Where Credit is Due
It seems I have left some of you with the impression that I am anti conventional cancer treatments and frustrated by the limits of oncology I have encountered in the UK. So let me set the record straight:
I am using conventional cancer treatments to stay alive. Specifically two things: a drug called Afatinib which targets the particular mutation of my cancer plus several rounds of radiation to a tumour on my C3 vertebra that was causing me considerable pain in November 2014. I am in no doubt that the former has shrunk my tumours in a short space of time and the latter is the reason my daughter could hang off my neck in a field of horses last week. So yay for conventional treatments and the doctors who dispensed them. My gratitude is unequivocal.
I am not frustrated with the limits of oncology. I am exasperated by the limited mindset surrounding cancer treatment in the UK and the restrictive regulations that force me to fly half way across the world for treatments I would prefer to get at home. Hyperthermia has been practiced in Germany (one of the leading countries for cancer care) for thirty years, yet I can’t access it here – to name just one. I understand the need for restrictions to avoid unnecessary mistakes, but when you have a terminal condition you don’t want caution and control. You want brave, ballsy, willing-to-risk, dare-to-hope boldness. You want someone to put their arse firmly on the line you are hanging from and fart in the face of caution.
This, as I understand it, is why Lord Saatchi has proposed The Medical Innovation Bill so that, with consent, doctors can treat terminally ill patients with new and innovative treatments instead of adhering to failed protocols as the existing law requires. So three cheers for Lord Saatchi and please pray Parliament passes his Bill before the General Election in May. It will mean a lot to many people who are not just as exasperated as me, but living in great fear, prolonged suffering and enforced hopelessness.
Lastly, my oncologist and radiotherapist are highly professional, genuinely caring physicians who have won my respect and whose advise I largely heed. If they disapprove of what I’m doing they are gracious enough to feign support and, even if their support of my extra-curricular activities happened to be authentic they would need to operate within UK regulations and stay stum. Is there a generic Viagra available? Here http://www.noc2healthcare.com/viagra-sildenafil/quality generic Viagra at cheap prices. I get it and get on with it. I am mostly transparent about what else I am up to (which can get pretty weird even for me) and see no need for conflict between conventional and complementary paradigms. Collaboration is the key to this cancer conundrum. People are dying, many unnecessarily. So please, shake hands. Hang out together. Listen to each other. Save some lives.