Tuesday 26 August 2014

The beauty of freedom

We're on the cusp of our eldest son returning to school after almost a year of home education. It's his choice, and one which we support, but it's made me reflect on everything we've gained from the past year. 

We've enjoyed nine months of following our body's innate rhythms, getting up late, eating when we feel hungry, and resting when we're tired. A freedom I haven't felt since I was a child.

We've explored the Downs, the beach, the river. We've attended courses in Spanish, Maths and African drumming. We've swum outdoors, taken impromptu holidays, and have just hung out together. We've been to forest school and learned that we are waterproof! We've learned about mutual respect and patience. We've debated and discussed big life concepts, and I feel lucky to have spent time teaching my children how to look after themselves, spiritually, emotionally and nutritionally.

Nine months of not rushing, just BEING. Long days and weeks have stretched before us, the calendar devoid of meetings, school plays or deadlines dictated to us by someone else's schedule. To have time is a luxury, and a necessity. To enjoy time is a privilege.

My children have learned about trust, independence, responsibility and communication. They've formed a family with other home educated children, from babies to teenagers. They've learned how to fit comfortably into different groups and into society. They've blossomed and grown, their confidence and self-esteem has been restored. They feel valued, they know that they have a voice, and that they have choice. 

As for me, I've SEEN my children; what makes them tick, how they learn and their incredible strengths, in ways that I didn't fully appreciate before. I am a calmer Mum for home educating because I've always loathed routines. Winging it suits me better - I'm no longer stressed by trying to make unhappy children happy, because they are happy!

Why am I writing about this on a cancer blog?  For me it's been a massive change in lifestyle which has had a huge impact on healing. Prior to home educating, my children were constantly ill. They averaged 80% attendance on any given school year. Over the past 9 months I don't think that they've been ill once. I'm talking about laying-in-bed ill, throwing-up ill, weeks-of-recuperation ill (which was the norm in London). To what do I attribute this? Getting enough sleep, sure. More time in nature, definitely. But mostly I believe it's down to NO STRESS! No deadlines, no pressure to perform, no anxiety about not feeling Good Enough. And of course, this new lifestyle has benefitted me massively. I no longer have unhappy, ill children, who complain about getting up in the morning and of not having enough 'time' (if they don't have time to pursue their interests aged 11 and 8, when will they?) I've slept more in the past 9 months than I have in years. I've had a perverse amount of time to spend nurturing myself: juicing, cooking, making kefir, and just making happy. I feel joy on a daily basis. I've learned how to BE with my children, how to live as a unit, how to listen and be listened to. We've found a rhythm in being together. And I've started to understand HOW we learn, how we follow our interests. Yes, I've learned as much, if not more, than they have. 

Prior to leaping into this great unknown I felt a sense of urgency, and a need to make some drastic changes. My dis-ease at being in 'the wrong life' was killing me. Many years ago, falling into depression, I wrote a list of things I felt I needed to change. Top of the list was to spend more time in nature and a desire to live within a community of like-minds. I also desperately wanted to home educate my children. 

Here I am, happy, healthy, and living a big life which I manifested through stubborn tenacity. I think it would have been impossible to heal in my old life. Now I feel it's totally achievable, and for the first time in years, I'm making plans :D

Monday 18 August 2014

Wheatgrass Implants

A title with the word 'rectal' in it is probably not going to gain many fans, but these implants are a fast, efficient way of getting nourishment into the body.

Why implant rectally? Wheatgrass can be difficult to digest, creating feelings of nausea (as well as tasting quite 'unusual'). The haemorrhoidal vein (located just inside the rectum) is able to quickly absorb nutrients, bypassing the high acid content of the gut and allowing maximum absorption.

In Europe pain relief is often given rectally, and historically, patients were given nutrients this way if they were unable to eat or digest.

Wheatgrass and snowpea shoots from Aconbury Sprouts

Wheatgrass makes an ideal implant. It's incredibly detoxifying and alkalising. It's rich in chlorophyll (fantastic for our blood) and high in vitamins C, A and E. It contains over 90 minerals (including potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium) as well as essential enzymes (protease, lipase and amylase). 

So, how to do it? The key is to start with a water or coffee enema to clear the system! Dilute 1 - 2 oz of wheatgrass juice in a little filtered water. I use an enema bag, but a bulb is better for smaller amounts. Simply lay down (I would recommend using a towel!), make yourself comfortable and insert (coconut oil makes a great lubricant). Unlike enemas, implants are designed to be held for about 20 minutes, or until the contents are assimilated. 

Implant Bulb

I've been buying fortnightly trays of fresh wheatgrass from Aconbury Sprouts, and juicing 1/6th of a tray at a time. If I'm feeling robust I also juice a little extra to drink, mixing with fresh apple and lemon, but I recommend having an apple juice chaser at the ready!!!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

The Roger Bannister effect

Imagine if we spent our whole lives hearing "It's easy." But no, we've been conditioned to believe that 'life is tough', 'you have to fight for what you want', 'if it's easy there must be a catch'. 

Unfortunately when it comes to cancer, many of us have deeply ingrained (and negative) word associations. Maybe 'death', or 'suffering', or 'pain'? We have an uncomfortable relationship with the word, and with the disease. We've either succumbed to tabloid headlines, or known someone who has had the disease. We've become so confused about what chemotherapy looks like, that sometimes we forget what cancer looks like. 

But what if it was easy to heal from cancer? What if you replaced the word 'cancer' with 'lump', or something even more benign. What if you learned that many, many people around the world have survived cancer, and continue to thrive? What if we changed our expectations, and so our thought processes?

One of my favourite practitioners, Bob Jacobs, once told me about "The Roger Bannister effect'. No-one believed that it was possible to run a sub four minute mile, until Roger Bannister did exactly that. And then guess what happened? Athletes regularly began running sub-four minute miles, repeatedly breaking his new record.

As soon as I learned that people had overcome far more advanced cancer than mine, I began to believe that survival was possible. On diagnosis, one of the best things you can do is to find someone who has lived a long and healthy life having had your particular cancer. Never underestimate Hope. 

Just prior to having my first Minimal Residual Disease test, I asked my doctor if anyone had ever reduced their circulating cell count to zero. She told me she'd never seen it. Fast forward four years, and one of her patients has done just that. Now we can all believe it is possible, and that is exactly what I'm aiming for.