Twelve Months On

by Polly N on February 28, 2011

Wow. Is it really 12 months since my last diagnosis? Where has the time gone? And what have I done with it? But more importantly how am I? Well for those of you that know me or have met me, I hope that you would say that I look better than ever. And for those of you that haven’t yet met me, hopefully you’ll agree…

One of the questions I get asked on explaining what I’m doing is; “What does your oncologist say about what you’re doing?” My answer is “Who cares?” No disrespect to my oncologist who I am grateful to for being very supportive (as I hear that some doctors ego’s can’t handle the questioning of their “all-knowing authority”) but in all honesty, oncologists and the medical profession are there to SERVE US. That is their job. Why should it matter what they think? Just because they’ve spent 7 years studying textbooks doesn’t make them the authority on me – I am the authority on me. (That probably makes me sound completely pompous but I’m right on this one.) Their job is to advise me as to what they can or can’t do and my job is to decifer what the best option is. And yes there is more than one option. Yes, doctors know a lot of medical jargon that I don’t but one thing they don’t know is how to make me well. Only I know how to do that and I am living, walking, breathing, all singing, all dancing proof that you don’t have to feel like shit LIVING with cancer. I feel AMAZING.

The other thing about doctors treating cancer is that they are basing the treatment they are giving you on what their textbooks say have been “successful” in the past. But let’s just clarify their meaning of successful.

A patient that has been “cured” is someone that has been treated with chemo or radiotherapy and has no sign of recurrence within 5 years. But if that person then get’s re-diagnosed on Year 5, Day 1 and dies – they are apparently still cured. CURED AND DEAD! So the statistics of success are screwed for starters..

And secondly, every single person’s body is different so what works for one, doesn’t always work for another. Hopefully Danny Hillis is right that in the future, cancer treatment will be catered to each individual. See his talk here. (Thanks Ross for sending)

Anyway, that’s my little rant out of the way – I think you know my feelings on that one. Don’t get me wrong, doctors have their place and if I chop my hand off while making Raw Lasagne, please get me to the Emergency room asap. But where I think the medical industry needs work is opening their mind to using “complimentary” treatments such as acupuncture, reflexology, energy healing and so on. Did you know that in China when you get admitted to hospital, you get a choice of what end of the hospital you want to go to as it’s split in two? One end is the Eastern Medicine Unit and the other is the Western Medicine Unit. More often than not, people go to the Eastern unit for their problem, get treated naturally with herbs, acupuncture etc and will have no need to visit the Western unit. Over there they look to treat the problem as naturally as possible and then RESORT to Western medicine if they really need to. This surely makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE? Why stuff your body full of synthetic crap when you don’t need to? That’s where our thinking needs to change drastically.

Okay, back to me, sorry – I thought I was done with the rant but my fingers ran away with me! So in 12 months, I’ve not had one cold – not even a sniffle, one headache, or felt less than peachy. And that is pretty outstanding considering 2009 my health was at an all-time low; I kept coming down with this weird flu-like rash-induced reaction. From August through to December, weirdly the same date each month I would get a searing headache, feel freezing cold, and a weird red rash would appear on the top of my right leg and torso. I would spend 3 days in bed wearing 2 pairs of thermals, a dressing gown, ski socks and a thermal onesie with hood, wrapped up in several duvets and blankets hugging 2 hot water bottles!! Phew – thank god that is over! The doctors didn’t know what it was and still don’t. But now I think it was my body trying to tell me that it needed help. My energy throughout 2009 was pretty low and because of this I felt lethargic, demotivated and unhappy. It’s hard to believe I was in that place but you know what, sometimes we have to go through shit to learn, grow and thrive.

I’ve told my doctor that I’m over having scans for the time being as they themselves can be pretty damaging. So instead we are going to monitor my progress by taking bloods and testing them. NOTE that I told my doctor..she didn’t tell me. If you are in a similar position of ill-health, don’t forget that YOU are in charge-not the other way round. You get to decide when and what you do to your body. You owe it to yourself to research, find out all the options and then decide. Take the reins back on your health.

I haven’t had my bloods taken since before Christmas and then they told me that my thyroid was on the verge of becoming under active. So I have been working hard to improve that by eating certain foods and seeing as I have put on a bit of healthy weight in the last few months I suspect I have succeeded but I will confirm when I decide to get my bloods done.

Also don’t forget, that if you are having conventional treatment, things like naturopathy, acupuncture, reflexology etc can act as complimentary treatments to help lessen any negative side-effects you might be experiencing so don’t rule those out. I work with a brilliant acupuncturist called Lee at the Jade Pathway Centre in Cambridge so I would advise supporting your body in some way. Plus I have had the pleasure of working with my guru, Elwin Robinson who has taught me about the different modalities of healing and how best to support my body with herbs. You can read my post about him here.

I began writing this blog in August and it’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done. Thank you all for reading and coming back to read. My readership has grown to 3000 people a month which is awesome. Thank you for your support. I hope to continue to inspire, motivate and educate.

Peace and green juice.



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Danny Kwang February 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm

With 4 members of my immediate family having been diagnosed with cancer I understand the need for an open & positive frame of mind when dealing with this disease. I praise you in your approach and dogged determination to take control and beat this head on. Yes, you look as amazing as you Say you feel. All the best with the future and positive vibes coming your way!x


ruth bristow February 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Hi Polly

Have just read your update and wanted to thank you for being so open and frank about cancer – it is a dreadful word isn`t it.
My daughter was confirmed as having cancer October last year and finishes treatment on 5/4/11. she is responding well, staying well (only a few high temperature scares), has kept her hair and has maintained the same positive attitude as yourself.

Although she is not using your heal yourself approach she does have faith in many of these complimentary ttreatments which do make her feel better healthwise as well as making her mentally stronger
I, in the meantime have introduced my family to raw food, with some successes and failures, and since doing the raw 24 challenge, i still incorporate more raw food than ever before into our diet, as I have to admit that I do feel better after a raw day.
So Polly I wish you every success and will continue to follow you, becoming more motivated and inspired, learning more every time I visit your site. I wish you the very best of health and hope that you will continue with your blog and your site will continue to grow
I look forward to hearing more news on your forthcoming recipe book.
Take care xxxx


Stephen Frayne April 15, 2011 at 1:00 am

Hi Polly.
I recently stayed over-night in a Cambridge hotel and read about you the Style magazine.
Was inspired by your positive attitude and practical approach to things
Also thought you were gorgeous with a lovely smile. So yes I wanted to find more pictures of you and visited your web site!.
Wish you well and thank you for all the good you are doing for others
best wishes Stephen

gorgous etty


Kirste May 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hi Polly,

You are a true inspiration! I love your website, which was recommended to me by a friend. I have Crohn’s and Ankylosing Spondylitis and doctors and specialists have been trying to persuade me that I want to try all these new amazing drugs they have to keep them both in remission, but a life time of injecting myself every other week (especially as I’m terrified of injections) didn’t appeal and I know in my heart there is another way for me. I am trying alternative approaches to deal with them, it is by no means going to be the easy option, but I know it will be the most rewarding. The specialist think I am being difficult and because I refused all the drug options one specialist offered she told me to come back when I was more open minded! Ha show you that she doesn’t know me at all and just makes me more determined to show her there is another way. :)
Thank you so much for being such a great inspiration and giving lots of people hope, keep up the great work!

Kirste xx


polly May 8, 2011 at 11:05 am


YOU are the inspiration! YOU are the reason I do this work so thank you for re-inforcing everything I believe. Ha! I love that the specialist think that you’re the one not being open-minded when it is in fact them! People like you and I are helping to show people that there is another way, creating the new paradigm of health and healing. By leading through our own personal journey, we help to make the shift.

Blessings, health and happiness to you. xxx


hayley May 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm

So refreshing reading your blog! I have recently being diagnosed with breast cancer and not one doctor treating me has asked me about my eating patterns, lifestyle ect. You are clearly evidence that we do not need to be a slave to Western medicine, but that our way of life can have a huge effect on our “treatment”. I am just booking one of your raw food days so look forwarding to meeting you soon.


Katie August 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Polly I had my first green juice today-pear, apple and spinach, and I was amazed at how nice it was! Plus it felt really great knowing it was really good for my body!
I’m trying to introduce some of your tips and advice into my everyday diet, and have really started to think about what i’m putting in my body.
Thanks for the inspiration, keep up the good work!


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