Friday, May 16, 2014

"The Emperor of Maladies"

There are two sides to every story, as the old saying goes.  A friend once amended that and said there are three, yours, mine and the truth.

Two months ago I heard the words "I'm afraid its not the best news, the tumor is cancerous"

Since then I have emerged myself in discovering the truth, everyone else's truth and the whole truth.  Within days I learned that I had stage IIa rectal cancer, which means that the tumor has grown enough to pass through more then one layer of tissue but has not likely reached any lymph nodes, nor is it likely to have reached any organs.  The latter two are not certainties but very unlikely based on what doctors can see on various scans.  How can this be so imprecise?  Because cancer is our normal cells not acting normally, and only really becomes obvious when quite a few have started to act up.

Next I learned that doctors have a lot of experience treating people with cancer and that I can be rest assured that with stage a IIa tumor, my chances of a cure are quite high.  Surgical removal of the tumor is a great option and pre surgical chemo-radiation is an even better option.

Next I started to learn how cancer is caused and affected by lifestyle - for example - anxiety, exercise (too much or too little), our intentions and especially what and how we eat and drink.  The last two months have been like taking a course in nutrition, which has upended what I thought was my very healthy diet!

Between the lines I have lived and looked for the truth, and I continue to practice my discoveries.  The hardest part about the truth, is admitting when it has changed, and then changing with it.

In one week, I begin chemo-radiation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

This post's title is the title of book