Cancer Coach

What is a cancer coach and how can you benefit from one?

Why a cancer coach can tell you what no one else will, help create a plan that will work for you, and ultimately save you valuable time and money

A cancer coach is someone who coaches you through all aspects of your journey healing from cancer. Not just drugs and treatments, not just supplements and alternative therapies, but the whole thing. How do I process and act on conflicting information I get from my conventional oncologist and my naturopathic oncologist? How do I find good oncologists? What about these clinics I hear about? How do I deal with lack of support from those I was counting on? How do I formulate an overall plan that’s right for me? How do I afford all of this? These are all the types of questions that you likely don’t have anyone readily available to answer for you that a cancer coach can and will.

If you want to be a better at speaking, you hire a speaking coach. If you want to be a better in business, you hire a business coach. And if you want to be the best you can be in the shortest amount of time possible at healing from cancer, it makes a whole lot of sense to hire a cancer coach. Let’s dig in a little deeper.

A Cancer Coach Has Been There

cancer coach

More often than not, a cancer coach was driven to do what they do from personal experience. Either they themselves or a very close loved one was afflicted with cancer and they now feel compelled to help others with what they learned in their experience along the way. This alone is invaluable, especially when going an integrative or holistic route which is typically very research intensive which we’ll talk more about in a bit. Even all of the practicalities of going through what is now your new normal day to day life and dealing with a whole slew of situations completely foreign to anything you’ve ever been through before can be overwhelming for just about everybody that receives this news. And although your best friends and closest family members will hopefully be supportive and want to help in any way they can, there’s a good chance they just plain won’t have the answers you’re looking for on how to make your way through all of this.

A cancer coach will also have a very unique perspective on going through cancer that not many others can offer. Doctors can be very intimidating and often expect you to go along with what they say with little or no explanation. Friends and family, although well intentioned, can also have very strong opinions that often originate from little actual information and can make coming to your own independent, educated decisions unduly difficult. Through firsthand experience and after working with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of patients a coach will have essentially “seen it all” before and can be someone to turn to that will help you take a step back, see the big picture, and come up with a plan that’s right for you.

A Cancer Coach Can Help Navigate the Waters and Prioritize

After the initial shock of a diagnosis wears off and you start going about trying to figure out just exactly what to do, especially with the intention of taking an integrative or natural approach, the sheer amount of information and options available to you can be mindboggling to say the least. Do I stay with the oncologist I landed on at the hospital or do I search around for the best one I can find? How do I choose the right naturopath? Are there other healing modalities I should be seeking out that doctors likely won’t be offering me? What’s the best way to do my own research? How should I be fundraising and what is going to be the best use of time and make the biggest impact? These are all questions with no easy answers and the very real need to get them right and deadline for doing so can create a very stressful situation very quickly.

On our path we recognized the need for this kind of help, but almost too much so and probably didn’t go about it in the most efficient way. Typically with a cancer coach you’ll have a long initial discussion and then shorter follow ups from there via email, text, quicker phone calls, etc. We paid for way too many initial consultations which led to feeling overwhelmed at times.

The real value of a cancer coach is in the follow ups. Having someone that both knows their way around cancer in general and also your exact situation that can not only drastically cut down the time it takes to answer these questions but also make sure you’re focusing on the most important questions in the first place. It’s easy to either get way too obsessed with one a minute detail of the healing journey, or conversely spread yourself too thin and try to do too much at once. A good coach should be able to keep you focused on the right tasks at the right time.

A Cancer Coach’s Research Is Truly outside the Box

cancer coaching

As much as we advocate for working with a naturopathic oncologist and consider it an absolute must when employing natural products and alternative therapies into one’s cancer healing strategy, quite often they do fall victim to the very same type of bias that the natural health community gives conventional medical doctors a hard time about. If they didn’t learn about it in medical school, or in their continuing education lectures, or at the very least from another doctor, then it must not be worth considering. Now granted the range of options an ND has learned about will be far greater than that of an MD, but all the same it can be frustrating to see a ton of research online on a particular approach and hear about a lot of people that have had success with it only to have it brushed off without a particularly good explanation by the guy that you thought was supposed to be into all of this stuff.

When you’re coming from a place of personal interest rather than a place that hands you a degree, there is inherently a lot less ego to protect. When you don’t have the word “doctor” in front of your name you tend to be a lot less worried about projecting the image that you know it all. You’ll have an easier time maintaining a “lifelong student” attitude and keeping a fully open mind to new possibilities.

Along these same lines, at the end of the day NDs are still licensed by the same states MDs are and do need to take certain steps to protect that license. If they go too far outside the lines their career could come into jeopardy which might prevent them from seeing patients at all which wouldn’t be good for anybody.

Many NDs still haven’t or are just now coming around to recommending cannabis in their practice for instance whereas it’s probably safe to say that within the alternative research community as a whole the case has been closed for some time now that this plant has a wide range of very effective medicinal benefits. This is not necessarily the naturopaths’ fault. Select states have only started legalizing the cannabis plant, it remains illegal at the federal level, and the products certainly don’t come from your typical Good Manufacturing Practice recognized facility. So they do need to proceed with extreme caution on something like this. All the same if you’re dealing with cancer now you need someone to talk to who does not have these types of restrictions.

Point of emphasis – in no way am I suggesting that a cancer coach would replace a naturopathic oncologist. No one knows effects, dosages, interactions, timing, test results, and so on better than they do and this is crucial. All the same if you want the most well rounded approach possible, more than likely you’re going to want other sources to consult with.

A Cancer Coach Knows What Works, and What Doesn’t

Conversely, just as a cancer coach can point you towards effective “outside the box” therapies, they can also steer you away from those that they know will not work for you. The internet is the most incredible resource anyone could have ever imagined, but with that it’s also filled with a lot of junk. There are those online who would take advantage of someone in every vulnerable situation, and unfortunately cancer is no exception to this rule. There are also a lot of well enough intentioned people that write about things they don’t fully understand and can end up muddying the waters and putting out a lot of bad or conflicting information.

Dealing with cancer day in and day out, a coach is going to have a much better sense of what’s worth putting energy into and what should be passed by. This is going to save you two very important, and in most cases very limited, resources – time and money. We all have the sense that there just isn’t enough time in the day, and cancer has a way of magnifying that sense a hundred fold. With the amount of information there is to sift through and ongoing tasks to accomplish when managing cancer, any edge you can give yourself in the ability to focus on what’s important and bypass that which isn’t should be jumped on. And every piece of information you come across is more often than not associated with dozens of ways to spend your money so this filter therefore becomes that much more valuable.

We’ve finally gotten to a place we can shake our heads and laugh at some of the things we spent our money on starting out on this journey. We don’t laugh that hard however because as our understanding has grown there are so many things we want to do to fully optimize Ryder’s health and protocol now that we just plain don’t have the money for and the knowledge that we would have been able to do that much more before our bank account and credit dried up does sting quite a bit sometimes. So again anything you can do to help yourself focus, especially for the nominal fee that most coaches charge is very well worth it.

A Cancer Coach Can Help Create a Plan Right for You

This is where individual coaches will vary widely in their approach and you need to spend a bit of time clicking around, asking questions, and deciding what is right for you.

Some coaches have a set protocol they’ve built over the years and basically put everyone they’re helping on it. There will likely be some customization based on the individual but for the most part their coaching will consist of making sure you understand and follow the protocol and helping you through the nuances that come along with it. There are a few advantages here. These coaches have put a lot of time and thought into making sure their protocol is the absolute best it can be. Also, if they’ve been using the protocol for some time then it would be reasonable to expect that they’ve seen a good deal of success with it and therefore there’s a good chance you would benefit as well.

Personally, as much as I look up to some of the coaches who use this approach, lately I’ve come to consider it somewhat “old school.” If you get stuck on one particular set of methods and products, you’ll be more likely to fall victim to a bias similar to that of those with a degree mentioned earlier and may not be as apt to stay up on the latest research and developments. Furthermore not every person and not every person’s cancer is the same. More and more the research is bearing out that there is no one diet that’s best for everybody. Individuals will have differing aspects of their overall health, condition and lifestyle that need the most attention.

The opportunity for customization in individual protocols is also greater than it ever has been with new studies coming out every day showing certain compounds having greater efficacy against some cancers more than others, advances in biofeedback, biomarker and chemo-sensitivity testing, and time honored practices such as muscle testing. If someone comes up with a protocol that works one hundred percent of the time no matter what, then I’m in. Until that time though we need to give ourselves the greatest amount of flexibility to learn and grow in our understanding as possible.

We prefer approaches that are more of a loose framework of “bases to cover.” This allows for the greatest degree of flexibility and customization. You want to be addressing epigenetics, mitochondrial function, microbial infection, immune support, detoxification, balancing energy, managing toxicity and side effects from conventional treatment if applicable, and so. Within those bases however you can periodically assess and fine tune each to make sure everything you’re doing is actually achieving the desired result. You can even add a new base altogether if you end up finding a new area worth spending time on that really doesn’t fit into any other category.

This also gives the greatest chance of permanent success in healing cancer and creating true long term health. When I interviewed Dr. Paul Anderson at the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Practitioners conference recently, he brought up a patient of his who successfully reversed her cancer with a very specific approach, but she wouldn’t ever take his advice both in making sure to cover all of her bases and to continually mix things up. Many years later the cancer came back “like a freight train” even though she had stayed true to the exact approach that had seemingly cleared her in the first place when it finally found a way around what she was doing. A phrase he used in that interview that really stuck with me is that “cancer is a polyfactorial disease” and this story underscores the importance of really understanding every factor involved and making sure we’re thoroughly addressing them now and in the long term.

My Kid Cures Cancer Offers Coaching

Cancer Coach

As it stands currently there is a lot more knowledge in our heads and notes than what exists on this site. And given the fact there is only so much time in the day to write articles and make videos on top of our regular obligations this probably won’t change any time soon. But if you’re going through cancer right now and feel like tapping into all of the knowledge we’ve accumulated through our experience and research and feel it would be beneficial in your journey, we’re here for you.

Now again if we haven’t mentioned it enough times already we’re very strong advocates for working with a naturopathic oncologist in conjunction with your conventional oncologist and would never dream of suggesting that we would be a replacement for either. We do, however, have a lot to offer in all of the categories discussed throughout this article. We’ve learned a lot along the way on what it means to truly empower yourself and take control of your health and we want to get you there much faster than we did.

Full details on the program can be found on our connect page. As mentioned there, this is not a service that does all of the leg work in designing an exact protocol and handing it off to you, which would be much costlier. We will, however, tell you everything we’ve learned over the years on how to approach healing from cancer and live the most non-toxic, healthy and thriving life possible. Even if a cancer diagnosis is not something your family is currently dealing with (thank God) and you just want some help with that second part, ensuring you’re doing everything you can to keep your family healthy and disease-free, we’d be thrilled to help you there as well.

Lastly, in childhood cancer specifically there are so many nuances involved that are entirely different from adult situations that you really would never be able to come close to understanding or intelligently speaking to unless you’ve been through it yourself. Looking back at the path that got us to where we are, to put it frankly we’ve received a lot of unsatisfactory, completely irrelevant or even just plain bad advice along the way from a number of very good, very well meaning, and very knowledgeable (in most cases) individuals who just didn’t have a whole lot of experience working with children and parents. If you’ve got a kiddo who needs help and is counting on you to be their best advocate, we’d REALLY like to make sure you’ve got all the tools you need to be all you can be for them.

Again, if you’d like to work with us, head over to the connect page to find out how to get started. Whether you do choose to use us as a resource at this time or not, the sentiment I want to leave you with wrapping up this article is that never at any time in our known history has there been so many options available and collective knowledge accumulated on how to heal cancer and create true health as there is right now. There is always something else to tried that could be the very piece of the puzzle you’ve been missing all along. Keep going and never give up.

God Bless, and Godspeed

About the Author - Ryan Sternagel
In May of 2014, when his son Ryder was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, Ryan immediately turned into a full time "dadcologist" – spending long hours researching and talking with various cancer experts from all over the world.

With everything he and his wife Teddy learned, came My Kid Cures Cancer, a site dedicated to helping all those dealing with cancer navigate through the world of natural, alternative, and integrative cancer protocols... Especially parents with the unique challenge of applying what they learn to a child.

Aside from writing articles for the site, Ryan is an advocate and coach for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

In his "spare time" he, enjoys training for and competing in triathlons, taking advantage of all the outdoor activities their home in Park City, UT has to offer, and most of all, family hikes in the woods.

  2 Comments   Comment

  1. Brittany Quarles-GreenfieldBrittan

    I came across Ryder, Teddy, and Ryan at My Kid Cures Cancer some number of months ago. My son was about 14 months cancer free at the time, and I felt confident in what I was doing for him naturally (during & following the extensive western treatment he’s recieved) to keep him cancer free. A few short weeks ago, I learned my son relapsed, and needless to say, we were devastated. I thought I was doing the right things to cover all of our bases; so how did we end up in this place?? What was I missing?? I immediately reached out to the My Kid Cures Cancer crew, and I am so, SO incredibly grateful I did. Their support & guidance have truly been invaluable for me during this time. Knowing that they have walked/are walking this journey with their young child, as well, immediately put my mind at ease. They get it. They care. And, they are great listeners. Which is always nice!! And, they are not at all dogmatic, as I have also seen is very possible in the cancer world. They understand that what might be a viable option for one person, might not be a viable option for another, and that with children, western treatment isn’t really an option. We then started with the basics; epigenetics, mitochondrial function, diet, supplements, equipment, and how to do a proper search (on a PROPER search engine. Hint… it isn’t Google😂), etc. It is extremely difficult to balance the reasearch, the daily routines, and the cancer healing protocols, and they help you to figure that out. As you already know, the information of My Kid Cures Cancer is spot on! Their cancer coaching just takes it up a notch (or 10). I would WHOLE HEARTEDLY reccommend anyone, but especially anyone with a child, navigating this cancer world to reach out to Teddy & Ryan.

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