Friday, 7 September 2018
Four Days Before Christmas, 2017 - Part 6
On Sunday, 11 March 2018, it was Mother’s Day, and also Dave’s birthday. Our daughter and son, Jade and Zaine, took Dave and me out for a joint celebratory meal, which was really lovely. The following day, I was alarmed to discover a lump in one of my breasts. I saw my GP immediately, who referred me to a consultant at the local hospital. She advised the lump might be a cyst but said she couldn’t rule out ‘anything nasty’; she referred me for scans and a biopsy. My initial feeling of anxiety began to fade; I mused that in all probability the lump was most likely just a cyst.
The following week I underwent a mammogram and an ultrasound scan, followed by a biopsy. There was something about the manner of the technician who carried out the mammogram, something that she said, that caused a tiny spark of alarm to creep back into my mind. I kept telling myself that the lump was a cyst, but my gut feeling told me otherwise.
On 26 March 2018, Dave and I met with the consultant who told me that the results of my biopsy were back. “You have breast cancer,” she said.
Despite my gut feeling, to hear someone say this out loud was a shock. A big shock! Other people have cancer. Lots of other people have cancer. I never expected to hear those words spoken to me. The consultant spoke a lot; her words just washed over me. We were introduced to the MacMillan nurse, who performed another mammogram on me and gave me lots of paperwork and booklets. The two-and-a-half hours we spent at the hospital were a blur. I don’t remember very much at all, just the words, “You have breast cancer.”
As we drove home it was starting to get dark; the roads and pavements were busy with traffic and pedestrians; people probably keen to get home from work. It was all so surreal. Outside my head it was just a normal Monday evening; but inside my head was a confused mess of emotions. I felt anxiety and fear, mixed with an overwhelming desire to think positively in order to get through the long months ahead.
Three days later, Dave and I met with a professor at the Royal Marsden Hospital, in Sutton; we discussed my treatment plan, which will last until the latter part of next year. My treatment involves chemotherapy, immunotherapy, lumpectomy surgery, intensive radiotherapy, and finally, three-weekly injections for a year.
The professor told me there is a recognised trigger between emotional stress and cancer, particularly breast cancer. He went on to ask me if I could think of anything at all that could have caused me stress.
Dave and I glanced at each other; I could tell that he had the same train of thought running through his head, that was running through my own.
Readers will no doubt recall me writing about how this organisation took my dementia-suffering mother to Australia against her will, away from her UK home and all she knew, away from her grandchildren, her son-in-law, away from ME. They held my mother in Australia against her express wish to return to her home. She lived in a converted garage at the home of my brother and his wife. It was here that my brother would tie her to a bed at night, to prevent her from getting up. Mum died in Australia in 2012. I believe she was taken to sever the secret contact my family and I shared with her. I have a wealth of evidence to verify everything I state.
To discover my mother had disappeared just like that, was an awful and distressing experience. It took 248 days for my brother to get in touch with me, despite the fact that I had tried desperately to contact him, via local (to me) members of the Exclusive Brethren. When he did eventually ring me, even though it was obvious that I wanted immediate news about Mum, my brother started the conversation making trivial small talk. He would not let me talk to Mum, insisting she was not available. He refused to tell me where he lived, saying he lived north of Sydney; that was all.
I contacted my cousin in New Zealand, where Mum had spent six months, and she advised that she had been told not to pass information to me. I was sick with worry. I thought Mum must be ill, or worse, dead. I decided to ring hospitals in Australia and I picked a town north of Sydney. That town was Gosford. I rang Gosford Hospital and was shocked when I was told that Mum had been admitted two weeks previously. I was transferred to Mum’s bedside phone. My brother, who happened to be visiting at the time, took the phone away from her and told me he would not allow me to talk to her. So, my brother’s words, “not available”, had meant that Mum was actually in hospital. My own brother had hidden from me that my mother was in hospital.
This story goes on and on and on and has never been resolved. I have never even had an apology from the Exclusive Brethren for what they did, nor had thousands of pounds of out of pocket expenses reimbursed, incurred when my family travelled to Australia to find my mother. Yet when I appeared on Australian TV in November 2013, I was contacted by a senior member of the brethren, less than an hour before the programme was due to air in Australia. He tried to bribe me with £40,000 in exchange for me contacting the programme’s producers and asking them to pull the programme. Of course, I refused the money and the programme went ahead. This will all be detailed in my forthcoming book.
The Exclusive Brethren has caused me no-end of stress over the years, and then I was subjected to this fresh stress which started before last Christmas, by a member of the Exclusive Brethren.
All of this flooded through my mind. I looked at the professor, and I really didn’t know how or where to start to answer the question he’d asked me.
Having learned from my professor that the particular cancer I have is linked to/triggered by emotional stress, and thinking back over the stress to which I have been subjected by the Exclusive Brethren’s behaviour, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the ongoing stress I have endured is linked to my breast cancer. I can’t help but ask the question, is such behaviour that the Exclusive Brethren display, Christian behaviour?
I would like to comment here, that in 2009, the Exclusive Brethren’s Bible & Gospel Trust started court proceedings against an ex-member. It was just before Christmas. Then on 20thDecember 2017, the day before I learned I was being sued for defamation, I, along with numerous other ex-members, received letters (that were, in my opinion, very aggressive) from Kingsley Napley solicitors, who were instructed by the Exclusive Brethren on a totally separate matter. It is my belief that the timings of such letters, court proceedings, etc, were intentional to make it as difficult and as stressful as possible for those of us on the receiving end.
........Tomorrow: My email to the Plaintiff.