Nearly a year ago this week, I heard those lightning-bolt words; words you can never unhear and words that still echo today: I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer. What if I had been reassured by my GP? Walked out, ticked my to-do list?
‘You have no lump and you’re very young for breast cancer. I don't think there's anything wrong with you’, she said.
‘I really feel there is’ I said, ‘Please refer me.’
‘OK’, she sighed, ‘but only to reassure you. There is no emergency’.
Only a 7cm undetected tumour. My blood still runs a little cold thinking back, 11 months ago; it’s like I’m still in that small room. I could easily have walked out. With my 7 cm lobular breast cancer tumour. But I didn't. My inner voice was loud. Calm. Firm. No overriding this intuition. I had strange sensations and when I lifted my right arm above my head, my breast had a slight indent in it. Lobular invasive tumours are very hard to detect. No obvious lump.
But this isn’t a blog about listening to your gut, your inner voice, your intuition – that’s a whole other chapter of a book! This is a blog about the power and wonder of nutrition and holistic therapies.
Upon finding out about my diagnosis, Shona from Skin Elixir gifted me a juicer – she left it in the porch and claimed she had ordered two by mistake. Her words were simple, yet life-changing: ‘nutrition is now your best friend.’
‘Read about carrots’, she said. And I’ve not looked back.
My husband, Dave then read countless medical journals about luteolin – a magical chemical inside carrots. He researched, sourced, chopped, juiced crates of carrots for me. The green grocers thought we had a carrot business! I enjoyed reading about the different properties of plants and herbs and adding pineapple, ginger, turmeric, mint or chilli depending on what was needed.
Nutrition and holistic therapies are incredibly powerful and have always been important to me. But my diagnosis made me want to learn as much as I could about the healing properties of holistic and natural foods. To protect themselves as they grow, plants produce a defensive substance called Phytochemical.
This represents the colour of the plants and when consumed by us, this creates:
LYCOPENE🍓🍅🍉 Inhibition effect on formation of cancer cells;
BETA-CAROTENE🥕🍊🍋🍍Boost of the immune system;
LUTEIN🥦🥝🍏Strong antioxidant effect;
ANTHOCYANIN🍆Antioxidant aging prevention and protection of eyesight;
QUERCETIN🍐🍌e.g garlics helps the elimination of toxins from body.
This is one of my favourite juices, I made it the night before my last surgery - a week ago. The lemon, apple and carrot balance beautifully with the kale and broccoli!
Right from the beginning of those dark whirl wind days of starting chemotherapy, I had reiki with the wonderful Reiki Master Yvonne Fielding every single week without fail. The healing benefits I received from reiki were so powerful – reiki every week completely minimised the awful classic side effects from the chemotherapy and created immeasurable calm for me emotionally. And gave me clarity and strength, spiritually. We noted that reiki the day straight after a chemotherapy infusion was most effective. I felt incredible. You can find her at Tell her I sent you.
My oncologist would ask me about pain or burning feelings in my right breast during our consultations as he monitored the chemotherapy. I had lots. ‘Great’, he says, ‘that feeling is the tumour dying’. I noticed the pain directly after reiki, drinking carrot juice and in the first week after chemotherapy. After 2 rounds my tumour was HALF the size it was!
The moisturising properties of Shona’s cream are well documented and while my skin glowed throughout chemotherapy treatment, the true beauty of Skin Elixir for me during this traumatic time, was in its anti-anxiety properties. The May Chang! Oh my, it would instantly calm any roving thoughts bent on destruction. I would sit outside my appointments in the waiting room gently massaging my temples with the cream. It came everywhere with me. I ended up looking very dewy and soft, but for me it was calmness in a pot.
Thank you, Shona – on many levels.
Katie Murray is the Skin Elixir resident writer and a published non fiction and fiction writer in various publications including Wildfire Magazine and Yellow Arrow Journal. Katie will be publishing her bi monthly blog post. So be sure to head back for more of her journey and beautiful writing. I am honoured to have her positivity and beauty in my life. 🌱