by Fiona McGovern, Isle of Arran, Scotland
Where I live cancer seems rife; every day we hear of another neighbour, acquaintance or friend with a diagnosis of cancer. Personally I have metastatic breast cancer; I was diagnosed six years ago at the age of 47. Finding the lump now 9 years ago was a huge shock and yet underneath the shock I heard a very still voice say: “This is your time to heal, Fiona.” I began an outward search for an answer, and as I have already written elsewhere on this blog (Breast Cancer: “Knowing what I know now, I would definitely do things differently”), this took me way off path.
When I began to work with Serge Benhayon seven years ago, I began my return to true healing, to the expression of the real Fiona – a beautiful playful wise woman, whom I had lost in all my outward searching.
How did I reconnect with her? I married conventional medicine, in the form of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with esoteric medicine. Practically, the first step was to open myself to what the doctors could do for me. The second was to throw out all my ideals and beliefs about healing – and there were many!! Once I did this I found accepting chemotherapy straightforward. I stopped worrying about the side-effects and instead had fun with the wigs. I am now on my third, a blonde one, and am researching whether blondes really do have more fun!!!
I found myself opening up to the nurses and other patients, making lovely friends as I did. I see each weekly visit to the hospital as an opportunity to sparkle and I smile at the results – there is definitely more laughter in the waiting room and the ward.
I changed the way I was with food and began to feel what my body wanted, when it wanted it and how much it needed. I began to have fun creating new recipes with foods that truly supported my body. The nurses are always curious as to my packed lunches and they comment on how much care I take.
The last scan taken in February showed that I was responding positively to the treatment. The primary tumour in the breast has reduced in size by 15% as have the lesions in the lungs and liver.
I have had 32 weekly infusions of paclitaxel (taxol). The usual is 18, but they have said I may be on it indefinitely, because of the way I look after myself. They have little experience of this as most people can only tolerate it for the standard 18 doses, due to the side-effects of reduced white blood count or neuropathy in the feet. So far my white blood count has stayed stable and I do have neuropathy, but it is mild.
At first I was told they could only hope to hold the tumours’ growth, but clearly the medicine is doing more than holding it. “For how long?” is a question I don’t feel they can answer. They say it’s up to me – how many to have and when to have a rest.
Someone asked me the other day do I ever feel like giving up and I said ‘no’. I realised that because I have this deepening connection to me and so enjoy reconnecting and expressing deeper levels of me, there is no way I could feel like giving up.
I did however say sometimes I get fed up and that made me ponder: “Why?” I realised I had got stuck on something. I needed to lift myself up by seeing a new side effect -neuropathy in the feet- differently. I asked what I was learning here and I became aware that with the feet feeling slightly numb, I was being asked to walk with even more awareness of each step I took and how I placed my feet on the earth. I began lovely exercises with my toes to increase my awareness and appreciation for all they do for me.
I also felt to start a weekly diary of what I was celebrating with each treatment. I choose a tiny notebook I could easily carry with me and in it I record all that I am learning. Keeping this makes each treatment fresh and fun.
I began to ask why was I apologising to others for my walking slowly and why was it getting me down. I realised that I had always gone through life at such a pace not stopping to truly feel where my body was at and what pace suited it – constantly pushing down the fact that my mind was so distracted and busy I could not truly connect to the beauty of nature around me as I cycled or walked. There was always another certificate and more knowledge to be gained. Then I realised that pace was something I took on as a child when I was unable to keep up with others in the gym, which seemed to be the way to be popular. I never understood sport or competition but instead of honouring that, I found another way to prove I was ok. I could pass exams with a good memory and I knew how to work hard so I pushed down what I felt and what my body felt to find a way to fit in….oops.
Now as I walk I feel a growing and deeper appreciation of my body. I am also now learning that it is ok to go at my own pace and definitely ok to honour my body in all I do.
When people want to speak about the illness, I keep bringing the conversation back to me as a person with a full life, so I am not identified by the illness. I also stop any sympathy, as I find that so draining. I have been known to hold my hand up and say: “No, stop, I don’t do sympathy.” I correct people when they say: “You poor soul”, as that’s simply not true. The soul is not poor; it is wealth beyond anything the world can bring and the more tender I am with myself, the more wealth I rediscover. Cancer for me was the stop I needed to bring me back to self-love and love. It has reconnected me to God and that is a true blessing.
Two years ago I asked myself: “What is it you would really love to do?” and the answer came immediately. I wanted to express myself through art and writing, so with the support of an esoteric art educator I began a daily ritual of drawing and painting and of writing a journal of my healing, with quotes that inspired me from Serge’s talks and books, and also from my own inner heart. This has given me a treasure of inspiring images and words that nourish me and others I share them with.
I recently had a visit from the hospice nurse and he said “You are the model for how it could be for people with cancer ….you have it within you ….just no-one wants to take it on board.”
People say cancer is a fight. I don’t feel it is. The battle for me was before, when I lived from ideals and beliefs, now I have reconnected to me there is no fight or battle, just a beautiful return to truth.
Through marrying the two medicines, I have found a medicine that is tailor-made for me. I can be my playful self and the beautiful woman I was born to be and I can come out of hiding and express myself. I am blessed with the support of the doctors and of Universal Medicine, and with the marriage of the two in me.