Helen James’ Story
On Saturday 3rd August 2019, Moss Pilates King’s Cross is honoured to host a very special day to raise funds for our dear friend Helen James, on her journey back to health.
Helen started working for us on Reception nearly ten years ago when some of you may recall we were in Spitalfields’ Fruit Exchange. She trained with us as a Polestar Pilates teacher and subsequently as a Massage Therapist.
In 2016 at 33 years old, Helen was diagnosed with primary breast and primary lung cancer. Return to Health is an opportunity to improve and inspire your own wellbeing, while supporting a deeply meaningful cause. 100% of the funds raised go to Helen.
This blog post is Helen's story, by Helen James.
I thought I’d write a brief summary of why this event is happening. Thank you for taking time to read my story.
I was first diagnosed with primary breast and primary lung cancer in 2016 at 33 years old. In that moment my whole life changed, to feel such heartbreak and fear was so tangible I was almost sick. Like, with any trauma, I went into shock, I had dreams of dying, terrified of losing my loved ones, fear of the punishing treatments, and it took all my strength to hear what the doctor was saying, my instinct was to run away and forget it was happening.
Anyone who’s ever experienced this disease or seen a loved one go through it may understand. However, my will to live is so great I was and am willing to do anything to be in my physical body as long as possible. I have completely changed my diet, I’ve cut down my work load to reduce stress, I have had therapy and emotional healing to delve deep into my inner pain. This has taken so much strength and bravery, to let go of my inner demons and to give up a lot of the normal foods I love to eat.
Whist doing this work, I also did chemotherapy, where for the first time I felt I was dying, I lost all my hair and could barely walk 100 yards without pain. The chemo landed me in hospital twice, three days at a time. When I ate it felt like razor blades going down my throat into my digestive system. I still have scars where my body couldn’t repair itself from a mosquito bite, and because I lost my eyelashes I used to have streaming eyes to the point where my cheeks would be so painful and get sores. Even though this was so hard, I kept up the diet, took my supplements and made myself walk round the park everyday. I knew how important it was to support my body though the chemo.
After that came surgery; a lumpectomy and my sentinel nodes removed. I also have taken a target biological therapy drug for the last few years for the lung. In March 2017 I received some remarkable results with my lung cancer completely disappearing from my lungs and in theory the breast being clear. I could breathe easier for the next year. However, the breast cancer came back in May 2018. I picked myself up and decided to have a mastectomy last November. I returned to work in April.
Unfortunately, I have recently found out that the lung cancer has spread to my lymph nodes near my armpit, so in conventional terms it is stage 4 and, as they say, there is no stage 5. They will help with certain targeted drugs, but there will be no cure from the conventional end. The pain and fear is right back now, and I’m starting to struggle. It feels harder to pick myself up again. I know I can do this, but sometimes it feels so, so hard. Sometimes I have nightmares, sometimes I’m so emotionally tired I can’t face leaving the house to go to work. I know in my heart conventional medicine can only get me so far and in the process poison me to such weakness for no cure. I don’t see that is the way I want to live my life, however long I’ve got.
I’ve been doing lots of research and there is so much we can do if we have cancer but these treatments come at a very high price. Right now as I’m writing this my eyes well up, I’m so tired of the constant toughness of this dis-ease. I now need to ask for help. I want to live and I believe all disease is curable, it’s just conventional medicine hasn’t discovered it yet.
I believe we are all created with a physical body, but we also have a soul, emotions and mental systems that can also cause disease. This gets completely overlooked in western society. There are more and more people healing their cancers, even stage four.
As reports show by 2020 1 in 2 men and 1-3 women will get cancer. And in another 20 years they’re expecting it to rise by 57 percent. The way we are living our lives now should be questioned in my opinion.
I’m so grateful for all my dear friends at Moss Pilates who are supporting and helping in this event. I want to say a massive thank you to Liz, Julia and Carl for their constant love and allowing and facilitating this to happen. I love them dearly.
I’m asking for help, to support me on my life journey, to be able to afford the treatments that feel right to me…and let’s see what happens. I have a beautiful, wonderful fiancé who is truly my soulmate. We are getting married next year and want lots of years ahead of us. Any donation will be so treasured, and I want to send my deepest thanks and love to you.
Cancer has taught me to be present, value every day, and that everyday is a blessed one. Love and live the way you want to, be grateful for the small things and value every moment. We don’t know how long we have on this earth, so let’s make the most of it :-).
Sending love to you all.