Wednesday, 26 August 2009
I have had a weekend learning to ascend - the practice is called Ashayas Ascension and the website for more information is at
I met some wonderful people, ate good food, sat in a peaceful place, and I think had a very healing experience. I do a lot of things that I believe alter my body from the outside in - breathing in deeply and watching my diet to name but two. I also have practices where I try to heal myself from the inside out - using visualisation and relaxation techniques. I've already mentioned my mind pharmacy in a previous post. I have also visualised a dark cabin that I can enter where I give up my thoughts. I visualise a beautiful field with a seat below a tree where I can sit with my higher self and my guardian angel - where I can receive hugs and reassurance. I have created a house in my mind where all those who love me are and I can go and visit with them and swim in a pool of healing. Al these techniques require me to activate my imagination. The Ashayas Ascension differs from these visualisation techniques. It asks nothing of you other than you be present. It is a passive process. Or so it seems to me at this moment. I just sit, or recline, or even walk around and watch my thoughts. I don't even have to do that. I can just let them go. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the simplicity and ease of the technique. What I find so appealing is that it is Very positive in its approach. It is very loving and accepting. It is Very Kind and I am drawn to kindness like a moth to a flame. It's totally non-judgemental, and its accessible even with eyes open and moving around and interacting in the world.It doesn't require peace and quiet and a darkened room to be activated. I feel truly blessed that I have found it. What's more it's incredibly supportive. Once you've been on the first sphere course - the introduction and initial training - you can continue to go back and repeat the course as often as you like. There's plenty of support from the teachers, and the other course participants were all extra-ordinary people who shone with kindness. There were quite a few who had been ascending for ages . I did ask them the question - " why would you come back on the first sphere course if it works ? " and the reply was that "you learn something new each time , hear something different, hear something put across differently by a different teacher, possibly hear something that's been said before but that you weren't ready to hear the first time. Also, you get to spend time with really nice people, eat good food, and visit peoples homes and sit in lovely rooms " This was my second weekend, and I have to say that I now agree with these sentiments and will hopefully go on many more weekends myself. There's so much more to it than learning a technique, and there's power in meditating in groups.
I haven't posted in ages. I've been in a dark place and I think I needed to try and find a way through. A way to live well even with cancer. I've explored a few avenues which I hope to share later and I've come back to blogging with a fresh perspective after a rest from thinking about cancer in such a negative way.
I once read a story that I can't remember accurately, but that I can remember the gist of and I'll share it here. A person ( lets say it's a he ) spent many years seeking enlightenment and the secret of life. He searched the world over but still couldn't find what he yearned for. In time he heard of a wise woman who lived in a cave at the top of the highest mountain. She held the secret, but she would not give it away easily. He set off to find her travelling a great distance and suffering many hardships before finding the cave. Inside he found a frail old woman and begged her for enlightenment. She refused, saying that she only aided those who truly knew what it was they searched for and who wanted it with all their being. He beseached her , telling her of his many travels and wanderings, of the hardships, deprivations and challenges which he had overcome, all in order to be enlightened. Again and again she refused until he eventually persuaded her and she agreed. He thanked her and had no sooner done so than she turned into a screaming monster with a club who shouted "NOW" and beat the club on the floor. He looked at what was in front of him stunned and then turned and ran out of the cave. Just as he emerged she appeared again, shouting "NOW" beating the club on the floor. As he ran down the mountain again and again she followed shouting "NOW", "NOW", "NOW". To the end of his days she accompanied him, every moment screaming "NOW" and banging her club on the ground.
I'm not really a story-teller and I wish I could remember where I read the story, but that's the gist, with my spin 0n it. The point is that the screaming harpy shouting "now" could be my cancer. A teacher reminding me that now is all there is. That fear is simply memory of what might have happened and anticipation of what might be. It is based on nothing but an idea, a thought. It's not based on what is. In this moment - today - I am well and healthy. People comment on how well I look. I even feel well ( though I do tire very easily ! ) If I concentrate on this moment then I know all is well and I am well.
Monday, 29 June 2009
"I am where I am and the scan doesn't change anything - it's just information. "
"The result doesn't matter because it's only a snapshot of that one moment, and a look backwards at what has happened, and not what is happening."
But whatever I try to tell myself, I can't shake of the dread, the sickening worry. "Has it grown ? Has it woken up ? Is there any kind of help if that does happen ; does the information actually make any difference at all at the end of the day, or am I just satisfying my oncologist's curiosity ? " Am I just giving myself a four minute warning ? Do I want a four minute warning or do I want to live in ignorance for as long as possible ?
Of course I want warning now. I don't quite know why. Well, perhaps I do. I'd step up my efforts and just sit chanting and meditating in my chair, drinking vegetable juice and breathing so deeply I'll be in a trance like state of numbness. Or I'd go the other way and eat, drink and make merry. Can you make merry knowing the clock is ticking ?
Sadly, I don't think the scans are all that helpful, but they're available ... and they say information is power. It's just that from past experience I've come to realise that the information just gives me reassurance that I can bank the past. That's safe. I've got that and it can't be taken away from me. Unfortunately the future is still uncertain. I'm starting from a place that's not worse, but I'm also not starting from a place that's better. And my starting point isn't good. So I sit here worrying myself sick for a result that at best means there's no change to a bad situation and at worst that the clock's started ticking again. A bomb still detonated and waiting to go off.
I hate the waiting. It's pointless sitting here posting about it when I could go join my friends at gardening and try to distract myself. But my hearts not in it. I'm on red alert. I'm immobile, frozen in the headlights of the result wondering will it run me over or pass by with a woosh of wind leaving me shaking in its wake. i wouldn't mind if the result might leave me euphoric. I know that's not going to happen. I have lost my fragile hope of remission. There's been no change and all the medical staff think I'm deluding myself ( all bar my McMillan nurse who does a great job of persuading me that he thinks what I'm doing is making a difference. Of course it is. Emotionally. But what I want is physical improvement. I want a cure, not a healing.
Saturday, 13 June 2009
I would recommend the Icon Magazine as well.
In the April / May issue of Cancer Watch which I have just received there is an article about the benefits of fibre and beneficial bacteria . Together in the colon they
" activate a receptor in the body that can kill cancer. The beneficial bacteria produce butyrate from the fibre and this activates a receptor (GPR109A ) ... [this] blocks the Cox 2 protein that causes inflammation and secondly it sends signals out to cancer cells telling them to self destruct."
The information comes from scientists at The American Medical College of Georgia ( M.C.G. ) Do go read the article. It explains the advantage of eating enough fibre and ensuring the health of your friendly bacteria. It's given me an added incentive to take my supplements of enzymes and friendly bacteria, and is a thumbs up for all the fibre I eat ! It just goes to show that good nutrition works to destroy the cancer on so many levels . Now I can add that thought to my visualising - as I eat !!
There are also many other useful articles on current research here.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
I signed up because I thought I had nothing to lose. I've been told it's worth trying and my friend Jenny who uses a homeopath herself, encouraged me. It's difficult to know what to expect or hope for when you don't really understand what it is that homeopathy's supposed to treat. As everyone with cancer treatments under their belt knows ,there are plenty of symptoms and sensations and issues to go at. I had very recently developed a very severe and uncomfortable symptom. It's hard to describe. I would wake up every morning with a sense of dread, fear, panic, desperation. This was a development from the general waking where my first thought is "I have CANCER " . This had developed into a physical sensation. It was like a creeping shadow, a cloud, a blanket which moved in on my body (from stage right ? I don't know, but my memory of it is of coming from the right - but memory IS a fugitive, changeable, capricious thing !) It was a feeling of dread and fear and panic, but it had a physical presence in my body. Not a hot flush - I have enough of those and this was different. In looking back I think it may have been a panic attack or something akin to it, but I don't know. Some sensations are just really difficult to describe in words. Anyway, as this just started occurring perhaps a fortnight before my appointment and it was the biggest of my problems ( Yes, I'm in a really fortunate position right now and I do count my blessings !) this was the problem I identified as being the challenge for the homeopath. We had our consultation and I was quite clear that this was what I wanted treating. I was given a teeny tiny little pill to place under my tongue to dissolve and told that I would receive my prescription through the post. It eventually arrived and I can't tell you of my shock and annoyance at receiving just three teeny tiny little pills. Sugar Pills !!! I had paid £8.00 for 4 tiny sugar pills ! But... if they worked that would be OK. Size isn't everything, BUT I was more than a little dubious about getting only 3 pills to sort this really awful problem out. I was prepared to be wrong, but I can tell you I was still very dubious and a little outraged that maybe I was being taken for a fool. I took the first pill - Sugar !! - I don't let sugar pass my lips (apart from my calcium and vitamin D supplement that I get from the doctor and that I take because I have osteopenia and am pretty frightened of any weakening of my bones - either I'll one day collapse on the floor as all my bones disintegrate !! or the dreaded words bone mets creeps into my mind ! ) and then I googled the homeopath. She seemed credible and if her site and other homeopathic sites were to be believed the cost of consultation was really expensive. Did they always prescribe just 3 little pills ? I googled the remedy - bellis perrennis or daisy and found that it seemed to be appropriate. I also found out how much those little pills cost to buy in bulk. I was a little irritated that I might be being taken for a ride.. I sometimes feel that all us cancer patients are just sitting ducks for charlatans and anybody wanting to make a quick buck out of someone elses misery. I continued to take the pills, and funnily enough from the first night the feeling disappeared. I still awoke anxious - I have cancer for goodness sake - but that physical discomfort has gone. That was just 4 weeks ago. I can honestly say that those 3 little pills did do the trick ! So my goodness it was worth the money because it did what it said on the tin ! I must admit I didn't think anything would really shift it. I thought I'd have to live with it like hot flushes. I saw Caroline again on Tuesday and she thinks that it's gone now. That it won't wear off. What I now want to know is " if homeopathy's so good why doesn't everyone use it ? " But then that question is often raised about many things. I will say that I went into this with an open mind. I may have had concerns about the expense - you can pay in the region of £85 for a first consultation and £45 for a follow up - but I was willing to give it a try. I was very fortunate to have The Breast Cancer Haven open in Leeds to give me this opportunity. The Haven is a charity and gave me the homeopathic consultation for free. All I had to do was make a contribution of £8.00 towards the cost of the remedy. That is only reasonable. I think that without The Haven I would never have tried homeopathy. I don't like to buy gobbledy - gook and promises. I have done this since trying to find a cure for my cancer and I continue to do so (what idiot pays £60 a month for two bottles of brown liquid in a brown bottle that is an herb tea , with the name of Essiac ? Moi !! ) But all I can say is that it did work, and for that I'm grateful. So I'm now feeling converted to homeopathy.
Do you want to know what I want fixing now ?? Anger issues !!! Evidently homeopathy can do this as it treats the whole person. I have a quasi scientific understanding of this that I've gained from all the reading that I have done. All our emotions are simply chemicals and enzymes racing around our bodies. And the talk about storing emotions and memories in the body ? It's quite understandable to me that they could be stored chemicals and toxins locked away for safekeeping in my flesh. So the mind and body being physically linked idea works for me. And the idea that uncomfortable, unhelpful thoughts can be stored for decades also has a kind of believability to it. I have been given some teeny tiny little white sugar pills and I will let you know how I go on.
What are my anger issues ? I won't remember in a few months time (hopefully ) so I'd better jot down the ones I can think of.
- How I was treated by Harrogate Hospital when I was first diagnosed ( abysmally - a HORROR story !!! but don't we all have those stories , more's the pity ! ) You'd think I'd be over this by now, but it seems not ! I don't dwell on it. I thought I'd put it behind me. I only mention it because I was asked about my experience recently and it all flooded back, complete with Emotion !! It surprised me, but there it is.
- Other road users. You know - slow coaches, idiots that weave in and out of traffic looking for an accident, people who don't thank me when I let them out, people who don't indicate when they're going to turn, people who stop in the middle of the road to have a conversation with an acquaintance. What can I tell you ? I'm a grumpy old woman - but maybe not for much longer !!
- Supermarkets !!!!!! Why oh why have they cut back on organic and health foods ? They've lured me in away from the health food shops and now they're leaving me high and dry !! Where's their loyalty ? They're forever asking if I have a loyalty card . Yes you TESCO -named and shamed !! They're all bad. Asda used to do sprouting seeds - though I now do my own. Morrisons used to do organic peppers - my daughter lives on them - and now they don't stock them in ANY of their stores !! Why ? I bought enough of them ,and regularly !! Waitrose is the best at the present time, but I'm not holding my breath. I HATE shopping. It's frustrating and maddening and soul destroying and I'm sure it damages my immune system every time I go in. I want to boycott them, but where else can you shop now that they've squeezed the life out of all the small shops. All I see now when I go into these market places is all the food I can't have - Aisles and aisles I don't walk down. And why is the good stuff mixed in with all the rubbish and continually being moved around. And don't ask about internet shopping. They SUBSTITUTE !!!I don't want substitutes !
- Cafes and restaurants also irritate me. What is this obsession with dairy products ? It's so difficult to be dairy free, yet I'm absolutely sure I'm not alone. There was a time when it was unheard of to be gluten free, but people did know about dairy intolerance's. Now it seems that many cater for gluten intolerance's, yet still can't cope with a dairy free request. And why do vegetarians ALWAYS get dairy in the mix? How do vegans cope ? I started telling them that I was vegan and everyone understood the concept far better than me, so it's not ignorance that's the problem. It's an unwillingness to cater to anyone dairy free or vegan, because if you're vegan you can forget it. Even if you ask for just vegetables or salad and explain your reasons all that is brought back is a teeny tiny little side of vegetables. Why can't they make the portions larger ? Isn't that basic common sense ? Does that take extra brain power ? A monkey would understand the situation. But not the restaurants and cafes I sometimes stumble in to. There are some who are accommodating and I am very grateful and loyal to those establishments. It's just really frustrating when you're out and about and can't get anything to eat without it costing an arm and a leg. Two side orders of vegetables doesn't add up to a main course but when the bill comes it costs more. It does just make me furious !!
I can't think of any more tirades at the moment, so I'll close here, but you can see my problem. I have anger issues. When I was on chemotherapy and after it finished I wasn't angry. I was just really glad to be alive. I'm still really glad to be alive, but life's irritations and frustrations are just getting too uncomfortable for me. It wreaks havoc with the immune system and it spoils the precious moments. I don't want to wast my time on this stupid pointless emotion. I achieve nothing with it. It just weighs me down. So if homeopathy could be a magic pill and help me with this I'm here waiting and willing for it to work. And if it doesn't .... there's always something else - EFT ! or hypnosis, or whatever ... Hope springs eternal ! And yes, I do meditate and practise deep breathing, but that takes a little while to kick in, and it's not always convenient, and I don't always think of doing it when I'm in the middle of my life and the emotion catches me unawares. !! I want a quick fix, just like everybody else. So, I'll let you know if homeopathy mellows me down in those frustrating circumstances.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
This blog contains many resources and has just started a book club which promises to be stimulating.. Dennis is an oncology nurse who himself has experience of cancer. He is a knowledgeable and articulate man whose writing is life affirming .
It strikes me that I haven't ever gotten around to writing up my own blog favorites. There are many, many times I come to the internet with the intention of blogging only to spend all my time reading other people's blogs. Sometimes I comment, and sometimes I write mini novella's on someone else's comment section instead of getting on with my own. ( I hope if you're one of my target bloggers that you don't mind ! Everyone else seems to make short succinct comments, but I can't seem to distill my thoughts into just a few words. I'm working on it is all I can say. ) There are far too many blogs I like to put them all in one post, so I'll break them down into categories and do a few posts. I'll also add comments about some and not others. There's no reason for this. It doesn't indicate favourites. It's just that I would just keep repeating myself if I made the same comments on them all and that would be very boring to read. So for my first selection I am concentrating on blogs that have some link for me to cancer. The blog I refer to above has a blogroll which is far more comprehensive than mine. Mine is idiosyncratic and suited to my own tastes, and is the product of serendipitous happenstance ! Hours of happy surfing has brought them to my attention. There will be many other excellent blogs that I simply have not come upon - yet ..... I will post about other blogs which amuse, entertain, and delight the eye in a later post when time permits. You can see why I spend more time reading than blogging myself! They all have wonderful voices full of insight, wisdom and information. So - In No Particular Order - here goes :-
http://www.iayork.com/MysteryRays This is a really interesting blog !! Sometimes the information's not so relevant to me and goes over my head. It's about immunology and virology and other stuff. As I'm looking to boost my immune system I think it makes interesting reading and I love the spirit in which it's written. I think his title is fantastic and the reason behind it is, in his own words :- "For years mystery rays from outer space has been my explanation for anything that seems inexplicable- which covers much of immunology and virology. I think I originally saw that as Dave Berry's explanation for Etch - a - Sketch . " I think this could be my new explanation for life, the universe, and everything !! Go have a peek. I feel I could use the illustrations for visualisations.
http://daria-livingwithcancer.blogspot.com/ Daria's blog, called 'Living With Cancer' is all about day to day living with cancer. Daria is a warrior with a very cheerful take on the trials and tribulations of this cancer experience. I love her blog and she is incredibly supportive to me as a fellow blogger. Her positive spirit is infectious and her blog is uplifting and inspiring
http://www.becomingwhole.typepad.com/my-webblog Meg Wolff is a macrobiotic nutritionist who has successfully battled cancer. Her blog is informative and full of recipe's and instruction on the macrobiotic lifestyle. This is a generous blog and well worth a visit.
http://cancerisnotfunny.blogspot.com/ Cancer is Hilarious is written by a young fashion designer with a great eye and a great attitude. I love her eye and I like her blog. There is great imagery and her spirit shines through. It's very inspiring. Her blog may be intended for the younger end, but it's universal
http://aftercancernowwhat.blogspot.com/ This blog is full of current news items and up to date information on cancer. I don't know how she manages to stay so current. It's slightly political, but that's OK with me. It also has references to celebrities who have had or are fighting cancer, making it a much more visible problem. I find this blog informative and motivational. It's a great read.
http://cyndisadayinalifewithlife.blogspot.com/ The author of this blog is going through breast reconstruction which is a path that I sadly can't follow. This is written by a kind and intelligent woman who generously recounts her experiences with cancer.
http://jillscancerjourney.blogspot.com/ The blog is titled 'Dancing With Cancer Living With Mets.' and I think that tells you a lot about the spirit of this blog.
http://lesasbreastcancer.blogspot.com/ This blog is titled 'Fighting For a Cure ' This is a very upbeat cancer blog. Lesa is very generous and artistic and makes cards of encouragement for fellow sufferers of cancer. Her blog is a pleasure to visit.
http://korean-cuisine.blogspot.com/ A food blog as well as a cancer blog. The photo's of the food make me drool ! The writer is very generous with her recipes , and although I haven't made any I can dream ! This is a young author whose blog is again a delight to visit and inspiration for the likes of me who doesn't really enjoy cooking but wishes she did.
http://www.assertivepatient.com/ A good blog. Go read it.
http://appendix-cancer.blogspot.com/ Very informative and well written.
http://www.thecancerblog.org/blogs/the-cancer-blog.html A technical blog but could be interesting.
http://kattlovecancerblog.blogspot.com/ This is a blog written by a retired oncologist. Definitely worth having a look at.
http://medicineworld.org/cancer/cancerblog.html A technical blog but could be interesting.
http://blog.dlsrf.org/ This is the Dr. Susan Love Blog and is particularly interested in breast cancer. Informative.
http://doctordavidsblog.blogspot.com/ The musings of a pediatric oncologist. Even if you don't have any interest or need for information on pediatrics this is a must visit blog. It is very earthing. It puts my own experience into perspective and makes me very very grateful for what I have. It's a positive blog. Check out the April 18th 2009 post. It's a guaranteed cheer up call to all adults over the age of 50. ( Perhaps younger, but I don't like to speak for others who are younger than myself, and whose life will be complicated in a different way to myself. )
http://cewilton.blogspot.com/ A Pastor's Cancer Diary. With that title you know it's going to be wise and upbeat.
http://crazysexylife.com/ Kris Carr's website full of information and other bloggers as well as her own great personal blog. If you haven't visited this site before you really must !
Sunday, 17 May 2009
I've had a few thoughts of what to blog about, but have little time today, and would you believe, they have all left my head and it's now empty. But, the crackers !! I've posted a recipe for crackers which I tried out last night and they are a complete success, even if I do say so myself. They are delicious with a little hummus and I will be trying some different pate recipes shortly. Their thickness varies slightly, but I think that is just something that practice will improve. My husband has tried them and I think he found them very moreish. I had to warn him that they are not low calorie, being full of nuts and seeds and their oil. But it's great that they are a success. The tomato ones are good, though I might put more tomato in next time, and the rosemary ones are delicious. I think the turmeric idea is a good one , or perhaps saffron, to give another colour, otherwise they can all look the same. They do have a lovely rustic appeal. I've put them in some pretty glass storage jars and I'm very proud of them.
I'm juicing in greater quantities again. The produce just seems juicier, and I'm using leaves from my garden. The chard is doing really well and acts like spinach or cucumber in that it makes a smoother milder juice when mixed with broccoli, cabbage, etc. and it looks really striking in the beds.
I've been sprouting lots of seeds, and I'm growing wheatgrass again, and I like the juice with an apple. It just tastes like apple juice to me now. Maybe too much apple, or could it be that my taste buds are changing and adapting ? I am a total convert to micro greens. I'm growing sunflower and peashoots outside in seed trays and I'm growing them quite thickly. Aconbury Sprouts seem to sell them like this in trays, so I thought I'd try and grow them myself. I had some disasters with the pea sprouts ( they rotted before I ate them ), so I'm going with the shoots till I get my inclination back ( They stank and there was a gooey residue that got into the drainage pipe for my seed sprouter, so be warned and be vigilant if you're trying them.). I brought a few trays into my gardening group to show everyone, and I'm managing to keep the excitement I feel going.
The next might be too much information, but I'm spilling the beans anyway. I've been increasingly tired lately - and hungry for that matter. I gained a little weight and it all frightened me. So I've upped my game and I've started doing coffee enemas. Now when I first started having colonics ( there were just too many references to their benefits in my researches to ignore, so I just got over myself. ) Janet, my therapist, encouraged me to do these, as did my good friend Rosey ( sorry if I've spelt it wrong ) I tried, but found it time consuming and difficult to schedule in. I made the coffee, then waited hours for it to cool, and then the whole palaver of getting everything organised in the bathroom seemed to take forever. And when people knew what I was doing they'd ask if it gave me more energy, and I had to say that "No, it didn't. " I couldn't feel any difference. And it was all very disappointing to think it made no difference when everyone expected it to. So I stopped . But I've recently started again and it's an entirely different story. I make the coffee on waking, when I make my Essiac tea. It's cool in 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or I can speed that up by putting the cafetiere in cold water. I have everything I need in the spare bedroom opposite the bathroom, including a pillow, and I make sure I bring my ipod ( I listen to the many interesting podcasts I can't resist downloading ) with me. Somehow it all seems painless and smooth and easy. What's more, I do get a burst of energy. Because I've noticed the difference in energy I feel it's worth the effort and I'm persevering with it. I don't have one every day, but who knows, perhaps that will come, after all I balked at first at all the juicing Gerson recommended and yet I made 1 3/4 litres yesterday ! I had a colonic recently and whilst in the past all has been well, this time Janet commented on my sluggish lymph. I know, I know, I know !!!!! Exercise !!!!! But I'm so very tired !! So I've tried to incorporate that again - Yes, I know I've said that before ! Perhaps this time I'll take it more seriously, after all I'm taking it seriously enough to give myself enemas and that's something I never ever considered - for half a century !!! As I say, too much information. But you never know who reads a blog and I know how frightening and appalling the idea of enemas and colonics was to me before all this happened. You lose your bashfulness when you get into some situations. It's a luxury you can't always afford, and it seems so silly looking back. ( If my daughter reads this she'll be mortified. Sorry ! ) But hopefully the enemas and the exercise will get my lymph going again.
I've also started taking Artemix. This is a capsule that contains artesunate, artemether, and artemisinin, all derivatives of the wormwood plant. It is used in the treatment of malaria, and experiments in laboratories show it to have an effect on some cancer cells. It's to do with the fact that cancer cells amass lots of iron ( It's essential for cell division and isn't that what cancer cells are all about. ) Artemisinin comes into contact with iron in the cell and the iron converts the drug into a toxic chemical, releasing an oxygen based free radical. This could destroy the cancer cell. I'm not saying that this is true , but I had a chemosensitivity test done when I finished my chemotherapy to find what alternative therapies might be harmful to my particular cancer cells and artesunate was flagged up as being of possible use to me. I never did anything about it because you can't just pop down to the chemist for it, but I recently read a book which clearly explained why it is effective against cancer and I think it is worth my while trying. The book I read which makes interesting reading if you have or fear breast cancer is called 'Breast Cancer A Cure At Last ' by Fred Harding. Quite a sensational title I think, but it is certainly an interesting book. Wormwood is used in the treatment of parasites, and I don't believe the capsules will do me any harm, so I'm giving them a try. The dose is 1 - 2 capsules and I dowse each night to see what my unconscious and body feel is the right dose. Am I kidding myself ? I don't know, but I don't think I'm doing any harm. I also visualise the capsules as magic bullets, ripping holes in the cancer cells membrane. Fingers crossed. Certainly this stuff has been used in the treatment of malaria without any known adverse effects. I've asked my doctor about how long people take it for malaria, so I don't see it as something I'll take for the rest of my life. My complimentary doctor in Bristol has recommended and supplied it to me, so I am under some supervision though it doesn't sound as if that's necessary. I'm just going to try it and see.
So that's my update so far. Hopefully I'll get my thinking brain back for next time and I'll remember what I really wanted to post about.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
The challenging ones were peas and sunflower seeds. The peas rotted before the little shoots appeared and the sunflower seeds were woody and horrible. However, I wasn't doing it right ! The sunflower seeds need to be left till the leaves emerge from the black seed casing and it is the leaves you eat. Do them !!! They are delicious and have a great texture and mouthfeel. They are firm and crunchy, and have substance. I'm now making sure I have them growing all the time. I love them. The peas don't work for me hydroponically, so I've transferred the tiny shoots to a seed tray of soil to await the little shoots. The sprouted peas with just a tiny shoot didn't taste anything special, so I think pea shoots are the way to go.
The basil seeds outgrew their fishroe type stage and were nice, but I'm not sure I'll grow them too often as they took a long time to develop.
I have had an update from Pat Reeves ( http://www.foodalive.org/ ) on the best grain for growing wheatgrass. I was looking on the internet to buy in bulk and came across a variety of grains. I asked Pat about which might have the most health benefits. I thought that spelt might have benefits as they have not been intensively bred and modified to increase yield in the same way as wheat and are more akin to their wild roots. Pat informed me that spelt is indeed a form of wheatgrass that she herself grows along with barley. So I'm going to order barley and spelt grains to grow into grass for juicing and I'll let you know if there's much difference in taste - well, if I can tell much difference. I haven't sprouted any grains to eat as grains yet. ( I have an irrational apprehension of sprouting things that are new to me ) and I'll let you know of any handy hints and tips I pick up as I experiment.
But try the sunflower seeds. The aduki beans were also nice, as were the chickpeas ( they didn't go slimey !! ), the lentils (they are a pretty pink once sprouted),, the radish (they are a very attractive purple),and the broccoli, the sandwich mix, the alfalfa and the spicy feugreek. There are plenty more to try and I will keep you posted.
If you have any favourites I haven't tried yet please let me know. I'm really enjoying my hydroponic gardening and have lots of little glass jars of seeds in the fridge. They seem to keep well, but I must admit the more I grow the more I eat. Are they addictive ? I am loving them, so maybe I'm finding it easier to hear my body these days. The seeds are packed full of good things for it. And in case you think it's just me and my altered taste buds, my husband really likes them too. It's my turn to make tea at my gardening class this week and I'm even considering bringing some in for everyone. I'm in real danger of becoming evangelical about this and turning into a bit of a nut. Ah well, I'll just see if anythings ready for harvesting on Monday and is still in the trays. Watch this space !
It's easy to question if it's worth all the effort when the rest of the world just goes on as per normal. (I've been watching television with my family recently and there's loads of adverts which seem to be mostly about food. What is that about !?! Cereal, cheese, butter, chocolate, pasta, burgers, etc. It's very irritating when you're relaxing and then get bombarded with forbidden foods in the privacy and assumed safety of your own living room.) It is time consuming keeping body and soul together. Juicing takes the best part of an hour. Then there's tending to my sprouting seeds, exercise, deep breathing and meditation, shopping for healthy food, connecting with friends, gardening and getting some sunshine and fresh air while the sun's out. I don't do enema's and only have colonics every few months because they are too time consuming, but there's foot detoxes when I remember. It's nice to sit for half an hour with my feet in a bucket, and I definitely can't do anything else at the same time, but it still takes time. It's consequently only natural, I think,, to question whether it's worth all the effort. Yesterday I felt I got the confirmation and motivation I needed. Anne, who leads the retreat, did a great job of reminding me of the mind body connection and of its impact on health. And she reminded me to be kind and forgiving and accepting of myself. I think the words she repeated as we were all tapping our chests using E.F.T. techniques were "I love and accept myself ". I wish she had a CD to listen to because my memory is so bad and I couldn't scribble notes and make the most of the moment both at the same time. She did a fantastic healing visualisation where I saw a tree, then I think I turned into the tree, and finally I think I was a waterlily. I'll admit I think I drifted out of consciousness once or twice ( please God, I hope I didn't snore !!) so I can't remember everything clearly, but it was a wonderful relaxing day. Oh, and we did a fantastic pink light meditation. If only I could remember it clearly. Anne reminded me that there is a strong connection between the mind and the body and told me of two books that I might be interested in. One is by Masuro Imoto and is about water crystals and how they may be affected by kind thoughts, words, and music. We did a little experiment and I'm sure I could tell a slight difference in mouth feel of one that had been meditated over and one that hadn't. Anne did the meditating, and is a healer herself. The second book is about the link between emotions and genes and is called 'The Genie in our Genes' by Dawson Church. I looked on Amazon and in a review it was claimed to be a good book to read after The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton. I read this book and it was very interesting reading and resonated with me, so Church's book is now on my wish list at Amazon. ( It's all about persuading myself that my body CAN heal itself after being told that medicine can only do so much. ) Anne also told our group about her own meditative practice which is the Ishayas Ascension. I've looked on the internet at http://www.thebrightpath.com/ and it seems quite interesting. I'll give them a call and see about learning to ascend. If it comes to anything I'll post about it and let you know. We had a nice lunch of bean salad with rice and there was walnut shortbread for dessert. I don't normally eat biscuits and sweet things anymore, but I'm tired of depriving myself so I had the shortbread and It was really nice. Not too sweet., so I suppose the damage was minimal, and it was nice to be normal for a little while. At least I won't be getting cravings for shortbread now as I've satisfied it already.
All in all it was a day I feel I've really benefited from. But unfortunately The Haven is suffering in the current economic recession and is having difficulty with funding and the retreats have been stopped from next week. It's a real pity as I think everyone on it will have gained from the experience. We were all very mellow at the end of the day. I only booked on it on Tuesday as there was just one place left. I'd originally had hopes of booking in for a May day, but I think divine providence was on my side with that one place available before the retreats finished. I'm truly grateful for a days peace and I'm still very mellow and optimistic today. Long may its benefits last.
Incidentally, if you want to have a look at the website of The Breast Cancer Haven it's here :-
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Being diagnosed with cancer was a terrifying experience. And living with cancer is also very frightening. Sometimes I peacefully coexist with it and at other times I twist and wriggle like a fish on a hook trying to get free of it. Sometimes there's space in my body for cancer, and sometimes, when fear fills every spare space, cancer cramps me and is noticeably uncomfortable. There's not really space for the two of us. Yes, I know cancer is me - my own cells - a part of me ; But sometimes it's a glowering menace residing in spaces inside of me where I don't recall inviting it. At the moment it's a Green Gremlin, a Grey Ghost, a Mauve Maverick who's cramping my style and dogging my days. It's my albatross and my millstone which I drag around with me from the moment I wake. I've found various coping strategies, but I can't seem to land on one that soothes me to the point of anaesthesia at the moment. So I'm going back to my beginnings of this journey. perhaps if I refocus I can get the threat down to a manageable level again. ( There is no apparent reason for this crisis of confidence in my ability to 'manage' my cancer. Just that I'm ravenously hungry all the time, I'm gaining weight - and in my research I've read that fat cells = oestrogen which in my case = cancer. I'm still not juicing quite as regularly as I was - which in my mind = acidity = hospitable conditions for cancer. And it's about 3 months since my last scan, and so another one is about due, and scans always bring on a case of the Screaming Ab Dab's)
When I was first diagnosed the whole family were obviously affected by it, and powerless to do anything. In an effort to reassure my daughter I drew up a list of what I was doing that would change my body so that cancer wouldn't exist. My thinking was that if I changed my body's chemistry, then cancer would be unable to thrive. The list not only reassured my daughter, but it reassured me. That list, to the best of my recollection follows. It was longer at the time, but I think that some of the things I changed have become so second nature that I can no longer recall doing things differently, and my memory is not as sound as it once was. I've included some explanations off why I did what I did, but I may be mistaken in some of my thinking, and I can't always recall detail as well as I would like. Please don't take this as a list of what you should do. It is what I have done and it helped me, and rethinking it will help me now. If it doesn't gel with you, let it go. There is no definitive set of instructions for coping with cancer and I'm most definitely not setting this out with that in mind. It's simply a record of what I personally found useful. It's a long list because I wanted to stress to myself how much I had changed from the person I was who grew cancer. I'm no longer that woman, and perhaps cancer won't be so happy with the woman I have become and am growing into. Lets face it, its all about managing cancer and managing uncertainty. I'm sure anyone reading this would be able to come up with their own list. It may take time and you may have forgotten ( fear affects the brain as does chemo !!) but I'd like to think you might find as much heart and comfort and courage from it as I have.
The list has become too long to give a brief description to all the things I've done in one posting. I'll make a start, but post about more in the next few days.
What I did and what I changed :
- No Dairy. I gave up anything that came from a cow. Prior to diagnosis I had read a book by Prof. Jane Plant called "Your Life In Your Hands". In this book a woman who herself developed cancer researched what might make a difference. She looked at world demographics and noticed that women in some cultures did not develop breast cancer to anything like the degree that we in the West do. She found a clear link to the consumption of dairy products. She eliminated dairy from her diet and is still here to tell the tale. ( She is still thriving and has a website at http://www.janeplant.com/ . )She is also quoted on many other cancer sites. The thinking in a nutshell as I understand it is that there are growth hormones in milk. There are also all the drugs and chemicals that we feed the cattle which get passed out through the milk, not to mention nasty things which I don't want to disgust you with. There is also a high level of protein in milk. This makes the body more acidic, and far from being a great source of calcium actually robs the body of calcium. I have read elsewhere, though I can't recall the source, that the calcium in milk is difficult for the body to absorb. As a consequence of this, dairy products - milk, butter, cheese, fromage frais, cream, yogurt, and anything containing these such as pastries, cake, biscuits, bread rolls and soft and sweet breads ( They contain butter and milk or milk powder ), pate, ice cream, most chocolate, some creamy salad dressings, soups, in short most processed foods ( dairy seems to be some sort of cheap filler once you start seeing what it's put into ! ) Dairy was the first thing I gave up, and I have stuck with this consistently. I read another book last summer by T.Colin Campbell called 'The China Study ' which confirms the findings of Jane Plant. Mr. Campbell also looked at global demographics and came to the same conclusions as Jane Plant, but he went further and did laboratory experiments. In fact he oversaw a great many experiments in the lab and found conclusive evidence that animal protein stimulates the growth of cancer cells. ( His website is found at http://www.tcolincampbell.org/ )
- No Tea, Coffee, Soft Drinks. I knew from reading magazines and newspapers that caffeine was linked to an increased risk of getting breast cancer, so gave up tea also. I drank more water and herb teas ; chamomile, peppermint, etc. Soda pop is high in caffeine ( even caffeine free has some caffeine ) and seems to be a cocktail of chemicals, so I steer clear of these also.
- Surgery. I would have the cancer physically removed. As it turned out the cancer had spread to other parts, but the surgery still reduced the load.
- Chemotherapy. I would remove any stray cells and kill whatever cancer was there to be killed. Again, whilst the cancer had spread, the tumours present were markedly reduced in size.
- Continued Medication. I would and continue to take Arimidex daily and Zoladex four weekly to suppress all oestrogen in my body. As my cancer is hungry for oestrogen I will starve it to death !!
- Water Filtration. I filter all my drinking water when I am in the house and drink bottled water when out. Very occasionally I have tea (herbal or green ) when I'm out and I have no control over the quality of such water, but by and large my water is all filtered. I am currently rethinking the water filtration system I am using. I use a Britta Water Filter Jug and I think I can improve on this. Unfortunately the filter I'm considering is quite expensive, and it's very difficult to compare filter systems. I'll keep you posted, though I'm leaning to a water remineraliser which is akin to reverse osmosis filtration but I think a step further. I believe ( but couldn't swear to) that the remineralised water would be more alkaline. The advantage of reverse osmosis or the remineraliser is that it filtes out oestrogens in the water supply ( from women taking the pill I've heard !!).
- Rest and Sleep. The body heals itself when we sleep. This we've all been told since childhood and it still holds true today, except now we have scientific proof and explanation. I did a lot of sleeping in the early days, and continue to rest when I need to now. I don't push myself too hard as I can't cope with the effects of exhaustion. When the body sleeps (in the dark )melatonin is created which is necessary for a strong immune system. I slept for England !! When we nap or meditate through the day the body is still healing. Adrenaline compromises the immune system as I understand it because new Killer cells aren't created whilst there is insulin shooting around the body. I believe it's to do with the fight or flight response - the insulin gives you the wherewithal to run away or stand your ground and fight. All the bodies energy goes into immediate survival. It's only afterwards when the insulin's gone and we rest that the body goes into maintenance and damage control mode. So after the stresses of the diagnosis it's not a bad thing to conserve your energy and rest and let the body get on with healing. I think that I'm enhancing my immune system when I rest. It's also important during chemo as all the rapidly dividing cells in the body are targetted and destroyed. Resting and sleep gives the body chance to recreate healthy cells.
- No Plastics, and particularly no oil in plastic. Plastic is oil soluble. When it dissolves into plastic it leak's a pseudo-oestrogen. As my cancer is oestrogen sensitive - and many, though not all breast cancers are - I eliminate all oestrogens wherever possible. I was shocked when I learned that plastic is oil soluble - in my words it dissolves into fat, be that dairy fat in the form of milk or cheese, vegetable fat in the form of olive oil, etc. , or any kind of fat or oil. Look around any supermarket and you will notice that a great deal of the packaging is plastic. Do you want a salad ? plastic bags and bowls. Do you want milk ? plastic cartons. Coleslaw and hummus ? plastic containers. Water ? Again it's almost all plastic bottles ( have a look at the TED podcast on itunes and I think like me you'll have a strong reaction to the ecological ramifications also !) Everything seems to be wrapped in plastic. Advice is now being given not to store water in plastic bottles in the freezer. Water !!! So perhaps it's not just oil that absorbs the plastic chemicals. I steer well clear - as much as I can in a Plastic World ! Please don't knock yourself out over this though. I still use a plastic bowl in my food processor - I haven't found one with a glass bowl, and couldn't justify the expense of replacing it at the moment even if I did come upon a glass one. My seed sprouters are all plastic. My toothbrush is plastic.. My water filter has a plastic jug. We do live in a plastic world. The best you can do is simply reduce the burden on your body as best you can. There's a website that you can check out that identifies the different kinds of plastic by their code numbers - sometimes found on the bottom of vessels and bottles. It is at www.thegreenguide.com/buying-guide/plastic-containers The plastics that this site suggests avoiding are : Number 3 : pvc which stands for polyvinyl chloride and "contains softeners called pthalates that interfere with hormonal development, and its manufacture and incineration release dioxin, a potent carcinogen and hormone disruptor " Examples are meat wrap, cooking oil bottles, and plumbing pipes. Number 6 : ps which stands for polystyrene which "can leach styrene, a possible human carcinogen, into food " Examples are Styrofoam cups and clear plastic take-out containers. Number 7 : "the only plastic made with Bisphenol A ". It's used in baby bottles ( though it's no longer legal to manufacture or sell these in Canada I believe.), water cooler bottles and the epoxy linings in tin food cans ( You know that white lining in the can !) "Bisphenol A has been linked to a wide variety of problems such as heart disease and obesity."
- No Underarm Antiperspirants. We excrete wastes through our skin and I think the lymph nodes and sweat glands under our arms are compromised when we use chemicals to stop this process. I have no scientific references for this. It just makes sense to me. I've had all the lymph nodes under my arm removed on one side and antiperspirant isn't coming anywhere near me. It's an emotional decision.
- No Underwired Bra's. Firstly, having had a mastectomy, my choices in bra are limited to ones that will accommodate a prosthesis. Much as I would love to have a pretty underwired bra for aesthetic reasons, it's not on the cards for me, so the choice is largely made for me. There is, however, a logical reason or two for avoiding underwired bra's. Firstly there is a belief that the underwiring, in fact the band on ANY bra restricts the flow of lymph and consequently impedes the flow of toxins away from the breast area. Pools of toxins, acidic puddles, and cancer cells being ejected from the body can all get stuck and possibly lead to disease. I haven't found any really compelling evidence for this, but then I haven't really looked. I should think that if you looked at the demographics or the world spread of breast cancer, like the use of dairy, the wearing and non-wearing of a bra might bear a strong relationship to the incidence of breast cancer. However, as I have larger breasts, or a larger breast, and I live in the United Kingdom I really don't choose to go bra-less and have a lopsided droopy look when pert youth is worshipped. Vanity, I know, but you have to have some standards !! The other argument I've come across which relates specifically to underwired bra's is that if the wires are made of metal ( and many are not ) they can pick up on the electromagnetic fields and radio waves that abound in our skies, our homes and buildings, and our lives. I can't see these waves, or energies, but I do know that they exist. My t.v. and computer, and phone, and all my electrical devises pick up something that I cannot see, but which is clearly all around. The computer no longer needs hooking up to a modem, it's what they call wireless. This stuff impacts on our bodies. I haven't looked into it because I would be swamped and overwhelmed, but there is certainly some basis for concern if you already have breast cancer or are concerned about it in having wire over the sensitive area of your body all day long. I wouldn't choose to live near an electricity pylon, or near a phone mast either, though increasingly you have no say in where these things pop up, and electricity is being dug under ground where it's cost effective, so there's no physical evidence. It's a minefield I haven't explored and don't feel up to at present. Even the ground beneath our feet has electromagnetic fields that we are consciously unaware of, though birds seem more sensitive to it, and our ancestors, too, seemed more aware or ley lines, etc. It's not something I can speak knowledgeably about such things. ( I've just received an e news update from Chris Woolams at http://www.canceractive.com/ and there's an article about Eileen O'Connor and the Obama team wanting to meet her. She is very knowledgeable about phone masts and their impact on our health. Go have a look. )
- Green Tea. Some time into my chemotherapy experience I chanced on a book about superfoods called "Superfoods HealthStyle" by Steven Pratt and Kathy Matthews. In it there is a section on green tea, and an interesting little paragraph about it's benefits during chemotherapy. I'll quote it here so that if anyone chances upon this they can make up their own mind on its usefulness to them. I don't take much green tea now, because of its caffeine content, but I drank a cup every morning whilst on chemo after reading this. However, this was my own self-medicating ! There are no guidelines that I could find that give a recommended number of cups to drink. I also don't know if it works the same way with all chemo agents. At the end of the day i just did what felt right to me. I have a friend who dowses and uses a pendulum to ask her body what it needs and what is in its best interests. Given my time over I might now use that as a way to decide the right "dose". However, I drank LOTS of tea before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so it's not a cure-all, and I consequently drink very little green tea now. It's possible that the milk which I always took with my tea bound up the good compounds and made it difficult for my body to absorb the healthy factors. I'll never know. I just used the tea along with visualisation and the knowledge that it could make the chemo more effective whilst I was having chemotherapy.
"in the U.S. the Chemoprevention Branch of the National Cancer Institute has developed a project that will test compounds found in tea to study their cancer prevention abilities in human subjects. Interestingly, tea seems to help prevent cancer in a variety of ways. It's antioxidant ability has perhaps been most widely studied, but it also inhibits bloodflow to cancer cells, thus starving them. Green tea seems to be able to shut off the growth-promoting genes in cancerous cells, thus encouraging the cancer cells to self-destruct. Tea also helps neutralize the cancer-promoting properties of certain environmental toxins. One study showed that the polyphenols in green tea actually boosted the effectiveness of one of the most common cancer drugs - doxorubicin - by causing the cancer cells to retain the drug rather than repel it. " (pg 208 published 2006. )
- No Stress How can you have no stress when you've been diagnosed with stage iv breast cancer ? You can't. But I did take a different view of life and its irritations. Cancer gives a sense of proportion and perspective to things if it does nothing else. The state of the world no longer irritated and worried me when I thought I wouldn't be around to see the outcome. Al Gore brought out his film on climate warming and the imminent destruction of the world as we know it, but I was just an interested observer. I was concerned for what my family might have to go through, but I was distanced from it. It was too big for me to do anything about, and pointless to worry about. I found I had this attitude towards most things. I think cancer has educated me into handling stress and worry better. That doesn't mean I go around in a cloud of sparkly light with a beautific smile on my face all the time. There's always challenges, but I think I have more distance more of the time these days. I can observe more often and not get quite so embroiled in the details. Most of the time. Not by any stretch always. But I do think that once you've faced your own mortality and really looked it in the face there's less to be fearful of.
- No Processed Foods. There''s so many chemicals, fats, sugars, salts, and toxins, and so few nutrients in processed foods that there's much better things you can putt in your body, particularly if you haven't much appetite. However, I really miss the convenience of these foods, and the supermarket is full of them ! And as there's so much advertising of these products in the media I'm constantly reminded of what I'm missing. I do wish there'd be a ban on advertising these foods as there is on advertising cigarettes and alcohol.
- Deep Breathing. I used deep breathing as a way to relax and control my terror, and I used it to help me fall asleep. The bodies nervous system is triggered to relax if you breath deeply. It's an automatic response. When we're tense we breath in a shallow manner and more rapidly; breathing slowly and deeply triggers the relaxation response. We also detox through our lungs, so by emptying our lungs of stale air and refilling with fresh we are getting rid of poisons in our bodies. It's also easier to practise visualisation in this relaxed slowed down state. Picture breathing in bright healing light and breathing out the dark stuff. Deep Breathing also puts the body into an alkaline state which is where we want it to be. Cancer lives in acidity. ( It creates its own little acid pool from its own waste ! Yuck!! Inside my body ! Double Yuck !! )
- No Alcohol.
- No Salt.
- No Sugar.
- No Fat.
- Vitamin C.
- Spiritual Healing.
- Connection - Support Groups
- Gardening - Support and Connection, Vitamin D, Communing with Nature and the Universe, Seasonality and the Circle of Life
- Fun and Laughter
- Funny Movies, CD's, Podcasts, Books, TV and Radio Programmes
- Skin Brushing and DeToxing
- Colonic Irrigation
- Antiparasitics - tea, milk thistle
- Essiac Tea
- The Great Outdoors and The Universal Everything. Spirituality
- Concentrate on the Immune System
- Raw Food
- Ceremony : Tea , Juicing
- Music for the Soul
- Research in books and on the internet - staying up to date and motivated
- No Toothpaste with Fluoride
- skin care products
- Sprouted Seeds
- Fermented Foods
- Oxygen and Breathing
- A Sparkly Watch To Remind Me That The Time Is Now and It's Brilliant !!
- If Not Now When and Life's Worth it - Nothing Tastes as Good as Life. A Change in Outlook.
- Stay Interested. You're Either Learning and Open or Frightened and Closed.
- Growing Food and Living Foods
- Avoid Negative Energy - people, situations, books, media, etc.
- Enjoying the Seasons. It's Spring. Lets fill the house with sweetly scented flowers. How many more do you think you'll see ? Savour the moment and its gifts.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
- Day 1 Sunday
- Essiac tea
- checked water level and seeds in sprouter. (It uses a lot of water !!)
- Feed birds
- Anti-parasitic tea (pukka tea - revitalise ( cinnamon, cardamom and ginger ) and cloves in a tea pot. Using a pretty cup and saucer )
- Porridge - oats, linseeds,pumpkin and sunflower seeds,apricot kernels, pear.
- Vitamin C
- lunch of vegetable burger and salad
- supper of boiled brown basmati rice and vegetables, and a few prawns.
- Vitamin C throughout the day.
- My husband and I went for a walk around the Ripley Castle gardens and dear park. It was a beautiful sunny day, very warm and clear, and the park wasn't busy at all. The Hyacinths smelled wonderful. We walked round the vegetable garden, but there wasn't much to see yet. It was just a really lovely peaceful day.
- Day 2 Monday
- Essiac tea
- check seed sprouter
- Porridge as before
- Juice of carrot, spinach and beetroot ( 1 Ltr )
- lunch of hummus, salad, olive and sweet chilli jam on brown bread. ( Possibly the best sandwich in the world !)
- supper of boiled brown basmati rice and vegetables and salad.
- I spent the day at Harlow Carr, gardening. It was a fantastic day, spent in the polytunnel. I LOVE the polytunnel, and could live in there !! We planted seeds, divided plants and potted on seedlings. I don't know what it is about this propagation, but I really get something out of it. Perhaps it's the nurturing element, or the godlike ability to create life, or just my awe at the life force contained within the plants. Whatever it is, it feeds my soul. My friend Jenny was incredibly generous and brought in some seeds for me that she had spare. I'd expressed a desire to plant a cutting garden - so that I can have flowers for the house all year- and Jenny really came up trumps. She went on a Sarah Raven course last year and has enthused about it and she's infected me with the bug ! I'm devoting Wednesday in my own garden to sowing more seeds ! I have a book on gardening by the moon and Wednesday ( Today as I write this ) is a good day to plant flowers.
- Day 3 Tuesday
- check seed sprouter
- Vitamin C
- 1 Banana
- lunch of a salad sandwich ( lettuce, tomato, and cucumber in brown bread ) and vegetable tempura ( a sinful treat !!! from the Kings Head hotel at Richmond )
- supper of Mexican bean pate from Waitrose and salad.
- I spent the day mooching around the charity shops in Richmond. The car had to go in for a service and I usually just go down to the town to wait for it. (I use the Richmond garage because it's a Subaru and there aren't that many garages to choose from. And Paul is always nice to me there !) It's a pleasant day out. I have tea and sit in a comfy armchair or couch at The Kings Head and drink tea, and sometimes eavesdrop on others conversations, or just read a book or journal. There's no rushing and it's just a nice place to wait for the car. Yesterday I looked around the charity shops first. Fatal !!! I bought 3 books. ....3 !!! ...How did that happen ? One was on baking bread !! Baking bread ?!?! I'm trying to give up bread !!! Oh well, the body's willing but the mind is week it seems and not the other way around. The other two books were great finds. ( I would think that wouldn't I. I just love books !) One was The RHS book on Propagating Plants, a sumptuous book that has all you could need and more on how to create more plants. The second book was by Gay Search and is called The Healing Garden. Gardening for the mind, body and soul. Isn't that a title to mull over ? I had a little read of it over lunch and it seems an interesting book. I just have to find time to read them now !
- Day 4 Wednesday
- Today's only just begun. I've had tea, arimidex, and checked the sprouter, and I've blogged. Now I'm off to juice, make breakfast, and then I'm into the garden to feed my soul and hopefully get a bit of fresh air and sunshine. Will update in a few days time.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Do not beat yourself up over what you are or aren't doing at the moment. There's more going on in your body than you think. I have read 2 books that both suggest that the mind controls the body in ways that we don't yet understand and that the medical profession are slow to take on board. One was by Bernie Siegel. I can't just at this second remember if it was 'Peace Love and Healing ' or 'Love, Medicine and Miracles'.and the other was by Carl Simonton called 'Get Well Again'. Another I read just this summer was written by Bruce H. Lipton called 'The Biology of Belief''. These books all suggest that our brains can override whatever we put in our bodies. So you can eat a healthy diet, but if you are stressed and unhappy you won't necessarily get the benefit. And you can eat rubbish but if you're happy and relaxed the body will still be healthy. We have a place called The Haven Breast Cancer Centre nearby and one of the professionals there told us about a laboratory using rabbits. Some rabbits were noticed to be in better health than the others and investigations were made to see why this should be. All were given exactly the same living conditions. It turned out that the rabbits that were doing so well were cared for by one technician. When asked how she fed the rabbits she replied that she fed them the way everybody feeds rabbits. She picked them up, gave them a stroke and a cuddle, and then put them down and fed them. Needless to say the other technicians didn't realise this cuddling was part of the feeding process and simply put the food down for them. Clearly there was something in the handling of the rabbits and the care expressed that had a beneficial effect on the rabbits over and above just the nutrition contained in the food. My memory has lost some of the detail of this story, but I think you get the message. So what I'd say is don't get too hung up on what you can or can't eat, and should or shouldn't do. It's not the whole picture. These books and one called 'Molecules of Emotion' by Candice Pert (which I haven't myself read.) all suggest that our mental outlook also contributes greatly to our health. So if you're not eating the most healthful diet (because of chemo or any circumstance for that matter) concentrate on its positives - because it's convenient, or it's what you can get down, or you'd feel punished harshly if you didn't have it. We are all aiming to eat better, but I have on more than one occasion overwhelmed myself and slid back many steps only to have to pick myself up and start climbing again. It's much easier to take slow, small steps and not slide back again. I myself get quite down when I'm overwhelmed and know only too well what a dangerous place that can be. Depression is to be avoided and is a difficult place to climb out of.
Bernie Siegels books are very kind and uplifting and encouraging and his meditation Cd is very relaxing and soothing. I also have the books and Cd's from Carl Simonton who runs his own Simonton Centre. They are very encouraging and strongly suggest visualisations to kick your bodies immune system into gear. I have started listening to them again at night before I go to sleep.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
I have used the stacking square trays that are specifically meant for seed sprouting in the past, and have been very successful with them and will probably continue to use them. I've also used jam jars, and again have recently gone back to using these - particularly for soaking seeds overnight prior to putting in the trays, since my friend Rosie told me I should be doing this. (It removes the enzyme inhibitors from the seeds. ) And I learned from my gardening class that these inhibitors are what stop the seeds from germinating immediately. The water in the soil gradually removes these chemicals and this process ensures that the seed has ideal growing conditions before it germinates. It's fascinating learning about seed germination. I learnt that some seeds require a cold spell before they germinate, some a warm and a cold and a warm period again. Some require burning to get them going. Some take years (peonies take 2 years before they germinate ) It's a wonder some plants thrive at all, but they are all just waiting for their own ideal conditions.
I have been amazed by the variety of seeds available for sprouting recently. I was in the garden centre at Harlow Carr recently and came away with lots of Thompson and Morgan seeds specifically meant for sprouting. It is unwise to use the seeds meant to be grown in earth. Those seeds - the vast majority - are often sprayed with chemicals and fungicides to prevent mould and mildew and rotting. Seeds I've recently found in the garden centre include :-
- aduki beans
- broccoli sprouts
- black eyed peas
- green peas
- red cabbage
- snow peas
- salad sprouts mixed
- sandwich mix
That gives me a few to try !! There are many suppliers on the Internet which I will probably be making more use of, but I do like to browse actual seed packets and have something in my hand when I come away. I also collected some parsley seed from my own plants last year, and can see no reason why I couldn't sprout them. Except that they are notoriously difficult to germinate. Folklore has it that it will only germinate for the one who wears the trousers in the household .... I'll let you know.
MY METHOD FOR SPROUTING SEEDS
- Soak the seeds for a few hours or overnight in fresh, clean, filtered water.
- Drain, rinse, and drain again. Leave either in a glass jar covered in muslin / clean kitchen cloth, or transfer to a seed sprouter.
- Rinse regularly, but a minimum of morning and night. The muslin over the jar acts as a sieve to contain the seeds so that you don't wash them away. Alternatively, if using a seed sprouting tray made for the purpose the water will automatically percolate through and you just empty the bottom tray. The water should be clean and fresh and preferably filtered. As the enzyme inhibitors have been soaked away from the seeds you can use this rinse water to water any other plants you are growing.
- Germination rates vary between seed varieties, and even between seeds of the same variety. ( I find beets to be particularly independent little fellows !! ) Some can be eaten within 2 to 3 days, others take 3 - 5 days, or longer. Check on the packet for instructions. I get a kick out of watching them germinate and grow and it's the one kind of gardening that can be done year round.
First crop from the Easygreen Sprouter :-
The seed germinator looks much like an incubator, and that's just what it is for plants, but unlike a heated propagator or incubator, the temperature is on the cool side. It is water in the form of a fine mist which is the most important element. It comes with a timer and mine is now set to come on at various intervals 7 times within each 24 hours.
The unit comes with 5 seed trays and I have scattered the following seeds :-
- basil - slow to take off (3 days and no signs of life yet ) and the seeds clog the drainage holes. They have developed a jellylike substance that surrounds them, and look a bit like fish or frog eggs.
- broccoli - just showing sprouts at 3 days.
- beetroot - no sign of sprouting at 3 days
- broccoli - just showing signs of sprouting at 3 days
- lentils - showed first signs of sprouting at 2 days , but looking better at 3 days
A word about nuts and grains
Nuts should also be soaked to remove enzyme inhibitors. Ideally they should be soaked for 4 to 8 hours. I put mine in a cereal bowl with a saucer over the top and put them in the fridge. Once soaked I rinse them and try to use them fairly soon, but I think that they could be left for a little while to sprout. I have also dehydrated them afterwards. Is that defeating the object ? I don't think so because the enzyme inhibitors are gone and they won't need soaking for quite so long the second time. Once soaked they are lovely and moist and sweet. I think it was either Pat or my friend Rosie who said that nuts are dried and should be thought of in that way. You soak them to make them more easily digestible. I haven't yet tried sprouting grains, but will be soon. Such grains as quinoa and buckwheat can be sprouted, but I believe they only need sprouting till they have a tiny shoot no longer than the grain. I'll let you know when I sprout them. They don't need cooking if they have been sprouted and contain all their enzymes and nutrients. I should think that they are more alkaline than their cooked counterparts, though this is just an educated guess and I've seen nothing that says this. ( so I could be talking through my bottom !!)
Happy Sprouting !!
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
I've had juice and porridge for breakfast and have just made a large salad of avocado, yellow pepper, cucumber, mange tout, cos lettuce, and broccoli florets for lunch along with a chamomile tea. For dinner the plan is to have courgette pasta with pesto sauce, guacamole and salad.
Thursday's plan for dinner is Veggie Nut Crumble and salad.
Fridays plan is for Simple Veggie Burgers and salad, though we will also get in Fish and Chips for our guests. Friday night has been fish and chip night in our family for ages and ages.
The recipes are all coming out of Pat Reeves book " A Living Miracle ". They are very simple and don't require sprouting or dehydrating and sound quick and easy to prepare. I'm saving some others for next week when my seeds have time to sprout. I've also tried one of Pat's recipes for nori rolls using nuts and vegetables. The consistency and mouthfeel was surprisingly similar to rice sushi. I used too much lime juice, but I've learned and they are definitely worth trying again.
I don't want to plan any further ahead at this stage. I'm going to an art workshop on Saturday and Sunday with Carole-, my sister in law and a vegan lunch is provided. We'll just see how we feel when we finish each day. I'll post later with my results.