Sorry folks, I have just been reading an article about a great guy who is living with G4 GBM and getting on with living, doing well, seems to be beating the stuffing out his tumour using standard treatment supported by healthy lifestyle and diet which happens to be ketogenic. A really uplifting story.
What’s got me angry is the comments posted. Things like: ‘don’t build up false hope’ and ‘diet has nothing to do with it’ and some really nasty supercilious quips that are really designed to put the article and the guy down. These people are HOPE-SLAYERS. There is plenty of evidence that shows that in terms of outcome and prognosis, words matter! And these are nasty, negative, destructive words.
I can’t tell you what gruesome fates I am imagining for these people right now, which is un-helpful, un-christian and understandable. I shall simmer down in a bit and think peaceful thoughts, but for now I am going to post an excerpt from my book (in progress). It is from a chapter entitled ‘Living with Hope’ in which I am advising what to do when stupid people try to rob you of your hope and so jeopardise your healing. Because, yes, that is what they are doing by their nasty little nocebo digs. We need to be prepared!
“… beware! If you find that hope, and start to live in its ever-expanding joy, you will meet opposition. I mentioned some of this in chapter 4 (hope-slayers) and there are other, untold ways to have hope snatched or shaken. They may settle slowly like a marsh mist. They may slither and strike like a rattlesnake. They may descend relentlessly like a plague of locusts and strip you bare. You need to be prepared!
My firm advice is to find an emergency strategy with which to easily and promptly dispel them before they take hold. My own formula is recounted on the blog page: ‘Eyes above the Waves’ but you must find something that works for you. However, I urge you to make it a peaceful resistance: a sense of sinking into a safe, comforting refuge rather than taking up of arms. The bible has a fantastic metaphor for resisting ‘evil’ attack (enemy propaganda – the nocebo effect in all its gruesome forms!) It says ‘put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of justice, the shoes of peace and the shield of faith’. (Eph 6:13-16) In other words: holding on to true, good, and encouraging thoughts, words and deeds, walking in quiet confidence, with faith in your own strategies, are the best defence against the ‘nay-sayers’ that threaten you. Note the metaphors used are all defensive strategies, not offensive weapons. The only actual weapon we are told to hold on to, it is the ‘sword of the spirit’ (Vs 17) and this too is used in defence not attack. You see, the only weapon that we need to defend our refuge, when the poisonous pessimists attack, or savage storms shake us, is not human argument, not documented evidence, not reasoned ‘logic’ – it is spiritual wisdom. That is because the attack is not physical either, the words used against us attack our mind, our beliefs and our faith. The ‘sword of the spirit’ is about being still and knowing – not fighting. It is about resting, in the certainty of the hope that we have.
For many, that is about an unshakeable faith in the promises of God, the things that allow us to have faith and hope and healing. But even if you are not at that place, or of that belief, just know this: the hope you have does not need to be fought for. If your hope has been properly established – through the quest for real possibilities, in which you can place trust and faith – then the hope you have will be within you; it is for you personally. It has transcended reason, evidence, logic; it no longer needs to be explained or argued. It rests on truth and truth needs no human hand to uphold it. (Watchman Nee)
You won’t have to strive to get it. You will know it when it finds you.
Note that I never advocate violence. I try to never use the words ‘fight’ or ‘battle’ in my encounter with cancer. Many people do (as in: ‘she lost her battle against cancer’). To my mind, it conjures up far too much stress inducing emotion, and gives entirely the wrong impression of what the tumour is. It is not a monster, or a mutant, or a rogue; these are words that popular science often uses. I don’t find it helpful. Your tumour is part of you. It contains all your own cells. They have simply begun to malfunction. They are sick. They have lost the ability to run their metabolic processes efficiency, to divide, to work and when their time is ripe, to die. In chapter 2 (sweeteners) I described them like naughty children who need attention and love, not punishment. And like naughty children, it is often we, the parents, who have made mistakes that contribute to the behaviour, or the environments we have unwittingly led our children (and ourselves) into, that make normal behaviour nigh on impossible. So treat your tumour cells with compassion. Wherever possible heal them not kill them.
We know that there are cancer cells circulating in our bodies all the time. Our own policing system (the immune system) takes care of them and they may never grow into tumours. Other tumour growths are ‘pre-cancerous’ and some of these will spontaneously revert to normally functioning cells if left well alone. We live with cancer cells all the time. It is normal and natural. What is not normal is the toxic, mineral and vitamin poor, metabolically unsuitable environment we have turned our bodies and minds into: an environment that cripples our immune system, paralyses our mitochondria, poisons our blood system and corrupts our minds. Added to this is the defective programming of our subconscious over a lifetime, which forbids us to see ourselves as whole and perfect human beings. Poor Bob! How can we nurture heathy cells in that mess?
Befriend your tumour. Find out why he has become stubbornly disruptive. Not that we should approve of his ‘deviant’ behaviour but we should manage it with non-violent resistance. Rectify the situation, (through whatever treatments are needed to remove the disruptive parts of your ‘Bob’ and make improvements to the environments in which he has taken root). Make peace and harmony. Restore hope. Believe in your healing.
And when the storms of enemy propaganda hit you, and you feel them threatening to shake your peace, just keep your eyes above the waves and keep on walking.”
Rant over. I shall now go and take my own advice. I shall play a chorus or two of ‘Oceans‘ in memory of Bob, bless his cotton socks, whilst tucking into slice of ketogenic pie (see recipe chapter) and a nice cup of ginger green tea.