Alex is a 47 year white British female who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer in July 2014 and lives with her husband, foster daughter, two dogs and a cat. She owns a Victorian semi in the Wirral and is mother to a married son, soon to be married daughter and a four month old granddaughter.
She works as Full time Area Manager in a national social care organisation, she is also a foster carer, a trustee of a local children’s charity, crafter and a foodie.
What’s important to me?
- To have as much quality time with family and friends as possible, for example at least one date a month with her husband and a few short breaks throughout the year.
- To use holistic therapies including: acupuncture, reflexology, essential oils & massage.
- To take as few allopathic medicines as possible.
- To eat healthily most of the time.
- Meditate every day as well as partake in art, knitting, baking, cooking, sewing and reading.
- To help to empower people & change systems that don’t work.
- For the house to be clean, tidy and welcoming.
- A good work/life balance.
- Travel to new places.
- Alex continues to try to be as fit as possible.
- She has no symptoms at present but questions the occasional discomforts.
- The most notable change since treatment is the lack of energy or sudden feeling of exhaustion.
- Continues to work full time but hopes to change this soon.
- Struggles to maintain the healthy eating & exercising regime that she knows is vital for good health.
Health conditions, medication and provision
- History of migraines and slight hypertension. These are managed with acupuncture and occasional painkillers.
- Mastectomy & full lymph node removal.
- Chemotherapy – 3 x FEC & 3 x Taxotere.
- Six admissions to hospital including surgery due to nutrapenia, antibiotics (oral and intravenous antibiotics) prescribed and one blood transfusion.
- Regular Reflexology, some massage and acupuncture, juicing, alkaline, mainly vegan diet with some fasting and oil pulling.
- Radiotherapy treatment which includes homemade Aloe Vera and essential oils.
- Tamoxifen prescribed for the next five years.
- Acupuncture once bi-monthly and a massage.
Resources and assets
- Alex has a fabulous family. Her husband and children live locally. Her parents and siblings live 50 miles away.
- She also has great friends. She keeps in contact with those who are far away via social media.
- Supportive colleagues and employers.
- Private health care
- As the main earner, Alex’s salary is important to her and to ensure that her family are comfortable.
- Alex has a very good relationship wither her GP.
- Acupuncturist from Wirral Holistic Care Service and meditation.
Concerns and questions
- While Alex can talk about and plan her ‘fun’eral; she would like a camp affair, with a disco ball, electric milk float and silver angel disco dancers on roller skates, she struggles to think about and talk about death, especially the ‘leaving people behind’ bit.
- Alex prefers to stick her head in the sand regarding prognosis and hopes that one day her light will just go out.
- Alex would like to make some sort of mark on the world.
- Alex would like to create some positive memories to leave people with.
- Concerns that Alex’s use of alternative/complimentary treatments will be detrimental to her health.
- Concerns that Alex may shun allopathic medicine which may benefit her clinically.
- Her passion for a natural approach could cloud her judgement of the allopathic/western approach.