Ellie's Story

If you feel it might help others to hear about what you've been going through

Ellie's Story

Postby Ellie » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:04 pm


Hi my name is Ellie

I was diagnosed last October after a biopsy, with breast cancer. I had been working in the corporate world for over 40 years. I was, within a matter of days, no longer working and scheduled for an operation. Like many before me, I felt the same sense of shock and disbelief. I had, in the painful few days after my operation, quietly tried to come to terms with this diagnosis whilst waiting for the results that would tell me if it had spread.

On 31st October I received the call. I was informed that the cancer had not spread. I had won the lotto. I later read in my report that I have ILC (invasive lobular carcinoma) and was told that I had already had it for 2 years. Wow I can only imagine how others feel when the diagnosis is not as kind, my heart goes out to you. However, once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your life is never the same. It rolls constantly through your mind as you grapple with all the information you are given.

My specialist was incredibly helpful and his sense of calm and confidence helped to calm and reassure me. The partial mastectomy he performed on my left breast was carefully and meticulously performed. The report said whilst the left breast had been dealt with, the right breast was unremarkable – I always it was pretty good myself!

I arrived home to my ‘pink’ package on the doorstep complete with pink neck cushion and lots of information about breast cancer. I threw it, resentfully, in the hall cupboard as it was not meant for me but for those who had aggressive cancer and I did not. This, I was later to realise, was the first stages of my grief, ANGER and DENIAL. I fished it out a couple of weeks later and joined the movement!

My husband was permitted to work from home to be with me which was such a relief. My new job therefore became making coffee, lunch and anything else that I could do to alleviate the embarrassment I felt at no longer being able to contribute monetary wise to our household. I also had our wedding to organise, and Christmas was also approaching so at least I had something to occupy my mind. Thankfully I clearly managed to get over myself and now he makes MY coffee!!

I attended all 30 radiation treatments almost mechanically, it just had to be done. After the treatment finished it felt as though I was cut loose from the mother ship, I felt like a floating raft on a big ocean

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and didn’t know how to begin again
. However with only one week before our wedding I started to feel well, the wedding day was magnificent! It was an absolute knees up!! We danced to’ I want to grow old with you’ by Westlife and had the movie running too, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house (there was also lots of wine!).

Three months later, upon the completion of my radiation treatment I applied for over a dozen positions in the local area, without any luck. In desperation I contacted my job agency and they were kind but inevitably we had moved to the country and all my type of work was plentiful in the city only. I approached local businesses but without success. It’s hard to fill in an 8 month gap on your resume.

I started to languish, planning my days around the midday movie and filling in time with housework. Everything had changed and all that had been me was lost. So I did what everyone should do with cancer and a toxic body, I started to paint lounge room walls, passing out regularly at 12.00noon every day and wondering why!!
The drugs were having an awful effect and trying hard to constantly be brave is exhausting. Some months later when I decided to get off the couch, I made a pact to walk every day. I could barely walk home from the beach and even talking to people was draining but I persevered and gradually I got stronger.

I fell down, I got up, I fell down, I got up, many times.

I recognised that people didn’t really understand what a person goes through, the physical scars on your body, the new time frame in which your life hangs perhaps, the inability to contribute as you did before, the dreadful lethargy, the inward isolation. There was this silent but imperceptible ‘come on, just get on with it’ judgement from some. When I look back now, I understand that my determination to not be unwell masked the fact that I was indeed very unwell, and I was quite hard on myself.

I started to overhaul my life. I read and researched and read and read and stumbled across an amazing person, someone who captured my attention with his absolute dedication, outstanding knowledge and unwavering interest in empowering those with cancer with knowledge so that they have some choices in how they manage their own treatment and involvement . The information from Chris Woollams astounded me and I read and read and read. What I read gave me hope, knowledge and finally motivation.

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My diet changed radically. I kick start each day with freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, I have an incredible tasting homemade juice bursting with vitamins and minerals, I make sure I eat alkalising foods and I take supplements to improve my immune system. I kicked out sugar, and most dairy, and have a little meat once a week. I have lost a gradual 1kilo per week and am now down by 4 kilos and 4 more to go. My energy is so much better. I walk for 40 minutes a day and get my vitamin D in the process and I study, lots.

I did try the drugs Tamoxifen and Anastrazole but after five months I made the decision to come off them. However I would stress, to be guided by your Doctor or Specialist in this regard. These medications help to stop the production of Oestrogen in your system. Initially the effect of them was not too bad but an accumulative effect had me taking pain killers for headaches, difficulty staying asleep but then feeling weak all day and pain in my joints. This is a very personal decision and for some the side effects are minimal but for me the price was too high. I recognised that cancer could be an all over body disease and I treat it now with superb nutrition, minimum stress, and an unwavering belief in myself.

I am now studying to become an Accredited Health and Wellness Coach. I have set up a small room in my house for consultation. There will be professional consultations but there will also be heart to hearts, soothing music, peppermint teas, relaxing facials and some good laughs and maybe, just maybe I can help to empower others to believe in themselves, to nourish their bodies, to treat themselves with kindness, to put themselves first and to make the changes that only THEY can and to NEVER NEVER give up!
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:10 am

Re: Ellie's Story

Postby Liz Aram » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:58 pm

HEllo Ellie

I have just joined this site and read your story. I am just finishing treatment for ovarian cancer and - as many of us do - thinking about my life! I'd be interested to know more about what training as a health and wellness coach involves.
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Thank you so much and good luck!
Liz Aram
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:34 pm

Re: Ellie's Story

Postby Ellie » Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:05 am

Hi Liz

I hope that you are recovering well. The link to the course I am studying is http://www.wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au and will give you all the information you need if you feel passionate about going down this road. I hope that maybe you have something similar in the UK.

I have started my own website called purehealthpro.com.au also where I discuss Wellness Coaching.

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Wellness coaching is about supporting a client to make the changes they want to make in their life while giving them the responsibility to do so. It really is a coaching role.

The course that I am doing costs about $450 per module and can take up to 18 months to complete. Part of the course is studying Nutrition and it is all on line so it makes it easier to complete as there is no hurry.

I haven't started to consult as yet but am excited about doing so over the next three or four months.

All the best for now
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:10 am

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