This is not just another cancer story. 1 in 2 Australians will be faced with this disease.
How did I attract this disease? Well nearly 20 years ago my husband had an accident which left him with an acquired brain injury, which years later manifested into dementia. Years and years of grieving for a stranger and feeling total resentment for having my life ripped away from me took its toll on my body. Life as we knew it was gone. We had to find a new normal. Losing our income and having to make every decision on every topic, from finance, to meal planning, to entertainment, to raising a family, rehabilitating my husband, to generating income and everything in between wore my body down.
After my husband’s accident, I was forgotten. Suddenly it was all about him. All our friends would be asking how he was. No one thought to ask how I was. Probably a good thing that they didn’t, because I was slowly dying inside and if someone had asked me how I was, I would have let rip.
On the outside, it looked like I was coping, but on the inside I was screaming out for help. There’s no book that tells you how to navigate brain injury let alone dementia. Constantly living on adrenaline and emotions played havoc with my immune system until eventually my body couldn’t fight for its own life. On November 23, 2013 I was told I had Colorectal Cancer.
Stage IV with lung mets. I had to find a way to live with this inconvenient disease while I found ways to heal my body and look after my husband who was diagnosed with dementia one month before my diagnosis. I did not want mainstream intervention. I wanted adjunctive/alternative therapies.
I’m so glad I did it my way because I’m here to tell the story. I’ve seen many of my cancer buddies come and go. Many of my cancer buddies who chose conventional medicine, died before their time, not from the disease, but from the treatment. That was not going to be me. The mental gymnastics one goes through to stay sane and keep moving forward is unbelievable. I often ask myself how I have kept it all together.
Cancer is about living, not dying.
I researched, I interviewed doctors and practitioners from different corners of the globe all the while looking for answers. There are amazing therapies available and also tests that you can have (not in Australia) that can tell you exactly what will cause apoptosis or the cancer cells. Having all of this information was paramount to me getting on with the job of healing, keeping my family from falling apart with fear and running my small business. I needed to have income to pay for my treatments. Because I chose not to have the traditional poison that our current system offers, there is no Medicare rebate, nor does my private health fund “coff” up any funds. You are totally on your own with this and if the disease doesn’t kill you, the financial stress of the disease just might.
The saddest part of this disease is that if you buck the system and choose to do it the way I’ve done it, people use up all their money just to stay alive, and then when you kick it’s arse, you have nothing left except your health. No house, no super and no money in the bank. The stress of that alone, could set off cancer. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars saving my bones.
Cancer has been a gift in many ways. It has taught me so much about myself and about others. Cancer is not a journey, it’s a marathon and you need to become a warrior.
This marathon you are running requires constant navigation. I treated this disease like I ran my business. I had a plan and executed it, but was prepared to tack into the wind and make changes when necessary. Having cancer set me on a different path. I was getting calls from strangers asking me what I was doing to be well. So I shared with those that wanted to listen.
Today, my small business looks very different from the business I had before the disease. I don’t have all the answers, but after 4 years of keeping myself healthy and well I certainly know a thing or two about this disease and more importantly, I know what I would do to prevent it in the first place.
I now offer electro lymphatic drainage and thermography in my business.
Sending healing hugs to all the readers.
About the Author
Anni Diamond is a mother, carer, business owner and cancer thriver. She lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Her life has been a roller coaster ride of business success and failures. From the first chain of health clubs in Australia with her husband in the 1980’s, to becoming the largest private provider of education in the country, making BRW’s list of top Australian exporters in the 90’s, having 13 local colleges and being a leader in education for overseas students. In 2015 Anni was inducted into the Australian Beauty Industry Hall of Fame. Anni is passionate about sharing her strategies for success, but more than this found her voice after a diagnosis of Stage IV colo rectal cancer. She was only offered palliative chemo and radiation, which she didn’t want. This led Anni on a new journey of searching for her own cure using adjunctive/alternative therapies and sharing that knowledge with those that are open to receiving it.