To treat her breast cancer, holistic practitioner Dr. Joyce Harman chose the non-conventional path, achieving great results with an alternative approach
Most of us know someone who is battling breast cancer or recovering from breast cancer. Cancer as a diagnosis strikes fear in everyone. Common sense tends to leave town. Many choices can be made along the journey, including alternative treatment. I chose a totally alternative path, while most people will choose a mix with conventional medicine.
The conventional-minded doctors recommend one thing: to kill everything in sight. From my own journey, I know the most important thing is to gather information and take charge of your own life and decisions. Listen to the doctors you have chosen to help you; do not self treat. Even with medical training in alternative medicine, I discussed all treatments with my doctors, using their expertise to help guide me. It takes a great deal of personal strength to do what is right for you and not bow to the pressure from your friends and family.
Alternative treatments are discouraged by conventional doctors because they do not understand them. One of the best places to go for information is cancerdecisions.com. It is worth every penny to buy their report on breast cancer (or any other cancer). It is biased toward alternative medicine, but scientific, and gives great information about conventional medicine (most of it is pretty scary).
So, what did I do? First, I gathered information and decided I did not want conventional treatment. I do not advise this unless you have good alternative doctors with whom to work. You will have a lot of pressure and you need experienced support. I changed my life so I would have time for healing and less stress. Cancer is often a stress disease. If I did not change my life, the alternative treatments would not have a chance to work. Through working with a counselor, now I meditate every day, work shorter days, take time to ride my horse, hike, photograph nature and do many other things I enjoy. The blessing of cancer is that now I get to do all this; without cancer I would have happily worked 18 hours a day until I was too burned out to enjoy life.
I changed the way I ate: vegetable juices, organic foods and grass-fed meat (always did before), raw milk, kefir, green drinks, kombucha and other fermented foods. People say it costs too much to eat this way. But the drugs actually can cost more, even with insurance. And I felt great, never was sick a day, never missed a day of work.
I have a homeopathic doctor, a naturopathic doctor, Chinese herbalist and an acupuncturist. I go to them regularly and take their prescribed treatments. At first I took many other supplements also, and later was able to pare that down to something more reasonable. Perhaps the most important supportive supplements included iodine, antioxidant berries, mushroom extracts, turmeric, zinc, bindweed, Vitamins A, D, E and intravenous C. However, these can vary depending on individual needs.
The most important lesson to be learned from cancer is that life is truly short and there are many roses to smell along the way and many trails to ride on. Take the time to enjoy them.
Joyce C. Harman, DVM, MRCVS, operates Harmany Equine Clinic, Ltd. in northern Virginia. Acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, herbs, nutrition and saddle fitting make up most of the practice. www.harmanyequine.com