Annie Smallmon – Breast Cancer

My name is Annie Smallmon

Born 1952 and dying when I decided to and not a moment sooner!!

I was born on a dairy farm at Clunes, NSW.

My great grandfather was an original settler there and was integral to the building of the public school and church in the Clunes township.

I have been married twice and divorced twice and have a very good relationship with both Exes…in fact my 1st husband I consider one of my very best friends!!

I have worked in clothing stores as a sales girl and also as a merchandiser in Lismore and later in Sydney. Later I worked in pubs until a business was offered to us in Bangalow on the north coast of NSW. It is in Bangalow I was blessed to have a daughter and a son…who I have to admit…proudly of course…have turned out to be gorgeous young human beings with hearts of gold and not a mean bone in their bodies…

I have suffered with Osteo Arthritis and Psorriatic Arthritis since I was about 16…so I have an amazing pain threshold…that mostly gets me through, especially now that I can’t take my normal drug that worked beautifully as it is an immune suppressant.

In 2007, a day after my 55th birthday, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I had already been suffering from a tremor in my right hand for 5 years previous, so all up 14 years now and still no medication.

I discovered by accident that my ex boyfriends house is a commune called Starlight out the back of Yandina had a calming effect on my PD, and so I asked if I could rent from him and made the move up to Starlight…knowing only one person and that was his Ex…

As I’m a firm believer in just going up and introducing oneself to whoever it didn’t take me long to know everyone at the commune and they became my extended family…always ready with a hug or a helping hand to fix anything for me, and for this I feel extremely blessed!!

In December last year I found a lump in the top of my breast and knew instinctively that it was Breast Cancer…I went and saw my doctor and was sent to have a core biopsy done in January. I was told I wouldn’t get results back until the following Monday or Tuesday, so I went and helped friends paint in Brisbane knowing I couldn’t stay by myself for 4 days over the weekend waiting…the results came back the next day, Friday, my exact words were F***, at which my GP agreed…God love him, and my friends let me cry on their shoulders. Next was my appointment with him on the Tuesday and we discussed surgeons. I knew it had to come out, never had any second thoughts about that. My prerequisite was to have a surgeon with a sense of humour. I didn’t want some stuck up know it all who was going to tell me what to do with my body.

I think I should add in here that my mother had breast cancer and a double mastectomy at 79 with 6 weeks of chemo before and another 6 weeks after. We have since found out that if you carry a specific gene that predisposes you to dementia. Chemo is like petrol on water and it set it off almost immediately in her.

I am almost a clone of my mother so was never going to go down the chemo path, so for 12 years I have read and researched other methods of curing cancer.

But I digress..! I was told there were no appointments with the surgeon for 3 weeks but to fax the biopsy reports and the surgeon would look at them. I had a phone call within the hour and the surgeon would see me the next day…ok, so that was quick. It can’t be good I’m thinking to myself. I saw the surgeon and had the lump and the main lymph node removed the following Thursday. The results came back that the lymph node was also cancerous and that I would have to have 30 lymph nodes removed under my arm just to be sure.

Meanwhile I got notice that my cataract that I had been waiting a year to have done was booked for the following Tuesday. So two weeks after that my surgeon said he wanted to do the next lot of surgery but it coincided with seeing Mrs Brown’s Boy’s in Brisbane. So I told him impossible…I needed a good laugh and he could do it the following week. And so back in he went. Of the 30, only 4 were cancerous but they had to come out because you can’t tell if they are duds until they are under a microscope.

Next was the hardest battle of all…convincing my surgeon why I wasn’t doing chemo or radiation, and it was a battle. I apparently have the most aggressive type this is, but still I know I’ve chosen the right path for ME, and that is the key word, ME. I have chosen to take Cannabis oil which I sourced from Nimbin Hemp Embassy and Frankinsence oil that I get from a neighbour here in Starlight. I literally bombed myself for the 1st month with 36 drops a day of Frankinsence oil for a month and then included the Cannabis oil slowly building it up in my system. I have now dropped the Frankinsence back to 10 drops a day. I have chosen the one that suits me and my lifestyle. I don’t have pain so I only needed something that would kill anything that poked its ugly little head up which is all the chemo and radiotherapy would have done.

No one could guarantee that either of those wouldn’t exasperate my PD, so hence my choices I have watched my mother survive for an extra 12 years and I never want to go down that path…because she hasn’t lived..

I would rather live for another 5 years and have a full life than travel her path. To me there is no point to surviving Breast Cancer only to become a vegetable with PD. I’m going to dance to the end.So here I am, I found this wonderful group called ‘Cansurvive’ and my family has become extended.   I had my first mammogram and scan and bloods done last month and they all came back CLEAR!!!!

So I would say to all who are challenged… follow your gut instincts and don’t let doctors persuade you otherwise and do what you feel is right for you whether it is conventional therapy or alternative or a combination of both.

You are the best judge of your own body and what it needs…so LISTEN to what it tells you.


A survivor

Annie Smallmon