This is a post in response to the back lash I have had from a comment I made on a post of Dr David H Gorski, who writes a Science Blog attacking Natural and Alternative Medicine called RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE ( insolent yes, resepctful …not so much as you will see). I was going to write a post on Where Am I being INauthentic and you will see why this post turned out to be really pertinent instead.
I originally found the blog, not because I go trawling the internet looking for Doctors to upset! Quite the contrary, I really enjoy learning information and am very open to information from all different kinds of fields, and not just my alternative health background. As most of you know, I am and have been an Aromatherapist for over 15years now, and I really came into that field because I enjoy helping people and also making things !( by things I really had no idea what I would be making in Aromatherapy I just knew I enjoyed it and mostly it turned out to be skincare).
I have played around in that field having various jobs in Aromatherapy stores, Skincare Companies and Spa’s. Most of which I have enjoyed considerably. I have helped 100’s of people with skin conditions and have found that really satisfying, especially as I know what it is to suffer with Acne. All great and lovely, and all of which inspired a much deeper interest in health, wellness and nutrition. I preferred studying the less superficial ( for want of a better word) aspects of aromatherapy, such as the use of essential oils in therapeutic blends and aromatic medicine. I even sometimes got to use my skill in aromatherapy this way but more privately than in my public career.
The reason for this is has mostly been because I really want to make a contribution and help people AND I am not willing to put people at risk. So for example, I am not going to say something will CURE a DISEASE if I don’t know that it does. I am, and always have been, very careful with the information I have learnt. Bottom line – I love studying and I LOVE making a difference for people.
I liked the things I did, some were even quite satisfying but nothing that really made me feel I was offering something of value. Then June 2009 my WHOLE world changed, My Mum ( no kidding one of the best people I know, how lucky am I!) told me she had Cancer. Devastating. I was living alone purposefully away from friends and the life I had known, to heal from a bad breakup, and had very little money and there was my mum in the UK with cancer. I had to make some very difficult decisions and ended up going back to the UK twice. The first time I lost my job because I turned down the opportunity to go and work in China a company training therapists and spa managers over there, and the second time I had to put a new job oh hold and ended up being there for 6mths until Mum passed away in July 2010. I had no income, no government support, I was a full time carer and it was incredibly tough.
The point was that for the first time it really felt like there was a point to what I had done and what I had studied and learnt. I had never really truly valued anything I had done, I mean after all ,if it’s not saving the world and curing cancer it HAS no value…. right????? Well I was about to go on a journey when I went home in March 2010 that would give me a very different view of that.
The fact of the matter is that we DON”T have a cure to cancer and the reason why is because we are all so different, there is no ONE path that is going to FIX or SOLVE everyone. Science as I discovered, prefers things to be a little neater than that, a little more manageable and controllable and so it puts things into boxes, data, statistics and if it can’t fit into that then they can’t do it. Trouble is a human life is not just a statistic.
So to cut a long story very short I said to Mum, “you listen to the doctors but don’t listen to stats, listen to knowledge and listen to your intuition and your body, do what you believe is right for you and I will stand by you no matter what”. Now for some reason at the time I had been reading a lot and had found many stories of people who healed from cancer without chemo, so my view on chemo was not great. However I didn’t want this to get in the way of Mum’s decision so I said very little basically I said I will do whatever I can do in COMBINATION with whatever you decide. I don’t believe in co-ercing people or manipulating their beliefs as I don’t think it will help in the long run. I believed in Natural Medicine and I told her whatever we can do in conjunction with your treatment we will do. I also had this very fanciful idea that the doctors would work in collaboration with me somehow.
Ok….. so, that didn’t happen ! What did happen is Mum chose Chemo, as surgery was not an option without it and I asked the Doctor what therapies could I do alongside it that wouldn’t interfere or potentially hinder the Chemo and he said – “whatever”. Ok!!!!!! so basically I have carte blanche with Nutrition and Supplements and Aromatherapy and Massage from her Doctor so I’m like “ok this is great let’s go”.
What I didn’t realise is that the stats for her particular kind of cancer for a 5 year survival are not great, so they pretty much just blast or burn ( chemo or radio) and then wait and hope. Apart from a few new trials there is not really many alternatives. So eventually I look into the alternatives and ask about PDT ( Photo Dynamic Therapy) as a Doctor down south is having great results with it, Mums oncologist pretty much dismisses it and says something about, “watch out for off the wall , alternative treatments”. THEN a couple of months later they come back to us and say there is a procedure being done in the SAME hospital as mum has been going to where they use PDT internally inside the lung to help to break up and disperse tumours to reduce blockages, not necessarily a cure, but nonetheless it could really help. Firstly I am furious – how could this so called expert not know about a treatment being done in the same hospital PLUS it is using the same therapy I asked him about 2 mths earlier. Anyway moving on, and focus back onto mum we go through all the appointments only to be told ultimately its too late for her to have it done!
I am doing my best to remove a lot of the emotion from this, because I want to tell a story and make a point here, and I know that the emotion that came across in my comments on Dr Gorski’s blog did not really help me in doing that. My point really is that in the end, the only things that really made a difference was being there for my mum, having faith in her and never giving up on her even when the doctors did, being loving ( of course I had my moments – it was tough and we are all human And she always knew I loved her), the massage, the aromatherapy, the healing power of touch, the juices which got her out of hospital and off anti-biotics, good diet, talking, and basically MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
There was nothing else I could do, I did everything I could in my power with supplements and herbs and Juices and food and essential oils and it was ALWAYS up to her what we did and what we tried. Even the second round of chemo, up to her, her choice, and god knows watching what that did to her was heart-breaking for me and for everyone in my family.
Contrary to the HUGE backlash from a question I asked on Dr Gorski’s blog about IC3, and then some emotive statements I made about my own experiences with my mum, I do not peddle Natural cancer cures and never have, not in my career, not in my personal life, never. What I ‘ peddle ‘ is something far more wide reaching and alternative than that ,and its something which people like Dr Gorski and his crew are really missin,g and are in fact killing with their crushing , stat-preaching, fear-inducing blogs…………………and that is HOPE, FAITH,and LOVE.
They say things like ” faith and love never cured anyone’s cancer”, they say that I am foolish to think that the things I did made much of a difference to my mum, they say my belief in natural therapies is not helping anyone, they say that what I am doing is dangerous and inspires hope where there is none. And they could well be right…………And I stopped reading their comments, jibes and taunts, rude and derogatory remarks yesterday morning because I realised something………...they actually made me realise something………… if we believe something has no value then it has no value, if we take the reality that is being fed to us out of fear as the truth then we just get more of the same………. you can’t fight fear with fear ………you cannot manipulate someone to see your side if you are running on top of a program of hate, despair and lack.
All I know is when no one has the answer, then LOVE is the answer. When my mum had doctors that couldn’t look her in the eye with their stats and their figures and percentages, that were frightened to say what they really knew to be true which is that they DIDN”T KNOW, I could still look her in the eye and tell her I loved her and be proud of what I did for her. I made a difference because I did what I did ANYWAY, I had no answers and I kept on going, no matter what………out of LOVE and contribution and wanting to make a difference, I didn’t make demands ( “don’t do the chemo…” ), I didn’t say “what I will do for you will work and what someone else says is “NUTS” “, I didn’t make her feel bad that she was sick and I had no job. This is something I can be really proud of. This is LOVE.
I am not convinced that Dr Gorski really knows what this is because when you look into the eyes of someone that is dying and saying “I LOVE YOU” and you really mean it – it changes worlds. When you look into the eyes of that same person and say “well statistically your chances with your particular genes and this type of chemo…..blah blah blah” YOU have LOST them. They don’t want to know they are a stat, they don’t want to know the percentage chance of them living or dying , they don’t care about that, they care about any of that stuff, they are scared, they are frightened and they want to be held, they want to be LOVED.
Yes science is wonderful, yes double-blind randomized trials are great, yes statistics can give us great insight into what is happening now. But life is more than that, we are more than that and LOVE may not cure cancer, Dr Gorski, but it sure as anything makes life look a whole lot better while we are here.
I felt so sad yesterday embroiled in this argument with your fans and having my life up for inspection and ridicule by bunch of anonymous skeptics, watching the stats on my blog go up as you all trolled the internet for “info” on me to headline your arguments, and I walked away to go and spend the afternoon with my husband and friends and I looked around and all I saw was LOVE, all around me people that didn’t need me to save the world, that thought the world of me, that were proud of what I did and it was so amazing. I felt like I got lost in a nightmare for a while and I just woke up. I realised that I had been judging myself all these years that what I did wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t save my mum ,so I didn’t help, that all the natural therapies training, all the jobs I had done were as pointless and lacking in value as these people who taunted me had said. And I also realised there was truth in what they said BUT only because I had made it so. If you believe that there is value in what you do, if you see people around you in your life reflecting back that value , which I do every day and am blessed for that, then you have value,. It’s that simple. No one gets to judge your life but you.
So Dr Gorski if you have people around you that love you, if you have people that tell you everyday what a difference you make to their lives, if you are surrounded by people who can smile through their pain long enough to tell you what an Angel you are to them, then good on you and keep on going, and much love and power to you. And if you don’t, well you might want to consider it like I did……. thanks to you.
I know now no matter what I do as long as I can look people in the eye and know that I didn’t coerce, manipulate or try to destroy them to get my own way, as long as I can look and see love and gratitude shining back, then I did a good job. And if I look around and see hopelessness, hate, fear and ingratitude around me as I did yesterday then there is something I need to look at.
I now feel very inspired to blog about what I really love which is making a difference, and to never skirt round the issues like I have, feeling I need more knowledge or that what I have is not of value. So I now have the freedom to really look at what I want to offer people, and you may not like it Dr Gorski but you don’t get a say, the only person’s life you get a say in is your own, maybe its time to have a look at what your really saying ( with ‘Respectful Insolence”). Lisa.
Love to you all xxx