I am 51, live in London and have absolutely loved my life. I never thought I’d fall on the down side of an alarming statistic where 1 person in every 3, rapidly approaching 1 in 2, will get cancer. But I have. I have stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to my liver, a couple of lymph nodes, and 7 different sites of my bones. The Marsden say it’s incurable and they cannot do anything more than hormone therapy and to manage my pain as it happens, it’s a scary thought. They haven’t used the exact word ‘terminal’, they don’t have to. But, I am not buying into that because I’m determined to beat this and I am now in a good place to give it my best. The good news is that there are other ways to heal.
To say that I’m terrified of the cancer is obvious, but right now I’m terrified of what I’m writing – the awful and inconvenient truth: I need your help.
In Jan 2009, I had a dream that I had cancer. I went to the G.P complaining of a lump and spasm-like feelings on my sternum. The G.P. concluded it was normal breast tissue, and the feeling in my sternum was dismissed, a devastating mistake. A year later, a different doctor diagnosed stage 3 breast cancer. If there’s one thing I could impart to everyone is that doctors and specialists make mistakes and when an inner voice starts screaming or dreaming you should listen. A lumpectomy followed and I was devastated that it had grown so large that they wanted to give me chemotherapy along with radiotherapy. The British medical profession does not currently offer any other choices other than these conventional methods. But after research, I chose not to take either. I learnt that chemotherapy and radiation can be brutal on the body’s defences and along with the many terrible side effects has the potential to cause secondary cancers. It just didn’t feel right to me to damage an already compromised immune system when you need it to fight cancer.
Once you start to do your own research you find a wealth of knowledge on other ways to heal. The US, Germany and Japan are leaders in this area. Throughout this time I have met some amazing people who healed themselves naturally from cancer by ridding their body and environment of toxins, as well as dealing with their emotional needs.After the lumpectomy I decided to start healing myself through the ‘Gerson’ dietary therapy but lack of finances prohibited following the full regime, and to do it properly you really do need a helper, but I did what I could. All my life I have worked and played hard, I was fiercely independent, which meant I was too proud to ask for help.
The truth is that my life had spiralled out of control. To everyone’s dismay I’d quip “cross my heart and hope NOT to die”. It’s funny because it’s true. It’s also tragic because it’s what I convinced myself was true. Being flippant about my life was the broken crutch I used in the early days of my cancer journey.
I thought that having fun and achieving success was what life was all about but there’s nothing like losing your health to highlight what really matters. The last few years have been an emotional roller coaster of bankruptcy, homelessness and, not so surprisingly major depression. I spent a very long and lonely 9 months in a homeless hotel sharing the kitchen and bathroom with strangers. Homelessness is a terrible thing, so destabilising, I hope you never have to experience it. My fight against cancer had to take a back seat as I fought every demon known to man as well as unknown bureaucracy to secure accommodation.
In Jan 2011, twelve months after the lumpectomy the scan results came back clear. Sadly my joy was short lived. A small lump that had been dismissed as scar tissue after the operation was diagnosed as recurrent cancer. This mistake finally prompted more extensive scans and cancer was also discovered in my sternum – it had been there three years!! The hospital told me the cancer in my sternum was incurable and I commenced a monthly Bisphosphonate infusion that helps to stop the bone deteriorating. Interestingly my dentist told me that sternums could be surgically replaced and on challenging it the oncologist agreed to do the operation providing it hadn’t spread further. The exploratory test results in November 2012 were very very bad and there won’t be any more surgery.
But enough of the bad news because 4 years after my rather prophetic dream / nightmare I can finally see a new light. I have a lovely new home where a new and very different life can start and I can focus on my recovery. I’m closing the door behind my old life and to those who mourn the loss of the old Sonia I beg you to respect my health and support me in the difficult journey ahead.
I have a great network of supportive professionals through some wonderful cancer charities; ‘Yes to Life’, ‘Breast Cancer Haven’ and ‘Penny Brohn Cancer Centre’. The body has amazing healing potential given the right circumstances and so I will be undertaking a variety of therapies, mainly following the Hippocrates programme to bring the immune system back up to its optimum. It involves detoxing and oxygenating the body. I will follow an extreme detox of mainly a living enzyme raw diet, to flood the body with live nutrients, with many fresh organic juices per day, 4 wheat grass shots, live sprouts, sea algae and naturally derived supplements. Daily enemas are also on the menu to speed up the detox (I’ll spare you the details). That is only part of the recovery as I need to heal my body, mind and spirit as a whole, so I am engaging in meditation, yoga, and various other techniques to help with peace of mind and to help strengthen my resolve. It won’t be easy, it will be a full time job, but I am now ready for the fight of my life.
No approach is guaranteed 100%, but treatment options should be based on informed choices. I am currently participating in a documentary on the lack of treatment choices in this country with 2 other ladies, all choosing different treatment paths. I am representing the alternative way, as I have no other options left. We have finished the trailer which was commissioned by the Welcome Trust, and Channel 4 have shown interest so it is hopeful it will come to fruition.
I hope you understand my plight and please find it in your heart to wish me well on this new journey. I know that some of you will not understand or believe in my choices however, I am certain that you will respect that this is my life, and my best chance of survival. I’m not looking for an easy miracle cure, it will be a gruelling programme of therapies but I am now in a perfect place to embrace this.
I’ve already made some dramatic changes to my life but can only scratch the surface without your help. I hope to kick start this fully byvisiting the Hippocrates Institute Medical Spa in Florida for the 3 weeks detox programme where they train you to do the regime fully and educate you on such things as what is happening to your blood as you heal. I need your help to get there. I’m inviting you to sponsor me via the charity “Yes to Life” with the aim of raising an initial £7000.00 to get me there. Any money donated is managed by the charity and goes only towards the costs of my healing: anything left over goes towards helping others. If you don’t wish to donate money but help in another way, then I can send you my healthy wish list needed for my return.
If you could see me right now you’d see a very scared, vulnerable and nervous Sonia as I worry and wonder of what you and anyone who reads this may think. I am grateful beyond belief for any kind contributions or even just your good wishes and prayers. I am starting a blog on WordPress and will provide regular updates of my progress. I hope it will also help others battling cancer.
I have been blessed with some amazing support from friends, and some strangers, who helped me get my flat sorted quickly so I could move onto doing this. I feel a lucky lady that I have this opportunity to start fresh and learn from the past as I see this as a very loud wake up call to change my life to a better and more meaningful one. Please pass this appeal on to your family and friends as help sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. My life has been full of angels helping me recently, are you one?
With much love,