I had decided that after 18 years of being more or less totally straight edge I was going to spend the summer as a stoner. And what a summer for it! Sizzling, hot and stoned!
Ever present sometimes more attention seeking than other times the cancer I have been working with for 9 amazing years is making a valiant last stand by occupying all of my breast. This is extremely annoying. It is also starting to make small things one takes for granted rather hard. Like being at a festival. Like unzipping and crawling into tents, lifting up water butts, trying to wash or change in communal shower areas. Please, don’t pity me – I just need to re-asses, tweak what I am doing, move out of the comfort zone and get my ass in gear. (I mean I managed to walk in the French Alps recently!)
People always told me I was/am so brave for rejecting all conventional treatment for years before a moment of weakness and a desire to please my friends and loved ones opened the chink in my armour. Which is what doubt does, right? Once you let it in, it undermines what you know is right for your body and persuades you otherwise. Yet I didn’t consider it brave to try and continue living by ethics and politics I believed in. It was the only informed choice I could make and remain true to myself. The personal is the political, right? The medical and pharma industries are complicity engaged with global capitalist systems of power. Yet I am amazed that ill health sends people into the jaws of those systems as small ill creatures who need the big experts to fix them, as much as I am when I see environmental activists puffing on Marlborough or other commercial forms of tobacco.
Ahem. Raised eyebrows aside at the complexities and paradoxes of being human, of which club I also belong to, once I entertained the thought that radiotherapy might be something I could engage with from an informed and consensual position and tentatively agreed to explore it as an option – BAM all agency removed and the wheels rolling so fast my voice was submerged under a ten tonne vehicle of cultural medical protocol. ( I still had the fire to lecture the poor radiologists daily on their exposure to the rays and why they had to eat seaweed as workplace protocol.)
And the worst thing was the little lizard voice inside myself whispering. See, this is your punishment for not being able to heal it yet yourself. Who did you think you were that you could heal this yourself? You have forfeited the right to work on it by taking too long and now you have to let the experts and those who know best do the right thing (and poison your body) because it is all that you were worth. You deserve this radiotherapy.
And then the other part of me saying – c’mon it’s just one more test. Convert the fear to LOVE, convert the pain to Love, see the equipment as loving your body not blasting it with dna mutating rays. Get tantric about this.
Anyhows. The radiotherapy certainly contributed to the virulent spread of the cancer cells by damaging healthy DNA and skin and muscle and tissue. What else was it ever going to do? Maybe if I had been listened to when I was saying that the standardised dose was too much for my body I would have been spared the destruction and benefited from the action. Maybe I could have simply stopped the treatment myself? Maybe maybe maybe. Who knows these things? Its done now and I am grateful that I still get to devote my life to working with, understanding and healing this errant blip in my body. And that is the amazing thing – it is in my body but not seemingly in my energy field.
So for this next step – Holland has some interesting clinics using Hemp and THC as medicinal herbs. This is scary for me as it was my poison throughout my late teens and all of my twenties. I was totally addicted. Constant self medication. Twenty spliffs a day easy hustle bustle sell dodge weave obsessive late night panic to find the blim down the sofa. But I like the irony of re-appropriating something I had an unhealthy relationship with as wholesome medicine.
But will I actually do it? Will I get stoned? Will I be able to make a kitchen Still ? Will it agree with me? There is much anecdotal evidence available online and much data on THC in medical journals but most of it is actually inconclusive. What I have learnt is that we are all so unique and different that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another and we all need to be our own guinea-pigs. Power to the ALL the GUINEA-PIGS out there xxx