When Mom was first diagnosed we decided that we would do and try almost anything to help her. I started reading as much as possible, and I got Mom a lot of books that I thought might help as well. I spoke with my chiropractor and my acupuncturist (two things we still need to start), and I started researching nutritionists. I found a nutritionist, but then I also found someone else in the practice. I found a naturopath.
There are apparently two types of people who call themselves naturopaths. The first type studies natural medicine for about 6 weeks and calls themselves professionals. The second type, the type we saw, is actually an M.D. The doctor we saw had gone through 4 years of med school and residency and then went on to study natural medicine. There are very few of those who exist, but I'm glad we found the one we did.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I figured we'd chat a bit about nutrition and maybe go into some vitamins and odd concoctions. I certainly did not expect all that we got. I did not expect to discuss Mom's medical history since she was 11 months. I did not expect to discuss my medical history or that of my maternal grandparents. I did not expect to discuss genetic tests and lab work, and I definitely did not expect to talk about traditional western medicine.
That, however, is exactly what we discussed. We spent 2 1/2 hours discussing various illnesses in Mom's life, and how her immune system works. We discussed how the way her body breaks down different compounds (a process called methylation) could affect her personality and the way she responds to different medicines. We discussed different cancer markers and how that might tell us how she's responding to chemo.
One of my favorite moments came when, after talking a bit about how mom responds to different medications and alcohol, the naturopath said, "It sounds like you fit perfectly into this group of people. I bet you're a very impatient person as well." Mom said, "Not really," but I said, "Oh yes!" It was perfect.
It was a great visit, and we have a follow up schedule in two weeks. I can't wait! I was so impressed with everything, and I truly believe that this, combined with chemo and other treatments, will truly help mom. Here's to hoping!