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#53832 - 09/21/06 10:00 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Cathy G Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (300+ posts)

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 837
Loc: Newton, MA

Like Gary, I have some of the same background experiences as you in terms of knowing people who expect God to be a substitute for good, professional medical treatment -- and I continue to be perplexed and exasperated by it. I sort of did Gary's progression in reverse -- I was raised in an evangelical family and became a Catholic in my forties. While I was growing up, I saw relatives in my extended family dealing with major health issues and being very passive about medical treatment, saying "if God wants me to get better, he will heal me". On the other hand, I saw my father confronted with a seriously debilitating (and somewhat obscure) illness and observed my mother, a deeply religious woman, aggressively researching and pursuing every scrap of medical literature she could find on his illness so she could obtain expert professional help for him, which added greatly to the quality of his life, particularly in his later years. More than once I heard her explicitly reject the "sit back and wait for a miracle" approach that she saw in some other family members. Like her -- and like Gary -- I believe that God can and does use experienced medical professionals to accomplish great acts of healing. (My ENT surgeon was a very religious and compassionate man who used his skills to save many lives.)

If I had not gotten the kind of comprehensive treatment that I received 17 years ago, I'd probably be long since dead, as my pathology report showed a fairly aggressive type of tumor. I'm thankful for every day I've had since then, as I've had increasing opportunities in recent years to become more active in my church, as well as in several other volunteer activities. I've had many wonderful experiences (too numerous to mention) in my post-cancer years and believe that God DOES work in mysterious ways -- often using people such as doctors and nurses along the way.


P.S. Brian -- I hope this is a permissible "breaking of the rules" in light of the tone of the thread.
Tongue SCC (T2M0N0), poorly differentiated, diagnosed 3/89, partial glossectomy and neck dissection 4/89, radiation from early June to late August 1989

#53833 - 09/21/06 10:09 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Brian Hill Offline
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 4734
Loc: Laguna Niguel, CA
This thread is well into the topic of religion and it started out that way. This is definatley the place to have these discussions.
Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

#53834 - 09/23/06 12:06 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
minniea Offline
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 08/02/03
Posts: 1627
Loc: va. beach
I am also a devout Christian, Baptist born. I contain my life to a small community that consists of my church and the school that is run by that same church. My kids all attend that private school and our social functions almost to a fault revolve around this environment. In other words, God is the common bond in our lives. BUT, trust me when I tell you that my first steps to help after being diagnosed were NOT in the direction of my faith in God, they were straight to my doctors office. Feet firmly planted in that direction, no doubt. My faith in God comforted and healed my emotions, but my doctors healed my body.
SCC Left Mandible. Jaw replaced with bone from leg. Neck disection, 37 radiation treatments. Recurrence 8-28-07, stage 2, tongue. One third of tongue removed 10-4-07. 5-23-08 chemo started for tumor behind swallowing passage, Our good friend and much loved OCF member Minnie has been lost to the disease (RIP 10-29-08). We will all miss her greatly.

#53835 - 09/23/06 11:58 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
coverup Offline

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 4
Loc: kansas
Thank you all SO much for all your input. I have printed it and will refer to it again when I'm confronted with this issue. I can say "Here read this, they know what they are talking about." (No insurance had a part to play in my daughter's decision to go alternative). And just to put a plug in for the Lord---Mayo's in Phoenix has offered to do the surgery gratis!!! I'll keep you posted on the outcome of the tests. They will go ahead with the surgery 10/6 if the tests show it has not matastasized. Thanks again, you are great and so is this site! Mom

#53836 - 09/24/06 09:12 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Lisa S.D. Offline
Gold Member (100+ posts)

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 102
Loc: Long Island
Dear Mom,

I started to write a response to you three times before this but had such a hard time completing my post because I'm in the same situation with my Aunt and I am finding it VERY hard to stand by her decision to "put it all in God's hands" instead of following good sound medical advice.
My Aunt is a born-again Christian and she is experiencing a recurrence. Because of the recurrence and because she will not cooperate with the doctors, they've told her there is little they can do. It's too far advanced at this point. You have an advantage. Your daughter is "in the system" it appears. Don't let her out! Of course "with God, all things are possible", but we have to first TRY before He will intercede and push that boulder up the hill for us. My Aunt, with her intial diagnosis and with her recurrence asked all the dumb questions- "isn't there an herb that can cure this?" all while the cancer made a mad dash around local tissues and distant sites. In the nicest most Godly way possible, impress upon her that without drastic medical intervention (at this point) there is NO hope! I'm a very quiet reserved person, I'm a devout Catholic myself, but I believe there comes a time when we're forced to speak up. My Aunt is frankly putting my dear sweet Uncle through the wringer and I think it's unfair. The truth is, she hasn't much time left. I don't want to hear of someone else being in this same position. I'm at the point now where I wake up every day dreading getting that phone call from my Uncle telling me that my Aunt can't stand up on her own anymore or that she can't breathe on her own anymore because of the size of the tumor in her jaw and neck. My Aunt is willingly cashing it all in. Please in the name of all that is good and holy, don't allow your daughter to do that! She has so much to live and fight for.

We're in the same boat it seems and right now, that boat has a hole in it. Feel free to PM me any time. Yes, keep praying, of course always keep praying but make sure she understands the utter gravity of her situation and keep her in her doctors care.

Sending hugs,
Niece to Aunt Ro- Dx: 4/03. SCC Stg 4 BOT with mets to fl of mth & crvcl lymph node. AdenoC 1 sal gland. Two add. reconstrc. surgeries for adhesions. Recurrence 7/06- Sub-Mand AdenoC. Mets to both lungs. Lost her battle 5/4/07.

#53837 - 09/26/06 02:06 AM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Gary Offline
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3552
Loc: San Francisco CA
Coverup (AKA Mom),
I wish to correct some inaccurate information I posted about the New Testament Gospels specifically my statement "Can you think of any instances where the Apostles achieved physical healing during their ministries? I think not." There are indeed several recorded instances where the Apostles did perform physical healing. Specifically in Acts 3:5-8 and Acts 5:12-16. There were 10 other instances as well.
I use the NIV (New International Version) of the Bible.

My main reference for healing is a book simply called "Healing" by Francis McNutt, PhD. Here are some brief excerpts:

On page 23 of his book, in the chapter "Does Healing Happen? he states on page 23, Section C, "Physical Healing..." subpart ii), "increasing a fatalistic tendency among the people to let God take action without any initiative on their part to improve their lot - to create sanitary conditions, and to visit the doctor. The missionaries have had a hard time encouraging the people to take action and are not about to let them use prayer as a fatalistic dependence". Additionally many, many churches have medical and dental teams as part of their missionary activities.

On page 206, in the Chapter on "Medicine and Healing" 3rd paragraph, "There you have it all: a belief in prayer for healing as well as a recognition that God also cures through the skill of the doctor and through drugs. Medicine and prayer are not opposed, but the doctor, the nurse, the pharmacist, and the person with the gift of healing all together form God's healing team."

Lisa has it right - we are commanded to do ALL that we can do first and then ask for God's healing power.
Gary Allsebrook
Dx 11/22/02, SCC, 6 x 3 cm Polypoid tumor, rt tonsil, Stage III/IVA, T3N0M0 G1/2
Tx 1/28/03 - 3/19/03, Cisplatin ct x2, IMRT, bilateral, with boost, x35(69.96Gy)
"You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14 NIV)

#53838 - 09/27/06 09:54 PM Re: alternative/herbal medicines
Cathy G Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (300+ posts)

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 837
Loc: Newton, MA

Gary's post reminded me of another point I wanted to make. One of my aunts is a lifelong missionary in an evangelical denomination, who had chronic heart disease problems dating back to her childhood. When open heart surgery was just an emerging technique, decades ago, doctors told her that she truly needed this procedure -- that without it she would die a very early death in her early 30's. She went through the surgery (along with the prayers of many family members and friends), and is still alive today, at the age of 80, carrying on a very active life.

Tongue SCC (T2M0N0), poorly differentiated, diagnosed 3/89, partial glossectomy and neck dissection 4/89, radiation from early June to late August 1989

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