A man sitting in a room being told something by his doctor

Receiving the All Clear: The Changes I Made

In January of this year, I wrote two articles that were published, ‘Making Changes to Diet and Lifestyle’ and ‘My Complements to Traditional Treatment’, explaining how I started a number of different alternative options, as well as changing my diet to help assist with my treatment. I had previously been through a number of recurrences over my two-year cancer journey and felt it was the right time to try some alternative options. I opted to use a couple of natural products, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil and Irish Moss, also known as Sea Moss. These two products were also taken alongside three instillations of BCG and a major effort on my part to the changes in my diet and the food products that I was consuming.

The day of my cystoscopy

I was just as intrigued to learn if my additional use of these products and dietary changes would make any difference in my bladder cancer not returning. So, I gave myself six months of daily use, up until my cystoscopy in March of this year, which would reveal the outcome. While sitting in the waiting room of the urology department on the day of my cystoscopy, I was slightly worried that my attempt to rid myself of this cancer with my interventions may not work. I was also thinking how good I felt physically since making the changes and concluded that either way, whatever result came back that, the health benefits of my changes were certainly making a huge difference.

Back in the same treatment room

In the two years since being diagnosed, I’ve had 4 cystoscopies, all carried out in the same treatment room. I do not like this particular treatment room, because on each occasion it has been visited by me, including my very first diagnosis, I have always been given bad news of a tumor present or one returning. So, while laying on the treatment bed looking up at the screen in the room of horror, I was resigned to the fact that the odds were against me. My urologist maneuvered the camera around the bladder, trying to detect any signs of a returning tumor.

The room of horrors became a great place

I looked on intently with my wife, who had been present for every cystoscopy, with both of us now knowing what to look for and was greeted with the words we’ve been waiting two years to hear: ‘There are NO signs of any tumors or cancerous cells’. I was filled with euphoria and so much relief. The room of horrors had now become a great place to be. It was hard to believe that I had tried something different with my treatment plan, and as far as I’m concerned, those changes had made all the difference. I went through the customary cautious conversation with the urologist and specialist nurse regarding vigilance and my follow-up checks and left the department with so much joy and a lot to reflect on.

Keeping up with the changes and check-ups

I’ve been given the all-clear, but as we all know, this is not the end of the journey. I go for another checkup in 6 months and will hope my condition remains the same. In between that period, I will continue to do what I’ve been doing over the last six months. The changes made by me are in no way a proven formula for beating bladder cancer, and I will not be comfortable until I have achieved a much longer period of being clear and cancer free. What cannot be denied, for now, is that up until I made the changes in my treatment, there were no changes to my diagnosis. I’m not really fussed about trying to pinpoint what has worked to produce the all-clear for me. I am honestly just truly happy to be given the all clear and hope it continues to be so. I am still scheduled in to receive 3 instillations of BCG, and I will continue with my current dietary plan and the daily intake of the CBD oil and Irish Moss.

I don't care what works so long as it works

I did explain to my urologist what additions I’ve added alongside my treatment of BCG. His viewpoint on my alternative options was, ‘whatever you feel benefits you in your fight against your cancer, you must go ahead and try’. I was initially reluctant to try any option outside of what was being suggested by my medical team, and now I can’t see why I was so scared to consider other options, particularly those options that are non-invasive. I had this notion that I didn’t want to try too many things at once because I wanted to know what worked if I became free of the cancer. Today, that thinking is out of the window. I don’t actually care anymore about what works, so long as it works. If I must continue doing what I’ve been doing over the last six months for the rest of my life, then it’s something I’m definitely prepared to do. I’ve had some great and wonderful moments in my life and hearing "You're cancer free" is one of them. I’m working towards them telling me this again in a few months!

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