Terminally ill Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell praises her ‘endlessly reassuring' NHS doctor in a harrowing account of her cancer treatment on her blog
- Former Emmerdale star, 53, was diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2016
- Has posted a candid account of treatment to alleviate her symptoms on her blog
- Appears to describe treatment for pleural effusion - to drain fluid from the lungs
- Leah writes about a 'sea of sickness' seeping from her body 'drip by drip'
- Also described her doctor, named as 'Dr H', as '10/10' and 'endlessly reassuring'
- Told earlier this year how doctors did not take her breathlessness seriously
- She saw four GPs in 10 days before going to A&E. She had stage 4 lung cancer
- Conventional medicine stopped working and Leah is using alternative therapies
The former Emmerdale star, 53, who played Zoe Tate on the soap, described her doctor - named only as Dr H - as 'professional, friendly and endlessly reassuring', and '10/10' for bedside manner, in a brutally honest blog post about a trip to hospital to alleviate her lung cancer symptoms.
In what appears to be an account of treatment for pleural effusion - which sees a wide needle or cannula inserted into the chest cavity to drain fluid from the lungs - Leah describes a 'sea of sickness' seeping from her body 'drip by drip', and the cause of her pain lying 'malignantly in a plastic bag upon a metal trolley'.
London-born Leah, who has spoken openly about her preference for alternative therapies including immunotherapy and shamanic healing, detailed her hospital visit in a post on her blog, Something beginning with C, earlier this month.
It comes after the actress told how, when she first alerted doctors to her swollen abdomen and breathlessness, she saw four GPs in 10 days before she was finally taken to A&E. She had stage 4 lung cancer.
'I was dying, but the urgency of the situation was completely missed,' she told the Daily Star at the time, after calling on the government to give the NHS a cash injection to alleviate a 'funding crisis'.
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Former Emmerdale star Leah Bracknell, 53, previously revealed that doctors initially missed her cancer before she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in October 2016
In a lengthy post on her blog, the actress described her experiences of being given treatment to relieve the side effects of her terminal lung cancer on the NHS
She also recalls joking with a male nurse from the Philippines, with whom she describes singing along to the Gloria Gaynor track, I Will Survive.
Leah singles him out while also praising other foreign doctors and nurses working in the NHS; 'global friends' she describes as being 'intrinsic to its health'.
The NHS 'needs saving', she writes, 'before the disease of neglect and lack of funding and secretive selling off kills it off once and for all'.
Despite having embraced alternative therapies, the actress' lengthy, reflective blog post suggests she is still making multiple visits to hospital to have fluid drained from her lungs.
In it she ponders whether 'one decision made differently' might have led to a different outcome, writing: 'Perhaps I wouldn't now be perching on the side of the bed, and not for the first time this month... with a needle and catheter inserted into my back... draining what will be a litre of fluid form the pleural lining of my lung.'
She adds: 'That's three litres in the last six weeks so far.'
Despite her discomfort and desire to be elsewhere, Leah was effusive in her praise of NHS staff, writing on her blog: 'Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
'Thank you for the gift of modern technology that means I am not... drowning in my own water, but alive and kicking.'
The actress, seen in Emmerdale in 2005, played Zoe Tate in the long running ITV soap
Leah was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in October 2016, and feared she would die within a year of receiving the devastating news
The actress and yoga teacher revealed last year that conventional treatment plans had stopped working, and that she was relying on alternative treatments such as plant-based healing oils and sessions in an infrared sauna.
Her now husband, the author Jez Hughes, set up a GoFundMe page at the time of Leah's diagnosis in the hope of raising funds to pay for further immunotherapy and integrative medicine at a German Clinic, raising £64,700 thus far.
In January it emerged that Leah wed her long-term partner, 44, in Sussex in March last year after discovering her treatment had stopped working, a development she made public in August.
The actress and yoga teacher revealed she was relying on alternative treatments, such as plant-based healing oils and sessions in an infrared sauna.
The star is a devoted yoga practitioner and has tried alternative treatments such as healing
In a blog post last month to mark a year since her diagnosis, Leah insisted she sees cancer as a teacher she can learn from rather than an enemy
In December the actress and yoga teacher appeared on Lorraine where she told the host that she wanted to teach people how to embrace life, and said that she still has hope for the future despite feeling 'written off' by some.
'It is still my life, other people were writing me off quicker. Even people close to me, I don't mean to be unkind, but people are embarrassed, they don’t know what to do,' she said on the show.
'They... are feeling very pitiful. The one thing that nobody wants is to be pitied.
'It feels like all my power has been taken away,' she said.
'This [her positive approach] is very much about how we can hold onto our power in order to deal with doctors and hospitals and retain authority.
'The point is, it’s life and living. I am alive until the point I am not. That for me is the key, not to surrender to something else.'
But she later revealed in an interview with the Mirror how people had stopped offering her work since learning of her cancer battle.
'No one is employing me since I was diagnosed, the phone hasn’t been ringing,' she said.
She did undergo immunotherapy treatment in Germany, which is not available on the NHS.
The treatment 'reprogrammes' the body's defence system to attack cancerous cells. Trials show it could stop cancer from spreading and reduce tumour size.
The experimental treatment isn't a permanent medication as it stops working when the cancer starts to resist it.
She's also had Mexican shamans by her hospital bed in an attempt to heal her. Shamanic healers believe that illness has a spiritual cause and results in a loss of energy or power.
Leah has been practising yoga for 15 years and also teaches it. She cites it as a way to keep her calm and positive in the face of her devastating diagnosis.
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