I’m writing this in September of 2013. Last month I needed hospitalization for an unrelated illness and ended up having a CT scan. Though the doctors weren’t looking for it, the pancreas was visualized and no tumor was seen. The doctors then ordered my biopsy slides, convened a tumor conference and reviewed the course of my illness and diagnosis. They found
1. The diagnosis was correct. I did in fact have pancreatic cancer.
2. I no longer have evidence on CT of a tumor, which was the method used that originally found the tumor. The doctor said that I cannot say I am in remission because I have not yet had the final test: an endoscopic ultrasound to confirm that the tumor is gone. At the moment, I’m not that interested in having the procedure. Though it’s probably pretty safe, I had trouble waking up from it last time, so there’s always the chance that something could go wrong. It would be a great irony if I survived pancreatic cancer and succumbed to anesthesia.
At this point, what I can say to you is that I appear to be cancer free. That’s pretty, incredibly huge. I really have no idea why the tumor is gone, nor do the doctors. I do, though, have a deep intuition about what helped me get this far.
1. Changing my diet and environment.
2. Facing my death. I feel fortunate that I have been walking a spiritual path for many, many years and had a lot of tools to use. I guess at some point, we all have to do it. It just takes a little bit of courage to face. Really, that’s my experience. Just a little bit. It felt huge at the time, but when there’s nothing else to do, what else can you do but just do it? Once this diagnosis is there, it’s always there, it’s always looking at you. Might as well turn around and look back. I found that it freed me from worrying about it and allowed me to live my life right now. Someone asked me at what point I had decided to live, but truthfully I never did. I expected to die. Yet on reflection, I think facing my death freed my life up and allowed me to deeply live the time I had left. I suspect that just living life to the fullest, with joy and friends and wonder, served as my decision to live.
3. Support from my friends and family. I really couldn’t have done this without them. Really. They filled me up when I was empty and afraid. They carried me on their shoulders time after time. But I had to ask for help. It was time I got over the hesitation I had about asking others to help me. I asked for help. I asked for support. Most people want to help but don’t know what to do. I told them what I needed. I had conversations that helped me figure out what I needed. Why is it so hard for us to ask for help? I don’t know.
4. Energy work. Truly, deeply wonderful, amazing stuff. The woman who worked with me weekly helped me find my courage, my strength, my inner healer, my peace and, finally, my wings.
5. Forgiveness and gratitude. The two go together. You can’t do forgiveness work without feeling gratitude; at least that’s been my experience. Maybe they are reverse sides of the same coin.
6. A deep and renewed connection to Spirit. I thought I was well connected before this happened, but I did a pretty thorough reassessment of my connection to Spirit- or the Universe or The Great Mystery – whatever your name for Source. That fed me, supported me, gave me comfort and hope, eased my mind and my heart. I fell into a stressless cloud of love – that’s how Spirit feels to me.