We all know that health is the absence of disease. What do you call it when you feel healthy though you have been diagnosed with a life threatening physical condition? My memory tells me that this is a state beyond imagination, beyond shock and denial. I remember that when I was diagnosed at the young age of 26, I felt and looked great. I was modeling, living the life of my dreams, surrounded by creative, flamboyant people. I loved my life, but somehow my genes were not in harmony with my environment. I guess you can say that in part, health is a state of mind, yet my body did not register that message. Was I just acting as if I were really, really happy? When trying to understand why I had this disease, my mind questioned everything. No stone was left unturned as I scrutinized my diet, my relationships, my thoughts, my actions.
Then something I read, or heard from a Doctor stuck with me. To better understand my current state of health, a doctor said that it actually takes about ten years for cancer to be identified as a full blown disease. To wrap my mind around this statement meant that I had to track my history, a subject of great sensitivity. It was also noted that unexpressed, unresolved, incidents left without complete grieving can also manifest into disease years after the traumatic experience. Identifying, recognizing, releasing, all skills that required integration, no short cuts allowed. There were so many incidents that I had tried to bury, yet this theory peaked my curiosity. Turning the clock back ten years, remembering my emotional state – prior to the diagnosis of malignant melanoma was not easy. Truth was, I couldn’t blame melanoma on the sun, and I was curious about the mind-body analogy.
As I turned back the clock to the previous decade; I immediately remembered the tragic, senseless death of my first true love- Michael Reber. Mike was a sharp shooter for the Marines and was killed ten days before his tour of duty in Da Nang Vietnam was completed, he was killed March 12, 1971. We were told that a grenade blew his legs off and he died immediately. Mike was my first love; we met when I was a freshman and he was a senior. His college education was interrupted so that he could serve his country. I remembered how suicidal I felt, how sad I became, the regrets. Perhaps, this is what seeded the growth of cancer, perhaps not.
My point is that complete processing of all experiences, emotions, are vital to experiencing full, and vibrant health. Don’t be intimated, or tripped up by science or statistics, keep exploring the power beyond body, mind, and delve into your spirit for a renewed sense of health. This was my secret ingredient for the crown of survivorship. Examples of strong people who also survived helped me greatly. I remembered hearing how it was important to be with people you wish to be like. In my healing, and in this current day, I am mindful of this advice.
I guess you could say that being a cancer survivor is revered as a most delicate gift. The rewards of survivorship cannot be measured, it’s bigger than receiving an Oscar, or a gold record. The road to survivorship has not been easy. It takes more than just a strong body, and will, it requires listening to the messages of your body, and spirit. It takes a team of medical experts, healers, tons of money, the best technology, supportive friends, and courage, the ingredient for binding the probability of surviving. In spite of having the last rights several times, having to put my business in order, and preparing for the worst, I knew statistics were against me and I had nothing to lose by being honest. Honesty liberates you, and this liberation generates feelings of happiness enhancing the probability of your survivorship. Honesty allows you to goal set, achieve the impossible, and honor the essence of your soul, shame, guilt be gone.
Till this day, cancer survivorship motivates me in every way, everything I do. As I live my life, acquiring more knowledge, diplomas, and developing new areas of expertise, I find that ultimately, being a survivor has gifted me the passion to live fully, authentically, and from the heart. Life motivates me, I feel so grateful, hearing my breath moving in, and moving out; this unconscious action is for me more valuable than all the gold in the world. Cancer Survivor is a title that I proudly wear.
With this precious gift of life, and with the knowledge of survivorship, I want to share my passion for life with others who feel their life is compromised by a diagnosis. Being a survivor of metastatic melanoma, I am living the greatest gift on this earth, this gift is a gift we simply call life. Cancer has motivated to live fully in the present moment. One word of advice, if you know someone who has disease, treat them as you would any other person, don’t segregate someone based on their physicality.
Medical Miracle Case #33,
Beyond science, I remain,