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– The long, dark night that leads to the path of light

 

October, 2012 —

2 MRIs, 2 cat scans, 2 ultrasounds, 2 biopsies and 2 days later, all I’d been told was that I was full of Stage IV metastatic cancer. Impatient, I asked the nurse for my reports and had just finished reading them when the oncologist walked in. I said, “Well, it looks like we have good news and bad news.” With tears in his eyes, he said, “I don’t have any good news for you, lady.”
I said, “You spent an hour on an MRI of my brain and there’s nothing there… that’s good news!” He said, “Yes, but you have a massive tumor in your neck which has crushed your C4 through C7 vertebrae and cancer in your lymph node nearby, it’s just a matter of time.”
I said, “My pancreas is clean, nothing in my adrenals, spleen, colon, or vital organs except a couple small suspicious lesions on my liver and my lungs that you don’t seem to be concerned about… that’s good news!” He said “Yes, but it IS on your liver and your lungs and it is everywhere nearby… this will kill you, it’s just a matter of when.”
“Perhaps”, I insisted, “but when it does, it will be because my organs shut down and since it isn’t in my organs yet, I have time to live to fight another day! That’s good news, damn it!”
He wasn’t buying it… he snuffed my little candle out.
I spent a very dark night alone in the hospital room that night. He thought I should airlift Slade out of the Amazon immediately so that he could spend my last days with me. I said if I were to be alive in 2 months, I want him to complete his journey for the next 7 weeks because he will need what he is learning… to survive without me. He said, “You won’t be alive in two months. He deserves the chance to say good-bye.” It didn’t fill me with confidence.
I thought about the book I was writing about my supposedly kicking cancer’s ass 5 years ago. I thought about what a pathetic piece of arrogant crap I was to think that I had had anything to teach anybody about surviving cancer. I’d obviously messed THAT up. I tossed and turned about what I had to accomplish in the next couple of weeks to sort my affairs so that my poor family didn’t have to deal with the mess of my life that I’ve always tried to clean up but never quite got to…. real estate, storage units, which friends would want which jewelry, etc. And, of course, the most painful subject continuing to cycle around… Slade. Isn’t there more for me to contribute to the evolution of this beautiful man?
Then I thought about what the doctor said and got pissed off! I slapped myself and said, “Didn’t you even read your own book, you idiot? It’s all about not buying into that crap! If you don’t think you can make it, there’s no way you can! Your only chance to win is to KNOW that you will.” I decided then that I wouldn’t die for at least two months.
And when I made that decision, I crawled through that dark night onto this amazing path that is bedazzled with the light and love and healing energy of all of my healing angels.
The countless little miracles that continue to fall into place for me every day show me that for whatever reason, I am very clearly on a path. I am wedding naturopathic remedies with medical oncology, growing spiritually, and learning ever more about the power of love and light. I reunited with my church and was lovingly embraced and enfolded into dozens of remarkable, healing, loving souls. Perhaps the most remarkable new friend I made at the church last night happens to be a naturopathic medical oncologist. He gave me so much valuable, educated advice about what I’m doing in wedding the two approaches. The best thing is that since it was in a spiritual setting, he clasped my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, “Stage IV is not the end the oncologists sometimes say it is. You have such a strong soul, vibrancy, vitality, and commitment. YOU can do this.” How can I doubt my path when a jewel like that falls in my lap?

At any given moment, you have the power to say,
this is not how the story is going to end.

— M.H.S. Pourri

 
 

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