You may wonder about my biological father - he died of pancreatic cancer when I was 12.
I won’t bother emphasizing the pain of this, because until you lose someone to cancer, you’ll never really know on a feeling level how painful it really is. I don’t wish that for anyone.
However, aside from the immense pain I experienced when both of my remaining father-figures died, something special happened for me.
Through that painful experience I was exposed to something – or rather, something was revealed to me – that would one day lead me to working with cancer patients.
Both of these father-figures tried everything they could to heal. They were loved so much by so many people around them. Everyone wanted them to heal, and they were both open- minded. They were open to using traditional approaches to cancer and they were open to using alternative approaches.
Both tried as many alternative methods of healing they could find, and both also tried traditional treatments – one used chemotherapy, the other used radiation.
The pain of loss was unbearable: The pain of them being gone forever, and on top of that the pain of knowing what they went through in their battle with cancer. The process by which someone slowly dies of cancer is one of the most scary, painful, and horrible experiences I think a human being can have or witness.
As I suffered with the pain of these losses I could not get something out of my head: I kept thinking that something must be wrong with the very theory of what cancer is. How could nothing have worked – we tried everything!
Every doctor we worked with tried to destroy their cancer in every way they knew how. Every alternative source we found also tried to destroy their cancer with what they knew. We as a family tried to boost their immune system with every lifestyle factor we could employ, so that their immune system would hopefully destroy their cancer…
None of that worked, and they died.
My mind kept screaming inside “something is wrong with the theory of what cancer is!”
“something is wrong with the theory of what cancer is!”
As time went by a question arose in my mind: “What if cancer has some kind of purpose in the body?” What if, by understanding that purpose, and responding to cancer with that understanding in mind, cancer could disappear just as it appeared in the first place?
Fast forward to now – 12 years later.
Today, after working with many cancer patients 1 on 1 for days or weeks at a time, I’ve come to learn that cancer shows up ONLY when chronic stress has accumulated in a person’s body. In fact, it is chronic stress that triggers the development of cancer cells – not a cellular error. That is the first leap to make in our belief system and our strength to pursue the truth about cancer. When that stress is truly resolved, cancer cells disappear.
This is why I know that the second kind of pain is worse than the first.
It’s more painful to learn - after someone that you loved has already died - that there may have been a way for them to heal. The more real that potential reality is – that they may have been able to heal – the worse the pain.
This pain arose for me when I realized I could help people reverse their cancer. Once I had really come to understand what cancer is and how to gain control over it, I had to face the pain – and learn how to heal it - that there really may have been a way to save the two father-figures in my life, if only I had known, or they had known, back then.
There may have been a way…
That is immensely painful.
It has led me to learn that there is a process of grieving that helps shed that pain.
It has led me to many beautiful discoveries and progressions in my own journey.
Today I thank my father-figures for the loss and pain they exposed me to with their departure – which led me to something valuable and meaningful that I would not have discovered any other way.
I thank them for entering into the realm of cancer and showing me what doesn’t work. They protected me in a way… because back then, I did not understand cancer myself, and if I ever developed cancer I can’t say for sure whether I’d have followed in their footsteps or not… One thing I have learned is that when you run out of options, you’ll do whatever it takes if there’s a chance it can save you.
I thanked them for creating immense motivation for me to accomplish something valuable in my life. Their loss put me on a meaningful path.
Today the rate of cancer has risen to 1 in 2 people, and based on 5-year survival statistics, 50% of everyone who develops cancer dies despite using treatments.
The amount of pain people are experiencing world-wide related to cancer is unfathomable.
Possibly the most important part of grieving successfully is to search for and find a reason to build your own life-dream as a result of your experience with cancer. You can allow cancer to motivate you, to spark an energy inside you that gives you a reason to live that is far beyond money, sex, or power. You can take the fear or pain and transform it – as you’re able – into something meaningful to you.
Find a way to allow the experience to change you in a positive way. At this point, for some readers, you may think it’s absurd to somehow take the pain of loss of a loved one and transform it into something that has value. That is understandable. The process of grieving is too complicated to explain here in full – but if you want to learn more about it, I have another post on grieving you can read called "How to Grieve".
The illusion of the answer to cancer is to try to solve the problem with force – trying to destroy the problem. Cancer often comes back for people even after its been destroyed, because the root of the problem has not been resolved. The focus has been on destruction rather than transformation. The focus has been on winning a battle rather than looking into one’s heart and following the advice it’s giving… The focus is on survival rather than focusing on finding a way to begin thriving in a new way of living that nourishes you in all the ways you need it to, and deserve.
After all I’ve experienced, I can tell you that if you are going to heal from cancer, you absolutely must include in your strategy finding a way to resolve whatever in your life is damaging you from the inside out – even if you buried that pain long ago.
If you can somehow have the courage to face all that encompasses cancer, then you may very well find yourself in the future looking back at your experience with cancer – whether it was your own diagnosis or that of someone you loved – now able to see purpose in it, and value despite pain, because it led to positive change for you.
If you have cancer, know someone who has cancer, or have suffered loss associated with cancer, I wish one thing for you:
You find a way to begin loving yourself (which is most important), as well as others and the world at large, more than you were capable of in the past.
If you can make progress with that – even a little – in my opinion, you’re not only helping yourself, your helping solve the seemingly unsolvable: cancer.