State of dominance

So I’ve had a couple of ‘maintenance appointments’ since my radioembolization finished: another checkup with my primary physician and my annual follow-up colonoscopy. Tests from my physical came back mostly normal with the exception of my alkaline phosphatase levels being abnormally elevated. I’d usually be concerned about the high levels, but then again there IS something wrong with my liver so I’m not that bent out of shape about it.

And my colonoscopy last week went well: no new polyps to remove, and the tumor that started this all has shrunk 20% and is a lot less angry-looking than when we first discovered it. All this shrinkage and without chemo for the last 7 months… not bad. My proctologist has recommended a surgeon to investigate the possibility of removing the stuff in my colon soon; now would be a perfect time to explore this option before I see my oncologist again and potentially have to be put back on chemotherapy. If I can get the tumor in the colon removed, then the source of the cancer will be eliminated and this becomes a battle fought only in my liver.

My doctor recommended I read Radical Remissions and I pulled a lot of insight from it; most notably the concept of changing the environment to affect the disease. The author likens having cancer to having mold in your basement: if a doctor discovers cancer when operating on someone, the first (and usually only) line of defense is to attack the cancer outright and try to eradicate it from the body with chemo or radiation therapy, much like one uses bleach to get rid of mold in a basement. But if the environment hasn’t changed then there’s an outstanding chance that the mold (or cancer) will come back, because the environment is mold- (or cancer-) friendly. So additional work is required to change the environment: as one would use a dehumidifier in a basement to make it less hospitable for mold growth, my task is to adjust my body chemistry so it helps my own immune system fight the cancer from within, and will continue to fight it like other healthy people do.

To that end, I’ve been adding more supplements to my daily diet, and am working towards eating better. Most of you know I cook the majority of the dinners for my family so this part is a little more of a challenge for me, as I’d be putting myself on a culinary island if I strictly stuck to the guidelines suggested (i.e., no meat, no dairy, no pasta or breads, no sweets, etc). I’m not willing to put my 2 teenage children through this, as they require a much different diet than I do. But I’m working on it slowly, making small changes that are less temporary and more apt to be assimilated into my cooking habits. I’m introducing at least one meatless dinner a week, trying to add more tasty recipes as I find them.

One of the 9 factors highlighted in the book discusses increasing positive emotions, which I felt I had nailed but realized I had been shooting a lot of negativity directly at my illness. I’m quickly finding that this activity is not helping me overall – I can’t consider myself a positive person if I’m being negative towards an unwanted part of myself. Plus, it’s exhausting to keep up such negativity when I’m not used to it. So I’m changing my attitude to one of love – not hate – towards my cancer. Letting go while continuing to control and modify my environment, and trusting my own cancer killer cells to do their job. The goal hasn’t changed, just my ideas on how I get there. I’m sure they could change again at some point. I still have a lot of work to do, and if I’m not satisfied with how my next CT scan looks in early January, I know what I need to do to improve things.

Thanks as always for being here with me. I’m addicted to the energy I get through well wishes and prayers, and it keeps me well. Please to enjoy some Stereolab! I love the pace of this song, great to walk to.

When two people have a project
They begin a competition
In which there will be a winner and a loser
State of dominance over one or the other
This dominance is integral
To all human’s ways and actions
The necessity to keep at disposition
An object or being desired by another
Knowing through training that if he wants to keep it
Learning everyday, he will have to dominate

Our brain makes us act
Behave and react
Compulsion that drives us to stay alive
Need to satisfy our fundamental needs
The nervous system enables that drive
Through consumerism, escape and struggle
As well as inhibition
All these mechanisms that preserve balance
Biological well being
Seems that until now we have used our brain
Just to dominate, just to dominate

Knowing through training that if he wants to keep it
Learning everyday, he will have to dominate
When two people have a project
They begin a competition

We’ve to widen the knowledge of
How our brain works to understand
Or nothing will, will ever change
With to what end, to end right now

Give birth without seizing
Act and expect nothing
They flower let them free
Unite with the dust and be.

10 thoughts on “State of dominance”

  1. Two teenage children – You’re so old. Let’s keep it that way!!!

    check out It might give you a few no-dairy, no-meat, no-taste ideas. I use their recipes about once a month and so far no one has complained too much.

  2. Paleo meets vegan, sounds like a great plan! More power to you bro! I’ll look for some yummy recipes. Hopefully we can add to your new cook book.

  3. As always thanks for the update Eric. I am sure you will never realize the extent of impact that your sharing of this experience has on all of us. We share our observations, we learn from each other and that is an awesome thing to give others. You are always an inspiration to me for upping my game.

    Thank you!

  4. No bread,no pasta,no meat,,…………uh, whatcha gonna eat?
    No body calls old ma anymore. So i keep with this blog to know what’s going on . I w ear my blue bracelet for support ,since you sent it out . Let’s give a big thankayou to deana, who made them I’ve been told.

  5. It’s so reassuring that the big joys, like children, like art, like friends need no moderation whatsoever, but instead can always be indulged in with absolute reckless abandon. We love you Eric.

  6. Inspired as usually by your positivity! Sending out positive energy in my world hoping it trickles all the way to N.C. and beyond!!

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