Below is a letter I wrote back in 2007 after my first diagnosis with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. I wrote it to give people an idea of some of the meditations I was doing and the music I was listening to and writing. I still send it out when I am approached by someone who seems to need it but am now also working on the cd idea as well. I hope the words help someone who needs to read them. I hope the words and the music make you stronger. YOU ARE A SUPER HERO and YOU HAVE THE POWER INSIDE YOU RIGHT NOW TO OVERCOME ANY PEBBLE IN THE ROAD. CANCER IS A BIG PEBBLE BUT YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!
Cancer encouragement letter
Hello! I heard about your recent diagnosis and cancer fight and wanted to write and let you know about my own struggle with pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed in February of 2007, I had the whipple surgery on April 23 at UCSD Thornton Hospital in La Jolla by Dr.Andrew Lowy. He resected my tumor on the pancreatic head. The whipple involves a restructuring of your insides. I lost half of my pancreas, stomach, duodenum – my entire gall bladder and ten inches of my small intestine. I had 150 stitches and was in hospital five days. I was cancer free for awhile and then the cancer came back. My entire pancreatic duct was filled with scar tissue and I had to have yet another Whipple revision surgery. This time, Nicholas Nissen at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles would perform the 11 hour operation on May 2, 2012.
I know how scary it can be right after a diagnosis. Your doctors advice is essential but that’s only part of your treatment. The other essential thing is your state of mind. Our minds are very powerful and we can give our minds and bodies the fuel to go the distance. Here are some ideas that helped me through my fight. I hope they can help you too.
First of all, you need to get active now in giving yourself the ammunition your body and mind need to overcome. This is your body. No one else has to live in this body so don’t take everyone elses advice about your personal body. Read all you can about what your condition. Arm yourself with information about your disease. Find information about it on the Internet. Network with others who have experienced it. Dont listen to statistics or doctors telling you that you cant do it. Doctors are important and we need them but they are practicing medicine. They often quote statistics when they should be telling us that every single cancer case is different. Each of us has a different fight and fire in us and some of us will not give up so easily. Some of us have more of a reason to want to continue life on this plane and some of us quietly give up and are too tired to fight. Be the person who fights, not the quitter! I have friends who were given three months to live and lived another 15 years! You need your doctor to explain procedures but doctors are human and they sometimes make mistakes. Listen to your doctors advice carefully, take notes but also look into alternative methods of fighting cancer as well.
Some excellent sources are the book “Beating Cancer with Nutrition” by Patrick Quillen, The alkaline diet (internet search) and The Gerson Therapies. Consider buying a Jack la Lanne Juicer and juicing organic carrots and veggies. As you chop the brightly colored veggies and put them in your juicer and as you drink your fresh juice at room temperature, picture the natural goodness of the juice washing over your organs and cleansing you of all impurities. Picture the juice as a natural, lush colored fuel giving you strength and nutrients to overcome everything.
Do a toxic evaluation of your life. Where are you being exposed to toxins? Do you dye your hair? Do you smoke and drink alcohol? Use cosmetics? Get fake nails? Swim in chlorinated pools? Use detergents with chemicals? Use soap with perfume and artificial ingredients? Use deodorant with aluminum? Use toothpaste with artificial substances? Do you stand near your microwave? Use a cell phone all the time? Sit with your lap top on your lap? Do you live under power lines? Do you eat processed foods in bottles, cans, jars? Are all your veggies frozen? How long has that chicken been in your freezer? How healthy can it be now? How much sugar do you consume? GIVE UP SUGAR NOW!!! Sugar is a friend to cancer and our bodies crave it when we have cancer. Sugar is in everything and our bodies turn everything to sugar – bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers, chips – all of it turns to sugar. Stop drinking sodas of any kind unless they are natural like Hansens or better yet, substitute club soda mixed with fruit juice. And give up all artificial sweeteners too. No more splenda or equal! Diet coke with aspartame? Caffeine? Having cancer means deciding which toxins are essential for your happiness and which toxins you can leave behind. If you cannot live without your coffee in the morning, that’s okay – drink your coffee but eliminate diet drinks. Or consider replacing your coffee with green tea or acai tea. Give up sugar and replace it with raw organic chocolate. Sugar, diet drinks and processed foods have been known to aid cancer. There is a healthy alternative to everything you ingest or use on your body. Hard alcohol can be replaced with organic red wine. Boxed and processed foods can be replaced with fresh and organic. Chemical free detergents and soaps are available everywhere. Now is the time to think about your toxic blueprint and how much you are absorbing.
Start becoming a human bullshit filter. Even well-meaning friends and family members start treating us like we are going to die, when they find out we are ill. They get that tragic look in their eyes like they are not going to see us again. They love us and they are scared too. That’s natural and okay. Its good that they realize they are grateful for you. You need to have an attitude of gratitude too now. You are blessed and lucky to be here on this planet. But don’t give into the fear and doubt. You are not going anywhere. Tell yourself that you can fight this. Tell yourself all the things you are going to accomplish when this challenge is finished. Picture yourself doing the things you want to do when you are better. Picture yourself healthy and strong and embracing those you love, without the fear in their eyes. Block out negativity – Dont allow it into your space. Your strength of mind is the most important thing now and that will guide you thru this challenge.
You can believe in God or another deity of your choice but remember: all the strength in the universe is inside YOU. No external source can give you that strength. It is there – INSIDE YOU. God or whomever you believe in, has already given you all the power and strength you need and its there, dormant until now when you need it. You can draw on that power and overcome ANYTHING. Yogis aren’t born knowing how to levitate. They get to a state of enlightenment thru practice. Our state of mind is something that requires cultivation and practice. Yes, prayer and faith are important – rituals are important – do them if they bring you comfort but most importantly, listen to your heart and feel the collective love of all of those who care about you. Let that collective love and your own resolve shore you up from the inside out and brace yourself for the most important fight of your life. Do allow yourself the luxury of feeling sorry for yourself - (I say 10 or 15 minutes at most a day) let yourself cry and be angry and ask why me??? These are normal emotions and you need to give in to them and let yourself experience the grief. Your life will not be the same after cancer but in many ways, cancer can be a blessing both to ourselves and to those around us. I know it sounds weird but cancer can teach us how much internal and external strength we really do have, how resilient our bodies are and can inspire those around us by our toughest and tender moments and examples. Let yourself feel the grief and mourn your old life – and then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and do the following affirmation:
Picture yourself on a sandy beach or under a lovely blue sky. if you can get outside to the garden or near a living plant or sit near a tree, do so. Open your palms towards the sky to receive the healing light and warmth of the universe. Make sure both of your feet are firmly planted on the ground to keep you grounded. Picture warm, white light coming into your body thru your crown chakra (your soft spot) from whatever source you believe in. This source can be God, or the collective love of your family and friends, or the love of nature or any love source that makes you feel happy and safe. The light slowly comes in thru your crown chakra and fills you forehead, your eyes, your ears, your nose, your mouth until your whole head is glowing and filled with this light. You are so bright inside that passersby would see the light glowing from your orifices and have to put on sunglasses to look at you. The light travels thru your body…slowly… picture it going thru your body, your neck, your shoulders, each lung, your breasts, all the way down limb by limb, organ by organ to the tips of your toes. Take your time with this as the light travels. Picture your organs inside all pink and glistening and healthy. No blackness anywhere. Picture the light obliterating all darkness and dark patches in your body. As the light travels thru your body, your aura glows brighter and brighter and you are filled with overwhelming warmth and love from within that bursts out of you. You are glowing brightly and feel a sense of peace and warmth. Do this meditation for at least ten minutes as many times a day as you can. Do it after you allow yourself the luxury of a few minutes of self-doubt. Do it when you wake up in the morning from your bed and then again at night when you go to sleep. Carry a picture with you of your special place, the place that makes you feel at peace. For me it is the beach, for you it may be a garden or wherever you feel centered. When you look at that picture, of nature, or a special child, or a bird in the sky, do the affirmation again.
I also recommend making a cd of fighting songs – like the songs on my cd, Superhero and include songs like “The Toughest Girl Alive,” “I’m not gonna cry today” both other songs of mine. Make a positivity cd with songs like “Good day sunshine” or any songs that uplift and make you feel powerful. Consider writing your own personal song that you will sing to yourself at your darkest moments. Words and music are so powerful and very important now. Make sure that everything you are taking in to your body and your mind is as positive and strengthening as possible. You can do this. You can beat the odds and overcome cancer entirely or at least prolong your life for many years to come. But you MUST believe it and say it aloud and silently as often as possible – every waking hour of the day. Remember, it’s not “IF I beat this thing, I may go on vacation.” Its “WHEN I beat this thing, I’m going on vacation to Fiji.”
Words are powerful. Make the words you speak and absorb and share with others the most positive and powerful words you can speak. Your body wants to be well and you want to live. Start telling your body that you are in charge and you are winning this fight. And I believe you are a super hero who can conquer any obstacle. Now I want to make YOU believe it! Good Luck! Im here if you need me!