When I first learned I had breast cancer, I was shocked. I was lucky that I’d found it relatively early, but I wasn’t to be spared surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was too frightened and didn’t have the confidence to question what was being offered, so I decided I would complement conventional medicine with alternative healing whenever possible. My lovely husband, family and friends were always there for me throughout my journey, but something else was happening which made it more remarkable. People came into my life to give me advice and information at what always felt to be the right moment – some plain common sense, some pretty ‘out there’ – but I listened and considered everything. Little did I know that alternative healing is deep rooted in rural South West France, where we have a house, so some of my experiences touch on this local knowledge. I hope this blog helps other people who are confronted with illness – I certainly think it will help me, to get through this terrifying but remarkable experience.
The first person who helped me on my path was Dr Criscuolo, an extraordinary doctor who treated me from a rather non-descript hospital in Mont de Marsan, South West France. His consulting room was in sharp contrast to the bland hospital corridors – on entering the room there was a large Buddha with an offering of fresh flowers at its feet, together with angels and various deities on the shelves and walls. This gave me faith that a doctor working in conventional modern medicine clearly believed that there was much more to healing than simply treating the body like a machine. So I began my journey, combining physical, mental and spiritual challenges – always with help along the way, which I am forever grateful for.
After being operated on by Dr Criscuolo, I found out one month later that he had died in a diving accident. I, like many others will never forget his open smiling face, his kindness, along with his skill and knowledge. He was an exceptional man.