Who’s in Charge?
My journey towards wellness and healing has also been a journey of self-discovery and truth discovery. One of the truths that I have come to embrace is the idea that ultimately, we are all responsible for our own health. There’s really so much more under our control than I had previously realized.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “cancer” is the name given to a collection of related diseases. One of the things they have in common is that in all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues. Sometimes these ever-dividing cells form growths called tumors. So the question becomes, what causes all of this abnormal cell growth to happen?
While I was thinking about this question, I heard a doctor say something that was a real “aha” moment for me. This doctor said that cancer is our fault. Cancer didn’t just appear out of nowhere, for no reason. Something happened that caused the cancer to grow. Moreover, this doctor explained, if we truly want to live, we need to make the decision that we will be responsible for how we’re going to heal. We cannot expect the doctor to do this.
When I heard this, I realized that up until this point in my life, I had not seen myself as having this responsibility. Like most people, when I had a medical issue I consulted with my doctor, trusted his advice, and followed his direction without really questioning anything. In other words, I took zero responsibility.
But now I suddenly found myself taking quite a bit of responsibility. I was rejecting the standard advice that most doctors give, and educating myself about other options. I had started learning more about the body and nutrition, and taking a holistic view of what the body needs to be healthy—including emotional and spiritual nourishment, relationships, and much more. What I came to realize is that there are so many factors that affect my health, and I really am in control of many of them. To a larger degree, I’m in charge.
For example, take nutrition. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, six months before my diagnosis I had been led to radically change my diet and become a vegan. My conviction that this was something I absolutely had to do was so inexplicable that I know it came straight from God. Now I was learning that many researchers believe that animal protein stimulates tumor growth. There was a big connection between my diet and my health. Although I will never be in complete control of my health, I am fully responsible for the choices I make in my diet.
In many ways, cancer was like a knock on my door, an invitation to reassess what I was doing, take a close look at all aspects of my lifestyle, and even examine the way I was thinking. Cancer invited me to bring out traits from deep inside myself that I didn’t even know I had…and to take charge of my life in a way that I never had before.
I am a powerful person. I have the power to choose, and I choose to be responsible for my life and my choices.