Carolyn Foord talks about how she managed to fight cancer with natural remedies.
DIAGNOSED with breast cancer in July 2014, Carolyn Foord had a mastectomy and just three rounds of chemotherapy before abandoning conventional treatments which included radiation therapy and a decade on the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen.
“I had three chemos which I think is the worst thing that I did because it just stuffed up my immune system,” she says.
“I hated it. I felt like I was going to die.”
Two years after she was diagnosed, Foord is a new woman with white blonde hair and new attitude based on what she has learnt about self-healing.
So committed is she to her new life, she has bought a Noosa hideaway which she will convert into a health retreat and hopes to turn her Church Studios on Port Road into an alternative health centre for natural therapists.
“It’s just weird, I have these little ideas and suddenly they become real,” says Foord, whose dynamic personality is still intact. “(In Noosa) I dropped my friend off to have a colonic and said ‘OK angels, take me somewhere’ because I have these angels these days I believe.”
They led her to the Noosa property, which she bought late last year.
She has spent the past few months selling her extensive collection of designer clothes, furniture and paintings as she prepares to walk away from the WildChild fashion hub she created in 1991.
Carolyn Foord has chopped her former long brown locks and thrown up her trademark stilettos.
Her long brown shoulder-length hair is cropped, and her trademark stilettos have given way to $5 canvas sneakers — she bought 10 pairs so she can throw them out when they’re dirty.
“I got rid of all my beautiful clothes that I know I’ll never wear,” she says. “I look at it now, the stilettos! I mean who would have thought? I didn’t get out of my stilettos until I fell into bed at night.”
This is not to make light of the lonely, painful and difficult journey for one of Adelaide’s best-known fashion figures that began when a five centimetre tumour was found in her left breast.
“It’s been very scary,” she says.
“I cried, I was scared, then I got strong. There was no one to look after me and say ‘here’s your research, you need to do this and this’. At the end of the day it’s been pretty powerful. It’s changed my life.”
Having rejected chemotherapy, Foord began seeking out natural remedies and there seems to be none that she has not tried.
She has regular colonic therapy, hair analysis, oxygen therapy, hyperbaric chamber, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine and something called the zapper that can measure and “correct” resonant frequency.
She tests her own urine to make sure her body is alkaline and has a fear of parasites that can damage the gut.
“Most of us are walking around with disgusting worms in us, I’m serious, you need to parasite cleanse,” she says.
Her nutrition is plant-based although she has a small amount of organic meat on the advice of her acupuncturist.
And she likes fats, but only the good ones from avocados and olive oil.
WildChild StyleLab clothing store on King William Rd, Unley.
Then there is cannabis oil, which she extracts from home-grown marijuana plants and rubs into her gums.
She believes cannabis can cure cancer but can’t manage the “recommended healing dose” of one milligram of cannabis oil a day. It is illegal, hard to source and there is another problem.
“They talk about one ml a day but you couldn’t take it through the mouth, you’d be so off your face you couldn’t walk,” she says.
She says its results are nevertheless miraculous for cancer sufferers because it stimulates the appetite and helps dramatically with anxiety and pain.
Someone, a friend, distils it for her and she gives small amounts away to sick friends.
Of course, she wants it to be legalised and posted a Facebook plea to her friends to grow two plants each and give them away to sick people.
“It’s against my human rights to say I can’t use something that God gave us as medicine,” she says.
“I get frustrated that people don’t stand together more and use the power of the people.”
Her vision for Church Studios is to bring together under one roof everything she has learnt about self-healing so other cancer sufferers have somewhere to go.
Church Studios at Alberton.
Formerly owned by artist David Bromley — she has a number of his paintings — she wants the studios to become a natural therapy hub with interested practitioners working from it.
She is looking for a partner who can help fund the centre and shares her passion for spreading the message of wellness.
“It’s not like donating, it’s a good investment,” she says. “I’m not looking to make money out of it, so long as the bills get paid. It’s a philanthropic thing.”
Her enthusiasms for particular treatments have changed along the way, and she has no single remedy or health guru.
She has also come across fraudsters and rip-off merchants.
“You search everywhere,” she says. “My experience has been that with natural healing there are a lot who charge far too much. I’ve been ripped off along the way.”
Naturally effervescent and enthusiastic, she has had to learn the lesson of moderation, the basic tenet of Chinese medicine that seeks to balance life’s yin and yang.
Her tendency has been to find something she believes in, and take lots of it, like the lemon and garlic she was consuming each day.
“I had hair analysis and I was consuming 30 lemons a week to keep myself alkaline and now I have to stay off it,” she says.
“It makes you realise again the importance of balance and moderation. You think you take something and it’s really good for you so you take more and you think that’s even better. But it’s not.”
She is irrepressibly upbeat, looks great, and feels well two years after her diagnosis.
Old habits still die hard and she stresses too much about how to finance and juggle both the projects she wants.
She will move to Noosa permanently to live and run her wellness retreat but she also wants to leave something for others who are struggling with anxiety, fear and confusion.
Hers was a lonely journey and she wants to help others feel more supported.
“Now I feel like I got this (cancer) because I can make a difference,” she says.
“This could be a wonderful new thing and the objective is helping others. It’s not Mother Teresa but a little of that would help.”