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Cancer: A Call for Change

by Maureen Usher(more info)

listed in cancer, originally published in issue 40 - May 1999

Cancer is a cry from the human spirit to say enough is enough. It's a reflection of what is happening on and to our planet. It's a call for major change to how we live our lives. Come and join me on the road I took.

You never forget the day you are diagnosed with cancer. It's a life changing experience. I was diagnosed with cancer of the right kidney on 13th May 1996. The surgeon told me of the cancer in the most brutal way imaginable and said that he was going to operate within days. However, there was a huge catch to his plan. I had moved house the week before, I had no bed, was surrounded by packing cases and there was no one to look after me when I returned from the hospital. It was to be a major operation to remove the kidney and would require a long recovery period.

Maureen Usher with reflexologist, Jane Terrey in The Haven

Maureen Usher with reflexologist, Jane Terrey in The Haven

Reeling, I returned to my clinic, where I worked as a complementary healthcare practitioner, to carry on as normally as I could with my clients. Half an hour after my diagnosis I was sitting with a smile on my face in front of my first client of the day. I will never know how I got through it.

The first difficulty I encountered was in handling people's attitudes to cancer. The first four people I told, three of whom were practitioners, didn't handle my news effectively and as a result I told few others, not even my family, until months later. What I needed at that moment was somebody to say "what can I do to support you through this?". I was unable to cope with even one more person mishandling my news. What became paramount was that I retained some kind of control in this seemingly uncontrolled situation. I did not want to give all my power away to the doctors and surgeons. It was important not to feel a victim and not to own the cancer. Instead of saying, "I have cancer", I would say, "I have been diagnosed with cancer".[2]

Maureen with Jane Terry at The Haven

Maureen with Jane Terry at The Haven

As soon as I recovered from the shock of the news I chose to make the experience as positive as I could and to learn from it. I knew there was so much I could do to help myself, but I also knew that I would have to work very hard at it. Setting up my new home was also to be part of starting a whole new life. I decided to delay the operation.

With my background as a practitioner I was very lucky to be able to draw on huge resources to help me in my healing, but the gesture of a friend, who left a bundle of books and papers on the subject, was a real inspiration. Initially I had difficulty in bringing my healing team together, as in my distress I had forgotten a vital fact. In Great Britain there is a law forbidding non-medical practitioners from treating cancer. As soon as I had remembered this and I made it clear the role each practitioner would play, it was full steam ahead.

For each person diagnosed with cancer, the experience is unique. There isn't one tried and tested method, but to heal cancer, you have to look at everything in your life that can possibly need healing on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

The Aetiology of my Cancer

The straw that had broken my camel's back had been a massive invasion of parasites, following a trip to China in 1994. Such parasites cause a huge build up of toxins in the body. Unfortunately the hospital I attended for serious weight loss did not spot the problems and two years later I was a very ill woman. With the help of a skilled practitioner, the parasites were dealt with in a similar manner to the recommendations made by Hulda Clarke in her book A Cure for all Diseases. I have difficulty with the title of this book, because I believe the causes of cancer are manifold, but nevertheless Hulda Clarke is on to an important fact, which is not being accounted for in the treatment of cancer. She highlights the dangers of modern day living with its common use of chemicals such as propyl alcohols, ironically the major element in cleaning materials.[3]

Another important discovery was that both my former home and the clinic where I worked were geopathically stressed, to the maximum level. According to findings by the Dulwich Health Society, 92% of people suffering from cancer are geopathically stressed. Such stress is caused by power lines, transformers and underground streams. My former home was beside an electricity sub-station and the clinic was between a stream and an electric railway line.

Geopathic stress doesn't cause illness, but it does weaken the immune system and the ability to fight off viruses, bacterium and in my case parasites. It upsets the internal energy supply and balance of the body and creates an over acid environment. There are various methods of solving this problem, but the easiest solution is to use a neutraliser called a raditech.[4] It's worth mentioning here that such stress is nearly always present in cases of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). It also has a negative effect on your psychological state and is a background factor in 80% of divorces.

My Major Detoxification Programme

Having dealt with these two major problems, a programme of detoxification could commence. Along the way it was discovered I had heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides in my system. In addition I had been severely weakened by exposure to nuclear fallout during atomic testing in the Pacific when I was a little girl. It was a revelation to see how seriously modern day living had affected my body. As I pieced my story together it was obvious I could not cope with any more toxins and over acidity. The result was cancer.

The detoxification process began with a grape cure[5] lasting three weeks. Yes, nothing but organic grapes and water went in for breakfast, lunch and dinner and what came out was unmentionable!! It worked extremely well and I felt great when I had completed it. A cleansing diet followed,[6] which was basically made up of fruit and vegetables with only a small amount of protein. No meat or fish of any kind, nor tea, coffee, milk, alcohol, sugar, tinned food, grapefruit, lemons or oranges. At first I felt quite deprived, but I was so well, that with only a few additions, I have stayed on the diet till this day.

During the detoxification process, it became evident that my left kidney was not in good shape either. According to my radionics practitioner the damaged right one was functioning better than the left!

I felt it was important to tackle the cancer from every angle to speed up my healing process – among the complementary treatments that helped me were mistletoe injections,[7] radionics, feng shui,[8] supplements, reiki healing, meditation, visualisation, prayer and reflexology.[9]

It is paramount that the lymphatic system be stimulated as much as possible to release all the toxins: so I set up an exercise regime of swimming, yoga, a sacred dance called paneurythmy, mini trampolining and skin brushing. As far as possible I did this outside so as to enjoy the sunlight. Exercise is a good way to encourage good breathing techniques and increase the amount of oxygen in the system.

Emotional Issues don't Cause Cancer

Having read many books on the subject, I used to think that cancer was the result of suppressed stress or an emotional issue. Having gone through the experience, I no longer hold this view. Yes, emotional issues can be very draining to the immune system and may be the last straw, but they do not cause cancer. For aeons the human spirit has doggedly plodded on despite appalling physical, mental and emotional pressures.

Someone trying to be helpful said to me "Oh, your cancer must be to do with karma". It's like saying you have karma to deal with, but they do not. The last thing a cancer sufferer needs is to feel guilty and disempowered about their experience. Acceptance of who they are is vital. We are here on this earth to learn and difficult lessons come only when we are strong enough to deal with them.

I do not know what I would have done without my friends and the practitioners who supported me through this dark passage of my life. They brought smiles and happiness in the gloom. As a person who gives rather than receives, I started to learn about the balance between the two. It is interesting to note if we don't receive we block someone else's giving!

Building my New Life

The new home I created was a haven of peace, love and tranquillity, a sacred space to live in with beautiful music and no violence, no toxic thoughts, and no television. In the garden perfumed plants, colour and a waterfall and no chemicals of any sort. Surrounded by nature I encouraged the birds and creatures to visit my paradise on earth.

While all this was going on I was running a busy practice and a few other things besides. For me it was important to keep going and live as normal a life as possible. Sometimes it felt as if I was scaling a high wall and every now and again I would slide back down. At the bottom was despair and hopelessness, but somehow I always found the strength to climb up again.

Although the medical team did not concede this, unusual diagnostic methods and Polycontrast Interface Photography, (PIP) which is a three dimensional method of scanning the body, confirmed what I knew deep inside, the cancer had been halted, just a year after the diagnosis. But unfortunately I was unable to regenerate the kidney I had so much wanted to save. A great deal of damage had been done by the cancer so that an operation was necessary after all.

It was an amazing experience sharing with other cancer sufferers in the hospital. Despite the system and appalling personal tragedy, there was a feeling of solidarity and unity, which overrode the extreme circumstances. They were all wonderful people. Everyone showed such fortitude. Each was a hero or heroine.

Then the most difficult stage of the whole journey began, as I lay down my tools, my dreams and aspirations to take on only one client – myself! The task was to heal myself from the operation. Because of my financial position I was unable to have the support I had had before the operation and because I had no strength I was no longer able to trade my reflexology skills. For a year I could not write, work or indeed do anything at all. It was so precious to me that I even remember the date I started reading again. It seemed as if my brains had been left on the operating table. I could only be. It was as if I was in a cocoon and only now I am just beginning to emerge. My wings are still drying.

The Environmental Contributors to Cancer

There is so much we can do to prevent cancer. Diet is crucial. It has been found that vegetarians on minimum protein and eating organic produce have a lower incidence of cancer.[10] Nevertheless we are bombarded with conflicting views, each claiming to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and it is hard to make an accurate and well informed choice. But it is vital to find the right path and essential to avoid pollutants wherever possible. We seem to be going backwards. In the nineteenth century there was no cure for the killer diseases typhoid and cholera. Huge resources were put into providing clean water, uncontaminated food and better living conditions. This reduced human suffering, premature death, medical expenditure and the cost to the community. We find ourselves at the close of the twentieth century with a similar dilemma: a polluted society!

It is extraordinary that despite the frightening statistics on the incidence of cancer, the causes have not yet been exposed. If there was a danger of flooding with a statistic of nearly one in two of the population about to lose their homes, immediate emergency measures would be taken to prevent such a catastrophe. Billions are spent on finding a cure, but there is little spent on prevention. As long as 50 years ago, John Higginson, a cancer epidemiologist and Director of the World Health Organisation for Research on Cancer, discovered that there was conclusive evidence that 80–90 per cent of all cancers were caused by environmental factors.[11] As we draw to the close of the century we are no further forward.

You don't have to be a scientist to understand why cancer is at epidemic proportions. Maybe the answer is so simple no one can see it. Let us play detective for a minute and look at the possible clues. First of all cancer is exceptionally rare amongst primitive peoples. When they are exposed to a modern day lifestyle, cancer is evident. It is often said that cancer is a disease of old age and yet the young are affected. There are many known carcinogens such as smoking, excess sun, synthetic oestrogens, asbestos, organophosphates, nuclear fallout to name but a few. A military establishment in the U.S.A. has recently recommended that there should be a lowering of the frequencies used in mobile phones to reduce the dangers of tumours of the brain. There is also cause for concern on the addition of fluoride in the water supplies. In 1978 Dr Margaret Brady noted that there had been a marked rise on the cancer death rate after the introduction of fluoridation in Birmingham.[12] Maybe we should even add 'lunch' to the list! A study carried out in New Zealand showed that every item sampled in a snack lunch contained carcinogenic pesticide residues.[13]

In the last 50 years, 50,000 chemicals have been introduced to our daily lives. Modern day farming practice dedicated to maximum yield is partly to blame, but is far from being the only culprit. I was in a queue at a checkout in a supermarket just before Christmas. The lady in front of me had mountains of flour on the counter and I joked with her that she was going to be very busy baking. She said that this supermarket was the only place in the area that sold unbleached flour. I asked her about the implications and she told me that when they give bleaching agents to rats and mice in laboratory experiments they developed cancer. "How do you know all this?" I asked. "I am a biochemist" she replied.

A recent study, carried out by the European Commission, found that 40% of the fruit and vegetables being sold in supermarkets and shops contained pesticide residues. The highest levels were found in lettuce, strawberries, grapes, apples and tomatoes.[14] Even more alarming is the development of genetic engineering. A potato grown in commercial production in the United States has been legally registered as a pesticide with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because it has been genetically engineered to poison the Colorado beetle,[15] but not us!

What We Each Can Do

I now avidly read the labels on products in the supermarkets, but unfortunately as there are no labels on the fruit and vegetables informing me of possible pesticide and herbicide residues, I have made the switch to organic produce where possible. I get very excited if I see a slug on a lettuce leaf or a worm in an apple. If they can eat it, so can I!

But maybe we should do something more positive than read the small print to avoid such toxins. Consumer pressure can encourage food sellers and manufacturers to provide safe, healthy food. We are responsible for what we eat, so we must act now.

Water, one of the mainstays of life, which flushes out toxins, and improves the magnetic circulation of the body contains added extras such as fluoride, which is a poison, and chlorine which renders this elixir of life undrinkable without heavily disguising it. I wonder what else is in there? I was present at a water testing and it showed 500 chemicals in the tap water sampled!

But before we can point fingers at anyone we, and I mean you and I, have to take responsibility for what we put into our water systems. Let us get down to basics to understand how each and everyone is responsible. When we apply weed-killers to our gardens, where does it end up – in the rivers, in the sea, in our tap water?!! In pursuit of a weed-free lawn, no slugs on the vegetables, and no weeds in the flower beds, I used all sorts of products on my garden until an alarming discovery. I had slug poison in my system. You know the stuff that makes the slugs disappear! The small print on the packet may promise it is safe, but it took many years to reveal the true nature of DDT.

Maybe all the hormones that are taken end up in our tap water. I am very aware from my own experiences, that testing is a very inexact science. Levels have to be high before they show up. Additionally what is not taken into account are the cumulative effects. It is now well known that males have a reduced sperm count. Research has shown this to be the case.[16] Further synthetic oestrogens have been shown to have a significant link with breast and prostate cancer. Could this be why these cancers are top of the league table of statistics? We are not only harming ourselves. What about all the creatures in the waterways and oceans?

Everywhere is polluted. It is now very toxic in the sea, on the land and in the sky, in fact everywhere. Adults as well as children look pale and drawn with eruptions on their skins. Many people are sick. Our earth is sick. Mankind and here I am quick to add womankind, has been dumping waste both in matter and thought everywhere he or she goes.

We will eventually understand that to cure cancer, we must collectively change our lifestyle. Cancer is seen as a frightening experience, but we must take the fear out of cancer. We must see it as a positive call for change and we must love and support those brave souls who are going through this difficult experience. Above all we must heed the call, as our earth cries out enough is enough by firstly healing ourselves of every aspect that needs healing. We have a responsibility to do this for ourselves, our neighbours, our environment, and of course the earth we live on. Only then can we effectively help others in their healing process. We won the lottery to be on this planet at this challenging but extraordinary time and we are being given the chance to create a peaceful happy world, to bring Heaven to earth!

So what have been the most significant things I have learned from my great journey? Firstly having faced death, I am not scared of it. I believe I am alive today because of how I took each step through the cancer experience. I discovered the vital and deadly role of toxins in the onset of cancer, but I also truly learnt that every cloud has a silver lining. It was a voyage of discovery which led me to a real understanding of my particular journey on this earth. My first responsibility is to heal myself. Only then can I really heal others. I have learned to create space for myself and take better care of myself instead of always reaching out to help others. I tread more lightly and respectfully on the planet and I am more at one with my environment. I have learned just to be, but outside my haven the realities of life carry on in a noisy, violent world where we have allowed the abnormal to become normal.


1. Imperial Cancer Research National Statistics.
2. Ryder Richardson C., Mind over Cancer, W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd ISBN 0-572-01451-1 1995.
3. Clarke H., The Cure for All Diseases, ProMotion Publishing ISBN 1-887314-02-4 1995.
4. Dulwich Health Society Telephone Number 0044 (0)181-670-5883.
5. Brandt J., The Grape Cure, Harmony Centre Inc. ISBN 07873-0119-1 1928.
6. Goodman S, Howard J, and Barker W. Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide for People with Cancer Journal of Nutritional Medicine Vol.4(2) P199-214 1994.
7. Kuttang et al., Isolation and Identification of a Tumour Reducing Component from Mistletoe Extract (Iscador) Cancer Lett Vol.41 P307-14 1988.
8. Kingston K., Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, Piatkus ISBN 0-7499-1601-X 1997.
9 Lerner M., Choices in Healing, The MIT Press 1994.
10 Hall R.H., A New Threat to Public Health: organochlorines and food, Nutr. Health, 8 (1) pp33-43 1992.
11 Hume Hall R., The Medical Industrial Complex, The Ecologist, Vol.28, p. 62-68 Mar/Apr 1998.
12 Dr M Brady, Cancer Control Journal, 1998.
13. New Zealand Diet Survey 1990/91.
14. Monitoring for Pesticide Residues in the European Union and Norway Report 1996, Pub. European Commission DT24DG Nov. 1998.
15. Genetically engineered potatoes – P.4 Positive News, Winter 1998.
16. Colborn, Dumanoski, Myers. Our Stolen Future, Abacus ISBN 0-349-10878-1 1997.


  1. Jan Cisek said..

    I completely agree that geopathic stress can weaken our immune system which can be a leading factor in developing cancer. There is research on geopathic stress and cancer. Have a look at this in-depth article on geopathic stress:

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About Maureen Usher

With a 30 year career in Broadcasting behind her, Maureen Usher trained as a Complemen- tary Healthcare Practitioner in Reflexology, Aromatherapy and the Bach Flowers over ten years ago. She is a former President and Chairman of the Association of Reflexologists and is now a Honorary Life member of the Association. Internationally, Maureen has served both as a Director and President of the International Council of Reflexologists and was a co-founder and the former Chairman of the 'Reflexology in Europe' Network.

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