" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

May 31, 2010

Cancer treatment and Singledom

Breast Cancer Treatment Choice
This weekend I met a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she felt a small lump. I don't know how many years ago this was but she chose not to have treatment and opted instead to use "alternative treatments". When she described some of what she's been doing it sounded so "crazy" to me I just wondered how it was that someone could choose to walk away from all that has been learned about breast cancer treatment (even if the end results are still no where near good enough) and do what would essentially be, in my mind, nothing. She now is questioning her decision because she says, lately, the lump has grown a lot bigger. I wanted to just look at her and say, "Are you insane?"
To me, it seemed like she chose what she called "alternative treatments" which seemed to consist mainly of supplements, out of fear, rather than out of some rational, systematic approach of her own designed by some integrated alternative health practitioners.

It freaked me out for her while at the same time I recognized that it's her life and her death. I had such a strong reaction in my own gut and mind to her choice that it was clear to me what I would do should the same thing happen. I would do both. I would not mess around. I would choose to get medical treatment and I would investigate every alternative approach - including the mind-body connection including visualizations - voraciously. I mean, why, in this day and age, with the amount of knowledge we have, could you arbitrarily decide to walk away from that? I don't get it and it really bothers me because it seems like such ignorance in the face of possibilities and, millions of dollars of health research and years of studies.

Singledom and Support
I had a conversation with a friend this weekend about the fact that when you're single, especially if it's the status quo for you which it has been for me for quite some time now, those who are coupled often don't get how important it is for "singles" to maintain a strong support network and have that be a two-way street.

Being part of a couple seems often to lead to a laziness because they have each other  and maybe have always had someone as a partner in their life and have no real experience as to what it's like to be single for any length of time. Now, I know there are only so many hours in a day and as parents, partners, etc. there are incredible demands on time. I'm not really referring to that. I'm referring to people who just don't make the effort to keep in touch as soon as you left a geographic area, like a baby watching a T.V. screen and as soon as the ball disappears, it's gone. Where'd it go?  That just says so much about how much you mattered in the first place it seems to me, in spite of their words to the contrary.

It's so typical of women, especially, it seems to me to suddenly disappear when they have a male partner in their life and approaching 50, while I can understand to a certain degree, especially if it's a new relationship, I find that behaviour very insulting and immature especially since inevitably, those same women and sometimes men, when they are single,  are the first to call you and want to hang or to treat you like their personal therapist when it ends. Annoying!

So thank you, to those of my friends from Vancouver and Salt Spring (you know who you are) who have gone above and beyond to include me and who actually do pick up the phone and keep in touch with me even though you  have a long term partner and a family. Yea to you!

Had any revelations this week? Why not share one?


IDman said...

I get . It's amazing .

thank a lot for your sharing.


harriet glynn said...

Interesting. I feel that the social media sites and connections are a much more open way to connect with "strangers" or people who might work with you that the pre-Internet world. People can read you, hear what you have to say and get a sense of who you are before meeting you. Or not even meet you at all.