What Does Cancer Look Like To You?
A woman lying in a hospice bed, drawing her last breath?
A patient in pain, prepped for chemotherapy, bald and frightened?
Or…a group of women dancing bra-less in a field, feathers in hair, cheeks speckled with glitter, smiling and connecting?
How about, a woman who was given just months to live, standing on stage YEARS later, telling her story of surviving and thriving, energised and glamourous.
The Face of Cancer is Changing
My image of cancer is a woman called Lucy. Who’s beaten “death by cancer” five times and continues to baffle her doctors. She’s so radiant and full of life I have to keep touching her to see if she’s real.
Historically, cancer was the face of death and the diagnosis women dreaded. Yet, standing at Trew Fields (the UK’s first holistic health and cancer awareness festival) on a sunny day in July, I can’t help thinking those days are over.
It’s not that I, or anyone WANTS cancer. In 2016 there were 11 563 deaths from breast cancer alone*.
It’s that I find myself discovering more and more women surviving all kinds of cancer. From Kriss Carr in the US, to Sophie Sabbage in the UK, there are women around the world who have cancer, but refuse to let IT have them.
And this I love…almost as much as I love the hundreds of women at Trew Fields, who move between enlightening cancer awareness talks and inspiring holistic health workshops. These are women like me, rebuilding their health and their lives. Connected to their bodies and willing to do the work.
It’s not easy. Many of these women have, or have had, cancer. They know medical intervention, surgery and terminal prognoses. I talk to women who were told to get their affairs in order and say goodbye to their children.
Can you imagine saying goodbye to your children?
I couldn’t — that’s what propelled me to rebuild myself from illness — and clearly these women felt the same.
They found a better way.
And not just one.
Support and Solutions
There is a plethora of support here and the good news is it’s growing in accessibility. Having rebuilt myself naturally, I am well versed in holistic health but even I learned new tools and had my mind totally blown by a CBD oil talk, (non psychoactive cannabidiol oil,) by Josh Stanley of the US based, Stanley Brothers.
The science is astounding and it’s finally allowing the natural world to be taken seriously as a healing tool.
Cancer may hold onto its fear factor in the pharma-influenced media, but forward thinking events like this open the door for a whole new conversation around what’s possible for patients.
The Trew Fields Festival, created by cancer survivor, Sophie Trew, deliberately aims to inspire by putting survivors and thrivers at the centre of its efforts. These are open debates and first-hand experiences that breathe life into outdated visions of what cancer looks like.
And in a world where cancer equals chemotherapy and pharmacology, the knowledge so freely shared here is a beacon of hope.
The Approach is Progressive and Preventative
Yes cancer can kill, but it can also offer an opportunity to heal, rebirth, rebuild and reclaim what’s our divine birthright. Life.
The message I get from this meeting of minds is — anything is possible.
Educating and empowering women to take responsibility for their health is the first step towards that possibility.
So I join the women in the field and dance with them, and in their honour. I keep my bra on, because I’m a 32FF and it would hurt, but I glitter up my cheeks and shake my booty in recognition of their journeys.
Yes they may have cancer, but far more importantly, they have courage.
These women are fighting for something they believe in. Themselves.
I go with a group of them to a colourful circus tent and sit with my newfound friends to bang the drums. With every beat we summon our sisters who are suffering. We let them know the face of cancer is changing, along with our options to heal from it. The assumed death sentence is done. We are awake. We are alive to the answers.
Stars sprinkle the night sky as I drag myself away. The love here is palpable. The care is genuine. Every body matters. Every life has meaning.
I leave with no doubt that, regardless of their health challenges, these women will be back next year.
As will I.
For more information on the Trew Fields Festival visit https://trewfields.com/
To find out more about CBD oil go to https://www.cwhemp.com/
For more information on how I rebuilt myself naturally, from serious illness visit http://rebuildyourhealthreclaimyourlife.com/
*Source Cancer Research UK