Today I read in The Star- Fit for Life on the passing away of Dr Albert Lim Kok Hooi on 8 March 2013 at the age of 60. Of all causes, it was prostate cancer that had taken his life.
The news would undoubtly shake the beliefs of many who are undergoing conventional treatment and alternative healers may start to question the agrressive treatment of fighting cancer with surgery, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
Dr Albert Lim was a well known consultant in Gleneagles Hospital. When my friend had breast cancer and consulted him, Dr Albert had recommended a very high dosage of treatment- both radiotherapy and chemotherapy due to the strong cancer history that ran in her family (her mother died of cervical cancer and her sister died of breast cancer).
Till today, more than 5 years down the line, my friend is still alive and well- still many years into her corporate job- a job she had held for more than 20 years.
Hence, when one get cancer, should one opt for conventional or alternative/ holistic treatments?
In my opinion, it would depends on that person. Everyone of us have to go one day. Doctors, healers, rich, poor, famous- cancer knows no social status, profession, race or religion.
As I’ve mentioned in prior articles, through observation- I believe there are some intangible factors that determines a person’s lifespan. Some factors are within our control whereas some are not.
Conventional treatment adopts a more aggressive method in treating the cancer- with the aim to ‘search and destroy’. If successful, cancer cells can be be brought well into remission.
Whereas for one that opt for alternative or holistic treatments, more natural forms of treatment are adopted. Most of the treatments aim to restore balance in the person’s body as it is believed that cancer could be caused due to imbalances of energies or elements in the body. However, in order to minimize any imbalances, the person would need to strictly adhere to certain eating plans. If not, the cancer could and may come back.
Some people opt for holistic treatment and survived. Some could not make it. And vice versa- patients die undergoing chemo but some survived years later.
While the aggressive treatment of chemotherapy may kill the person, I have seen in my extended family on how organic and vegetarian diet also lead to the demise of my 3rd auntie and my cousin brother.
When it happens to us or our loved onces, we would be afraid and unsure. All the scholarly and theoritical knowledge we have would meant nothing. It really meant nothing. What matters most is that inner strength – that enables us to let go and accept whatever consequences it may bring. What matters is that we have led our lives with our conscience cleared and we spend our time on the earth doing the right thing to the best of our abilities so that we have no regrets. If our hearts are really good and we are kind and compassionate towards others, we have nothing to fear- because we do not worry where we would go next.
That is why we need to keep the one important ‘protection‘ in our hearts- we should never neglect spirituality. Do no harm towards others. Regardless of the faith you are in – spending a little time each day in prayers or meditation so that you do not deviate far from your own spiritual path. You would not feel it and perhaps you would not see any results and the modern technology age would convince you that ‘you are meant to live life to the fullest and in your own terms and enjoyment’.
But in the face of illness, we would know how vulnerable we are. We would know that power, money, fame and recognition meant NOTHING if we are going to die. If we lived our life selfishly without much regards for others, we would feel lots of fear and trepidation.
Perhaps this may not make sense to you. But through it all, I’ve seen that it is not the treatment- there are invisible factors at play. I believed we have ‘danger’ stages in few stages of our lives. Some people pass these stages safely while some don’t.
To pass through these stages, it would depend on various factors. Suffice to say spiritual values plays a strong role. Each faith teaches one to be good, have a clear conscience and do good.
If we are unwell, let the doctors/healers treat our body while we take care of our emotions and mind. A fearful, sad and anger mind would affect our immune and affect in our ability to recover and fight against the illness.
We still need to seek treatment when we are sick but our spiritual practice gives us strength in times of trouble. It’s better to start when we are well and active- little things add up. Do not underestimate it. I have shared before in my life’s personal tragedy and loss which have completely overhauled my views of life. Of how my entire world crashed right before my very eyes- one day I seems to have everything going for me and the next- I almost lost both of my parents. At my dad’s funeral- when looking at his lifeless body lying on the coffin, in front of my friends and relatives, I felt hysteria rising and I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown.
Then just as suddenly, a one time meditation experience I’ve had about 2 years prior to that give me a calmness and strength. It enabled me to go face the fear and uncertainties. I’ve written about it in detail here.
Over the years and through so much of observation, it is my opinion that whether the patient survives or not is not solely dependent on the treatment method (conventional vs holistic) but also on whether our time on this earth is really up or not. If we are meant to live, we would find or be led to a suitable treatment that is going to heal us. If not, then even the most expensive treatment that money can buy will not give us life.
Years ago, when a group of us friends went and consulted a fortune teller, he made an unfavourable prediction that I may not live pass a certain age. I took what he say with a pinch of salt but I also told myself that in case he was right, then I would die at the prime of my life. So over the years, I try to search for answers and to live my life in a way that I would have clear conscience, minimal regrets and less fear. Eventually I meet a spiritual teacher who told me that through spiritual practice I could prolong my life.
On my last year’s birthday, I passed that age. Right or wrong, the fortune teller’s prediction had reminded me a lot of my own immortality (we all tend to think that death is far away when it can hit us anytime, anywhere).
Death is not something morbid- in fact, it is effective in waking us up from going down the wrong path that gets us nowhere. Of not keeping score and sweating over the small stuff. It’s just not worth it.