“Your condition is terminal.”
Those are earth shattering words coming out of the mouth of a doctor to a patient and his or her family.
The power of words.
My father’s last two months in 1996 were spent fighting pancreatic cancer. After the diagnosis, it was not long before the staff at the VA hospital gave up on offering a cure. The only things that had to offer him was hospice care and morphine. For someone who wanted to fight the disease, there was little to go on besides will-power and praying.
Wouldn’t it be more truthful for a doctor to say, “My knowledge and abilities to cure your disease have terminated.” (quoted from Les Brown).
I didn’t know much about medicine at that time, but since then I have had the opportunity share with cancer victims cancer or their friends or relatives that of the critical steps to detoxify their diets and start on a oral regimen on vitamin C (refer to Cameron & Pauling, “Cancer and Vitamin C”). It can work. It is possible to help the body in its ability to heal itself.
The usual response to a vitamin recommendation is one of being brushed off as heretical nonsense. The general public has had their minds suitably washed into thinking that the power of food and nutritional therapy is of little or no consequence.
What’s also notable in the average person’s mind is the equivalency of all brands of supplements and formulations. To them one is good as the other as long as cheaper is better. Putting sewing machine oil into a racing engine is not going to cut it.
The whole scenario reminds me so much of the joke about a man of faith who is waiting for God to rescue him from a flood.
As the water rises, the police came in their car to give the man a ride to safety.
“No,” came his confident reply,”God will save me.”
As the water rose and began flooding his house,” some rescuers came by in a boat to rescue the man.”
“No!” came his resolute response, “God will save me!”
As the water rose over his roof, the man climbed to his rooftop where a helicopter came and as the crew yelled down to the man to grab the rope, defiantly, he yelled, “No! I trust my God will save me!”
The helicopter departed and the flood waters rose over the man’s house and he drowned in the torrents.
When he woke, he found himself at the pearly gates and was met by one of the angels.
Disappointed that he did not survive the flood, the man ventured a complaint, “I can’t believe it! I died in the flood! I thought for sure God was going to save me!”
The angel gave him an understanding look and with a slight tilt in her head said, “We sent a car, a boat, and a helicopter! … Welcome to Heaven!”
This joke is apt, particularly for those who are ignoring the warning signs that their bodies are telling them, but the reality is often more resigned as people are not only apathetic towards nutrition but also reverent towards a fatal diagnosis by practitioners whose abilities to cure have been terminated.
The power of words.
All joking aside, there is power in nutritional therapy, but there is also untold power in the truth and the power in the words we use to convey our messages.
It is a challenge for us make ourselves better, to never to stop in that process, to harness compassion into messages in ways that will help provide hope, healing, and dignity to those we meet.