I have found different things shock different people and most are shocked when they are diagnosed with cancer. I wasn’t. Why? Because I knew I could beat it. Why was that? My mother had and I got it early. I thought my body had lost it’s equilibrium and that if I healed my immune system, I would heal my body and be cancer free for the long term.
I started talking to women who had had breast cancer and discovered no two cases are the same. There may be similar cancers in similar places in the body. How each body responds to treatment is often very different. So I could not get any advice on how to approach my situation. I realised I would need to chart my own course.
I got a very strong sense that my body, mind and spirit were out of balance. I read several books, in particular, Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolyn Myss and looked at whether there was an area of my life that I was angry or upset about and whether there was any person or situation I could forgive. There was, and so I set about doing the “forgiveness” exercises in Carolyn’s book. I forgave everyone including myself and felt an enormous lightness in my soul.
What shocked me was not the diagnosis, but the prescribed treatment after I was advised by the surgeon that he had taken a clear margin and there was no cancer in my lymph nodes. What was prescribed was six sessions of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiotherapy and five years of hormone therapy. I felt in that moment that I was going to lose myself and no longer be in the driver’s seat of my life or my well-being.
I immediately set on a path to discover how I could best look after myself and ensure that I stayed cancer free.
I had a CTC (circulating tumour cell) test done which was sent to Germany. The result was a recommendation that I did need chemotherapy and what chemotherapy would be best for the type of cancer I had. This confirmed the treatment prescribed by my oncologist. So I proceeded with it, even though in my heart I didn’t want it. I didn’t know enough at the time to make a choice about it. At each chemotherapy session I had, I thought of the drugs as a ‘love potion’ healing my body. Unfortunately I didn’t feel loved afterwards. I felt very unwell and started to find there was a disconnect between my mind and body. There were a number of practices I took on, in particular meditation, which helped me keep my mind and body as strong as I could during the process.
I went to a nutritionist, looked at my diet and how and where I could change it to aid my recovery. I also went back to my integrated GP to discuss how he could possibly support me. He prescribed me a range of supplements to assist with supporting my immune system and maintaining my physical strength. The important thing for me was not to lose my body strength and muscle tone whilst on chemotherapy.
This was the beginning of me establishing an amazing team of people around me. They provided great care and support.