This interview was kindly given by my dear friend Teresa in April 2017.
I didn't know Teresa before this journey began, but now I feel blessed to count her amongst my treasured friends. The interview is not meant as an indictment of traditional methods of cancer treatment, although I do have my own views about that. However, that said, unless I have walked a mile in anyone else's shoes, I will never judge their choices, nor truly know what mine would be were I to find myself in this position. I like to think I would honour my knowledge and my intuition, but who knows; who really knows how any of us would respond.
I hope this wonderful woman's interview gives others hope and strength - that's why we did it. Peace and Love xox
S: When and how did you first know that something wasn’t right with your health?
T: I felt tiredness like I’d never felt before and then I found a lump in my left breast. I had it checked out but they said there was nothing wrong with me, so I went home. Six months later I was in the shower and I felt another lump underneath my arm, and I didn’t pay that much attention to it, but the lump in my breast now felt like it was getting bigger. It felt really uncomfortable at work and at times I thought it would burst; it was a visible, hard lump. On June 3rd 2014 I went back to the hospital and we discovered that I had cancer. This time they did a biopsy, but the first time they had only done a mammogram and a scan, neither of those had picked it up!
S: Were there any other symptoms?
T: Yes, my nails were in really bad condition, I had a lot of dry scalp, my health in general was in very poor condition because I had been overworking myself and my nutrition was really bad. I wasn’t aware then of anything that I was doing and how it could impact on my health. I mean when you go to the supermarket and buy stuff, you don’t automatically know you can be doing something harmful to your body with what you eat, but these food are full of chemicals, so unless you have a diet that’s full of fresh fruit and veg, there’s just no point in only eating the other stuff because you’re just doing more damage to yourself.
S: How long did it take you to act on the feeling that things really weren’t right?
T: Six months, I felt tired at the same time I discovered the first lump but didn’t marry the two together. When the hospital told me there was nothing wrong, I told myself it was all in my head. I never found out why they told me nothing was wrong the first time or how that happened.
S: I believe we generally know when something is wrong in our bodies, do you?
T: Yes, and you know I do remember feeling this really strong sense of fear when I would be in bed at night, it was a feeling something really bad was happening. I didn’t know what it was but I just had a strong feeling I wasn’t right.
S: Do you think that if you’re living an unhealthy lifestyle and eating badly, if you’re super stressed, have negative self talk and self neglect, that this can make it harder to know when something is wrong?
T: Yes for sure - I had no awareness back then of health in general, of diet, nutrition, or self love. It’s not something I would have thought about at all - I just thought of paying bills and work, work work! I never put myself first in any way, always running round looking after others when my own body was crying out to be looked after.
S: Can you describe a typical day’s diet back then?
T: I worked in catering so most mornings it was a bacon, egg and sausage barm, lots of coffee and tea, not very much water if any, and lunch would be something in the deep fat fryer with the odd salad some days. Evenings were crisps and hummus and some wine with a couple of cigarettes. I was so stressed from the amount of work I was doing that was my only way to calm down!
S: So not much living food, or much that wasn't processed, fried or unhealthy?
T: Nothing was consistent except wine, pizzas and crisps!
S: Intuitively, what do you feel was the greatest contributing factor in your illness amongst the lifestyle and habits you’ve described (if any)?
T: I feel I had completely lost track of myself. I couldn’t make decisions without involving 5 or 6 people, I wouldn’t listen to my own inner voice at all. I was definitely aware of feeling “you can’t keep doing this” and I would also think “wow, it’s so amazing how far you can push your body,” because previously when I lived in America I was much healthier so I did know that potential was in me. There, I lived on the beach and was more into exercise and eating better. When I got to the UK I knew what I was doing wasn’t good for me but I was around people doing the same thing, so I just thought, well if they can all do it, so can I! I was much more materialistic then, completely ignoring all the signs and my own health in that way of living.
S: Once you had confirmation of your biopsy being malignant - what happened then?
T: They told me what procedures they would be taking and they booked me in for an operation to remove the lump and all of my lymph nodes in my left arm. They removed 18 lymph nodes and only 3 were infected.
S: So they had to remove them all?
T: Well back then I wasn’t educated so there was no question of ‘can I keep any’? They just took them all, and at that point I was so upset, confused, and scared with no idea if I was going to live, so I never thought about the consequences of losing all your lymph nodes. Now they actually do operate and only remove infected nodes so I feel upset about the impact that’s had. I am massively scared of infection now, and in fact if I listen to the medical world, I wouldn’t do anything or go anywhere! They say if I get bitten (by insects) I need to take antibiotics immediately, that I can’t do certain types of exercise, and yet I had numerous bites in Bali and it was completely fine, so that’s just fear and fear completely holds you back. I do quite a bit of exercise too to be fair.
S: What other feelings came up for you at the time?
T: I felt scared and very angry that they didn’t find it the first time because then maybe it wouldn’t have spread. I also felt really lonely because I always felt needed before that, but when you get really ill and can’t give like that, you realise everyone’s life is still going on as normal but you’re the one home in bed, so that was really, really hard for me.
S: Were you in bed a lot?
T: Yes, I couldn’t even dress myself, I had to get much bigger clothes to be able to get in them. I lost the use of my arm and had to learn how to re-use it all over again.
S: Did you have chemo or radiotherapy.
T: Yes, about 8 weeks after the operation I had 6 rounds of chemo which was the most horrendous experience of my life - it was terrifying. I did feel I didn’t want chemo and had stated that, but again I didn’t know then what I know now. My body had definitely been telling me not to have it, and after the first one, I truly don’t know how I took myself back there again.
S: Did your care providers ever mention to you at any point the things you could do for yourself holistically, or anything you could do around diet and nutrition?
T: No, never! The only thing holistically that was offered was reflexology given during the chemo because I was wearing a cold cap which is a cap that allows you to keep your hair longer because it freezes the scalp and draws out the hair loss process. It was the most awful thing ever, I would get really severe headaches and tunnel vision after wearing it. I had 30% of my hair left at the end though so I did still lose it
S: When I first met you and you used to wear the wooly hat all the time, had you cut your hair by then?
T: Yes I cut it short but it was still full of bald patches.
S: How and when do you feel like your real healing began beyond those sessions?
T: I had been living in Glossop and a few things happened which thankfully brought me back to Chorlton. I had lived there before so I new about your juice bar, and when I lived in New York I used to go to a juice bar most days too. I’d started reading a bit about holistic health when living in Glossop but I knew nothing like I know now, so when I came back to Chorlton, my daily trip out was to your juice bar. When I started going there I met you and Hannah and I ended up telling you my story; I felt really drawn to tell you and ask for your help. From there our friendship started to grow too and you started giving me more and more knowledge which opened up a big, amazing, beautiful world to me.
S: I think people with an investment is this kind of business, often have investments in other kinds of health and wellbeing practices too, and I remember seeing you start to take all this on as we shared more. You were trying things out, meeting even more people who supported those changes and supported you. Obviously when one starts to do that, all kinds of healing begin to take place; we have different support networks to call upon. I remember seeing you start to really flourish as you embraced it all.
T: Yes, I would never have associated cancer with coming from an emotional place, and then when I came to your 9 week Transform Your Life course I realised I was holding on to so much stuff that wasn’t making me well! There was just so much knowledge Love Juice gave me…the turmeric was the big thing!
S: That’s my next question actually - what would you say were the things that made the most difference to you?
T: The Alkaliser Green Juice helped me grow clean from the inside, and the turmeric of course. I’m a huge fan now, and ginger, wheatgrass shots and clean eating. There were so many little books lying round in there too and I’d often read them - there was one which was full of positive affirmations and I really started to use those too. I would take a little bit from that book every time I came into the shop.
S: So you started to notice connections in all areas of your life? What you were eating, thinking, and holding on to, what you hadn’t come to terms with yet - you started to make all those connections?
T: Yes, totally! I started to realise how much I could change myself. I met Kate at that time too and she introduced me to Tropic and taught me about how many chemicals there are in most skincare. At the hospital they told me to use Simple, but I realised that’s full of chemicals too! So now I only use chemical free products. I also learnt how to make superfood bliss balls and healthy food on your course too - everything about Love Juice changed everything for me. It was my only trip out, especially when I was in the radiotherapy which hugely burned all down one side of my body. I was given that because they said they wanted to “mop up everything” so they used the radiotherapy as a precaution rather than because it was needed at that point.
S: I guess that’s understandable but also it’s sad and perhaps unnecessary
T: yes, you are totally left with the damage that’s been done as radiotherapy completely affects your internal organs too, so you have to really get them back in shape after that kind of thing. Chemo also really affects your heart, so I think if I’d known of the side effects (they don’t really tell you) I would have chosen differently. When you’re in the middle of it and crippled wth fear, you don’t really think about choices or options, but I think it would be better to make people aware. My chemo was precautionary and what I went through to have those 6 shots was awful. I ended up being rushed into hospital, where I was told it could have gone into my brain (the cancer) but I was then left overnight waiting for a brain scan and psychologically some of that was so traumatising.
S: Did they have a reason to tell you it may be in your brain?
T: Just because I was getting really bad headaches but that was the reaction to the chemo! My mother came over from ireland to help me get everything working again as she’s a breast cancer survivor too. She had me doing so many exercise to prevent me getting lymphedema and there is always a fear of that with no lymph nodes. I still exercise my arm as much as possible and try not to lift much, that said I’m living proof that you can get the odd bite as I did in Bali recently, and treat things naturally. I treated all of my bites with turmeric elixir and locally made herbal remedies and it was all perfectly fine! Much better than flushing antibiotics through my body as I’d been told to, which is actually bringing down your immune system rather than strengthening it.
S: Are you fully well now?
T: Yes, I’m completely cancer free and have been since January 2015.
S: What do you do now differently to maintain your health?
T: I don’t have any routine in my life now. I live very much in the present and take each day as it comes, I avoid stress, I keep an alkaline diet, lemon water and raw cider vinegar in the mornings with green juice, loads of green veggies and healthy food. I don’t ever overwork. Since Bali I have loads more food ideas too! I’m so blessed to have had you as a mentor going through this Steph. Once I got back on my feet I came to your first course which was massive for me, because at that time I was like a little frightened mouse, but it totally changed my life. Some of the women I met there I made lifelong friendships with and they’re also into holistic healing, so I got so much more from that. More recently I started doing the Alchemy of Breath practice which oxygenates the body really rapidly, and by breathing like that I feel I can listen to myself so much more. I’m much more aware of what feels right or wrong of me now. My self love is great and I can make my own decisions! Your retreat in Wales was also a massive shift for me. I burnt my cancer hat on that retreat and felt a level of freedom that weekend I’ve never felt before. Burning my hat felt like I was closing the door on my cancer. As a cancer survivor, I can’t recommend all of this work highly enough. I can take so much more responsibility for me now.
S: Is there anything you would say to others who may be going through this?
T: All I would say is completely try and take responsibility for your own health. The NHS or any mainstream health system like that have their own guidelines, rules and regulations which they have to follow, but it’s not set in stone. There are a lot of other options out there for people that aren’t as severe or have less consequences. The holistic route is a beautiful world, and it’s a full world, a world where you don’t just approach health, you approach every aspect of your life, which allows you to be who you are and it allows for personal growth and happiness. I really believe if you’re happy you’re not going to have that stagnant, stale energy in your body; things are going to be moving, and you’re less likely to get diagnoses as bad as cancer or other really bad illnesses.
I feel like cancer has been a complete gift to me, and I feel blessed to have had the support from so many amazing people who came into my life. I want what was given to me to be available to everyone. If I hadn't been on this path, I wouldn’t know half the stuff I know and I’d still think life is really difficult when it’s actually so beautiful, and magical. I’m just so grateful.
*Teresa has now trained in non surgical face lift using the access BARS method, and has recently trained in Balinese Massage. She is about to undertake the Alchemy of Breath facilitator training, and I am delighted to be doing that journey alongside her. Our friend Suzie recently completed this training with us whilst we were all in Bali. We hope this story gives you some healthy food for thought!
Happy New Year everyone! It’s Friday 13th! Full moon in cancer last night, and we are still in the energy of the beginning of a new year; a potent combination for sure, and an energy which we can choose to tap into and find ways to manage well. Many more of us are affected by full moon energy than we know, and for me, it’s often my sleep that is first to go. In my waking hours I love the energy of full moon, but in my sleeping hours, my body/mind forgets it’s time to switch off and the lunar power can keep me awake for hours. It’s been better this month as I’m sleeping on my electro-magnetic healing mat, and the difference it’s making is quite remarkable. We are beings of energetic resonance, and as such we’re affected by all kinds of unseen energies, however the good news is that we can also manage that by becoming more conscious of what those energies may be, observing how they affect us and making a clear decision to ride that wild stallion rather than let it run away with us.
My greatest lesson this year has been in acknowledging total adrenal burnout and chronic fatigue, and because I am who I am, I have a theory growing about this - I am wondering if adrenal burnout comes to teach those who need it the lesson of radical self care and self love. Experiencing it brought mindfulness to my door with a graceless hammering, and in the process of accepting and managing it, I’ve come to see what a blessing there is in this particular ‘burden’. Thankfully I am self employed and so I can manage my time well; I recognise others may be less fortunate. The major lesson that has come in from really seeing my old patterns of excessive busy-ness and activity has been in bringing to light old stories of ‘you have to work hard for your money’ or ‘if you’re not busy you’re lazy’ - these stories aren’t even mine, but have been adopted along the way, which is what so many of us do subconsciously whilst growing up. Our deep need for acceptance and love as children sees us innocently mimicking our parents, teachers and other influential figures in a desire to ‘fit in’ and receive approval.
In energy healing work, either on the self or others, we can start to transform these limiting stories by firstly bringing them into our conscious awareness, and secondly, by releasing them across all aspects of our being-ness. Working hard for your money (for example) is a message that permeates the collective consciousness too, so we’re all too often not only working with our own stories, but those we are conditioned to believe as the ‘Truth’ when in fact they simply aren’t the truth at all, just another perspective, yet the affects these beliefs have is as real as the desk I’m sitting writing at now. In my sessions with clients, I start to unravel those core beliefs to bring about change, and we often see powerful results from just a few sessions. Working simultaneously on my own ‘stuff’ I am inspired to bring that awareness back to my clients, thus creating a wonderful cycle of change.
My latest self challenge is to become mindfully and consciously slovenly! Slovenliness is so often used in a derogatory way - in the old days it was a descriptive term usually attached to women; those who let things go instead of running a tight ship. The slovens and the slatterns were shunned, whilst those who polished, scrubbed and organised were valued. So now, my challenge is to let go and let God* as they say (*used here as meaning the higher representation of self). Relinquishing control and settling instead into longer days spent in my pyjamas - a stubborn statement to myself that I can do this and my world won’t end as a result! There will be no cataclysmic downfall of my life if I take a day or more to simply do nothing, and just BE, and so, as I sit in my nightclothes writing this, I urge you to find the time if you are a do-er in your normal routines, and try out for size, how to become a be-er.
Yoga practice has brought me so much in the last six months; a deeper relationship to my body and to my breath, a connection to presence like nothing before it, and an inner peace and stillness that surpasses all exterior turmoil. I use it to bring myself regularly into full presence, and combining my practice with conscious slovenliness may just about be the making of me! I see in my mind’s eye the hammock in the photo above....I picture myself in it, deeply resting whilst listening to the lapping of the ocean waves nearby. I visualise it, I write it as if I have it, then I let go of any attachment to outcome. This is my practice regularly. Last night I used full moon energy to dream in and map my year - 2017 I’m coming for you! Nothing gets done without us doing it, taking action and manifesting our intentions with clarity and precision, but finding the mindful way to do that, the yin/recieving way of allowing as opposed to forcing, is the rich and beautiful path that I for one desire to take.
How can you become consciously slovenly? What riches await you when you call yourself in mindful presence, slow down and just breathe a while? Let me know how you get on - leave a comment or better still, get in touch to book an energy clearing session; details are at the bottom of this article. In love, peace and presence - Stephanie xox
Being healthy is simple – it is disease that is complicated. Hi my name is Trish and I run a mobile juice business called Passion 4 Juice. I have been juicing for 33 years and studying nutrition for the last four years. I have had a keen interest in healing with the power of food since a teenager, and I now have a very good understanding of ancient healing techniques the philosophy of nutritional healing. Hopefully this blog will inspire you on your own personal journey. It was 33 years ago when I realised my love for juicing and sharing my knowledge and health tips with other people. Beginning with combinations like carrot and apple, I gradually progressed to more extraordinary and unusual taste sensations. Now I love anything with ginger, and turmeric. I tend to juice my veggies and eat my fruit. I love experimenting and creating zingy, strong flavours. There is no end to the amazing combinations.
But I haven’t always been healthy. I suffered allergies and asthma my whole life. When I was 14 I eliminated diary from my diet to improve my asthma. I was always eating a fairly healthy diet but I still ate lots sugar, wheat and other processed foods. By the time I got to University my some of my habits were fairly toxic and I started making bad choices in relationships too.
Asthma medication was just part of my life. I was born undersize and had to stay behind in the hospital as my twin brother went home. I had bronchial problems all my life. Puffers, anti-histamines and carrying round an Epipen full of adrenalin were just part of my life dependant on drugs to control my allergies. I never really understood that all this was indicative of a high level of toxicity and could be fixed with better nutrition.
Peaking at 12 anaphylactic episodes in one year, I knew I needed help. I was more dependent on my asthma puffers, I was stressed and was getting very bad headaches. I came across a nutritionist and through kinesiology - Hillary Newman diagnosed me with a high candida count, a hook worm, limes disease and parasites. I was put on a very strict diet that included very few food groups no fruit, no sugar, no grains. We had to starve the parasites and get rid of the hook worm that was creating breathlessness.
In our culture generally we don’t take care of our health, we’re led to believe that whilst we’re busy in our minds, we can ignore our bodies. Then if the body becomes sick there’s a pill, potion or surgical operation, that will cure’ the symptoms and we can carry on with old habits. However, the body is using these symptoms as a way of communicating its distress; if we ignore them dis-ease will result. The body whispers a long time before it starts to shout. Listen to your body it has your best interests at heart! I believe there are a few simple rules to follow for good health.
Hydration, hydration, hydration. The body is 75% water, all the organs and systems run on water, without sufficient water the body gets stressed. That means water, freshly pressed vegetable or fruit juices and herbal teas NOT tea, coffee, green tea, fizzy drinks, concentrated fruit juice or alcohol – they dehydrate and create stress.
Make time for juices and smoothies – if you own a juicer it needs to be kept our on your bench near the fruit bowl – not at the back of the cupboard. It will be one more excuse not to use it.
Get enough sleep – that means going to bed early enough to enjoy a long restful sleep – staying on a screen til the late hours will disrupt your hormones and create stress. The human body is designed to go to sleep at 9pm and wake at 5am. It’s only with the advent of electricity and television that we’ve altered our lifestyle and chosen to go to bed later. Sleep is vital to keeping the body in a healthful, balanced state. These functions take place between 9pm and midnight and if you regularly miss that sleep cycle your body is physiologically stressed and will become exhausted.
Exercise – I like to fit in exercise as part of doing something else – carrying lots of fruit and working outdoors is a natural part of my job. I like walking the kids to school or riding to work. Exercise just for the sake of it can seem boring especially if you are new to it. It doesn’t need to be formal, overactive or competitive, a daily walk of half an hour is sufficient. If you are doing as part of another daily routine activity then it is a bonus and can easily become a habit – plus if you decide to walk or ride to work you wont get half way there and think ‘Oh I cant be bothered’ – you have to get there.
Find healthy alternatives to your favourite foods. If you have a sweet tooth, try to make healthy sugar free alternatives. Bliss balls are so easy to make and are a good go to for healthy snacks for the whole family.
Have fun in the kitchen and make some mess. So many people are too scared to try new recipes, dishes or equipment. If you are unsure take a short course, watch on youtube and get your family involved. My kids love looking through recipes books for weekly meal plans and setting a challenge. Make it fun and interactive.
One of the best time saving tips for busy people is to batch make juices, smoothies and even vegetable prep. Choose 1 day a week where you will chop, prep, juice, blend and freeze. Being healthy and making healthy choices is about being prepared and not getting caught out when you are tired and hungry.
Try and add more raw to your diet – have a look at your plate and ask – what is raw? A little bit of salad on the plate or a freshly made juice with each meal can add another 5 servings of living food to your diet. It also means you will be getting more enzymes – they are catalysts for digestion and if they are present in the food you are eating your body won’t have to make them. You will feel more energised. Eating cooked food all the time makes your food harder to digest and can leave you feeling tired and depleted.
Do what you love and love what you do. Life is far too short to be dissatisfied. Work out what your passion is and JFDI! It will give you energy, inspiration and leaving you feeling happy and grateful to be alive.
You can follow Trish on social media www.facebook.com/passion4juice
And passion4juice on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. www.passion4juice.com for some great FREE juicing juices and a blog designed for busy people trying to be healthy.
"A lie doesn't become dangerous only with exposure; it is toxic however well buried."
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