Reflections on Cancer





Pearl Preston | 2014

My doctor who retired at the young age of 70 called it the “Big C”.  She said whenever a patient was diagnosed with cancer; she would attack the disease with a vengeance, relentlessness, and fortitude, not letting up until it was beaten into remission.  Being both an allopath and naturopath, she was able to help her husband bring stage four cancer into remission.

Whether a family member, friend or you have been brought face-to-face with this deadly disease, there is nothing in life that prepares us for cancer.  When this happens initially, all kinds of feelings come to fore: confusion, denial, disbelief, anger, fear, and a kind of mourning.  Then our survival instinct takes effect, and we’re in for the fight of our lives.

If there is a positive side to the discovery of cancer, it is the affirmation of life. If we never took the time to smell the roses, we now truly appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us. If we never took a breath of fresh air before, we now learn how to inhale deeply as breathing is the essence of life.  When cancer is diagnosed, we realize how delicate and vulnerable we are, and if there is a situation in one’s life that needs changing, now is the time to do it.

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, it’s also a wake-up call for those close to them.  It’s an eye-opener for re-examining our lifestyles.  What can we do to improve all aspects of our being: mentally, physically, emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually? To totally heal, we must address all aspects, so the total body can restore itself, rejuvenate, and revitalize its energy source.

On the Dr. Oz Show the other day, there was a middle-aged woman in the audience who became very alarmed when they showed horrific pictures of people with oral cancer.  Having been a smoker all her life, and numerous attempts at cessation, she had mainly focused on the risk of developing lung cancer.  She had, however, not realized her mouth and throat could be involved as well.  The moral of the story is, as we age, we need to be ever more vigilant about our health.  As seniors, our first level of defense against ill health is awareness, information, and to never stop asking questions, whether it be with our doctors or online.

Cancer is a formidable foe, but with new drugs and therapies on the horizon, there’s also hope.  Ultimately, dealing with cancer is all about love, as one witness the support systems received from relatives, friends, and the larger community.  Since no one is immune from cancer, it affects all of us and no one needs to feel alone.  Miracles do happen and there is no accounting for the human spirit and what it is capable of overcoming.