Updated: 6 days ago
Our landlady called to say she was selling our home and we had 2 months to leave, we were hungry for change and didn't want to rush into signing any contracts so I called my oldest brother and asked if we could come and stay with him for a couple of months over the summer. Of course he said yes, they never say no. So we packed up, put our belongings into storage and moved our family of 6 into the top floor of my brothers farmhouse, above his family of 8. Our kids love their cousins, every day was an adventure for them. Though one of mine struggles with change and we were on a roller coaster. Some days were long.
I went to Young Women's Camp (our church holds youth camps from kids 12-18 and I was helping to organise that year's) and had an awesome week. My niece and sister-in-law were there too, we had received a call to say my mum was in hospital in Cyprus, where she had been holidaying but she was fine, just routine monitoring. This didn't surprise me, she often got ill on holidays, it become a running joke in our family. I thought nothing about it, we carried on with our week, the weather was lush and I left on a high. We got home and it was all quiet in the house, I thought it was strange, with 10 children living there?! Jonny took me into a room and said he had something to tell me, my heart raced and the possibilities rushed through my head. Then he said it; "Cass, Your Mum has cancer". I remember time standing still and my eyes rolled up into my head, my tongue went dry and I don't remember much after that. 2 days later, they flew her on a private plane, for lower altitude back to Southend Airport. An ambulance met her there and bought her to Broomfield Hospital. The doctor from Cyprus flew with her to hand over her notes to the doctors here, but she was put in A+E and told until they had done their own tests she would have to go home and wait for an appointment. That's not what we were expecting! We sat in that room, some of my siblings, my mum, her husband and I, they were all so... fine. I couldn't process it.
You can see in the pictures below how swollen her stomach was, her lymphatic system was going haywire and she is 4th out of 8 siblings to get cancer, yet she was calm. Totally calm.
When we were kids, she told us that if she ever gets really sick, she won't take conventional medication, she will use natural medicines from the earth. But when it really happens, you don't really think she'll go through with it. They were talking about foods, homeopathy, essential oils and supplements. I was so mad. I had to leave the room, my brother came out after me and shouted down the house. How could they be so blind?! Just trust the doctors, they treat cancer patients all the time! Months passed and she had multiple tests, every CT to her was making the cancer worse, exposure to more radiation. At this point I think she had started to process what was really happening. Every test meant a 6 week waiting period, it was a long 6 weeks, every time. Here it was; my mum had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She had four tumours. She had gone to Cyprus to celebrate her 60th birthday. 2 weeks before this, my sisters and I had taken her away for a long weekend. We were all chatting in the kitchen and she was chowing down on some celery and kept choking on it, we all made a big joke about it, such a hypochondriac! Little did we know it was because she had a 10.4cm mass pressing on her esophagus. They think she had the cancer for 8-10 years. The Oncologist told her that if she didn't have chemotherapy, her body would shut down within 6 months. But sitting in that hospital bed, on Day 1, I think she knew exactly what to do. We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we have a something called 'The Word of Wisdom', i's like a health code that we try to live by. My mum studied, prayed and mediated about what she should take into her body and knew the word of wisdom was it. More specifically, she was on a very strict Alkaline Diet, with no vinegar's, fats etc, her stomach couldn't break them down, she was completely plant based. The determination and dedication was inspiring to everyone who crossed her path. She didn't look ill, she looked better than ever. I think she was mentally exhausted from the fight but you couldn't see that from the outside looking in. In one meeting with her Oncologist, she took him articles from the Published Medical Papers where there is clinical evidence that cancer cells can not live with pure Frankincense Essential Oil, he had never seen that before. Worrying. She had a very strict essential oil and supplement routine. This along with her food intake is was saved her (and it being God's will), we have no doubt about that.She had another scan and the tumours were shrinking. The doctors fully supported her, within 14 months she was in complete remission and still is to this day. The emotional torment that cancer carries for all involved is almost unbearable and I am grateful for everyone who carried it with us. While it's no longer our turn, we are aware that is it someone's and we share that burden with everyone it touches. There is much controversy around chemotherapy and the cause of cancer. I don't know what the hole truth is but I know this. The more we put ourselves on the back burner, the more stressed we become emotionally and physically and this is seriously detrimental to health. Cancer on my mum's side of the family is very high but I will not live in fear of it, that would be an oxymoron. If God wills me to go through something like that then I will, whatever lifestyle I choose but if I am only contracting it because of my lifestyle then I will do all within my power to choose my self first. Food, prayer, mediation, head space, love, freedom, forgiveness and peace. I've never said it before, start to finish. There it is.