When looking at my health, I realised that it had taken a lot of wrong living to break down my body. From the food I was putting in my body, to my thought patterns, past experiences, and abuses that I put my body through.
We started with an herbalist as this is a field of health that we are extremely comfortable with. She did a virtual consultation with me and once she knew the detail, she started me on Essiac Tea, Sutherlandia and various other nutritive and bone building herbs such as Stinging Nettle and Comfrey. She also helped me with a more natural pain relief (White Willow Bark tincture). This herb has the active ingredient of aspirin in it, but because it is accompanied by the full bark, it has other chemicals that prevent the ulcers that are one of the side effects of Aspirin.
She also pointed out that I had to look at my nutrition in depth and begin to feed myself with good quality natural food. I was encouraged to cut out as much sugar as possible and reduce my intake of carbohydrates which are also converted into sugar.
This started me on my journey to find a good nutritionist as I am a notoriously bad eater, either bingeing or starving; getting bored with food, and needing to learn to view my food as life-giving and life-sustaining.
We contacted a well-known nutritionist in Cape Town who did a virtual consultation with me. I needed to send her all the detail of my medical history as well as certain blood tests which would show her where I needed the most help.
She started me on a course of various supplements which have been my staple since this time. These included Vitamin D3, Magnesium, Vitamin C powder, Omega 3, Selenium. Biocurcumin was also one of my first supplements, which I have continued to take. She also put me on something called A1 Cancer granules. This gave my body the boost it needed, but it was expensive and therefore not sustainable. She advised me at this time to go onto CBD oil, but I was wary as I did not know enough about it. This led to a 2-year delay before I started taking it. I have since learned more about which supplements were lacking in my body and have added K2, a multivitamin, Zinc and Vitamin E.
I had gone to a Haematologist after my back surgery, as Multiple Myeloma is a blood cancer. Unfortunately, he would only treat me if I agreed to bone marrow tests, chemotherapy and maybe bone marrow transplants. At this time, I wanted to give my poor body a break and was hoping that he would help me work through my various options. Unfortunately, he was adamant that my only options involved his suggestions, so I moved away from him.
I needed to have regular blood tests to keep a check on my calcium and iron levels, as well as my liver and kidneys which would take strain from trying to keep my blood clean and in balance. Two GP’s refused to do this and insisted that I go back to the haematologist and follow his plan for me. The frustration levels that I was feeling at this time took my fear and anxiety through the roof.
I remembered a customer telling me about how he went to a homeopath who kept an eye on his bloods and anything else he needed.
I found a wonderful homeopath (Work with one who you connect well with) who was prepared to do just that. At the same time, he remined me that I am more than this illness and that everything needs to be looked after. Here is a definition of Homeopathy that really resonates for me. “Homeopathy is a medical discipline using highly diluted, natural substances which stimulate the mind and body’s own powers of self-regulation, self-repair and self-healing. Homeopaths regard physical, emotional, spiritual and interpersonal health as equally important.”
I met my reflexologist when she came to learn the basics of Reiki to add to her practise. She has been one of my angels who has given so freely of her time once a week. Each week brought up different issues, but the main benefit from this wonderful modality was the sense of peace and calmness that I felt after the session. Being told that one has a serious illness is stressful enough, but somehow the doctors believe that they need to stress out the patient even more with tales of a life span that may last 5 years, if I do the treatment. These odds are awful, and it took my power away and placed it in the centre of fear. My mind went crazy with various awful scenarios of my life from this time forward.
Now I know that some reading this will be thinking, “Well, you could die from a heart attack tomorrow, or be in a fatal accident. Life is fragile.” Yes, this is true, but it does not mean that one stops living and hands one’s life over to someone else to make these life or death decisions. I think that decision lies with the Divine.
From the time of my first break, I went for physiotherapy to help ease the pain. It was immensely helpful, but unfortunately, my bones were too soft to sustain this therapy as my muscles were twisting for a very good reason…To keep my vertebra from compressing.
I would recommend physio, though as a short-term treatment only.
SCIO (Scientific Consciousness Interface Operations System)
This therapy was suggested by my reflexologist. I only did one session due to financial constraints. It was helpful in that it pointed me in the direction of some of the imbalances or stresses in my body that I was not aware of.
It was an interesting experience which I would like to repeat one day.
BEST Machine: (Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique)
This is an energy balancing, hands-on procedure used to help re-establish the full healing potential of the body. My friend gave me a few sessions as a gift. I found it interesting and it definitely seemed to help keep me emotionally and mentally balanced.
Counselling has been a particularly important part of my mental health during this time. Working on my fears, anxieties, and deep-seated traumas that needed to be released. (To be honest, this is a long, continual process). I am grateful to the women who have walked this journey with me and given me the time to heal at my own pace.
Meditation and Prayer:
Prayer and meditation have always been an integral part of my human journey. But once I was diagnosed and was living with levels of pain that felt that they overwhelmed me, meditation became difficult and a chore.
As a Reiki practitioner, I was not able to do self-Reiki because of the pain. It was just a hot mess all-round.
I am now under pain management which has helped a lot and I am able to spend time back in active prayer and meditation. This in turn has helped me keep calmer during the day. I also meet virtually with a friend and we do spiritual reading and contemplative prayer together. This has indeed helped make a big difference daily.
The year of 2020 proved to be an incredibly challenging one and 3 more vertebra broke. T4 and T12 in January, and C5 in August. I saw another haematologist who had the same news for me: Chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant.
There were a few reasons still that I was resisting these therapies. Firstly, Chemotherapy breaks bone down even more. This makes no sense to me at all. Why would I knowingly allow me bones to become softer? When my C5 broke, I asked him if he could please give me a bone strengthener, rather than the chemotherapy. He was not happy with this. Thank goodness for my medical aid who said I needed to go to a certain group of oncologists, and they would then pay for my consultations, x-rays, MRI’s etc.
My sister-in-law had been to an oncologist who was more willing to work with the patient, rather than try and rule every facet of the patient’s treatment. Please do not misunderstand me; he also had to tell me that I had an incurable disease which needed chemotherapy. But when I insisted that I wanted to carry on with my healing protocol but add the bone strengthener, he eventually agreed, if I was aware of the risks. (I was, especially after living with these breaks and this pain for 3 years.)
Another thing that he did was send me for a full body MRI to search for all the lesions in my skeletal system. What he found was that I had a growth at the L3 area (The site of my first break which had had a tumour which had collapsed my L3 vertebra entirely and needed to be removed). This tumour was growing into my spinal column and would eventually paralyze me if left unattended. I needed to have a biopsy to find out if it was a metastasised tumour. Thank goodness the results showed that it was a tumour caused by the myeloma and was more likely a re-growth from the original tumour.
Radiation was needed to reduce the growth and move it away from my spinal column. The oncologist explained the dangers of leaving it and I was more than happy to go through this therapy because it was a re-growth. In other words, all my tumour reducing supplements (Bio-curcumin, Essiac tea, various herbs) had not been able to do the job.
The oncologist said that because my body was so sensitive, he would be giving me the lowest dose of radiation which would not do any permanent damage to my organs. My body turned out to be even more sensitive than expected and I struggled with nausea, tiredness, and loss of appetite. I had 20 sessions over 4 weeks and it took about another 2 weeks to recover. We will see in about 3 months if it was successful. My body needs a break from all the x-rays, MRI, and radiation.
CBD and THC:
It took me a long time to embrace this therapy because I have an addictive nature and I was worried that I would be adding to my challenges by risking becoming side-tracked by an added addiction. But now I am so grateful that I was introduced to a person who has become a friend. He has worked in this field for over twenty years and approaches it with great knowledge mixed with compassion and love. I have what is called honey oil. This is a thick syrupy extract which contains 15mg active ingredients in the size of a grain of rice. His product is grown by himself and the oil is extracted by himself. It is 100% organic. I take 30mg a day-half in the morning and the other half at night. This has helped me with reduced pain levels, a calmer attitude, and I sleep well most nights. All these things help my body to heal. A bonus is that it may help strengthen bones as well. This is a very simplified explanation of the healing properties of this oil. An added bonus is that the oncologist agrees that it is a good treatment to add to my healing protocol.
The past 4 years have been a journey, and I know that it is a journey I will be on for the rest of my life. My real takeaways of this part of my life are self-compassion and conscious, in-the-moment living. This in turn has led me to have greater compassion for the other as we are all on a journey (some more challenging than others).
Choosing this path in healing is not easy. It is time consuming and expensive and medical aid does not pay for the alternative methods of healing. I am so blessed to have family and friends who make a big commitment every month to ensure that I have the healthiest kinds of food and all the supplements needed for good health. Living with a debilitating disease means that there are some weeks, even months when I have not been able to work and have relied on the goodness of others entirely.
No one is an island, we all need our tribe, no matter what that looks like. Thank you for reading this part of my story.