I recently attended the annual conference of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (as a speaker
— they wanted to hear from a patient). For three days I got to listen to Naturopathic doctors who specialize in treating cancer speak to about 200 of their colleagues. Some of the presentations were over my head medically, and some were very educational.
I wrote in December that I was considering taking a hormone blocking medication. To do that, my breast cancer tumor must be ER+. When I was originally diagnosed in 1989, it was. But somewhere along the way, one of the tumors that was biopsied was ER negative. I learned at this conference that 1 in 3 tumors change from positive to negative or vice versa. I talked to the speaker who gave that presentation, Michael Traub, ND, and he said if my tumor hadn’t been tested in a year, he recommended that I have my current tumor tested before considering taking a hormone blocker. I will talk to my oncologist about this on our next visit.
In his presentation, he talked about using phytochemicals instead of Aromatase inhibitors to accomplish the same thing, if someone can’t deal with the side effects of the hormone blocking drugs. He mentioned grape seed extract, white button mushrooms, green tea, red clover, resveratrol, and melatonin. I am mentioning these in case some of you know you have an ER+ tumor and are hesitant to take Aromatase inhibitors.
Another speaker (Paul Epstein, ND) talked about how our biography becomes our biology. He said the body remembers what the mind tries to forget, mentioning unresolved conflicts, unfulfilled potential, and unconscious anxiety. The body gives us a non-negotiable summons to change. Everything he said supported what I have already written about from the work of Ronald Peters, MD in his book, Edgework: Exploring the Psychology of Disease.
It also fits in with one of the “Radical Remission treatments” that I think I most need to work on now: releasing negative and/or repressed emotions. Of course, the first step is to actually feel the emotions before expressing and releasing them.
In the Healing Journeys newsletter last week I wrote about Slow Medicine and the importance of finding my linchpin in healing (you can read that here). In asking myself the 77 questions in the book, Slow Medicine, the ones that stand out for me are “Are you accepting of all your feelings?” and “Are you aware of and able to safely express sadness, anger, and fear…” Of course there are many other questions that are also useful for me, but my intuition tells me that focusing on feeling, expressing, and releasing some of my previously suppressed emotions will be most helpful. Here’s a link to a song that inspires me to say what I need to say.