Rested, Recuperating and Recharged

4 06 2013

Relaxed in Dalyan TurkeyAs the end of our month away draws to a close, we both feel ready to get back to Gladys, we miss her, she is of course our home. Kirt has kept her good company whilst we have been away, there is something of an alternative nature in that lovely boy, it wouldn’t surprise me if he followed in our footsteps one day. Although probably on a far grander scale!

We have decided to move to another apartment for the last couple of days, we have found a place that is a little more bohemian than this and a little more quirky (just our cup of herbal tea)!

For those interested in visiting Dalyan before it becomes too spoiled and overrun with ‘cheap holiday deals’ and all that that brings check out Its simple but there is a really great feel about it and the roof top terrace has absolutely stunning views over the Kings Tombs and the river.Alistair relaxing in Dalyan

Another local business that is also worth more than a mention is Unique Art, run by a lovely unique couple Yeliz and Kenan. They produce and acquire vey high quality artefacts, beautiful crystal stones set in jewellery and the most amazing organic cotton towels to name but a few beautiful things to be found in their treasure trove shop, its like a sweetshop for grown ups!

Alistair has now once again assumed his rightful place with me and reinstated his vegetarian diet, yippee. It felt really strange watching him eat meat on a daily basis and I know it didnt sit well with him but he gave it a good shot (I feared he may turn into a Kofta at 1 point). He managed 4 weeks of the ketogenic diet and we hope that that will have done some damage to the cancer cells. However, he missed the good feeling of copious amounts of fresh vegetables and salads every day and I think his body gave him a good indicator that it was time to get back to normality.


Sue Craig and Rebekah, shedding a wee tear as they spot the bride arriving

The slow release Leutenising Hormone Inhibitor injected into him last month has sapped his energy  dramatically and left him feeling quite tired and somewhat achy in his joints, along with those hot flashes and a small pair of moobs! The worry for us though is that yes, this may be shrinking the size of the tumour but at what cost to the rest of his system, our body works as a whole, not in the mechanistic way that medicine treats it. Still, he is willing to give it another couple of months and then see how things are.

Without a doubt though, one of the main things that we have both learned is that the warm climate is really important, for both of us actually. We have literally felt the sun warming the depths of our bones and radiating its warmth in and around us. Whatever plans we hatch, making sure that we get adequate sunshine throughout the year, especially during the British winter months is our primary concern. And after all, we sold our house and radically changed our lifestyle so we could do just that.DSCN0275


A very proud Dad

It was really an amazing thing to have the whole family together for Hannah’s wedding. It was lovely to watch as each of our children arrived, spend holiday time with them and to see the them all together for their sisters wedding. We also got to spend time relaxing with Alistair’s sister and her family (which we really want to do more of) and his Mum as well as our extended family (Craig and Sue and her lovely parents). I was as proud as any mum would be to see Hannah and Danny make their vows together and what a moment when Sue, Craig and I stood arm in arm, supporting each other as we watched Alistair walk Hannah down the aisle on the beach, not a dry eye between us!

Our ‘family unit’ hasn’t just magically got like this though. It is a testimony to all of us for the hard work we have put in to cultivating this ‘blended family’ relationship. Im sure over the years there have been highs and lows for all of us, adults and children alike but what an incredible family we have  grown into and I for one feel privilaged to be part of it. Thank you family for having me x

Life in the slow lane

14 05 2013

DSCN0015We made it!

So as promised an update from Turkey, and I have to say that as we finally boarded the plane, had it not have been so public, tears of relief would have flooded down my face.

The build up to ‘The Op’ and the 10 days ‘Post Op’ had certainly taken their toll and the sneaky worrisome language of anxiety posed in ‘what if” type questions and thoughts  were doing their best to sabotage my excitement about our well needed rest.

To cap it all, Alistair decided that it was time to have some help to slow the growth of the ‘curve ball’ which had begun to champ on a wee bit too steadily. It was not a decision he made lightly and rest assured we both researched as much as was humanly possible on the best way forward. However, right from the start of this tapestry that life has weaved for us, it wasn’t Alistair’s intention to lose his life being stubborn. It was and is his intention to do everything in his power to take as much responsibility as he can to make as many biochemical, environmental and personal changes possible that slow the curve ball down and extend the quality of his life for as long as possible. And, we both feel that the past 16 months have done exactly that. His immune system is working a treat! So the Friday before we left he had his first Hormone Therapy sub cutaneous injection. His plan is to remain on this course of treatment for a few months to give his body a chance to recover from surgery and kick the curve ball into touch.

His poor tummy though, at the 2 injection sites, rallied against this invasion (more I think against the toxic solvents used in these preparations) and within a few hours 2 red, raging and swollen lumps appeared followed quite quickly by a  rather hot flush! Other than that though so far so good. DSCN0061

The other thing that was conspiring against us was the travel insurance. I tell you, if you want to make money and you don’t have a moral conscience then get into the travel insurance game for people with ‘life limiting conditions’ you will make a killing if you pardon the pun! A couple of companies who professed to specialise in insuring people with cancer wouldn’t touch us with a barge pole (PSA too high, too little time out of surgery, made me feel like I was an idiot even contemplating the idea of travel) but eventually after being stung for £260 smackers we were certified good to go!

The first thing that greeted us when we awoke after our late night arrival was a Tortoise just outside our door! In Shamanic terms the Tortoise reminds us to slow down, what a beautiful message for us both as we started our 33 day unwind! So the little tortoise set the pace and we followed obligingly.

The weather has been warm but mixed, some cloud, some thunder, some rain and a good sprinkling of free unadulterated vitamin D. Who cares, we are away together and  apart from some Skype work for me each day we have nothing to do but relax and recharge. We are staying in a very simple, non pretentious apartment, that by the way if you are looking for a very reasonably priced break away I would thoroughly recommend ( Gardenia Apartments Dalyan

Our time is spent reading (Im afraid I have yet another Biomed exam looming so a few hours study each day is necessary, but what an amazing location to be studying in) and Alistair has taken to walking, quite far I have to say, with the aid of his stick (to make him remember that he is not long out of surgery and his body needs time to convalesce and also because his back is quite sore). I sing to him sometimes as we set off on our walk “Slowly Slowly walks my Grandad leaning hard upon his stick, wait for me my lad says Grandad Im too old I can’t be quick”- it makes us smile anyway. I  have noticed his step is getting more sprightly each day and the stick is becoming a valued pointing mechanism. And can you believe we have seen the most amazing sight, a stalk up high in her nest feeding her young with dad stalk not too far away staving off danger, simply amazing.

Dalyan, Holiday, Alistair

I have news of another change too, Alistair is trying the Ketogenic diet for a couple of months. It is getting some really good research write ups and we figure anything is worth a try! Its very weird though to see him eating meat again! I though dear readers have remained true to my vegetarian conversion and have not joined him on this particular dietary change. Alistair regards it as is own form of chemotherapy and is keeping his Carbohydrate intake down to a mere 20grams a day. The science behind putting his body into Ketogenesis is that our normal body cells can convert energy from fat and protein and can manage quite fine for a period of time with very little glucose. The greedy cancer cells however can only survive on Glucose and are unable to convert fat or protein. So quite literally he is starving the curve ball. We are still very much focused on good quality organic food and certainly no processed foods whatsoever so the only change albeit a big one is the addition  of  meats, more fish, more eggs, cheese (sheeps still, we avoid cows at all costs) and for the time being a drastic reduction in vegetables. Dark green leaves, salad leaves, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli & cauliflower) and mushrooms are all allowed but still need to be accounted for. So for the time being I have lost my juice buddy but in a couple of months he can once again return to the side of the light! DSCN0012

So all in all things are very good. Ooh, sorry, I didn’t mention the elephant in the the room, the catheter; its working out fine, the trusted Colloidal Silver is being taken every day and probably 4 litres of water so things are being kept flushed through and in good working order.

We are of course awaiting the entire family to arrive ready for Hannah’s wedding at the end of the month. Alistair and Hannah are no doubt overjoyed that we have got him here to this all important life event for Hannah and probably the proudest day in Alistair’s life so far, walking his beloved daughter down the aisle (now that sentence did get the tears flowing).

What a difference a few short weeks make and as a someone said to me when I was having a really rotten time several years ago; the sun always comes up, it doesn’t matter whats happening the sun will always be there.



Faith, Hope & Charity

27 04 2013

So for all the ‘Living with Gladys groupies’, I am sorry for the delay between posts. I have had quite a few nudges from far and wide, but to be honest my energy has been taken up getting through each day from the time of the last post to Alistair having his operation on Wednesday just gone. And blimey hells bells what a few days its been!

I had hoped to have been putting a very short post up here saying “He Pees” but unfortunately things didn’t go that easily, you know, the best laid plans and all that.

The operation per se was straight forward and the urethral stent went in and was doing its job. The trauma however to the surrounding tissue and Alistair’s poor overly swollen prostate gland conspired against the stent and prevented all but a tiny drop of pee from escaping leaving Alistair in full blown bladder retention for 25 hours. Normal catheterisation was out of the question due to the stent so he had to be moved to another hospital and wait until the surgeons registrar (who by the way was a fantastic guy) found time in his crazily busy schedule to do a flexible cystoscopy to carefully guide an indwelling silicone catheter through the stent and up into the bladder. It worked on the third attempt and thankfully they avoided a Supra Pubic catheter (hole through the stomach and small pouch to collect pee). My poor man.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Laddie and I were stranded outside (obviously I can’t take the dog in to a hospital and obviously if you knew where the hospital was I couldn’t leave the dog outside)! No, before you start thinking Ive not gone all crazy (well more crazy than usual) taking a dog in a bag or something stupid  it wasn’t like that. For reasons that don’t need to be explained, that day of ALL days, Gladys was not available for living in so Laddie and I had to pack up and ship out so to speak! So poor Alistair, high on morphine, had to wait a few hours with the nurse that chaperoned him (due to said morphine) whilst Laddie and I waited patiently not knowing what was happening in a far from salubrious part of town, quite surreal!

Anyway, I now have a somewhat traumatised Alistair back home, Gladys is once again offering living accommodation and we can begin the healing  process whilst figuring out our next step.

I must admit I needed the waaaaaambulance at a couple of points and Im sure Alistair came close too! I was though as ever supported by my lovely daughters Pippin and Hannah and of course Kirt who always comes up trumps in an emergency. My sister Kate I know was busy sending prayers and love for us both which were much appreciated too. I know that friends far and wide have held us in their thoughts and prayers and I am thankful to everyone that has offered love light and healing energy to both of us. And a special thanks to my friend who lives next to the canal (yes you), who has been through more pain and suffering than I can possibly imagine and yet has been unfaltering in her faith for the path we are walking and love for us both, thank you.

I know I am quite resilient, but, I also know that in reality I am humanly frail without the great strength and energy of the Universe. The Four Sacred Directions, Mother Earth and my Spirit and Animal Guides have without doubt given me strength and courage to cope well enough with lifes rich tapestry and to accept life on lifes terms.

So, Alistair & I will go back to see the consultant on Monday and then the two of us will work out the best way forward for Alistair. He often says “You sometimes have to lose the battle to win the war”. So perhaps we may look at some Hormone therapy in the short term to reduce the cancer in the Prostate whilst ‘upping’ our investment in all things alternative.

The thing is that only Alistair can truly decide what he wants to do and all I can do is support his decision 100% and keep my firm belief that Everything can be healed. There is a brilliant charity called CANCERactive and they publish a free magazine called ICON (Integrative Cancer and Oncology News). If  a curve ball is affecting your life or you are interested in the many many positive alternative treatments available look them up and get reading.

Im not sure if I have mentioned in previous posts but we are due to go away to sunnier climes for a month at the beginning of May. It was booked way back and coincided beautifully with the timing of Alistair’s operation, so a chance for some good old fashioned convalescence.  So please, fingers crossed that we can still go and then you can read my next blog posted from Turkey.

Thank you to all the followers of these posts and thank you for encouraging me to keep writing.


Not short changed at all

26 03 2013

Well, I had a choice this morning; study the 6 Neuroglia of the Central and Peripheral Nervous System, or write my blog…

So anyway, just before our last visit to the Utterly Crap London Hospital (UCLH) I had asked the Universe for an Angel to take care of Alistair at the hospital consultation. As you will no doubt recall from my previous post about that particular visit we actually got probably the worst service and treatment you could ever not wish for, it had no celestial tones to it in any way shape or form. I wondered that day and the few following at the seeming lack of universal intervention but as I write this now I realise I merely showed my own human lack of faith and belief!

As a result of that appalling consultation Alistair, in his usual solution focused fashion, spent the new few days researching various Specialists, procedures and interventions that ‘made sense’ to him and his body and would make a significant difference to his life and the current difficulties he is experiencing. Its surprising the amount of pioneering techniques there are out there that are not made readily available by the No Hope Service.

These hours of personal research coupled with an incredibly kind donation to cover the cost of any necessary surgery lead us last night to see probably one of the coolest, nicest, most personable consultants we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. This guy strolled down the corridor  in his trousers, roll neck pullover and his biker boots and greeted us as if we had just popped in to see a long standing friend for a cup of tea! An angel, no doubt at all in my mind that the Universe had its hand in creating this meeting, no doubt at all.

During that 30 minute consultation we were both almost moved to tears on several occasions; relief, being listened to, having our desire for alternative therapy where possible validated and all in such a laid back non pompous, non medical model rammed down our throat sort of way was quite overwhelming. It turns out that in Germany (and no doubt other non UK countries too) when they study medicine they also study Homeopathy, Acupuncture and other alternative approaches to  medicine too. He totally got why our experience at the Utterly Crap London Hospital (I know I’ve already put it in short form but I like saying it) was so difficult for us, he laughed and said, ” yes of course, it is completely old school, old medicine”.

So, I am pleased to announce that Alistair will be able to pee again after the 24th April 2013. All he and I have to do between now and then is keep him well, infection free, rested and in good emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health so he  will recover with ease.

Looking back, I can see that it was important to get the rough treatment at the UCLH with the monkey not the organ grinder because otherwise we would not have found this amazing alternative procedure that will indeed be life changing for my darling man.

Once again, the Universe has been instrumental in guiding us to the right place. Amazing.

Nurse Specialist My Arse

12 03 2013

Well, a bit of a start to the week for us two!!! Alistair took a bit of a turn for the worst on Sunday morning suffering acute abdominal pain, cause of which is unknown, but as I was mentioning to someone yesterday, when you have a curve ball diagnosis any little twinge plays a little bit of havoc with your mind if you let it. I have nursed him through with all sorts of things all of which at the very least will do no harm and hopefully will at least bring a little relief.

The pain had eased a little by yesterday morning which is good as we had our first appointment with our Homeopathic consultant in London which we have been waiting for since October. And what a refreshingly wonderful NHS experience it was at the London Hospital of Integrative Medicine,not like being at an NHS place at all really. Calm, friendly, green plants everywhere and an excellent consultation with our Homeopathic Doctor who encouraged us, listened really carefully, took a full history, respected our beliefs and prescribed some Mistletoe (purported to have good results) and also some Conium Maculatum (that which killed Socrates no less, good for urinary problems and tumours, although it does also sound like a Harry Potter spell)! The whole experience was very positive and left us feeling totally taken care of.

Ah, the juxtaposition with todays sad and woefully sorry state of affairs at the UCHL! After a 10 week wait for todays urgent referral to see the Urology Consultant, we end up with the fucking monkey not the organ grinder! Please, don’t get me wrong I have no problem seeing a nurse specialist rather than a consultant if , they are proficient at basic nursing skills, have a kind and compassionate bedside manner and actually listen to you before passing judgement. His opening statement was “why are you here” (a full set of notes laid out in front of him), “I have cancer as you know” was Alistair’s reply and then ” I have an acute abdominal pain since sunday, can’t pee, haven’t had a shit since sunday and obviously need to find out whats going on and what to do”. At that point the guy ignored the acute pain part, didn’t even palpate his abdomen  and launched into how he had read Alistair’s notes and therefor knew what a challenge he was going to be and spent 20 minutes justifying his own belief in Radiation, Chemotherapy and Hormone therapy.

The good news, he is suggesting a partial resection of the prosate (fine by Alistair) that will help him to be able to pee again and its OK because he will only have to wait 6 MONTHS for an appointment!!!!!!! Oh and a month waiting list for an ultrasound, bone scan and a flexible cystoscopy to see whats blocking the urethra.

And now the ‘piece de resistance’, “What can you do or prescribe for the acute pain that my husband has been in since sunday’ I asked……”`What Pain” was his reply and then… go to your GP!!!! Do you know, I actually packed an overnight bag for Alistair in case they decided it might be best to keep him in for a few days seeing as he was in so much pain, silly me, I must have been watching too much Call the Midwife!

Suffice to say we felt pretty low on our journey home.

So where does that leave us, still very focused on our alternative care for Alistair’s needs, I am on a mission to get hold of the cannabis oil (feel free to private message me if you can help), we have our homeopath and we have our own GP who actually has become somewhat of an ally for Alistair. I think the message that we need people to hear is that we are all entitled to our own views and opinions and we are still also entitled to be treated civilly and fairly when we are in the NHS system. It has to be OK for people to say no to stuff, it has to be OK for us to deal with this in a way that honours our own beliefs. Its a tough journey sometimes but if I have learnt anything at all today it is that it is so important to really listen to what people are saying, I mean really listen and really hear. It makes such a difference when you are truly heard.

Testing my Mettle!

1 03 2013
Gladys got us to Brighton

Gladys resting at our giant pitch in Brighton after getting us safely from Essex.

Well theres been a bit of a gap since my last ramblings and for good reason, February has been CRAZY!

Our break in France was wonderful (thank you again Very Kind Man) and looking back I can see it was a week of calm before a very stormy few weeks.

Alistair had his test results back and they were all good except for that bloody little prostate that is playing up. Its playing havoc with his sleep at night and isn’t  much better behaved during the daytime  either. We have up’d the anti on the raw food and nutritional front and we also tracked down some herbs that are having amazing effects on killing prostate cancer cells (thank you to an old friend of Alistair’s who passed on this valuable info). We took a ride out to Brixton (we took Jake as our wing man) and procured said herbs and have been boiling up a tea brewing storm in Gladys’ kitchen for the last few weeks in an attempt to reduce that pesky swollen gland!

We have at long last received our urgent appointment to see the Urologist and also (like buses these appointments) an appointment the day before to see a homeopathic consultant at the London Hospital for Integrative Medicine. So 2 appointments in 2 days in mid March to hopefully find some relief for Alistair. Of course our fear is that surgery may be the only option offered but as ever we remain hopeful and keep our minds fully open to all possibilities. Alistair and I have made it our top priority to nurse him through every single day to avoid a bladder or kidney infection and the need for antibiotics, and so far so good, thanks to copious amounts of colloidal silver, organic pressed cranberry and plenty of home made herbal infusions (said herbs and also Jamaican cinnamon leaf). He is very uncomfortable though so with slight angst at being in the mix with medical model minded folk it is a necessity at the moment that cannot be avoided, a man has to pee!

And thats the lovely thing about the next part of CRAZY February, being around such like minded people at the College of Natural Medicine where I am studying. It is an amazing thing to be surrounded by literally hundreds of people that all share the same passion, the same heartfelt beliefs in nature, herbs and foods to heal our selves and our souls. However, this knowledge I now realise comes at a price even higher than the monthly direct debits! I had to sit my end of semester 1 first year exam last weekend so since the beginning of February I have been involved in a fairly heavy revision timetable in order to pass. This meant up at sparrow fart  (5am) everyday for 3 weeks to slog it out with all the various systems of the body for 3 hours before Alistair’s juice/ gruel/tea and supplement routine and before work!  And then 2 weeks into February poor old Dad took a turn for the worst and needed to go into hospital. So that then meant study, Alistair, work, take mum to see dad (my lovely sister Kate and Candace and I managed this with amazing teamwork) and then home to chill with Alistair and zzzzzz(oops nodded of there, so tired)!

So it will be no surprise to hear that once the exam was over and we packed Gladys up and headed for the south coast for a few days away I came down with a cold, the first since some time in 2011! Stress and health eh, what a marvellous  link.

Alistair relaxing with new levis and new cap

Alistair relaxing with new Levis and new cap

I think though, all things being equal, I managed my stress levels pretty well and recently I have begun to really appreciate my ancestry.I thank the Universe and the O’Neale genes for the strength that I have, and I see that strength in my dear old Mum and in Pippin too. As mine and Alistair’s curve ball journey continues to unfold I am finding myself more and more, and I think  the same is probably true for Alistair too.

Blending in to Brighton

Blending in to Brighton

So here we are, we have had a few days break down in Brighton which embraced us and our alternative ideas fabulously, we kind of blended in rather than stuck out like  sore thumbs! We found a brilliant vegetarian cafe in the North Laines called Idyea, give it a try if you are down there its really good food and very eco friendly. Gladys has been amazing, a real home form home (hee hee) and we are ready now to face all that March has to offer, keeping our values and beliefs as intact as we possibly can.

A blockage in the pipe!

17 01 2013

Well, I knew Gladys was an amazing wagon but I didn’t realise the depth of her feeling for us. It seems she came out in sympathy with Alistair last week!

I shall tell all…

We had a romantic sunday planned a week or so ago, the rush of christmas was over, mega socialising had been completed and time off from my studying was still diaried in. A trip first thing to East London to pick up fresh Indian herbs and produce ( I know not particularly romantic but as you all well know by now we love our food and enjoy creating scummy stuff to eat ) and then on to the romantic bit, an afternoon together, cuddled up in bed, cosy and warm and the rest I can leave to your imagination! The only quick thing we had to fit in between those 2 things was a 10 minute water fill for Gladys and a quick emptying of the ‘jobbie tank’.

East London didn’t disappoint and we returned laden with exciting ingredients and mouth watering ideas for our supper that evening.

So, on to that next quick task before the proper romance could begin.

I made a start ahead of Alistair (not that I was so keen on emptying the tank that I couldnt wait to get started, it was more the promise i was on after that galvanised me), connected  the sewerage hose, double checked the connection (leaky connections not recommended with this job) and then pulled the handle to release the contents from the holding tank. Nothing, nada, zilch, and that was funny because the lavvy was full inside (a rising tide of water coming upwards when we flushed). I tried again, still nothing.

“Alistair, Im pulling the handle and nothings happening can you help”!! Im sure in his head he was wondering what sort of girl mistake I had made, but no, when he tried, nothing. Oh poo, no poo!

After several attempts of stirring up the contents of the lavvy inside with various essential plumbing implements (a piece of hose pipe, a stick and an unfolded metal coat hanger) we came to the conclusion the pipe was well and truly blocked. Alistair  then tried from the outside in and  jiggled the  unfolded coat hanger into the opening of the sewerage pipe outside, still nothing. Our neighbour kindly offered assistance but you know some things you don’t want to share and the smell of your own raw sewerage is probably one of those things!

The men (Alistair and said neighbour) put their heads together and came up with a few ideas of what it could be and what could be done whilst in the meantime  I took over with the jiggling and wiggling of the coat hanger plumbing device up the outside sewerage drain pipe.The wiggling did not disappoint .. YIKES.. there it was, a great big giant jobbie blocking the entire pipe (neither of us have claimed ownership). I have to say, this was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have had, it was an assault on most of my senses in one go. In case you are ever in this position the solution is to take a small length of flexible sewerage hose and fill the far end with water and then whack it up and down so the  internal pipe gets a sort of enema, the jobbie  gets dislodged and the tank can be emptied!

Now imagine the scene (go on I dare you). We have a long flex of sewerage hose filled with shit and waste that we have to carry between the 2 of us about 250 feet to the main drain without it spilling from either end. We then have to empty the tank (about 3 trips back and forth) and then we have to clean the cupboard that houses the tank due to some pretty severe overspill during the unblocking process. Those who know us know that we have all but eradicated all chemicals from our cleaning repertoire but I have to say the only thing that could tackle a clearing up job of this size was Jeyes Fluid and household bleach and tons of both!

So, 2 hours later there we both were, filthy dirty, stinking, freezing cold and desperate for one thing and one thing only A HOT SHOWER. The best laid plans eh!

So that day Alistair gave me the highest accolade a man could probably bestow on his woman, he looked at me as we were just finishing our last trip to the drain and he said

” Rebeks, you truly are a proper geezer bird, thank you” !

I feel I earned my brownie badge that day!

And so to Gladys’ sympathy with Alistair… he has a slight blockage in the  pee pipe which is causing some discomfort and obviously needs some attention (some things need medical intervention and we feel this is one of them). We revisited the hand puppet and I have to say this one has redeemed some faith in the profession. He remembered Alistair, knew what was going on, listened to what we wanted, obliged and wrote an urgent referral to the NHS London Hospital of Integrated Medicine, recommended more blood tests and was somewhat impressed that what we were doing using alternative approaches had reduced Alistair’s PSA so significantly. For the first time EVER on our healing journey we both felt taken care of  in a respectful way.

It is likely that the stricture that was discovered last December has narrowed again and will  need to be surgically dealt with. We hope and need that to be done sooner rather than later… the discomfort is imaginable isn’t it? So lets really hope that the NHS do better than their ‘we aim to get your surgery done within 18 weeks’!

In the meantime, ginger and cinnamon tea to keep the kidneys healthy, organic unsweetened cranberry juice and some cranberry supplements to try to stave off an infection.

And probably very timely for Alistair, we have a wonderful weeks holiday to look forward to courtesy of a very kind man known to Alistair, Thank you Kind Man, your generosity is appreciated and so very welcomed at this time.

Happy New Year

31 12 2012

Happy New Year


I thought New Years Eve would be timely for another post.

What a year its been too, and here we both are, fitter and healthier than this time last year and both looking forward to the unfolding of 2013’s rich tapestry. I’m sure the tapestry will be exquisite too, sewn with different threads but each one weaving its own meaning and bringing its own hue to our already colourful life.

As you know I am studying to become a Naturopathic Nutritionist and I am looking forward to what this years learning has to bring to our life. In only a few short months since I enrolled on the course my knowledge has deepened and I continue to be in awe at what mother nature and mother earth have provided us with to heal most ills. It jars really against the narrow  minded arrogance of much of our own medical model and it saddens me that so little value is given to natural remedies. Still, as I often tell my clients; – “for things to change first must I”, so Alistair & I will happily continue on our path of healing, growth and development and warmly invite any followers or interested souls to join us along the way.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Alistair has just had his birthday (B-earth-day and Bornday as 2 lovely friends of ours like to call it). He said it was his 56th Birthday and his 1st healing birthday, and what a lot of work he has put into that year of healing. I know I pull his leg about him being a tamogotchi and me keeping him alive, but in truth, Alistair is the one who has had to learn to continue to live each day healing the cancer cells that developed in his Prostate. He is the one who has had to face his fears, trust his instincts and be a brave enough man to walk his own pathway with his head held high. He is my hero, I love him and I am honoured to be his wife and to share this journey with him.

People often say they wish things like cancer didn’t exist and I can understand that, nobody in their right minds would chose to have  it. However, I do know that without this diagnosis, for us two, even with an interest in health and wellbeing there is no way on this earth that we would have taken so much responsibility for our health, made as many changes for our own good or made the life changes that we dreamt of but never would have materialised ( I know, the boat was the dream but I think now that Gladys supersedes it).

From time to time we hear people say that they would love to do this or that, that they can’t wait for things to change so that they can create the change in their life that they truly desire. And now, I say to those people, do it, make it happen, seize the day and make it yours. Don’t wait for the universe to give you a dirty great big kick up the arse like we got, be brave, do the unthinkable, seek the possibility of creating what you really want in your life and listen out for your inner fears that come in the form of excuses. Fear is OK because you know whats at the other side of that…Courage.

Have a happy and courageous new year every one, and in the words of another of my great heroes;- “Be the change you want to see”

Reality hits home!

7 12 2012

Its been an interesting few weeks, a bit of a miniature emotional roller coaster for me really.

The first thing I realised is that both Alistair and I were feeling hugely unsettled by our brief foray into the medical world. It had sort of got under our skin and left us with some feelings that were difficult to put our fingers on but that we wished were not there!

It felt much better to move back into the safety and security of our known world where we had a hold of the reins and could resume full responsibility for our choices, autonomy suits us much better!

Then I felt homesick! Not for the bricks and mortar, but the home environment. I missed my mornings with Pippin, I missed Kirt wandering up from his ‘shed room’ for a cup of tea, I missed the essence of our family life, and I missed it a lot.

I felt a little bit sorry for myself in all truth but also really proud of myself  for coping with what has been in all aspects a mammoth year.

Not just the curve ball, but everything that has changed because of it. Within 6 months my whole family life had been deconstructed and we all had to go our separate ways, that for me was tough and  for a while I ached for it to be as it was and felt really sad that it wasn’t.

And as ever, with synchronicity at its best, Pippin had been missing home too!

So, we recreated treat night in Gladys ( at 181, pre curve ball, every friday was treat night for whoever was home and as the name suggests they would be treated to ‘takeaway” with us). Of course, in Gladys it was home-made treat night but the essence was the same and it did the trick.

So here we are, heading in to winter and still happy to be in Gladys (looking back over the last year, had we not have sold we would have by now been repossessed, alternative cancer treatment is not cheap and has to take priority over mortgage payments).

Winter, aah… there is another story and another learning curve!!

We ran out of water last Sunday on the day of Jake’s first birthday party, when I really wanted to go out looking presentable! No big deal, only takes Alistair 15 minutes to refill, no problem. Or so I thought…how wrong, how green behind the ears we were!!!! All the taps were frozen and not a drop was running! UH OH……

I think I have mentioned on a previous post that living in Glad is really eco-friendly, well its true… I washed my hair and me with 2 jugs of water!!!!! Alistair did the same and we were good to go!

So, we made a deal that we wouldn’t let the water run down again and we would top it up every other day and also make sure that we kept the bottled water topped up for emergencies ( no flush no nothing if there’s no water in the tank). Great plan, except 50% of Jake’s birthday guests went down with his tummy bug and that included Alistair.

So once again, the water ran out and I had forgotten to top up the empty bottles (it’s not yet in my muscle memory but I do so hope it will be soon)! And there we were again, the taps were trickling but the main hose pipe was frozen, oops!!!

We had a quick shuffle around of the under floor storage cupboards and now have our hosepipes tucked up in the ‘not so cold’ with the added benefit of some recycled Abel & Cole insulating material! We  now have 2 spare gas bottles (LPG has just run out and won’t be refilled until next week) and inside we have plenty of sheepskin rugs and hot water bottles for us to cosy up in so things are positively rosy now.

So as you can see, we are constantly learning, adapting and making changes to accommodate ourselves in this alternative environment. And still we love it, it’s a great way for us to live. I was out in Cambridge with Candace the other day and it just started to sleet. She commented that she was absolutely cold to the bone and could we go and get a hot drink to warm ourselves up. She looked at me a bit funny when I said I didn’t feel cold and then said “Mum, I think you must have become really hardened to the cold living in Gladys and outside”.

I will let you know by the end of the winter if that is true!

Another day Another Doctor!!!!!

13 11 2012

Well, its been a funny past few days and not in a hilarious way!

As you know we had a recent visit to the hand puppet who, at Alistairs request, referred us to Macmillan, from Alistairs point of view to make contact and maybe get some external  support and  from the hand puppets point of view to get him assessed and out of her hair!

Well, things certainly got moving then, although not from Macmillan but from the local St Francis Hospice triage team ( I know it seems like death in a sentence doesn’t it)! I have to say though, what a lovely team of nursing professionals.

We had an hour long meeting with their consultant and their clinical nurse specialist (who turned out to be someone I knew extremely well from a long time ago- synchronicity at its best)! What a pleasure in a most surreal way. They entertained our non regard of all things allopathic very well and the consultant is even trying to get our hand puppet to refer us to the homeopathic hospital in London- good luck with that Vinny- she referred us to the job centre last week!

You can breath a sigh of relief everyone, the hospice don’t want to take Alistair, not even as an out patient. And sadly for us and others like us who tread the wonderful but little understood non mainstream alternative healing path there was no likeminded support group or specialist practitioner that Alistair could natter to. They certainly did make available their family support group which offers as many appointments as you would like with a counsellor, psychologist and or social worker. I grimaced inwardly whilst still retaining the grateful smile at the thought of  Alistair, the Master therapist in the hands of another, I shall go no further, those that know him well will already be bent double with the implausibility of that scenario!

But, how lovely that this resource is there for those who would benefit from it. And the hospice had a professional, caring, supportive feel to it. In fact it was the same place where my lovely late Father in Law from my first marriage died and where Pippin, as a baby, was Christened by his bed side so the visit woke up some old and strangely fond memories for me. In this nearly whole year of the ‘curve ball’ experience, the St Francis Hospice team have been a model of excellence and had we had that support and attention from the start Alistairs journey would have been made a lot easier Im sure.

And you know, I am at pains to make clear that we have  great respect for the work that this charity does and neither of us disrespect what they do. We may wish that they also were able to offer more extensive choice, but, alas they are bound by the medical model . Its quite simply that what they do does not match with the colour of the thread that we are using to weave our tapestry. Although perhaps a couple of shades (not grey) around the periphery may fit (we are on a waiting list for Reiki and Massage for free at the hospice)

We did wonder, after our meeting, what  nurse specialist Chris and consultant Vinny (how lovely that they use first names) made of us two. We wondered if they thought we were a couple of idiots, curtailing Alistairs life span by not taking the offerings that medicine has to offer (a friend of mine is a very lovely Professor of stem cell research and such like, who certainly does think we are ‘fucking idiots’). We wondered if they were, in the quiet of their own minds, righting us off as a couple of loons desperate to find our own holy grail and yet likely to fail. Who knows? Neither of them outwardly showed that and I did feel for the first time in nearly a year that someone was trying to understand us and help us.

We popped into the hand puppet today to pick up the full blood test results, and lo and behold, she is willing to make a special referral to the London Hospital of Homeopathy for Alistair! She didn’t though throw somersaults or ask what on earth we had been doing to help the PSA reading to reduce by a third, but perhaps we expect too much.

These visits have come about because apart from me and one or two others there isn’t really anybody for Alistair to really talk to about the path that he is walking, nobody on a professional level to check in with and I think he was feeling a little alone with it all. Im not sure how the events of the past few days have helped except to reaffirm that if y0u go against the medical model you are really on your own. I think we both feel that we need to start our own support group for people healing from cancer using alternative approaches, so that their voices can be heard, their ideas really be listened to and their results really heralded as confirmation that they are going in the right direction with their healing . Perhaps thats the next step…

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