Thursday, 11 June 2009

A Homeopathic Experience

I was at the Breast Cancer Haven in Leeds again this week and met with my homeopath,, Caroline. I have seen her once before and this was a follow up appointment. I just want to jot down my experiences with her to date. I first went to see her a few weeks ago. The Haven very generously give you two sessions with the homeopath if you so choose, and it was a wonderful opportunity to try something I might not otherwise have given a go. It is very very expensive to go see a homeopath !! However, I was actually quite impressed with it. Let me give you the full story...

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.

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