I was with my friend recently who asked me, Treena, “how do I get there?”
I wasn’t sure what he was referring to until he said, “faith”.
He said, how can I say I have “faith” if I question where do we come from? How did we get here? Is it science? Who is God?
I had a tough time answering him. I don’t really know if there is an answer. I think he asked me because I am a spiritual person. I was born Catholic and I believe in God. However, I do have my own questions but it doesn’t make me a non-believer. I have to admit, I am not a practicing Catholic but I do pray. I do believe that there is a higher power. Why do I believe that? Let me tell you one of many stories.
This is a story of believing in the power of your mind. About 6 years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 3 B Cervical Cancer. This cancer was unlike any Cervical Cancer as I did not test positive for HPV. The cancer apparently was a tumor that came from my uterus and lodged itself in the cervix. I hated going to the OBGYN so I put off going to my doctor for a couple of years.
One day, while walking from work to Grand Central Station in NYC, I started to bleed. I had back pains and once again brushed it off to “changes”. After coming back from vacation in Asia, I started feeling sick. But not the throwing up sick, more like, back pain, and a pain on my left side, somewhere above the fallopian tube. I went to see my internist, he thought possibly diverticulitis and had a CT scan, MRI and nothing. He said go see your Gyn. And so I did. I saw a new Dr as I wasn’t comfortable with my prior one.
She was unlike any GYN. To say she was thorough is an understatement. She was incredibly thorough that it was painful! She found the problem. She said, “I have good news and bad news, which one do you want first?” I said, let’s start with the good. The good news, she said, “is that what you have is a sub mucous myoma and it is benign. The bad news is that, you need to have an operation to have it removed.” So she proceeded to refer me to whom I will call, Dr. McDreamy. He was a fertility doctor, who did the tests and indeed it showed tissue in my uterus/ and cervix, which resembled sub mucous myoma.
Long story short, he could not operate for 2 months so he gave me a shot of something to keep it from growing and to keep from causing a hemorrhage. The day came to operate and my wonderful husband was with me. In the operating room, McDreamy and his staff asked me what I did for a living, and I told him that I write mortgages. As he asked me for the rates, I dozed.
What was supposed to be a simple procedure turned out to be a full day event. I awoke from my slumber at 3pm. The operation was at 11am. McDreamy woke me, and in the gentlest voice said, “I’m sorry, Treena. It is cancer. I looked at him, still in a daze from the anesthesia, not really knowing how to react. I asked him, “does my husband know?” He nodded. Then he referred me to an amazing and well respected doctor who was the gentlest of souls.
I went back to work the following day, not really sure how to cope except to keep doing what I know….working. I called McDreamy who told me that the tumor was the size of a ping pong ball and that I will need more tests to ensure that the cancer has not spread.
Well, one bad news after the next, the cancer metastasized to my lymph nodes, which means a new set of doctors. I will call them my drill sargeants. I had the chemo doctor, sergeant one and radiation doctor, sergeant two. Despite my naming them sargeants, they are the best doctors a woman can have. These two ladies are funny, caring and have become my rock. They helped put me in place and to count all my blessings!
Fast-forward, lymph nodes had to be removed and here lied complication number one. I had ascites, which was a fluid build up in my peritoneal cavity. So, a drain was placed. I was hospitalized. I went from a light diet, to no food diet, no water diet. Yes, it was crazy as the fluid was increasing. ? I had to go see a Dr in NYU medical who injected a blue dye to see where the fluid was coming from and if there was a way to stop it from flowing.
Then Christmas morning, after playing board games with my sisters, my brother and my mom, the fluid stopped running. I was so used to it flowing that I thought, oh no!…is this another complication? I watched it for 5 more days and the doctor gentle soul, said it’s time for the drain to be removed. Thank God!
Then came the treatments. I had to have 6 sets of chemo and 30 radiations simultaneously. Thereafter, had 6 more internal radiation.
The first 2 chemos were fine. The first 9 radiations went well. I thought to myself, that’s easy… I’ll take my anti nausea medicine.. I can do this. Then BAM! On the 10th day, I could not get out of bed. I thought I was going to die. I literally had NO energy left in me. None. I was in the bathroom at least 10 times a day, drained, dehydrated. I couldn’t eat. I thought to myself, is this what death is about? Am I dying? What is going on?
I was hospitalized again. This time for one month. I was back on a do not eat diet. They gave me the vitamins and this thing that looked like an utter – TPN in a backpack for nutrition. I was monitored at the hospital and at one point, just told my doctor, “I’m done. I give up.” Those words were the straw that broke my gentle soul doctor’s back. He said, “ you need to rise up and get over your fear of pain. We are here helping you. You now need to help yourself. You are asking me to approve removing you from treatment. When you came to me the first time, I thought, you have 95% chance of surviving this. But when the cancer metastasized, your chances diminished greatly to 30% chance of surviving. Now you are asking to stop the treatment, your chances will be none if you don’t continue with treatment.” A tear rolled down my face and I looked away because I couldn’t handle the pain much longer. My poor sister, sat by my side and said, “Tree, you have to get through this. You can do this.” I just did not know how.
Trish called her girlfriend, who sent her an article for me to read by Joe Vitale, the Law of Attraction and Visualization. That was an amazing article. Amazing!
Then came another one of my doctors from the practice. She is of Indian descent. She hugged me and I put my head on her shoulder and said, “ I can’t do this anymore. It’s too much. I’m tired, drained, I just want to go home to my kids. This is too exhausting.” She looked at me and pointed to my head and said, “it’s all up there.” Think positive thoughts only and think that you will get better. Surround yourself with happy thoughts, walk the halls, go to the chapel, pray, then you will see. You will be better. It’s the medication that’s making you this way, not the cancer. You will be better. You have to have hope.”
It so happened that I had a friend also admitted in the Cancer floor for Hodgkins Lymphoma. We just listened to uplifting music from the movie the Polar Express (music by Josh Grobin). We did this everyday and when my treatments were almost over, I started to feel better. A friend who was a survivor (bless her soul), came to visit. She brought me a wand and a crown and told me that if I put it on, it would make me feel good. It did. I was visited by a couple of dogs and an older man who gave me chocolates. I asked people who he is but they couldn’t tell me. They didn’t know who he was. In any event, he told me, I know you enjoy this now, but keep it for when you can. I never saw him again. Such a gentle man.
Why am I telling you this story?
Let’s go back again to my friend’s question, “HOW DO I GET THERE?”. For me, I needed to go through a life altering moment in order to get to be the spiritual person that I am today. It all started from visualizing, believing in yourself that you have the power to make your life better. You have the power within you to either have a good day or a bad day. You control your thoughts and your thoughts control you. Get it? What you believe will happen. You might ask, then why do people get sick? Why can’t they come out of it alive? Is it because they think that they want to go?
My answer is no. But it is their destiny, their life’s path. We are all in this beautiful earth on borrowed time. If you have the chance to make your life better, wouldn’t you want to? Wouldn’t you want to be with your family, watch your kids grow, see them get married, meet your grandchildren? See how they evolve with everything you taught them or instilled in them?
Our mind and spirit play a big part in who we are. Ever watch the field of dreams? If you build it, it will come. It’s like saying, If you believe it, it will happen. Treat your soul with happy and positive thoughts. It does work.
So, to answer the question, HOW DO I GET THERE? I have three words:
BELIEVE, HAVE FAITH.
I did and still do. I’m 6 years removed from the Big C!