A place where I can chronicle my family's journey through cancer. A place where WE can discuss our concerns. A place where WE can inspire each other. A place for hope.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

It's been a long week. I think we've been in and out of Calgary like four times in the past five days. Aside from the usual 2/wk treatment schedule, we also decided to book an appointment with a couple um..alternative/integrative doctors. My mom is just starting to feel some of the common side-effects associated with the chemo that she's been receiving, that is, some slight tingling/numbness in her fingers and fatigue. We decided to go see an alternative doctor to COMPLEMENT our current treatment process so as to strengthen and sustain her body while she receives chemo. This would mean things like nutrition, detoxification, etc. Right now, we're torn though. We saw two specialists in Calgary, each with very different approaches. On one hand, there is the doctor that is very warm and comforting that has already treated myeloma patients with quite some success (apparently). On the other hand, there is the doctor who is...quite frankly, a bit of a douche. He's not the friendliest of people and our consult seemed to lack some direction (can you say "awkward silence"?). On top of that, in the midst of my research, the good people over at ratemds.com pretty much felt the inclination to rip him a new one. So that was reassuring. HOWEVER, this man has a very impressive list of credentials and resources and seems to be quite thorough in his testing. He's also treated about 3 myeloma patients in the past and oh yeah, worked with Deepak Chopra (OoOoh! Wait...is that relevant?) So, do we go with the kind, reassuring doc with (I have to word this carefully) less available resources (contacts, tests, etc.) or the ...either-not-very-friendly-or-socially-awkward doctor with the impressive list of credentials and support? Re-reading this, the answer seems like it would be an obvious one to go with the former. From my experience, a reassuring and comforting doctor can make a WORLD of a difference to his/her patients. But on the other hand, what is our biggest priority here? I think just the general fact that we're going down this path is a giant leap of faith. There isn't much hard evidence in the nutriceutical area (because companies cannot patent a natural substance and thus, make CASH MONAYYY) so there arises a lot of "mays" (ex. this may reduce tumors, that may speed up recovery, bla bla bla). So, as i'm sure every cancer patient knows, there are no guarantees. One thing that I did like that both doctors said was that they 100% believed that the best form of treatment would be a combination of both conventional (chemo) and alternative medicine. So it's good to see that they aren't entirely biased.

Decisions, Decisions. What's a confused, optimistic, cancer-stricken family to do??? We've got a lot of thinking to do andddd i'm rambling (5 cups of coffee and 5 hours of sleep today! *twitch). I'll keep you updated with what we decide to do!

1 comment:

  1. I would encourage you to read back through Margaret's blog on supplements as she has a wealth of research on various elements... if the not-so doctor has a lot of research, that's nice, but what about actual patient success? Sometimes having a medical professional who will listen to you and support your choices is a better option... and you can find ways to get him to ramp up his contacts and testing?
    There is a reason why good researchers are good and why some doctors should be limited to doing research and not working with real people.