I’m coming to the end of my three months here in Istanbul and I’m thinking of what’s coming next. If and when I get the all clear, the journey doesn’t end there. It will be a lifelong mission to stay healthy. My doctors in Turkey want me to continue treatment with them. They want me to keep coming and going every ten days for the next three months. And after that, three days on, ten days off for another three months. And after that, three days every three weeks for another three months. And after that, once a month ongoing. That’s a lot of chemo over the space of a year. And then to continue coming for ever more until when? Will it ever end? Sure why didn’t I just do palliative chemotherapy in Dublin if that’s the case? It’s depressing to think of this being my life for the next year or more. It’s already been so hard. It’s taken over my life. I can’t do anything, can’t plan anything, can’t go anywhere… I’m living out of bags and am on the road up and down to Dublin every ten days. I want to see my friends and family when I’m home but the days slip away between travelling and feeling unwell. I try to keep on top of my holistic healing by keeping my appointments with my therapists but even to do that, I’m on the road every day. It’s exhausting and unsustainable. In the beginning it caused havoc in Ali’s life. She would regress with eating, sleeping and getting dressed (she gets fussy about what she wears) every time I came and went. It wasn’t fair on her. She’s stabilised a bit more now and she’s used to me coming and going. She’s at the age of potty training and I want to do that with her. How can I when I’m coming and going so much and will she regress with that too if this continues?
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you’ll know my thoughts on healing. I don’t think it lies in a bag of chemo. Yes, it has its place and it can do great things and I am grateful of what it has done for me but it’s not what the future holds. Ongoing chemotherapy is the worst thing I can do. It has already destroyed parts of my body and caused them to stop working. Apart from the obvious hair loss, mouth ulcers and nausea which go with chemo, it has also put me into a state of induced menopause which may or may not be reversible. This isn’t easy to talk about but it’s happening and it is horrible. My ovaries have stopped working and I am experiencing hot flushes at least once an hour. My body temperature increases to an uncomfortable level, so much so that it wakes me from sleep. I haven’t had an undisturbed sleep in the last couple of months. They wake me up every single time and it is so frustrating. It adds to my already exhausted state. Nap on the plane, wake up with a hot flush. Nap on the couch, wake up with a hot flush. It makes the heat chamber in the clinic unbearable as it raises my temperature even more when my body is already hot and there’s no chance of cooling down. It is torture. I want my body to return to full health and it never will if I keep pumping it with toxic chemicals. True, long lasting healing lies within. I have always thought that. I tried for a long time to heal from within but I didn’t have the skills needed. I still don’t. The reason I came to Istanbul was to stop the tumours growing, they were getting out of control. I am happy to say that that has happened. They have stopped growing and have completely reversed. I won’t know fully until my PET scan next week whether I am in the clear or not but looking at it from the outside (where there was a lot of growth), it all looks pretty good. Of course I have the usual anxiety around the scan results and as sure as I was about the all clear coming, now I have my doubts. But it’s natural to feel like that.
I have promised myself, and Paul has agreed, that no matter what the outcome of next weeks’ scan, I don’t have to come back to Turkey and resume this treatment. You might think I’m mad but I have had enough of this life and I know there are other ways. I needed to take drastic action in May when the growth was out of control and the chemo has helped with that but there are so many other ways of keeping my body healthy. Now I wouldn’t be one to go against the advice of medical doctors but I know what I need to do next and it’s not more chemo.
So what is the plan? There’s so much I want to do and there’s so much out there in terms of healing and staying healthy. There is a workshop I have signed up for at the end of this month. It is on epigenetics and how we have the power within us to change our bodies and heal ourselves. I always knew this was possible and I dabbled in it but I never learned properly how to do it. This workshop will be the start of my next serious step in healing. I have already started to read the course material and watch the 8 hours of videos required to attend the course and I am taking it very seriously. If I can truly master it, I won’t need to worry about toxic chemicals ever again. I am very excited about this next step and I believe it is essential for me if I want to stay healthy. I am planning on sticking with the ketogenic diet which I believe is the best anti-cancer diet there is in terms of stopping growth and prevention of recurrence. I will be undergoing copper depletion therapy as a means of prevention also. Blood vessels need copper as an essential building block and without it, they cannot build. Therefore tumours cannot grow as they need to build a system of blood vessels to feed them. I will be continuing to take supplements, do heat treatment, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, IV vitamins, breathe deeply and meditate. These are just a small few of the things I will be doing in my quest to stay well. I’ll keep you updated of the rest as they come along. An ayahuasca ceremony is on the cards at some stage too but I’ll get over this part of the journey first. That will make for an interesting blog post!
For now, wish me well on the next step and know that none of the decisions I’ve ever taken in this past year have been taken lightly and this one is no different. I have followed my gut instinct all the way along and I’m not going to stop now. This past few days in the clinic have been the worst yet. My body is completely rejecting the treatments and it is screaming no at every needle poked into it. I feel nauseous even thinking about going back for more tomorrow. I’ve never been so done with anything in my life. I talked to my sister last night about what it’s like to be at the final hurdle and we compared it to being nine months pregnant. When you’ve just had enough and you want the baby out already. It feels a bit like that. Next weekend I fly home and it can’t come quick enough. Needless to say, I won’t be in a hurry back to Turkey. It will leave a bitter taste in my mouth for a while, that happens with chemo. Smells and tastes become attached to bad memories and trigger bad feelings. The body remembers. I can’t wait to come home and leave it all behind. On with the next phase. I’m excited for what’s to come. It won’t be easy but it will be better and I’ll be home, where the heart is.
P.S, Yes cereal is still her main food group, that will all change when Mammy gets home!