I sat in the front row of the audience at the 92nd street Y with tears running down my face. The story I was listening to wasn’t sad, but it sounded exactly like mine. My tears were ones of recognition for a feeling I didn’t know how to describe until I heard Dr. Kelly Turner, author of the book Radical Remission, speak them.
Dr. Turner was discussing her book, based on nine key healing factors that she discovered after studying thousands of people with terminal cancer diagnosis who experienced a complete reversal of the disease. Can you believe after all these years that she’s the first person to study people who have beat cancer? By the way, I am very familiar with her book and have devoured it cover to cover several times. I recommend this book and lend it to people when they are first diagnosed with cancer.
Dr. Turner was sharing the nine traits with us, but the one that affected me on a very emotional level was the importance of intuition. She shared that the thousands of survivors she interviewed talked about a deep voice that they heard within that told them everything was going to be ok.
I had forgotten about THAT voice.
I had forgotten that I too heard THAT voice.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer more than five years ago. At the time, I thought breast cancer was something that happened to other women. I was a Certified Health Coach after all; I thought I was doing healthy right.
I remember when the lump was first discovered; I was laying in the dark ultrasound room while a hand held wand and a cool gel were smeared all over my left breast. My mind was thinking many women get lumps, I’m sure mine is another run of the mill lump, nothing special. The magnitude didn’t hit me until two weeks later when I received the call from my gynecologist stating those dreaded words, “You have cancer.”
I didn’t hear the voice when I got off the phone with the gynecologist, or after sharing the news with my kids and husband. I also didn’t hear it after visiting three different cancer specialists.
It wasn’t until weeks later when I was sitting in doctor office number 4, on the exam room table, in a paper gown, armpits soaked with sweat awaiting the doctor. I was discussing my story with my now breast surgeon about my options. That’s when I remember hearing that voice deep inside me say, “It really is ok Christine. You will go through this, but you are going to come out better on the other side.”
It was really difficult to tap back into that voice again when I was undergoing treatments, because scary things were happening to me: the cancer was worse than predicted, there were complications from my breast surgery, and I developed a blood clot after starting cancer treatment. It wasn’t until at least nine months later that I remembered that feeling that overcame my body knowing that everything was going to be ok.
Now, over five years later, the tears were streaming down my face as Dr. Turner was talking about that same inner knowing that other cancer survivors experienced. Ahhh yes, I welcomed that feeling now too. Each day, I want to remember this knowing deep in my gut that everything is ok and in many ways even better after cancer.