, What about the people who did these things who did not experience spontaneous remission? What about the people who did none of these things who experienced spontaneous remission? Well. Those people weren't the subject of the study. I do think that a lot of what one hears about cancer is bullshit, though not necessarily on purpose. A friend of a friend drank kale smoothies/ate a lot of lemon drops/____ and was completely cured! It isn't that I'm not happy for these people, I just don't believe that they have complete understanding of what exactly cured them. What if it was actually the radiotherapy they were given, or some combination of things they did or didn't do? And even if they did somehow know for certain what cured them, they're not me.

I went to an "Entheogenic Wellness" meeting and panel recently at CIIS with Lisa S., Candradasa and Jessica. I frankly suspected they might be a bunch of drugged up yahoos. (I'm working on the cynicism, but apparently not very successfully.) Some of it was about the interrelationship between human physiology and plants, and there was some science. However, there was nothing about treating physical disease.

P.S.  My hair seems to be coming in at very different rates in different places, which is fine by me. Main things were the issues with my eyes and nose, which for the last few weeks have resolved. I remain without hair under my arms which is fine.

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