When Hazel Scade, a state registered nurse, was diagnosed with advanced invasive breast cancer in April 2000, she began the conventional route of chemotherapy treatments. However, working by that time as a complementary therapist, she could not reconcile herself to the highly toxic substances being administered that would destroy her immune system. She tells her story here of how she stopped the chemotherapy and took a less-invasive alternative route, and is now cancer free. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer there are alternatives. But whatever route you choose, always make sure you are fully informed before you discontinue treatments or medication.
Editors note: Hazel sadly died in November 2008 – 8 years after diagnosis. Although the disease eventually killed her, Hazel decided on an alterntive treatment route that gave her a better quality of life for many years. This article was provided by Hazel in 2006 at which time she was fit and healthy. It is intended as an informative article and decisions made were her personal choices and not intended as medical advice. As Hazel stressed above, always make sure you are fully informed before you dicontinue treatments or medication.
It is difficult to believe that I was diagnosed with advanced invasive breast cancer, with a poor prognosis back in April 2000. Nearly six years on, having followed a different treatment path and being totally cancer free for sometime now, I feel the need to share some of my experience with ‘Healthy Life’ readers.
I would not interfere
With any creed of yours
Nor want to appear
That I have all the cures
There is so much to know
So many things are true
The way my feet must go
May not be best for you
And so I give this spark
Of what is light to me
To guide you through the dark
But not to tell you what to see The spirit of anac
Explaining some of my background, may also help you understand my success: I qualified as a state registered nurse in 1975 and worked in a variety of areas until my local hospital closed in 1998. This helped me decide to leave the N.H.S. and continue working privately as a complementary therapist, on a part-time basis.
Whilst playing my role as a reflexologist, I read a client’s consent form that stated she had a history of breast cancer. This sent a shiver down my spine. I felt the need to see my G.P., ask for a breast examination and some reassurance, even though I felt sure that there was nothing wrong with me.
After experiencing a mammogram I was called through to see the consultant and could sense from the atmosphere that my diagnosis was not going to be good! Without being given a physical examination I was told to lie down on the couch for an ultra scan. The consultant was then going through the procedure of taking a needle biopsy. I looked up to the ceiling and blurted out “It’s cancer isn’t it?”
Although I am unable to remember his exact reply, my comment was confirmed and he added that we would have to wait for biopsy results so that he could be more precise with my diagnosis
After what felt like eternity, the consultant confirmed that the sample taken from my breast showed advanced breast cancer and treatment was required using chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I queried why surgery wasn’t mentioned and he replied that the cancer was far too far advanced for that! I then spoke to the breast-care nurse who would make arrangements for me to be seen in the oncology clinic in three days time. Unfortunately, I was appalled by her manner. She never showed any signs of sympathy or caring.
At the clinic my tumour was measured at 5.5cm x 4.5cm. I was informed that chemotherapy should be started and would last approximately 5 months. Surgery might then be considered. This would involve a total mastectomy and lymph glands removed from both armpits.
My husband Michael and I agreed that I would start chemotherapy. I also asked if nutritional therapy, acupuncture, reflexology and massage were allowed to be practised alongside. The consultant agreed that they would be beneficial.
Chemotherapy treatment started. Although I had taken precautions against vomiting, it started later that night and was still with me 36hrs later.
Oncologists believe that chemotherapy is the most effective way of wiping out a large amount of cancer cells. Highly toxic fluid was administered intravenously. Just one drop would burn the skin if it came into contact with it and, for this reason the nurse had to protect her hands with gloves. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “If such precautions are being taken on the outside, what is this doing to me inside?” Nobody would speak much about the side effects.
It never made sense to me. If receiving chemotherapy would deplete my immune system, how could I fight the cancer that way? Instead, I felt the need to build my immune system by more natural means. The cancer must have developed for a reason. All sorts of thoughts ran through my head. Could my cancer have occurred in order for me to use my personal power responsibly and wisely? We have the ability to fight this dreaded illness and I needed to prove that our bodies are meant to heal themselves.
It came as a ‘Turning Point’ in my life. I looked upon it as a challenge, the start of a ‘new journey.’
With the support of Michael, having done further research, it was decided to put a hold on conventional treatment and try a less-invasive route instead.
I didn’t appear to have much to lose. Having been told that my prognosis was poor, we both originally felt that if I could just survive a year, and for that to be a reasonably comfortable one would be a great achievement.
Looking for the appropriate route to follow was not without its own trials and tribulations, and it was often difficult to cope with the attitude of conventional doctors and consultants and continue my chosen path, although my GP was supportive throughout. But it has certainly proved to be the right course of action for me.
I spent time, and learnt so much, at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre which is the UK’s leading holistic cancer charity. The Bristol Approach works hand-in-hand with medical treatment, providing a unique combination of physical, emotional and spiritual support using complementary therapies and self-help techniques, including practical advice on nutrition. We then researched until we found a specialist doctor closer to home, whose approach we were happy with. I had several stays at his clinic in Kent undertaking various non-invasive treatments over a period of nearly five months, by which time I felt back to my old self.
Words cannot describe the satisfaction felt now, six years later, that I am completely cured.
Having the desire to share my experience with others led me on to writing my story “My Pathway through Cancer” published by Hilltop Books.