A Cancer Diagnosis Is An OpinionAuthor: Charlene Barnes, LifeForce Hospital Patient Consultant
Henry Ford is famously quoted as saying “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you're right.” This speaks to the power of the mind and applies to anything you set your mind to...even healing (or not healing) cancer.
Studies (and over 20 years of experience working with patients with cancer diagnoses) have shown where patients given similar diagnoses for cancer or other devastating diseases have completely different results, depending on how they inwardly responded to the news. This gets even more interesting when you consider that some patients fully heal when their doctor said it was impossible, whereas others die when they really were not that sick, according to their doctors. There are multiple verifiable stories where a doctor mixed up patient charts accidentally telling the patient with the less severe diagnosis their diagnosis didn’t look good while telling the patient with the more severe diagnosis they would make a full recovery and both faired in accordance to what the doctor told them. This shows the power the mind plays in healing, and it encourages patients to consider the amount of time an oncologist says they have left on earth as an opinion based on the average response the doctor has seen with a particular diagnosis and treatment, not a fact written in stone.
It’s critical patients see this as an opinion that they have power over as this puts healing in their hands, instead of simply leaving it at the mercy of the doctors words (and the treatment they’re advising). Patients may still choose to the follow the doctor’s treatment advice, but in owning how they interpret their odds of healing, they continue to wield the power of their mind in the direction they desire to go. Additionally, when patients feel empowered to direct the outcome of their healing, they’re more likely to open up to solutions that lie outside the doctor’s realm of expertise.
Aside from getting the power of the mind on the patient’s side of a healing journey, it’s also critical to get the body’s initial chemical response to the cancer diagnosis back in alignment with the body’s natural healing capacity. According to Dr. Frank Truitt, developer of Amyloxine cancer medication, receiving a cancer diagnosis is like getting kicked in the stomach. The person is immediately taken out of the healing mode by going into the “Oh no, I’m going to die” stress mode. This slows their digestion, kicks in all the flight or fight hormones (something we only need when under high physical danger, like being chased by a tiger). When this stress mode is activated, it shuts off the body’s self-repair mechanisms, poisons the heart, has all kinds of negative effects of cortisol, epinephrine and other hormones and it keeps the patient up at night when they need their healing sleep. When the body goes into stress mode, even years of good nutrition (or immediately adding nutrition to the body) cannot totally counteract the detrimental effects of stress hormones.
Fortunately, the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms can be re-activated as soon as the body shifts from stress mode into a more relaxed mode. From this relaxed state, the body begins to release hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide and endorphins, which help the body heal. Dr. Truitt covers the importance of shifting the body to this relaxed state when he first meets with his patients and quickly moves into creating a personal game plan tailored to each person’s unique chemistry and personality. In doing so, he puts control back in the patient’s hands while continuing to do everything possible to put their body into a healing mode. I believe it’s critical that the patient gain a sense of control over their situation.
Two powerful ways a patient can achieve this is to remember to own the role his or her mind plays in the outcome, and to immediately shift their body from stress mode to a relaxed mode so the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms can be activated. I also suggest putting together a supportive health team to help patients develop a game plan to make decisions from, where elements of the game plan include good nutrition, exercise and emotional health.
Stayed tuned, as I will continue to share information through So Live blogs to help patients feel empowered to make the best decision for their particular situation.
Remember, your body is your business and nobody knows it better than you. We’re simply here to help equip you with more knowledge to increase awareness around this inner knowing.