Being Radical – Introduction

Curing means getting rid of a disease, while healing means becoming whole.  Curing is sometimes possible, while healing is always possible
Kelly Turner, PhD

There is a new book taking the online cancer community by storm.  I’ve mentioned it from time to time in my posts but it’s time to dig deep and see what this book is all about and how my journey aligns with its message.  The book is Radical Remission by Kelly Turner, PhD.  It was published in March this year.  Within a day of its release I had a kindle copy and a hard copy on its way from the Book Depository.  I devoured it and I know many others who have done likewise.

What is this book, Radical Remission, about?imgres-2

It’s about people who have overcome advanced cancer against the statistics.  Dr Turner was working as an oncology counsellor at a major cancer research hospital and heard a story of someone recovering without conventional medicine.  She was intrigued and wondered if perhaps they had stumbled across a cure for cancer.  She explored further and began to uncover many similar stories.  She found over a thousand published cases. She wondered why she had never heard of them. Or even better, why no one was investigating them. So she decided to follow in the footsteps of Alexander Fleming the scientist and to investigate these anomalies rather than sweep them back under the carpet. She wanted to know what these people did to bring about unexpected recovery.

The book brings together her findings after reviewing the thousand-odd published cases, interviewing 20 people who had recovered from advanced cancer without the intervention of conventional medicine or for whom conventional medicine had not worked, and speaking with alternative cancer healers all around the world.

What is Radical Remission?

We all hear about spontaneous remissions. Remission is defined as the period during which the symptoms of the cancer are reduced or have disappeared (I wrote about being in remission here). The statistics for people going into remission vary from cancer to cancer.  For example, with follicular lymphoma, remission is expected from the first treatment. However, statistically, the possibility of remission diminishes with each relapse, and relapse is expected.

Dr Turner, quite rightly, realised that remissions without conventional treatment, are rarely spontaneous. As we will see, and as I know from my own healing journey, they usually take great commitment and effort. But she did find that because mostly they defied the statistics, they were radical. She defines “radical remission” as:

“any cancer remission that is statistically unexpected… a Radical Remission occurs whenever:

  • a person’s cancer goes away without using any conventional medicine; or
  • a cancer patient tries conventional medicine, but the cancer does not go into remission, so he or she switches to alternative methods of healing, which do lead to a remission; or
  • a cancer patient uses conventional and alternative healing methods at the same time in order to outlive a statistically dire prognosis (ie any cancer with a less than 25 per cent chance of five-year survival).”

From where I currently sit, my experience does not fit within this definition.  I went into remission with the assistance of conventional treatment. What I am hoping is to prevent any future relapse. More on that later.

Why is it a radical book?

Can you believe that no one has done this before? The only people out there talking about these radical stories of recovery are the patients themselves. No one else seemed to be interested. Taking your health into your own hands can be a lonely and frightening experience. Since I withdrew from treatment, my oncologist has never seen fit to ask me what I’m doing to look after my health.  According to Dr Turner, very few doctors asked their patients what they had done to bring on their remissions.  It amazed the patients and understandably baffled Dr Turner.  Surely as people of science, they are obliged to understand the anomalies? It seems not but thankfully, someone has asked those questions and distilled the answers into a very easy to read resource. kelly turner

Even better, Dr Turner is now building a database of such cases.  If you go to The Radical Remission Project here, you can enter details of your own radical remission or search for people who have had remission from just about any type of cancer. If only such a central resource had existed, and I’d known about it, 18 months ago!

What did people do to achieve Radical Remissions?

This is what we all want to know.  What do I have to do? Or what should my loved one try? Of all the cases Dr Turner reviewed, she found that 9 factors came up in just about all of them, particularly those she interviewed.  The book is dedicated to exploring those 9 key factors.  And you can’t believe just how excited I was when I able to confirm that I have incorporated every one of them in my healing regime, mainly because they are completely congruent with Dr Gawler’s recommendations (which I wrote about here right at the beginning of my journey)

So the 9 factors are:

  • Radically changing your diet (Part 1 here and Part 2 here)imgres-2
  • Taking control of your health (here)
  • Following your intuition (here)
  • Using herbs and supplements (here)
  • Releasing suppressed emotions (here)
  • Increasing positive emotions (here)
  • Embracing social support (here)
  • Deepening your spiritual connection (here)
  • Having strong reasons for living (here).

You can read about each factor by clicking on the word “here” after each factor.

As I said, I went into remission with the assistance of conventional treatment.  However, I started doing all of these things almost as soon as I was diagnosed. The doctors were concerned about the advanced stage of the lymphoma and whether it would all go.  It did and I am convinced that these things contributed to the nature of my remission and that they continue to ensure my ongoing health. My hope is that by continuing to put these 9 things into my life, I will heal and then I will become a statistical anomaly because the lymphoma won’t return.  That is my hope.  And I don’t know at what point, if ever, I will be able to say that it has worked.  I do know that I can never take good health for granted again.

Are we going to explore these further?

Absolutely. This post is intended to be just an introduction to the underlying premise of Radical Remission.  Over the coming months I will explore each of the 9 factors in greater detail and talk about how I’ve put them into my life. Not only are they relevant to anyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis and wanting to find their own path, but I think you will find that they will assist anyone looking to lead a healthier and more vibrant life.  And who doesn’t want that?

Are there any caveats?

Dr Turner reports that an oncologist shared with her that he doesn’t tell his patients about radical remissions because he doesn’t want to give them false hope. While that is understandable, I agree with Dr Turner that people should be entitled to ALL relevant information so that they can make informed choices.  There is no guarantee that these 9 factors will work for everyone, but the same applies to conventional treatment.

Although follicular lymphoma is generally very responsive to treatment, I was told that there was a 15 per cent chance that I would not go into remission. So should they not have informed me about the treatment options because they didn’t want to give me false hope, since they knew that it didn’t work for everyone? No, of course not.  But there is nothing wrong with saying that some people have recovered by doing these 9 things but there are no statistics and no guarantees. It took me a long time to find hopeful stories and Dr Turner’s work makes it much easier to become informed.

Further, the fact that Dr Turner explores these 9 factors that are outside the dominant medical paradigm does not mean that she is opposed to what we call conventional treatment. The fact that I write my blog and explore the alternatives does not mean that I am either.  I am for me, at the moment, but I would never judge or criticise another person’s choice. My principle concern that is people have as much information and support as they can possibly have so that they can weigh up the options and find the best approach for themselves and their circumstances.

Next …

We will explore diet. I do hope you will come along for the ride with me. In the meantime, you might like to check out this great interview of Dr Turner by Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Cancer  fame.

Be happy. Be well.

And so be it.

Jane x

About Jane Treleaven

Jane Treleaven is a meditation teacher and health coach empowering people to be happy and well through just being, essentially being.

7 comments on “Being Radical – Introduction

  1. Pingback: Being diagnosed with cancer - what do I do?

  2. Just stumbled across your blog. I’ve tried the conventional treatment, now I’m heading into the unknown, into my radical remission. Thank you, I appreciate your writings, you’ve managed to make me feel as good as the book did..

    • Good luck on your journey Karin. It really is a path of self love and self care. I’m sure you will get much out of it. Be happy. Be well and importantly, take time to just be. Jane

  3. I think you say that you were doing6 of the 9 factors for the last 10-15 years or so at least, before the cancer started, I’m not sure about the diet stuff as I don’t know you that well.

  4. False hope? Er, but wouldn’t any hope be a healthy thing to have? Onya Jane, you have followed your intuition from the start, and now you are spreading the word so others don’t have to stumble in the dark looking for answers. Bless you! xxx

Comments welcome