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How To Be An Empowered Patient (Updated)

Do you ever have questions or disagree with your doctor but feel out of place speaking up? I used to feel this way until a critical point 4 years ago when enough was enough and I finally learned to take ownership of my health. Ever since that point I've had many uncomfortable conversations with my doctors in the U.S., often choosing not to follow their advice, but a recent series of events moved me to write this article so that others can find the courage to stick up for themselves too... To make a long story short, over the last several months I've been going back and forth with some of my conventional doctors about this one lymph node in an area where I previously had cancer. By chance we discovered that it was slightly enlarged (which is not uncommon for a healthy person), but despite the fact that its echo characteristics were normal (according to the ultrasounds) and my chance of recurrence is now very low, my doctors still strongly recommend a biopsy and/or removal. I am all for necessary prevention, monitoring and treatment, but this just does not seem necessary to me. First, I have no reason to believe that my diet and treatments (which saved my life 4 years ago) have stopped working and allowed the cancer to come back. Second, needle biopsies are extremely uncomfortable, surgery is no minor thing, and if I can, I will avoid both. And last but not least, if there were any cancer in the lymph node, a biopsy and/or surgery would likely cause one or more cancer cells to get into the blood stream, circulate, then lodge and start growing somewhere else in the body; most doctors, including mine, know this. So, we've compromised, monitored the lymph node using ultrasounds, and found that it still has the echo characteristics of a normal node and has even gotten smaller since the initial scan. If you've ever found yourself in a similar medical situation, wanting to do one thing but feeling pressured to do another, here's my advice to you: It's tough trying to defend your stance on a treatment protocol when your doctors are some of the most popular and highly ranked doctors in the world, or even if they're your local MD. But you have to trust your gut and stand your ground. Don't give in to a treatment or procedure if it doesn't make sense to you and you don't feel comfortable doing it. Always get a second opinion, and a third or fourth if necessary; and do your own research. Your body is your own and no one else's, and you, not your doctor, have to deal with the consequences of your decisions. I've continued to struggle with this as minor bumps and pains have inevitably occurred on my health journey. My doctors have doubted the efficacy of my treatments along with my judgment, and I've questioned them myself. But I remember that if I had followed their advice in the first place and not chosen alternative treatments, I wouldn't be alive today. The longer I've been in remission (nearly 4 years now), the more confidence I've gained in my holistic lifestyle, my alternative treatments, my judgment and God's direction in my life. If you haven't already done so, please consider the fact that most doctors are afraid of what they don't know, and they usually don't know much about treatments like mine (Coley Fluid, high-dose vitamin C, Laetrile, and a modified Gerson Therapy). What they hear about treatments like mine are the rare horror stories of misuse, not the incredible success stories that go mostly unnoticed because people just can't believe it's true. I really did have 7 tumors and stage 4 melanoma; my "world's best" doctors really did think it was the end for me; I really did heal naturally in 2 months; and I've had to face a lot of challenges doing so. But I'm alive, I'm still cancer-free, and I plan to be around a while longer to help as many people as I can while enjoying this incredible gift of life. Thank you for reading and please share this article with those you love! -Bailey

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