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10 January 2016

What's up with "And fuck cancer"?

A lot of people have touching and compelling stories about cancer that will move you to tears. This is not that.

My attitude here comes more from a "what is the thing you believe that most people don't", which is that modern medicine is still much closer to leeches and bloodletting than anyone in the profession will let on. Scary close. Like, "we still use leeches sometimes" close. And that we will be much much closer to a science as far as "health" goes in 20 years than we are now. We're amazing at fixing trauma. If I get in a car accident, I want to be helicoptered to the closest trauma facility. When I'm kind of overweight and just don't feel great though? I'm not so interested in what medicine has to say.

It also comes very directly from an experience we had in my family. Someone was diagnosed with "Level 0 Breast Cancer". Which is to say, they had a growth that totally wasn't cancer, but maybe it could have become cancer down the line. "Oh god! Stage X Cancer!" the person thought. And of course a full treatment was ordered. This person isn't in super health in the first place (having suffered a stroke some time ago and various other health conditions), but they decided to get an operation to remove the thing-that-might-someday-become-cancerous. So they took their life in their hands, went under the knife, and got an operation. Tough recovery.

Oops. The operation didn't get the entire thing-that-is-not-cancer-but-we-could-totally-tell-was-thinking-about-it in her breast. So back under the knife. Tougher recovery.

Then, of course, radiation treatment. 12 weeks of sickness and incapacitation. A stroke medication interfered with the other drugs. Emergency room visit. More radiation. Finally, finished treatment for the thing-that-wasn't-cancer. No pink ribbons, since we're not "cancer survivors", but instead, "pre-cancer survivors", but oh well. We weren't in it for the pink ribbons.

A couple months later, the person gets sick. And sicker. And sicker. The new doctors (yay American health care system with constant passing-of-the-doctor) are stumped. Eventually get to an oncologist (why are we seeing an oncologist again?) who diagnoses that the surgical wound (from the second surgery) was infected. Back under the knife to clean out the wound and actually close things up sterile-ly this time. Thankfully no more radiation (remember, still no cancer).

So, three surgeries and many hospitalizations later, (I actually have no idea what the cost to the economy for this whole escapade was, but it was not cheap) we're "cured". Fuck that.

So then, I was listening to the Dom D'agostoino episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast and what he said was really intriguing to me for so many reasons. And I decided that even though the word "paleo" to describe a diet that people consume these days is asinine in so many ways, maybe there was something worth looking into with this low carb high fat diet. We threw out all the carbs in the house, bought an ass-load of bacon, and have been going strong for about 6 weeks now. Everyone in the family is losing weight (well, all the adults anyway), feeling the best they have in ages, and, as an interesting side effect, any pre-cancerous "things" are getting starved of the glucose they need to get big enough to endanger our lives in the cancer/scalpel lottery.

I'm super happy that I've found this, and want to make it easier for others to get here, too.