Nat­u­ral Health Ser­vice

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View - Wal­traud En­gle­field

Re­ceiv­ing a can­cer di­ag­no­sis is prob­a­bly one of the hard­est things in any­body’s life. In Oc­to­ber 2016, I re­ceived my breast can­cer di­ag­no­sis. Stag­ger­ing out of the build­ing with words like “in­va­sive and non-in­va­sive”, “all low grade”, “spread over large area” and “mas­tec­tomy” swirling round my head, my hus­band and I could only re­treat to one place to deal with the im­me­di­ate im­pact: New­port Wet­lands. After a visit to the cafe, we ven­tured out into the re­serve try­ing to make sense. And then, in one of the hides, I drew a big line un­der my ex­ist­ing bird list and an­nounced that, as of to­day, I would start a new list: the big pink list start­ing on the day of di­ag­no­sis un­til I be­came healed. I de­cided to run it for a full year. Na­ture is one of the most im­por­tant fac­tors in my heal­ing process: It helped with the vile wait­ing for the op­er­a­tion. In hospi­tal, I took great com­fort from a Tawny Owl call­ing out­side the win­dow – for me it was a good omen! Soon after the op­er­a­tion, we ven­tured out and I could feel the life force stream­ing back into my body. The pink list gave me much needed mo­ti­va­tion to go out and walk that lit­tle bit fur­ther. The best trip was out to Donna Nook, in mid-novem­ber, to see the seal pups! Set­ting off from home, I felt weak and in pain, but the mo­ment I saw the seals, all was for­got­ten. Four months into the process, and my list stands at 173. I have been given the all-clear and don’t need any fur­ther treat­ment. I feel in­cred­i­bly lucky and hope that this let­ter in­spires oth­ers to use the power of na­ture to help them get through any dif­fi­cult time in their lives! Here’s to the sec­ond NHS: the Nat­u­ral Health Ser­vice!

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