Conventional cancer treatment resources

April 2013 Skokie - LV trip (39)

Above photo: My wife at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Skokie, Illinois April of 2013. We were so happy with the results from applying some of the recommendations in Dr. Keith Block’s book, Life Over Cancer that we got some help and scraped together funds to visit his clinic in Skokie, Illinois in April 2013.

NOTE: Conventional cancer treatment includes surgery, radiation and chemo.  

1. Cancer Checklist

This checklist is put out by the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation. Richard Block was the founder of H&R Block and survived for 26 years after being diagnosed with inoperable, incurable, terminal lung cancer. He died of a heart related illness.

This is his To-Do list of vital actions for cancer patients. As the subtitle on the check list web page says This page could save your life!

http://blochcancer.org/resources/checklist/

 

2. FREE books on fighting cancer from a long term cancer survivor

Below are links to three helpful books (in paper, audio or digital formats) that the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation will send to you for free to help you or a loved one in the cancer battle. The audio version is handy in case someone isn’t a reader or is too weak to read.

Richard Bloch (founder of H&R Block) was a long term survivor of stage 4 lung cancer (he died of a heart related problem 26 years after diagnosis). The Foundation’s home page also has many other helpful resources available.

http://blochcancer.org/books/fighting-cancer/ : Fighting Cancer by Annette and Richard Bloch (paper, audio or digital versions)

http://blochcancer.org/books/cancer-theres-hope/ : Cancer…There’s Hope by Richard and Annette Bloch (paper, audio or digital versions)

http://blochcancer.org/books/guide-for-cancer-supporters/ Guide for Cancer Supporters: Step by Step Ways to Help a Relative or Friend Fight Cancer by Annette and Richard Bloch

 

3. Cancer support organizations (listed by type of cancer)

The below link will take you to a long list of cancer support organizations listed by type of cancer and put together by the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation. Cancer is a complex disease and has many manifestations, from abdominal to uterine. This list will help you contact organizations that specialize in particular types of cancer and can direct you to cutting edge resources for particular types. It also lists organizations that help cancer patients in other ways.

http://blochcancer.org/resources/big-list-of-cancer-resources/

 

4. Multidisciplinary second opinion centers

This vital list is made available through the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation. The reason it is so vital is contained in the opening statement to it on the website:

Many cancer patients are dying, not because treatments are not available, but because the initial physician failed to offer the best possible treatment. Cancer is an unusual disease for many reasons – if you don’t treat it properly the first time, often there is no second chance because cancer grows geometrically.

Often an initial treatment precludes the proper treatment from being given later. Doctors are humans and could make a mistake. Rarely is cancer diagnosed by an oncologist (It is generally diagnosed by an optometrist, gynecologist, urologist, dermatologist, GI, GP, etc.) and that doctor may not want to lose the revenue or admit that someone knows more than he does. Of most importance is not what treatments a patient receives or from whom, but that the patient is entitled to make an informed decision. Being told that nothing can be done, that surgery is required tomorrow or take these pills and come back in 90 days is not making an informed decision.

The answer to this dilemma is awareness of multidisciplinary opinion centers. Look over the list and consider if you would benefit from using one. Here’s the link:

http://blochcancer.org/resources/multidisciplinary-second-opinion-centers/

5. NCI Designated Cancer Centers 

Cancer research finds new treatment options each year. The flow of research from the lab to the patients sometimes seems to proceed at a maddening glacier-like pace. One way to get nearer to the front of the line of such new research is to deal with NCI designated cancer centers. The following statement from The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation website explains the importance of these centers of excellence:

National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer centers are at the forefront of NCI-supported efforts at universities and cancer research centers across the United States that are developing and translating scientific knowledge from promising laboratory discoveries into new treatments for cancer patients.

In case you think you might benefit here’s a link to the list:

http://blochcancer.org/resources/nci-designated-cancer-centers/

 

OTHER GENERAL CANCER RESOURCES: 

 

FINDING SUPPORT FROM THE CANCER COMMUNITY 

1. Get matched with someone who has recovered from the same kind of cancer

For many people being diagnosed with cancer of any kind or stage is a scary experience. Being diagnosed with metastatic or late stage cancers can be overwhelming. Below are links to two pages at the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation that help cancer patients to be matched with people that have recovered from the same the type of cancer you, a relative or friend is dealing with. Here’s how the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation describes this service:

 It is a totally free service (cash donations are never solicited) operated by volunteers who have had cancer. The goal is to match up the newly diagnosed patient with an individual who has recovered from the same type of cancer. The purpose is not to recommend specific treatments or physicians, but to figuratively put their arm around

the new patient and help them make the myriad of decisions they will have to make if they are going to have a chance to beat this disease.

Here are the links:

The Cancer Hotline: http://blochcancer.org/about/cancer-hot-line/

Online request form: http://blochcancer.org/contact/survivor-match/

2. Blog For a Cure

Below’s a link to a website that allows you to start your own simple, free blog and share your journey and connect with others with cancer. It’s a way to give support to others and get support for yourself.

http://www.blogforacure.com/

 3. Being Cancer

This website connects an extensive network of over 1,500 personal blogs created by cancer patients. The blogs can be searched for by cancer type so you can look for blogs by people who are dealing with a cancer similar to yours or that of a friend or loved one.

http://www.beingcancer.net/

GETTING QUESTIONS ABOUT CANCER ANSWERED

1. The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation 

If you have a specific question about cancer that you can’t find an answer for you can write to The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation at hotline@blochcancer.org. They have access to an extensive network through which they may be able to find an answer. Or they may be able to refer you to an organization that may be able to help you get the answer you need.

GETTING NONPROFIT HELP TO PAY CANCER TREATMENT BILLS 

1. Patient Advocate Foundation

Tel: 1-866-512-2861

Website: http://www.copays.org

2. Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition

Below’s a link to a web page for CFAC with a fairly complete list other major nonprofit cancer-treatment financial-aid organizations and their contact information. As the organization’s title states, the member organizations offer financial assistance to people dealing with the financial challenges of covering the costs of cancer treatment.

http://www.cancerfac.org/members.php

ADVICE ON SURVIVING LATE STAGE CANCER FROM PEOPLE WHO’VE DONE IT

NOTE: This advice may not focus as much on nutritional strategies but I think the mental attitude is as important in the cancer fight.

1. A letter from Richard A. Bloch to all newly diagnosed cancer patients

Richard Bloch was the founder of H&R Block and a 26 year survivor of terminal, incurable, inoperable lung cancer. His oncologist told him he should go home and wrap up his life–he had about three months to live. He eventually died 26 years later of a heart related illness.

This is his hard won advice on how to think and what to do to increase survival odds. Here’s the link to his letter:

http://blochcancer.org/resources/letter/

 

RAISING CANCER TREATMENT FUNDS ONLINE 

As you’ll see from some of the examples on these videos and on the organization websites some people have been very successful raising funds for treatment of various illnesses (including cancer). Others less so. Results–as with so many things in life–will depend on variables, many of which the patients has some influence on (such as effort). In any case every dollar helps and you never know until you try. When you have nothing to lose by trying and a lot to gain I recommend trying. The results may surprise you.

1. Youcaring.com

From research one option is Youcaring. I’ve used Youcaring but only raised a small amount because I didn’t promote it (other than to put the link to my fundraising page at the end of a few emails I sent out).

The main advantage to Youcaring is that you (the fundraiser) get 100 percent of all money raised. Most of other ones I’ve seen all take a small portion of funds raised (3 percent to about 5 percent) to cover their costs. Youcaring exists from the voluntary contributions people make directly to them to support their mission.

Here’s the link to Youcaring’s Youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0AR9diTlBE

2. Donationto.com 

Another low-cost option I found is Donationto which offers several options including: 1. A small monthly fee (as little as $9.00 a month) and the fundraiser keeps 100 percent of funds raised 2. Zero monthly cost and Donationto keeps a small percentage of funds raised to cover their expenses.

3. Giveforward.com

 

RESOURCES FOR DEALING WITH STRESS AND DEPRESSION

1. Read this blog post by Dr. Keith Block

“Survival Statistics: Can your physician really predict how long you have to live?”

I think every cancer patient (especially those with late-stage, and metastatic cancers) should read this post to get a more accurate, encouraging view of their situation. Below’s the link to the post:

Link below:

http://lifeovercancerblog.typepad.com/life-over-cancer-blog/2011/03/survival-statistics-can-your-physician-really-predict-how-long-you-have-to-live-.html#more

2. Online relaxation audios

Richard Bloch (founder of H&R Block) was a long term survivor of late-stage, terminal, inoperable lung cancer; he died 26 years after diagnosis from a heart related problem. He found visualization and guided relaxation to be valuable tools in his cancer fight. This link will take you to a number of free relaxation audios on the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation website that you can use to release stress and focus your body’s resources on suppressing the illness. There are commercial products for sale that do the same thing but these do the job well and the price is right (free).

Link below:

http://blochcancer.org/books/audio_recordings/

3. Listen to How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (FREE audio reading available online at YouTube)  

Listen to selective portions of the bestselling book,“How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie (link to the reading on disc one below and the rest available for FREE on Youtube). This little classic book was first printed in 1944 and has continued to sell very well over decades with little or no advertising. The cover of my copy (printed in 1984) states that it had sold over 6,000,000 copies back then and probably many millions more by now. The reason is that its principles work and it presents real life stories about flesh and blood people, not dry facts and figures.

It’s filled with examples of people (including the author) that overcame the overwhelming stress and worry that accompanies devastating illness, terrible failures and a host of other problems; and reveals the simple principles they used to stop their downward spiral of depression. This is not just a book of dry instructions. It’s a book filled with the stories of flesh and blood people and the principles they used.

Preface: How This Book Was Written–and Why

Part One: Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry

Chapter 1. Live in “Day-right Compartments”

Chapter 2. A Magic Formula for Solving Worry Situations

Chapter 3. What Worry May Do to You

Link to the audio on the first disc (of nine discs in the physical audiobook program): 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2pRKGRbsZQ&list=PL31CC5A65BD5F40BD  

The audio all eight discs are available for FREE on Youtube. Just go to the website and type the book title into the Youtube search box.

4. Rick Shapiro’s (latestagecancer.com) compilation of inspirational late stage cancer survival videos. 

http://latestagecancer.magnify.net/

5. An article about a 17 year survivor of stage 4 breast cancer 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/health/27case.html?nl=health&emc=healthupdateema1

6. An article about a survivor of stage 4 head and neck cancer (without surgery) 

http://www.uchospitals.edu/specialties/cancer/patient-stories/craig-tonsil.html

7. Advice from a doctor on surviving with stage 4 cancer

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-nowinski-phd/stage-4-cancer_b_871242.html

8. Link to American Cancer Society Stories of Hope page (stories of cancer survivors categorized by cancer type)

 http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/storiesofhope/index

9. Read some inspirational true cancer survival stories from the Chicken Soup For the Soul series: 

One of the greatest challenges for late stage cancer patients is keeping up their fighting spirit. Below are a few books from the Chicken Soup For the Soul series. I’ve ordered two of them for my wife and she’s found them a source of encouragement.

Sometimes just knowing that others have faced a similar cancer challenge and survived, sometimes years or even decades after being told they have no hope can be encouraging.

I’m an Amazon Affiliate for any orders through the above links for any of the above books.  If you choose to order through the above three links, thank you for your help in covering my wife’s ongoing cancer treatment expenses.

Richard Block, founder of H & R Bloch on his experience surviving terminal, inoperable, incurable lung cancer. He was told by his Doctor in 1978, that he should “get his affairs in order” – that he had about three months to live.

Fortunately he decided not to accept his Doctor’s prognosis. Imagine if he had accepted the prognosis and didn’t seek other options.

He was diagnosed in 1978. He died in 2004 of heart disease26 years after his terminal prognosis.

By the way, if you visit the R.A.Bloch Cancer Foundation (Please note that Bloch is spelled with an “h” at the end here) website you’ll find many helpful books that you can download or order paperback copies of FREE. There are other helpful resources too.

A well produced, inspiring montage of stories, set to music, of people who were diagnosed with late stage cancer and how they adapted and learned to live with stage 4 cancer.

What I away with is that the cancer community is made up of millions of real people not reams of statistics. They may often be apart but they aren’t alone. Many others have walked this path before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njz37DZ0Q28

A man shares his experience in surviving multiple recurrences of cancer including stage 4 kidney cancer.

Despite all the struggles he’s been through what’s remarkable is how normal he looks and how positive his attitude seems.

I hope some find his story and example encouraging. I hope it lets people know that they’re not alone. Others have walked this path before.

Please also read an October repost I did entitled Dr. Keith Block on cancer survival statistics: can your physician really predict how long you have to live? Dr. Block has dealt with advanced cancers for over thirty two years and is considered by many to be the father of integrative cancer treatment and is the co-founder of The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. I’ve run into case after case where patients have amazed their oncologists and lived many years and sometimes decades beyond their predicted death.

Please note that this story doesn’t include any comments on integrative treatment strategies (other than his use of CDs). It was posted just to give examples of the possibility of surviving despite a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4j2Ji1pjRU

This video was uploaded Feb. 2011. In it a woman shares her experience being a 16 year survivor of stage 4 kidney cancer.

Please also read an October repost I did entitled Dr. Keith Block on cancer survival statistics: can your physician really predict how long you have to live? Dr. Block has dealt with advanced cancers for over thirty two years and is considered by many to be the father of integrative cancer treatment and is the co-founder of The Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment. I’ve run into case after case where patients have amazed their oncologists and lived many years and sometimes decades beyond their predicted death.

Please note that this story doesn’t include any comments on integrative treatment strategies (i.e. science based dietary and lifestyle changes). It was posted just to give examples of the possibility of surviving despite a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer.

Few things cam be more devastating than being given a diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I’ve read that such patients have a survival rate of only 2%. As one doctor put it, such a diagnosis is viewed by many as the equivalent to a–give-or-take–six-month death sentence.

I enjoy reading stories about people who defy the odds. Which is why I decided to post this interview of an over twelve year survivor of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was recently done so I’m assuming that he’s still alive and plugging along. Such inspiring stories are out there in books, blogs, and videos. But you do need to dig for them.

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