I am the mother of a 13 year old boy who was diagnosed with lymphoma the week after he turned 11. He is doing well today. I lost my husband to Glioblastoma April 26, 2016 after just 6 weeks from diagnosis. I will share my story in another piece.
This piece is based on my experience and very strong opinion that integrative/complimentary medicine must become part of a new standard of care for cancer treatment. In no way will I advocate that people not use conventional treatments recommended by their physicians. This decision is based on emotion and facts presented to you.
What i am advocating for, if that parents research ALL known and lesser known forms of treatment before making any formal decisions about a treatment plan. I am advocating that medical teams allow parents having to make these difficult decisions 24, 48 and even 72 hours to process the diagnosis and treatment options they are proposing. There is extreme loss and grief associated with just receiving a diagnosis and parents need time.
I am also advocating that medical teams begin to develop and work with integrative medicine teams as part of the treatment planning so that every family can be evaluated for complimentary therapies that might help with 1. feelings of power and control when parents feel they have none currently; 2. including parents as part of the treatment team and decision making process, etc.
Complimentary therapies can and should include: nutritional education and support (it is well known that sugar feeds cancer cells -- well, maybe not so well known); yoga, meditation, anthroposophical remedies, nutritional supplements, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, emotional support via a social worker or psychologist, and the list goes on. These therapies should be tailor made for the patient based on age, diagnosis, willingness and ability of the family and patient, etc. It would also be nice if insurance companies (oh, wait! there is no profit in this!!) would help pay for these therapies if the doctor rights a prescription for it.
But, wait! There is no "scientific" proof that these things help! Ah! But there is proof that many of these things impact a patient's and family's outlook which can boost the immune system and improve quality of life and sometimes even quantity of life.
So, what do you think? Please give me your opinion and let me know if you want to read more and what you want to read more about. What questions do you have? I can't wait to read your thoughts!!