Thursday, 6 July 2017

I Should Have Died by Now! - by Elaine Godley

In July 2015 I was given 1 year to live unless I conformed and went through devastating chemotherapy treatment and drug regime.
True to my personality type, I rebelled and created my own regime.
Suffice to say that in 16 weeks I’d beaten stage 4 cancer.  16 weeks from diagnosis to a clear scan is quicker than it takes for some people to be diagnosed.
Initially very reluctant, I did finally agree to a teeny amount of chemo. My research found that for blood cancers, chemotherapy works for 81% of cases (compared to only 2-3% in other types of cancers).  Alongside these few treatments, I also immersed myself into a deep and wide variety of complementary solutions (see earlier blog posts for information and links). My diagnosis was stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which I am convinced was the direct result of previous treatment for breast cancer.
So here I am (July 2017), and what have I learned?  In no particular order, the following is true…..


  • I know my own body better than anyone on the planet
  • It’s vital to listen to your own body and follow what it wants – e.g. sleep, rest, nourishment, exercise etc
  • I am more convinced than ever that doctors don’t have all the answers
  • It’s OK to challenge the medics for better explanations of why certain treatment is recommended
  • It’s OK to carry on taking most complementary solutions during chemo
  • There is no shame in telling people that from time to time, life is a struggle
  • It’s really, really, really important to have balance in all aspects of our lives
  • Having fun, laughing often and having a positive mindset  is essential for recovery
  • Not everyone wants to recover from ill health – that is their choice which I now accept
  • It’s OK for people to make their own choices and it’s not my place to persuade them otherwise
  • It’s OK for me to provide guidance, then walk away rather than follow up and check if people have implemented my suggestions to achieve optimum health and wellbeing
  • The importance of getting on with your specialist cannot be overstated – if you don’t get on, then find another one who is supportive of your treatment choices
  • It’s OK to get  a second medical opinion
  • It’s very important to spend time with people who are positively minded
  • Anything is possible given the right circumstance and mindset
  • Underlying viruses inhibit recovery
  • Any deep, old  emotional stress will slow recovery significantly
  • I am no longer comfortable wearing high heels because of the effects of chemo on my feet
  • When I need to go to the bathroom it’s best for people not to get in my way (another chemo side effect)!
  • Maintaining healthy nutrition is vital to keep well
  • Know your own body and look after it well
  • Adopt a positive mindset
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – worry less
  • Have more fun
  • Be kind to others
  • Be grateful for what you have and make the most of it
  • Check your diet and levels of nutrition
There are probably more aspects to mention but these are the immediate things that come to my mind.
Overall, I have no complaints. Life is for living and I sure do live it to the full every single day.
What saddens me though, is the number of cancer funerals I have attended in the past year, and the number of people I’ve met who haven’t taken responsibility for their own recovery.
My clear message to everyone is:-
Oh…. did I mention that I also fixed myself of 3 patches of skin cancer on my face this year (basal cell carcinoma)?
No more cancer, no more viruses, no more getting on my soapbox talking about cancer so often.  Time to move on (other than my volunteering time on a cancer charity telephone helpline for http://www.togetheragainstcancer.org.uk)
New business activities and other opportunities are currently surrounding me.  Exciting times are ahead.
Choose a positive mindset and lifestyle, then enjoy it to the full.

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