Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Melissa post on 9 April 12 in “Into the Desert”:
“If His Word is true, and if He doesn’t lie, and if He truly does love me, how the hell did this happen??? And even worse, if the healing promises are a lie, then what else of mine is a lie? I mean, either it is all true, or it ain’t.”

Most of you should know that Melissa struggled with various stages of cancer for a very long time. Back in 1999, when we arrived in Colorado for the first time, we attended a wonderful church, and one of the messages that we learned from the pastor was healing was for everyone. Every word the pastor spoke was backed up by lots of scriptures, so how could this message be wrong? Melissa’s health roller coaster, with the constant up and down struggles, really were difficult for us both. Spiraling close to death a few times, but pulling up just in time; however, she never got back everything she lost in the process each time. All the while, we stood on God’s promises and that Melissa would be made whole again. There really aren’t too many people who not only knew this message better than Melissa, but actually had to walk and live in it every moment of every day. Standing on scripture verses, nailing them on her heart, and trying so hard to be an “instrument rated” Christian, but the weather was awful much of the time and it was hard to stay strong. Heck, one of the last things Melissa had left, since virtually everything else she loved was ripped away piece by piece, was her communication capabilities. And, you know what, in some cosmic form of cruelty, that last thread of humanity she had was taken away bit by bit by the ever growing brain hematoma and blood sucking tumor in her brain until she could no longer speak. Do you have any idea how many people she offered and sent copies of our church’s healing series of sermons to? I’m sure there were hundreds she offered it to and many took her up on it (around the globe). She was so strong, but she grew just so weak, and worst of all, she started to lose her faith since if healing isn’t true, then what else isn’t true in the Bible? Really, rocked her world especially as she knew the ground was coming again and she would not be able to pull up this time. No one really knew how sick she was, except me and her. Melissa wore her game face, pretty much every where she traveled, be it at the oncologist office or online; that’s just what warriors do. Everyone was saying, oh Melissa, it is just one more time, you’ll pull up. Well, there were many dark alone days and she was so afraid of the end. Of her doubt. What was really coming? Heck, the whole progression really rocked both of our belief and faith mechanisms. She would say, God, either “kill me or heal me” because this in between crap and being teased by good health for a minute or two has become unbearable. TIll nearly the end, till nearly her last breath, she held on to that fear. I’m pretty sure it was a few hours before she died when I talked with her brother, Brooks, and through that conversation I had a realization. Something that I knew, hanging just below the surface, but finally it pop its head out of the water. Melissa had her vision of what her miracle should be, and you know Melissa, she knew what she wanted and nothing else would do. She wanted her life back; she wanted everything back that she had lost piece by piece stripped by this fricking monster called cancer. She wanted to be whole again, devoid of cancer fear, and just be able to live–she was only 54-years old. This new realization was something that we both already knew, but it did not fit into our vision of the “miracle” which Melissa should receive. Melissa used to say, I’m a walking miracle. Ding, Ding, Ding. That was the answer, and we both knew it. She was a zero%er and lasted way longer than any doctor or really anyone would think she should have. She had so many people she helped around the globe on various web platforms, and even though I reminded her of that many times, she did not or would not see it. She was an inspiration to so many who are fighting this cancer monster everyday. For example, when we went to the clinics in Georgia, about a year ago, the other patients there would say, you’ve been fighting and dealing with cancer for that long. You are my inspiration to go forward. I could give you more examples of people online and what they thought of Melissa, but you get my point. So, after that breakthrough for me: Melissa did get a miracle, it just was not the specific one she wanted; one day, when my times comes, I’ll get to find out the specifics of why God chose His version of a miracle and not ours. So, a little while later, a few hours before she passed, I told Melissa of my breakthrough. Of course, she could not talk, but her breathing did seem to immediately ease just a little.

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This was one tremendous shift in my learning.  All of the head knowledge I had attained over the past decade was largely for nought for me.  But it was not a waste of my time.  It was all part of the trail of breadcrumbs that I can now see in hindsight. If you had pointed me to Kurt’s website when I was first diagnosed, I would’ve looked at it, sure.  But I would’ve immediately scoffed and moved on like many people do.  I would not have been ready for it.  But God had been working on me in so many ways, slowly, insistently, subtly cracking open my mind tiny bit by tiny bit.

But then there’s that exorbitant price tag.  Sure.  But let me explain two things.  First, have you ever seen an explanation of benefits for a chemo infusion?  Yeah, just one little infusion costs way more than an entire day with Kurt or Kris.  And once is never enough with chemo.  Secondly, thanks to my work with Louis, now I knew how much of  a toll it takes on the healer to focus precious energy that intensely, into another person’s body, for that extreme an amount of time.  And then to get up and do it all over again?  Plus the travel and constantly being away from his own family?  I don’t know.  The man gave me my life back in a miraculous way and, in my opinion, that was worth every dime.

From a rigidly Christian perspective, those Christians who put limits on God … like I used to be … this might have been an evil thing and one that could jeopardize my very soul.  Dark energy … evil.  I mentioned that to Kurt once.  He threw his head back and laughed and said, “How could healing a brain tumor in a 12-year-old ever be evil?”  Ya know, he had me there.  There was no evil in my getting well … none whatsoever.  And thankfully my soul is still in my body.  If I hadn’t taken God out of His box two-and-a-half years ago, I’m not sure I would be able to say that now.

And now I was on weekly chemotherapy.  That evil chemotherapy.  It cannot heal anything.  Its sole mission is to destroy.  But my life was being restored to me in ways I had forgotten about.  My energy and stamina picked up, as well as my strength. The previous summer, I had such muscle weakness, I couldn’t even groom my horse.  But now I was out there grooming, playing with, riding … and I even had two camping weekends over the summer!  What a glorious miracle that was! Statistically speaking, chemotherapy gives tumor shrinkage, but that doesn’t always equate to increased time on the planet.  So the benefits, IMO, are typically not worth the side effects.  But such was not the case for me at all.  Once more, a miracle was happening in my world.  I would’ve been dead by this time, so this chemo definitely was extending life in my case.

My oncologist is a hoot.  Here he had talked me into all this therapy that he knew was not the way I roll … and I was coming back to life before his very eyes.  Months later, he asked me, “Did you think we’d ever see this day?”  I was doing so well and I told him no.  He said, “Yeah, I wasn’t too sure either.  Not sure at all.” Ooooooh I wish he had never told me that.  Now I know he has a serious poker face and we might need to make a tough decision together again one day.  Sure wish I didn’t know that part. But he humors me like a kind grandfather and acts as though he thinks the things I come up with are … well … probably more eccentric than ridiculous.  I guess, once one is four years past one’s expiration date, he can afford to let me run wherever I please.  He asks thoughtful questions about each and every modality I throw at him.  And then he says, “Whatever.”  The last time he said that to me, I told him, “Seriously?  Are you really going to say that to me?  You know I don’t respond like anyone else does.”  He had been walking out of the room and he whipped back around and said, “I know I say whatever.  But I also say I can’t argue with success and success is what is standing right in front of me.”  Guess he shut me up!

So what lesson could I take away from all of this conventional vs alternative experience?  The first time around, I nearly destroyed myself with toxic treatments.  I will never have pectoral muscles again from radiation to both sides of my chest. Secondary cancers are a huge risk as well.  Then I started reading and went to the opposite end of the spectrum and would not entertain anything remotely smacking of conventional cancer treatment.  It was toxic; it was deadly; it didn’t heal.  But here I was feeling better than I had felt for years.    Here’s my big lesson.  Yes, chemotherapy is toxic and natural therapies are not.  I still would not use chemotherapy as my “go to” stance in treating cancer.  My opinion is that chemo is extreme and should be used in extreme cases.  For me, it is a tool and should be used as such.

The way the conventional world typically treats metastatic patients goes like this.  They consider metastatic cancer incurable. So they don’t really try because now it becomes a fine line between quality of life and extending your life.  They don’t give you the extreme, “curative” doses of chemotherapy because it will make you really sick and won’t cure you anyway.  It becomes a balancing act.  They typically will not give you chemo cocktails (mixtures of drugs) now because they’re more difficult.  Now you get single agent chemos, for the most part, which are easier, but may not hurt your cancer as badly … not curing you, but keeping you alive a bit longer.   And when your cancer outsmarts the drug you are using, and it always does once it is metastatic, you move to another drug.  Until you run out of options.

I didn’t want to live that life.  I have learned that I have a pretty decent intuition in what to pursue and what not to pursue in my therapy.  I am slowly learning to trust that and not be afraid of it.  I have learned that when the fight has you on the ropes and your opponent pummeling the crap out of your face, you have two choices.  You can either go down for the count, or you can unleash something extreme to get that opponent off you so you can get back in the fight.  A tool to be used selectively. Unleash it, back off the enemy, then resume your style of fighting.

Here I was, this Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, healing-believing gal who had followed Christ all her life except for some sporadic times off … you know those little detours we all take as we try to find out who we are and why we’re here?  So yeah, since I was a Christian so young, I had to go exploring when I got old enough to know there was a world out there.  Boys, alcohol, drugs, all those things I was told to stay far, far away from.  Had to go there.

I grew up in a Southern home that was headed by an alcoholic father.  Pretty common theme in many families.  There was no physical abuse, that I recall … and that recalling is a difficult thing for me.  I don’t have much memory of my childhood at all.  It’s as though I was sleeping up until I was 12 or so and, when I finally woke up, boy did I ever get up on the wrong side of the bed.  I was mad … mad at everyone and everything … except my horse.  He was my salvation.  I would bury my face in his mane and just cry.  We would ride all over the place where no parents could reach.  He was my buddy and I adored him.  On the other hand, it was my father who provided that ray of light in my life.  It was one of the biggest surprises of my life, and definitely the biggest surprise ever at that point.  I’ll digress a minute to tell you this cuz it’s just such a cool story and one of the few truly beautiful memories I have of my father.  I was 12 years old and, oh, how I loved a horse!  Had since I was a very young girl and I have no idea why. Goes back as far as I can remember and, try as I might, I have never been able to find that one moment when I fell in love with a horse.  Perhaps I’ve been that way even before I was here.

Four Star General

Anyway, I never could understand why I couldn’t have one as a child.  I mean, we had this huge garage and I promised I would take care of him and keep his area clean and everything!  Just never could understand why they kept saying no … ‘course now I understand zoning laws and we were smack in the suburbs.  But every week I watched my favorite show, Mr Ed, and he lived in the suburbs!  Hey, he lived in a garage, didn’t he?  But that argument didn’t work so I had to wait.  When I was 12, we moved out to the country and lo and behold, there was a man across the street who boarded horses.  We had 50 acres to ride on … no more excuses.  So we went looking for horses.  I fell in love with a beautiful (in my eyes, anyway, though now I know he was malnourished and wormy as hell) buckskin gelding.  He was full of a mind of his own and just right for me.  That horse cost all of $175 … and to think I pay thousands for one now.  One day I came home from school and my friend, Karen, wanted me to walk with her over to the stables.  Her grandfather was the one who owned them, so she knew every stall that was vacant, etc. When we approached the barn (and it never occurred to me to be suspicious with my whole family trailing behind … duhhhh), there was a horse in what had been a previously empty stall.  He had his back to us and I turned to Karen and said, “You didn’t tell me this stall was boarded out.”  About that time, the horse turned around and it was my beautiful buckskin boy.  General … my maiden name was a military one, so what else?  My General … my salvation from hell, it seemed.  My salvation from my father … wow.  In this very moment tears are flowing because I have just realized that the very man I hated somehow realized that I was just on the verge of losing it.  This man went out and purchased that horse, had him transported to the stables, and got him settled in so he could surprise me after school.  The man from whom I needed saving provided me that way of escape.  That’s pretty profound … and the kind of magical thing I am starting to recognize in my spiritual life.  It all had to be, this strife and conflict.  But the man whose role it was to provide that cataclysm in my life also somehow knew when something had to give.  It all had to be …

So back on the path … I had served God forever and cancer did not run in my family.  I didn’t believe in a punishing God, so that never entered my mind.  My understanding of God’s character didn’t allow for Him to put this on me to teach me something.  And He certainly didn’t “allow” it to happen any more than I would’ve “allowed” my daughter to contract cancer when I had it in my power to stop it.  He loves me way more than I can love anyone!  I never really could come to terms with that question.  So I have believed, for years, that it was an attack.  Now I have learned that many people don’t believe in evil, and especially a devil.  I disagree.  I have been in the presence of evil and it’s real, y’all.  Plus every scientist knows that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, so I believe if there’s an ultimate good (let’s call Him God), then there is also an ultimate bad.  And I don’t care what we call that.  But I do still believe it.

For years … no decades … I have held on to that.  This cancer was an attack.  The enemy trying to take me out before my time.  But thank God for Jesus … literally.  Because, by His stripes, I WAS healed.  Done deal.  And I was now disease-free even as advanced as my cancer had been.  And I stayed that way for well past that allegedly magic five-year mark.  I fell in love with my retired-from-the military life complete with a wonderful husband and my beloved dog agility … and my horses.  Life was sublime for me.  I was so content.  We had an amazing church and wonderful friends there.  Then things kind of fell apart at that church and we had to leave.  Shortly thereafter, we got orders to Idaho and I never really found a home church again.  My pastor had so ingrained healing, freedom, and grace in me that there was no way I could go back to legalism now!  And I despise services that are structured … I had been spoiled to be in services where if the Spirit moved, He was allowed to do so and that was incredible.  Have never found that since.  If it meant that pastor didn’t open his mouth, then he didn’t.  He let God do His thing which was wonderful.

We moved to Idaho and I was now without a church body for the first time in quite some time.  I was still doing OK, spiritually, on my own, and I had a great husband, friends, dog agility, and my horse.  I honestly didn’t think I would hear the word cancer associated with my present-tense ever again.  But did it ever come out of the blue and was I ever wrong.

I am a born-again Christian, and I still am.  However, my former “God only works through this” or “God will only do this, this, and this” mentality has fallen away like a snake sheds its skin.  I have taken God out of the box I had Him neatly tucked away and given Him the freedom to work in my life, in whatever paradigm He chooses.