Have you ever slipped into ‘self-destruction’ mode when what you really needed was ‘self-care’?
I certainly have…and more recently than you might think!
Lately I’ve found myself making all kinds of excuses for this – ‘I’ve lost a lot of weight I should eat high calorie processed food to regain it’ – ‘my body is tired, it’s ok to eat sugar’ – ‘I’m too exhausted to go out in nature today’ – and you should see my Amazon purchases after a hospital admission!…yes all books but no definitely not ones I needed!
All of these were excuses for not supporting my body, mind and spirit to properly recover. Instead I was giving myself a hard time, not acknowledging reality and, in fact, making my situation worse through self-judgment rather than much needed self-love.
Realisation, finally, hit me yesterday when I said to my nurse “I’m just too tired to do anything” – now, firstly, dramatic statements like this (in my experience) are usually just excuses and secondly, her reply was the wake up all I needed.
She reminded me what I’ve been through lately: 9 weeks of vomiting; 10 days in and out of hospital; two stone weight loss; an abdominal drain of malignant fluid; being told my cancer had spread (again); an IV of two broad spectrum antibiotics for a week; unable to eat for over a month; starting an immunotherapy trial…need I go on?
I realised that despite all of this happening, what I hadn’t done was give myself the necessary time to properly understand the effect this has had on my emotional and spiritual health.
Yes I’d started lots of self care practices – yoga, acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, Body Stress Release etc but I had done so with the frustrated mentality of ‘why isn’t it fixed yet?!’
What I’d needed to do instead was to treat the wounded parts of myself with care and compassion (like you would a small child – a friend recently suggested)
So yesterday I embraced what these parts needed (in particular after a long day in hospital getting dose two of my immunotherapy) – an afternoon cuddling my hubby in the sofa with Ozzy watching comedies…tick!
Then today I did the same. I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn like usual but instead had a lazy morning getting up only in time for my medication; then I sat about in my pjs eating a leisurely breakfast while watching Ted talks before me and Ozzy set out for a long walk in nature just the two of us – allowing me some valuable alone time in nature.
It feels so refreshing to be giving myself ‘permission’ to acknowledge that I am wounded rather than fighting this reality with frustration. In doing so, I am allowing myself the time it takes to truly heal and become whole again.
I wonder if you’ve acknowledged the wounds you’ve gained recently or in the past and if you’ve given yourself permission to take the time and space you need(ed) to heal?
Or perhaps you can relate to being in the ‘self-destruct’ mode through diet, exercise, indulgent or impulsive shopping, self judgement or anything else?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Love and light, Fi xxx
So many of the messages I receive each day are questions about my ‘anti-cancer protocol’ and so I wanted to write it all down for you lovelies so that you can have a read and see if any of the things I do each day/week/month resonate with you as an option in your own lives.
Now, firstly, I want to be clear that, personally, I don’t use the term ‘anti-cancer’ because I am not concerned about the tumours in my body. Yes I may have multiple tumours resident in my physical form but I am still here and I am living a great life and, let’s be honest, evidence shows that before you get diagnosed with stage four cancer (like I have) you will have had tumours for up to 5 years(!) so I don’t see any point wasting my time worrying about how many of these guys I still have hanging around. No, instead it’s my ‘journey back to wholeness protocol’ or… my ‘living with cancer protocol’….or just ‘my protocol for life’. Of course, if it ever leads to no more cancer then that is FANTASTIC….but it is not my aim or focus. As I detailed in my book; I am all about healing rather than curing – healing is to become whole, whereas curing is to become free from disease.
So, now that we are clear about that I will detail broadly what I do every day and then go into more detail about what a typical day looks like.
Of course, in addition to my daily protocol I also receive a dose of Avastin every three weeks through Health Care at Home….to be clear, I take no other pharmaceuticals – not even pain relief because I feel no pain!…despite the cancer…
These are the things that I do every day without fail.
Vitamins (ordered through Amazon)
- B12 1000mcg
- Vit D3 20ug | Calcium 800mg | Magnesium 400mg
- Vit C 1000mg
- Zinc 15mg | Selenium 200mcg
- Vit D3 25mcg | Vit K2 MK-4 100mcg
- Co Enzyme Q10 300mg
Mushrooms (ordered from Dr Kate James)
With hot water as a tea:
- Cordyceps Extract 3.4% Cordycepin 1 rounded tsp twice daily
- Reishi Spore Powder 1 rounded tsp twice daily
Tablets (alternate weeks)
- Changa Complex 3 per day and Reishi Spore Oil x 3 per day
- Alternating with – Gynostemma x 3 per day
- 1-2 hours walking in nature
- 15 minutes dance
- 15 mins yoga (minimum)
- 15 min at start of day
- 10-15 min meditation or self reiki at end of day
Food and Drink
- Plant based (no meat – although I do eat fish)
- No sugar (the majority of the time – I am only human after all)
- Plenty of garlic, ginger, spices and herbs
- 100% Organic at home (I do eat out though)
- Minimum of 2litres of water per day – filtered with charcoal and crystals
Once a fortnight I will also have a therapy session with either a Shaman, a BodyTalk Practitioner or a Body Stress Release Practitioner. I have provided links to the ones I see. They are all exceptional and I highly recommend them…I see each one about once a month.
In addition I spend a lot of time doing the things I enjoy. I only work three days each week and I spend the rest of my time doing lots of walking, yoga, seeing family and friends, spending time with my hubby and generally having a fun, crazy time living my life and eating lots of food.
I avoid stress and I stand up for my boundaries and my values. I have no doubt that feeling constantly stressed and not speaking up for myself previously played a massive role in me getting so sick. Now I physically feel when I am getting stressed by life (or not being true to my values) and I have the tools to work through this to maintain my optimal health.
Now how do I fit all this in? you might be wondering?….let me show you…
I have chosen to detail a typical Tuesday for me as this is the day that I leave the house at 8.30/45am and so is most likely to reflect what a typical working day might look like for others.
I don’t know about you but I have read some other people’s protocols and thought ‘how do they have time to do anything else?!’ My protocol, however, is all about living your life and making the protocol work for you rather than it taking over.
7am – get up. Take glass water bottles out the fridge – they have been in there overnight. Each has a charcoal block in it to filter the water. One has three smokey quartz crystals – to remove toxins. The other has an amethyst, a rose quartz and a clear quartz to create balance. I leave these on the work top to allow them to return to room temperature. I only use water from. These for the rest of the day – never tap water.
Shower, hair, makeup, dressed.
7.20am – kettle on.
Drink a glass of water (from one of the jugs) with a slice of lemon in it alongside my mushroom capsules that I order from Dr Kate James. Alternate weeks I take either 3 Changa Complex with 3 Reishi Spore Oil or 3 Gynostemma (everyone’s need are different so please seek a specialist if you wish to take mushrooms as some interfer with other medications).
7.30am – 15 minutes free dancing to drum based music. A personal favourite just now is Xavier Rudd. Amazing! This gets my body moving and stretching how it wants to, increases my heart rate and stimulate my lymphatic and nervous systems. Also, my mind gets completely lost in the music and movement – a brilliant ‘moving meditation’.
7.45am – use water from previously boiled kettle to make a mushroom tea using 1 rounded tsp Cordyceps Extract 3.4% Cordycepin and 1 rounded tsp Reishi Spore Powder. Delicious!
8.00am – 15 minute meditation, preferably done outdoors. This varies based on my mood or personal needs each day but is usually either a chanting meditation or a silent meditation. I end it with a silent thank you for everything I am grateful for that day.
8.15am – BREAKFAST! I make a smoothie using a large glass of water, two majool dates, a banana, raw cacao, chia seeds, bee pollen, ground flax seed, hemp oil, flax seed oil and either a pear, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc. To this I add two tablets containing Vit D3 20ug | Calcium 800mg | Magnesium 400mg. I blend this and drink this while taking the following additional supplements:
- B12 1000mcg
- Vit C 1000mg
- Zinc 15mg | Selenium 200mcg
- Vit D3 25mcg | Vit K2 MK-4 100mcg
- Co Enzyme Q10 300mg
I don’t turn my phone on until at least one hour after I am up and never before my morning meditations….this is my time…not anyone else’s.
8.30/8.45am – I leave my house to teach a meditation class in Madoch Centre, St Madoes.
9.15-10.45am – teaching class
11.30am – I see my first client for the day. This can be for either reiki, crystals, one-to-one yoga or a collection of all of these.
1-2pm Lunch. This is usually onions plus a range of other vegetables (whatever is in season) cooked with curry powder and chilli and finished with plenty of raw garlic, ginger and chopped coriander. I serve this with pumpkin noodles and a whole avocado with a raw red onion and more coriander or mint – I go through A LOT of herbs each day.
2pm – in the afternoon I will see one or two clients depending on how long a session they book.
Depending on the pattern of my clients that day I will either go for a walk in the woods at lunch time or at the end of my working day.
6.15pm – I make a second mushroom tea using 1 rounded tsp Cordyceps Extract 3.4% Cordycepin and 1 rounded tsp Reishi Spore Powder. I drink this while waiting for dinner to finish cooking and will either meditate in the kitchen or give myself a mini self-reiki.
6.30pm – Dinner. This will always be plant based and cooked with spices, ginger, garlic and herbs. Occasionally (once a week) I will cook fish to go with dinner. I also get a takeaway once a week from Tabla which I enjoy with friends or my hubby (or all together!)
7.30-9.00pm – I attend a (newly discovered) Kundalini Yoga Class in Perth. I am currently building up my stamina so that I can alternate this with an amazing Ashtanga Class on a Wednesday Evening that I used to go to.
On other evenings I am either out seeing family or friends or cuddling up to my hubby on the sofa. I sometimes also run events or teach a yoga class depending on the day of the week.
Bedtime Routine – I turn my phone off an hour before I plan to go to bed (sometimes two hours). I never use my phone in the bedroom, instead I read and give myself a self reiki session before going to sleep.
I don’t have a TV in the bedroom – we have one in our house and it’s in the living room – I can think of nothing worse than watching a TV or using my phone in bed…talk about negative effect to your sleep!
I think protocols for optimal health can seem overwhelming when we are still caught up in the societal pressure of working ourselves into the ground at the expense of our physical, emotional and spiritual health. So, if you are looking at my protocols and thinking “that is way too much for me!” then don’t worry. I have a few top tips for getting you on the right path…
- Take 15 minutes at the start of your day to do something for your mind, body and spirit:
Body – move for 5 minutes
Spirit – meditate or sit in silence for 5 minutes
Mind – journal for 5 minutes (try writing a list of things that you are grateful for)
Once you have a routine of doing this each morning you can start to add in a few other changes…try adding one a week or even one a month…
- Go outside every day (yes even when it’s raining)
- Take a few minutes during your day to just breath (nipping away to the loo for some privacy helps)
- Drink more water
- Eat more veggies
- Stop being so hard on yourself
- Leave your phone off until after your breakfast
- Turn your phone off at night
It can also be really helpful to find a practitioner that can help you. This can be a therapist, councillor, yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, shamana…just as long as they make you feel comfortable and are able to hep guide and hold you as you begin to make positive changes in your life.
Above all, go easy on yourself and don’t judge yourself for ‘not doing what you are meant to’ – the fact that you are reading this post means that you have already taken the first step and you are ready to start making changes for you…
I hope this helps you on your journey back to wholeness.
Love and light, Fi xx
I wrote in my book ‘Love, Light and Mermaid Tails’ that I was keen to get my mercury fillings replaced for white fillings but that I wanted to have this done at a holistic dentist practice so that I wasn’t exposed to the mercury during the procedure. At the time the price per tooth was around £200 and, with eight black fillings in my mouth it seemed unlikely that I would be getting it done any time soon.
However, it still bothered me that I had these chemicals and heavy metals in my mouth and, potentially, in my blood stream and I was constantly in the pursuit of ways of reducing my heavy metal exposure.
Recently I went for my six month check-up with my NHS dentist and he identified that one of my mercury fillings was broken. I was horrified. Broken meant that it was leaking these nasties into my blood stream every time I ate or drunk anything. I needed this fixed and fast.
I chatted to him about my concerns and, while he didn’t 100% agree with them, he listened. I explained that I wanted to see a holistic dentist so that I could have a rubber dental dam fitted (this is basically a piece of rubber that fits around the tooth/teeth being worked on and covers your throat) and wear an oxygen mask for the procedure, thus reducing my exposure to chemicals. He explained that he thought this was ‘over kill’ and that sometimes when people use the word ‘holistic’ they can take advantage of a patient in pursuit of healing form a disease. I didn’t feel it was appropriate, at that point, to remind him that I use the word ‘holistic’ on a frequent basis in my business…
Our differences aside, we both shared a mutual respect for one another’s views and we both listened as we chatted through the options moving forward. I made the decision to contact a holistic dentist for the procedure of removing and replacing the broken filling and my dentist agreed to support me as an ongoing patient – I couldn’t help but notice the similarities of this to the conversation and decisions I had made alongside my oncologist when I had decided not to have chemotherapy, opting instead to peruse alternative and complementary therapies, following my cancer recurrence in December 2017.
However, despite my best intentions, getting an appointment with a holistic dentist wasn’t as straight forward as I had hoped. The waiting list was 2-3 months just for a consultation! I needed treatment faster than this to ensure that I wasn’t exposed to any more mercury and also so that my tooth didn’t become more rotten as inevitably food, and subsequent bacteria, would be getting trapped in the damaged filling. This, my dentist had carefully explained, could lead to me needing a root canal treatment; something I was not willing to accept given the vast amount of evidence indicating a connection between root cancel treatments and a later cancer diagnosis.
So I made the decision to contact my own dentist and ask him if he would do the procedure for me using a dental dam (albeit without the oxygen mask). “Of course”, came his unexpected reply. In fact, he went on to explain that this was his preference and that when he has treatments himself, he asks his dentist to use one.
I was once again surprised at the wonderful responses that can come when you honour and respect yourself and your values and speak up for your needs. I never expected this response from my dentist!
So, on Monday, I visited my dentist for the double appointment I’d been allocated (to allow extra time) and had a dental dam fitted and my filling removed and replaced. My exposure to chemicals and heavy metals was significantly reduced and I was only charged the usual NHS price for this procedure.
Following the procedure I had a lengthy chat with my dentist, quizzing him in the way my oncologist has no doubt become accustomed to. Instead of rushing me away, he took the time to discuss my dental health with me and its relation to my holistic health. I left feeling supported and informed. I was reminded that it is only by asking our questions, by raising our concerns and, essentially, by doing our own research, that we can develop the much needed respectful relationships with the people caring for us.
My dentist and I had started out as two people with very different views. Moving forward, however, we have a plan that supports both of our values and beliefs. He has agreed to replace my upper fillings using a dental dam and I have agreed to see a holistic dentist for the larger, and more complex, fillings in my lower jaw. He detailed his concerns about me having the necessary anaesthetic for these larger fillings in my lower jaw – this involves an injection next to a large artery that, if cut, can cause extensive bleeding which is less than ideal in any situation but could prove a major issue for me as I am on Avastin which can prevent blood clotting and healing. Rather than say that this is impossible, however, he gave me details of a holistic dentist that uses hypnosis to do dental procedures. Now that was an outcome I wasn’t expecting!
When I first started raising my concerns and views with my dentist and he voiced that his views were different from mine, my gut response was to walk away and never go back. I’m sure I childishly muttered something like “I need a new dentist” to my husband that evening. However, when I treated my dentist as a person and asked him to explain his views I created a dialogue that allowed him to listen to and value my views too.
As a result, I have been reminded, again, that this is the only way to move forward if we are to become holistically healthy. We won’t always have the same views as the people caring for us. Sometimes they are there to educate us, and sometimes we are there to inform them but, either way, this can only happen with mutation respect. However, walking away and seeking only people with the same views as us is not always the best answer, in fact, sometimes it may lead us to miss out on the optimal outcome….in my case a team of dentists, a saved budget and, potentially, dentistry under hypnosis to prevent bleeding (that part still feels a bit ‘eek!’)
So, I encourage you to have open discussions with the people in your health team whose views sometimes get your back up; to build a respectful relationship in which you listen to one another, even when you don’t agree; and to have an open mind about where these relationships can take you on your healing journey.
After all, isn’t this how we should view all relationships…
Love and light, Fi xx