finding a group of cancer survivors when you are a skeptic
This is my story.
8 months ago my Brother in law, who is for all intents & purposes my brother , was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. His wife was pregnant with their first child, although he has a 17 year old son by another relationship.
We knew exactly how bad this situation is. This also pushed me to get my mammogram done, because there is long history of breast cancer in my family. I refer to this as him saving my life. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. My prognosis is good.
I am an atheist, and a skeptic, I need more than anecdotal evidence to accept a "cure" or treatment. I am not open to "sending of good energy" or any of the other esoteric un-provable things people want to inundate you with the moment they hear you are sick. In general I have found it is far more about those people getting "warm fuzzies" about how much they are doing than it is about making you better/feel better, this is not ALWAYS true but often enough to get my dander up when approached by it.
My brother was not the same. Granted he was facing a life ending cancer, there was no one in the medical community who would tell him the had an answer that could cure him. That is simply because at this time, it just doesn't exist. Instead he was taken advantage of (in my opinion) by sometimes well meaning but often charlatans who promoted everything from mistletoe injections, which have no proof of having any more benefit than a placebo, to apricot seed which has been proven to have been a scam of the highest order.
He even traveled to Switzerland... where you can go to clinics who will lie to you about virtually everything, and who will give you "treatments" that are illegal almost everywhere else in the world.
It took me a long time to accept that he had the right to make the decisions he wanted with his body, and I do honestly believe he, and everyone does have that right. But I will also fight tooth and nail to try and stop this kind of parasitic snake oil sales to go un-challenged. If it stops one person from giving up the incredible precious time they might have left with their family, because that is the incredible loss, that and people being left behind who have to still pay the bills for these pseudo scientific frauds who are praying on the desperate and the scared.
My brother died in January.
In trying to find any support group for my own grief, and dealing with my own illness, ( partial mastectomy, 6 rounds of chemo therapy, and upcoming 6 weeks of radiation) I have found that there appears to be no where to go for group counseling that is not hip deep in woo. All of them offer courses in all kinds of "Alternative heath options" and when I suggested that I would not sit silently while someone forced their woo upon me I was informed IF I did that i would be asked to leave. I was informed that "everyone has the right to their own journey" and while I agree with that sentiment I in theory, it seems to negate MY ability to have my own journey. Apparently no one can see that having this forced on me without being able to say "You know that was debunked more than a decade ago" does interfere with MY journey. I am expected to remain in the closet, so to speak, because the possible pain I might cause them is obviously worse than the pain they are causing me.
This has left me quite alone. I was told to seek individual counseling where I could control the person I was interacting with. This defeats the whole purpose of "Group" counseling. It also reminds me that apparently this is the last minority where it is OK to discriminate and suggest you would not be welcome.
I am sorry to be so long, and I hope I have made some sense to someone