Friday, September 25, 2009

Mistletoe and whine

I'm about to start a course of mistletoe to complement the yew tree I've already had. Toxic when injected directly into the bloodstream, mistletoe will be implanted under my skin to work its magic. Already taken by 60-70% of cancer patients in Europe, mistletoe treatment in Germany is covered by health insurers. Could millions of Germans be wrong?:)
Conventional medicine prides itself on the rigorous science behind its lotions and potions but I'm less convinced than ever. Docetaxel, the chemo drug I'm currently on, was originally extracted from the yew tree and yet many in the medical community scoff at the idea that the kissing tree may be beneficial in the fight against cancer. "My tree good, your tree bad" seems to sum up the debate.

This last round of Docetaxel has been much easier on my body; partly because I know more about how I respond and adjusted my anti-nausea drugs to suit, and partly because the dosage was lower. In between my first and second injections the international treatment protocol changed. Researchers now believe that pre-menopausal women need a little less of the drug. So last time I had more poison than is now thought to be necessary. Bugger.

Chemo drugs remind me of Maxwell Smart -the world's dumbest secret agent. Cruising through the corridors of my body Docetaxel just takes aim at everything: "Oops, sorry, there goes another good guy, pow,pow, dang! another one of ours is gunned down. Oh look, there's a cancer cell - zap!" Collateral damage everywhere you look.

I've asked the complementary experts why so many of their proponents are crackpots. Like God, they can't chose their followers and sometimes the disciples give their masters a bad name. Nearly every website I've visited to research the clinical efficacy of Vitamin C, mistletoe and other natural healers details the wonders of these treatments and then goes on to rail against other evils: the conspiracy of the fake moon landing, babies being ripped from their mothers wombs by the CIA in the middle of the night for lab experiments, and my personal favourite - the decline of democracy as evidenced by the election of Obama. Who are these people and how do they get their three brain cells to stay in alignment long enough to type?

The source of medicine, whether complementary or conventional is fascinating. Herceptin is stolen from innocent mice and sometimes Chinese hamsters. Given that nearly all medicine is tested on animals, what do vegetarians take for cancer? Perhaps eating all those leafy greens prevents them getting it in the first place.

I've posted a photo so you'll recognise me next time we pass in the street. If you feel the urge to kiss me, it's not just because I'm such a foxy baldy - it'll be the mistletoe.


Kyla said...

You are so beautiful!

BeJolly said...

Hey - I thought we lived in the same town? However you seem to have a shoulder-less top on while I've re-discovered my thermal underwear and the central heating button. Looking great Sach ;-)

Lisa said...

Hi Sacha, I'm an old school friend of Kyla's. Good luck with your treatment. It's really impressive that you find the energy to question and explore the right medicine for you. I hope it goes well for you.
Sending you my optimism,

Vanessa said...

Gorgeous. Al always.
Miss you girl.

wyn Mossman said...

you're a class act sacha.Thanks for sharing the journey


Tracey said...

Hi Sacha... how life can change in an instant! It seems like a long time ago that we were bridesmaids together. Donna has been keeping us up to date with your adventures. And what an amazing adventure you are having... of my adventures Mum once said to me "It's a full life". And you know what? She was absolutely right. So many people take life for granted, but then maybe they haven't been lucky enough to have a real curve ball thrown at them! We don't always recognise the value of something until there is a possibility of it being taking away. I had some time in hospital at the beginning of this year - and I have to admit that I was scared! But these experiences force us to find an inner strength. My song to live by? "Search for the Hero" by the M-People. Do you know it? Keep on aiming high Sacha - we will be following your adventure...

kate said...

you just write so there such a word???Great to see you on Thursday night.Loved all the laughs, that's gotta be good for one's soul.Kate