Saturday, January 28, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0065 - Cellular Soup

Alistair Cunningham’s research continues to inspire me.

His book, Can the Mind Heal Cancer, which I mentioned on January 15th, was my companion again last night when I couldn’t sleep. I read about his correlative, prospective study on influencing the course of cancer for terminally ill patients. The goal was to establish a correlation between level of involvement in his healing journey program and longevity among patients being treated for metastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostrate cancer. My goal is simpler. If there is strong evidence supporting a link between significant psychological change and longevity, then I want to know about the link and put the program into practice.

As I mentioned to my wife this morning, there was one aspect of what I read last night that stuck with me. Cunningham has described the internal environment in which cancer grows in the body as a cellular soup. The point he made which most impressed me is that if one has been diagnosed with cancer, then whatever one’s overall health, whatever one’s personality, whatever one’s support among friends and family, cancer has found a way to prosper in that person’s cellular soup. There is no blame cast in saying this. It’s just a statement of reality.

So, unless something changes, cancer will continue to grow and find a hospitable home in that cellular soup. Conventional medical intervention can make a difference, of course. We can blast the tumour with radiation, attempt to weaken the cancer cells with chemotherapy, and ultimately remove the affected tissues surgically. But if nothing else changes, if the individual’s cellular soup remains the same, the chances of recurrence are high.

If I am to win my fight with cancer, then I cannot remain an observer of medical treatment. I must be a participant in changing the internal recipe for my own cellular soup. The change must be significant. In fact, if one examines the evidence in Cunningham’s studies carefully, the change required for substantial improvement in quality of life and longevity demands a complete life commitment.

My questions for today are simple: “Can I do this? Will I commit to this?”

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