I’ve been keeping a secret…

by Polly N on December 9, 2012

I have a confession to make. I’ve been keeping a bit of a secret from you because it is only now that I feel ready to share my news. I agonised over whether to tell you earlier but the truth is, I was worried what you might think. Having a blog like this can be a weird thing as readers come to know and follow you so when you have news like I do, you kind of feel you ‘owe’ it to them to fill them in. So here it goes and by the way, it might surprise you and please don’t judge me!

You may have read a few months ago that I had some radiotherapy on my neck as some rather ugly looking tumours had begun to grow and prevent me from eating, swallowing and was causing me breathing problems. You can read more about that here.

So at the beginning of June when I started radiotherapy, my oncologist told me that my most recent scan had shown some cancer in my lungs. At first I hadn’t been too concerned, simply because at the time I was sat in her office starving hungry and exhausted as the tumours were stopping me from swallowing. Everytime I tried to eat something, I ended up spitting it out as I just couldn’t get it down my throat without choking. I hadn’t eaten properly for about a week, needless to say I was starving and being told I had cancer in my lung wasn’t too much of a concern thanks to my delirium.

As you will read here, I had a very rough month of radiotherapy which ended with me being hospitalised for a week and having 3 litres of fluid drained from my chest wall. Something I don’t ever wish to experience again! Once I had completed the radiotherapy and the tumours on my neck had thankfully disappeared, it was time to discuss the cancer that had taken residence in my lungs. (I prefer to call it the cancer in my lungs. I have a resistance to calling it lung cancer.) On a CT scan, the cancer looked like white cobwebs hanging in a big black tunnel. Mum, Dad and I trundle into my oncologists office to get the hard, cold facts. My oncologist tells me that she recommends having a course of chemo which I have a lot of resistance to, especially given that I have spent the last 2 years treating my cancer naturally and annoyingly doing really well until the neck tumour went berserk and started trying to starve me to death. My dad asks what will happen if I don’t have the chemo and the answer that comes feels like what I imagine being punched in the stomach feels like. (I’ve been punched in the face before which ensued into a massive bitch fight outside my Sixth Form College but never the stomach so this was a new experience for me. And by the way, I won the bitch fight! Just like I am going to win this bitch fight with cancer. Cancer is officially my bitch!) My oncologist says “If you don’t have chemo, I’ll be surprised if you make it to Christmas.” F.A.R.K. That stung like a motherf*cker. We left her office, tears stinging my eyes and feeling super pissed off that she had even said that. I know she has to be honest so I know what I’m dealing with and so I can make an informed decision but boy did that suck. I had a big decision to make. To chemo or not to chemo.

For 2 weeks I agonised over what to do and I must admit that I worried what my followers and readers would think if I decided to have chemo. “Am I a hypocrite?”, “Will I be judged?”, “What will people think?” were some of my first thoughts. I thought about doing the Gerson therapy and while I think it’s a brilliant and effective way to heal cancer, I was still very weak from my month long stay in bed during radiotherapy and knew that I physically wasn’t able to sustain such a demanding daily routine. I considered targeted chemo by a doctor in Germany who goes in through the groin and up to the lungs so the chemo doesn’t damage any other parts of the body. But in end I decided to have full blown chemo so I could blast any other cancer that might be lurking elsewhere that I’m currently not aware of.

I know in the past I have been kind of anti conventional treatment but quite honestly, my belief is that overall, an integrative approach, ie holistic and allopathic treatment can run side by side and be incredibly effective. Sometimes, people need a quick fix in the form of radiotherapy or chemo to control the situation and give them an opportunity and more time to then follow an alternative approach. I decided that if I was going to have chemo, that I wanted to maintain my holistic approach at the same time. So I enlisted the help of Dr Kate James who has been a godsend. Kate is a medically trained doctor who takes a holistic approach alongside allopathic medicine so she has prescribed me chinese herbs to strengthen my liver and kidneys as well as potent Reishi mushroom which has proven itself to be extremely effective against cancer. She is incredibly intelligent, informative, compassionate and intuitive which was a big pull for me.

Instead of having 1 large dose every 3 weeks, Kate suggested I have smaller doses every week so it was easier to tolerate. I have just completed my 4th cycle and my tumour marker has dropped from 6000 to 72 so it has been very effective and I’ve been fairly lucky not to have had too many side-effects. Compared to the chemo I had in 2006, (when I didn’t lose any hair), I’ve hardly had any sickness at all but I have struggled to keep my haemoglobin count within the range required to have chemo and so far I have had 3 blood transfusions!

The picture on the right is of my lungs in July and the picture on the left is October after 3 cycles of Carbo Taxol.

I managed to keep most of my hair, until now. I shaved it off this week as it was annoying me. So there you go. I hope you understand and support my decision.  With love, Polly

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Patchouli December 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I would like to think that no one would judge you Polly and certainly hope no-one would not call you a hypocrite, you have to do what you think best, its your body and life not theirs. I know you wouldn’t have taken the decision lightly and anyway you have not said to anyone not to go down the conventional way you have been informing people that there are other options out there.
Sorry to hear that cancer has come back, what a blow to you and your family.
You are amazing with all you have done and your strength is encouraging to others.
Wishing you all the best xxx


Tracy December 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Polly as ever your smile is an inspiration no matter what is going on and you have to live your life, no on else, so I am sure that juicer will be going full speed when you can, so here’s to a very happy healthily juiceful end of 2012 and a great beginning to 2013 :-) sendings much love T x


Rosemarie December 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Dear polly,

You are astounding and super brave…….Your video made me cry. Keep it up you beautiful being♥

Hugs, kisses, love,l ight and laughter,


sarah sweet December 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Hey Polly, Gosh I’ve got so much to say to you and we have so much in common. I also am battling cancer see my blog for more info and was dx from the start with both primary and secondary breast cancer (spread to both lungs) back in feb 2011, I really do understand how you feel, your right in that you have cancer in your lungs NOT lung cancer, my primary was breast cancer which had spread so the stuff on my lungs is being treated the same way the primary was with breast cancer treatments. As for being worried about sharing your latest struggle with us, I think it is important that you tell us everything warts n all approach, this does not deter me from carrying on with the green organic veg juice diet I also go to spiritual healing/reiki once a week, I believe we have to throw everything available to us at this in order to survive and thrive, so I’ve done dense dose chemo, surgery radical mastectomy with lymph removal, followed up by 15 weeks of rads which finished in Jan this year, I will do everything and anything, that includes both conventional and unconventional (incidentally just received some reishi mushroom from china, so it will be interesting to hear how you get on with the mushroom) by the way a small warning my brother bought the mushroom off the internet and tried it himself and found he had quite a lot of constipation something you might bear in mind when doing chemo which I found gave me constipation. I go by the mantra “live for the moment”, all we can do is to keep on keeping on, you do whatever it takes hun, we are all rooting for you. I love your site/books and general approach to this dammed disease. I found this the other day and was truly touched by it, her smile say’s it all http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/baby-cancer-seven-tumours-beats-smiles.html. Sending you lots of love and light sarah xx


sarah hook December 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

You are amazing Polly and always so inspirational! You are a very special person bringing a much needed message to all of us. Feeling tremendous love for you :) Sending you lots now xxxx


Marija December 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

You are such an inspiration! You will fight this cancer,I have no doubt about that.
and you look great with a shaved head :))))))
best of luck!!!!


Tavia December 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Oh Polly,
My heart just broke at your news, then swelled at the thought of your immense courage.
Worrying about what others might think is a luxury you can’t afford – and as I’ve learn’t over and over, we can’t please everyone, indeed, sometimes we are lucky to please anyone!
I think you are amazing, and I believe that you will always make the right decisions for you – and that’ s the only thing that matters..
Huge big rays of love, light and blessings from New Zealand,


Tanya Alekseeva | Better Raw December 9, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Polly, I cried all through the video, in total awe of your strength. It is so refreshing and inspirational to watch you be your humorous self and in such great spirit. No doubt this has been a horrendous experience for you and your family, so keep being this amazing, noone could ever judge you for that! really looking forward to the blog post when you announce your feat over this b*tch! xxx


Mel December 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

You are so lovely, sweet and honest in sharing this with everyone! I personally whole heartedly agree with your choice and could not understand why anyone should judge you for it but I think it’s your holistic life style and health that is helping your body battle the side effects. I think you have to be open minded to new paths, it’s like that joke of a man sitting on the top of his house in the midst of a flood, first a boat comes ot save him he says ‘No it’s okay, god will save me’, then a helicopter comes and he turns it away saying the same thing. When the house goes under and he meets God in heaven he asks ‘why didn’t you save me?’ – God then replies ‘ I sent you a helicopter and a boat!’

Possibly not the best story to tell, but the jist of my comment is to expect the unexpected, maybe it’s not what we thought or the solution/answer we were searching for but it doesnt make it the wrong one.

I think you’re very brave and I send loving thoughts for your healing, Mel.

P.s I had a similar misfortune with a wig in my class, yours got away very lightly in comparrison! :)


Shirley December 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Wow Polly, what a journey you are on. So glad to see your tumour markers coming down and your lungs look miles better now – so encouraging. You look totally gorgeous with your head shaved too – and of course your inner beauty shines through as always.

Love and light
Shirley xx


Debbie December 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm

You are very brave and desereve all the support and kindness. I am thinking positive thoughts and hope you thrive through your journey. Hugs.


Shelley Gaywood December 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Hello Polly,
No one could or should ever judge you. You are fighting the hardest battle with dignity, honesty and passion. You are inspiring and educating others about all possibilities. I admire that every day you challenge the medicalised route and in doing so will have made the cancer journey for many others much kinder. Keep smiling that beautiful smile. We are all sending green healing power XXX


Sue Hyams December 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Oh, Polly, my heart goes out to you, but you have without doubt made the right decision. I wish you well with your treatment (I too had carbo taxol) and hope you have a speedy recovery. And the hair? It grows back!


Sky December 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Bless you Polly – don’t waste a second thinking that any of us might judge you! You are doing the right thing by simply doing whatever YOU feel (know intuitively) is right for YOU! It is a blessing to have that choice, and you are taking the best care of YOU by going with what YOU feel is right at this time.

I wish you well, and thank you for all the inspiration and guidance you have given us so far! Have a well deserved break for the rest of this year. I myself, and I am sure many others, look forward to your return in the New Year full of renewed health, strength and energy.

Lots of love
from Sky X


Jilly December 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Dear Polly, you’re such a beautiful, courageous & truly inspiring woman.
Please don’t spend anymore energy worrying about what others might think.
This is your path & no-one should feel that they have the right of accusing you of being a hypocrite.
Wishing you & your loved ones every happiness over the coming weeks.
Much love & blessings,
jilly xx


Carly December 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Sorry to hear how difficult things have been. Wishing you all the very best Polly. Don’t worry about your readers, or anything but yourself. It sounds like you made the best choice. Take care xxx


Emily December 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Hi Polly,

So sorry to hear all about the tough times you have been through in the past year or so. This is not nice for anyone to experience, it is very kind and thoughtful of you to upload this to your blog for all your followers to read, as this is very personal and can be upsetting in many ways to you and of course many other people. This post has made me believe in people! you are amazing for going through all this and i hope this helps people who may be or have been in the past in a similar position to you.

This is very moving but very influential, All my love and wishes are with you for now and the future, and i really hope you start feeling much much better, you are a lovely lady :’)

Lots of love and wishes Emily xx


Anna December 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Dear Polly,
Thank you so much for sharing this. I wish you all the strength and luck on your way to recovery. I will pray for you.


Lorna December 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Polly you are amazing and I am with you all the way! Love your pink wig, love your bald head and I am really looking forward to seeing you with a pixie crop which shouldn’t be be too far away.
Make sure you have lots of pretty woollen hats as it is cold having no hair in the winter!!!
Thank you for sharing your story x


Kate Burford December 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm

You are amazing Polly! Keep going! You are such an inspiration. Good luck. You look beautiful bald. (There wasn’t any sound for me on your video.) xx


Stuart December 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Dear friend, I have decided to make the following judgment:
Only you can make the choices you have to make and I respect and stand by you and your decision. I judge you to be an inspiration to me and many I am humbled by your conviction and determination. You have chosen to integrate the best and worst so that you may become better and stronger. Remember when you have been well and be well again. Much love and healing is sent to you for sharing your news we are all truly blessed to know you. I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Karen December 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm

What a difficult moment for you, Polly. But you should never feel anything but power making a decision that is yours and yours alone to make. You have to do what’s best for you! Good for you! And I think this new chapter will bring a lot of new ideas for many women going through the same thing. Prayers and happy thoughts to you! (And way to rock the new pink hair! :) …)


Trey Allen December 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

You have to do what’s best for you, Polly! It’s easy to be a purist when you’re basically healthy, but when you’re making life and death decisions, you have to move beyond “religion” and consider all you options. Conventional medicine does work in many situations; why not use it in your overall wellness plan? Stay, smart, stay strong! :-)


Sandra December 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Polly, I am so inspired by your tremendous courage and honesty. I enjoy reading your Polly Path posts on Facebook, and trying your healthy suggestions, and appreciate all you have shared. I support you in making this very difficult decision and continuing your holistic care at the same time, and hope you continue to improve and feel better. I will be cheering for you!


maria December 10, 2012 at 8:17 am

I think nobody knows how it is like to walk in your shoes, and you should follow the path, that feels right for you. I belive integrative care is the future, and this will in time enable cancer to be a chronic disease like diabetes etc.
You are still inspiring !!
Would you care to share, if you have been juicing ever since 2006 or if it has only been since your relapse in 2010 ? Your supplement-regimen, mistletoe and so on?
Have you had “clean” follow-up scans ever since, until the node in 2009?
Have a nice day <3


Jenny December 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I am also interested in what you ate/juiced between both of your diagnosis? I have overcome cancer myself so am interested to know.


Liz December 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I’ve been silently lurking around your parts (!) since earlier this year since my own cancer diagnosis and get such strength and resolve from reading your blog. Like the vast majority (if not all, I’m willing to bet) of your readers, I don’t think about what I think about your decisions, I only think about you and what an absolute sh*tter it is that you have to make them in the first place. Please don’t waste your energies imagining what random strangers the likes of me might feel – we ONLY wish you well and continued victory in your bitch slapfest!


kym December 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

oh polly, you are so brave, and inspiring, and incredible. i send you all the well wishes and joy that i can for this next part of your journey. thank you for sharing your life with us, even in the most trying of times.


Karen December 11, 2012 at 12:55 am

Holly never mind others you come first and it should always be this way, no one knows any journey until they are faced with it!

You are an almighty beautiful soul inside and out..❤ ❤ ❤

You have given SO much to others sweetheart ♡ Take the necessary time not to feel judged but LOVED…X

Much LOVE..Karen xxx


Carly December 11, 2012 at 5:26 am

Hi Polly,
I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, and I always enjoy and appreciate all you do. I think you’re amazing and so kind to share with, and inspire, so many people (me included!). I hope you’re feeling better soon!
And love the pink ‘do! :)
Sending love from Canada,


HNR December 11, 2012 at 6:12 am

thank you for sharing this part of your story with us. you are inspirational because you are making the best, smartest choices you can with the information you have and following the advice of many experts and your intuition. if you were so attached to one strategy that you weren’t open to exploring all options, you wouldn’t be authentic to yourself nor would you be as strong of a model for the rest of us to look up to (not that that should be your main goal). thank you for being amazing you – i and so many others have learned so much from you. keep up the fight. wishing you ALL the best!


Katherine jenkins December 11, 2012 at 9:35 am

My dearest friend Polly, you are the bravest person I know and I will always stand by your decisions! You are a beautiful girl inside and out, hair or no hair! Just look at your gorgeous face!

Every day I know you, you are an inspiration and I’m happy to help in the bitch fight any way I can!

Love you xxx


Louise December 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

Stay brave. Stay strong. X


Marie December 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Polly, you are an inspiration and never feel like you are failing us!! You need to do what is best for you and sometimes the natural way is just not enough and hopefully this chemo and with your healthy lifestyle will bring you back to your old self soon!! love and strength being sent your way. xoxo


Jules Ritter December 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

This posting made us believe in you and your ethos even more. You are a wise, beautiful soul (with a dash of fun) and for those of us who have had the pleasure of meeting you, know that you have an incredible energetic vibration and that you will beat this – this too will pass. Much love, Jules


kate December 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm

No judgement here. Only continued admiration for your incredible fortitude and courage in the face of this round of the bitch fight. Kick that bitch right out of the park. We are all rooting for you every day in every way we can.



Liz Butler December 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m really sorry to hear what you’ve been through Polly. There is no ‘correct’ path for all when it comes to healing from cancer, or any other condition for that matter. The only way that works is to find what feels right to you – you and only you, other’s thoughts shouldn’t come in to it. Best of luck and so glad you have the support of Kate James, she’s brilliant!


Carol December 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Hi Polly, I’ve often wondered if I was faced with your decision what would I do, would probably do exactly the same! with a mixture of conventional and non conventional treatment, you are doing amazing and have inspired me to eat more raw and more healthy. I wish you love and speedy healing, you are very brave and a lovely soul x


Claire December 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Polly it takes courage to say no to traditional treatment and courage to say yes. Either way you are courageous and you have shared so much of your journey that I am personally thankful for. Don’t worry about what your readers think do what’s best for you. None of us can walk in your shoes. There is only one Polly Noble and only you know what’s best for her. Good luck with your treatment and I hope the words of support on here will help you stay strong.


Julie December 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Best wishes to you. I’ve just stumbled on your blog, looking for information about castor oil and then got caught up in the green smoothie section before I saw the cancer section of the blog. Cancer is not the most important or interesting thing about you Polly! Don’t let it take you down! We need you here on this planet — you have an important message to share with the world. Sending you lots of white light & love, Julie


Dee December 13, 2012 at 1:35 am

Oh Polly, my heart aches at the thought of what you are facing because I have a small glimse of how scary it can be but please know that even all the way in Massachusetts, USA I am thinking and praying for you. I lost my mom to cancer of the lung two weeks ago and I don’t mean that to upset you but she had a very different story from you and had many other health complications before diagnosis. I found your sight after being diagnosed with macular degeneration at 29 earlier this year and my husband and I printed out your smoothie sheets and use them daily. When my mom got sick we shared your site with her and even she who is not what you would call a health foodie got on board and started juicing. Even today it appears I may have thyroid cancer and like a trusted friend I had to check into your site for peace and guidance. I think you are brave and smart and so strong and beautiful inside and out. You are an inspiration in every way you fight for health and please know I will keep you in my prayers. Thank you for a that you do. You have been and will continue to be an inspiration to me and are wise for taking advantage of all the resources available. Thanks for your honesty and amazing information. You may have a fight ahead but it is one I know you will win. Best wishes. Xo Dee


Laurie December 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

Hi Polly,

Thank you for sharing your story! I am so blessed by reading about people overcoming cancer. I lost my 45 year old brother last year to cancer, and I applaud you for having the courage to write about how you’re going about getting rid of the flaming thing. I wish so much that the two could come together…traditional and alternative…there is so much wisdom (and common sense) in the latter that is just ignored. I think that the more cancer ass-kickers that share their stories, that the “anecdotal” personal successes will force the medical industry to take notice. Anyway, I wish you the very best. I found your site through a friend, and wow, what a blessing :)


Sandra Hennessey December 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Polly: So glad the treatment is working! Great attitude! I know many people who combine traditional and homeopathic medicine!


Ulrika December 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

Dear Polly, so sorry to hear you’ve had to go through this but please don’t worry about people judging you. The point is hardly to stick with a particular health model no matter what, but to make the most informed and constructive decision. I think it’s good that you now talk about combining a conventional and a holistic approach because I think sometimes people can be mislead into opting out of conventional medicine when that would have been the best choice for them. You do what you have to do and don’t worry about what people might think. People see you as a role model though so I do feel it’s good that you’re open about your choices!


Ross sargent December 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Polly I just want you to know that you are a superhero =)


Andrea Moore December 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Hi Polly

You are a very brave, inspirational person. How wonderful that you are turning something so terrifying and negative into something that is undoubtedly helping many many people. You have chosen to give back, to reach out and connect with others in a very special way. WOW! You are gorgeous inside and out…. Sending you healing, loving energy.



Tamsine December 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

The fact that you are concerned about your readers shows what an incredibly caring, well-rounded and intelligent woman you are. You’re amazing and have shown incredible strength on this journey. Cancer is such a devious f*#ker that no two people are the same and treatments have to be continually adjusted so don’t feel bad that you’ve had to call in the big guns. You have to do what you have to do to survive and like you say, a holistic, integrative approach is what’s needed. I wish you continued strength, audacity and love xxx


Pauline December 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm


You are such an inspiration, what an amazing woman. I am glad you have made your own decisions about your own life and I hope no-one would ever judge you for that. Wishing you all the luck and postivity in the world xx


Sarahjane July 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Dear Polly, you are brilliant and never need to feel guilty or like you should justify yourself to anyone xx There are stars who shine bright in this world so they can light the way for others and you are a star xx


Madeleine Flanagan October 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

Polly…….we were on the same detox retreat in Spain a few years ago. I just read your blog…….I follow a number of raw foodies. I’m only guessing her but I doubt anyone is judging you. Really wish you all the best.


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