Twenty eight years ago….the diagnosis came: “You have black melanoma and we give you six weeks to live”.
I was in shock and, perhaps denial. The doctor naturally wanted to operate immediately, but my feelings were, “If you are giving me six weeks to live, you will bury me in one piece”.
I had been living in a huge case of “PLOM” disease – “Poor little ol me! It’s not fair!” You may have heard of it before. I had said on many occasions, “What would you do without me?” I just wanted my needs to be met by the people closest to me. I wanted my family to appreciate me; I wanted to “feel” loved. But I was programming myself “to not be here”.
When you bury your emotions, you need to know you are burying something that stays alive. These negative thoughts caused stress attitudes and stress showed up as disease. I found out later that your thoughts are the nucleus of your entire life and the wrong thoughts cripple your existence.
I began to ask: “Why me?” Then the answers began to come. Mark Victor Hanson, co-author of the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul series, said, “First you think it, and then you manifest it. You materialize it. You cause it to appear”.
Wow! When I became serious about changing my thoughts, the journey to recovery began. Instead of taking responsibility for what was going on in my life up until this point, I had chosen to wear the mask of the victim. Of course, I didn’t realize I was doing this, but in my mind it was me doing everything to hold our family and relationship together. I was repeating the message in my mind over and over, “poor little ‘ol me – it’s not fair”.
I came across a book called Getting Well Again, where the author speaks of the benefit of your sickness. I was so angry when I read this I asked, “How can anyone say there is a benefit to having cancer?” But when I got honest with myself in the dark hours of the night it was true! When I was diagnosed, the family came to the party. I felt loved, nourished and special. I felt appreciated. We all want that. The question the author asks is: “How do I get my needs met without being sick?”
I began the recovery process first in my heart by changing my attitudes, and then in my body. In my heart because I had to forgive and let go of the resentment that was controlling my thoughts. Then by learning to accept and love myself, I could begin to nourish my body with healthy eating. The right thoughts can turn your life around.
When I studied biology at school, I learned about the autonomic and parasympathetic nervous systems; fight or flight. All systems in the body stop when you are “stressed” so you have all the available energy possible to “flight or fight”. Two different people are faced with the same germs, bacteria and viruses. One gets sick. The other stays well. How many times in your life have you seen that occur? It may have happened to you? It’s said stress causes more than 90 percent of all disease. Stress suppresses the immune system and allows germs, bacteria and viruses to take hold. Stress doesn’t do it by itself; but it is the necessary catalyst for illness and self-sabotage. So if stress is the culprit, you may be wondering: “Is there a way for me to counteract stress and make me one of those who doesn’t get sick?” Good question.
The hypothalamus is the responder to your thought life. It can only produce chemicals in response to what is happening deep within the recesses of your soul and spirit. Just as toxic chemicals are released and react to a memory negatively, so are positive chemicals released when a memory is positive. I needed to release positive endorphins! And plenty of them!
I chose to “go natural” instead of the medical road, not because medical is wrong, but sometimes the root of the disease cannot be treated medically. Once the process of healing in the mind began, and I let go of all the negative thinking causing the stress, I could then concentrate on healing the body.
I went on a strict nutritional regime of eating wholesome foods that would give life and nourishment to every cell in the body. I also began using organic supplements as it was impossible to achieve balanced nutrition because the live foods available had not been grown organically.
I began a program of visualizing myself healthy, wealthy and wise in every area of my life. I began saying an affirmation from the Bible which says: “This sickness is not unto death, but that God might be glorified”. Every cell in my body works to the good of every other cell in my body, I am healthy, wealthy and wise. I am a life enricher. What you say becomes your reality and that is who I have become.
Once you have had a death sentence, every moment of every day is precious. You realize that you don’t want to waste a minute. You can lose your money, and your “things”, but losing who you are meant to be in life by allowing negative thoughts to dominate you seems such a waste. And it is so easy to do by losing focus on the really important things and by getting focused on the wrong things. Now, to have my grandchildren snuggle up under my chin and say “I love you Nana” is one of the greatest times of feeling appreciated that there is. And to think: I almost missed it. I am grateful to be alive today – grateful that I now understand – thoughts become things.