Healing Your Heart After Cancer

We’ve all received bad news. Usually, it’s something like, “Somebody dented your new car in the parking lot,” or a loved one is sick. Perhaps a loved one has cancer. Or worse, a loved one has died.

But what about when the loved one is you? What about if the bad news is about you and it sounds like, “You have Stage 4 cancer” or “You have a year to live?”

The Five Emotional Stages

stages-of-grief

In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler Ross (EKR) wrote her book, On Death and Dying about the five emotional stages we experience when faced with impending death or similar bad news.

The 5 emotional stages are:

  • Denial – the “No, Not Me” stage.
  • Anger – the “Why me, it’s not fair!” stage
  • Bargaining – the bargaining with God for more time stage
  • Depression – the “I’m so sad, why bother with anything” stage.
  • Acceptance – the “It’s all going to be okay” stage.

This is pretty self explanatory. It’s easy to read this and say, “Yep, that sounds well thought out; it probably bears some true.”

The problem is, these are emotional stages and you have to FEEL them. It’s not an intellectual exercise. Cancer weighs heavy on your heart. You can’t appreciate it without having experienced a similar situation where you broke down into one or more of these stages.

I can now tell you with perfect authority that EKR was dead on in her assessment of the emotional journey. She points out that it’s not always in that order, but we experience these steps nevertheless.

For me, Denial was over quickly. When you have emergency surgery to save your life, it’s hard to deny it. It just is.

cryingI tend to not be a very angry person, so for me, it was more a feeling of frustration. The triple whammy of healing from surgery, emptying a colostomy bag several times a day, and treating myself for cancer was enough to anger the best of us and I was definitely there.

The thing about cancer is that we’ve been told, and are conditioned to believe, that it’s a death sentence. That was what I knew at first. I freely admit to bargaining with God. I asked God to help me understand what my life was for, now that I might die. I asked for more time. I asked God to teach me what I needed to know. I asked God to live through me so that what remained of my life would mean something.

What followed was a bouncing around between depression, more bargaining, and some grudging acceptance. It took a while to allow all these concepts to settle in my heart. To “get used to it.” But that didn’t make it any better.

Which brings me to the notion that EKR did not mention, which is Surrender

Surrender

Surrender is the step between the steps. And it’s done often. With each emotional state, the heart holds onto it, indulging itself in the moment. It doesn’t want to let go because it’s entitled to it. The heart is Angry and, damn it, it’s entitled to be angry!

Eventually emotions pass. Passing, though, is the heart surrendering to the inevitable reality of the situation. Here’s where it gets tricky, though.

If cancer is a “death sentence” and you surrender to cancer as a death sentence, then the heart makes the death sentence real, i.e., you will die.

I’ve spoken to many people with stories of loved ones who just surrendered and did nothing about it, did not change any behaviors and died pretty quickly.

Between the emotional state and surrendering to death, there are gradations. For example, just surrendering to the truth of the diagnosis and NOT to the “inevitability” of the prognosis. That would mean that you accept that you have cancer, but you don’t just accept what your doctor told you about the death sentence.

I’ve always been entrepreneurial and my dad taught me to fix just about anything. So I took those skills and started scrambling to learn more about cancer. I took my prognosis as a hypothesis and set out to disprove it.

I researched everything I could find on cancer. What it is, how it works and, most importantly, how to treat it.

For me, surrendering to the truth of the diagnosis was useful to me and did not leave me paralyzed. I was, rather, motivated to learn what I could do for myself.

Does this mean I did not get depressed? Does this mean I accepted everything? Not really.

What I learned challenged me more than anything else I’ve ever had to learn or do. Between reading this or that, I fought off depression, gloom, feeling distraught.

I had many things to accept and it’s not been easy. Here’s a list of some of the things I needed to accept in surrender.

  • that I had cancer at all
  • my body will continue to grow cancer
  • I might die sooner than I expected
  • the doctor might be right
  • the doctor might be wrong
  • the medical profession might be suppressing other ways of successfully treating cancer
  • I might be able to treat myself
  • I might live a full life, even with cancer

Trust

Fortunately, I’ve had some great mentors. In 1987, my first client, Antreas, told me that I needed to trust myself and trust in the karma of the universe.

Acceptance of something inevitable requires little more than simple surrender. Then, it’s more like waiting and just doing nothing.

Acceptance of an uncertain future possibility requires Andreas’ kind of trust. In my case, it’s surrendering to trust. Trust is the essence of faith.

What I had to trust was that there are physicians who are healing cancer outside of mainstream medicine. I had to trust that surgery-chemo-radiation (slash-poison-burn) were not the only possible treatments. I had to trust that completely healing my body was possible.

The alternative was for me to surrender to death without a fight. To just accept the common conceptions and accept the doctors’ words without question and just go gently into that good night.

I don’t think so.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~ Dylan Thomas

My first surgery did save my life by removing a cancerous tumor blocking my colon. There was no choice in the matter.  My second elective surgery reconnected my colon, giving me normal bowel function. These last four months have been an up and down journey. I’ve experienced the full range of emotions and come to terms (mostly) with my situation.

I am still dealing with these emotions, though. Surrender and Trust help to get through it. I choose to trust that I can heal myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t get a little down, or frustrated, or want it healed right now. It doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts.

It means that I’m human and I own my emotions. It means that I’m not completely ruled by my emotions. I surrender to reality and the now. I will not go gently into that good night. I practice living in the moment and trusting in tomorrow.

Update: March 27th on Roberts Cancer Cure

fear-and-anxietyUPDATE: March 27th 2014.  I went to my oncologist this morning.  I had blood work last week in preparation.  All the standard blood work and a liver panel were done to ensure that my liver is functioning properly.

Six weeks ago, I had an MRI that showed a few presumably cancerous nodes in my liver. With my oncologists measuring and monitoring, I started my “oral therapy” a la Bill Henderson’s protocol based on Dr. Joanna Budwig’s approach.  Basically, I have a shake in the morning with a lot of supplements and I follow a strict vegetarian diet (with lots more supplements).   I have a big salad every day.  I don’t eat meat or dairy. I must minimize my stress all around.

At first, I think my oncologist was a little skeptical. To be honest, even I  had to admit my own trepidation at the start. My own mindset was slowly changing and I was working on convincing my own self that I could cure my own cancer.

Today, I went into the office and had my vitals taken. My blood pressure was slightly elevated and I felt a little anxious about getting the results of the blood tests.

I didn’t have to wait long.  My doctor came in and we went over the results of my tests. To my great relief, he said that my blood test results said that my liver is “as healthy as a horse.”  My numbers indicated above average liver performance all around.

What a huge relief!

Happy DanceIn fact, the numbers were overall better than the same work done before I started my cancer treatment protocol. Clearly, what I’ve been doing has been working!

I was especially pleased when my doctor started talking about having me reconnect my ostomy. That’s a big sign that he’s not that worried any more about cancer spreading in my body. His entire demeanor was almost giddy compared to our first two appointments.  I think he was as thrilled as I was with the results!

We ended our appointment on a very positive note and confirmed my appointment for my MRI to verify how the nodes in my liver are doing. I’m declaring they are shrinking or gone by then. Time will tell.

As I was going down the elevator, I had a rush of emotions.  Relief, laughter, tears of happiness, joy and gratitude. I was crying for no reason with a big smile upon my face. If felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Funny thing is, that even after losing 35 pounds, I didn’t realize the psychological weight I’d been managing in my own head. I’d been shaping my own mindset, convincing myself that a cancer cure was possible. I’ve been keeping my stress down. But still, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Now I know I can cure my cancer.

Cancer is scary. It’s tough to deal with conceptually and with cancer treatment. The uncertainty. The time between blood test results. The anticipation of what the doctor is going to say. Wondering if my cancer treatment protocol was working.

Thankfully, I can wonder less now and have that much more confidence in my healing process. I’m not completely “cured” yet, but I know the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle are healing me now and will keep me healthy for the rest of my, hopefully, very long, healthy life.

Your Cancer Cure Mindset

If you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right. ~ Henry Ford

Nobody likes pessimistic, cynical of negative people.  Why?  Because that negative energy is actually harmful to more than the mood in the room.

In fact, if you are diagnosed with cancer, negativity can kill! No matter what cancer cure therapy you choose, your mindset is a critical factor in your recovery and continuing health.

Henry Ford said, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Well, Robert Geiger says, “If you think your cancer can be cured, or you don’t think it can be cured, you’re right.”

Sad Woman

When I first got my diagnosis, fortunately for me, I was still pressing the “pain button” frequently enough to numb both the pain of surgery and the psychological pain of “stage 4 cancer.”  As if that wasn’t enough, looking at myself in the mirror was a horror show.  I looked like I walked into a Samurai sword.  Everything I learned about my diagnosis was BAD.

I remember breaking down into tears at least once an hour.  I didn’t even know why half the time.  I recall talking to my sister about feeling completely lost in the woods.  What’s my purpose?  Was there a point to my life, now that things looked so bleak?

Clearly, my first task was to work through my psychological pain.  I needed a major mindset adjustment if I was going to make it.

It helped to find out that I was not alone. Many people have the same problem with a positive mindset after getting such bad news.  That point was driven home for me when I listened to Dr. Lissa Rankin’s TEDx talk, Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves? Listen to it below and you’ll see what I mean.

Dr. Lissa Rankin: Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?

I’ll summarize one of her stories for you.  Dr. Rankin tells about a man who read about a treatment that was said to have great promise for his cancer. He got his doctor to give him this treatment and his cancer cleared up.  Shortly after that, the man read that the story of the treatment’s efficacy were greatly over stated.  His confidence in his cancer sure was crushed.  His cancer came back shortly thereafter.

Here’s the interesting part.  His doctor thought that his recovery should not have happened the first time!  So the doctor decided to do a little experiment. He told the man that there was a brand new  better version of the drug and would like to start the therapy immediately. The man immediately brightened up, all excited about his new cancer cure.  The doctor proceeded to give him a course of saline solution (water). The result?  His cancer completely went away.

Sadly, the man caught a news report that declared the new drug a complete bust.  Shortly after that, the man died.

His confidence and positive mental attitude created not just the possibility for a cancer cure, but the cure itself!

There are numerous cases like this that the medical profession calls, “spontaneous remission.”  That means there is no medical reason they should be alive.  But they are.

Positive MindsetThe Solution is Mindset

The solution is obvious. It was their Mindset!

You may think that’s just Pollyanna.  You may think I’m suggesting you paste a smile over a sad face even if you don’t feel like it. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The fact is, you have to process your emotions, no matter what they might be. There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad, being angry, feeling cheated by life or just being afraid.  It’s perfectly natural. But emotions are not the truth. Fearing something does not make it the truth.

A cancer curing mindset is one that holds onto the possibility that cancer can be cured and you can cure your cancer. The good news is that you can know and be confident knowing that cancer can be cured.  You can know that YOU can cure your own cancer. You can choose to trust.  There’s plenty of people who are more than just surviving cancer. They are thriving in their lives.

Finally, there’s no downside to adjusting your mindset and believing in the possibility of life. 

Book Review: Cancer-Free by Bill Henderson

cancer-free-book-200x300No library of cancer cure books is complete without Bill Henderson’s book, Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing.  In it’s 4th edition with co-author, Dr. Carlos M. Garcia, MD, it’s a classic that has helped thousands of people become cancer free, as the title says.

Bill discusses the history of cancer treatment and the current state of treatments offered by Allopathic medical practitioners in the world today.  These methods fall into 3 basic approaches: Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation.  Surprisingly, modern medicine does not advocate preventive alternatives or lifestyle changes before or after treatment.  Suffice it to say that this is largely because natural methods can not be patented and sold by big Pharma companies and medical practitioners can not get paid for prevention and natural treatments they do not prescribe.

This is where Bill and so many others come into the picture.  Like so many other people who have traveled this road, Bill has made a study of all the alternative methods he can find for treating cancer and has settled in on the ones with the best results.  While making no promises, the testimonials are clear. The results speak for themselves.

Bill offers a step-by-step approach to cancer treatment and your overall health and well being.  His dietary approach is based on a natural cancer-free diet along with the Budwig protocol and a number of supplements that he’s determined are best used to stimulate and strengthen the immune system.  He also advocates exercise and stress reduction in all areas of your life.

If you’ve gotten a cancer diagnosis, you need to read this book.  If nothing else, you need to know that there are viable and affordable natural approaches to healing that don’t cost an arm and a leg.  You don’t have to go to a clinic in Mexico just to heal yourself.  You just have to heal yourself.  Bill offers a path that cuts through the clutter and gives you a direct path to becoming cancer free.

I’ve also chosen to follow this path.  I will let you know on this blog how I’m doing.  Good luck to you on your journey.

You can find this excellent book at http://www.beating-cancer-gently.com