Soula’s Choice to Detox

By Soula Panagiotou

Soula Panagiotou inherited the rare, abnormal BRCA1 gene from her mother, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005.

I was first touched by cancer when my mother was diagnosed with advanced Ovarian Cancer in 1991. Doctors said it would be best if she was left alone to die peacefully. Well she didn’t die; she’s still here and she’s over 80! Her positive attitude and determination would be the driving force for me when I faced the same cancer in 2005. Little did I know that I had inherited from my mother the rare, abnormal BRCA1 gene which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. I was only 44 years old!

I however, was encouraged to have chemotherapy, although it was different to the chemo treatment my mother had. The doctors said I had a good chance of getting rid of it but according to them my chances weren’t as good keeping it at bay for too long. “There’s a chance you’ll get breast cancer as well” they said. I was already aware that a lot of women with advanced ovarian cancer didn’t make it past the third year mark; that alone was tough enough to deal with! I couldn’t deal with the prospect of getting breast cancer. I decided not to allow the statistics to weigh me down. I was going to beat this.

When things became too difficult, my beautiful daughter was my constant inspiration. I went on to research everything I could about cancer, diet, lifestyle, spirituality and meditation. A friend told me about The Gawler Foundation, which I visited and was pleasantly surprised to find that the Foundation covered all of the things I was researching. That was comforting! I set myself a goal to attend the retreat after I finished chemo but in the meantime was content to purchase The Gawler Foundation’s cookbook and start juicing and eating healthily.

Approximately six months later after six grueling rounds of chemo, nausea and feeling like a pin cushion, I finally realised my goal and attended the Life and Living retreat, It was all that I hoped for and more.

The wonderful food and meditation were exactly what my body needed. I met the most remarkable, dedicated people and made some lifelong friendships. The knowledge I gained has been invaluable and I have been able to put it to good use by including what I learnt and what I researched into my book called The Detox Answer.

It was important for me to document how I went about eliminating all the toxins from my body that had accumulated from the chemo, the sleeping tablets, the painkillers and the anti-nausea drugs. My cells had taken a battering and I was determined to get them healthy again. It wasn’t easy, as my body ached for a while and started to rebel. My diet was constantly changing; I stopped eating animal and dairy products, sugar and coffee. I took more of an interest in cooking fresh healthy food and created some of my own recipes.  All the hard work started paying off and I felt better than ever. People kept commenting on how well I looked. My feelings of anger, resentment and fear had dissipated. I felt powerful and in control of my life and health and still do so to this day.

I firmly believe that everyone has the ability to tap into their own healing energy. I feel it’s important not to hand over all your power to someone else; you’re the one responsible for your own healing journey. Use your intuition and find what works best for you. I am certain it was my inner strength, courage and positive thinking that got me to where I am today. We can all draw from this inner place, our spirit, to show us the way.  


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