Help Claire Heal Her Stage 4 Cancer
The tougher it gets, the more I hope, the more determined I get
Hello, I’m Claire. I’ve just been told I’ve got Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, this is my fourth breast cancer diagnosis, and the first time it has travelled away from my breast to other parts of my body. I’ve been told I have tumours in my armpit, in my liver and on my spine. I’m told it’s inoperable, incurable, that I can only hope to control it with drugs for a time, until they stop working… but … the way I see it, if even one person has experienced a ‘miracle cure’ from an incurable disease, then others can. And they have, so why not me? The thing I’m learning about 'miracles' is that they usually aren’t miracles; everything I’ve read tells me they’re actually usually the result of many, many hours, months and sometimes years of research, hard work and determination to find your way to healing.
I have been working with this disease in my body for 17 years now and I’ve learned a lot about how to work with it and keep a body alive when it’s prone to cancer. I’ve tried hard to keep strong through exercise whenever I can, vitamins, juicing, eating well, meditation, keeping a positive outlook, all the things you’re supposed to do … and I’ve done all of the conventional treatment: 8 operations on that breast and armpit now, chemotherapy once and radiotherapy twice, not to mention all the oral drugs and injections. And but there is only so much a person can take and I feel I’m at capacity now and I really need some help please - to help me stay alive. I’ve recovered from this successfully 3 times - but it’s come back and it’s urgent this time because it’s spreading and very aggressive.
I am now taking tablets from the oncologist (the NHS medical teams have been brilliant and done everything they can throughout) but the tablets may or may not work, and now I’m living from scan to scan to see if the tumours have shrunk. Except it’s not living… it’s waiting. Waiting for the ‘there’s nothing else we can do’ consultation. Waiting for the day I’m too ill to get out of bed. Waiting for… and I’m terrified, of course. Who wouldn’t be?
The best news I can hope for from the tablets is that they will control it for a time, whilst I try to deal with all the side effects and, God, there are so many of them. But I believe there’s more wisdom in the world than I have yet discovered, and I have been researching far and wide - everything that’s available and has been proven to work for cancer patients I can find pretty much anywhere in the world - because I really want to live. I have so much I still want to contribute and experience, so I want to try to do everything I can to maximise my chances of being here more than the next year or two.
So, I’m making a treatment plan that works on this disease from all angles: the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual, and giving my body a major reboost so that I can rid myself of this disease once and for all. This is my hope. My body is tired and so full of pain now, what I want more than anything is to make it strong again, to ease the pain, to rebuild my immune system, to soothe my mind and emotions, and finally, joyfully, to heal.
The first time I found a lump in my breast I was 19. It was benign but they wanted to take it out anyway. Then, when I was 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in exactly the same place. It was DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) which is very early-stage breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy, some lymph nodes removed to check for spread (which thankfully it hadn’t at that point) and 5 weeks radiotherapy and remained well (or so I thought) for the next 14 years. My dear husband Daniel, who I had only met one year previously, has stuck by my side throughout the whole ordeal as if it was happening to him directly. I am truly blessed in him. He makes up for anything bad that has ever happened to me. I found him late in life and I’d like more time with him. Unfortunately, we never had any children, we wanted to but I was always too busy having treatment or too worried any children we had would grow up without a mother to take care of them. So we didn’t.
Then, in January 2018, I was diagnosed with very aggressive grade 3 breast cancer, in the same breast again, I had 5 months chemotherapy, which put me into the menopause after just one treatment, gave me just about every side effect listed and ultimately left me with osteoporosis. When that was finished, I had a mastectomy, a complete lymph-node excavation, and radiotherapy for the second time, a little higher so as not to go over the same skin twice as that’s too dangerous. The hormone treatment I was given after that gave me awful side effects, so I couldn’t take them.
It’s difficult to describe just how bad all this makes you feel, physically and emotionally. Safe to say, it can make you lose the will to live because you simply think you can’t stand it anymore - but I do really want to live.
I am so lucky to have the support of wonderful friends and family, and particularly my dear husband who has stood by my side from the outset, so whenever we could, we went for walks and ate well, built myself up and did everything possible to get it back ‘in remission’ once more – and with success - I got myself a jazzy wig and went back to work in April 2019.
Then, in August 2020, I was told it had come back again. The mastectomy was redone, more of me was taken away, a smaller implant put back. That’s the 8th operation I had around my right breast area. No radiotherapy or chemo this time, I didn’t feel I could take any more at that point because as I was still suffering with too many side effects from the last time. I had what I thought was a successful operation and all was well. I was put on a different set of drugs which I also couldn’t tolerate: I had many side effects including very severe heart palpitations and had to dial 111 because I thought I was having a heart attack and was advised to stop them immediately.
All was well for 6 months. Then, during Covid, seeking advice and getting check-ups was complicated due to fear of attending hospitals and cancelled appointments. I developed a pain in my chest, jaw and armpit, and was advised by phone to have osteopathy or physio and that it was possibly nerve pain from surgery or radiotherapy but that I’d need to come in when possible. I even had a tooth extracted thinking that was the problem, but it didn’t help. When I was able to go to hospital in person in February, I got my fourth diagnosis. I was told it was back again and that this time it had spread to my liver and spine and that it was incurable. I used to do martial arts to a really high level, now I struggle to walk more than 10 minutes.
The hospital has put me on two sets of drugs to stop the spread but I’m finding them incredibly hard to take because of the side effects and my already very worn-out immune system. I’m eagerly and anxiously awaiting the results of my first scan which will be in a couple of months now, but the drugs alone cannot solve the problem. So, I want to focus all my attention on making my immune system as strong as possible through holistic treatments, and of course focus on strangling the cancer, and possibly on accessing some surgical treatments later, once I've got the systemic problem more under control; they're not available on the NHS (or so I understand), but it may be that shortly I can consider things like Radio Frequency Ablation, Nanoknife, Cryotherapy and Chemo Embolization.
The Treatment I Need
I’d like to take a completely integrated approach, using the best of what both conventional and alternative therapies have to offer, but the treatments I’ve found are expensive and some of them can only be found abroad and are far out of my price bracket which is why I’m asking for your help.
Initially, I am trying to source all the treatments I can in the UK as I am currently not well enough to travel abroad (this coupled together with the added expense and the risks around Covid make sourcing treatment at home the only option for me at the moment), and anyway I’ve now found some wonderful therapists to help me here in the UK which I will give more detail about in a moment. I’m calling the UK part ‘Phase 1’.
Ultimately though, perhaps in 6 months’ time (depending on how I progress with treatment here, how Covid goes and whether I can raise the funds), what I’d really like to do is go to a specialist stage 4 cancer treatment centre. I’ve found two and they’re both abroad: one is in Mexico and the other in Phuket (links below). I have called this part ‘Phase 2’.
First, I want to try to support my physical body, wake up my immune system and work on changing my biochemistry to make it more alkaline and less friendly terrain for cancer growth, through my research (which has been non-stop over the past month) I have found that this is done in various ways: such as through a series of metabolic treatments like intravenous Vitamin C and Curcumin, and Oxygen therapies to help wake the immune system up so that it can fight the cancer more effectively by itself and help improve the efficacy of the chemotherapy tablets. For this, I have found an amazing Swiss German Integrative Doctor who runs a medical practice in Sussex.
Then, I’d like to see an integrative doctor and/or nutritional therapist/biomedical practitioner to find out exactly what to eat and not to eat and take in order to ‘starve’ the cancer out of my body. I also need advice on supplements and to buy them which gets expensive.
I’m also suffering with osteoporosis and severe back and joint pain as a result of the chemotherapy and hormone drugs, so I need to see a physio and a craniosacral therapist to ease my body pain.
Then I’d like to turn my attention to my emotional, psychological and spiritual health and I have found various very effective therapists lined up for that who work in psychotherapy and trauma release therapy.
Ultimately though, to make sure the cancer not only goes but stays gone, I need to go to one of the specialist healing facilities that treat stage 4 patients abroad. They have astonishing results, taking my chances of being alive in 5 years from 2% to 62%. I know that’s just a statistic to most people but, to me, that’s the difference between being alive in a couple of years’ time or not, and I can’t begin to tell you how that makes me feel.
How You Can Help
Whether or not I can go really depends on one thing: you who are kind enough to be reading a Go Fund Me page and whether or not you feel you can help me. It would mean everything to me, quite literally my life, if you could.
Phase 1 - for the next 6 months – goal £35,000
Expenses can be broken down like this, per week:
£25 covers supplements
£25 covers nutritional advice
£65 covers physio
£100 covers trauma and psychotherapy
£100 covers craniosacral work
£200 covers travel and overnight stays near medical centre
£400 covers 1 x weekly immune-boosting treatments (intravenous Vit C, Oxygen treatments)
£800 covers 2 x weekly immune-boosting treatments (intravenous Vit C, Oxygen treatments)
I hope with all my heart that this will be enough and the tumours have shrunk significantly or, better still, disappeared completely and miraculously over the next 6 months, however, if that isn’t what happens, my only chance then is to go to one of these places, which is Phase 2.
Phase 2 – Stage 4 Metastatic Cancer Treatment Centre Abroad - goal - £40,000
This is the one in Mexico:
This is the one in Thailand:
So total goal to reach is £75,000.
Thank you so much
I know this is a huge ask, to help a stranger, or someone you may vaguely know through someone else, but I would be so grateful if you could make a contribution, no matter how small, and I will update you with details of my story and any updates and test results all along my healing journey – gladly - you will be as involved as you want to be.
Who am I?
In case you want to know who you’re helping, I used to be Claire Marchionne before I got married, now I’m Claire Galmiche. I trained and worked as an actor for 12 years, so I may have entertained you one night in a theatre in London, around the country or at the RSC or in your living room on TV. Then I ran workshops in universities as an actor and found that I loved teaching, so I went back to uni and trained to teach, so I might have taught your children at a theatre summer school or taken them through GCSE or A level, come to think of it I might have taught you. Then I trained as a coach so I may have coached your team, or you, or I may have helped you with your wellbeing, I’ve been doing a lot of that lately with the pandemic. Now I work with people of all ages, building confidence and communication skills and teaching us how to take better care of ourselves (after all, I’ve got pretty good at it now… I’ve had an awful lot of practice!)
Hopes and Dreams
I anticipate my healing process will take a while, it’s impossible to say, but I will update you all regularly and let you know my progress. I’m very happy to share my journey with you, I hope it may inspire anyone else who is struggling out there. The experience of having cancer has changed my life beyond recognition. It’s not all bad… I wonder why it is that we have to almost die before we really learn how to live, but I think I have – finally - learned, and I have a really clear sense of purpose now: I know what it is I’m meant to do with the rest of my life and that’s help other people like me, or better yet, help other people understand how we can all look after ourselves better so these things don’t happen to us in the first place.
If you feel you can help me by making a contribution, thank you, I’d be more grateful than I can express. If you aren’t in a position to help at the moment, I know it’s tough post pandemic, please share my link to your social media sites and through email to friends and colleagues, in fact just share it anyway please!
I want to say sorry to anyone I know who is finding this out about me for the first time like this; it’s a tough conversation to keep having with people so sorry if I haven’t called you yet.
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