The oncologist asked Melisa, who had cervical cancer that had spread to the liver and lungs, to have her liver surgically removed. There were about thirty spots of varying sizes in her liver. Melisa asked the oncologist how such surgery could possibly save her. The oncologist was irritated and replied: “Who is the doctor, you or me?”
Melisa was right. By declining the surgery she saved herself from unnecessary sufferings and also her life! Medical tradition regards patients as passive elements in the technological battle between the doctors and the cancer. The ideal patient therefore is one who is under anaesthesia!
Now, there is a new awakening that patients who participate in their healing succeed while those who take their fate ‘lying down’ fail. We have been taught that when we are ill it is the medicine that cures. Modern medicine has long ignored the self-healing ability of our body. We take healing for granted. We never realise that our body heals by itself. Let me remind you of the following:
1) The healing power of the body is within us. There is healer within us and this power heals us absolutely.
2) Many of us are ignorant or are unaware of our own body’s healing potential.
3) Many of us block ourselves off from this potential, preferring to trust others whom we think can ‘cure’ us rather than trust our own ‘Infinite Intelligence’ within.
4) Many of us create unhealthy circumstances with negative and self-denying thoughts and these eventually make us sick. We fail to recognise that these are the root causes of our many illnesses.
5) We are unaware that from the day we are born, we have been bombarded with negative suggestions. Negativity begets illness.
Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind wrote: “Think good and good will follow; think evil, evil follows. Change your thought and you change your destiny.”
The very first step in healing is for every cancer patient to recognise the influence of his own mind on his illness and recovery process. A negative mindset leads to more trouble and possibly unnecessary death, while a positive mindset gears you towards recovery. Many a time I asked patients if they carry any emotional ‘baggage’ or harbour any ‘unresolved’ emotional conflicts within them. Invariably the answer would be: “No, no, I have no emotional problems at all”. They simply do not want to admit or discuss them; perhaps for fear that people know their ‘secrets’ or they do not see the relevance or relationship between unresolved personal ’emotions’ and their cancers. After all, in schools we are taught that illness is caused by some kind of a ‘bug’, virus or germ and that it has nothing to do with the head.
Most patients would tell me that whatever ‘problems’ they have are all ‘old issues’ and have ‘long been forgotten’. Such comments and attitudes only go to show sheer ignorance or ‘arrogance’. Think again I say; do you carry any ‘baggage’? Remember that you are not just a machine — without any mind or soul. You are sick because ‘something inside is eating you up’.
Let me, however, clarify myself. I am not against anyone taking medicine for his/her illness. By all means, go and see a doctor and take the medicine prescribed. When an illness has reached an advanced stage, the use of medicine becomes inevitable. By taking medicine, be it chemical, drug or herb, what we are doing is to help in the healing process.
Let me suggest a list of some active steps that you can take to heal your mind, your soul and lastly, your body.
1) Think positively; as you think, so you become! Cultivate positive attitudes of love, joy, happiness, sharing, caring, promotion of self-esteem and self-confidence.
2) Free yourself of negative thoughts. Many negative thoughts are ingrained into our subconscious mind and they become part of us. You and I have similar problems. And more often than not, we do not even know that these negative thoughts ever exist or are causing us all these problems. We are the products of our environment and experiences of our lives. To be able to free ourselves from these negative thoughts we must, first and foremost, be aware and recognise that these negative thoughts are in us. If we keep denying that they are non-existent, there will be no reason for change.
3) Be the active participant in your healing. You cannot remain neutral in your healing. You can either be passive or active. The golden rule of psychosomatic medicine is that patients must actively take charge of their illness. Get rid of the psychological or emotional cancer in you. Doctors cannot help you with emotional cancer. Indeed, no one can help you deal with that, except yourself. On the other hand, if you decide to be passive, then by default, you are encouraging the cancer to take over you. So, the choice is yours. Again, remember that a positive mindset promotes healing.
4) Accept the diagnosis, NOT the prognosis. When diagnosed with cancer, it seems the most popular question asked of the doctor is: “How much longer do I have?” Patients then get answers like: “At most three to six months,” or “Go home and get your papers in order.” If we understand voodoo, then know that such answers are indeed a voodoo curse. They are like hypnotic instructions. The patients’ mind will bring that prognosis to pass. Doctors give the death sentence and the patients keep the bone pointing at themselves.
Norman Cousins (Head First: The Biology of Hope) advised: “Don’t deny the diagnosis, just defy the verdict that is supposed to accompany it.” It short, accept the diagnosis but do not believe the prognosis. Know that the prerogative of living and dying rests with the Almighty God, not men.