Living with breast cancer for 16 years. I believe that cancer 'events' in my life have been messages/gifts for me to learn from. I am a much better person today than I was 15 years ago. I wish to share my experience with the hope that others might benefit from it. My ideas are evolving over time, but all seem headed in the direction of LOVE HEALS.
Excerpt about SELF-LOVE from Anita Moorjani's book ~ DYING TO BE ME ~ Pages 138-139.
"It's all very well for me to talk about healing after I've experienced it, or for me to tell you to just trust and let go, letting the flow of life take over; but when you're going through a really low period, it's difficult to do – or even to know where to begin. However, I think the answer is simpler than it seems, and it's one of the best kept secrets of our time: the importance of SELF-LOVE. You may frown or cringe at the thought, but I can't stress enough how important it is to cultivate a deep love affair with yourself.
I don't recall EVER being encouraged to cherish myself – in fact, it would never even have occurred to me to do so. It is commonly thought of as being selfish. But my NDE allowed me to realize that this was the key to my healing.
In the tapestry of life, we're all connected. Each one of us is a gift to those around us, helping each other be who we are, weaving a perfect picture together. When I was in the NDE state, it all became so clear to me because I understood that to BE ME is to BE LOVE. This is the lesson that saved my life.
Many of us still believe that we have to work at being loving, but that means living in duality, because there's a giver and a receiver. Realizing that we ARE love transcends this. It means understanding that there's no separation between you and me, and if I'm aware that I am love, then I know that you are, too. If I care for myself, then I automatically feel the same, for you!"
This is a Sunflower Imagery Meditation. I put this on my computer after guiding myself through the visualization of first being a sunflower seed, then growing into the flower, then... well, read it for yourself.
Sunflower Imagery Meditation
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a flower? You are about to take a journey to experience what it’s like to be a flower. Begin by closing your eyes and taking in 3 deep breaths – inhaling through your nose, exhaling through your mouth. Relax and let go of any concerns that are on your mind. Imagine that you are a sunflower seed. You are a fully ripened sunflower seed. You are nestled closely to other sunflower seeds in the center of a large, beautiful, golden yellow sunflower. You are filled with anticipation as you feel your connection to the flower head is loosening. A small bird – a goldfinch of brightest yellow and black - is perched upside down on the flower head, using its beak and foot to pry loose the seed beside you. As the goldfinch flies away with its prize, you feel yourself falling, falling toward the earth. A breeze gently caresses your shell as you come to a landing on the soft earth among blades of grass. You notice that the earth feels much cooler than the flower head. You are feeling lonely without the company of your sister and brother seeds, yet the Earth comforts you and reassures you.
A chipmunk comes along and sniffs at your hard, outer shell. You feel its hot breath as he picks you up with his paws and tucks you into his cheek. It’s dark, warm and moist inside the chipmunk’s cheek. You sense the movement as the chipmunk searches for the right spot, and then quickly digs a hole with his front paws. The chipmunk opens his mouth and you fall onto the earth again.
The light from the sun gradually disappears as the chipmunk covers you with dirt. Now it’s dark and cold, but you’re feeling very tired, so you curl up and go into a dreamless sleep for the winter…
You slowly wake up, feeling warmth and moisture on your shell from the Spring thaw. You are aware of an inner change. As you stretch, your shell softens and cracks open. Your first root pushes out and down into the earth in search of water and nutrients. Your stem pokes through the other end of your shell and pushes up, breaking through the surface of the earth to reach for the sun. Two leaves burst forth from your stem and now you can feel the warmth and light of the sun again. Ah, how you have missed the sun! You take in a deep breath of fresh air through your shiny new leaves. When the sun goes down, you bring your awareness to your primary root that is growing down into the earth. You send new shoots out the sides of your primary root to counterbalance/hold the weight of your stem and leaves and to search for water and nutrition sources from the soil. Your roots search for nutrients – helpings of love from Mother Earth. Your roots also provide the solid foundation upon which you will grow.
As days go by, your stem grows strong, taller and thicker. New, smaller stems and leaves grow out from your main stem, reaching for the sun. At the same time, your root system is growing and expanding, channeling water and nutrients to your stem and leaves.
Occasionally, you must curl your roots around rocks or send them deeper and wider to find water. Your stem and leaves enjoy the gentle caresses of the wind. You can feel the tiny footsteps of ants and other insects that stop by to touch you. Sometimes, they take small bites of food from your leaves – this is only a minor inconvenience as you know you are there to nourish them and that you heal quickly.
During a thunderstorm, your whole being vibrates to the sound of thunder. Lightning flashes add nitrogen to the air and your leaves breathe it in. Raindrops wash the dust from your body. High winds challenge the strength of your stem and roots. The storm tears off one of your beautiful green leaves and then another. Your stem whips back and forth wildly in the wind. You use all of your strength to hold on and stand tall during the storm. When it’s over, you feel exhausted…
Your leaves are bruised -- your roots are stretched and aching -- your stem is leaning over. Your roots expand and drink in large amounts of water, sending life-affirming nutrition and energy up your stem to your leaves and more growth occurs. You feel stronger every day as you grow taller, heal your wounds, grow some new, bigger leaves and reach toward the sun – ever reaching toward the sun.
One morning, you notice something new – your flower bud is forming. Since your stem and leaves are now fully mature, you send most of your nutrients directly to your growing flower bud. It sits on top of your stem and looks up at the sun. You recognize the bud as your face. You start to peel back its edges and tiny, yellow petals emerge in a circle around your brown velvet center. You roots expand again to feed the bloom, and the petals grow larger and surround your face with brilliant golden orange-yellow splashes. You open your eyes and behold the beauty of the sky above. You can see the sun you’ve been reaching for. You breathe in the beauty of the earth and sky. You see how big, strong and powerful you are. You see a ladybug land on a leaf as another small insect crawls up your stem. You barely notice their tiny bites as they express their gratitude for the food you generously provide. A monarch butterfly lands on your nose and opens its wings to sun itself as you marvel at its intricate beauty. You often feel the buzzing of bees as they land on your face to gather and spread pollen – you thank them for the essential work they do…
You delight in the sensations of sunlight, moonlight, raindrops and breezes on your face and body. At night, you vibrate to the songs of crickets and count the stars in the sky. You enjoy every moment of BEING a sunflower – a powerful reflection of the sun – a perfect reflection of the light and beauty of physical existence. You enjoy every moment of BEING and reaching toward the light – reaching toward the sun.
Now, you notice that your petals are falling away in the breeze and seeds are forming in your face. You carefully fill each seed with light and love. Your face grows heavy from the weight of the seeds and turns down toward the earth, so the sun shines on the back of your head. The days are growing shorter and the birds are coming now – goldfinches are the same color as your petals were – chickadees are chattering – as they land on your upside down face, to pluck one seed at a time and fly off to enjoy its gift of life. You enjoy providing nourishment for birds and insects alike. You notice a seed that lands on the earth and watch as a chipmunk snatches it upand carries it away. You smile, observing the cycle of life.
The Buddha said “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”Let’s take a few moments of quiet time to reflect on that.
DISSIPATING DISTURBING EMOTIONAL ENERGIES WITH LOVE.....
An E-Motion is Energy in Motion, so we can work with emotions from an energetic perspective, using the incredible power of the imagination.
This is an imagery meditation/prayer to help dissipate disturbing emotional energy (anxiety, fear, confusion, worry, depression, anger, etc.) It is NOT a way to repress emotions, but to honor and process them, recognize and accept them; and transform them into a higher, spiritual vibration. Sit down, close your eyes, breathe 3 (or more) long, slow, deep breaths to just slow you down - inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Then, allow your breathing to return to normal or 'automatic' and imagine that, with each inhale, you breathe in the energy of Divine Healing Love/God's Grace/Christ's love/Buddha's nirvana, etc. Imagine what color or color(s) it might be and the qualities of its texture - liquid, JEWELS, SEQUINS, sparkles or energy or liquid, etc. Feel it fillinng up your lungs as oxygen would and going directly into your loving heart. Then, see the love you breathed in filling the cup of your heart until it overflows (your cup runneth over). Then, as you exhale, see this superbly, Divinely sublime (DEFINITION - of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe) love spread out to the rest of your body, shining its beautiful light until the entire body glows - including an aura that surrounds the body - filling up every cell to its maximum holding capacity for Divine love energy and feel/see the energy's light increase in intensity.
NUTSHELL VERSION: INHALING DIVINE HEALING LOVE TO HEART, CONTINUING TO EXHALE THE LOVE THAT RUNNETH OVER THE CUP, SENDING LOVE TO THE REST OF THE BODY, SURROUNDING & FILLING EVERY CELL TO FULL CAPACITY.
Continue this form of breathing, allowing your body and mind to "just let go" of all tension, concerns, and discomfort until you're feeling more relaxed.
Then, remember the disturbing emotion - you could give it a specific shape & name if you wish - and notice where you are feeling it in your body. Focusing your attention on the emotion and the physical sensation, allow yourself to observe and accept the emotion and the sensation. Ask how this feeling might have been a defensive strategy for you or served some other purpose for you in the past, remembering that you are not the same person you were then. Take as long as you need to acknowledge the feeling and accept it as part of the expression of your human 'self'.
Invite the feeling into your heart. Shine the light of Divine Healing Love unto the feeling and notice it begin to lighten up and dissipate. Continue until you feel a change occurring, then embrace and love the emotion. If change does not occur immediately, you will probably notice it by the next day. This process can be repeated as often as desired.
Nutshell Version: NOTICE WHERE YOU FEEL THE EMOTION IN THE BODY, ACCEPT IT AS PART OF YOUR HUMAN EXPRESSION. SHINE THE LIGHT OF LOVE ON THE EMOTION, FEEL IT LIGHTEN UP AND DISSIPATE. RINSE & REPEAT, IF DESIRED/NEEDED. Namaste'
We are sturdy beings. But in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss, but this comes at our own pace and in our own way. And only God and we can determine the timing.
~ Codependent No More
Hard times, stressful times, are not all there is to life,
but they are part of life, growth, and moving forward.
What we do with hard times, or hard energy, is our choice.
We can use the energy of hard times to work out, and work through, our issues. We can use it to fine-tune our skills and our spirituality. Or we can go through these situations suffering, storing up bitterness, and refusing to grow or change.
Hard times can motivate and mold us to bring out our best. We can use these times to move forward and upward to higher levels of living, loving, and growth.
The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves feel? Will we take a spiritual approach, including gratitude, toward the event? Will we question life and our Higher Power by asking what we're supposed to be learning and doing? Or will we use the incident to prove old, negative beliefs? Will we say, "Nothing good ever happens to me... I'm just a victim... People can't be trusted... Life isn't worth living"?
We do not always require hard energy, or stress, to motivate us to grow and change. We do not have to create stress, seek it, or attract it. But if it's there, we can learn to channel it into growth and use it for achieving what's good in life.
"Fear blocks you from your greatness and is also the doorway to it."
by Barbara Brennan, HANDS OF LIGHT
"Often, the fear that accompanies a negative diagnosis is far more debilitating than the illness itself. Work on overcoming the fear first, and half the battle is already won! Do what it takes to move your mind away from fear, by doing what you love, and finding joy in your life again. Don't make your life about the illness. Focus on living, laughing and loving, regardless of your state of health, and regardless of what healing modalities you choose to follow on your journey to regaining your health...A steady diet of joy and laughter each and every day is far more important than anything you eat!...Transform your world by transforming your internal state. Start by learning to let go of negative self judgment, and replace it with positive and loving thoughts about yourself. Be kind to yourself, and watch your external world change...what I'm talking about is more like a complete shift in the way we view illness, our physical bodies, and our physical existence here. It’s about no longer viewing the illness as some external event that just happens to you, or is attacking you. It’s about no longer seeing yourself as the victim here. It’s recognizing that your internal state is the true you, not your physical body. It's recognizing that your body is communicating with you at all times, even through presenting an illness, and it's about working TOGETHER with your body to get to the root of what it is trying to communicate, and becoming aware of what your spirit/soul really needs right now, in order to heal your body." Anita Moorjani
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be. You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson on FEAR...
Our Deepest Fear
by: Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love
I wrote this in 2008...
In the book WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?, Spencer Johnson tells us to ask ourselves a question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” I have a friend who went through with a divorce only after she started asking herself that question. How do we deal with fear? Acknowledge it, be willing to face it, and move through it. Refuse to let it control your life. I've heard it said that "Courage means being afraid but doing it anyway". I allowed fear to keep me in a corporate job where I wasn’t happy for at least 15 years. I was afraid of starting over again, afraid of making less money, and afraid of losing my identity, believing the what I did somehow defined who I was. Nothing short of cancer would have inspired me to leave that job. I finally quit because I came to believe that my life depended on it. I decided to choose life over money and my corporate identity. Before I had cancer myself, I was very fearful of people who had cancer.Perhaps it was because I saw in them a reflection of my mortal self and that made me uncomfortable.Looking at someone with cancer, I just presumed that they were dying and I didn’t want to be reminded that I will also die one day.Since I lived with a high degree of anxiety and fear most of my life, finding out I had cancer showed me that I could go to an even more intense degree of anxiety and fear. I began to see how much I feared in the medical world - doctor visits, medical tests, test results, treatments, side effects and, of course, death! Fear is the GREAT IMMOBILIZER. It keeps me from being who I really am. It tells me to "play it safe". It can overwhelm me if I let it.
In the book THE POWER OF NOW, Eckhart Tolle says “Ultimately, all fear is the ego’s fear of death, of annihilation."
Lately, I've been wanting to tell you how I've learned to deal with fear. I usually employ a distraction technique, but am learning now that loving my emotions - all of them - is the best way to experience them and let them go. A friend, Raffaella Russignaga, recently wrote an article about fear that makes a lot of sense to me - love is the only emotion we feel and fear is just a lower vibration of love. She gave me permission to include it here.
What is Fear?
Written by Raffaella Russignaga
The feeling of fear seems to be a topic that comes up often in my conversations lately.So, let's talk about it for what it really is. Fear is a feeling. It´s only a feeling… fear on its own cannot do anything at all. A feeling is only an indication. What does it indicate? A feeling indicates to you what you think and how accurate that thought is.
If you are feeling fear it´s because you believe a thought that is not true to who you really are. Who you really are does not agree on the thought you are entertaining. So know that, just know that you believe a thought that your inner being does not believe. That is all. So no big drama about the feeling. It's only an indication.
Fear is LOVE being expressed through your perception… can you grasp that? It's love being expressed through a different color, so to speak. The only feeling you can feel is LOVE, to the degree of your beliefs and thoughts that love is diminished or expanded depending on how much focused loving attention you are giving to yourself.
It´s like a bright white light… and you control the degree of light. If you dim the light slightly you may perceive love at a lower degree and call it “boredom”, if you dim it even more, you may experience love and call it “anxiety” and so on. But that is the point… you are always feeling love, because you are love and experiencing different degrees of allowing yourself to feel it or not.
So how do you allow yourself to feel as much love as possible? Know that FEAR is love disguised. If you can grasp this, know that you are feeling love disguised. If you feel fear you can even go as far as renaming it within you “I am feeling love disguised”… the feeling of fear is love disguised that is all. So when you feel love what do you do? You feel it, you bask in it, you dive in it, you expand it, you smile in it, you hug yourself inside out. YOU FEEL LOVE.
So why don´t you feel love disguised as fear? Why don´t we feel that feeling? Why do we always try to avoid it? Because if you understand that what you feel, YOU ARE IT in the now, and trying to avoid it, basically implies you want to separate yourself from yourself.
With fear comes great understanding, you now have awareness that you have found a belief that is limiting the degree of light that you are allowing, you have simply found out that you have dimmed the light down to the point of darkness. You have temporarily switched off the light. Realize that. Just know that. You have temporarily switched off the light.
So sit down, and now from this perspective, what do you do, you may ask? Nothing. You simply feel that degree of “love” fear is a degree of love. Feel that! Ok, so it´s not full blast love, but it is love disguised. So feel it anyway. Do you have a choice? You would say, yes I do, I can go out and make something happen so I don´t have to feel this fear… but that is beside the point. You still keep the light dimmed down to darkness because you haven´t shifted the degree of light… so you find yourself trapped in this DOING world for GOD knows how long… you keep having to do something to avoid feeling YOURSELF. You keep the separation active.
BE with yourself even when feeling fear. You are unconditional love, so you do have the ability to love yourself even when in fear. The more “time” you dedicate to simply acknowledging the feeling of FEAR (love disguised) without telling the same old story that comes with it, put the story aside for awhile, while you give yourself attention. FEEL the feeling, you are feeling love (disguised as fear) you are feeling a certain degree of love; you are feeling the dimmed light feeling, that is all!!!
You will realize just by feeling fear, that you will naturally and automatically STOP believing the story. You don´t change beliefs, you simply stop believing in them. When you finally let go, and surrender and finally feel this feeling YOU CALL fear, but in actual fact it´s always love disguised. When you finally feel it, you feel the shift. Then you go back to your story and now the grip is starting to loosen up. You don´t believe your story ANYMORE.
Try it, don´t believe me. Feeling love or feeling any degree of love is not up for conversation, it´s all about you FEELING. Feel any degree of love, it doesn't matter how you want to call it, just know that the light never goes out COMPLETELY!
My ideas about healing have changed significantly in the past few months as a result of reading Anita Moorjani's book DYING TO BE ME and Barbra White's book MAGNIFICENT YOU. Meditation and journaling have also been helping me. I believe that healing begins with forgiving and loving myself. I learned this from Louise Hay 15 years ago, when I read her wonderful book YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE. I recently ran across something I had written 15 years ago saying that I knew self-love was important for my healing, and I've talked with many people since then about how important self-love is to healing. I guess I thought that I could heal without loving myself and I think the Universe (Divine) is disagreeing with me because I am seeing this message everywhere now. I can no longer ignore it. Eleven years ago, when I received my first Stage IV diagnosis and was told I had about 2-5 years to live, I thought that my life depended on my ability to forgive my mother, and I did forgive her. Then, I went into remission for 7 years!!! Now, I feel like my life depends on my ability to love and accept my self and to let my real Self shine through into my every expression of thought, word and deed. As always, if what I say does not resonate with you, just leave it alone. If it does, continue reading.
I believe that my real Self (higher self, spirit, etc.) is a spark of the Divine, as I talked about in Divinity=Infinity. So, logically, how could I NOT love WHO I REALLY AM? It seems simple enough, yet I realize that I have some rather negative feelings toward my body, the physical representation of the real me. And, I have judged myself rather harshly for not "measuring up" to my own idealized version of the perfect healer/perfect cancer patient. For me, HEALING will be LETTING GO OF SOME OF MY IDEAS, LIKE:
I need to know WHY I developed cancer
I can understand everything intellectually
I need to prove something to myself and the world about healing
My body is working against me
I can let go of my expectations of myself and others. I can forgive myself for judging and criticizing myself for being human. I can trust that ALL IS WELL, no matter what happens. I can be gentle, loving and kind to my human self - thoughts, emotions and body. I'm feeling an urgency about this.
As a person consciously choosing the path of healing, it is important to empower myself - to realize how much control and power I have to determine the direction of my healing journey. I can set this direction by making choices that are both life-affirming and healing. My entire physical existence can be a healing journey – if I choose to make it so.
Healing is about being who I really am - fearlessly. Although a cure may not be available, HEALING is always a choice I can make. I believe that is it possible to totally heal the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of myself while still in physical form. It's possible that the body can't keep up with the other parts or it's not supposed to due to soul contracts or Karma or some other factor science cannot explain. To me, human healing is complete when we leave the body. I am not saying that I want to die, but when that happens, I want to feel peaceful in that I have loved and lived in the best way that I can. Now I'm off to practice some humor therapy by watching an episode of BIG BANG THEORY. One important point to remember...
Healing is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a Choice!!!!!
I wrote this a few years ago, with minor changes today...
Decisions, decisions, so many decisions to make and none of the choices are desirable. After my breast biopsy (1997), my surgeon said that, since she didn’t get “clear margins” around the edges of the tumor, she didn’t know how big my tumor was, that there was still cancer in my breast and that an additional surgery would be required to remove the rest of the tumor and determine its actual size. She could perform a lumpectomy, but if the margins were still not clear or if the tumor was of sufficient size, a mastectomy would then be required. So, I needed to decide whether I wanted to have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. If I chose mastectomy, then I also needed to decide if I wanted to have reconstructive surgery at the same time. Feeling like I needed another choice, I asked “What if I don’t have any surgery at all?” My doctor then reminded me that I was facing a potentially life-threatening situation.
So, it looked to me like my only options were:
2) Lumpectomy, possibly followed by mastectomy (2 surgeries)
3) Die from cancer
None of these options were acceptable to me and I desperately wanted another option. I searched the internet and the library to find something else – anything – that would not involve being unconscious or feeling mutilated.
I was so consumed by fear that I could not even see the fear, nor could I see beyond it. At the time, I thought I was being very rational and dealing with things in a level-headed, logical, unemotional way, saying to people that I had “accepted” the cancer and was now ready to deal with it.
Hindsight being what it is, I now know that I was afraid of having surgery period. I can tolerate a lot of physical pain, but the idea of being unconscious (out of control) for any amount of time was a very deep-seated fear of mine. And so, I allowed this fear of being unconscious to team up with the fear of dying and decided that I wanted to minimize the number of possible surgeries, so I chose mastectomy. Then, I had to decide if I wanted to have reconstructive surgery at the same time as the mastectomy. I chose NOT to have reconstruction. I was thinking that there was no point to that, especially if I was going to die.
MSo, I had a mastectomy with lymph node dissection. There were clear margins on the mastectomy, but I had 4 out of 6 positive lymph nodes. Marianne Williamson recommends that, when we have a decision or choice to make, it is best to do so when motivated by love rather than by fear. I don't remember which of her books I read that in. Debbie Ford, in the bookTHE RIGHT QUESTIONS,says that, one of the questions we should ask when making a decision, is “Is this an act of faith or an act of fear?” When we act out of faith or love, we are standing on a much stronger foundation than when we act or choose out of fear. Fear blocks the flow of energy toward healing. Faith/love allows us to surrender our fears and the need for the illusion that we have control over the future – or that we have control over anything. Fear or faith/love?
When my oncologist said I needed chemotherapy treatments, I struggled with the fear or faith decision. It was a very difficult decision to make. I believe in natural healing methods and didn’t see the logic of attacking my immune system when it was trying to fight off cancer. It was hard for me to believe that the chemo was going to be good for my body. My loved ones were afraid I would choose not to do treatments and die from cancer. I was afraid of the potential side effects of the treatments. Looking back at that time in my life, I think I chose chemo out of fear – fear that I would die if I didn’t do it, fear of disappointing others who might say I didn’t fight the battle I should have, fear that my belief in natural healing methods might be misplaced. Even with the decision to go with chemo, the fear of the side effects was very strong – either way, I was gripped by fear. And then, once I started the treatments, I became more afraid of dying from the chemo than I was afraid of dying from the cancer – so, I had a definite fear of death with or without treatment. It would have been a more powerful choice if I had made it because I strongly believed that the treatment was the best choice for my healing, not because of my fear. I wasn’t able to do that then. Fear was the over-riding, over-powering emotion in my life and in the lives of those around me. Fear was the higher power I surrendered to. I wasn’t even close to dealing with my fear of death at that time. I've learned a lot since then.
CHEMO - to do it or not to do it? Anita Moorjani did it, even though she knew she was healed. I don't think Wayne Dyer did it, but he KNOWS he is healed. When I was first diagnosed 1997, I did chemo because I was just plain scared and because my family members said they wanted me to do it because if I died without doing it, then I wouldn't have done ALL I COULD DO to 'fight' the cancer.
Although I thought it was important to believe that chemo would actually help me, I just couldn't convince myself because it made no sense to me. I was voluntarily putting poison into my body, which pretty much destroys the immune system, and the immune system is the best tool (natural healing) to get rid of the disease, so I never actually did believe it. After I was done with chemo, I decided that I would NEVER do it again - because of the poison factor and because I never wanted to feel that sick again.
Over time, with some degrees of healing, I decided that the only circumstances under which I would do chemo would be if it would make me feel better. Before that time, I had never heard of it helping anyone to feel better. Soon after that decision, I talked with 2 different people who told me that chemo had helped them to feel better. I was shocked! So, then I decided that if I couldn't breathe and someone told me chemo would help, then I would do it. Breathing is the most essential function of this physical body.
So, guess what happened? I had a tumor in one of my bronchial tubes that totally blocked off one of the lobes in my lung. I was coughing and short of breath and had surgery that removed only part of the tumor from the inside of my bronchial tube - a chunk of it was still outside of my bronchial tube. Although there were other tumors in my body that were 'stable', that one kept growing and I agreed to do chemo, but told the doctor that my quality of life was very important and that I didn't want to be as sick as I had been in '97 because I had an extremely poor quality of life at that time. And, I have no desire to live that way again - ever.
In 97-98, I spent all my time in a reclining position - on the couch mostly. My white blood cell count was dangerously low, which made me susceptible to infections (potentially lethal), and I was advised against going out in public. I also had several chemo treatments cancelled/postponed because of the low blood count (psychologically & emotionally difficult). I had no energy, no appetite and lots of nausea - and no fun - for about 6-7 months.
I have been on some form of chemo now for 15 months. Oncologist strategy - as long as a treatment seems to be working (no new tumors, no growth of existing tumors), just keep doing it. If the disease progresses, change the treatment. I have been able to relax and meditate during treatments, visualizing the chemo as healing energy zapping tumors.
So far, my quality of life has not suffered too much due to various drugs used to counteract the side effects. Baldness is not painful and chemo brain and other minor side effects can be tolerated. How can you tell if memory problems are due to age, lack of estrogen or chemo? I still practice and teach yoga and participate in as many social activities as I want. I am enJOYing my life now more than I ever have and am grateful for every day I wake up in the morning. I also practice healing visualizations and lead 2 guided imagery groups, which feeds my spirit in a way that feels really good to me. It's hard to find clipart on this subject.
Today, I was contemplating Divinity and Infinity. As always, if what I say resonates with you, enjoy it. If not, just let it go. I believe that we each have a spark of the Divine that is sometimes called the 'higher self' or 'Divine self'. Even one drop (spark) of the Divine must contain all of its properties and, therefore, is infinite (even eternal). So, our Divine spark is Infinite. The FreeDictionary.com defines infinite as "Having no boundaries or limits; immeasurably great or large; boundless".
I remember in high school math class objecting to the idea that one infinity (e.g. number of atoms in all Universes) could be greater in size than another infinity (number of atoms in our Universe) when, by definition, something that is infinite cannot be measured. It seems like the one would be bigger than the other, but, in my mind the definition does not agree.
So, we are INFINITE beings, which means a part of us is: