It is difficult for me to know where to begin my story. This has been a long road with many twists and turns.
I was 30 years old and the mother of a very beautiful, very healthy and very active eighteen-month-old boy. I had a job that I thoroughly enjoyed and a husband who was loving, caring and supportive. I had all the basics of a good and happy life. When I look back on that time, I remember feeling that my life could not have been better. I was, like most people, blissfully flowing along in the denial of our common fate, a denial which was somehow essential to my peace of mind. I never thought about mortality in a serious way. Little did I know that my reality was about to change - almost as abruptly as if I had crashed into a brick wall while travelling at 90 miles an hour.
I remember fighting with my doctor because I wanted a mammogram. She hesitated, saying, "Thirty-year-olds never get breast cancer". I, however, knew in my heart that something was terribly wrong. After all, it was my body, so I persisted until the doctor reluctantly agreed to send me for the test. That was the first time in my life I stood up and asserted myself. And boy did I receive reinforcement for this lesson: I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a modified radical mastectomy, and 15 of the 22 lymph nodes removed from under my arm showed malignancy.
By the time my husband and I left the doctor's office we were in total despair. I had never felt so alone or so abandoned. I was sure nothing good would come of this. I was convinced I would soon be dead. We began our drive home in silence, punctuated only by the sounds of our sobs. Suddenly, the energy in the car seemed to change. My husband began to speak as if he were guided to do so, saying that we would fight this. Other people have beaten cancer, he pointed out, and we, too, would do whatever was necessary to beat it together. Fortunately my fatalistic attitude was short-lived thanks to the strength of my husband and family. And, although at the time I was sure it was my husband who was going to save me, I now know that through my own strength, hope, will and faith, I saved myself.
I refused to allow this cancer to run my life. I had a family to care for, a child to raise, and a life to live. From that moment on we began an all-out war. We set out to educate ourselves on the different options available, both mainstream Western and so-called "alternative" approaches. We would only see doctors and other health professionals who dealt with us in an open, informative and caring way. We always insisted on knowing exactly what was going on and why so that we could make informed decisions.
Through all this, we called everyone we knew to solicit support and prayers. Friends and family flocked to our side. It's amazing how people respond when another is in need. I learned much about the innate goodness of people. I learned how essential sharing love is to the human experience. I began to feel the love in my heart and the hope that ultimately sustained me through this journey. The possibility of miracles and the wonder of life became everyday thoughts to me. I began to question my thought patterns more. This, I found, was a very important factor in my well being. I pondered why I thought it more realistic to expect a negative outcome than to expect a positive one. I opted to expect the positive.
I began to seek more out of life. I have always asked my God to show me the right path and to provide me with the tools I need. I have had much chemotherapy and even a bone marrow transplant. These things were all gifts from God. I wanted more, however, and that drive is what led me to seek the aid of a "healer."
I have always been interested in the mysteries of healing and I began to pursue this. One morning, by chance, I saw Los Angeles-based Dr. Eric Scott Pearl and some of his patients on a TV talk show. I believe the topic was alternative healing. I was struck by his gentleness and humility. He has truly been given the gift of healing. He doesn't know why he was chosen or where the gift came from - "Call it God, Love or Universe," he says - yet somehow a healing power does work through him. His patients receive healings that are otherwise unheard of in today's world.
When I first met Dr. Pearl, I was weak from chemotherapy. Not only did I require a wheelchair to go from place to place, the rest of the time I was confined to bed. I had spent seven weeks in the hospital in isolation while doctors tried to figure out how to treat my blood counts which, for the previous two months, had dropped dangerously low and seemed insistent upon remaining there. The only thing they knew for certain during those seven weeks was that I required blood transfusions every other day in order to survive. To add insult to injury, I was also suffering from shingles. I was determined to leave the hospital in time for my first appointed healing session…and I did just that. My healing began the day my husband and son checked me out of the hospital and wheeled me in to see Dr. Pearl. From that day on, things have miraculously gotten better.
As Dr. Pearl ran his hands above my body, I could feel warmth. I saw many bright colors, a white star, and an exquisite white light. I also saw an intensely beautiful violet light, a violet color I had never seen before. I felt the sensation of invisible hands touching me in a healing way. I could feel the presence of loving, joyful beings. I felt as if angels were having a party all around me. Not being a person who regularly sees angels, this was a very significant event for me. I wanted to get up and join in on the fun. I felt my heart open in an intense surge of every emotion imaginable. It was an enchantingly beautiful experience. The only other time in my life that I can remember feeling this way was when I gave birth to my son.
All too soon, I heard the voice of a female angel gently saying, "You're done." Just then, Dr. Pearl brought me out of the session as if he had heard the angel too. These loving angels came to me again in our next two sessions. (I had three sessions, one a day for three days, and each was as beautiful as the one before.) Without words, the angels fed me peace, love, joy, playfulness and hope, all things I needed in my life. During my sessions with Dr. Pearl, these angels allowed me to feel what I can only describe as the energy of my life - it was like the buzz or hum of my being.
The angels stayed with me for several months; we visited daily. They illuminated my path, helping me to see my needs more clearly and to become the healthy, vibrant person I am today. They came to me in dreams and while I was awake. Sometimes I would see them and other times I would sense them. They always gave me the answers I needed and I am eternally grateful for this gift.
These angels don't show themselves to me anymore, although I'm sure they continue their watch. I used to know when I was about to see the angels because, as if to announce their arrival, the most heavenly scent of vanilla ice cream cones would fill the air. The reason I no longer see them, I feel, is because of the one day that I didn't smell the ice cream cones. That day I walked into my kitchen and was startled when I unexpectedly saw one of the angels standing where I usually stand to prepare dinner. Surprised, I inhaled loudly. All right, I admit it…I gasped. I didn't mean to, but it caught me off guard and there was no taking this gasp back. Apparently not wanting to upset me, the angel vanished and never returned. I was very disappointed as I never saw any of the angels again. And I must tell you; I really do miss having them around.
Since my first session with Dr. Pearl and the angels that work with him, I no longer require any of the every-other-day blood transfusions that had characterized my existence. I also haven't used a wheelchair. Not once. I was now able to walk and drive on my own. I even drove myself to my third and final session with Dr. Pearl and have continued to improve ever since.
Even after the last angel left, I continued to reach new levels in my energy, my health and the overall quality of my life. I am once again doing all the shopping, cleaning and cooking for my family on a daily basis, not to mention chauffeuring my nine-year-old son around town and being den mother to his Boy Scout troop. This is a big change for a woman who, a little while back, spent most of her time confined to a bed. My sessions with Dr. Pearl have given me a new openness and allowed me to learn many new lessons. My feelings and emotions now run more deep, more true. I have been left with a heightened sense of love, not only for my husband and my son, but for the world as well. Perhaps the angels leaving was their way of telling me that I was ready to fully recover on my own, that I was ready to care for myself and my family the way I always had.
I see myself as a survivor. A survivor is more than a person who merely lives through a disease; it is a person who has the courage to go on with life. It is enjoying family and friends, sharing love, being open to all possibilities, hoping, and always being true to your heart.
I am now 37 years old. As I've said, it's been a long journey. I gave up my cancer in a millisecond, yet I will always cherish the lessons I've learned about myself - and life - as a result of my experience. And it will always be my privilege to feel both happy and sad whenever I smell a vanilla ice cream cone.