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.