Anxiety and Fatigue after Cancer Surgery


A 67 year old retired psychologist was experiencing anxiety, extreme fatigue, sleep difficulties: taking an hour to fall asleep and waking up around 3 or 4 am without being able to fall back asleep after having undergone a mastectomy with lymph node removal after diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the right breast. She had declined chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Hormonal treatment with Letrozole was started after the 6-month visit with the surgeon to alleviate her fear that the cancer will come back.

She worked as a volunteer but felt unappreciated . “I gave everything.” “I sacrificed myself”.
“I do everything with intensity. I put it at 100%. Even cooking dinner. You have to get it done. There is nothing easy in life. I clean. I’m on adrenaline. I never relax.
You need a goal. Relaxation is not a goal. Walking in the forest is to get in shape. I’m task-oriented.”

Thinking about the chemotherapy and the MD who proposed it, she felt: Weak, destitute, vulnerable, defeated. Oppression. Wiped out. Destroyed. Not respected, not received.

“It’s a force of the sea, you’re out of luck, it’s swallowing you up, it’s crushing you, you have no chance. I feel choked, not able to breathe. Smashed, shattered. No chance to get out. It’s stronger than you. You can do what you want, but you won’t get out of it.”

When asked what characterizes her: “I’m disciplined, determined, I’m good at listening, I’m receptive, perceptive. I have a strong will. I protect the receptive side. I recoil, become aloof, sit back (said with hand gestures HG – indicating energy). I smother my potential (HG). I withhold, it’s a denial of me.”

“I lack confidence: not being up to it. How I will be received. I play it safe. I study the group, I analyze and now, the subject has gone further, my idea is no longer relevant.”

“I feel the energy, the vibration of my environment. It can destabilize me, or I will look for a person who is similar to me to get support.
With people in a position of power, I feel crushed. I try to find my place, but I suppress my potential. I lack confidence, I feel I’m not up to the challenge and play it safe.
When I feel my value is recognized, I become provocative and stand up for others, who cannot defend themselves (lots of work and volunteer examples). I become a dog with a bone and don’t let go.
I feel that I have a lot to offer, but in the end, I didn’t do anything. I changed jobs every six months and my potential was never seen. I’m unhappy, with lots of bad luck, living in a small home. It is important for me to be correct, relevant, and not to be rejected.”

Conclusion: Her whole life she has been seeking to contribute something valuable (in her work and volunteer activities) and that has never been noticed and appreciated, but she continued to sacrifice her life for the underdog that she felt she was representing.

Recurrent Themes:

Strength, power (of herself and others)
I feel my power, my strength (when I feel valued)
I’m lightning that can destroy, scorched earth, bursting
Explosion, fire, extinguish, crush others or implosion
The other is an energetic vampire, they siphon my energies, swallow me, drain me
I will withdraw, observe, be extinguished.

Value and appreciation
I withhold, it’s a denial of me
I lack self-confidence
Am I relevant
I feel rejected, not appreciated

Core: unappreciated has lead to sacrifice

Remedy Choice: Carbo Animalis

Carbo Animalis 200K
The 200K was chosen because the client’s expression was mostly on the emotional level. 200K addresses the emotional response to the concept of self and the deep physical symptoms she was experiencing.

Carbo Animalis is the remedy vibration made from the charcoal (carbon) left after burning animal bones. Thus it involves two kingdoms: the mineral kingdom (carbon) and the animal kingdom (bones).

From hundreds of provings of substances, homeopaths have discovered common themes among the different remedy categories. We can see in the patient’s words describing her inner experience,  the exact themes of both carbon and animal remedies found in the homeopathic Materia Medica.

Matching the Patient’s experience to a remedy vibration

Carbon themes:
Disciplined, value, looking for appreciation from people in power (father figure)
Reaction to MD: Weak, destitute, vulnerable, defeated. Oppression. Wiped out. Destroyed. Not respected, not received.
Good vs Bad
Sense of disorientation and intoxication.
Vacancy, vacant feeling.
Fire and explosion

Animal themes:
People in position of power, I find my place
Become provocative
Dog with bone
Strength and power

In the proving analyses done by the AFADH and written up in the Loutan Repertory, the core dynamic of Carbo animalis was found to be Sacrifice.

Loutan, G. Répertoire des Thèmes et de Matéria Médicale Dynamique. 19e édition, 2014.
Loose Translation: Anguish and suffering through sacrifice. Has given everything and finds himself alone and abandoned. Infinite sadness, disappointment at having given oneself without receiving recognition from anyone. Sensitive to all those who sacrifice and suffer in the world. Would have liked to be able to give of oneself completely, inexhaustible, not by sacrifice but by infinite capacity to give of her substance without suffering, without losing anything or being damaged or having to restore and regain strength. Not being able to be the good Lord he wanted to be, who can give without risk because he is inexhaustible and impassive. “I deprived myself for nothing.

Carbo animalis is a known tumor remedy and a remedy for exhaustion.

Phatak Materia Medica:
“It is suitable to old persons of feeble constitution or to those persons whose vitality becomes low on account of some serious, or deep seated diseased condition, or loss of fluids…Tendency to malignancy.”

Rubrics (Murphy, Clinical Repertory, 3rd edition)
Clinical; chronic, fatigue syndrome; acute, diseases, after (50)
Weakness; general, fatigue, exhaustion, low vitality (313)
Breasts; cancer, breast (100)
Glands; cancer, glands, adenocarcinoma (38)


She had a great improvement immediately after taking the remedy: In her words:
“When I woke up after the first week of taking Carbo-An, I felt like a veil was being torn, followed by a feeling that life would not be the same as before, that I was freeing myself from a heaviness that I dragged with me for a long time. A sort of fog had cleared (comment: this is a further confirmation of the Carbon theme). My vitality continues to be good. I can do a lot more activities during the day without getting exhausted. I feel more present and interested. On the other hand, I still have difficulty stabilizing my mind to meditate.

My sleep is also better than before. Often my dreams are positive. Otherwise, I react with equanimity to dreams with negative content like being robbed, having to go to the hospital with a sick nephew.

Although I believe that I am calmer, I still experience irritability and sometimes anger at certain insignificant irritants in life. However, it is less frequent than before.

I’m worried about the cancer coming back and I have started taking Letrozole.

Since she had a good response to the remedy but not a complete resolution, and still has a lot of anxiety and fear (emotions) that the cancer would come back, Carbo-an 200K was prescribed weekly for 4 weeks  The remedy was stopped after 4 doses. She did not repeat until the three month mark, where sleep started to be less satisfactory.Two more doses were given 2 weeks apart. Nothing else was required.

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What our Students Tell Us

With each exercise and mentorship session, I continue to gain new insight regarding how I move through life. Collectively, these experiences have offered glimpses into what true acceptance feels like (pretty amazing). I am truly grateful to the entire MICH community for helping me to see that I was actually resisting sacredness through expectation. I am very much looking forward to continuing the journey with you all!

~ Jennifer Duncan (Level One)

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Carla Marcelis

About Carla Marcelis, DHOM, N.D.

Carla Marcelis has been in practice for more than 20 years. The majority of people who come to consult with her have chronic and often serious diseases and she uses the full spectrum of homeopathic approaches together with nutrition and life-style adaptation to support this population. Apart from having a thriving practice, Carla is also a teacher and Director of the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy (MICH) and is the coordinator of the work by the non-profit HTSF-Canada (Homeopathes Thérapeutes Sans Frontières – homeopaths without borders) in Honduras. She has trained numerous community leaders and primary care workers in Honduras in homeopathy. The knowledge that homeopathy can do so much for people’s health while costing so little, makes it an important medicine for developing countries such as Honduras.

Do you want to embark on a journey of the soul that will help yourself and others? Learn more about how to study with us.

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