Breast Cancer: what links us?

by Fiona McGovern

Last week as I sat in the over-full waiting room for my oncology appointment, a woman passed me by handing out questionnaires on the chemotherapy and cancer services in our local health board area. I asked if I could have one and she apologised as she had not recognised me as a cancer patient. She explained that the number of cancer patients was predicted to rise by 9% in the next few years and the services could not cope as they are at present, so the questionnaire was to establish where their resources should be spent in order to best cope.

I pondered on how best to answer the questions.  I felt supported by the present system but knew too well that some basic questions were not being asked: why do so many women have breast cancer?  How are women living that creates such an illness in their bodies? How can we educate and support our young girls to be, so that breast cancer is not inevitable for them?

I looked around and observed my fellow patients: there were women of all sizes, from all backgrounds, most with children, some like me with none. There were those who dressed elegantly, some sexily, some plainly, some were chatty, others kept themselves to themselves.

What then linked us?

When I have chatted to them many have questioned why it is happening and most will then find an answer in the environmental pollution around here, the nuclear fallout from Chernobyl.  None buy the genetic explanation, many have experienced bereavement or family fallouts, a few will say as women we are under too much stress to be perfect at all things…. as yet I have not met one who will take responsibility for the life and choices they have made to date, although they all nod when I say I know it was the choices I made and how I pushed myself.

I took a deeper look at the eyes of the women and I saw fear, anxiousness, a bewilderment, a shutting down, a giving up; they said “let’s just get this over with and return to how we were.”

What links us – we are all women.

But do we know what being a true woman means?

I know that before the chemotherapy and the esoteric healing I had no idea what being a woman truly meant. I looked outside for an answer on how to be  a woman.  With the healing I have found that me being a woman comes from inside, from reconnecting to the beauty within and rejoicing in that radiance.

How different the ward would feel if all the patients and staff knew that the healing lay in this reconnection.

So is the marriage of Western Medicine with Esoteric Medicine the way the health services can address the ever-rising numbers of women with breast cancer?  I feel it is the only way.

It has empowered me to be me and that is why when you look into my eyes you see a sparkle and a playfulness, a stillness and light, a commitment to life and love, a woman who is reconnecting to being a woman, the woman she was born to be.


248 thoughts on “Breast Cancer: what links us?

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more that the ‘healing…comes from inside from reconnecting to the beauty’ and ‘that the healing lay in this reconnection’. When we connect to this reconnection, then many other things happen, we become more than what we appear to be. We become someone who is here for some others, in other words everybody.

  2. In that asking – what it is to be something that we already are – we can easily set ourselves up to disempower ourselves by seeking an answer outside us. When we do know we are already that – regardless of whether we live it, or to what extent etc., and all it takes is to reconnect and surrender to what is actually most natural to us, it completely voids our assumed position of not knowing and feeling lost.

    1. Fumiyo, this is very common, we seek answers outside ourselves and yet deep down inside of us, we all have the answers if we just allowed, and trusted ourselves.

  3. This is a great question posed by Fiona, and a great reminder that cancer is non discriminatory and that we probably all know someone who has been affected by cancer, for every one diagnosis there will be many others that are also affected by that diagnosis.

  4. Cancer is definitely on the increase and what was once occasionally talked about it is now an everyday occurrence, and a great reminder of how important it is to self-care and to honour ourselves as women without any compromise.

  5. It’s a powerful image of women of all different shapes and sizes sat in a waiting room waiting to be treated for breast cancer, to me it shows that no one is exempt and that our day to day choices are so incredibly precious.

  6. Great and wise questions asked Fiona. Noticing that this was written over 5 years ago and today the rate of women falling ill with breast cancer in still increasing. The answers are available for us to understand how not only it is that we become ill but also how we can heal ourselves in the true sense of the word, and not just a band aide or a diminishing of the symptoms yet leaving the root cause of illness still active. Esoteric Medicine offers a way that the answers as to why we fall ill can be explored and understood, one that is complementary to Western Medicine, which together have a profound impact in arresting illness and offering the opportunity to truly and deeply heal the body and being from within.

  7. We could say that our way of living leads to cancer, but before that our way of living disconnects us from the love and beauty we innately are within. We have no idea how precious we are nor the way we could lovingly care for and nurture ourselves everyday.

  8. This is so beautiful to feel – a radiance, warmth and total embrace of one’s self: the choice to live like this is available to us all, at any time, and embracing and enjoying the fact that nothing is of greater value.

  9. ‘…although they all nod when I say I know it was the choices I made and how I pushed myself.’ Maybe we could reflect on the possibility of this common link that seems to be between women with this condition and, apart from the medical attention they receive, take this into consideration as a way to prevent and support the treatment of it. What you show here Fiona is that invaluable as it offers another way to approach this condition and the possibility of making other choices to not arrive to that point.

  10. These are such important questions that you have asked here. I especially admire the one about how we should perhaps begin to consider how to educate our young girls so they may grow up not with breast cancer as an inevitable condition.

  11. I love your inquisition here… could there be more that links us? If 50 women have breast cancer then what if that’s 50 women who have denied what it means to be a woman, all we would need is for one woman to start claiming back her sweetness, start deeply nurturing for the other 49 women to be inspired to also make that same move back to themselves.

  12. Feeling supported – I am beginning to wonder if this entirely depends on the system that provides the support. The fact that you did not even look like a cancer patient sitting amongst other patients at hospital gives much away already. There is a part we have to accept as our own responsibility and contribute to our own healing.

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