My Shift from Active to Dormant Cancer

Sept 2015

Background
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2013. According to an integrative cancer consultant I saw, the diagnosis was the best case scenario one could hope for if told one had cancer – at that point Stage One, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Her 2 negative, ER and PR positive (I was about to turn 51 so hormones were raging in my body). The NHS machine kicked in to action and I was immediately booked in for a complete mastectomy within two weeks (the tumour measured between 4 and 6cms).

But my instinct and belief in my own and my body’s abilities to heal, told me this was not my solution. And so I declined the surgery / chemo etc. (I have encountered three different surgeons but have never met with an oncologist), and embarked upon my own journey of discovery and revelation. It has been a roller-coaster two years, with many, many difficult and often frightening moments and experiences. But overall, I was not afraid, and I continued to hold the belief that it was within mine and my body’s powers to manage what was happening to us. This is not to say that the process has been easy, and I often said how much easier it would have been were I the type of person who could hand my life over to others in the belief that they know what is best for me, but this is not how I view the world and so I had to find my own path.

However, within six months of diagnosis a follow-up ultrasound scan indicated that the tumour had doubled in size. In my opinion this increase was attributable to the combined effects of the biopsy and, crucially, the fact that I had not resolved my underlying emotional issues. I believe this because the increase occurred in spite of, amongst many other changes, a complete dietary shift to 100% raw vegan, daily green and wheatgrass juicing, focus on detoxification and immune system building, regular walking, about 3 stone (20 kgs) in weight loss and, as far as I was aware, a substantial shift in my thinking patterns.

Prior to diagnosis I had been in bad shape emotionally and physically, having endured many consecutive years of intense stress and several painful bereavements in quick succession. I was consciously self-destructing by eating diabolically and immersing myself in dark thoughts. I felt old and replete, and was calling death in. I thought I had made a miraculous and instantaneous shift in the face of the wake up call that the cancer diagnosis presented me with, but did not recognise how deeply rooted my issues were. Nor did I see that my stress levels were still a problem – they had been high prior to diagnosis, and they escalated exponentially afterwards, with me giving myself a ridiculously hard time, chasing every miracle cure that came onto my radar and constantly comparing myself to others and beating myself up about not doing things properly or well enough. I had a long way to go to finding joy, and to fully accepting and loving myself.

Seeing doctors made my condition worse – every time!

I’m not suggesting doctors don’t have their place in healthcare, but because I chose to figure things out for myself, I faced a lot of negativity from the professionals whom I encountered. In spite of my focus on remaining positive and on looking after myself, every time I made any progress, e.g. when I was examined nine months post diagnosis and found to have stabilised the tumour (no further growth or change since the six-month scan after taking cannabis oil for three months) and when I was scanned again after a year and told that the tumour had reduced in size from 10cms to 6cms (after a divine healing session), the surgeon’s reaction completely destabilised me and seemed to trigger a negative response in me.

She was apparently unable to view what was happening with me in any way other than from a pessimistic perspective, where ‘the disease was progressing and I was clearly in trouble’. I was told that I was ‘now Stage Two’, that the cancer was showing signs of spreading to my lymph nodes, that it had almost certainly spread to my organs (a PET scan was recommended to establish if this was the case). I heard (and apparently absorbed) all of this, and, in spite of my feeling fantastic and the tangible evidence to the contrary, I took it to heart.

And so it came to pass – within six months the disease was clearly progressing and I was seemingly in big trouble. I was told that it was too late for me to have ‘normal’ surgery, and I was becoming seriously concerned about what was going on in my body. This was one of the factors in what was an emotionally difficult few months, where I had been left fearful and doubtful after huge amounts of effort on my part. Aside from my partner and some special ‘cancer buddies’ I received little support from around me. Very few of my family and friends seemed to believe that I could succeed in my mission, and I could sense people writing me off and preparing themselves for my death. I was also carrying a lot of shame, because I had informed people at the outset that I was going to deal with the situation my own way, firmly believing that it would be easy and only take a short while before I was cured, and then finding that in reality this was not the case and not knowing how to admit this to people. I was afraid of being judged, did not know how to deal with all the well meaning people who were telling me what they thought I should be doing, and so could not be honest about my process. I lost contact with people who couldn’t accept what I was doing and, after 18 months, I found myself in crisis with an inflamed breast and filled with uncertainty. It was at this point that I had my first Thermogram in March 2015.

Before-After3As you can see from the image, I had an unhappy breast. I did however have a full torso scan at that time, to detect any other areas of concern (something was picked up on my left ovary which, by the time I’d had the ultrasound scan indicating it was probably a cyst and the follow up MRI to make sure, had disappeared). I was invited for my next Thermogram 3 months later (July 2015), to establish my base-line, and this time (as you can see from the image) the situation with my breast was even worse and I was starting to lose belief. I was anxious about my outcome and too had started to think that my death was imminent.

With the Thermogram process, once the baseline is established at 3 months, the norm is to have an annual check-up. But because my condition was so severe, Rosa Hughes said I should come back again in another 3 months to monitor what was happening with me. And so my next Thermogram was booked for September 2015.

It was at this point that I started to let go of the outcome.

The ‘Es’ of my journey to stability
Emotions & Energy Work

It appears that once I let go of the outcome, things started to change. In terms of my emotional state, I stopped focusing on curing myself, instead putting my energy into accepting myself and my situation, being at peace with it, and finding joy in life. After fourteen years, my partner and I managed to shift our relationship from one where conflict was the recurrent theme, to one where we became accepting of each other, and harmonious and gentle with each other. I did a powerful two-week body electronics / point-holding course which seemed to trigger healing in my body (while at the same time taking me back to a pre-diagnosis very dark space of wanting to be dead – which was scary but thankfully passed), and I did a plant-medicine retreat in which I had two healings, both of which led to huge and cathartic emotional releases. Crucially, I stopped feeling stressed!

Exercise

I also read Chris Woollams’s book ‘Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’ and took one significant thing from it – the importance of a daily exercise routine. I started to walk every day, first thing in the morning, for an hour and a half in the nature reserve that I am fortunate to have on my doorstep. Until then my walking had been sporadic and I had procrastinated about getting going, so it was wonderful for me how quickly I moved from resistance to eager anticipation of my morning walk – to the extent that I missed it if it didn’t happen and felt my body responding positively as soon as I began to walk.

Essential Oils Protocol

I first heard about using Frankincense to treat cancer in June 2014, but it was more than a year from then before I met the Doterra consultant who provided the information and support I needed to get me started. I happily started drinking a cocktail of essential oils – my body seemed to resonate so strongly with them. I loosely followed a protocol that was given to me by the woman from whom I purchased the oils, which had been used effectively by other people with cancer. It included drinking the oils in a specific combination, generally drinking a lot, doing hydrotherapy, castor oil packs, Epsom Salt baths, coffee enemas, skin brushing, rebounding – generally focusing on detoxification and on keeping my lymphatic system moving and my blood flowing. I had stopped doing regular juicing when my routine was disrupted a few months earlier, but was doing regular blending and so was getting large quantities of nutritious foods into my body.

Drink Essiac Tea every day

I don’t know exactly what did it, but between June and September 2015 these were the main changes I made, and, as you can see from the September scan, all sign of activity in my breast had disappeared! I suspect it’s that I finally relaxed because although I remained vegan, during this three month period I ate foods that I had not eaten for close on two years (including moderate quantities of bread, fried foods and occasional refined sugar having completely eliminated these post diagnosis), I stopped swallowing supplements because they never agreed with me, and, importantly, I let go of the belief that things were bad for me, instead allowing myself to embrace that which I enjoyed and which nourished me on other levels.

It is a given that good nutrition is a crucial component in managing cancer, but not if it is all pressure and no pleasure. The joy and satisfaction I got from eating ‘forbidden’ foods far outweighed any negatives as far as I was concerned.

It is also surely no coincidence that this enormous change coincided with the 3 month period that my 19 year old daughter was back at home, after 8 months out of the country on her gap year, and before going off to university. And it is important for me to recognise this phenomenon, so that, now that she is away again (albeit in the UK this time), I can monitor how I am responding emotionally to her absence and be conscious of any effects it may be having.

Everyone is unique

I am not suggesting that what I have done is right for anybody but me, but the September Thermogram result indicates that it is clearly working for me and I am more committed than ever to my belief that following my own path is in my best interests. Ironically, this Thermogram heralds the start of my real journey, but I am so thankful for the shifts that have taken place and for the affirmation that, afterall, I am not a complete idiot (as I sometimes questioned), or a ‘stupid cow’ (as a nurse I encountered put it).

Overall, I have held true to my belief that I can manage my health myself, and I continue to believe this. I know that, relatively speaking, it is early days, but I am heartened by all the powerful learning I am experiencing. For me this is the most amazing, life-affirming journey of self-discovery and coming to terms with what really matters. And the love and healing energy which Rosa Hughes exudes, has I’m sure done its bit to contribute to my latest phenomenal result. I don’t know what the future holds, but after a lifetime of not seeing a future, I am starting to see one and to be excited by what it has to offer.