“Honest Medicine” highlights the need for medical reform. Julia Schopick’s husband, Tim Fisher, was diagnosed with a devastating form of brain cancer. After years of watching him suffer through chemotherapy, radiation, and numerous complications and side-effects, Julia discovered that doctors don’t always act on the patient’s behalf. Julia became a patient advocate, and her passion turned into a campaign to help others, resulting in her book, Honest Medicine. In her book, Julia gives those facing serious illness hope, and also offers inexpensive, nontoxic alternatives to costly, side-effective-laden pharmaceuticals.
“More often than not, when we get really sick, we go to the doctor, we get better, and life goes on; but sooner or later that’s not going to work—for any of us.” – Jim Abrahams
Jim Abrahams, movie director, producer, and Founder of The Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy, understands what it’s like to battle disease. His son, Charlie, experienced epilepsy. Then, years later, Abrahams himself was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
Jim Abrahams’ son, Charlie, was cured by the Ketogenic Diet, and the learning curve that Abrahams and his family experienced when Charlie was sick saved Jim’s life as well. When he was diagnosed with AML, Abrahams immediately knew to trust his own instincts, to “put on the gloves and fight.” He fired his original oncologist who, in his words, “made me feel like he had more important things to do than explain how and why I was going to die, or what he was going to do about it,” and chose another doctor who allowed him to be a partner in his own treatment.
Charlie’s success story and Jim Abrahams’ thoughts on “compressing the learning curve” are included in Julia Schopick’s book, “Honest Medicine,” an inspired, powerful and well-researched work that offers not only hope for those suffering chronic illness, but also alternative ways of combating many diseases affecting millions of people throughout the world.
When faced with the possibility of our own demise—when the doctors in whom we put our trust and power can no longer help us—we go through an entire range of emotions from denial to absolute fear and desperation. “But somewhere along the line, before we decide to throw in the towel, we realize that these feelings are a kind of emotional wheel-spinning, and the instinct to fight kicks in,” says Abrahams.
Our instinct for survival is strong, and the sooner we get to this stage and begin “fighting for our lives” the better. “Like every creature in the animal world, human beings have a fierce instinct for survival. The will to live—that instinct to fight when our lives are threatened by illness or some other crisis—is a natural impulse in all of us. Yet some people are easily destroyed by the mental and physical effects of disease, while others call on inner resources to sustain them through the experience.” (Dr. Ernest Rosenbaum, “Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy: How Cancer is Diagnosed, Treated, and Managed Day to Day”)
Unfortunately and all-too-often, many people don’t come to the realization quickly enough that they hold the power to give themselves that “fighting chance” when faced with a life-threatening or serious illness. And in the precious time that is wasted in fear or inability to act, they’ve gambled their lives and lessened their chances for survival. As Abrahams points out, “The quicker any of us can get from that initial onset of fear to the raw instinct to fight, the better our chance of winning.” He believes that there is a “learning curve” involved, and “that the sooner we make it through that curve…then the sooner we take off the gloves, and the better our chance for good health.”
Julia Schopick’s husband, Tim Fisher, was diagnosed with a devastating cancer of the brain. At the time of the diagnosis, Julia was stunned and allowed the doctors to “take over” care of her husband without question.
Tim endured years of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, side effects, and complications that changed both of their lives forever. Throughout the process, Julia learned that not everything the doctors did made Tim “better.” In fact, some of what they did actually made Tim worse. Julia began researching treatment options. One of those treatments was a cloth patch called Silverlon, made from a material containing silver ions, that almost instantly helped heal a stubborn head wound that Tim had developed during the course of repeated surgeries. To Julia’s amazement, however, her husband’s doctors were not only uninterested in learning about the treatment, but also dismissed it as even playing a role in the healing. At that point, Julia “woke up,” and she realized that something more dangerous was going on.
Julia decided to become an advocate for patients worldwide. As a result, she wrote “Honest Medicine” in hopes of helping other people compress the “learning curve” more quickly and to bring hope to people suffering serious illness. Through her book, Julia offers a way for people to “find potentially lifesaving treatments your doctor probably doesn’t even know about,” safe and effective treatments like those that helped her husband, Tim, live years beyond his doctors’ prognoses.
At a time when health care reform is much needed, Julia Schopick is leading the charge. And although Julia believes she cannot change the medical system, she firmly believes that she can “help people by educating them and giving them confidence and knowledge, so that they will be able to change the way they relate to the medical system, and to their doctors.”
As Julia points out, “When patients and their families become more knowledgeable and more proactive, I strongly believe they won’t need to use this flawed medical system so often; and when they do need to use it, they will be in a more educated, powerful position, and will be able to evaluate and choose treatments for themselves—including treatments like those I feature in my book—even if their doctors don’t approve of their choices.”
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