Tuesday 4 February 2020

It's Palliative care now for you!

Exactly 12 years ago, the oncologist at the Royal Marsden delivered the news "it's palliative care only for you now"!
Thankfully I had my soul sister Sara Crossley with me at the time!

When he left the room, we both looked at each other and burst in to hystetrical laughter!

Why did we laugh? Actually it was a reaction to what had just happened - I am known for laughing at the most inappropriate times! So is Sara (it got us in to a lot of trouble when we first met at Manchester Royal Infirmary 25 years ago when we were student nurses).

Anyway the truth is that fear cannot exist in the presence of humour and what ever witch-doctory spells were created in those moments of delivery of this shocking news were instantly blasted away!

The onc. had left the room to give us space to digest the news but soon re-entered upon hearing our crazy raucous laughter - he looked extremely confused!

Amazingly and wonderfully, my body was free of cancer by June that year (2008).

Here is a great interview done by the brilliant Chris Wark for anyone who wants to know more about how I shook off this 'terminal' cancer (and do not misled by the title of the You Tube vid,  as Gerson was in fact only a tiny part of the reason I recovered).

Fast forward 12 years and here I am in India for a month undergoing Panchakarma (an Ayurvedic detoxification protocol which involves drinking large amounts of ghee and massage amongst other things).
Since my recovery I take very good care of this precious body - (afterall I have almost lost it on more than one occasion). Yearly Panchakarma treatments are my latest way to honour my body and make sure nothing like cancer ever happens again!

The centre is run by a lovely doctor called Dr Mini Joy and is known as The Gowrisankara - it is a beautiful place in South India - Kerala to be exact.

There are only a few people here and I am the only English person (the rest are Germans) which means I have a lot of time for myself. Guess what Im doing folks? I'm actually writing my book that I have been promising to write for the past 12 years!

For the first time, it is actually flowing which is somewhat of a relief because I wondered if it ever actually would.
I've been gestating this baby for a long time and my waters have finally broken - the process has started!
Wish me luck and buckets of self-discipline please.

I am so happy to be in India again - for some reason I feel more at home here than I do in the UK a lot of the time!
Sending you all love, health and sunshine!

Love Fiona Shakeela

Monday 9 December 2019

Amazing vegan 'Cancerucan Cheesecake' from Melanie Gamble

Melanie Gamble created the most delicious vegan 'cheesecake' especially for our Cancerucan retreat in October.

Here is the You Tube video that Philip Booth made so that we can all make it (the best vegan desert EVER!)

Thanks Melanie for your yummy creations!

Sunday 1 December 2019

Hi Everyone
I'm a very infrequent blogger it has to be said -  but to not blog about the Cancerucan Empowerment retreat would be a crime as it truly was something special which should be shared :-)

So here it is....

The retreat last month was our second Cancerucan retreat.
We held it at the beautiful Penny Brohn Centre agin - the first one being in April last year.

I think it would be accurate to say we had a total blast!

26 Cancerucanners came together for three days of talks, workshops, singing, pampering, delicious food, healing and fun and there was definitely a lot on the menu.

We had day-only tickets available on the Monday and around 15 extra people joined us for a very full day.

We kicked off the retreat with a yummy lunch and then experienced Masashi teaching us Shintaido -  a very gentle,yet profoundly health-supportive practice, which helped us all arrive and to feel grounded.

The very inspiring Jem Ayres brought us our first talk she described how she overcome stage four cancer in her own unique (and orgasmic) way!

Jem is a remarkable young woman who is clear and grounded and she emphasised the importance of being in our bodies and honouring our truth.

Then Annee Bury took us through a fire ceremony where Cancerucanners had the chance to let go of all that no longer served them by throwing it in the fire whilst calling in a new intention. This was very powerful and connected us to all to our intentions for the retreat.

Paul Cooper gave us the most delicious sound bath which for me was just what the doctor ordered as I began to relax and truly enjoy the retreat!

It's always fun to meet the people you know through Facebook in the flesh and there was plenty of excitement as people recognised each other from their profile pictures.

There were quite a few repeaters from last year, so lots of tangible joy as good friends greeted each other.

There was a great deal of laughter, hugs and love throughout the retreat as many new friendships were formed.
the food was really really good. Penny Brohn are not organic, but they agreed to provide organic vegan food for us and it was truly amazing!

We had our wonderful foodie Melanie Gamble there who gave a food demo and showed how to make a delicious savoury dish as well as an unbelievably good 'cheese cake' OMG! Best EVER vegan dessert!

Go here to purchase Mel's new vegan book: Healing Deliciously Goes Vegan  which supports the charity Together Against Cancer 

We also had an outstanding breath group with Benjamin Tree and Eliza Kenyon which brought a great deal of transformation and opening to the group - visible on peoples faces afterwards!

There were a few stands - here is Fleur Barnfather who provided us with her gorgeous artwork for the retreat:

The room was graced with Fleur's paintings - here is Bayari with Fleur's winged picture behind her. 

We had stands from Together against Cancer and Yes to Life .

As well as Resource me  and Alana's kitchen.

 Bayari brought 'Divine Pampering', where we got in to groups of three and each person got to receive pampering from two other people at the same time. We were anointed with oils and our feet soaked in salts and oils and heads were massaged and stroked with gorgeous  potions which we made up from essential oils and herbs.

We all felt like kings and queens afterwards - walking on air!

The one and only Chris Woolams came and lectured on gut health - what an amazing gift that was. This man is so incredible knowledgable and generous with his information. We are so grateful that he was able to switch around his schedule in order to be there.

I taught a session on PSYCH-K and EFT and we also had Dr Duncan Still  - one of the Penny Brohn doctors who spoke to us about the importance of creating balance in our lives.

Monday evening turned in to a lively and celebratory affair as we had Barry the guitar man come and play his guitar so we could all sing together - lots of Beatles, some Bob Marley and many other great tunes. We also had a whole heap of instruments thanks to Penny Brohn - tambourines, drums and rattles. Everyone jumped in to the spirit of it and we had a good old sing.

We were extremely fortunate to have  Emma Louise and Kathy White both share their incredible stories of health transformation from stage 4 cancer on the last morning.

 Such strong and beautiful women who spoke from their hearts and bared their souls, as they took us through their epic journeys.
Of course the Penny Brohn Centre was as gorgeous as ever and held us with love and grace in its loving space - what a true gift it was to be there.
Heather Holman did an incredible job of project-managing the retreat and she really is amazing to work with - so grateful for all the little touches she brought including the brilliant programmes she printed and all of the welcome cards that she bought and put in people rooms.
Also really grateful to  Emma Louise, Jenny Littman, Sidika Petterson and Kathy White for all of the extra admin help.
Big thank you to 'Together Against Cancer' and Laura Loftus fund (thanks to Karen Waddington) for subsidising many Cancerucanners to be there who would have otherwise been unable to afford to attend.

To bring closure to our beautiful retreat, we had the very lovely Tarisha Seligman who brought us a singing medicine ceremony and this was the perfect way to end and after this we said our goodbyes.


 Cancerucan Facebook Group
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Saturday 21 April 2018

Cancerucan Retreat

Hi Everyone!

Well it is three weeks now since the Cancerucan Retreat which we ran at the Penny Brohn Centre in Bristol.
I'm happy to say it was a complete success, measured by the connection, joy and and hope that the majority of the participants seemed to take away with them as well as the feedback forms that were filled in at the end of the retreat!

Something that I had not anticipated was that many participants reported that the pain that they had arrived with -  due to their various cancers, was reduced and in some cases, gone by the end of the retreat!
This shows the very important part that experiencing positive emotions plays in reducing pain.

When I first stepped in through the doors of the penny Brohn Centre 11 years ago -  following my stage four cancer diagnosis, I had the feeling that I was going to recover fully and bring what I learned during my healing journey, to the Penny Brohn Centre so that others would benefit from my journey.
I did not realise that it would be 11 years later - but the timing felt perfect in every way.

The Cancerucan retreat was an idea that literally woke me up in the middle of the night around a year ago and with it had come such a feeling of celebration and excitement that I could not go back to sleep!

So I got out of bed, switched the Wifi on and went downstairs to share my idea on Facebook for the retreat with my Cancerucan Facebook group - hoping that once the idea had been 'parked', that I would drop off to sleep - it worked!
The next day, I decided to check how the idea had been received within the group and was shocked and delighted to see that there were already 78 comments and it was only 11am!

I think that the main appeal was that people who had been communicating virtually - some of them for 4 years since the group was started, were finally getting a chance to meet in person and share skills in the form of workshops and talks.
I set up the Cancerucan Facebook group four years ago so that people could connect and share ideas, tips, resources and support each other to heal.
Over the years, the group has gone from strength to strength with many people wanting to join.

Anyone who has faced cancer, knows that that it can be a scary and emotional time and connecting with others in the same boat is deeply bonding and many strong frienships are formed.
Within the Cancerucan community, there are so many amazing people and for everyone to come together and share skills and expertise with each other felt very empowering. Cancer can be a very disempowering experience and helping people to connect with their creativity and inner resources is a strong passion of mine.

I was delighted that everybody seemed as excited as I was about the idea and the business of making this dream in to a reality began.

Thankfully there were many offers of help and the charities 'Together Against Cancer' and 'Yes to Life' came forward with generous donations which we were very grateful for, as it enabled us to offer a number of half-price bursary places to over a dozen of the participants.

We also received a significant donation from Karen Waddington in memory of her beautiful daughter Laura who had sadly died from cancer the previous year.
Karen wanted to benefit as many people as possible with her donation and was very supportive of the retreat - her help was very timely as the budget for the retreat was looking a bit ropey due to the fact we were offering it at cost to the participants.

Making it a 'not-for-profit enterprize' had been my aim from the start and that is not very easy!!!

I am reminded how life takes care when we move from the heart and trust!

I always feel a great deal of support whenever I run something that the universe really likes - this has been a great joy to me over the years. Running 'Potions Club' (teaching kids how to make and use herbal remedies and the 'Back 2 Health Integrative cancer health-care conferences' also fall in to this category of seemingly 'universe-approved'!

So the weekend happened - 32 people came altogether including the charities and stand-holders and extra help.
We started on Friday afternoon with settling in, welcome meeting, dinner and fire ceremony where people set intentions and released all that was not serving them in to the fire. Annee Bury - fellow admin did a great job of facilitating people to release unwanted emotions and burdens so that the space was cleared for the weekend.
The next day, we had a packed day of talks and workshops including Donna Eden exercises with Sidika, Nature-play with Annee Bury, exercises with Stella Cross, Yoga with Joanne Long, buddy-group sharings, my talk - which was entitled "Staying Alive", Death Cafe with Annee Bury, Creative Journalling with Nicola Corcoran (fellow Cancerucan admin), singing and music creation with Lucy Popovich, 'Kicking stage 4 cancer' with Elaine Godley, 'Mental wellbeing' with Ruhi, Food prep with Melanie Gamble, Medical Cannabis with Philip Smith, Vision Boarding with Siobhan Kierans, Heal your life with Kim Slattery, Power of 8 healing with Jenny Litman.
The idea was that people could choose the workshops they liked the look of and also take free time to catch up with friends.

Then we finished off the day's activities with a shot of pre-dinner 'Love Potion' made by yours truly - taken along with an intention for the future.
Saturda evening entertainment was cancer comedy - which Jessica Richards and I delivered (Jessica had travelled especially from London for this) and she and I had had much fun preparing to bring some lightness in to the rather dark subject that cancer very often is for most people - including Jessica and I who were diagnosed in the same month 11 years ago - before we know each other.
Since my recovery, Cancer comedy was something I longed to do - seeing so much potential for fun and humour. We decided to keep the balance by making fun of the oncologists as well as complementary therapists and also the awkward way that some people can tend to talk to you when you have a diagnosis of cancer. We all had a very good laugh and I am sure that we managed to transform a lot of the seriousness around cancer - after all it is impossible to be scared of something that you have laughed about.

The following day we had some very inspirational healing stories delivered by Kathy White, Kit Stapley and Annee Bury and then Healing Circle with Annee and Power of 8 again.
We finished with the most beautiful singing medicine celebration thanks to Tarisha Seligman which also was our closing ceremony.

I am extremely grateful to everybody who came on the retreat and especially to Annee Bury, Nicola Corcoran, Sidika Petterson and Jenny Littman who are all so incredibly supportive.

Thank you all of you!

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Creating Health

Hi Everyone!

On August 1st this year will be the ten year anniversary of my stage four cancer diagnosis!
I thought its time for me to write a blog post!

I've learned so much since my diagnosis in 2007 and despite being cancer free for over 9 years, I still find myself very much in the world of cancer, as I do my best to support other people who are dealing with cancer.
My Facebook group 'Cancerucan' has getting on for 3,000 members in it now and i'm so pleased that people have somewhere to turn where they can find community and friendship at a time which can otherwise be very isolating.

Nicola Corcoron and Annee Bury help me to run the group as it is a lot for just one person. Im so grateful to both of them as we all get on so well and they are both totally on the same wave-length as me.

Thankfully there is an awful lot more awareness now about cancer than there was in 2007 when there was no social media and much less information was available on how to heal the disease.
it was hard for people to come by inspiring and useful information to help themselves and I remember searching high and low to try and find somebody who had healed ovarian cancer (as was my original diagnosis).
I was lucky to come across a lovely lady called Gillian Gill who has now written her book 'Take control and Live' I really recommend this book as it shows you the importance of healing not only the physical body, but also the psyche.
Gillian had a massive impact on me as she actually healed all of her tumours without any conventional treatment and i'll always be grateful that she supported me at a time when I felt very scared and lonely. I used to phone her up just to hear her lovely supportive voice and words of encouragement.

My oncologist in Bristol took a dim view of my desire to heal naturally and had a pretty patronising attitude towards me. Indeed he even refused to scan me properly as I refused his treatment!

What I found extraordinary when I was diagnosed, was that my doctors had no answers for why I became ill - there was no one looking to see what health imbalances underlay my disease - they just said I was unlucky!

My intention once I was diagnosed was to become the healthiest I had ever been - I knew that to aim for being cancer-free was not enough to drive my recovery.

I spent a lot of time day dreaming about being healthy - I used to fantasise about how wonderful it would feel to be well again. I also used to imagine a feeling of health in my body - imagining that all my cells were literally tingling with health!
I discovered that imagination was my biggest healing tool that I had available to me.

To be honest, I believed that it was possible to heal, but I had no way of knowing if I would succeed - it felt like one big experiment!

It felt exciting to contemplate the possibility that my ovaries that were full of cancer may be able to return to being healthy ovaries. To visualise them healthy and send them love whilst accepting them the way they were - rather than telling them they were wrong felt important.

I discovered that everything that I really needed to know, I already knew intuitively - my body did know how to heal itself and my job really was to get out of the way.

I embarked on Gerson - as much as I could (its very hard to do it perfectly, but I settled for doing it the best I could).
Part of my healing journey was spending time at the Clinic St George in Germany where I received two treatments of hyperthermia and IPT (insulin potentiated chemotherapy).
It was after that that doctors told me at the Royal Marsden that I was on the way out! That was in January 2007 and yet by June 2007 I was cancer-free!

However, my health has been something that I have continued to build since then as I have looked at why the cancer came and worked to correct my thyroid, adrenals, eliminate parasites and heavy metals as well as learn how treat myself with great care.

As I reflect upon the ten years that have passed, I see that Cancer caused me to re-prioritise everything - I have become much more sensitive to my own needs and learned to place value on my happiness and wellbeing.

I love to feed myself yummy healthy food and I take a nap most days. I also have a pint of freshly-pressed vegetable juice each morning.

I still sometimes find myself in a pattern of putting others needs before my own - which is a classic cancer pattern, but the good thing is that I tend to recognise it now fairly early on and alarm bells ring causing me to stop and remind myself to take care of myself.
The old adage of putting one's own oxygen mask on before helping others remains a useful reference for me - after all, what good am I to others if i'm not taking care of myself?
Joy needs to be a priority in my life for me to thrive and I therefore make sure that I have the right people around me and that Im getting enough fun so that I stay healthy.

I have decided that this blog needs to be used again - the blog needs updating with more resources adding to it.
So watch this space!

Friday 18 December 2015

Back2Health Radio Show

Every fortnight on the Back2Health Radio Show, I interview an inspiring guest who has a healing story to share.

Here is a link to all of the back episodes so that you can listen in your own time: Back2Health Radio 

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Tonight 7pm listen for free - Cancer: Don't let yourself be abused by the NHS!

Tonight's Back2Health Radio Show broadcast on Peoplesinternetradio.com is one you don't want to miss!

Fiona Shakeela Burns interviews 3 inspirational people - two people with a cancer diagnosis who have taken their health in to their own hands; colon cancer and breast cancer as well as German New Medicine expert Bill Tucker who will be talking about shock-conflicts behind certain types of tumours. As well we shall be discussing how women are more likely to be treated badly when they have cancer by their doctors than men are.

We will be giving you tips on how to be in your power when speaking to doctors, ask the right questions etc.

Go to through to Back2Health Events.com where you can read about tonight's guests.

If you click on the link on that page at 7pm UK time, you will be taken through to Peoplesinternetradio.com and just click on "listen live" button on left hand side!