Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Went to our long awaited appointment with the oncology naturopath at Bastyr University yesterday. Adding to the anti-cancer team. Many pros and cons about this.

First the cons. It seems that almost every new visit we've had with a doctor or oncologist or naturopath has started off on the wrong foot. Why? Because they have you fill out all this information in advance, maybe have your records sent over from your primary doc or oncologist, but when you walk in to see the doc for the first time, it is VERY clear they haven't read it. In this case the administrative staff didn't even have it pulled together although Meagan had faxed it last week. They said they did't have the latest blood work, so I called over and got it sent over only to have the staff person come back and say, "'oh, I found it anyway". It's kind of a joke actually - if this was an interview with an attorney or accountant I'd walk away from them ASAP. They rely on their wisdom and quick ability to assess based on asking questions already answered in the damn advance questionnaires and a regular protocol they follow for standard treatment.

It just shows for me how important it is for the team (cancer patient and cabana boy) to make sure the story gets told in the right way and in the right order right away so the doc can make a good assessment. In other words, you have to help them do a good job. You can't assume they've read it in advance. You have to be your own advocate.

The good news is that our naturopath does seem to have a wealth of knowledge and has "prescribed" some medicinal plants (one of which Meagan was already taking but in a much higher dose). One of those is Turkey Tail Mushrooms.

If you click on the link above it will take you to an article about the alleged benefits. My attitude right now is that the medical world so far hasn't found an answer so if taking something which is non-toxic and non-harmful could have a benefit - why not? I do know the major drug companies are scouring the rain forests for herbs and plants (and now fungi) for the next blockbuster drugs (which they will patent and manufacture). Potent, high profit drugs like Taxol came from the yew tree.

She is also suggesting another treatment - high dose Vitamin C - but she is going to connect with our oncologist to see if he's ok with it. I think her goal and that of Bastyr is to be more integrated with Western medicine. It will be interesting to hear Kaplan's response........

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