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A Refreshing Knapp – 'Softly' saying this on cancer (Jan. 28, 2015 issue)

Back in October I mentioned a polyp being removed from my vocal cords and by November radiation treatments were being administered as that little blister had turned out to be cancerous.
Thirty-three radiation treatments are what it took to zap it. The effects of radiation and its after effects are not the least pleasant. The outside of my neck and upper chest were left looking and feeling like a 2nd or 3rd degree sunburn, while the inside of my throat felt much the same. I definitely had a red-neck to prove to doubters that I wasn’t a city dude; people had been right all along by referring to me as a redneck. These treatments, besides causing the inside and outside of my throat to feel painful, also caused my vocal cords to swell; leaving me close to speechless. However, it is a treatment that often works as a cure.
From what I understand about radiation treatments: “It kills the cancer cells, which can’t regenerate. It also kills a lot of good cells, which do regenerate.” For instance you may have been sunburned to the degree that the skin on your nose, ears, shoulders, etc. blistered. Eventually the outer layer of skin died and peeled off. In time the epidermis regenerated, and most likely you remembered to use sunscreen the next time you went to the beach. Anyway, radiation works something like that.
At the present time, I can barely talk, and my doctor advised me to talk only when necessary to give my vocal cords time to rest and heal. In normal speech a person’s vocal cords vibrate 150 times per second (oscillating 440 times per second when singing A above middle C), so you can see they really get a work out. Presently my voice is no more than a whisper. According to the doctor, in due time my voice will return in anywhere from 2 to 6 months, and will be an octave or 2 lower than it was prior to these treatments. Maybe some quartet will pick me up as their bass singer, as it was lower than average to begin with.
The reason for giving you my firsthand experience: Cancer is common – it happens so frequently that everyone knows someone who has it, or has won the fight against it. And, as a word of warning, or caution; get a yearly check-up, and if you suspect that you may have cancer at any time, let your doctor know. One of the main reasons for the high rate of cancer deaths, according to my doctor, is that people are (understandably) afraid of it, and hesitate when something out of the ordinary is going on in their body; they are afraid it is cancer. By the time they get the nerve to have it checked the cancer is in an advanced stage.
I saw someone on TV, while I was undergoing my treatments, giving his definition for cancer cure. He had a mathematical theorem covering 2 chalkboards, which in his opinion would cure cancer through some kind of cell manipulation. Many theories

and experiments have been tried, and so far no magic cure has been achieved. For the most part it appears that radiation and chemotherapy have been somewhat refined and improved during the past 50 years – as the death rate from cancer has dropped, but they are still the primary means to combat cancer.
Interestingly, half of Americans subscribe to medical conspiracy theories, with more than one-third of people thinking that the Food and Drug Administration is deliberately keeping natural cures for cancer off the market because of pressure from drug companies. (I’m quoting this from a survey done by Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago who led the study.) Personally, I don’t go along with a conspiracy theory, as the super-rich, and world leaders also die of cancer. I’m fairly certain those people would have ways and means to obtain these natural or other cures for cancer if they existed.
I join with you in praying that a sure cure for cancer will be discovered soon.