Cathie is a Radical Remission survivor of stage 4 non-hodgkins lymphoma. Diagnosed at the age of 45, she made the personal choice not use conventional medicine but instead used alternative methods to overcome incredible odds. 17 years later, she has no evidence of disease.
Here is her story in her own words:
I had very large tumours in my abdomen, so I had a biopsy and bone marrow aspiration. The diagnosis was non-Hodgkins lymphoma, either slow growing or about to mutate.
The oncologists were not sure. I had to wait and be observed for 5 weeks while they decided on the type of chemo and radiotherapy. Was told chemo did not work well with slow growing types – that I would need treatment for the rest of my life, and that it could not be cured. I decided that was not good enough. Having a diagnosis helped once I recovered from the shock of the diagnosis itself and the fact that it could not be cured. It helped me focus on potential alternatives. I knew what I was dealing with was serious enough to warrant my full attention/energy.
My full story can be found in the book “Rabbits Don’t Get Lymphoma: Kissing My Cancer Goodbye” (for those who might want to know precisely what I did and how important it was for me to understand what had caused me to manifest this particular form of cancer).
The first thing that I did was to decide I wanted to live. I realised that my life up to now had been spent in terror of being myself. As a consequence, I had a tendency to repress what I saw as my darker side, my unacceptable feelings and desires.
The moment I decided to live, I realised that i had to do so in a completely different way, and be my own authentic self, regardless of the consequences. This realisation, and my desire to find out how different life could be if I dared to show my true colours, was one of the keys to my healing.
From that moment on, I became avidly curious about anything to do with healing. I read hundreds of books (this was all pre-internet!). Some even fell off the shelves to call my attention. I had reconnected with my intuition and it was that reconnection that guided my every move. it guided me to reflexology and reiki and another reconnection, this time to the spiritual dimension to this life. I went for long walks up in the hills and sweated buckets along the way. I realised how much nature meant to me, how vital its force is in my life.
I totally changed my way of eating: only organic food. I prepared many vegetable juices every day and took special herbal teas. I took up Transcendental Meditation again and also used affirmations and visualisations. I removed all harmful cleaning products and cosmetics from my house. I focused on all that gave me joy and gave up my teaching job. I had been aware for some time that teaching was no longer something that inspired me and was a constant source of deep stress and self-doubt. I learned how to say ‘no’ to people without feeling guilty: quite something for me!
My doctor admitted not knowing anything about nutrition and felt that changing what I ate was not going to have any impact on my condition. However, very soon, she saw a difference in the largest tumour in my abdomen: it was changing shape and getting softer. She did not try and force conventional treatment on me when she saw those results and by then, I would never have allowed it. I was grateful that she did not abandon me though, and she continued to monitor my progress.
I did not have many more CT scans as I soon realised how harmful they could be. Ultrasound scans were used mostly to have a closer look at what was happening inside me. I was diagnosed near my 45th birthday in April. By November the same year, my tumours had reduced by 70% which my oncologist got very excited about. Within a year of the original diagnosis, I was told there was no sign of cancer. I continued to have regular yearly check-ups until a few years ago when I felt it no longer served a purpose.
[Regarding what might cause cancer], for me, all of the above.
Mostly, I was so desperate I was not even aware of it. I was in survival mode. I had reached menopause and believed it was all downhill from then on. It was also the end of any possibility of having my own children. I had issues from childhood that were still haunting me and felt that anyone could have done my job better. I even thought one day that if that was all life had to offer, I would rather be dead.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As of January 2019, Cathie is well and thriving post-diagnosis.
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