One of my dear friends just bought a lovely flat in Homerton and she had a housewarming/birthday party this saturday.
Even Guineapigs need to let their hair down, or in my case sit on a sofa hypnotically nodding to warm phat house beats, imbibing copious amounts of tea whilst watching a small intimate group of people make sense of the world through the shared ritual of joyous, proper raving, albeit in a slightly gentler more fluffy way that in the early nineties.. though everyone there had been there then!
For some reason.. maybe the d*r*u*g*s , or maybe the intimate setting I found myself having a couple of deep uninhibited talks of the kind that I normally avoid like the plague – subject being my health.
But it was really refreshing to be able to talk candidly and with an open heart whilst being out socially, to people who knew me back in the day of the raves, who knew me as a dj, promoter, but also as a person, people encouraging me to share my voice, share my different views and challenging questions with the world, take my place, even if I am normally reticent and taciturn about personal stuff when I am out in public.
It reminded me that when I first got diagnosed in April 2004 at the age of 38, after having felt ill for a few months, with the cancer already in a few of my lymph nodes as well, and I refused the treatment plan of : a masectomy 7 days after the diagnosis, followed by half a year of chemo and then radiotherapy, my first mission was to work with the word Cancer, and the frequency it holds. Because the word cancer strikes fear into people’s hearts and fear makes people do things they wouldn’t normally entertain.
How many of us, if given the rational choice would bomb an entire village to kill 4 or 5 terrorists if that involved making many civilian casualties? And how many of us would make that choice if we also knew the residual effects of the bombs would contaminate the land for future generations? Yet when fear strikes, how many of us know we have that choice?
My gut instinct was to eradicate the fear, take the power away from the word cancer. I refused to engage with anything that would feed that fear – and refused to listen to scaremongering narratives. I knew that I wanted to make all the cells in my body vibrate like they were at a rave. A happy, transformative, transcendental Rave. Cancer feeds on fear. Hospitals, even if most of the staff at them are well meaning also rely on fear. I wanted to make conscious choices through a place of centredness and a place of Love – not the meek mild roll over martyrdom of Christian Love, but a fierce, proactive Love.
I decided that if I could make body cells dance to the same joyeous tune, it would be infectious, like an E vibe at an ‘avin it’ underground rave, and the malfunctioning cells could simply make the choice to get healthy or disintegrate. And this philosophy underpinned all the research and protocols I followed.
Clearly my story is not a testament to a neat miraculous cure, but a multifaceted exploration of the dance of illness/wellness, in all its complexities, yet when we make decisions from a place of Love, we step outside of the paradigm of fear based on self preservation at the expense of all others, and lay the seeds for a future that is more sustainable, and for me, my experience of the Rave scene was instrumental in the formation of my personal philosophy.