Reflection on “Cut, Poison, Burn” by Taylor Porchey

Taylor Porchey is a junior at Houston Christian High School; she is also a student in my AP US History course. Feel free to leave a comment regarding her thoughts. I previously posted a post written by Donna Navarro regarding her story and work.

The documentary “Cut, Poison, Burn” presented by Donna Navarro and her family, along with countless other contributors, provided me with a plethora of information and emotion that December 3 night. Cancer is a very personal issue for me, I watched my Aunt Kimmy suffer through Glioblastoma Brain Cancer for 5 years, my Grandfather with Prostate Cancer, my cousin Meredith (Kimmy’s daughter) battle Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and now, as of December 1, Terry (Kimmy’s husband) has been diagnosed with Colon Cancer and his surgery is December 8.

Cancer has hit my family hard, fast, and furious. This wretched disease has brought grief, misery, and discord to my family and what I want the most is justice. The only way I could plausibly get that is through prevention and proper treatment of cancer. I cannot change the past. I have determined for quite some time now that there will never be an ultimate cure for cancer – pharmaceutical companies and the government will not allow it. “Cut, Poison, Burn” has only heightened my fear and broadened my knowledge on the inner (corrupt) political workings of the FDA in regards to cancer care. As to the accusations towards chemotherapy the movie displays, I have mixed emotions. I have seen first hand the horrors of chemotherapy and what the deadly poison does to your body; yet I also witnessed the extension and saving of lives. Is something that does save lives to be persecuted as the movie portrays? I think the director could have done a better job of explaining that this was not a war against chemo and radiation, rather a desperate plea for an alternative method to be approved and recognized as valid by the FDA.

A hard movie to watch especially when it shows the deterioration of Thomas Navarro’s mind, almost to the point of being considered a vegetable. Memories of Kimmy flooded back to me of sitting on her bed watching Meredith feed her an ice cream sandwich the week before she went to Hospice, barely able to lift her arms and able to make only the softest utterances of what used to be the loving words of reassurance, courage, and sheer wit. “Cut, Poison, Burn” will give the public an idea of what living with cancer is like, and the horrors of chemo, radiation, and any other form of treatment. The documentary seems particularly one sided, granted the FDA was given opportunities to present their side, but the support the video gives Dr. Burzynski is overwhelming, it would have been nice if other methods of treatment were explained as well. Regardless, a touching story with unnerving insight.

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3 thoughts on “Reflection on “Cut, Poison, Burn” by Taylor Porchey

  1. We will always find ways in which to improve a film but the most important point of the film is that Americans should be allowed to make their choice of medical treatment for cancer, and any disease without the condemnation of federal authorities and the medical establishment which pushes the conventional treatment. I decided to bring the film to Mississippi for the purpose of starting a discussion on the issue not to celebrate the film

  2. I agree – whether you liked the film or not; whether you believe in alternative remedies or not – we as Americans deserve the right to choose our treatment. Healthcare in this country is a monopoly – there is no freedom of choice.

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