Breast cancer, Diagnosis, Going through treatment, Life after discharge, Loneliness, Nature, Resilience, Worry, Young people

Cancer Diagnosis, Healing and Feeling Timeline

Denial I was in denial the moment I felt the pea sized lump. I was too stressed at work to deal with it and it came and went with my cycle so it was only once I had quit my job a few months later that I found the time to make a doctors appointment. Denial then went into overdrive.

 

My world collapses in You are bombarded with so many percentages you are repeatedly told that your five year survival relies on you doing as you are told.   I knew no one with cancer and those I knew who had had loved ones die from it, they were at the six year point so I didn’t understand why FIVE years was the figure banned about.  I wanted a percentage for FORTY year survival. I found that in natural healed stories.

 

Muppets or Puppets We are told we should trust doctors, but having finally experienced a number of them on my cancer journey, I have discovered that most of their hearts are in the right place but their knowledge is not. Are they  trusting what they are taught or questioning it? What system have they been sucked into?

 

Percentage this, Percentage that  You are bombarded with so many percentages you are repeatedly told that your five year survival relies on you doing as you are told.   I knew no one with cancer and those I knew who had had loved ones die from it, they were at the six year point so I didn’t understand why FIVE years was the figure banned about.  I wanted a percentage for FORTY year survival. I found that in natural healed stories.

 

Information Overload The doctors can tell you as much as they want and you come home with a bag full of leaflets from MacMillan. Reading it all and looking for the straight facts that you want listed out for you is impossible alone as I discovered.  You keep wanting to find the leaflet that just tells you straight what you should do.  As none of them where answering my questions, just making more questions I became even more confused.  I have learnt that there are answers out there but most Doctors have been blinkered.

 

I am a person, not a disease From my pre-op for the lumpectomy, I discovered I had a hole in my heart. I discovered that that cancer didn’t worry me, the hole in my heart didn’t worry me, but the fear of lymphodema in my arm was petrifying.  At no point did anyone want to help me with my fears. Percentages were just thrown at me to confuse me more. Not once was I given help that helped me.

 

Learn to Listen to Yourself I remember my instinct was to not have the lymph node surgery as that was my biggest fear. I had no counselling to see if I would be able to deal with the aftermath, I ignored my intuition, as that is what I had learnt to do, and convinced myself I would be fine and that no nodes would be removed. I later found out that even the one sentinel node removal for testing could cause lymphodema, Why was I not told this?

 

Avatar Paramhansa Yogananda explained that the term avatar refers to a soul who has been freed from maya (delusion) and is sent by the will of God back into manifested existence to help others. An ex friend, when I said that they would inject blue dye into me to highlight the lymph nodes, said I would be an avatar. A bit more sexy than a smurfette I think. I was told I would be blue for 12-18 months. I am still blue nearly 3 years on.

 

One Lump or Two? After having a mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy where they couldn’t get the needle in the tumour, eventually leaving me black and blue, I was told I had one tumour and a lumpectomy would be done. They get you in for surgery before you have time to look into options. A target to hit perhaps? You discover on waking that you actually had two tumours.  A grade 2 invasive mucinous carcinoma and a grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma where discovered.  So was the mammogram wrong or did the biopsy spread the tumour? Because I had quit my job a month before, I was much happier, eating better and exercising more, was my tumour encapsulating? Is that why they had a hard time doing the biopsy? Was the mammogram correct and did the  biopsy spread the cancer cells? I am learning that no one knows, so why do they try so hard to convince us that we should believe what they tell us. I was told because of my age, breasts are dense so mammograms are not accurate, in which case why is this inaccurate, outdated technology being used? So my smaller breast is now even smaller!!

Egg Collection  I opted to have egg collection as I was  told I should fear chemo and the  possible side effects, so asked to have  egg collection.This seemed to be a  challenge for my oncologist, but a  blessing in disguise as I got to practise  injecting myself, something I discovered  I would have to do after each chemo,  that the oncologist neglected to tell me.  The one round of egg collection that I  did, I had seven good eggs, but then was  told that on defrosting that eggs don’t  defrost as well as embryos.

So Alone  I felt alone going through the  experience. I guess each each and  everyones experience is unique, so  why give us the same drugs? I was the  youngest in most support groups and  waiting rooms, and as my nurse said to  me,”You’re not a straight forward  case”. I didn’t understand what she
meant as surely they had come across  other people that had holes in their  hearts and other people that had done  egg collection?  At the same time I was changing my  diet and improving my lifestyle. People
look at you with pity when you tell  them your diagnosis, then they look at  you with pity, thinking you are stupid  when you question things!

Anger  I have to imagine that the scars and nerve damage were caused by the sword of a soldier defending his ideals, a sheep being told what to do and believe. I am stronger, more resilient and forgiving than
they will ever understand. Their sword caused more mental and physical damage than the cancer ever did, whilst their beliefs cause untold pain and agony. I learnt anger, and regret does not serve me. Cancer is not a fight but a healing journey into oneself.

Chemo Baby  I felt beautiful and liberated loosing my hair. I had never had the courage to go short as I could hide my face behind my long wavy hair. It did make me feel like I had the body of a grown baby and made me wonder why women spend so much money to look like a child. At the same time I finally felt hair free and beautiful as this is what magazines say is the ideal look we should strive for as we will be loved more if we attain this image!! Dealing with it growing back was a challenge. I was sad when heart surgery meant what had just grown back was shaved off. It did mean I could be reminded what a lovely colour my natural hair colour is in sunlight and that the grey was not as bad as I thought. I could also have a sleek and stylish wig and pretend I was someone else. I remember the wig lady saying most people go for a wig similar to their original hairstyle. I said it would be years till I would get long hair again so went for something different. I’m still waiting for my eyebrows to get back to what they were. Sweat running into my eyes is no fun, but the oncologists didn’t listen to my chosen lifestyle choices.

Strength  I have learnt that meditation, being true to yourself, listening to your gut instinct, reading between the lines of everyones  options, diet, exercise, nutrition, the right support are a major factor in healing. Singing, dancing, meditation and getting out in nature some of the most important.

Questions?  I discovered that out of all the questions I asked, I never had any real answers given to
me. If I wasn’t given a percentage as an answer then they never had an exact answer. It was always a bit vague as if they didn’t really know. It was always at these times when they referred to us as individuals, but they didn’t actually see that we are.

Tamoxifen I lost all my strength saying no to radiotherapy. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I eventually started Tamoxifen against my instincts. After a few months my hips and joints started to ache so much that I could no longer go running, which is my sanity. I got really depressed which is a side affect. All the forums where full of women complaining about the aches and how it prevented them living their life. My oncologist didn’t listen to my ideas and said it could be bone cancer. He had marvellous people skills, knock you down further when you are already struggling!! I also read that because my receptors were eight out of eight was why I was having major side effects. I was so depressed I went to the Doctors and asked him to slit my wrists. He said he was unable to do that so I asked for a hug, but he was also unable to do that…….what could he do I wondered?…..supply more pills was his offer!!

I Chose Life  Having seen the Doctor, asking him to slit my wrists, the following week I was mugged. I
believe I was so depressed that the negative energy I was displaying bought the mugging on me. A beautiful sunny Friday afternoon in August, someone walked up behind me and attempted to steal my bag from across my shoulders with a knife. He was unsuccessful and my bag just fell to the floor.Turning round and
facing someone holding a knife toward you, looking him in the eye and him then running off, all I could do was stand and cry, as I couldn’t chase after him as my hips and joints ached so much, walking was a chore. Most people are surprised when I tell them that the experience snapped me out of my depression and gave me the strength to stop taking Tamoxifen as I advised my oncologist that I would rather live than exist. I am still anxious whenever I hear someone walking behind me but I know this to be anxiety. Waking up with hot sweats and not sleeping was the Tamoxifen and not ‘anxiety’ as all the medical staff wanted to tell me I was experiencing, I know the difference and the sleepless nights of hot flushes were caused by
the Tamoxifen, not anxiety.The herb Melissa worked wonders for me.

Empowerment  I still remember the feeling of excitement when I told the Oncologist where to go with
his Tamoxifen, percentages and God complex.  I FELT ALIVE and still do at the memory.  I would still like to have an oncologist, one that has integrative ideas, with wider  knowledge and better people skills than the three I had experience of. One that allows  me to be presented with every option, standard, alternative and both, then lets me have A CHOICE WITH WHAT I BELIEVE AND FEELS RIGHT FOR ME.

Nutrition  Changing my diet to a plant based diet, just before starting chemotherapy is I believe, what helped me  get through the ordeal.

Exercise Running is my sanity. It is what calmed me down and helped me contemplate life in a calm manner, before I discovered meditation. I love running outside in nature, but I also attended to a group called Energise, a weekly gym session, which was great for support and hearing other peoples experience of different cancers.

Meditation  Yes, it takes practise, but so does everything, but I have discovered it is an amazing tool for healing and  wellbeing. Why is it not on the list of what patients are required to do. Arts, crafts, gardening, fishing etc,  everyone has something that is a meditative activity that they can do to start with. All activities that don’t  seem to require science to establish if they are good for you seem to be meditative.

Trees and  Nature ‘Observe a tree, grow in peace’  Trees are symbols of physical and spiritual nourishment, transformation and liberation,  sustenance, spiritual growth, union and fertility.

Teeth
As I now refuse mammograms due  to them not being an efficient  diagnostic tool for myself, I had a full
body thermographic scan in January  2017. This showed I had congestion  around my sinuses. When I thought about it, breathing through my nose was not clear but this had become normal. I thought nothing of it until I broke my tooth at Easter. I discovered I had had a root canal about 15 years ago that I had forgotten about. It turned out it was on the BREAST MERIDIAN LINE. I had all my amalgam fillings removed without anaesthetic, just homeopathy and rescue remedy. It was an empowering experience for
me. My head now feels lighter and I can breathe easier. I am due my root canal out in October 2017. It will be interesting to see if the tinnitus that went after I had surgery, but is now returning, will disappear once I have the root canal out as it is on the same side. I have a head and chest thermographic scan in January 2018 to see if the work on my teeth has changed anything.

The Present
Enjoying the journey.
In the moment.
Appreciating life and living it the best way I can
for me right now in this moment.
Being in and feeling nature around me.
Detoxing from negativity, pollution and the
accumulated toxins of 40 years.
Enjoying the excitement of experimenting and
seeing what helps heal my body.
Healing.
Gratitude.
The Present
Enjoying the journey.
In the moment.
Appreciating life and living it the best way I can
for me right now in this moment.
Being in and feeling nature around me.
Detoxing from negativity, pollution and the
accumulated toxins of 40 years.
Enjoying the excitement of experimenting and
seeing what helps heal my body.
Healing.
Gratitude.

Sunflowers  The Sunflower’s Message Is…Stand tall and follow your dreams. Focus on what’s positive in your life and don’t let anyone get you  down.

Jessica, breast cancer survivor

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