When I first decided to write a blog, I queried fellow writers on the Internet Writing Workshop and searched online for information as well. One of the toughest decisions I had to make was what to write about. Most advised a narrow topic, but I resisted, and instead, called my blog Writing Life.
If you’ve read it before, you know that I write about: my experiences in Costa Rica, where I live; political and social issues that I’m passionate about; places I’ve visited; and, well, life in general. You may also know that I’ve had a recent brush with Breast Cancer, and in fact, haven’t yet begun treatment. You may have even noticed the paucity of posts lately.
Here’s the problem: though I don’t want to write exclusively about it, I seem to be consumed with a need to find out everything I can about cancer, and to share any information I find helpful. I’m not sure how long I’ll be stuck on this topic— maybe tomorrow I’ll be compelled to write about how Romney could shut Reid up by sharing a few years of tax returns, if he dares.
Some of what I believe about cancer may be outside of mainstream Western medical tradition. Some may seem decidedly woo-woo. My oncologist laughed when I asked him if he believed in alternative medicine. He’s a Chinese Tico, and speaks little English. He has that shy, self-effacing way about him that I saw so much in Japan. So he didn’t exactly guffaw. Instead, he looked down, blushed and giggled nervously. “No, I don’t,” he said, “but my mother does.”
I guess I’d stereotyped the guy. “Aren’t you Chinese?” I asked.
He responded with more blushing and giggling. “Alternative medicine can supplement traditional medicine,” he said. I was already worrying about the effects of the recommended traditional treatments: radiation, chemotherapy and Tamoxifen. “Isn’t uterine cancer one of the side effects of Tamoxifen?” I asked. He thought I needn’t worry about that, but I do, of course.
I’ve recently asked, via email, if he thinks we could skip the radiation and chemotherapy, and go right to the Tamoxifen. That’s because the pathology report indicated that the margins of my tumor were clear, and so were the lymph nodes. He says we can discuss it with the radiologist– a good sign, for such a conservative guy. I’ve also arranged for a second opinion.
And, in the meanwhile, I’m lining up my arsenal: meditation, tapping, exercise, sunshine and diet. Much more about these coming up real soon.