Re-posted from From an early age I was preoccupied with animals and felt a need to protect them. I took conservation subjects at university, I stopped eating animals, I stopped buying leather. I went to work for the government department charged with protecting Australia's animals. Then I went to help the Chinese look after some of their endangered species. And then I became an endangered species Now I get to apply all the conservation knowledge I learnt to myself. Radiation therapy is like using pesticides to control noxious plants in the immediate area. Chemotherapy is like sending in rangers to look for hidden poachers. Cutting the tumour away is like building a fence and removing predators. Herbs and supplements are like nourishment for damaged ecosystems. Classifying threat levels The Red List is the predominant classification system used to work out how threatened animals are. It was developed and is kept up-to-date by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). There are a bunch of classification levels, from Critically Endangered (think pig-tailed langur) to Least Concern (think red kangaroo). The system considers how many animals remain on Earth, current threats, and whether the population is decreasing or increasing. Once an animal has been identified as being of conservation concern, people begin trying to save it. The one rule in conservation planning is that you need a number of different protection strategies, because ecosystems are complicated and no animal or plant lives in isolation. My conservation plan I was listed on the Red List on 7 January 2011. My plan is no different from those designed to save species, except mine is selfishly devoted to saving just one critter: me. A major thing I learnt from my scientific training is that no two ecosystems are the same. Something that works in one area may not work in another. One cancer treatment that worked for your Uncle Tom, may not work for me. Cancer is a systemic disease that is likely to have different causes in different people. My conservation strategies include addressing the anatomical, psychological, spiritual, nutritional, immunological and physiological aspects of my cancer. All good plans should set a time frame for action. My goal is to be re-listed from Critically Endangered to Least Concern by January 7 2012 (exactly one year after my diagnosis).
Frequent Contributor
Nice metaphor. As a non-scientist my first thought was 'Where is the whole being in this?' It seems to me you have made a very good job of chopping yourself up into pieces. I am not saying that is a direct result of having different strategies, just that there has to be an overall holistic strategy much in the same way that Michael Pollan encouraged us to eat food, not omega 3 and vitamin B. I made the most progress in terms of wellbeing once I reclaimed a whole person back from the scientists, however well meaning they were/are. H
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Occasional Contributor
Thanks H. Good point. I am definitely looking at the whole 'organism' too.
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Occasional Contributor
Well, whatever analogy works for you Ben - as a techno nerd, I started thinking the same way, ie define problem, devise methodology to "fix" it. Drove me NUTS cause there is/was no clear reference manual on the whole subject. No step by step guidelines. Come to a grudging acceptance of the new reality of not knowing what each day will bring. And enjoying the good days, putting up with the bad ones. But, not going to buy any sophisticated new machine tools, or test equipment, or start any long term projects. Still trying to get rid of 30 years of radio "junque" collecting so my wife doesn't have to do it when I die - so far, one trailer load to a sale, one lot to QLD, one lot to USA. And I can now, for the first time in years, walk unhindered from one end of the workshop to another! BTW - your list of endangered species criteria - shouldn't humans be in there with plague locusts, ie cull them as much as possible as they are stuffing the planet Good luck - its actually a fascinating journey once you get your head around it all.....let us know how you are going on your particular journey. Andrew the oldhippy
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Occasional Contributor
Hi Ben, I agree with Harker that the holistic area is one to be thoroughly looked at, meaning that you have to look at yourself as a whole and decide where you want to be in this "journey" - hope it is a good end journey. The mental side of cancer is probably the hardest one to come to terms with, especially once all procedures are done and dusted with. Whilst at the "pointy" end of the journey, I found that I just "went along" with it physically and my mental side went into a shell in a protective way. Don't know that that is the best way to look at it now, but it worked for me. Don't feel guilty at concentrating on yourself, it takes ALL of you to fight this disease or at least have a chance of beating it. Good luck, like your writing, very concise and expressive, craftyone
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