10.03.12 Wellness

What My Cancer Has Taught Me

BY Jessica Ainscough

For the past four years, I have been living with the knowledge that I have cancer in my body. Like anyone who has ever been given a terminal diagnosis, this experience has changed me. I have gone through the usual changes – life becoming that little bit more precious, petty drama becoming totally insignificant, and priorities being completely reshuffled. However, there has been so much more.

Before cancer I was a big meat eater, now I am vegan. Before cancer I drank a lot of alcohol, now I am sober. Before cancer I was self-critical and full of self-judgment, now I love myself unconditionally. Before cancer I associated the disease with pain, sickness, hair loss and death. Now, cancer is my greatest teacher, my guru, and the catalyst that lead me onto a path far brighter and more fulfilling than I ever knew was possible.

I was one of the lucky ones – conventional medicine had no answers for me. My doctors wanted to amputate my arm to remove the cancer, but they said there was a high chance that the disease would come back somewhere else in my body quite rapidly. I decided that this wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t ready to die, I wasn’t willing to be an amputee, and I wasn’t willing to hand my power over to some people who didn’t really know what they were doing with it. So I became one of those difficult patients and started thinking for myself. I researched anything and everything to do with healing cancer, and what I discovered is that our bodies have this incredible ability to self heal – as long as we provide the right environment for them to do so.

The healing modality that resonated most with me was Gerson Therapy – a treatment that involves hourly juicing, a specific vegan diet, various supplements, and coffee enemas. I spent three weeks at the Gerson clinic in Mexico learning how to implement these practices, and then came home to carry out the Therapy for two years with the help of my family. For two years I dedicated every waking hour to saving my own life. To thriving against the face of adversity, and carving a new reality for myself based on the wisdom and inspiration I’ve gathered along the way. It has been far from easy. For two whole years I have not been able to go out for lunch, go out for dinner, go out drinking with my friends, or even sit through a whole movie without having to get up and make a juice. But I would not trade one moment of this journey for anything. The power, wisdom, and deep self-respect that have been born of riding out these challenges is something I feel incredibly blessed to have.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I thought I had something in my body that needed to be “killed,” “eradicated” and “beaten.” Now I understand that cancer is not the enemy. I have realized that you cannot wage a war against yourself and win. No one wins when you go into battle with something that is part of you. And contrary to conventional belief, cancer is a part of you. Cancer doesn’t need to be “killed;” it needs to be “healed.” Cancer is simply your body’s way of giving you one final opportunity to clean up your health.

I completed Gerson Therapy in April, but healing still doesn’t end. Healing is ongoing, and I will live the rest of my life being as kind and respectful as I possibly can to my body. Even now, after two years of intense natural treatment, I cannot say that I am cured. I’m not sure if I will ever be “cured,” but I will always be healing. Cancer is something I will always manage with my clean lifestyle. I don’t plan to have any scans, partly because I don’t want to subject my body to the poison and radiation, but also because prior to my diagnosis scans were not detecting that I had cancer. Only a biopsy did this, so I don’t really see the point.

Many people think I’m crazy for not “checking up” on the status of my condition, and once upon a time I would have agreed. My path is not the right one for everyone, but it is right for me. The moment I stopped struggling, and fighting against myself and the cancer, was the moment that fear left my mind for good. Now, I never fear that I will die of cancer – and that is the most empowering feeling ever.

The number one thing I have learnt over the past four years is that our bodies heal in their own time. Sure, it is our job to do whatever we can to make sure this is possible, but we can’t force anything. Our bodies are incredible, and as long as we listen to them – truly listen to them – give them what they need to heal and remove any obstacles that will prevent the process from happening, healing is inevitable. Healing is possible for all of us.

 

Jess Ainscough is a writer, health coach, cancer kickin’ Wellness Warrior — and very proud pug owner. As the creator of The Wellness Warrior, Jess writes daily articles on courage, kindness, self-respect — as well as practical how-to’s for shopping, cooking, juicing and nourishing your body. Explore Jess’ revolutionary guide to mind-body reinvention, The Wellness Warrior Lifestyle Transformation Guide Follow Jess on: TwitterFacebook.

Comments

  • Dana Maxwell

    Jess, Thank you for sharing this story! Beautifully written! Just goes to show how powerful the mind is, and truly, our bodies can and do heal in the right environment, I agree with that fully. Out of curiosity, how did you know you might have cancer? What led you to have a biopsy in the first place if you don’t mind me asking?

    • Silvana D’Abate

      Beautiful story and very inspirational for anyone battling a disease or a sudden shock that their disconnected with their body due to an illness. I read a book once that described Disease just as we know it Dis- ease…that feeling of not being yourself. I know the feeling, I never had cancer, but I experienced how hard it was for my father, watching him try to beat it. And also myself going through my own journey of health battles that always make me realize that your body is like a temple, and you need to worship it~~thank you for your courageous spirit! I look forward to reading your book! 🙂

  • Little Spoon

    ‘No one wins when you go into battle with something that is part of you’ – I love this philosophy. I have endometriosis, which is clearly not the same as cancer at all, but I felt for years that I needed to fight it. It’s only been in the last month or so that I’ve realised that the battle doesn’t feel good, or right. It’s a struggle. I’ve changed my diet, although not as dramatically as you. Being good to myself, instead of angry with my body has made a vast difference to how I feel. Physically, I still have some way to go, but mentally and emotionally, being good to myself is the only way I can cope with this thing. A very inspirational post. Thank you.

  • Max Payne

    Thank you so much for yet another shitty wordpress blog. 5 reasons why…, 14 amazing…, 21 ways to… give me break. Inspiratiion my fucking arse. Yet another marketeer.

    Gi

  • Emma

    Well, I had cancer. I let the doctors do their thing, had surgery, chemo and radiation. 10 years later I am cancer free.
    A good diet and plenty of exercise helps keep my as a healthy as can be. But it was the medical treatment that saved my life, not the diet and exercise. I think you are crossing a line here encouraging people not to get medical treatment. If I’d followed your example and ignored my doctors I’d be dead now.

  • Jennifer

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing!!

  • LUKE

    RIP JESSICA A BEAUTIFUL THAT TOUCHED MANY

Every week in your inbox!

  • Exclusive notes and videos from Amanda de Cadenet.
  • Early access to our Limited Space Workshops.
  • Amanda’s Favorites and Special Offers shared with you weekly.
  • Exclusive notes and videos from Amanda de Cadenet.
  • Early access to our Limited Space Workshops.
  • Amanda’s Favorites and Special Offers shared with you weekly.
Subscribe Now

to receive our newsletter every Tuesday.

Sign up here for my Weekly Newsletter and Exclusive Updates: