Cancer cure or where do you put your faith?

As you are likely aware, I have cancer. Specifically Grade 4 Terminal brain cancer called Glioblastoma. Terminal meaning it has no cure and terminal meaning that it kills you. Doctors don’t know how you get it and the treatment for it hasn’t changed in over 50 years – which shouldn’t be that surprising – considering that maybe 22,000 people a year get this cancer. There’s not enough money for pharmaceutical companies to make experimenting with brain cancer. Stick around this post is going to get interesting.

The treatment or “standard of care” as doctors call it is this: (1) radiation for 6 weeks, and (2) chemotherapy in pill form called “Temodar.” Typical chemo treatments can’t cross the blood brain barrier meaning if you use the old kinds of chemo for brain cancer – the chemo will just be blocked by the blood brain barrier. So Temodar is a step up or higher tech, whatever, and it goes into your brain to fight with the tumor.

Radiation is radiation. I lay on a table while a laser burns my brain.I can literally taste and smell my brain being burnt by the radiation. It only lasts 5 minutes Monday through Friday but it zaps the energy straight outta you.

So that’s that on the medical prescribed treatment I’m going through. Now let’s look at what else I’ve been doing and then onto the philosophical thoughts on all of it.

Radiation and Chemo destroy your energy and kind of make you sick. Naturally, you must take supplements to boost your body’s immune system such as (1) fish oil, (2) zinc, (3) vitamin D, (4) amongst others. I agree with this – it makes sense. You want to make your body as strong as possible while putting it through heck.

If you don’t do this you could be one of those people you hear about who die not from cancer but from a general sickness like pneumonia, contracted because the chemo therapy lowered their body’s immune system to such a low level it couldn’t protect itself anymore. Ok, that’s the short explanation of the supplements I’m taking.

Here’s where I want to focus on my discussion – diet. Truth be told, not all people die from stage 4 brain cancer. Some recent people that have survived 5 or more years, chalk it all up to the “Keto-diet.”

This diet works like this – no sugar, low calories, no bread or anything like it (includes cereal and everything like it). Oh wait, you want some healthy yogurt? Wait until you look on the label and see that it has  grams of sugar. Sucks to be you.

I’ve been on this diet for two months already and lost over 20 pounds while at the same time losing my head. And let me tell you there are a million ways this diet can do it:

  1. You become so involved in your diet that you have to read the label on everything. “Oh that has 1 gram of sugar, I can’t eat it!” Your life slowly becomes a function of your diet – if you want to travel you got to make all your meals at home, you can’t go to restaurants, you have to walk around the grocery store looking at all the food you love but can’t eat. Sure, you can do this for a month or two, but after that you’ll start seeing what I’m talking about.
  2. You feel like crap on this diet. 600 calories per day is literally one meal per day. No energy, feeling sick. Disgusting taste in your mouth. And these not a result of the meds. Don’t get me wrong – I think there a ton of benefits to intermittent fasting (i.e. once or twice per month) but this diet is essentially fasting everyday.
  3. And of all of this for what? To extend your life a few extra months?

So these diets boil down into something that consumes all your time and energy, worrying about sugar, calories, losing your taste sensations, and being weak.

NOW!!! Let’s look at what happens to said person following the diet who survives brain cancer. It should be obvious but let’s walk down this path together shall we…

Said person chalks their surviving stage 4 cancer up to the keto-diet and all its great effects. In addition to this and this is the funny part, said person gets even stricter on their keto-diet throwing away food and replacing with insects, pig brains, and other exciting stuff . In their defense, it does make sense to them – after all, they survived cancer because of their “diet” (even though said person has no clue as to why or how they survived).

I know a lot of people who’ve survived stage 4 brain cancer. Some of them did this keto-diet, others didn’t do a diet at all. Which means that the people who do survive live, for whatever reason, they live. They can no more chalk it up to diet than anyone else. More on this in a second.

Do you see where I’m going? Everything I’m talking about involves faith. Faith in what: (1) food, or (2) God?

Take for example a preacher or pastor who gets sick and goes straight to the doctor? Where is the faith? The best thing would be to pray and ask God for help and to make you better – not rush off for a “scientific” fix.

The same reasoning applies here to diet or no diet. It even sounds funny – “I have faith that this food is going to heal me.” For me, I’ve placed my life in God’s hands and I’ll be healed no matter what I eat. If not, then it’s my time to depart this world and I accept that. And I don’t want to hang out earth for a couple extra months living in a very low standard of living. It’s not worth it.

My guess is that people who survived stage 4 brain cancer from doing the keto-diet are placing their hope and faith in food. Me? I’m choosing my faith over food. I’m going to live or die, just like all of you. I’m going to live out the last days of my life believing in God, his grace, his mercy, and practicing what I preach, just like pastors and preachers should.

This discussion too presupposes those who like to speak with no downside. It’s like Bill O’Reilly or some other talking head giving you specific business advice. They have (1) no experience in your business, and more importantly (2) their advice has no downside for themselves. So they will talk and blab and blab telling you what you should do because they have nothing to lose.

Or it’s like a college professor who years after graduation, follows up with the students, and the ones that have become very successful, attributes their success to having the fortunate opportunity to have once been in the professor’s class. Right.

It’s easy to talk and give advice with no skin in the game. In fact, I believe this could be argued to be the number 1 problem in the world right now.

 

6 thoughts on “Cancer cure or where do you put your faith?

  1. I am also living with cancer (leukemia) though mine isn’t considered terminal. The only thing in your post i took exception with was your take on a preacher being diagnosed with something and then turning to modern medicine instead of God. In my own fight with cancer, I always considered modern medicine as a gift from God. I believe He gives some researchers and scientists a cognitive level and capacity so high that they’re able to develop life saving drugs and medicines. (I doubt many of the people im referring to would credit God with any of it though.) In my case i also prayed that God would give my doctors the wisdom and knowledge needed to best utilize the drugs available for my condition. Just something to think about.

    One last thing….I know you will be healed. Whether God chooses to heal you here on Earth, or whether he chooses to first take your mortal body and then heal you in heaven, I can’t say. But I know you will be healed.

    1. I agree with you Ben! All good things come from God, whether it be the clinical researchers finding a better treatment, doctors taking good care of you, nurses, etc. In fact, the young surgeon that performed my surgery (one of the top in America) I could tell had a real relationship with God. I pray that you continue to get better and may God continue to bless you and keep you. Appreciate your comment, it touched my heart!

      -James

  2. James, I stumbled upon your youtube (drone) video, then came to your link here. WOW! What a blessing you are to me and so many others. I pray God’s strength to flow through you and give you healing, peace, both. God bless you, and thank you for sobering all of us up. Al Fike, Richardson, TX (Comedian and minster).

    1. Hey Al, thanks for the kind comment and prayers! I’m happy we found each other as well! Please stay in touch, I’m down in at UT Southwest once per month 🙂

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