M. Scott Peck opened his now famous book, The Road Less Traveled with these lines:
“Life is Difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.”
Who am I to argue? I’m now on one of those difficult, yes, challenging, parts of life, as I deal with a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer. But what I want to borrow from Mr. Peck is not so much his opening lines as the title of the book, The Road Less Traveled.
You see, I realize I’ve placed myself on one of those less-traveled roads when I chose to treat and hopefully heal the cancer that is currently lodged in my prostate gland (where I pray it remains unless it disappears). What I want to point out is that a road less traveled doesn’t mean it’s a less valuable or relevant road to take. Perhaps it’s only that it’s not yet received the attention it deserves. (To learn more about how to more traveled cancer road came about, read Tripping over the Truth.)
Making the choice to pursue a more natural, holistic, complementary path of treatment is simply consistent with who I am and what I believe. That belief first learned in vet school is, “First, do no harm.” It’s what had me decline the orders of an orthopedic surgeon over forty years ago. After a cursory examination (during which he never even glanced at my back), the surgeon pronounced, “You have a badly herniated disc. I’m going to schedule you for surgery the first of next week.”
It was an order I declined and am pleased to report I’ve managed the situation through regular stretching, occasional acupuncture, and chiropractic care.
It’s also what led me to decline to have my left knee replaced with an artificial one after it began giving me problems while playing softball, or electing shoulder surgery after injuring that joint. Instead, I opted for more natural treatments. For my knee, after careful research, I elected Platelet Enriched Plasma (PEP) and prolotherapy treatments. For my shoulder, I chose acupuncture, massage, infrared heat, and cold fusion. Now, at 72, I continue to be one of the fastest runners on my senior softball team and throw as well if not better before the shoulder injury. (Remember, it’s not bragging if it’s a fact :-).)
So, taking this more natural and nutrition-based approach that I’m referring to as ‘loving my cancer away’ is the next leg of the journey down the same road less traveled. And I plan to continue to shine the light down this path so that others are made aware that such a road exists. At the same time, I want to be clear I’m not saying this less-traveled road is the one you should take. That’s not my job or intention.
Now, I’m not a complete novice when it comes to matters of health or science. I’ve been on a scientific and medical path since deciding at the age of six to become a veterinarian, but let’s face it, the training of a veterinarian is not the same as the training an oncologist receives, and that may actually be to my advantage in some ways.
As I said, I learned on the first day of vet school a basic tenant of the Hippocratic Oath–“First, do no harm.” (And, yes, I know it does not say that verbatim, but our instructors still drummed it into us.) As a veterinarian, I also learned how important nutrition is to all animals’ overall health and wellbeing including us humans. Again, to quote Hippocrates,
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
Meanwhile, most of today’s medical doctors receive very little education in nutrition, and what courses are offered are usually electives and not required.
But, as I said, I’m not sharing my journey to try to persuade anyone that this is the ‘right’ road, or that the other more traveled path is the ‘wrong’ one to follow. I’ll leave that to each individual, as I trust each of you will honor my decision to continue down this road less traveled.
ADD TO BOTTOM OF BLOG POSTS
Help Me Love My Cancer Away
Would you be open to contributing to my fundraiser? A donation of any amount would truly help me recover from this health challenge and continue to be a loving “granddude” for Logan.
To help simply click the link to their GoFundMe campaign below:
If you prefer contributing another way (check, Paypal, Venmo, etc.), go to: https://wbradfordswift.com/contribute/
If you could also share these two fundraiser links with your friends, it would mean so much. The more people who hear about this challenging situation, the better.
If you’re a science fiction and/or fantasy fan, check out my 28 books. Purchasing one or more of my books will not only help me treat my cancer, but it will also inspire me to keep writing during this trying time. Here are a few places to go:
My personal online book store Enter coupon code NewReader2021 to save 15% on your purchase,
My Books2Read author’s page for Orrin Jason Bradford books
My Books2Read author’s page for W. Bradford Swift books
Help SF author, W. Bradford Swift love his cancer away. click the link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/lovecanceraway Or donate by check, Paypal, Venmo: https://wbradfordswift.com/contribute/ Click To Tweet