Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hoaxes and Gumption

Spring in San Francisco
There's a hoax email about cancer attributed to Johns Hopkins going around. It's a mix of ideas from science and alternative medicine. Overall, it's mostly sensible advice. For example, it says not to eat meat/animal products, and to eat lots of vegetables. Don't eat things with added sugar or aspartame. It also says that radiation and chemotherapy scars and damages healthy tissues and organs. Some of it is obviously not based on science, like how not eating meat "allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells." (If that's all it took, that would be very cool.)

But the detailed 'science-based' debunking of it is also not completely factual, or anyway does not accurately describe my experience. It says that chemotherapy and radiation do not cause permanent damage, which is just a lie! The neuropathy (nerve damage in my feet, though it is not painful) caused by chemotherapy endures. Radiation gave me arthritis in my hips. Don't get me wrong, radiation is the main reason I am alive right now, but still, it is false to say that the effects are temporary.

What the rebuttal says about the immune system fits with my experience. Alt. medicine types seem to focus on cancer and the immune system. My immune system is fab and as long as you don't xray my lungs, I appear to be healthy as an horse, if indeed horses are healthy. The danger of any point of view, 'scientific' or not, is thinking that if you do one thing, it will cure you, whether it be juice fasting or aggressive chemotherapy. If I had longer to live and more motivation, I'd meld what I consider to be the correct parts of both articles, from the point of view of someone with advanced stage cancer, who fairly successfully relies on both conventional and complimentary medicine.

I found this cool juice place up on 24th, the Pressed Juicery. Made daily, unpasteurized. They do supplies for 'cleanses' which is just 8 bottles of different kinds of juice. Don't know if I would do a juice fast but might step up the veg juice for a few days.

The last few days I've had the house to myself and have mostly stayed in bed, although yesterday I had a long wander around the neighborhood. I was planning to go on solitary today, but don't really have the energy, or perhaps it is the gumption - a word I'm sure I've never used before - to gather up and transport the terribly many things I need to bring with me, get gas, and drive for 3 hours. I may still go. But not now.

Dr. Lustig from UCSF is speaking at the library on Tuesday about the effects of sugar and processed food on health, which I would like to see.

Sounds and Visuals Section

With Julie and Lisa S, watched Sleepwalk With Me, an autobiographical movie about Mike Birbiglia's early days of comedy, and sleepwalking. It was edgy, I thought, in an interesting way. All of us liked it.

Found a short book Questions and Answers about Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in Noe Valley yesterday. It's interesting, but unfortunately it's almost all focused on caregivers. I seem to have skipped 3 out of 5 stages of grief (bargaining, depression, anger, denial, acceptance) for the dying. I mostly stick to acceptance, with occasional bouts of denial. 

1 comment:

  1. You have totally used gumption before, but perhaps not written it? Prepare for Gumption Tuesday, you gotta go see your man. Terribly fewer things to gather up for a trip to the library.