Hi All, this is somewhat of a well overdue blog update. I am regularly still asked about my cancer experience and in particular the salving of the breast tumours. I’d like to clear up any confusion. If you are interested in knowing more about what I was up to as far as my cancer therapies you can check out some earlier blog posts, but for the purpose of this post I wanted to concentrate on the salving, the surgery and the final outcome.
I was diagnosed with multi-focal breast cancer on 2nd Dec 2013. The mammography picked up one large tumour about the size of a golf ball, and a second smaller tumour at the lateral side, measuring about 1.4 cm. It turned out later that the mammography had missed several smaller tumours and I did in fact have at least 4 small tumours ranging from ranging from 0.5cm to about 1.4cm, plus lots of tiny ‘microtumours’. In total I salved about 7-8 times. I managed to successfully remove the smaller tumours, that were more superficial, as well as an immeasurable number if microtumours. However despite salving the large tumour repeatedly about 4-5 times I could not get to the deeper stubborn part of the tumour and I became very drained, both physically and emotionally, from doing the repeated salving (deep salving is not exactly a walk in the park!). After much thought and deliberation, and also a very fortuitous chance consultation with the fabulous Caroline Myss, I decided to have the surgery after all. It is now just over a year ago since I had the surgery, 3rd Dec 2015, and 3 years after my initial diagnosis (2nd Dec 2013). I had a skin sparing nipple sparing mastectomy with implant, covered with SIS biomaterial, made by the Cook Medical – the company I used to work for! The biomaterial covers the implant to prevent erosion of the implant through the skin, which can be a problem with implants that are placed for breast cancer surgery as there is no breast tissue between the implant and the skin. Traditionally the surgeons overcome this by removing a flap of tissue from the back muscle, turning it around on a pedicle in the armpit area, then placing it over the implant – this is quite extensive surgery, and not without significant complications. The option I went for is a new procedure which has only been practiced over the last few years since the introduction of suitable biomaterials. The surgeon I am under, Mr Rick Linforth at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, was the first surgeon in the UK to perform this type of reconstructive breast surgery, and has subsequently taught several more surgeons.(The implant erosion is not an issue when implants are placed for breast augmentation as the implant is placed in a pocket beneath the breast tissue). I found it quite amusing that when I was working with Cook I had been heavily involved in the early use of SIS mesh, for veterinary use, well before it was approved for human use! Then many years later I came to rely on the same mesh for my own surgical intervention. This SIS mesh is truly magical stuff, – it is gradually absorbed and remodeled by the body and eventually becomes revascularized and takes the form of existing flesh. When I was with Cook I was involved in working with vets who were using the product on dogs who had serious degloving injuries (where huge chunks of muscle and tissue were missing due to car accidents – it was totally amazing to see first hand how effective it was – the whole tissue would gradually regenerate, and even grow new skin and hair. In the 1990’s Cook SIS even featured on ‘Tomorrow’s World’ – for any of you that may remember that great program. It then started being used in humans initially for hernia repairs, and bladder suspension surgery, and in time has now become used for many many other surgical procedures. The biomaterial is derived from pigs intestines so may not be suitable for all. For more info see: https://www.cookbiotech.com/technology/
Anyway,the op went really well, the surgeon was great, very patient and understanding, unlike many others I hear of, and I healed very quickly. I have thankfully been cancer clear since then. Although in my case I still ended up having surgery I know of several others who have managed to deal with breast tumours without surgery. I am still a big advocate of salving but I feel that my case shows that there is still a case for surgery too. In fact from the beginning I was always open to the option of surgery and my forays into natural cancer treatments were primarily to avoid chemo and radiotherapy, as to me they instinctively felt so wrong at that time. As it was two years following my diagnosis when I eventually had surgery I feel all the ‘natural’ stuff I had been doing had strengthened my body and my immune system, and had prevented the cancer from spreading, but stilI I was not quite ready to let go of my big tumour until I had the surgery. The mind works in mysterious ways – I often wonder if it was because deep down I had been open to surgery then that’s what I still needed to do. I am still happy to support other people who feel they would like to salve, in many cases it may still mean being able to avoid surgery. Though I feel it is a matter of weighing up the options and reaching a balance as far as how much salving one is prepared to do. One must bear in mind that salving is a not a cancer treatment, it is merely a way of removing the tumour mass, and still lots more needs to be done to correct the internal body environment and also the emotional blocks and traumas that may have caused the cancer to develop. Also, as with surgery – many times a surgeon may do a lumpectomy but unfortunately when the histology report comes back from the lab it may state that they have not got ‘clear margins’ i.e. they like to have at least a full centimetre of healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous tissue to be sure there is absolutely no remaining tumour left, otherwise it may subsequently be given a chance to re-establish itself. So, when the lab report say unclear margins it tends to mean a second op is necessary and that usually means a mastectomy. You could say that this is in a way what happened in my own case – I did several of my own DIY lumpectomies but couldn’t quite get the clear margins on the large tumour, so in the end I still required the assistance of my surgeon for the mastectomy. On another note I am so glad that I did not rush into having the mastectomy at the time I was diagnosed, even though I felt under so much pressure to do so. If I had I am convinced that it would not have been a good outcome. I believe my body and immune system at that time was in such a weakened state that had I had surgery as recommended I would not have healed well and I feel it would have been inevitable that I would have developed secondary tumours. I will be forever grateful to a anaesthetist friend, Dr Andrew Bodenham, of mine who advised me to not rush into making any decisions, he advised me to take my time, ask for a second, third, or even fourth opinion if I did not feel at ease with my medical team. This was profound advice at the time and so contrary to the usual cancer rush rush rush scenario. When someone is diagnosed it’s more than likely that the tumour has been quietly growing for many years, and a few more weeks or even months in delaying the start of treatment is unlikely to alter the outcome in a negative way. On the contrary I feel by pressing the pause button and using this precious time to detoxify and build up the body, and also to research and reflect what feels right for each individuals cancer treatment, rather than blindly stepping onto the NHS cancer conveyor belt and later finding unable to make any decisions but just being railroaded that this time for reflection and regeneration could be absolutely crucial as far as far improving the outcome. And I feel that would apply across the board, in fact more so to those who are opting to undergo the conventional cancer treatments. If people are going to be subjected to major surgery, followed very soon after by debilitating radiotherapy and toxic chemo, doesn’t it make sense to build up their strength beforehand so they stand a much better chance of holding up against the harsh treatments. If you were sending men into battle wouldn’t you prefer to have 300 well fed Spartan warriors, rather than a 300 sick undernourished waifs? Which would stand a better chance of survival? ( perhaps not the best analogy since the Spartans get defeated – but hopefully you get my point, and they were up against 1000’s!) Also it’s worth mentioning that it’s often said amongst oncologists that the aim of the harsh cancer treatments is to kill the cancer before it kills the patient! So you think they’d get it too that it make sense to build up their patients and prepare them, both physically and emotionally, for what is likely to be the most important battle of their lives.
The last three years, since being diagnosed, has been a very interesting time for me, I have learnt a lot and radically changed my so called ‘lifepath’ as a result of my cancer experience. I feel more awake to the injustices in this world, at all levels, usually fueled by selfless greed and money by big corporations and corrupt governments. At the same time I have been so heartened by the immense goodness in the world too, though it may not always be so obvious as the corrupt media bombards us on a daily basis with nothing short of propaganda to try to keep us submissive. It’s thanks to many caring individuals, including the many holistic doctors and practitioners who are willing to speak out against the powers of Big Pharma and the massive greed and corruption that controls our societies, and instead try to open people up to other possibilities. If you are not already aware the count is now up to about 80 holistic doctors, including the wonderful Dr Gonzalez from New York, and Dr Bradstreet, that have died in suspicious circumstances over the last 18 months…and this doesn’t get any media coverage!
Finally, just to say I am healthy, cancer free, and looking forward to a great 2017. I would like to wish you all a great 2017, with lots of health and happiness, and especially to all my buddies who are still struggling with cancer, and anyone else for that matter, I sincerely hope and pray that you can get onto the right healing wagon and get it licked soon!,