Will you deny Me? (Heh, no, no I don’t think I will . . . .)

Heather Freysdottir:

Amazing poem by Jo Dawe. <3

Originally posted on Strip Me Back To The Bone:

Will you deny Me?
In the dark hours of the early morning,
In the quiet spaces of your day,
In the busy moments snatched here and there,
When you come back into My embrace
When you rest your head where it belongs,
When you place your soul in My capable hands,
Will you deny Me?
As your heart is filled with My loving,
As your body is filled with My breath,
As your mind is caught up, and your very spirit infused with My presence.
I have loved you
Not for what you can give to Me
Not for what you can show to others
Not for the names that you call Me
I have loved you
For you are a balm to My being
You are warmth and wonder and joy
Do you think We, too, are not moved by hearts reaching out?
Do you think We have all…

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Why I have a bug up my ass about rejecting western medicine

Steve Jobs had a mild form of cancer that is not usually fatal, but seems to have ushered along his own death by delaying conventional treatment in favor of alternative remedies, a Harvard Medical School researcher and faculty member says. Jobs’s intractability, so often his greatest asset, may have been his undoing.

“Let me cut to the chase: Mr. Jobs allegedly chose to undergo all sorts of alternative treatment options before opting for conventional medicine,” Ramzi Amri wrote in anextraordinarily detailed post to Quora, an online Q&A forum popular among Silicon Valley executives. “Given the circumstances, it seems sound to assume that Mr. Jobs’ choice for alternative medicine has eventually led to an unnecessarily early death.”

Amri went on to say that, even after entering conventional medical care, the Apple CEO seemed to eschew the most practical forms of treatment. Addressing the period when Jobs began to visibly shed weight, Amri wrote, “it seems that even during this recurrent phase, Mr. Jobs opted to dedicate his time to Apple as the disease progressed, instead of opting for chemotherapy or any other conventional treatment.”

When we contacted Amri at his Harvard Medical School email address to verify the post was his—he’s a researcher in the department of surgery at the medical school and research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital—Amri emphasized, “I wrote that on a PERSONAL title and it’s my PERSONAL opinion.” On Quora, Amri expressed his “profoundest respect” for Jobs and that “I do not pretend to know anything about the case on a personal level and I never participated in the care of Mr. Jobs. I base all my cancer figures on my own research or sources from biomedical research known to me… I have done 1.5 years of research on the type of tumor that affected Steve Jobs and have some strong opinions on his case.”

According to a 2008 Fortune article, Jobs for nine months pursued “alternative methods to treat his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid [an] operation through a special diet.” The Buddhist vegetarian took this approach from the time he was diagnosed in October 2003 until at least the end of July 2004, when he underwent surgery at Stanford University Medical Center.

By then the cancer was so far along Jobs had to lose his pancreas and duodenum in a “Whipple procedure.” The cancer also spread to all the major parts of his liver. “The only reason he’d have a transplant,” wrote Amri, “would be that the tumor invaded all major parts of the liver, which takes a considerable amount of time.” Amri said the Whipple procedure and liver transplant were clear signs the cancer was out of control and should have been stopped earlier.

The condition might have been nipped in the bud if Jobs had acted right away. Jobs’s cancer manifest in neuroendocrine tumors, which are typically far less lethal than the “pancreatic adenocarcinoma” that make up 95 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. Amri said neuroendocrine tumors are so “mild” that…

“In my series of patients, for many subtypes, the survival rate was as high as 100% over a decade… As many as 10% of autopsied persons in the general population have been reported to have one of these without ever having had any symptoms during their life. Up to 30% of detected GEP-NETs are so well differentiated they’re strictly not cancers.”

But even “the most innocent cancer” needs to be removed quickly, which is why older men are always being lectured about colon cancer screenings; colon cancer tumors are thought to begin as removable polyps. In Jobs’s case, surgical removal may well have saved him if performed early enough, Amri implies. He wrote:

“In many cases, a simple enucleation (just cutting out the tumor with a safe margin around it) is enough and leaves no residual side-effects.”

The cancer researcher made his comments about Jobs because he was looking for a lesson in his case. Doctors routinely face the ethical conundrum of being unable to treat patients because they’ve exercised their freedom to reject sound medical science.”

– Ryan Tate, “Harvard Cancer Expert: Steve Jobs Probably Doomed Himself With Alternative Medicine.”

This, this, this, is the THING I have an issue with: telling people to eschew conventional medicine can KILL people. It has killed people, and it will continue to do so as long as people spew this nonsense. I understand that they think they’re helping, but if you’re not an MD, you should not play one on the Internet.

Nornoriel on SCIENCE!

First and foremost.  Unless you have an actual MD after your name which was given to you by years of medical school.  Do not.  I repeat.  Do not.  Tell people to go off their medication.  You are not a doctor.  You are actually attempting to practice medicine without a license, which is illegal in this country.  Moreover, though you may mean well, you are probably doing harm in suggesting this, more harm than that person staying on their medication.  Which means it’s downright unethical, which is worse than illegal.  Let me remind the audience that this sort of crap is a big part of why I stayed unmedicated for close to eight years, and I won’t rehash where that got me, but it’s a pretty sad story.

And if you are a doctor?  You’re not my doctor, or Thistlebloom Moonshadow’s doctor, or Bjorn Odinsson’s, or whoever.  Only my actual primary care physician gets to decide what medication I should be on, and the dose adjustments involved, whether I can go off it or not.  Not you.

Doctors are not infallible.  There is a lot wrong with the medical industry in this country, and yes, I just referred to it as “the medical industry”.  A number of doctors (and people in the helping professions in general) are in medicine to make money, not actually help people.  I, myself, have been on the receiving end of malpractice, wherein I have been inappropriately medicated, overmedicated, and subject to psychological and sexual abuse from medical professionals.  I did in fact go off a cocktail of medication about eight years ago because it was in fact doing more harm than good both with exacerbating my symptoms and intolerable side effects, and I do not regret this.  Particularly with regards to the way that serious mental health disorders are treated in this country, we have a ways to go in getting people appropriately treated for their conditions, without stigma, without infantilizing them, people getting proper help while preserving their rights and their dignity.

But doctors screwing up some of the time, does not mean they always screw up all of the time…

If you ever have the audacity to tell me that I ought to go off my medication because my doctor is “just throwing pills at me” and it isn’t “good for me”, you are literally telling me to kill myself.  And that’s not OK.

via SCIENCE!.

Nono has summed up quite well the bulk of my issues with the demonization of western medicine. I know people who have pain issues to the point of being suicidal because they never experience pain-free living, not even in short intervals.

Unless you’re living with that kind of pain, you don’t get to tell them how they should feel about it or that they’re not trying hard enough.

If you don’t live with debilitating anxiety, you don’t get to tell someone that they’re overreacting.

And I’d like to reiterate again that any ethical practitioner of holistic healing arts does not tell people to stop taking their medication; they work with the person’s doctor, therapist, specialist, etc.

Names Don’t Matter, or: what to do when your god pokes around with your identity by poking around with His own

Heather Freysdottir:

I am just gonna reblog this with this thought: may our need for categorization and our need to be “right” never exceed our desire to learn more about our Beloveds.

Originally posted on Strip Me Back To The Bone:

A young girl is on her hands and knees at the water’s edge, keening into the sea. There is no other word for the sounds coming from her, the sounds of a spirit bound too tightly slipping its cage and splintering from the force of it. She feels herself shattering, and no amount of trying to hold on will stop the process. She is beyond fear, beyond worry, beyond hope. She has given over to this moment, and she is caught up in fury, in desolation, in these big, crushing waves of emotions that are too big, too wild, to be held back. Her spirit has tasted freedom and it will not return to its meager existence. Her spirit knows the depth and beauty of the worlds, and it calls out for rescue.

He comes clad in moonlight and darkness, in denim and leather, in flesh, bone, and magic. The…

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The Cauldron

Heather Freysdottir:

I adore this piece of sacred flash fiction about a young Loki and Odin’s misadventures. <3

Originally posted on Ki's Lokean Adventures:

He lingers near the lady’s fire soot collecting on his white shirt while he attempts to raise the courage for this endeavor. She sleeps in her small wooden home not even ten feet away, and he’s terrified to wake her. She is sure and true with a slap or an arrow, so he knows better than to anger her, yet constantly finds himself on the wrong side of her wrath. He quite expects to wake some morning as a squirmy little bug the pretty witch can stomp. He shivers. His strawberry blond hair shines golden in the flickering flames while he struggles to lift the cauldron from the hook, but he’s half her height, and his arms are still filling in with the muscle of manhood even though he’d gone through a growth spurt this past summer. The cauldron is hung too high for him to easily pull it down. The chill…

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“If you just”

Heather Freysdottir:

Nornoriel Lokason talks about the Pagan community’s attitudes toward psychiatry and general medical practice. As someone with PTSD and a chronic autoimmune disorder, I concur with him here, “even in the cases of where someone is woo and mentally ill, like myself – it’s still not something people should romanticize. I should not have been encouraged to be unmedicated for the sake of The Work. Now that I’m properly medicated? I am actually _better_ able to hear the spirits and _better_ able to do what Jobs I have in their service. Being unmedicated honestly made my bad brain chemistry screw with my signal clarity, and contributed to poor choices I made that got in the way of the plans the Powers had for me, and I could go on and on and on, but tl;dr even if woo is part of a spirit-worker’s wiring… that is not an excuse to not get help for it.”

I wholeheartedly believe in referring people when their problems fall outside the scope of my practice, and I also believe that a person’s health and well-being are intrinsic to being able to carry out their Spooky-Fu, and that particularly in devotional relationships, since the relationship itself is more important than the Work – and sometimes IS the Work, self-care is a must, because the relationship suffers when people run themselves ragged. People should not feel obliged to Work themselves to death and no one should give you shit about it if you put yourself first. Cause if they do?

They’re not a real friend.

Originally posted on The Serpent's Labyrinth:

My latest post to Staff of Asclepius at Patheos, entitled “If you just”, is now up.  Said post deals with the pagan community’s attitude towards psychiatry and tendency to suggest holistic methods and woo to people who are experiencing illness of some sort; hat tip to the fabulous Beth and Heather for getting the ball rolling on this subject.

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A New Place for Loki, Part II | Ørgrandr Lokean

Due to the pointed way in which Loki doesn’t consume the bones in Snorri’s account, it is my belief that in antiquity Loki like Agni was regarded to be the personification of the fire of cremation and sacrifice. In Snorri’s story, Loki represents the holy fire of cremation that separates bones from flesh, which competes against Logi, who personifies the mundane wildfire that indiscriminately eats whatever is laid in its path.

via A New Place for Loki, Part II | Ørgrandr Lokean.

More of Dagulf Loptson’s discussion on Loki and fire.