A Terminal Illness Primer for Caregivers: Non-traditional Therapies and Clinical Trials

But, girl, you have no faith in medicine.
Acetaminophen. You see the medicine, oh girl.

Well, strip the bark right off a tree and just hand it this way.
Don’t even need a drink of water to make the headache go away.

Give me sugar pill and watch me just rattle down the street.
Acetaminophen. You see the medicine.

Oh girl, you have no faith in medicine.
– The White Stripes, Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine

I’ve posted a new chapter in my Terminal Illness Primer for Caregivers series, entitled, Non-traditional Therapies and Clinical Trials.  You can read it here.

14 thoughts on “A Terminal Illness Primer for Caregivers: Non-traditional Therapies and Clinical Trials

  1. Pingback: Terminal Illness Primer for Caregivers: Non-traditional Therapies and Clinical Trials | Vegan Today

  2. tearoomdelights

    Another compelling chapter in your excellent primer. On the subject of clinical trials, it has occurred to me in the past that in taking part in one, you might actually give yourself less of a chance of survival or improvement, depending on what you’re given or not given. I understand that this is a necessary part of it, but I like the fact that you highlighted the altruistic nature of this. Medicine is always evolving, we’re never going to know everything about how the body and mind work, but these trials help us to work towards a better understanding for the future. If you can view the human race as a whole and your own part in it as exactly that, just a small part of the whole, you can feel that your contribution is useful to the species. That’s how much of the animal kingdom works but we tend to think ourselves above that, because we have a very definite sense of self and our own individuality. In the great scheme of things though, even the most noteworthy human beings are only on this Earth for a fraction of time, and if we can benefit others by our presence here then so much the better. (I say this now, but I realise I may feel differently if I were seriously ill or looking after someone who was.) I’m so glad you started this project Annie, I had no idea I was this interested in it but I very much enjoy reading everything you write on the subject.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      One additional benefit of participation that I neglected to mention is that the patient receives quite a lot of additional medical attention – with more check-ups and testing. One reason for this is to catch any recurrence or regrowth early so that the patient can be “unblinded” from the trial to receive treatment as quickly as possible – as was the case for my brother.

      I’m not sure the altruistic aspect is compelling enough for me, either – but certainly we owe many breakthroughs to the thousands who have participated in these important trials. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lorna.

  3. narf77

    I agree, you may or may not get a benefit from trials BUT you know that whatever happens, you are helping in the research for what you are being treated for. Again, another excellent post in your series Annie 🙂

  4. oawritingspoemspaintings

    This is a tremendous subject which I’m very curious about. Having successfully, until now, treated, with my family doctor, nearly everything on homeopathy and macrobiotics for my growing kids and us parents, (besides our son’s childhood Epilepsy which he has overgrown now,but which I have accompanied WITH a macrobiotic diet so as to keep his dosage to a minimum and tantrums away successfully too)… I see others around me struggling with what they call “real” medicine, believing it’ll be faster and more effective,having operations done, followed by death or complications in the luckier cases, I today can say, I do not trust what is trusted to be “real” …
    I believe in prevention better than cure too 🙂
    The Macrobiotic philosophy is, I quote… “the same as it took 20 or 30 yrs of “preparing” this illness with inadequate foods & problematic environment locations which I admit we cannot always control, one has to be patient when curing with food”
    Which I know is just as effective if not more than conventional therapies, having met people, one of them a lung cancer patient who had 5 months to live and cured himself that way.
    I am truly looking forward to this fascinating yet controversial subject.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      I love that quote – thank you so much for sharing, and for sharing your experience as well. I remember years and years ago reading about a man with terminal cancer who decided to cure himself with a macrobiotic diet and his disease went into complete remission. It really stuck with me, but it took me many years to alter my own diet. I can’t imagine living any other way.

      1. oawritingspoemspaintings

        Indeed, it does take years to adapt to any slight changes… I had a long journey with ups and many downs until I found O.A (overeaters anonymous) with a tremendous sponsor and after 4 yrs of an intensive drilling on wisdom, acceptance etc… I got to open up this blog which proved to be the exact “distraction” I needed to implicate all I’d learnt in those 4 yrs and could finally narrow down my food plan to what my body preferred 🙂

  5. Somer

    After finishing Super Immunity yesterday, I’m even more convinced than ever that cancer can be treated and prevented through foods, some of the patients in the book did chemo and Dr. Furhman’s treatment at the same time. There’s every option available to us out there. I’m hoping that your series will help others make more informed decisions. xx

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Super Immunity is the book that really got me thinking along the lines of food as medicine. We’ve got to give our bodies the right stuff! The cure to cancer is cancer prevention.

  6. tinykitchenstories

    Looks like I’d better order this Super Immunity book asap. Anne, you’re doing great work being so open about a topic that is scary and awkward to discuss for so many people!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      It’s a great book – thanks to it we eat a giant daily salad and slurp on our giant daily green smoothies each morning. He recommends eating 1 pound of greens a day – have not reached that nirvana yet…but I’m trying!


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