My first experience with cancer was in 1993. I was diagnosed with stage 1 colorectal cancer, which taught me many things. The first thing it taught me was the power of a dream. I began believing in it because I learned about my illness through a plan. It was a strange dream that could’ve meant a lot of things and isn’t usually associated with a disease. But I happened to be working with a very gifted woman who suggested I see a doctor.
The first doctor I went to, brushed it off as haemorrhoids since I had already given birth to two children, which he thought was the plausible cause. But I told him I felt that it was more since I had a dream, and I wasn’t taken seriously.
My spiritual army
I proceeded to visit a second doctor, who was also not impressed with me stating a dream as a form of diagnosis. But this doctor was willing to take tests to humour me and told me that the results would take three weeks to come and if they were positive, she would recommend me to a specialist. That day, I left her office and made an appointment with the specialist for the next two days.
The specialist immediately saw that I had stage 1 cancer and sent me to the emergency room. Because of that dream, the cancer was diagnosed in stage 1. That kind of cancer is primarily treated with surgery, so I was diagnosed on a Thursday and scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.
Between Thursday and Tuesday, my friends happened to gather around me and told me that they would take care of the house and my kids. I called them my spiritual army, and they made me realise how lucky and blessed I am to have 40 people there to support me.
I went through with the surgery, but it turned out that I needed three more to be cancer-free ultimately, and those difficult times taught me to appreciate what I had in my life a little more than I did and also pushed me to learn more about my body. To this day, that has been the most eye-opening experience.
When I had my first surgery, the doctors had inserted a catheter in me that they tried to remove during the fourth surgery. Unfortunately, there were complications, and I was admitted to the hospital while the doctors discussed what to do. While they were discussing, they gave me a few exercises I needed to do. But I had reached a stage where I was ready to give up, and that night, I had another dream where I had a conversation with my own bladder. We agreed that tonight, we would rest, but tomorrow morning, we are waking up and getting this over with. And miraculously, the next day, I was able to pass the catheter and go home.
Second Coming with cancer
My subsequent encounter with cancer was 14 years later. I was the CEO of a company, and I had stopped looking into the dreams I had and stopped taking care of my body. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Cancer had spread to both lungs, the lymph nodes, my brain and even surrounding my heart. The doctor had told me that he could not help me and said he would put me in palliative care.
When I learned that I was diagnosed with cancer again, the first thing I remembered was my spiritual army. The idea of telling them individually exhausted me, so I sent them emails asking to meet. They all arrived, and I broke the news to them, and we cried, laughed, danced and talked.
When the doctor said that he couldn’t cure me, the only thing that kept me going was my newly born granddaughter. I loved my children dearly, but they were all adults who would live just fine without my presence. The only thing that gave me the will to fight was the need to see the growth of the next generation.
Working through survival
So, I asked the doctor what my chances of survival were, and he said 1 per cent. I began thinking about how to get into that 1 per cent. The doctor put me on targeted therapy and gave me a drug just off the trial. He went against protocol and gave it to me before chemotherapy sessions, which helped cancer in my lungs.
I was also put on gamma knife radiotherapy to treat the lesions in my brain. And every night, I meditated and thought to myself that the treatment was improving my health and making me better, and soon enough, the treatment reduced the lesions in my brain.
Healing with help
I knew I couldn’t rely only on the treatments and started finding ways to motivate myself. That is where my spiritual army came in. They did a lot of activities with me that helped me in a lot of ways. I was at a stage of treatment where I could be active and took a walk every day.
At this point, I learned about energy medicines, and that is when I came across Reiki and Qigong. I continued with all the treatments and a month later, the tumour shrunk in half. Soon, the CT scans showed that the space in my lungs was clear.
A while after that, I had another dream where dancers in my body were trying to get around some cells, and I knew that my cancer was coming back. Around seven months later, cancer showed on the tests; this time, the doctor suggested chemotherapy. Something in me told me to go for radiotherapy, and I was cancer-free for nine months.
Dreams that saved me
After these nine months, I had another dream that the cancer was back, but it was telling me to wait for two months, and I did. I went through a costly treatment combined with Reiki and Qigong, which added a year to my life. Another dream followed this treatment; this time, it told me that cancer needed to come out.
My doctor also told me I would be eligible for surgery, and I went ahead with it. I wanted to support myself with the best treatments and researched the various chemical reactions that caused the processes in our body and found a lot of studies that spoke about the physical and emotional support you get from the community around you.
Life with Healing Circles
After my treatment was over, I travelled to many places and spoke about my journey and a lot of studies were done on ways to improve treatment. One thing that many people told me about my journey was that I had an amazing support system to help me through it. It made me realise that everyone needs a safe space to talk about their struggles and support them through their journey. That is how we came to start Healing circles Langley and Healing Circles Global. Initially, it was just a building open to anyone willing to take or receive help.