And so the irksome tooth was removed. Not without a bit of fussing around though. When the expensive Mercury-free dentist failed to get back to me I took it as a sign that it wasn’t the correct path and that maybe I could have the tooth out in hospital under more sterile – and hopefully blissfully ‘out of it’ – conditions. A quick chat with the dental practice manager confirmed that wasn’t even a sensible option; I would have to be referred to a dentistry triage centre who would then assess whether I should be seen in hospital where the current waiting list is about 15 weeks. Who can really wait 15 weeks to have a painful and infected tooth taken out? Granted, hospital is usually for wisdom tooth extraction and much more serious cases; I was only sporting a nasty infection and a big case of wimpyness. I have to say, in my defence, I’m not usually a wimp in these things, but my last extraction (many, many years ago) was horrendous. It ended up with the dentist practically kneeling on my chest to get the tooth out, obviously wishing he had never started the process. This current dilemma was obviously a case of me having to prove to myself that I can be brave, so the decision having basically been made for me all I had to do was get hold of the sachet of Amoxycillin Joe wanted me to have before the actual extraction. This is where life as a post-cancer patient gets so tricky. As I am still within the first year of the transplant I have to refer to the hospital for most things, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds. The dentist, although told by Joe that I needed the antibiotics, couldn’t prescribe them himself because it goes against certain guidelines. The decision is made by an organisation whose initials spell the word NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), who of course are anything but – they are especially stupid at putting guidelines and budgets into place that nobody understands or agrees with. I only discovered this a couple of days before the extraction so in order for it to go ahead – and by this stage I wanted that tooth OUT – I had to make a whole load of frenzied calls to Joe and his lovely team (whose jobs are dealing with very sick people, not ex-patients needing a tooth taken out) in order to get said sachet of 3mg of antibiotic powder. You couldn’t make it up. Anyway, I eventually got the powder, had the tooth out and it all went well, no trauma to report. I imagine you must be nearly as pleased as me that this particular drama is now over and we can get on to more interesting things.
The more interesting things, or rather ‘thing’ is of course linked to the tooth saga, as we know that nothing exists in isolation. I realised that just having the tooth out probably wasn’t going to solve the issue of the infection and thought that my next port of call should be someone to help detoxify my system. A couple of weeks ago I heard of very highly regarded herbalist/ayurvedic doctor, who not only doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for a consultation, but is just around the corner from the office. Result! I called for an appointment, which was amusing in itself. He is the kind of guy who has reached the end of your sentence before you have even finished thinking it. Extremely sharp and not one for idle chat. Which is great as I have found that people who are charging by the hour will frequently have quite a chat then charge you for it. I found out before my visit that he is eccentric in the extreme, so was very interested to meet him. I have met an awful lot of alternative therapists in my medium-length life, and this guy blew me away. His cluttered consulting room did not in the least reflect his mind, which is razor sharp and functions at speeds unknown to other mere mortals. I went in exactly on time and departed exactly an hour later – and he didn’t stop talking, reporting back, or asking me questions once in that time. He worked SO hard for that consultation fee. He started out with muscle testing, which although I have used with Judy I have never actually had used by a professional as a means of diagnosis. Within less than about two minutes he asked me if low self-esteem was an issue; well hello, I have stuff in Virgo, doesn’t everyone with planets in Virgo have self-esteem issues? I didn’t actually say that of course because I was fascinated in the direction his diagnosis was heading and I didn’t want us to get side-tracked. He is also an iridiologist so was soon gazing into my eyes with a magnifying glass then showing me in a book just what my eyes were like and muttering about ‘wisps’ and how that was something amongst the other myriad of problems that needed to be sorted out. Wisps = depleted immune system. No surprises there then. We moved rapidly through questions relating to ayurvedic doshas, did some tongue and pulse observations then belted upstairs to the computer for more technological diagnoses. This involved holding sensors while concentrating on specific conditions I need resolving, which resulted in his printer churning out some pages of pretty heavy stuff.
Now – I thought I went to get a bit of detox for all the poisons and toxins floating around my system due to Mercury fillings, chemo and the abscess, but this amazing man turned everything on its head, and in doing so, quite cheered me up. He cheered me up because he changed the way I am dealing with the whole post-cancer experience. What he discovered is that my GI tract is so shot to pieces that I am not actually metabolising any of the (mostly) extremely pure and therefore expensive food and supplements that I am putting into it. They are going in one end and straight out the other, nearly intact, as I have virtually no hydrochloric acid in my stomach. I am losing calcium from my body at an alarming rate, my spleen energy is non-existent and my liver is extremely burdened by toxins. My lymphatic and immune systems are also failing to function. I am off the scale regarding mental stress and my mental acuities are diminishing. Pretty damning, huh? And I thought I was doing pretty well! With a shy smile on his face, he said that we need to sort out all this before we can even start on ‘the rest of it’. He also said that he didn’t know how I even manage to function at the moment as my body is so depleted. Which goes back to my just ‘keep on keeping on’ attitude, I suppose. Eventually I have to stop – like this weekend for instance – but most of the time I just keep going. On thin air apparently!
I absolutely loved my visit with him; I was fascinated, so for once I just shut up and listened – no mean feat as I am usually full of questions. He kept up a running commentary of what he was doing and discovering through the battery of tests and questions, and answered anything I did ask with speed and intelligence. It was so nice to feel that I was being really thoroughly checked out, and in a way I was pleased that he had discovered underlying health concerns that would eventually have contributed to my demise. Most of all, and I think this is probably a side-effect personal to me, I feel I now have a better perspective and sense of direction in regard to my health and my future – something that was missing in this strange post-treatment landscape. And isn’t that what a lot of this is about? How many times do we come out of the consulting room feeling that we haven’t been listened to or that we have been talked down to, or over? Or that we don’t have a choice in our treatment plan? This felt wonderful and just going through the consultation did me a whole load of good. Something else I loved is that this guy didn’t sell me a whole load of expensive medicines from his own stash. Ohhhh no. He passed me a pad and pen and told me to write down all the things I would need to buy, as his writing is so bad. How wonderful is that? He then listed about 10 items, complete with dosage and the phone numbers to source them, without looking a thing up. Kind of Asbergery quality I think, but absolute magic. Despite the eccentricity and weirdness of his manner, I felt brilliant, and walked out of there with a huge smile on my face. Stephen is booked to see him next week :-). I had quite a laugh when I called up the herbal suppliers to get my medicines. The visit may have only been £39 but I spent over £100 on medicines which include Canadian Forest Essences, Oat Seed drops, Ashwagandha root and many more. The suppliers apologised for the growing totals but knew immediately who I had been to see. Without exception they said that patients reported wonderful results even if the method of getting them was somewhat unusual.
What is so interesting about this (but not very surprising I suppose) is that the hospital tests from a couple of weeks ago showed that my physical body appears to be in good condition – and they certainly didn’t pick up that calcium is leeching from my body at a dangerously high rate. My fitness test result was extremely good, my blood levels are good, my liver function is normal and I’m not throwing up so my GI tract is obviously OK. Except on a deeper level, it clearly isn’t, and it makes me think that this is the reason people get sick again so quickly after their cancer treatment. I had a succession of Big Thoughts after my visit and it was these that really cheered me up. It felt a bit like a whole load of pieces falling into place. Mantle Cell Lymphoma is caused by chromosomes 11 and 18 swapping places, permanently. It is the permanence of this which makes it incurable ONCE IT HAS MANIFESTED, and this was a sneaking and persistent worry to me. But could this relapse happen because the body is so depleted it can’t fight back? We were warned about the toxic effects of the chemo and the debilitation caused to the GI tract and the fact that I will never really regain a fully functioning immune system or complete fitness. All of which made me want to try other methods to cure it of course, but we know how that panned out. However, I probably had the mutation in my body for many years, and for much of that time I was fit and well. It was presumably only once my immune system became depleted for some reason that the cancer was able to get a hold and break through my bodily defences. My thinking is that if I can maintain a truly healthy body then there is no reason why it should do so again. I was thinking, pretty simplistically it appears, that staying healthy was the more obvious things plus a few extra supplements to see me along the way. Now I have been shown exactly what is going on in my body I feel empowered beyond belief.
This amazing man also discovered that I am allergic to wheat, which probably helps to explain why I don’t like bread or pasta, as well as dairy (which gives me sore throats and sinusitis) and pork. So I have to avoid these as well as alcohol (sob) until I am well. No-brainer really, but doing all this under supervision is much better than chucking something a friend has recommended down your throat and hoping it works out for the best. My list of medicines is long impressive. They are split into four groups: mental stress (‘nerves’), GI tract, immune system and hormonal help for the still-present hot sweats. None of them are horrible to take as the ayurvedic stuff is capsulized. The only logistical difficulty is that the groups should ideally be taken with about a half hour gap in between. So I take Group 3 before breakfast as one of the components is to be taken before meals. After breakfast I take Group 1 as one of those is only taken once a day. Then half an hour after that is Group 4 as one of those is to be taken twice a day, followed by Group 2. Which has no such constraints. And about an hour and half later it all starts again – so much fun! I am sure it is a sneaky means of increasing my mental acuity. I have had to print out a tick-list to check off every day as it is so complicated. Loads more fun than in hospital where you are given a little plastic cup with about 6 tablets, all to be taken at once. And none of which will do you any good. I have dutifully avoided all forbidden items (except a teeny bit of milk in my coffee – which he didn’t say to avoid) and after a few days of taking the meds I am starting to feel different. In fact I feel achey and tired, but a lot clearer, and I wonder if that is my body shouting, “Yes! She has listened! She has got help at last! Now I can rest!” No way :-). I have far too much to do!
Wishing you a happy and sunny weekend