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Nick Parker - The Cancer JourneyMan

Nick Parker - The Cancer JourneyMan

On Christmas Eve 2015, aged 51, I received the news that everyone dreads: a diagnosis of cancer. My dose was in a particularly nasty, aggressive and advanced stage. Having started in my prostate it had spread all over my skeleton. There were too many sites of cancer for the doctors to be able to quantify the number, so they didn't try.

With no cure possible, I was put on a palliative care programme.  I did not ask for statistics: I am not a statistic and I had enough gut feel for the odds.  I reasoned that if I worked hard at it, harder that I have ever worked at a project in my life, then why couldn't I put claim one of the 5 places in the 5% of people who survive (whatever that means) a death sentence.  I just had to work harder than 95% of other people.

On 23rd June 2016, just 7 months after diagnosis, my medical team informed me that there was no evidence of disease remaining in my body.  Whilst delighted with the news, I knew how tricky cancer is to constrain. There is no room for complacency: every day I am experimenting with my body, working on maintaining the positive belief and total lifestyle overhaul that will keep my disease under control.

I have left no stone unturned in an 22 month journey, keeping some less palatable treatment options in reserve until the time necessitates.  I have chosen to avoid, or cease, much (but not all) recommended conventional treatment. I have experimented with the latest thinking in holistic therapies for the mind, body and soul.  I sent as much time measuring results as I spend on treatments & therapies.  In an area requiring a bio-individualised approach, I have amassed my own evidence of which appoaches are effective in the control of my disease.

I still put in a full working week and have become a more complete and content human than I ever was.  Every day I live is better than the last.  I was once apologetic about the angst that I subjected my family to, but now we all appreciate the lessons that my condition has taught us.

My life purpose is now redefined: I am lucky enough to be able to view this self-imposed health challenge as a wonderful opportunity to reach out to others. My task is to shake people out of their stupor. For most of us our state of health is largely our choice.  And most of us have forgotten what it takes to make daily decisions and sacrifices to live a full and healthy life. It is simply too important to give the responsibility of our healthcare to others, yet most of us do.  It is time to stop.

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