I had a bit of an uneasiness about people hearing that I had cancer from someone else. I didn’t want any of my close friends to find out that way. I thought that would be horrible, so I took it on myself to either meet up with or phone my friends. I definitely missed out on a few, I ended up stopping after a while. It was tough to keep repeating the same story. I had people burst into tears on me, a few times. It was shocking to hear. It was shocking to tell. What the hell do you say? Eh, I have cancer. Oh god, really? Where? It’s breast cancer. I presume they found it early? Well no actually, it’s advanced. But I’m going to be fine! Don’t worry! I am going to survive this, really! Queue the tears, look of shock, silence, complete surprise. Ugh, did I really have to keep repeating this? It was exhausting.
My family and any friends who knew were ringing me every day to hear of any updates. How are you feeling? It would become one of the phrases I hated to hear the most. It was hard to be on the phone all the time, repeating the same story over and over, reassuring people that I was going to be ok, when I didn’t know for sure that I was. I was drained. It got to the point where I turned my phone off. I got sick of everyone. I was sick of myself. I didn’t want this to be happening, it was taking over my life, consuming my thoughts. Couldn’t I press pause for a while and just breathe again? I would feel like this a few times over the following months. An intense need to get away from it all, to flee from myself.
I wasn’t going to do chemotherapy, I had decided that for definite. It wouldn’t save me. I needed a cure. What the hell was I going to do then? I wanted to live, for more than a few years. I wanted to completely heal my body and become cancer free. I would try anything. With chemotherapy, radiation, surgery… your healthcare is completely in the hands of the doctors and nurses. They have a schedule laid out for you, they do the research so you don’t have to. In fact they tell you not to. ‘Don’t google!’, remember? They prepare the drugs, the hospital bed, your meals. They prescribe you painkillers, anti sickness medicine, they organise your surgery, they even provide a bus service from your home to your chemotherapy appointments if you need it. I am not trying to take away from the experience people have in hospitals. In fact, I am absolutely certain it is complete hell, I had seen Paul’s father go through it only 2 years before. I am purely comparing my experience and what I had to do to heal. I was taking my healthcare into my own hands. I was going to become my own oncologist, my own researcher, I was in charge of healing my own cancer. I was taking on a huge challenge. Was I capable of making the right choices to survive this journey? I better not fuck it up because if I choose wrong, I’m dead meat. Who would help me? I needed someone who knew about ‘the alternative route’.
This is when the two Athlone angels came to the rescue! Cara and Niamh would prove to be two of the most helpful people in my healing journey. They know EVERYONE! Cara knows everyone in general and Niamh knows everyone in the area of health and wellness. The exact area I needed to know more about, pronto! Niamh said she knew of someone who was importing CBD cannabis oil (the legal one) for people who were healing from cancer. I needed to talk to this person. He knew a lot about alternative cancer treatments. He would come to be one of the few integral people I have worked with who have helped me heal thus far.
This is the part where I have to start changing people’s names so no one is implicated in illegal behaviour! Why? Well treating cancer in Ireland, and most other countries, with anything other than chemotherapy, radiation and surgery is ILLEGAL! You will not find any practitioner in the area of health and wellness, who are not medical doctors, advertising that they treat cancer patients. It is against the law.
I met Tom soon after (not his real name, but a good strong name!). He has a background in science and nutrition and is extremely well rehearsed in natural cancer treatments. He is passionate about it and there’s very little he doesn’t know when it comes to the latest scientific research around ‘natural cures’. Yes, I said scientific research around natural cures. Chemo isn’t the only way you know! There is quite a lot out there, I will mention and link to some studies later.
Myself and Paul would visit Tom a number of times over the next few months. He is a very calm and relaxed person, a polar opposite to the ice queen in the Mater. It was nice to be in his company. He would give us detailed information about various treatments, where they came from, who invented them, when they were discovered, what exactly they do in your body. He knew so much, it was just what I needed. I didn’t have the time to research absolutely everything, time was of the essence here. I needed to act fast. After our first meeting, we ordered the cannabis oil which would arrive from a medical laboratory in Denmark. He also gave me a list of supplements and other natural protocols that I should research and if I was happy with them, to buy them myself from iherb.com (the amazon of natural products). He wasn’t selling ‘cow dung’ to me, which would later be suggested by the ice queen. Tom is so knowledgeable and I’m very grateful to have him in my life, still guiding me and at the end of the phone whenever I need him. Remember, the journey is still ongoing, I am not out of the woods yet.
Next time: Meeting a stage 4 survivor who healed without chemo, THC oil and standing up to the ice queen.