It has been just over a year since the oncologist told me
That I had seven months to live if I had no treatment. She
was an angry little woman – outraged at my flat refusal to
consider chemotherapy. I expect her career is based on
the limited offerings of the medical profession so it is
threatening when somebody disagrees with her offerings.
She had previously told me that my stage four cancer is
inoperable and that it had spread to my hip – or is it my
pelvis? I have concentrated on the tumour on my lung
when I talk to my cancer.
I have had treatments of course. Cranio Sacral therapy,
Shiatsu and some homeopathy. I practise Tai Chi and
Yoga in a slightly desultory manner & have recently begun
Physiotherapy – poor old tumour scarcely has time to
grow – and it hasn’t! I have changed my diet a lot and
have been rewarded with the loss of a couple of stone,
well lost and I can wear clothes that I had despaired of
getting into and buttons tend not to strain any more.
I also talk to my tumour kindly and with love, it is NOT
my enemy, it is a group of wayward cells that have the
capacity to get well or stay as they are. It is nobody’s
fault that it has arrived to change my life. I met a woman
at the Penny Brohn centre who has kept in touch and
given me Shiatsu regularly and I agree with her that the
advent of cancer had not been totally negative. This
statement can cause outrage when I speak to some
cancer patients and their loved ones. In fact in the last
year I have ‘lost’ three people to cancer, a fact of much
sadness and a great friend of mine died last year after
four weeks of her diagnosis an excellent woman who I
admired for her bravery.
So I do know that I am fortunate in being diagnosed in
time and having an excellent oncologist now, one who had
the patience to allow me to choose my own course of action,
though initially she was dubious. Now she is delighted to report
no change. I see her once every three months. I am also
fortunate in being able to afford complementary treatments.
Though there are free treatments via the MacMillan centres
or local cancer help centres. And the brilliant Penny Brohn
centre is free with an option to donate. I will always be
grateful for going there for a short course and for meeting
my Shiatsu genius there (no guarantees of meeting one of
One of the gripes I have with the NHS is that these options
are not offered widely when diagnoses is made. It is as
though the medical profession want to have a monopoly
on cancer. More likely they are too busy treating cancer
the best way they can.
Being a cancer bore pales into insignificance compared with
the shock horror of well meaning friends who treat me as if
I may be on my way out at any moment or tell me that I am
being ‘brave’. I am not; I am being my usual self preserving
self. I could do nothing else. But since cancer I have become
more appreciative of my surroundings and I have also realised that time is of more value to me – a new thought this – that I need all my energy to keep on an even keel emotionally and I
can’t afford to be stressed. So no more towering rages and
more peace. This has meant that I have altered some of my relationships, but gently - I hope.