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Diagnosis Cancer

The Journey Begins

by Lynn Monroe


Are you facing this challenge? If you are, you must make a series of crucial treatment decisions in very short order. It can be hard to choose wisely at a time when under such intense pressure. Faced with a disease that already causes indecision and anxiety, and now confronted with incomplete data, differing opinions from different doctors, choices will seem almost impossible.

Mainstream dictates seeing an oncologist, a surgeon, a radiologist, or all three. Cancer is now the number 1 killer in this country, recently surpassing heart disease. In spite of the best efforts of well-trained oncologists, over one half million Americans die of cancer each year. Adding complementary modalities to create Integrative (conventional + complementary) protocols has shown profoundly beneficial effects on both quality of life and longevity by bringing together the “best of both worlds”.

There has been great demand for authoritative information about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) but it has been extremely difficult for both oncology professionals as well as persons with cancer and their families to obtain information about therapeutic programs that could safely integrate the best of modern oncology with the most effective of CAM approaches.

I am a trained and experienced Clinical Herbalist and Cancer Guide. I assure you there are

many paths to consider when one begins the journey. Patients can find a substantial amount of data about both mainstream therapies (including cutting-edge experimental approaches) and complementary treatments (including nutrition, mind-body, herbal and alternative therapies). It is then possible to make informed decisions and to develop an integrative program consistent with the best medical advice, recent research findings, and one’s own personal needs and beliefs.

Take Responsibility For Your Care…..It’s Your Life

Once you know your options you create an individualized program. Realize you have the power to do it! This shift from passivity and resignation to awareness and activity answers the question “what can I do?” By taking this step you will feel more in control of your care which is, in itself, health enhancing and energizing.

Take an open-minded and critical look at all therapies, complementary, alternative and conventional, asking a number of questions of each possible intervention. What are the odds of a cure or long term survival? What is the down side in terms of side effects, convenience and expense? How does one approach compare with another? Which ones can be safely and easily integrated?

Your path is your own personal journey during which you draw support from loved ones and many diverse healthcare professionals. My role is to start you on this journey and provide guidance, tools and plans that can make a difference --- an integrative program that is a reflection of who you are, of your unique challenges, perspectives and needs.

References:

1. Gordon JS, Curtin S. Comprehensive Cancer: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies. Cambridge, Mass: Perseus Publishing, 2000

2. Sagar SM Restored Harmony. Dreaming DragonFly Communications, Hamilton, Ontario, 2001

As a Cancer Guide Consultant, Lynn provides counseling to cancer patients on their options in conventional and complementary therapies. She is Clinical Herbalist, not a physician, and does not prescribe or diagnose. She does offer detailed information and support to help cancer patients make informed decisions and develop an integrative program consonant with the best medical advice, recent research findings, and their own personal needs and beliefs. She has been working with cancer patients for the past seven years and has accumulated a base of knowledge about both mainstream therapies (including cutting-edge experimental approaches) and complementary treatments (including herbal medicine, nutrition, mind-body, and other alternative therapies), which patients can utilize to their benefit. My experience suggests that patients often are most successful when they combine the best of conventional oncology with carefully chosen complementary treatments. She has had the privilege of assisting many patients whose quality of life has been dramatically improved; some of these patients have fully recovered or survived long beyond conventional medical expectations.

Lynn has participated in an intensive CancerGuides (TM) training program, sponsored by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, which was developed by the Center’s founder and director, James S. Gordon, M.D. (Dr. Gordon is chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.) CancerGuides (TM) trains health care professionals of all stripes to provide psychospiritual and informational support to cancer patients, with a special emphasis on integrative therapies. Lynn graduated from Russell Sage College with a BS in Clinical Laboratory Science and when she retired from Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, was Chief Medical Technologist and a Specialist in Hematology.

She is past-president of the American Society for Medical Technology (Maine Chapter) and is presently a member of the American Herbalist Guild, the Northeast Herbal Association, the Saratoga Integrative Practitioners Network (http://www.sipn.info/monroe.htm) and United Holistic Practitioners Association (www.unitedhpa.org).


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