“Shoot the Messengers”

“Shoot the Messengers”

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

“Shoot the Messengers”

No matter how difficult, it might be a pearl in the making.

Don Kelly

When bad news comes like a thunderclap, it’s hard to imagine good can come of it.

Two years ago, I went with my wife to hear the results of her biopsy. A routine mammogram had indicated something suspicious, the ultrasound confirmed it, and she had a needle biopsy. I accompanied her to hear the results, even though we both knew there could be nothing wrong with her—she was so healthy! She squeezed my hand tight as we entered the radiation offices, bent on keeping our positive attitude.

We sat in the hallway for five to ten minutes, and then were called in to a storage room filled with unused X-ray equipment. We sat on cold steel stools against a cement wall on a cement floor in an icy-cold air-conditioned room.

The technician wasted no time. She looked my wife straight in the eye and said, “It is cancer.”

We both sat there in shock. I asked, “Couldn’t there be some mistake?”

“No mistake,” she said coldly. “It’s cancer. It’s definitely cancer.”

We were paralyzed, our mouths dry, unable to speak for several minutes. Tears made a path down my wife’s cheeks. Finally, we stood up and walked like zombies down the cold hallway and out of the office. On the way to the car, I said, “Cruel! She was cold and cruel and almost seemed to enjoy telling us in a sadistic way.” Although it can never be an easy task to tell someone she or he has cancer, we both agreed there had to be a better way.

The surgeon’s office had closed early that day, so we hadn’t talked to her doctor. We didn’t know the gravity of the diagnosis; we had no details about the size, grade or seriousness of the cancer.

We went home to bed, and I held her as we both cried. We lay there a long time, holding hands, trying to assimilate the terrifying news. We talked about finances, our will; my wife was picking out her gravestone. Actually, she decided on cremation.

All this torture was unnecessary. Nobody told us that most people survive breast cancer. The technician who delivered the dire message suggested nothing positive, no books, no reading material, no support groups. Nothing. We were left to our own resources, stumbling in the dark to find out what choices we had.

As we lay there that night, we thought, With all the money that goes into research and equipment, wouldn’t it have been nice if we had been taken into a comfortable seating area, been greeted by a professional counselor whose job is to convey the news to people, as well as their many options and choices?

After that first night, having successfully weathered the “knock-out punch,” we called our friend and teacher on Kauai, Dr. Serge King, who specializes in Aloha Spirit and healing, using ancient Hawaiian practices. He informed us that he had developed a new technique called the Dynamind treatment. We flew to see him and had a session right away. He sat across from my wife and asked her if she was having any emotional feelings about her cancer. She couldn’t come up with anything, but then suddenly said, “I feel like I’m ruining our wonderful life.”

“There’s no reason for those feelings of guilt,” he said. “Let’s get rid of them. The Dynamind treatment can make an incredible difference by releasing stored emotions in the space of a minute. You first acknowledge the problem, relax the mind, fill the body with breath and energy, and use physical touch and kinesiology to redirect the mind.”

He continued, “Repeat after me: I’m feeling some guilt about my cancer and that can change. I want that feeling of guilt to change. I want that to go away now.”

She repeated what he said.

“Now tap your fingers seven times on the breastbone at the center of the chest, then seven times on the area between your left thumb and index finger, now seven times on the right hand, then seven times on the base of the neck. Now take a deep breath and tell me on a scale of ten, ten being the worst and one being the least, how are you feeling about the guilt?”

My wife took a deep breath, opened her eyes and said, “It’s about a seven.”

“Okay,” he said, “let’s do it again. Take a deep breath and do it again.”

She went through the series again, took a deep breath and said, “It’s about a four.”

“Well, then, let’s do it once more,” Serge said.

She went through the process one more time, and at the end she took a deep breath and said, “It’s gone.”

“Do you feel anything else? Sadness or anger at the cancer?”

“A little fear.”

“Whenever that comes up, take a deep breath and say, ‘I’m feeling a little anxiety, and that can change. I want that anxiety to change. I want it to go away now.’”

We were overjoyed to have something positive and constructive to use in our healing.

As my wife went through numerous scary tests and treatments, this technique was immensely helpful and gave her the willpower to overcome her challenges.

When she was feeling nauseous after surgery, she was able to use the technique to overcome it. She went on to use the technique over and over again, through eight rounds of chemotherapy, seven weeks of radiation, hair loss, weight gain from steroids and other difficult side effects.

She has emerged on the other side of the tunnel, more beautiful than ever. She found some great books like Chicken Soup for the Survivor’s Soul; Living Beyond Breast Cancer, A Survivor’s Guide; Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors; Hope Is Contagious; Not Just One in Eight; and many others. She even wrote a book called Path of the Pearl: Discover Your Treasures Within, about the way a pearl oyster takes an irritant and transforms it into something of great rarity and beauty—a pearl. I came up with a phrase that sums up her book and her medical journey: “No matter how difficult, it might be a pearl in the making.”

Glowing with health, her energy returned, we both give thanks for the gifts of this journey. We appreciate every day of our lives that we have together. We take nothing for granted. We feel blessed—we’ve been given a second chance. We both feel a deep commitment to helping others get through their breast-cancer journey. We believe in utilizing all the support that is available—great Web sites, helpful books, local support groups, alternative healing along with Western medicine, and plenty of positive tools and techniques.

There is a lot of help out there! Make use of all the excellent support that’s available and then perhaps you won’t have to “shoot the messenger.”

Don Kelly

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