Greetings from the tour. I just landed in NYC after a great weekend in St. Louis. St. Mary's Health Center asked me to be their key note speaker for a wonderful lunch honoring survivors (I reminded them, we are ALL survivors, I live with canSer so I too am part of the pack). I must say, not only was it fabulous but they treated me so well. The highlight of my stay was a lovely dinner with some wonderful doctors and hospital staff. The conversation was open minded and so real! Get this, one of the cool docs suggested that up to 90% of the diseases they treat are a result of lifestyle choices. I listened to how backed into corners they feel when folks who abuse themselves expected them to "fix it" without ever changing the behavior that got them there in the first place. I loved their honesty! I loved that we could meet in the middle.
Plus, they not only picked a restaurant that had vegan options, those generous folks arranged for me to stay at the RITZ! Check me out! Marble bathroom floors and a lot of king bed diving. I was a pretty pig in high class heaven.
Note: My very first pair of Vegan shoes!
To be honest, that dinner really helped to heal a pain that has been bubbling in me.
Since Raw Spirit and a few other events lately, I have been thinking a lot about the pull I feel between Western and Alternative (AKA Integrative, Holistic) medicine. As many of you who read my blog know, I have committed my life to bridging the two worlds in order to find better solutions to our health crisis. I always suggest that patients find the best doctor for their particular disease FIRST and then think outside the box. But lately I have been coming up against a lot of resistance from the medical community.
I have been banned from hospital book stores (because of my titles and my content), have been labeled "dangerous" and have been used for free media with little to no thanks in return. Though I adore Dana Farber, about a month ago I heard some really sad news. At one of the young adult support groups, the moderator said "we don't bring her up here or recommend her work because many of us disagree with it." What part I wonder? Empowering patients? Helping them to get organized and then guiding them to create their own healing game plan - which includes western doctors? Wow, pretty radical stuff. I should be arrested! I wonder if this person disagreed with my work when I praised DF on Oprah? Hmmm. She has since been fired (so I hear).
At a hospital in the Midwest I was told that my ideas would never fly, they'd hire me for a speech but never sell my books or film, and that a plant-based diet lacks nutrition - people should be allowed to eat their hot dogs in peace. Hot dogs? Ps. Please read Dr. T. Colin Campbell's book The China Study. Learn how to turn off canSer cells by decreasing animal based protein.
Sometimes I feel like a lone voice love-shouting into a den of naysayers with swords. But I go anyway, hoping to change one life while ducking the tomatoes. It's not always like this, but I never know till I reach the stage and begin my story which I now call, "From Illness to Activist".
This is what I know for sure. I have to really know my stuff and so do you! Education is everything, and we must be able to talk in scientific terms or we will be totally dismissed. Gang, there is so much misinformation out there that it is easy to get confused. Stick with it. Share, question and always consider the source. Remember, our forum is a great place to toss around new ideas.
Me chatting for change at Raw Spirit
Even at fabulous RS I was stunned, a few so called leaders of the raw movement getting the science confused and creating fact out of the false. One fella, who I will not mention by name, got me so mad that I almost ripped him a new one. He had the nerve to stand up on the main stage, gush about his "cures", and to then tell the tale of a canSer cowgirl who he decided was "pathetic and whiney" because she wouldn't listen to him. Basically, in his mind she deserved what she had coming because she wouldn't go raw and chose chemo instead.
Excuse me? There are no promises with the raw diet. Plus, this lifestyle is tough no matter how sparkly you package it up (and then charge ridiculous amounts for some goodies). He was the least educated of the crew and as usual, the most opinionated. I wanted to cry and rage. But more than that, I wanted to LEARN! Learn for me, for you, for all they naysayers and for the confused. To learn for the curious and for the hopeful so that the simple truths of conscious living, loving and eating will never be made silly again. I prayed for my artist brain to change and remember facts to spit them on command. I prayed for tolerance and for love, for a medical world (BOTH sides) committed to health and hope as opposed to wealth and praying on the hopeless. I got on my knees and prayed....
Then I got up.
Sooooo, back to St. Louis and the topic of this post. After chatting about the benefits I have seen from a plant-based diets and the power of mind, body, spirit connection, this amazing sun-bright woman in the audience asked, "Why don't the doctors tell us this?" Well, though I'm a little mad at the white coats right now - mad but healing thanks to this last trip - I told her that my doctor will never have all the answers and why should he? I don't expect my surgeon to clean my teeth so why should I expect my oncologist to be up to date on the latest nutrition? That said, I do expect the designated hospital nutritionist to understand that food is medicine but sadly most of them don't. They teach what they have been taught, a model that is often out dated. As someone who is passionate about nutrition I understand that it advances just like medicine does. They should too. Stay informed, hellooooo. Read!
Also, our wonderful doctors often have one hand tied behind their backs. They are so pressed for time due to our deranged medical system that they're only allowed to see patients briefly. It's a factory, just like the farms and so often they must stick to the schedule in order to cram as many folks in as possible.
Our economy is in the toilet, the elections are coming (Goddess, I'm so scared). So much is at stake during these difficult times - especially the environment. There is no better time to renew your vows to self. Vow now.
I will share one last story. At a signing last week a young girl listen to me speak as tears flowed from her soul windows. When it was Q&A time she asked "how do you do take care of yourself if you don't like yourself, your body?" I wanted to walk over and hug the hate right out of her. "But you are God. You are Jesus, Buddha, Elvis, Etc. You are a Divine vessel sweet lady. How can you hate u? This sack is just your vehicle. Nothing more. Your job while clonking around in sneakers is to feel the love and shine it out, that's all. Because when we go back to the universal disco we bring more positive energy to the soup. We recharge the universal gigawatt! If we choose not to love this time then perhaps we have to do it all over again. No judgment, only opportunity."
Which brings me back to St. Louis one more time. I think the reason I loved them so much was because they were a group steeped in open minded spirituality. I could feel the Divine the second I walked to the podium. Hundreds of people filled with acceptance. Ultimately, they will probably heal with greater ease.
Check out these 2 Crazy Sexy beauties!
Thanks for letting me let it out.
Peace and sometimes I'm not so sure but I try anyway,
Why don't the doctors tell us this?
Monday, September 22, 2008
Posted by cancer cowgirl xo at 9:14 AM