Sunday, April 29, 2018

Maintaining my emotional well-being by cutting ties with Trumpists and Bhakths

Over the last few months, I have been cutting ties (mostly online; in some cases, personal communication as well) with many people for being either Trumpists or Bhakths/Sanghis. These are people I have worked with, have been friends / neighbors with, have gone to school with, and in one case grew up together with. 

The Trumpist angle is easy for most people to understand, so let me begin there by first elaborating on a connection between Conman Dotard's election & my brain tumor incidence. 

Conman Dotard was announced as the winner of the 2016 US Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. This race-baiting and racist asshole with questionable morals being elected as President caused so much anguish and fear of the future for me that by next Monday, November 14, 2016, my brain tumor had grown rapidly and my head was being cut open to remove a size-able tumor.

If people are still supporting Conman Dotard now even after what has been revealed about him by himself and by others before and after he became president, those people are one or more of the following:
  • Totally ignorant about what is going on in the world.
  • Willfully dense/stupid.
  • Have no empathy for others. Especially those less fortunate than themselves. 
  • Too selfish & stuck in their own world to see what is happening to others.
  • Racist as fuck.
I don't want to have anything to do with these people. 

Bhakth is a derogatory term for the fans of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is related to Sanghi - a derogatory term for the members of a Hindu nationalist group in India. These people have been very vocal online and offline especially after Modi came to power, and have generally been being a pain in the butt by stroking religion based hatred with anti-muslim rhetoric mixed with a  dose of Hindu supremacy. 

It is in this context that I have been very concerned seeing many of my friends, schoolmates, and work colleagues from India turn out to be Hindu Nationalists with a vengeance. 

All the books I have been reading about cancer, and my own experience has driven home the importance of emotional well-being in keeping cancer at bay. And conversely, the harmful impact caused by emotional turbulence. As explained in Anti Cancer - A New Way Of Life, while mental stress and anguish doesn't cause cancer, it does provide a fertile terrain where tumor/cancer can prosper. I am fairly sure that is what happened between November 8, 2016 and November 14, 2016.

With the goal of maintaining my emotional well-being, I have been cutting off Trumpists and Bhakts at the littlest provocation. 

The most recent incident happened when one of my friends posted the following image on facebook:
This image pissed me off making me unfriend the friend on facebook, and cut all ties with him in real life. 

An explanation about this image for those not in the know:

One major news item in India in recent times is about a child - belonging to Muslim religion - being held captive in a Hindu temple and being raped regularly before her battered dead body showed up somewhere. This caused a lot of controversy with some blaming it on Narendra Modi's constant anti-muslim rhetoric. 

There was a lot of sympathy for the victim. This does not sit well with the Hindu Nationalists because it means:
  1. There is sympathy for a Muslim, and Muslims in general,
  2. Muslims are to be treated as neighbors and fellow countrymen, and can't be de-humanized and painted with a broad-brush as Pakistanis and Terrorist sympathizers. 
  3. This does not reflect well on Modi and his Anti-muslim rhetoric.
So the Bhakth propaganda machine kicked into high gear, made up a similar incident which portrays the Muslims in the familiar role as villains, and started sending out such meme images. 

Even if there is a real case of the nature described in the image, we as compassionate humans are capable of being angry at the perpetrators in each case, and demand justice in both cases and not make it a Hindu-Muslim thing like the Bhakths are doing.

What is sad - and scary at the same time - is that it is the well-educated and well-to-do people who are falling for this propaganda. Not just the poor and the illiterate.

At some point in the future, I may have the time and the mental capacity to sympathize with the Trumpists and Bhakts, and be able to have a one-on-one conversation to understand their view points or try to change their thinking. Right now, I don't have the time or the energy to deal with it.

So if anyone brings such filth into my life, they go right out of my life without any second thoughts.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Glioblastoma is a really aggressive disease. I fight it aggressively too.

Sometime in the middle of 2017, my Glioblastoma buddy Ron said this comment while we were exchanging notes about our ailments over a phone conversation:
"Glioblastoma is a really aggressive disease. I fight it aggressively too." 
That is a sentiment I totally agree with, and have adopted as my personal motto since I understood the significance of my diagnosis soon after learning about it in November of 2016. I have been living that statement the way I interpret it ever since then. 

Ron died due to Glioblastoma related complications in the middle of February 2018, two years after his diagnosis. 😢

Obviously, fighting Glioblastoma aggressively didn't work out for Ron. Makes me think what "fight it aggressively" meant to him, and what it means to me. 

From the little I gathered about Ron's treatments through our phone conversations and facebook interactions, I think he limited his aggressive fight to within the arena of conventional medicine's options. He believed & trusted his Oncologist's expertise & capabilities, and went the distance to follow her advice - in terms of increased Chemotherapy dosage or trying out new type of radiation therapy treatments. In the last few months before his death, Ron had gained a lot of weight. So I am guessing he did not try any of the diet and lifestyle changes that I am learning recently to be of value in fighting cancer naturally. 

My interpretation of being aggressive with my cancer has been to research intensively to find a thing that could help in my fight and take it to as extreme an end as possible. Here are a few things I have identified as useful in my fight with Glioblastoma:
  • STANDARD OF CARE TREATMENT : Follow up on all the treatments prescribed by the medical team with no exceptions. 
  • BEING OPEN ABOUT MY CANCER : I have been very open about my condition right from the initial surgery and diagnosis. I had lived my life till then being very open about the important things in my life - posting on social media - about important and non-important stuff on a regular basis. I wasn't going to change the way I live my life just because I had a brain tumor and was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. This has helped me go about my life in a normal way - even with making drastic changes in my life - for example: having wires hanging from my head, or completely altering my diet, etc. 
  • OPTUNE : In my view, Optune is the only hope GBM patients have. Because of that, I have decided to wear Optune always forever. On a typical day, the only time I am without Optune is EITHER (a) the 15-20 minutes break I take from Optune to shower, OR (b) the 1-5 hours break from Optune I take to go for a short/long run, shower after the run, and put the Optune arrays back on. All other times, I am with Optune on. I go everywhere with Optune on. I do everything with Optune on. If Optune makes it difficult do do something - for example: go away to India to visit my family for a few weeks - avoid doing that. 
  • ACCEPTING THE POSSIBILITY OF MY EARLY DEATH : It has been my experience that dealing with one's own mortality is a very tough task. Because of that reason, it is very easy to ignore the threat and get oneself lost among the mundane stuff. If I let myself off on this task, it is quite likely my family will wake up one fine day to find me dead, and also that they are totally unprepared to handle all that that event implies - both emotionally & financially. Now that I have put in a lot of time getting this blog into a decent shape, this blog will help me be in the saddle always in the constant and never-ending fight with cancer, and to do what it takes to prevent/delay that eventuality. Also, it is likely to help my family get prepared for that eventuality.
  • DRASTIC CHANGES TO DIET : A work in progress item. Anything that is shown to encourage tumor growth goes out of my diet. Anything that is shown to help prevent tumor recurrence stays on in my diet. From being someone who had two cups of traditional south indian coffee with milk and sugar a day, I went to having my coffee black almost over-night with no regrets whatsoever. After a lifetime of having rice as the staple of my diet, I have dropped rice altogether. And so on.
  • SUPPLEMENTS : Another work in progress item. So far I have incorporated raw garlic, circumin, and green tea as daily supplements. Will add more items as I learn about their benefits in suppressing/preventing tumor growth.
  • RUNNING : Regular exercise helps build immunity, and prevent tumor recurrence. So I will run, run, and run marathons, and more marathons, and keep running.
I will continue to fight Glioblastoma aggressively by researching intensively for things that will help me in my fight, and will take to as extreme an end as possible. All with the hope that I will escape the fate of early death that Ron and most Glioblastoma patients met/will meet.

The story so far

It has been a month since I decided to start a blog to journal my journey with Glioblastoma Multiforme after bei...