Okay let me start off by saying, I’ve met many people over the past 9 or so years that have meant well; however, their delivery was a bit questionable, to say the least.

I remember when I was first diagnosed, I was vigilant when it came to studying the statistics of surviving multiple myeloma, as well as the alternative possibility in beating this. I’ll talk a little bit about the people I’ve met on this journey and maybe you can relate. When most of us start out in deciphering a diagnosis such as myeloma or any blood cancer, we tend to connect with whomever and whatever shows us hope and the glorious possibilities. Unfortunately, we may run into a few whose intention is to fill us with unrealistic yet promising hope.

False hope

I remember this radio DJ who would boast about diet and overall well-being, along with playing the hottest rhythm and blues hits. He had a guest who discussed the importance of a well-preserved diet and how many of the body's frailties could be resolved. Now, when you hear those words, you hold on to the hope that you can beat this without the meds, which the doctor tells you may or may not work. However, there is something about when a purist and alternative practitioner who has seen it all in healing the sick, well let’s just say you bet on this option more. I was so hopeful and was okay letting the chips fall as they may. Well…

I dug a bit further to get this healer’s information and was ecstatic when we arranged to have a discussion on my health status. I wasn’t sure what I thought I’d gain from the call, but was very open for “hope”. I gave a break down of my situation, which was based on my first doctor's diagnosis and plan to start treatment ASAP with thalidomide. Once I was done he blurted out, “Now, why would you do something as foolish as that”? I held the phone from my face dumbfounded, as I wasn’t expecting to be chastised.

Basically, he was against the conventional way of treating cancer with medication and believed a lot of the medications don’t help anyone. I was disillusioned as you may have figured. It also didn’t help that he spoke to me like I was incompetent for looking at my options, as the only option for him was the alternative way. I was upset by how that meeting went, to say the least. I tell this story to say that there are some good alternative methods out there, and again, each person is different, so what worked for one person, may not be the Holy Grail for another. It’s important to do your research, ask questions, and follow your gut when looking at other avenues in your health care.

Being aware of good and bad intentions

Quack Doctor: An unqualified person who claims medical knowledge or other skills.1

Here are a few signs to look out for if you come into contact with those who are brash with their approaches on your health:

  • Individuals who quote you medical studies and references that hold no weight.
  • Any source that quotes an absolute cure for cancer.
  • Those who claim to cure you with your purchase of their home remedy.
  • Claims of medicinal uses that go back centuries, and though there may have been positive outcomes, each case is different. We must be careful of such claims that suggest they can do away with something like cancer. You have to be wary and wise.2

The other side

The other side of this is claiming that science is the all that be all to your ail. The difference between what a quack claims and a traditional physician claims is the scientific evidence that follows. Again, I’m for an alternative that makes sense. In my case, I was about to die and chemo saved my life. If I played around with concoctions (and I did earlier on) I may not be writing this. Be aware and be careful, this is your life and you only get one!

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

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