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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Single Moment

      Mind over matter. Seems like such a simple phrase, doesn't it? Just three little words. By itself it says I'm stronger than what I'm living through. Can mind over matter change a person's life? Can it go to the point of saving a person's life? What a powerful concept that is!! The power of the mind can do many things that science can't explain. We as human beings are still in the infant stages of understanding the power of the mind. At least from a scientific point of view. What about the spiritual point of view? Those who believe in the awe inspiring power of some being larger and greater then ourselves, are able to say that through him or her, all things are possible.

      The following was sent to me by a fellow blogger and a very good friend of mine. Her name is Rachel Cook. Her blog is in my links, it's called Tarot By Rachel. I read it all the time. Her wisdom is amazing and for some reason she always seems to touch on something I'm going through at that moment. Could it be that she is channeling me at that moment...I don't know. What I do know is her story is one of such strength, that it deserves to be shared. If this doesn't inspire you to go on no matter what, I'm not sure anything can.


      After years of suffering with sinus trouble, I finally decided to take the plunge and seek out relief through sinus surgery. In a single day I had three surgeries which straightened my septum, cleared my sinuses and removed my tonsils. What was supposed to be a 2.5 hour surgery ended up being 5 hours, because the inside of my sinuses and throat were, as my doctor described them, "Worse than Kuwait." Thankfully I had worked for my job long enough to not only have great health coverage, but my time off from work was also covered under FMLA.

      Less than six weeks after this surgery, I came down with a horrible illness. Every time I stood up I would become dizzy and nauseated, I was very fatigued and had no energy, this went on for days. I went to the doctor and was told I had a stomach flu, after being given some meds to make me more comfortable I was sent home to rest. Some days went by and I was getting worse, not better. It was frightening to be so ill, not just because I was missing quite a bit of work (thankfully covered by FMLA also) but also because I was living alone and didn't have the energy to walk from one room in my tiny apartment, let alone walk my dog to the end of the block. I returned to the doctor and he grew concerned at the deterioration of my condition, the swollen size of my lymph nodes and a host of other symptoms he found troubling. He decided to draw some blood, thinking I was dehydrated. What I didn't expect was over the course of the next three weeks I would find myself being tested for multiple forms of cancer and quarantined due to an alarming lack of white blood cells. In short, my body was shutting down, not healing itself and growing weaker with each new pathogen I encountered.

      Throughout all of this, it was noted that my thyroid was enlarged, but this was considered a secondary concern next to my veritably absent immune system.

      My doctor was troubled by all of this and scheduled an appointment with an oncologist so I could undergo more tests for various blood cancers, his thought was that perhaps I had contracted a very rare form of leukemia. The nurse at the cancer center drew six phials of blood, and moments before I was prepped for a bone marrow biopsy, the blood specialist met with me to say that although my white blood cell count was low, it was on the threshold of "normal" and whatever had caused my immune system to shut down for three weeks appeared to be on its way out. Of course my doctor was still concerned about my enlarged thyroid and once I was given the all-clear to return to work, I was scheduled to met with yet another specialist, this time an endocrinologist.

      As it turned out, over the years (no one really knows how long) I had contracted Graves disease (an overactive thyroid), which then caused my thyroid to become cancerous. I'd spent so many years suffering from sinus trouble that any additional ills brought on by thyroid trouble (believe me, there are more than I can mention here) were completely lost on me. This probably would have never been discovered had I not become so ill from a mysterious virus. Within a few months of becoming sick to the point of quarantine, I was quarantined once again, this time to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment to obliterate my cancerous thyroid. I'm proud to say that I've been Cancer free for over a year now. Even though I will have to take synthetic thyroid hormones for the remainder of my life and have blood drawn every six weeks, I'm glad to do it. Because I know what it is to feel sick and utterly helpless, and I know it's not a feeling I ever want to experience again.

      Which of these days equate to "that single moment"? All of them, each time I said to myself, "I refuse to go on being sick." .

      I'm going to repeat her last phrase: "I refuse to go on being sick."
     For the argument about mind over matter, I have to say that yes, it can save a life. The power of positive thinking is such an amzing thing. It changes lives everyday. It makes you climb to new heights and even gives you a second chance. A single moment is all it takes to think, "I refuse to go on like this." It's at that point in life, where you have decided to make a commitment to yourself. What an amazing moment that is. Though it was a doctor that saved Rachel's life, it was actually her positive spirit and will not to give in that made it possible. I know for me, the next time I think my life sucks, I'm going to remember Rachel. Her story has changed my life. Thank you Rachel for everything...smiles...hugs...


Rachel C. said...

Thank you for giving my voice a forum in which to express itself outside of facebook chats and my blog! I'm lucky to have a friend as great as you.

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