This story from 2003 is one the driving factors that lead to Powerful Healthcare Decisions.

When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003, I wanted to avoid surgery and take a more natural approach.  When I met with the surgeon in Toronto, he opened my mind for deeper consideration of my choices,  by asking “Let’s say it’s three years hence and your cancer has advanced to the point where I cannot help you. How would you feel?” I said “I would be on the wrong side of the bell curve of an intentional decision.” Meaning, I would still feel content with my choice. Because I had made a conscious decision that I was most comfortable with, that aligned with my personal values, and yet the outcome was not as positive as I hoped in the end. And he said, “Well, if that’s the case then a reasonable decision is to continue with a natural approach.” 

An alchemist is someone who can transform ordinary objects/substances into riches, in seemingly magical ways. Like changing a base metal, such as steel or copper, into gold through an alchemical process. The successful alchemists of myth were able to make something good happen, even when given challenging materials. They used their  insight, knowledge, courage, and willingness to experiment with the unknown. 

Like an alchemist, the factors that I placed in my personal cauldron in 2003 when making a treatment decision for prostate cancer, started with the evidenced based research. Then I added the advice from my spiritual advisor Tulku Thondup to my cauldron. He shared his regard of the surgery option as a blessing. Then I took into consideration the input from one of my collaborative practitioners that given my history of worrying, living in a state of “not knowing” by taking the natural approach was not going to be good for me. I added this to my cauldron as well. After adding all of these ingredients to my “cauldron of choice”, I created the choice that felt best to me personally. The choice I was most comfortable with, regardless of outcome. I felt informed, confident, and clear in my choice. 

I did elect to have surgery with my eyes wide open with awareness of the potential negative side effects. The side effects have been significant. That said, I have not been living in regret, as my decision was informed and intentional. I exercised power over my healthcare decision.