So the cancer is back. Two small tumors in the same area as the last time, but since I had surgery, the organs are no longer there. This means that the tumors are in my peritoneal lining which makes surgically removing them very difficult. Technically, I have metastatic colorectal cancer which is incurable…according to conventional medicine.
But as you all know, I’m anything but conventional. Like a gift from God, a few months before I was diagnosed, I was hired by a non-profit called Commonweal to work on their Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies website. My boss is Michael Lerner has been working with cancer patients for over 30 years. He is the author of Choices in Healing, a book I read the first time I had cancer. Every week I have a Zoom call with Michael, an oncology nurse, a medical researcher, and a grant maker whose father died of cancer. This is for work, mind you.
So when I told my colleagues I had a recurrence of cancer, they knew exactly how to react–with compassion, wisdom, and generous listening. For example, when I learned that the median life span for peritoneal cancer is 6-12 months, I sent Laura, the oncology nurse, an email asking her if these were the odds I was facing. She sent me a simple email:
I suggest you read this article by Stephen J. Gould called “The Median isn‘t the Message” and see if you don’t see some similarities between you and Gould that might guide you toward the right-hand side of the bell curve—-the side where 50% of people outlive the prognosis compared to those who sit right in the middle or to the left of the bell curve.
This shifted my mood, my perspective, and my capacity for hope. I have already passed the 6 month mark, so I guess things weren’t as dire as they sounded at diagnosis.
This new bout with cancer has deepened my understanding of healing, life, and grace. I have already been gifted so much by so many. I thought I had used up all my free passes the first time I had cancer, but it seems that my friends, my family, and the Universe just keep giving with no expectation of returns.
I hope these blog entries can be of service to anyone else who is facing a life-threatening illness. I also would like to use this space to offer gratitude to all who are walking this path on the edge of darkness with me. I love you all. Thank you for your care, support, wisdom, and love.
First I have to say how good it is to hear from you again! Even if the news is not so good. I’m so sorry about this return visit of your “special friend” but it sounds as if you are doing well. Attitude is everything as you well know. And knowing that it’s all grace is grace itself. How lucky. I will not make this into dire news, but send you love and love and more love for your journey whatever it may look like.
Alison!!! I’m singing Elvis Costello’s song as I say your name! Great to hear from you. Will check up on your blog soon. Reflecting all the love back toward you to make a love field for all to enjoy. Yes, it is all grace. So grateful for all the blessings along the way.
My like for this post is not a like of your news, that is not what I wished for you at all, but it is a like because its so good to hear and see you again Kozo. Cancer is a devious disease but whatever it’s up to, it doesn’t mean we have to dance to its tune. And time… time is a concept made up by humans to bring order and formality to our disorderly, unpredictably beautiful and chaotic universe. I long ago realised that statistics are for statisticians and economists, they’re not for people such as us xoxo
I’m so down with you, tw. Time is a construct and statistics are a construct of many other constructs. I’m going to live my life in the timeless, ineffable realm of love and grace. Dancing to the tune of not only cancer, but my body, my relationships, and love.
Dear Kozo, good to read your voice again. I don’t know if this would be of interest to you, but I recently heard a story from a 77 year-old woman who had had cancer and she said that she looked at it as something wild she could dance with, and she did, until she let it go. Sending much love your way!
Love this, Brenda. Yes, the Universe is calling me to dance with whoever shows up in my arms or my guts. haha. Reflecting love back.
So glad to see you blogging again! I’m a vibration medicine therapist (originally from Mayo Clinic, where I did research, using harp vibrations) who followed you several yrs ago. I’m sending prayers for your healing, but would also love to send you either (or both) downloads/CD’s of my therapeutic protocol. Let me know which address to use for downloads or snail mail. All it takes is ONE person to break their prognosis statistics–and you have already smashed the front end. 🙂 Keep faith, which is “the substance of things hoped for”, keep your strong and vibrant hopes for the future! Wrapping you in healing vibrations!
Wow, diane, what a generous offer. I would love to have a download of healing vibrations. I’m doing sound healing qigong every day which is powerful. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feeling your vibrations already.