Month: March 2014

How to tell a charlatan

I met my first  charlatan last week. I’m sure I’ve known other ones.  A charlatan presents as someone who is an authority on a subject when in fact she’s not. She often times is looking to profit from her faulty information, but not always. This woman approached me at a cancer class. She said my cancer was caused by an imbalance in my body. She could cure me. Doctors were clueless. Nurses were clueless, too. I really needed to go to her program and learn about the acid-alkaline diet. ( A friend had already given me a book on the subject.) I would be better. I would feel better. She didn’t have a card and mentioned she did a lot of other things. She wrote her info on the back of one of her other cards. Contact me, she said. To me the fundamental  sign of a charlatan is her attitude that she know best and that all the other resources in the world are bogus. There are too many good resources in the world. …

evolution of a cancer mind

On Thursday I go to the Caring Hearts Cancer Support Group. This is at the Presbyterian Cancer Center in Albuquerque. It runs in blocks of six weeks. Lunch is served and discussion is 1.5 hours. Since I have been going, the hospital chaplain has been the facilitator. She is excellent. I have benefited immeasurably from my visits. The discussion turned to how we felt about our diagnosis. I never had the moment. I seemed to slide from one revelation to the next. I was not angry. I was too confused to be scared. I was always recovering from a treatment. I was exhausted and fatigued. My concern was having to spend my life in that state.  I am inclined to believe what people tell me and they did say fine fine fine. First  it was the severe rheumatoid arthritis (seven months to become manageable). Next was thyroid cancer. Not bad you will do fine. Next it was breast cancer(small but invasive) You will be fine. Next was more tests. More cancer. We need to move …

Be brave. You can fight this thing.

Be brave.                                                                                                                                                     You can fight this thing.                                                                                                                            You must have a good attitude.                                                                                                                 Be positive.                                                                                                                                                        Don’t cry!       Men are not supposed to cry.                                                                                              You are not going to die. Cheer up. How does one express fear when told to be brave and fight? How does one express a searing feeling of helplessness? Fight what exactly? A cancer patient has a good attitude every day when he wakes up and wishes his cancer is gone, but still knowing in the recesses of his heart that it is still be there and he still gets out of bed and carries on. A cancer patient is brave every day when he accepts the changes that have come into his life and he is able  to come to terms with the reality that life will never be the same again. A cancer patient has a positive  attitude when he endures all the insults his body will endure for the sake of treatment. Calling it a treatment doesn’t make it less barbaric or less invasive. A cancer …