Hi. My name is Matt, and I've ~~got~~ *recovered* from cancer. Colorectal adenomacarcinoma, [stage 3c](../attachments/Tumor%20staging.png) to be precise.
> [!note] Update: July 2023: much of this site was written while I had active cancer. After a year of hard work, pain and suffering (e.g. radiation, chemo, surgery, etc.), recent scans show I'm cancer free. I know many people are told that only to have a recurrence, so I'm not making any bold assumptions about the future, but staying pessimistically optimistic.
On Day One (the day after getting the news), I woke up and spent a few hours in dismayed denial of my crappy situation.
But then I realized dwelling on what I *couldn't* control (why *ME*?) would do absolutely nothing, so I decided to focus on what I *could* control.
And what I could control was building a solid plan for myself. One which would change my mindset—and me—from being someone who *has* cancer, to someone who is *recovering* from cancer.
This shift in mindset can't be understated. When I walked out the door of my doctor's office and saw my wife, eyes pleading for good news, in my colonoscopy drugged state all I could get out was a numb, "I have cancer."
The dismay that followed was hard to handle.
But that changed for both of us once we got through accepting the news, and shifted our minds from being stuck in a **state** (*with* cancer) to being part of a **process** (*recovering* from cancer).
Suddenly everything changed! We had something to get up for in the morning, to work hard at during the day, and hope for in the future.
Then I came to realize all this work and information knowledge I was putting into my cancer plan could be of value to others in the the same situation! So I decided share it with everyone, everywhere, for free.
CancerPlan.org is the outcome.
# How about a coffee?
Often people turn to GoFundMe campaigns in serious medical situations like cancer, and those are great. But I prefer the idea of a “GoWorkMe” campaign instead.
Radiation and chemotherapy side effects reduced my ability to work at full capacity, and the additional expenses cancer has brought are out of pocket—no medical benefits here. Don't get me wrong, we're doing ok financially and more fortunate than others in so many ways. But as a freelancer, I do have to choose more carefully what I do with my available hours if I want to keep things that way :)
Working and staying productive is a vital part of my mental state and recovery. So I'm inviting anyone who thinks this site is of value and wants to be part of helping me continue development of it to send me a coffee!
Note: This is only for those who believe further work this website is important enough to support. It's not intended as personal charity :)
# Standard care isn't enough
So back to this journey of recovery and discovery, and how I hope it might help others, or even you.
I soon learned the standard care medical system already had a cancer plan laid out for me. But it didn't involve anything outside the big three treatments - [Chemotherapy](../3.%20Treatments/3.6%20%20Standard%20care/Chemotherapy.md), [Radiation therapy](../3.%20Treatments/3.6%20%20Standard%20care/Radiation%20therapy.md), and [Surgery](../3.%20Treatments/3.6%20%20Standard%20care/Surgery.md). That's it, that’s all folks.
Now those treatments will save thousands of lives every year, and might possibly save yours and mine if you've got cancer too. I’m very grateful to the fine people providing them.
But it's not enough. There's no assistance with integrative treatments like [diet](../2.%20What's%20the%20plan?/2.3%20Eat%20Well.md), [supplements](../3.%20Treatments/3.3%20%20Supplements/3.3%20Supplements%20overview.md), [off-label drugs](../3.%20Treatments/3.5%20%20Off-label%20drugs/Off-label%20drugs%20overview.md), [meditation](../3.%20Treatments/Meditation.md), or any of the other things that have been proven in hundreds of clinical trials to help improve cancer recovery and survival. The regular docs won't even talk about this stuff!
Why? There are many reasons, but in the end it really doesn't matter.
The reality is the standard care system has hard guardrails around it, and your doctors won't go past those—even if it means lower odds of survival for you.
I said screw that! I want a *complete* plan that includes anything and everything that increases my odds of recovery! I'm in this to win.
# Makings of a plan
You'll need a plan too if you're in this match to win like I am. Without a complete plan—the truth is—your chances of recovery will be lower.
So don't wait for someone else to do it for you. In the end this is your journey, and you gotta get your hands on the wheel.
CancerPlan.Org is my recovery plan. It's the result of days and weeks and now months of research and reading and trying to figure out what's what in this messed up world of cancer.
And most importantly, how to get out of it!
I'm no doctor, and no expert. I have zero credentials or fancy degrees to offer you, and absolutely nothing on this website should be considered medical advice.
But I do have a knack for looking at raw technical data, uncovering the important takeaways, and then connecting the dots to support a project or plan. This is basically what I've done for a living over the past 30 years.
So when this little cancer project was dropped in my lap unexpectedly I said "ok, let's do this". The plan has one aim; to improve my and your odds of a full recovery from cancer.
Speaking of odds, do be aware there are a lot of documented statistics out there on the chances of you and me being alive in 5 years.
And you should ignore all of them, because...
# We're not lottery tickets
Don't waste your time looking for, or reading cancer survivability reports. Why? Because they're of no practical use to us!
Because **you're not a lottery ticket**, so fuck the statistical numbers someone has put on the mass population. It doesn't matter.
You're one of a kind, like me. Our only goal, this plan's only goal, is to *improve our odds*. Three percent, 46%, it doesn't matter. Just improve them.
And unlike the odds you get with a lottery ticket, *our* recovery odds can be controlled if you do the right things. You need to move yourself out of the big bubble of statistical averages (e.g. people who stay on the standard medical system rails), into the outlier realm where mass population averages don't apply (people who take the wheel and do something different).
So that's what I'm doing here. And I invite you, recent cancer team member, to join me.
If you're onboard, let's start.
Here's what this plan aims to help you do:
1. Understand your personal cancer situation, and the playing field you've been thrown into.
2. Outline your most important objectives for recovery, and what actions you'll need to take to achieve those objectives.
3. Do it. Survive this.