Me and the Big C

When I wrote the first article ‘my dance with breast cancer’ I wanted to get the message out to women how important it is to check themselves regularly so they could find any changes quickly. An early diagnosis is very important to a full recovery. However I would now like to say that prevention is better than a cure.

When I was diagnosed with breath cancer, I had so many fears arise, some of which were mentioned in my previous article. I found myself thinking about my father, mother and brother and how they died of cancer. Would that happen to me?

My mother had breast cancer. She didn’t take the tablets they gave her as they made her extremely sick. This was a reaction caused with them being mixed with all the tablets she was already taking for Parkinsons disease. Then one day she collapsed and was left paralysed from the neck down. Told she could be treated for the cancer but she would remain paralysed and she made the decision not to have the treatment. She died two weeks later.

I also thought about my father who had gone into hospital for ulcers. Only to be told the next day he had cancer and unless he had a major operation would be dead within sixmonths. He died eighteen months later. Then I also thought about my brother who had pancreatic cancer and died a few months after being diagnosed.

All these thoughts kept going through my head. Would I end up the same way? I kept re-assuring myself by reminding myself I knew about the body mind connection.

I was having the normal medical treatment and the alternative treatment. Also I was having Theta Healing

which was removing old negative beliefs from my subconscious mind. I was having new positive beliefs inserted into my sub-conscious to help me. These were all a big plus on my side which unfortunately my parents and brother didn’t have. Also I think it was important for me that I was dancing with the cancer and embracing it - not fighting against it.

When my article “My Dance with Cancer” in issue 13 of the More to Life magazine went to press I had just been given the dates for my radiotherapy treatment. Within a few days of being diagnosed with breast cancer I started taking Essiac tea which is a herbal remedy believed to help deal with cancer. I also had hands on healing, absent healing, theta healing, massage and reflexology. After the surgery to remove the tumour I took homeopathic, flower and vibrational remedies to help remove the shock from the body. I used affirmations and did creative visualisation.

Then while I was having the radiotherapy I took a homeopathic remedy to help eliminate the bad effects of the treatment on the body.

My first radiotherapy appointment was the strangest, all being very new to me. To make matters worse both machines had broken down and they were running at least an hour behind. After stripping off to my waist and putting on a gown I waited to be called. When my turn came I was led down a curvy corridor into the room which contained a very large machine. I had to lie down on the bed, the radiotherapist then took measurements around my breast and aimed a green laser light beam onto my breast. They doubled checked all the measurements. I was told I must  lie very still and not move during the treatment. Then when all was ready they said they were leaving the room. They switched the machine on and as they left I heard the door slam shut behind them. They said they would be watching me on a monitor from another room. When that door slammed I didn’t know what to expect. I heard some celebrity once describe the machine as being like an alien from outer space. I could relate to that now lying here all alone and the machine making weird space like noises. I thought to myself this machine is so big if it collapsed on me I would be a gonner. Then I thought if I think like that I will frighten the life out of myself. So I decided to take myself off to the 7th dimension as I had learnt to do in Theta Healing and stayed there until it was over. In fact it was finished much quicker than I had anticipated. That was my first session over and then I had another fourteen sessions. I got weekends off for good behaviour.

I am normally a good sleeper, once my head hits the pillow I am gone. However during the treatment my sleep patterns were completely put out of sync.

Just before I had my final treatment I saw the oncologist again. I wasn’t very happy when he told me I would have to go on a five year programme of hormone treatment, as his assistant had told me before I started the radiotherapy that it wasn’t worth putting me through five years of that treatment just to give me another three percent chance of it not coming back. So I was quite upset, however he assured me that he felt I needed it.

When I researched this hormone treatment there were a lot of side effects connected with it. The mains ones being weakening of the bones, tiredness and weight gain. I started the treatment the day after the last session of radiotherapy.

Yes, I get tired now and again so I am pacing myself as much as I can. I had a bone scan to check the condition of my bones which were fine. However the oncologist put me on calcium and vitamin D to counteract any effects of the hormone treatment on my bones.

As far as the weight gain goes I have kept to the same weight. I did lose a stone after coming out of hospital. I went onto a forum for hormone treatment for breast cancer and saw that the women were complaining about the weight gain they were having no matter what they did. It didn’t seem to make any difference how little they ate or how much exercises they did they still just kept piling on the weight. I felt I needed to do something to stop that happening so I have for most of the time being combining foods. I think this is the reason my weight has stayed stable. I have also been allowing the correct amount of time in between meals giving the food the time to fully digest.

One of the things I have started doing is drinking water from glass bottles. It is said that once water in plastic bottles gets warm then the chemicals in the plastic leak into the water. It has now been linked to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

Eating lots of fruit and vegetables is of course a good healthy diet. They say our 5 a day is important to help prevent cancer. Watching what we eat is so important. There are so many chemicals and preservatives added to food these days, or in the packaging which can leak into the food then we digest them.

There are also fruit and vegetables which are believed to help prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute estimates that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related.

We can harm ourselves by what we eat or on the other hand we can help ourselves. It all depends on what we eat. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower have a chemical component called indole-3-carbinol that can combat breast cancer by converting a cancer-promoting oestrogen into a more protective variety. Carrots contain a lot of beta carotene, which may help reduce a wide range of cancers including lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intestine, bladder, prostate and breast. Grapefruits, like oranges and other citrus fruits, contain monoterpenes, believed to help prevent cancer by sweeping carcinogens out of the body. Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones - important fatty acids that may help in the fight against breast cancer. Eating pomegranates and other fruits that contain certain phytochemicals have been found to reduce the occurrence of hormone-dependent breast cancers, according to results of a new study.

Also we must think about the cream and lotions we put on our skin. We need to move back to all natural products. A lot of creams and lotions these days contain some amount of chemicals and these are absorbed by the skin and taken into the body. What is the long term effect on our bodies?

I expect most people know all this information. The question is what do we actually do about it? If we were to put chemicals on the back of our hand day after day and then one day we see a small cancerous growth on the back of our hand, as it started to get bigger we would start to get concerned and do something about it. Well we imbibe all these chemicals but unfortunately we can’t see what they are doing to us on the inside. So we need to stop using them, as prevention is the best cure. Things can be gone way too far on the inside before we feel the effects. Unfortunately in a lot of cases this can be too late.

Another important thing for us to do is exercise. How many of us actually exercise on a daily basis? I mean good exercise where we build up a sweat. Also connecting to the earth and grounding. It can help to detox the body to walk in bare feet on the earth each day. I like now to stand bare foot on the grass in my garden each day even if it is just for a few minutes. I remember as a kid I use to go bare foot for most of the time as much as I could. I didn’t like wearing shoes. How many of us did that as kids? How many of us still do it now?

What did I learn from my experience? This was a big wake up call for me to learn to take more care of my body. I had being taking care of the mind and spirit for years and although I had done the emotional work on the body I had neglected it in other ways. The biggest thing was that I had an old programme of I must keep going no matter what. I learnt it well in childhood, so much so that I realise now I never really knew when I was tired. My body would be exhausted and I would say I was alright and keep going.

Being brought up on a farm where we were ruled by  animals, weather and seasons, even if we were really sick we still had to get up and see to the animals and had to plant and reap according to weather and seasons.

I have learnt that though an illness runs in a family it can be broken. Someone has to be the first to break the pattern.

I take more care of my body and allow myself to rest when needed. I also make sure to eat more of the foods that prevent cancer.

Most of all I am very grateful to wake up every morning to a brand new day and I am so grateful for

my wonderful family and friends and life itself. Life is a wonderful gift we have been given. So grasp it

with both hands and extract all of its magnificent treasures just waiting there for us to explore and experience. That includes happy times and sad times, life is a duality.

I saw the oncologist in October and was given the first all

clear. I  see the surgeon again in January.

©Daphne Whitehouse 2010