Insync Energy, Reiki, and Chakra Healing

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My Cancer Story, My Healing Part II (make sure to read post below first, Unresolved Healing!)

As I sat in my hotel room the night before my surgery, I thought of the oncologist and his lack of eye contact that afternoon. It made me shiver thinking about how important his job is yet his aloof and uninterested presentation in his office left me feeling so alone, frightened, unloved. Shouldn’t it be part of their bedside manner to give their cancer patients a sense of comfort, at least a gentle reassuring touch? Where was the compassion? Then I remembered, as I closed my eyes in the bed in my hotel room in Boston— that first week back in Portland, frozen, scared, and finally crawling out from my dark corner. I had been guided that week to what would become my answer, my source of compassion, my hope and faith, my life’s purpose…..

A few days after my diagnosis, Ray and I found an apartment in Portland and were able to leave the hotel. I tried to settle into our new home, across the country from my friends and my family. I was so grateful to be out of the one room at the hotel and to have the nights to myself, in a separate room from where Ray slept. I appreciated my dark corner where I spent the wee hours of the morning grieving and trying to catch my breath.

I sat in the peace of the night, allowing my body to quiver and shake. I called to God to help me relax. I imagined the angels and a warm white light surrounding me. When I was a little girl, I was terrified of the dark, being in the blanket of black without any signs of life. I felt unsafe and exposed to an unknown world. I was experiencing the fear of the unknown world but this time for a different reason. I remembered what my brother had taught me when I was younger to help me get over being afraid in the dark, of the dark. His white light trick gave me the power to make it through the nights that first week. I even felt comforted by the gentle caress of the angels; for the first time, the blackness and the quiet felt like velvet. I sunk into that and allowed the black hole of fear that had been in the pit of my stomach transform into a gentle knowing that no matter what, it was going to be ok.

During the day I tried to forget what was happening inside my body. I kept busy setting up my new classroom. My new boss was less than thrilled that I her new teacher was diagnosed with cancer and had to fly back to Boston only weeks into the school year. It was my first experience having to let go of what someone else was thinking of me so that I could focus on taking care of myself.

When I had free time, I spent it watching movies, trying to distract myself and ignore the fear I was carrying. I also walked to the bookstore near my new home and was guided to find the self-healing/alternative healing aisle. There, in front of me, I found the answer to all of my questions, then, now, and forever! The title jumped out at me like a neon sign: The Reiki Sourcebook by Bronwen and Frans Stiene. I had never heard of this before but I pulled the book off the shelf and read it like it was medicine, soaking in every word, feeling every Japanese Kanji character, breathing in the hope and light that emanated from the pages. In that moment, everything changed. My life would never be the same. And I knew right then and there as I sat on the floor in the self-healing aisle at Borders in August, 2005. Reiki. Reiki was going to make it ok that the oncologist couldn’t give me hope or compassion. Reiki was going to dissipate the fear. Reiki was going to get me through this. Reiki would nurture and comfort me through hell and back again. And Reiki would be my life’s purpose. Reiki, it is the way of my soul…..

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Ray and I when we moved into our first home in Portland, Oregon.


My Story, My Cancer Journey, My Still Unresolved Healing

My cancer story—I was struck by some photos I saw today of a man who recorded his wife’s cancer battle with his camera. I thought I had healed from my story. I’ve told it a hundred times. Actually felt since it wasn’t so horrendous as losing a breast or an organ, maybe my cancer story wasn’t bad or strong enough. Even with cancer, I am sharing with you here, I compared myself to others and thought mine wasn’t the most important story. I am not good enough, I did not suffer enough to make a difference with my story. I looked deeper into my soul after seeing the photos of this woman dying from breast cancer. What I heard was, “You are not yet healed. Someone else is not yet healed. Your story is significant. We all have a story that can help someone else, even if we aren’t aware of who, when, or why. Just write it and heal yourself.”

I decided to write it in increments, not the entire story. It happened in stages. Different lessons were learned during each stage. That’s how I will present it. So, here it is, as I play Sara Bareilles on my laptop, starting with my favorite song, “Brave”, I write my cancer story, not comparing mine to theirs, but to release it and heal. If someone else finds comfort, love to you.

Cancer. Why some die yet others survive. Life is a mystery but cancer is strikingly provocative. Its power can take hold of an entire family, grip everyone in its path, and devastate lives like a tsunami. That’s what it feels like, especially at first. A natural disaster. There are those first few days where the fear and hell have you in shock, frozen dead in your tracks. The not knowing how bad it is, how deep is it, how far has it enveloped the body? There is a point where you can’t breathe, can’t remember the last time you ate or washed.

The week I was diagnosed, I sat in the dark each night, in the corner of a strange room. Ray and I had just moved across country and were living in a hotel when I heard the news. During that week we found an apartment. But that dark corner where I had never been before felt like home, felt like the perfect place to hide from the fear in the complete darkness of the night. Yet, the fear was still there, no matter where I hid, the fear followed me. I called Grandma and there she was, sitting right next to me, as she had been since she passed, holding my arm telling me it was really going to be ok, that I could do this. I believed her but the fear still sat in my chest.

Waiting for the doctors to ‘get their act together’ was the worst waiting game I had ever played. I had to fly back to Boston for surgery because I jumped on cobra insurance seeing as my new job here in Portland didn’t offer any. Doctors, operating room schedules, plane and hotel reservations. With grandma’s help from the other side, I was able to muster the courage and chutzpah to get it all arranged. So unlike me to take charge like that. Already quite the learning experience.

A few weeks later, I found myself back home where I had just moved from. I was thankful to be where I knew the landscape, friends, stores, culture. But it still felt like an out of body experience-the fear still gripped me even though I was home again. It didn’t matter that I knew the places to eat, where to buy food, where people would recognize me and give me a big hug. I couldn’t get over this pit in my stomach. Mom flew up from Florida to be with me. She did great, normally not the peaceful, calm sort of person one would want around during such a situation. Worry and anxiety plagues the Jewish family. She did well to cover it up this time which I appreciated because there wasn’t anyone else I would want with me when facing cancer and surgery.

The day came to meet the oncologist. Nice Jewish name, I was glad of that. I was disappointed with his lack of bedside manner, however, not looking at me during the first meeting. He felt cold and uninterested. His casual demeanor upset me. His lack of eye contact really got my goat. Then he made a passing comment, which, if he did make eye contact, probably would have noticed something important. He said, “I am not concerned with the size of your melanoma. It is under average and should just be a quick removal of what’s left of it after the biopsy. I would only be concerned if someone was Ashkenazi (This means of Jewish descent from Russia/Eastern Europe, exactly where my ancestors were from!)”. When I replied, “Um, I am Ashkenazi, doctor.” That’s when he put his clipboard down and actually made eye contact….. His lack of concern and disinterest quickly turned into, what was that in his eyes? An ‘uh oh.’ Fear encapsulated his gaze. At least he was finally looking at me!

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA During treatments, January, 2006