The story …
About Best Life Author, Alison:
Although I qualified many years ago as a nurse, I’ve hardly ever practiced as one. If anything, it was a ‘swerve’ off my career path to escape an irate mother.
I’d registered to study a BA in Fine Arts at the University of Witwatersrand (aka Wits) but had soon realised my heart wasn’t in it. Sadly, whatever artistic bent I’d had then was soundly euthanized and I haven’t opened a tube of oil paint since.
My mum, who repeatedly told me how she’d give her left arm to have been able to go to university, was totally unimpressed.
She’d always wanted to study journalism. She skipped two years of school (promoted upwards), starting when she was five and finishing when she was 15. She also came top in English in South Africa. I do see the injustice. Now. I obviously didn’t then. At 17, I knew it all.
Looking back, I don’t regret the years spent getting my nursing qualification. It has stood me in good stead at times.
I spent six very entertaining weeks as a ‘set nurse’ on a film set about a bushmaster TV series for kids. Equipped with a full medical kit including snakebite serum (we were filming in the bush), I spent most days applying sunscreen and massaging sore shoulders.
It also helped me keep calm when my daughters were sick or hurt. Except I couldn’t bring myself to stick a needle into my eldest. So the intended vaccine eventually expired in my fridge.
And a random clinic got to finally do it.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
If I had to pick just one ‘main career’, I’d have to say that I am a wordsmith or advertising copywriter by trade. But I have enjoyed a full and chequered career path, including:
- Working at a chambermaid at a 5-star hotel on the Scottish Highlands
- Being a waitress at an auberge in Lot, France
- Picking flowers in Zeeland, Holland
- Co-owning and running a backpackers for 13 years
- Freelancing and working permanently as a copywriter, digital content manager, WordPress web designer, PPC, SEO and social media marketer
I’m divorced, pretty amicably now. I have two incredible and inspiring daughters that I learn from every day.
Sadly, I’ve lost four family members to cancer. All different types. My dad to prostate cancer in 1998, my middle brother to throat cancer in 2001 and my eldest brother committed suicide before lung cancer took its toll in 2008.
My youngest and closest brother lost his battle with bladder cancer in 2017.
They died as they had lived, squeezing out as much fun out of life as they could. I never once heard them complain.
Through these challenging years, I’ve researched, studied, sought out and investigated every cancer treatment and therapy I could lay my hands on. From alternative remedies to diets to conventional medicine.
This has made me far more conscious of living well, living bolder and living healthier. Chemo and radiation are devastating to the human body. There are many supplements, vitamins and basic foods that can make a difference and repair and give the body its best shot.
It’s made me an advocate of “let medicine be thy food and food be thy medicine”, a principle of Hippocrates. It’s made me a convert to his oath of ‘first do no harm’. No wonder he’s considered the father of modern medicine.
Sometimes, I can’t help wonder if we’ve strayed too far from these sound fundamentals?
At 59, I sold everything I owned and relocated to the UK with one suitcase and the belief that more opportunities and a better lifestyle were possible for me. I believe this more than ever.
I believe the best is yet to come.