Here’s another response to Amy Oscar’s prompt.
There is a place between here and there, between mystery and science, between staying and leaving, between choice and becoming: a place where most of us do not want to stay very long. We want to name and explain everything. We want to understand, to know – so we can put things in their places.
I am in this place now, and will be for a while. Both surgeons I consulted said the same thing. My cancer seemed small and very well contained, and that I would probably not need further treatment after surgery. But the margins were too small, and cancer cells were found in one of the 4 lymph nodes removed. That put me in stage 2 and made it necessary to undergo chemotherapy and radiation. Including surgery and recovery, treatment will last a total of 23 weeks. That means 23 weeks of standing on faith.
My medical oncologist was the one who broke the news of the length of treatment. And the balding. But he also had a list of suggestions:
- Go completely organic.
- Practice positive imaging everyday.
- Walk in nature everyday.
- Massage therapy.
- Ask everyone you know to pray.
There is scant scientific, empirical evidence to support any of these suggestions to treat cancer or even the side effects of chemo. Yet the current captain of my care suggested them, so I follow them as best I can.
I stand on faith. And chemo, so far, halfway through, has been surprisingly OK.