One of the hardest things to deal with as a cancer patient is when metastasis occurs – the spread of the disease from one part of your body to another. Despite your best efforts. Despite the best efforts of your doctors. Here’s some help on dealing with it.
I’ve spent a lot of years reading, researching, getting everything in my hands that I could on this subject. I’m still no expert, but over the years I’ve talked to a lot of survivors, read a lot of books and in this post I will put the best information I’ve found thus far.
In his book “You Can Conquer Cancer” by Dr Ian Gawler (one of Australia’s most experienced and respected authorities on mind-body medicine and meditation), says this about meditation:
- the single most powerful tool to aid recovery from disease
- relieves physical tension
- reactivates the immune system
- allows development of emotional and mental poise
- generates a positive attitude
- leads to a heightened level of well-being.”
When in a state of stillness from meditation, your body has a better chance to return to its natural state of balance. When you practice meditation regularly, that state of balance persists with you throughout the day.
This Part is Really Important!
Dr Gawler states: “Meditation increases quality of life and quantity of life. People who do it feel better and live longer.” Dr Gawler recommends that if you’re looking for QUALITY of life, spend 10-20 minutes 3 times daily with your meditation. If you’re looking for QUANTITY of life, spend 60 minutes 3 times daily meditating.
I have a very good friend in Australia who was diagnosed with an incurable form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. His doctors sent him home to die, telling him to get his affairs in order. He did that, but he also totally changed his life. He stopped smoking, quit his stressful job, started eating organic foods and juicing, and followed Ian Gawler’s suggestions. He meditated 3 hours total per day. That was 15 years ago and he’s in total remission from a supposedly incurable disease.
I have created, just for people who want to learn, a how-to-meditate course which I designed specifically for cancer patients. I’ve gotten lots of good feedback about the course, so give it a try. If you live in an area where meditation classes are either not available or you can’t get to them, this is a great solution.
Don’t Bury Toxic Emotions
According to Katrina Ellis in “Shattering the Cancer Myth“, the “most significant way of weakening your body’s immune system is through depressed emotions. Emotions of sadness, loss, abandonment, grief, fear, depression and hurt.” If YOU are going through cancer and can relate to this, I would strongly suggest you get some counseling. Deal with these emotions, please don’t bury them.
It Helps to Get Mad!
Dr Bernie Siegel in “Love, Medicine & Miracles” reports that “…psychologist Sandra Levy has shown that seriously ill breast cancer patients who expressed high levels of depression, anxiety, and hostility survived longer than those who showed little distress.” Aggressive patients apparently tend to have more killer T cells (part of your immune system) than docile patients! I found that very interesting.
Wisdom from the Dalai Lama
When you’re actively battling cancer and metastases, you MUST put yourself first. According to the Dalai Lama in his book “The Art of Happiness“, it helps to “frame any decision we face by asking ourselves ‘WILL IT BRING ME HAPPINESS?’ This underlying sense of moving toward happiness can have a very profound effect, it makes us more receptive, more open, to the joy of living.”
The Power of Prayer
Whether you pray for yourself or get your friends to pray for you (hopefully both), the power of prayer should not be underestimated. I’ll tell you a quick story. I once knew a woman who was involved in a rather serious car crash involving 3 cars. She was in the 3rd car, and the car ahead of her had been seriously damaged in both the front and the back. She began to pray for the young woman in the second car and kept it up until the ambulance came and they took the young woman to the hospital. My friend hadn’t been injured and went home and went about her life. Several weeks later, a young woman came to her door. She apologized for the intrusion and said that she got her address from the police report records. She said “I just want to thank you so much.” When my friend looked at her quizzically, she said “When we were involved in that accident, I think I left my body. I was near death, and I was hovering over the whole scene. I could see this amazing white light coming out of your car and enveloping me and keeping me safe and I realized you were praying for me. I could hear your words. I think you saved me.”
Pretty powerful stuff. Get involved in prayer circles with your friends. They’ll want to know how they can help you.
The Gift of Living in the Moment
A very helpful (and wise) friend once said to me, when I was stressing about whether or not I was going to survive breast cancer, “You know, Marnie, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn to live in the moment. Right now is all we have. Try not to worry about what’s in front of you or what’s behind you. Just be happy in this moment.”
That turned out to be the best advice anyone could have given me at the time. I took it on board and did my best (and still do) to just live in the moment. Because 90% of the time, the present moment – if you give yourself up to it and really take in everything – is pretty perfect.
I wish you much healing in your journey.
I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, and/or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond