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'Granted it’s not particularly conventional,' she said. And this time last year, I wasn’t so sure that would be so.'The star was diagnosed with inoperable and incurable stage 4 lung cancer and started targeted biological therapy on the NHS to prolong her life. 'And it has repaid me: I have learned to be so damn grateful for my life, every last bit of it, to forgive myself my “mistakes”, and to try to forgive those who I believe hurt me.
'I use journeying to connect with spiritual helpers and ancestors, visualisations, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga practices, and allow my creative juices to flow. However in August this year, she revealed the treatment had stopped working and that she was relying on alternative treatments such as plant-based healing oils and sessions in an infrared sauna. And each and every day I love and thank my poor scrawny body, tumours and all, because its doing its very best.
I am not saying it’s a guaranteed recipe for a radical remission, but that ain’t gonna stop me. Despite the setbacks, Leah is remaining incredibly positive and insists she sees cancer as a teacher she can learn positive lessons from rather than an enemy. 'But the last twelve months have shown me not just the absolute worst of times, but some of the best times in my life. YOGA: Leah has practiced yoga for 15 years and cites it as a way to keep her calm and positive. The practise believes that illness has a spiritual cause and results in a loss of energy or power.
And while she admits to having difficult days, she also said that she's experienced some of 'the best times in my life' in the past year. Little nuggets of gold that I would not have found otherwise. INFRARED SAUNA: Heat is said to help detoxify body and kill cancer cells.'I’m not going to lie. It’s a lonely road, even when you are surrounded by love. But when I smile, I smile, and when I laugh I laugh, and when it rains I put my umbrella up and wait for the storm to pass.
A year after she announced the devastating news of her diagnosis with terminal lung cancer, Emmerdale's Leah Bracknell has credited alternative therapies with keeping her alive. 'Since the day my world changed irrevocably, I have tried to develop a relationship with my illness to ask it what it has to teach me, what it wants me to change or face up to, in order that I don’t merely react to it with fear, loathing or avoidance,' she explained.
In a blog post to mark 12 months since her diagnosis, the actress, 53, who played Zoe Tate in Emmerdale from 1989-2005, admitted that she wasn't sure she would still be here, especially after she was told NHS treatment to prolong her life had stopped working. 'I don’t see cancer as my enemy, but a challenge, a gauntlet thrown down for me to seize with both hands.
Miss Bracknell, a 52-year-old mother-of-two to Lily, 25, and Maya, 21, who is believed to be a vegetarian and a non-smoker, said she felt fit and healthy just weeks before she was diagnosed.
She was about to start rehearsing for a comedy play alongside her work as a yoga teacher.
Leah has been practicing yoga for 15 years and also teaches it.
She wrote: 'I ask myself, would I turn back the clocks to a time before cancer? And I had to wake up to the fact that my life was in desperate need of an overhaul. Leah previously raised £60,000 for immunotherapy treatment, which is not available on the NHS.
My incredible year.'Leah explained that she's managed to stay positive by changing her attitude to cancer and seeing it as something she can learn from.
The experimental treatment, which she received in Germany, isn't a permanent medication as it stops working when the cancer starts to resist it.
She also had Mexican shamans by her hospital bed in an attempt to heal her.