To clear my Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I chose an integrated approach with lots of natural therapies and solutions that I’ve mentioned in previous blog postings.
At the end of October 2015, after just 6 chemo sessions, I received a clear scan. To the horror and concern of my specialist, I declined further treatment and continued with my natural regime. Today, I received a 2 minute phone call from my specialist telling me that my latest scan was also clear. I was quietly confident but delighted to receive the confirmation call nonetheless.
When faced with the prognosis last July that I would be dead within a year, I reluctantly agreed to minimal chemotherapy. If I’d followed medical guidance that required me to endure several months of treatment I would still have been undergoing chemotherapy with the associated and increasingly rotten side effects and poor quality of life.
My message to anyone faced with cancer is to take charge of your own recovery. No-one else can do this for you. It’s a lonely road at times because unless you’ve been through it yourself, no amount of well-meaning platitudes can make any difference….unless you are in control of your own body and mind.
The power of the mind is often overlooked. I can only speak from my own personal experience and retell some of the many, many stories of complete recovery that I’ve had the pleasure to hear about.
This afternoon I attended a super workshop arranged by Melanie and Steve Gamble from the charity Together Against Cancer. We talked about how strong the mind is, which can lead to complete recovery……or deterioration and death – depending upon how positive the person and their environment is.
Chronic illness and disease can be reversed when you allow your body to be in the right environment. This includes education, nutrition, lifestyle, commitment and positivity. It also requires acknowledgement that life will need to be different in the future.
A cancer diagnosis need not be the kiss of death, however. It is very scary and needs time, education, support and much effort on the part of the cancer victim to crack. Having cancer also defines who your true friends are. Some people who I considered friends have run for the hills but many more surround me with love and unconditional support for which I am truly grateful.
Being on my own without a supportive life partner and going through the cancer journey was hard sometimes and I would encourage anyone with a diagnosis to join support groups – there are several secret support groups on FaceBook so it doesn’t matter where you live.
During my 3 cancer challenges starting in 2009, I haven’t had a day’s illness …I’ve merely been inconvenienced. Success can be found in the mind. Remember that ‘Where the mind goes, the body follows’….. and my body followed where I wanted it to go…in recovery mode!
I believe that cancer survivors have a moral duty to share what has helped them for the benefit of others. This is probably the last blog post I will make in this series. I hope that sharing my journey these past few months has helped some people, and their families, to feel less scared of the journey ahead of them.
Onward and upward!
To your good health
Elaine, 1 February 2016