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Monday, October 10, 2011

On Cancer, Faith, Knowledge, Emotion & Action by Anil Singh

On Cancer, Faith, Knowledge, Emotion & Action

St. Paul, said “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”.

But there is also a schoolboy definition “Faith is believing what you know is untrue”.To have faith is to acknowledge that there is more to life & the universe than that meets our senses, & that there is a dimension in reality that we call transcendental.
Faith has been the object of trust loyalty & fanaticism. Faith determines what we believe & an indispensable part of our actions & our individual biography.
Faith is almost largely seen in religious terms, & all religions unfailing exhort one to have more faith even blind faith hence the ceaseless visits to temples religiously prescribed visits to holy spots & places of miracles. In my experience, a majority of such displays are done to atone for wrongdoing, to seek to overcome persons, to obtain favors or promotion, wealth, health, etc.If the outcomes of such traffic are favorable then one feels his faith in the object of the travel are complete & strong vibes emanate from the spot. The detail to be passed on to others if unfavorable is one is deemed to be lacking in faith. Try something else. Though loyalty may not be at stake direction is “Blind faith” is of course an oxymoron, as it discounts factors of reasoned thought. It is not a question of faith at all, but one of credibility. For many, faith is belief without reason. For those who believe no explanation is necessary. For those who do not no explanation is possible. An attitude is created which seems to say “Have faith i.e. “More faith”—for there is no evidence.

This urging one to have “More faith” is unbridled tyranny & a grim task for the individual. Fortunately we have Jesus saying, “A grain of mustard is the measure of faith required to move Mountains”. So the amount of faith is not the condition that evaluates it.
Having lived with cancer for many years lived, well, having done & achieved many things, which I could not do in the so-called “precancer” days have concluded so far that faith seems to have three dominant components knowledge, emotion, & action. From earliest days one of the first things I learnt was that God was “unknowable”, therefore it was futile on one’s part to spend time & energy in trying to comprehend him & his actions. It was more fruitful, satisfying & fulfilling if one spent the time in knowing one’s fellow men & trying to reach an equation of mutual benefit.If our knowledge extended to a comprehension of God, then is it not evident that there would be no room for faith? Whatever so-called attitude confronts us, we must proceed on the path of knowing it --- as far knowledge allows us, then make the leap of faith in the direction pointed by our knowing. At least then we can apprehend if not comprehend, why & what is happening to us.

Is there a place for faith in the treatment of cancer? In my experience, definitely yes. Yes of course & it a dominant place occupying the higher echelons. Having with knowledge selected the stream of medicine --Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurvedic, Naturopathy, etc--best suited for the cancer--remembering that cancer is not a monolith, or single disease.The next process of selecting the institution & doctor is again thru knowing.
There is no place for blind faith here, but there is place for faith. What force has propelled you so far on this road? The same force --with whatever name you call it. That created you & made you dwell in the family you were born to. One must also believe that every scientific discovery that combats, suffering is also thru that force, no more or less, are the invention of bombs & missiles.
I have faith in the stream of medicine chosen, I have great respect & regard & am in wonderment of the achievement of the institution in medical & human term where I am being treated. I have abiding trust in my doctor. Knowing his achievement & his abilities, increases my trust. I get the feeling he cares about my case. I also know that he uses his knowledge & experience to the best of his abilities to deal with my cancer. He always lets me speak, ask questions, & I receive answers that satisfy me. He is forthright without being patronizing or brutal. I know that the normal life I lead--I do what I want to do--indulges in normal activity is because of my faith in him; which in a large part was created by his drive to succeed in battling cancer,--his knowledge, search for new development in treatment, his caring & considered judgment, using all that he knows for my benefit.
So it seems that faith like trust is a two-way street. Both must play a tango but who are =the both “on my doc’s side, the institution he represents. On my side my emotional support group, my family who have lived my pain, my real friends, the people I deal with, the shopkeepers, the chemists who make sure that I get the right medicines, at the right time. Almost anybody who learns that I have cancer when they see me cannot believe that I am a cancer patient. they scrutinize in amazement and all 3 play a vital part should read as all play a vital part & sometimes in their gaze they see hope.
It is all very motivating. I feel I am indeed blessed.
Healing has the ingredient of faith, knowledge, support & action in handling cancer, all three play a vital part. So get moving believe in what you are doing with the resources you have to take action. For without your personal action, nothing can go forward.
Remember the words of St. Augustine, “Without God we cannot, without us God will not”.
He needs us to do perform his miracles.

Voce Anil

Published in DC Bengaluru September 19, 2011 · Caregivers reach out to cancer-hit·

     She lost her husband to cancer, just 27 hours before her silver jubilee celebrations and is still tending to her mother, who’s fighting cancer. But Anita Roy Pilgrim has still not given up hope. “It was last year that I lost my husband to cancer. He had developed dual site cancer and my mother is fighting cancer for the past five years. It drains a person emotionally, physically and financially, but as a caregiver I know that we can really a make a difference to their lives and maybe even help them live longer,” said Anita.She is a part of ‘Connect to Heal’, a self- help group of cancer warriors, as they call themselves. They are caregivers of cancer patients who have got together to reach out to Bengalureans. As per the World Health Organization data, incidence of cancer is projected to increase from 11.3 million to 15.5 million by the year 2030. “With the increased risk of cancer, we think there is an urgent need to establish a strong support system for cancer patients as well as their caregivers,” said Padma, one of the core group members who has also been a caregiver. She lost her mother to cancer. “I remember as a caregiver I was not very good. I was initially upset with my mother because I thought, as a doctor, how could she not take care of herself and wind up with something as serious as cancer. But after I lost her I realized that this was not the right attitude,” said Padma, who started ‘Connect to Heal’, the self-help group in the year 2009.A positive attitude and approach goes a long way towards treating and even curing cancer patients. “Once diagnosed with cancer, people think it’s the visa to death. But I want to tell them that it is a completely wrong notion because with a positive approach one can fight cancer and lead a completely healthy life. I want to tell people that there is life after cancer,” said Anil Singh, who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells, in the year 2007. But now after continuous treatment and therapy he is completely fit and fine, traveling the world and even going to places like ‘Mansarovar’.He wants to send this message to Bengalureans. He encouraged many cancer patients and their family members who had gathered for the ‘Cancer Watch’ awareness programme at St Jude’s Church at Byapanahalli on Sunday. This was the first of their series of awareness programmes. Now this self-help group is planning to reach out to various cancer patients and their caregivers by networking with cancer care hospitals, medical colleges and spreading the word through the internet.