What Changes When People Learn You Have Cancer? – 8

I have lived without cancer and I have lived decades with cancer. Once I knew there was a possibility of cancer I chose not to tell anyone. That may seem to be a strange choice but my professional training, my understanding of thought, my knowledge of perception and long study of behaviors gave me reason to believe that perception of “who I was” would change if they knew that cancer were present in my life.  Not only would people see me differently they would treat me differently.

This is also a journey of faith that people might have difficulty understanding. I believed and still believe that I was given by my Creator incredible gifts of body, soul and mind.  I believe that among those gifts is the ability of the body to heal itself and the mind to play a positive role in living to be well. The fact that cancer might be present in my body did not mean I was sick. It meant even deeper faith in what I had been given to stay well and why would I concentrate on some little undiagnosed intruder that was causing me absolutely no trouble? I preferred to spend my time thinking about how well I was. Those thoughts were not only more productive, but allowed me to live with the energy and passion for life that I have had for these many years.

If at any stage of my life with cancer I had made known to others that cancer was a problem in my life it most assuredly would have become one. Not only would I be focusing thought on the intruder, but the many who knew of its presence would be focusing thought on its presence in my body.

There would have been a very large tower transmitting messages about the cancer inside Sy Tucker’s body. I believe the universe is so constructed that the same messages given from many locations find each other and become a very strong, single broadcast. Positive find positive and negative find negative. If you want to change the message you have to change the station, you have to change the transmission, you have to tune out the negative messages.

Had all of those around me plus those many I met along my journey known I had cancer for many decades they would have, I am certain, hammered me with questions, shown concern for my dilemma in many overt ways, and generally spent much of our time together worrying about the status of my health. An example of this is my niece who called me right after arriving home from one appointment to tell me she had been thinking about how differently my family would have treated me if they had known I had cancer.

I fully realize that the path I chose may seem peculiar and may even seem selfish. How could I keep such an “important” issue from those who cared for me? I was not trying to keep people out of my life. I was rather living my life to include them in the fullness of my life.

This choice I made was a very conscious choice based on how I wanted to live my life. I had markers along the way that helped me make this decision, but from an early age I have understood that faith is not a garment you put on and take off at your convenience.  This choice was made with faith.

It is evident to me that I believe my life would have been different had I announced the presence of an intruder in my being was most certainly confirmed. I am certain that my professional life would have been quite different, I am certain that many of the wonderful opportunities that I have had in my professional and personal life might not have occurred if I had made a different choice. I am certain that my resume would look quite different at 98.

 

 

Beyond the Medical Paradigm – 7

As I stated previously in entry six, I in no way belittle the choices others have made or are making. My choice was mine; it was a choice made between me and my Great Physician.

The following episode when I was 93 was extremely revealing and I think not unusual behavior for any medical persons I might have seen on that day. It confirmed and was positive proof that my personal belief that I would be viewed differently if or when people were aware of the “Big C”.

“Do you know the seriousness of this situation?” This was the greeting from my general practitioner of many, many years at my appointment (he has material and test results that show metastatic breast cancer that he is seeing for the first time). But in my heart I felt the real message to me was “Don’t you know you are dying?” I told him I was aware of the seriousness of my situation; normally the greeting would be a positive greeting with a query of how I was feeling and how great I was doing, whether I needed to do a physical or whatever. This greeting surprised me since it was primarily a statement followed by others that were ominous statements about death. That the situation would get nasty very fast, and it would become very painful.

I told him I felt good, and was so pleased that I was doing as well since I had been so sick just three weeks prior, spending one week in the hospital and two weeks in skilled nursing and rehab (I did not go for the cancer and we never did know why I was so sick). I reported to the doctor that my nausea was gone and my appetite was back, I was not losing weight.  I had energy and actually felt much the way I did a few months prior.  The conversation always returned to the seriousness of the cancer and that his purpose was to keep me comfortable and to support whatever my decisions were. He talked of hospice and the services available through that organization.  He then talked about what my wishes were relative to resuscitation, full code, none resuscitation. etc. He just wanted to carry out my wishes. The conversation centered on what I would want done at the end. He also made clear that he was trying to take the burden of such an action (pulling the plug) from my family and would take that responsibility himself.

Remember, this has been my general practitioner for many years. This is a doctor that for decades has been very active in helping me maintain what he perceived and what I chose as practices for good health. As I became older there has been much conversation about how healthy I have been and how amazing the maintenance, the energy, and productiveness have been.

In other words, in his mind I have been able to maintain my activities at home, my commitment to church and community, my professional life, and in general a normally full lifestyle. During the years of our medical interactions, the doctor has been complimentary and amazed about the level of my health. At 90, he saw me more as a 70-year-old relative to what most people could do and be at that age.

The crux of the conversation proved to me what I believed the perception of people would be once they were aware that I had cancer. Within the past few weeks the perception of my doctor of many years has changed from seeing Sy Tucker as a healthy, active, energetic, unusual 93-year-old lady to a 93-year-old lady who has lived a very full life and needs to face the seriousness of the situation.

I reminded him that I felt as well this day as I did a few months ago. The only difference is that now he knows I have cancer. And he treated me not as a well person but as a very sick person. The purpose of the appointment had nothing to do with how well I felt but everything to do with the disastrous things that were going to happen to me in the next short period of time.

 

 

A View of the Medical Paradigm: A Different Choice – 6

I believe that once a person is told his or her diagnosis is cancer, the routes of the minds automatically operate in line with cultural beliefs and attitudes.  How do we get rid of it? How do we treat it? How do we knock it out? How do we deal with this terrific tragedy in our lives? I believe that cultural attitudes, general knowledge then offer people no choice. They become a victim of cancer. The questions above persists and treatment options are offered and begin.

I chose a different direction.  The choice was not one of neglect or fear. It has rather been a journey of faith. Most don’t believe the incredible gifts of body, mind, and soul given to them by their Creator can handle or cope with such an enormous enemy and intruder. When the intensity of their thinking about life and mental energy is not focused on wellness, it is energy spent in the opposite direction. I have chosen to live, to work, to love, to worship, to serve in accordance with that faith as if there were no cancer. Doing things positively with joy and love produces far more results than living with fear and negativity.

I was certainly mindful of the surgeries, the treatments, the terrible pain and consequences of treatment that so many people around me experienced in their effort to deal with cancer. I have been aware throughout the decades of the vast amount of time and energy spent in these efforts. My choice was mine. I in no way belittle the choice others made or are making. And so the Story of my Journey with Cancer Begins as a personal secret between me and my God; we were on the journey of faith. No one else knew the choices made and the road travelled.

At various times on this journey after I learned of the presence of cancer, I have chosen not to have treatment or even consider it.  I did not allow the cancer to interfere with and control my life. It was not even present in my thoughts.  It didn’t affect anything I was doing. I proceeded to live with the same energy, verve, passion and commitment as if it weren’t there. My thoughts were focused on what I was doing, what I was learning, how I could take advantage of the opportunities around me to serve. After the very early encounter with what many would have called a brush with potential cancer, I never thought about it.

The Path of Faith: A Choice – 5

As I sit here in the beautiful sunshine with the breezes gently blowing on the palms, and the warm California air bathing my mind, body and soul. I am so grateful for the 98 years that I have been given to enjoy and participate in the energy of the universe, to serve, to learn, and to teach.

My house sits at the top of a hill: the view manifests the beauty in every direction.  I have had such an amazing, truly awesome life. The opportunities seem more than anyone deserves. The lessons are always beyond belief.  The opportunities to be, to do, and see never cease (and I say, to see) even though my eye sight is getting weaker, so much of the seeing has not to do with physical, but what lies in my heart and soul.

My walk with my Creator is hard for me to fathom; therefore, it is difficult to put to paper to explain to someone else the nature of my journey. It is particularly difficult to explain cancer’s journey with me. So many of the choices and episodes that I made are contrary to cultural attitude, cultural expectations, and what may be perceived as normal.  I have chosen to not let cancer dominate my life and not allow the “Big C” to frighten me or to control my choices.  I had cysts removed from my ovaries and suspicious tissue removed from my left breast when my children were small. My doctor told me in a matter of fact way and did not make a big deal of the findings. I don’t remember whether I was frightened.  As a very busy young mother, teacher, wife, and community member, somehow I lived with little thought about any cancer issues. I had my yearly pelvic exam, I had my yearly conversation with the doctor and went on with my life.

 

Thinking and Believing: The Choices We Make – 4

Quantum physics has given us information about consciousness, energy, thought, and other universal laws of nature that govern all of our lives, yet many view the information with skepticism. Many prefer to think that their lives are governed by circumstances, by some predetermined destiny over which they have little or no control.  Physicists have known for some time that what we once thought was solid matter is actually vibrating energy, a universe of unlimited potential.  This is a source that has no bounds and is always available to fill our orders. But it cannot fill what is not ordered, nor can it deliver properly when the address is not correct or the order is not specific.

The energy source never ceases. We can harness it for our personal and professional use. We accept the wonders of science that affect us; we understand the liberating influence much of science has had on our lives. Technology, travel, health, energy, space or any of the many discoveries decade by decade, year by year, moment by moment engage our fancy.

We accept most of the advances and learn to live with them, appreciate, and come to think of them as a normal part of our existence.

That is, until we enter the realm of the mind, the domain of thought, the energy of consciousness that we cannot see. These are the areas that should concern us the most.  As persons we need to understand the advances made in understanding consciousness, energy, thought, learning, the brain, knowing and being. We have grown up with a psychological paradigm that is difficult to change. That paradigm essentially teaches us that we must see something to believe it. We have generally been taught that “Seeing is believing,”  “Show me and I’ll believe it” or “I’m from Missouri, the show-me state.”  Unfortunately, we have the universe in reverse. The Biology of Belief and the studies done by Dr. Bruce Lipton and others inform us that what we believe we will see.

Our thoughts, our mind’s energy, are precious. They directly exercise control of the physical brain and, therefore, our behavior.  We must learn to monitor our thoughts because we get and we become what we think about.

Remember, we get what we ask for whether or not we want it.  Whatever you are thinking about, you are attracting to you. We are the thinker of our thoughts.  We can be the changer of our thoughts.

Generally speaking our culture is based on this premise to change to a paradigm of “believing is seeing” is very difficult.  That is why it is so difficult when negative thoughts about a person are presumably based on what scientists would call facts; learning to change that thinking to positive energy in the universe is nigh impossible, but absolutely necessary.

The succeeding entries (journals, diary, anecdotal accounts), starting several years ago, are a part of a book that documents the journey of faith and with cancer as the unwanted traveler on my journey.