Curing v. Healing
"I get the strong feeling that God is using this to open the door you need to walk through in order to carry out His will for you as the person He really intended you to be."
I was less than a month out from surgery when my medical intuitive said these words, but I already knew they were true. God's hands were all over this journey from the very start.
* * *
I got the phone call in Tucson, at a conference I attend every year. After two weeks of minor abdominal pain, things had ramped up and I had hardly slept. Almost as an aside, I added a prayer for healing to my morning petitions, simply asking God to heal whatever was wrong in my abdomen. No less than two hours later my phone rang. It was my oncologist's office. Something didn't look right on my routine breast MRI - something in the area of my liver and spleen. I needed to come in for a CT scan as soon as I was home.
It was my partner who questioned it first - why did my liver and spleen show up on a breast MRI?
It was me who figured it out a few hours later - God.
It was confirmed when my surgical oncologist told me, during the visit where she dropped the bomb that there was a 98% chance this was cancer, "I don't know who was looking out for you, but we shouldn't have caught this. I have never received a call like that before."
Turns out, on the morning of my prayer, an MRI tech called her office to alert her to the tiniest bit of fluid showing up on the very edge of my film. "I don't know why, but I feel like you are supposed to look into this," he told her.
I know why.
* * *
Since then, He keeps handing me exactly what I need to be able to work out exactly what I need to work out. To begin, with less than 24 hours to get multiple tests and authorizations completed, we somehow managed to get me into the clinical trial that everyone agreed was by far the best treatment option for me.
By that point, I knew I was open to doing whatever was necessary to heal myself. I knew there was something bigger going on here - something just chemo wouldn't work out. So I decided that if something fell into my lap - a treatment option seemed too easily available - I would do it.
And once I made that decision, I started getting exactly what I needed.
My cousin called me - she had told a medical intuitive in her life about me and days later he felt God calling him to work with me. A friend introduced me to an acupuncturist who specializes in women's health. A dear friend offered me her lymphatic massage and cupping services. A trauma coach who wasn't taking new clients heard what I was working through and offered her services to me. An endocrinologist who came highly recommended overlooked a 38 patient wait list to take me on as a new patient. And then there's Hope - the little resident healer who fell directly in my lap.
Add to them the yoga teachers, therapist, meditation coach, spiritual director, and feng shui consultant who were already in my life and who all jumped right in to work with me in this space, and it was pretty clear God was making sure I didn't miss what He was hoping I would do. Everything from my diet to my energy blockages to the layout of my house were suddenly being addressed by a group of diverse healers who were genuinely excited about working with me. More than one has said they felt a call to walk alongside me in this journey.
There is no way to convince me that they weren't sent by God.
* * *
One of the first things I did when I got the "this is probably cancer" talk was reach out to a dear friend who is on his second battle with colon cancer. He told me to pick up Kelly A. Turner's book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds. I was more than a little surprised to learn that many of the nine factors she discusses in her book are the non-Western medicine healing modalities that have been handed to me so easily in the last few weeks (including the companionship of pets!). It almost makes me wonder if I could forgo the chemo and walk this road strictly holistically (I won't - because something in my heart tells me to endure the chemo - but I definitely have pondered it).
Turner talks about the ways that the individuals who employ a number of these factors don't only beat the odds their doctors gave them - but they see their lives transform. And in doing so, she draws a beautiful distinction:
Their appreciation of their transformations reminds me of the important difference between curing and healing. Curing means getting rid of a disease, while healing means becoming whole. Curing is sometimes possible, while healing is always possible.
(Radical Remission, 283.)
A few weeks after my diagnosis, God gave me great peace over the fact that my cancer will be cured. In fact, I am pretty confident that it already is. Its just something I know to my core.
And curing the cancer isn't really the reason I'm here. I'm here to heal - to become whole. That's the magic God is working within this scenario - He's using it as a chance to give me all the things I need to heal, to become whole, so that He can use me to carry out His will.
For whatever He has planned for me, He needed me to heal.
So I'm healing.
And I love that.