Wednesday, April 13, 2016

If you're watching "The Truth About Cancer"....

Well, you might be mad at me for this post.  But it is just the opinion of a momma with a baby with cancer.

I think everyone can agree that cancer is a ruthless, vicious enemy.  And while we all long for a cure for this beast....I have a few issues with the documentary series.
1.  Not all cancers are the same.  So, to lump them all into one boat about "cures" is irresponsible at best.  (I do know that the series will differentiate at some points, but it frequently lumps all cancers together.) There is a big, and I mean HUGE difference between basil cell carcinoma and melanoma.  There is a big difference between pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.  There's a big difference between stage one and stage four.  And don't even get me started on the difference between childhood cancer and adult cancer.
These differences are really important to keep in mind when you are looking at treatments.
2. It is unkind and unfair to lump all doctors into the same category.  Or to lump all conventional treatments into a boat and call it "Big Pharma."  Trust me.  Not only do I personally hate to take medicine of any kind, I will be the first in line to advocate that we need better treatments that are less toxic.  But there is a danger on the line just as great, if not greater, than the poisonous, toxic treatments available.  And that danger is forgetting the enemy we are facing. Denying its dangerous and destructive power.  There is not a mom (whose child has cancer) in the world who doesn't wish that we could downplay the strength of this destroyer, and pacify its verocity with herbs, plants and green juice.  And we all still try them, believe me!!!!!  I have been amazed at the lengths these mommas will go to for their children with cancer. These moms and dads are some of the most educated people on the planet.
And it's not like we aren't aware of the toxicity of the treatments.
But the statement made in episode 2: "Cancer doesn't kill people, the treatments do."
Not only is this an outright lie, but I can only tread lightly as I say that I have seen the scans of a toddler's brain being overtaken by cancer.
But once again here, this is where the difference between childhood cancer and adult cancer has great impact.
Cancer does kill people. This is a fact that we parents of children with cancer can never forget.  And while treatments are toxic and terrible, I can only say for myself that without surgery and chemotherapy, my little boy wouldn't still be here, and he wouldn't be able to see.
And while I am not naive to industry and doctors who are all about money or are quick to prescribe medicine....let me just defend every doctor that has been part of Elijah's care from day one.  They haven't done everything right, they haven't always been on the same page with me...but NOT ONE of them wanted Elijah to have chemo.  They all exhausted every other option first.  No oncologist ever used "scare tactics" on me to try and get us to choose chemotherapy for Elijah. 

So, while the documentary series compares chemotherapy treatment for cancer to "sending in NAPALM to take care of an ant problem"....I have an issue with comparing my child's cancer to an ant problem. This isn't ants we are talking about people.  We have to remember the enemy we are fighting.

I'll leave it at that for now.  I do want to say that I believe there is some good information represented in the series.  I wish that it had been presented differently-with more respect to the doctors who are fighting diligently and searching tirelessly for less toxic treatments. I believe there is a way to advocate natural methods without discrediting the work of so many doctors.  (Calling them uneducated because they don't know "chemotherapy is a huge fraud."). 
I believe that we are to do everything possible to steward our bodies the best that we can.  But I also know that Elijah doesn't have cancer because of his diet, his environment, or because of "treatments" he had gone through.  He has cancer because his genes told his body to reproduce cells uncontrollably with a mutation. And that genetic mutation was lovingly sifted through the hand of my Good God.

And so.  I'm not saying you shouldn't watch The Truth About Cancer.  In fact, I'm watching it. But I'll watch it the same way I would anything of this nature-pen and paper in hand, noting doctors names, hospitals and treatments mentioned, reports cited, etc. And then I pray and research and pray and research some more.  

I'll close this by agreeing with the series:
"We must be educated."
Yes. Amen. 
But that also means you can't just take the word of a guy who has begun with his conclusion in mind.  
And I'll agree with him one more time:
"There are true answers for cancer."
Yes. There are. And every answer begins and ends with Jesus.  There are wonderful things that we can and should do for our bodies to prevent disease.  But there will also be times when you aren't able to prevent it. Like when your baby is born with cancer.  And even then, Jesus is still the answer, and He is still working towards that glorious end when He will make all the wrong things right.


Christin Slade said...

Well said. Thank you. As someone who has a dear friend recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (just had her first chemo yesterday) I appreciate this and am on my own journey to learn more. Blessings to you.

Jan Holdorf said...

Love you for posting this. God's blessings all over you and your family. 3 John 2