It’s been a while since the last time I put my thoughts into words. I must confess that the last months of my life have been too difficult for me, because I was beside my mother battling a disease that eventually took her life.
Today December 13th is her birthday and I think maybe she will still with us if we had seen along the road and interpreted the circumstances differently and thus have taken different actions. The reason why I feel the need to share my story, it is precisely because I believe that my view can bring peace and peaceful to people who are currently suffering from a loss of a loved one, or currently are suffering in flesh or through a loved one the so called ” terminally illness”
What I will share here has no scientific basis but empirical support for what was a 6-year fight of stomach cancer suffered by my mother.
6 years ago I accompanied my mother to the clinic to get an endoscopy. The result was that she had stomach cancer. I cannot describe exactly what I felt, but the closest was an uncontrollable panic and fear. In my mind the word cancer was synonymous with death sentence and that’s how my whole family took it.
What happened next, were years of learning through mistakes and fears. Why I say fear … precisely because the emotion of fear has the effect to paralyze us or make us run away from the situation. The emotion of fear has the power to shows us clearly when something is important to us and how we can lose it in the presence of fear if we cannot take charge or responsivity for what is happening and seek in others to take charge of the situation (that’s when we hear and see what we want to see and hear).
In our ignorance we go immediately to the family doctor, an honest person who always cared for our family. In this blind faith that we once bestowed upon the role of the white coats of doctor’s, we heard what we wanted to hear, a solution to save my mom regardless of whether or not this was the best decision for her.
The surgeon in his judgment and very consistent with his specialty told that the cancer was encapsulated and that before it was too late it was necessary to remove the whole stomach to prevent the cancer from spreading. Without much thought, we opted for the plan that offered us an “immediate” solution. This was the beginning of a series of errors. Blinded by fear, we decided to act against something that only fights the symptom but not the cause and to our dismay, that surgery led to a series of complications that took my mother to the ER in the brink of death for more than 40 days and would eventually become the cause of her death six years later and not the cancer itself.
With the stomach surgery to remove the cancer, a path of mistakes began and setbacks. Removing my mother stomach, complications arise when the bowel did not stick well to the esophagus causing a peritonitis and a second emergency surgery. In this surgery, without knowing exactly what caused it, a few blood vessels were cut by mistake which left the ascending and ascending colon without blood flow and eventually she loss those organs by necrosis and struggling for her life 40 days at the ER. My mother miraculously survived the butchering to which she was subjected.
This is where the story stared to make me feel curious and make me want to do special emphasis on the power of the mind and our emotions in our health and well-being. Sense my mom was diagnose with cancer during the next 6 years, every 6 months she had medical exams to check if the cancer had returned. Although each time the results came back as a high sign that the cancer had returned, the PET Scan (a specialized exam to detect cancerous tumors) detected no tumor and because of that, the oncologist in a very impersonal and unprofessional behavior limited himself to reading exams without attending my mother in person and return the paperwork with a smiley face, which meant that “there was no cancer”.
Why do I say that this creates curiosity in me? We recently discovered that there are scientific studies pointing recidivism rates for each type of cancer measured in months or years. This means that after a while, in many cases the cancer comes back and takes his victim. In the case of gastric cancer, a patient with this diagnosis has a life expectancy of 18 months (obviously there are many factors that change this time). The strange thing that happened to my mom it was that thanks to the lack of professionalism and neglect of her oncologist, every time my mom got a happy face, in her thoughts life gave her more than time in this world, each happy face was one more year of life.
In late February 2015, my mother started vomiting almost everything she ate. After many tests, finally a gastroenterologist friend of hers diagnosed that she had a bowel obstruction generated at the junction of the esophagus and intestines as a result of surgery in which they removed the stomach 6 years ago and because HE COULDN’T PROCEED WITH THE ENDOSCOPY BY INSERTING THE GASTRIC TUBE DOWN HER THROAT, according to his expertise the only way to save her was to submitted her once again to surgery to untangle it with a scalpel.
Once again, medical errors occur and despite that my mother’s will to live was unshakable and incredible appearance, very optimistic and very strong. My mom went to surgery to had remove the intestinal obstruction and to our surprise what the doctor found was cancer all over the body” … The doctor told us that because of the cancer spread he could not remove the obstruction and that there was nothing else to be done, that my mother cancer was terminal, and that we needed organize our affairs because she would die soon.
As a family we decided to tell my mom that at that moment the medicine could not do anything for her, because the only solution offered was chemotherapy and this was not possible because she was very skinny and her body would not be able to resist. Instead, we said we could try alternative medicine to which she was open to, after all, part of his recovery six years ago, was because we rely on alternative therapies.
Still facing this strike of reality, three days later a friend of my mom of many years who happens to be also an oncologist, without any authorization or authority from the family, went to the room and said in front of all of us without prior consultation that he was sorry to be the bad guy in this story and told my mom that there was nothing to do, that he was an oncologist for long and she was going to die soon, so she had to accept it …
Doctors are valuable people in our society and save lives daily. However, being a doctor does not give anyone permission to step over people and trample their hopes simply because according to their knowledge and expertise they can make an statement such as “THERE IS NOTHING ELSAE TO BE DONE” when a wise, professional and humble response should have been “I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO” or “THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO”.
At this point started the fight that we sadly lost. In short, my mom stopped believing she could survive, after all, the same people who she had given them her trust and authority, told her that there was nothing to do and her health begin to collapse.
My mom was sent home with palliative care consisting of oral remedies like acetaminophen for children and remedies for nausea. Watching that my mom had been sent to die, we contact different kind of doctors, homeopaths and bioenergetics and they started a treatment where the first thing they did was take her off the allopathic remedies whose only function was to make her groggy and hide the symptoms.
I want to emphasized that in less than two weeks my mom physical health started having improvements and the most notorious was something that didn’t seem possible for traditional medicine. Because my mom didn’t have a stomach and parts of her colon, doctors told her that sense the surgery 6 years ago, that whenever she will go to the bathroom it was going to be like she was having diarrhea and that’s way they prescribed her remedies to reduce symptoms. To our surprise, for the first time in 6 years, my mom started going to the bathroom and poop normally.
Later, we were lucky enough to find a charismatic gastroenterologist who was great dealing with patients and with better knowledge and tools than the previous gastroenterologist who diagnosed my Mom with intestinal obstruction who coordinately to his expertise, the only way to remove the obstruction was with surgery. This gastroenterologist told us it was possible to dilate the intestine with a probe and if this did not work, she can insert into my Mom bowel an esophageal stent. Indeed, she did it and my mom started feeding again.
Unfortunately for my mother, between the news “THERE IS NOTHING TO DO” and “WE MANAGED TO UNBLOCK THE INTESTINE” had been almost two months and unfortunately for her mind was too late. Since the oncologist friend of hers told her that there was nothing to do, she started to die of a cancer that for 6 years was always present but was always in the background because until that date, she thought she had won the battle. Eventually my mother died and she rest from the suffering that she endured since she heard the words “there was nothing to be done”, sadly, after her beliefs and faith were taken by the institution of medicine, she was gradually lost her will to fight.
I still cannot believe the situation, how is that this incredible and strong woman who was my mom, a month before the failed surgery she visited me in Miami an even though she was skinny and vomiting, she walked throughout the city and spent an incredible moment with me. She was with a lot of energy and life and all that faded away when she heard the news “THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE DONE”.
The death of my mother left a huge void in my heart, not a single day passes by that I don’t miss her, that day the world lost a great human being. With her death and life experience, she reinforced in me an invaluable lesson that by “destiny”, I was working on in my life and working on others through Life Coaching. With this experience, I’m reaffirmed the enormous power of the mind over our lives and how are the interpretations of the events that happen to us can close or open doors that could meant life or death just like it happened in my mother life
I invite you all to reevaluate how we are thinking, because what we generate from our brain goes strike us as a lightning in our emotional world and this affects our physical and mental wellbeing. Not only cancer can lead us to this; losing a loved one, fight with a friend, end a relationship, work where we feel frustrated, living without dreams is what can lead us to live our lives meaningless.
Everyone speaks of death as the most normal thing in the world, after all is the only sure thing in life and part of the cycle of life … However, one thing is to talk about death, believe it about it in a way which it is understood as something that will happen to us all at some point and quite another thing is to deal with mortality. When I was 13 years old I began my experience with death when losing my dad from a heart attack and now many years later I ‘m crying my mother because she is not with me to celebrate her birthday.
Losing someone is not easy, in fact it is too hard … the greatest gift my mother gave me was to receive this natural cycle of life from acceptance, living my grief and feeling sorrow for her departure, although I’m crying her death, I choose to stay in this world to celebrate her life and share with those who are here to remember her. This makes all the difference because it was something that I had no experience and did not know how to deal at age 13 when I lost my dad and did not have the tools of life that I have today.
My mom left this world knowing that I loved her with all my heart, there was not one day I didn’t tell her and showed her, what I had to say, I say it and what she spoked I listened; there are no outstanding issues and so on her birthday I live with tears of nostalgia but in peace.
With all my love and affection, I ask that you value the people that surround you, do not assume they will always be there, listen to them, keep them company be support to them so they can be themselves and live their life to their fullest, that it is to live in the company of others. The emotional world and the way we think seems to me a mystery, as Life Coach I have witnessed the great impact that this has on people. People don’t need to become a life coach to be at the service of others, what people need is to have compassion to relate, listen to others and understand from their point of view. Do not hesitate for a second to share with those who are important to you, no matter if over time they have gone aside, if you’ve fought, if interests have changed; my invitation is that if someone is important to you, do not miss the chance to prove it.
We can choose from where to see the world, in the case of my mother illness my family and I made a decision from fear that did not allow us to see beyond what was causing us so much terror. We saw cancer as the modern disease of the 21st century where we have to fight this monster when cancer is really a symptom of something that is happening to our lives and loudly asks us to pay attention.
If we would’ve learned this before, choosing love and compassion from our own humanity we would understanding that cancer is like a leak in the roof of a house. We can Pane tar and plaster where the water comes out but until the leak is corrected from its inception it will continue reappearing. It is important to understand that 100 % of the time where the leak appears is not where the crack is. The same happens with cancer, if we learn to listen to our bodies, we understand that our body with his wise biology is telling us loudly that something is wrong in our lives either from the body, our emotions or our thoughts.
When cancer appears, it is the body trying to fight something that is affecting us, like what happens when you get fever and body temperature rises to kill infectious organisms. That is why cancer is a modern disease, in the past when there was no way to detect it, in many cases these tumors were once beaten or rather served the cause of the imbalance in our lives. With this I do not mean that their detection is the cause of death of many people, in fact this may be beneficial or contradictory depending on the interpretation that people give to this news. We can take this disease as a sign, a wake up call that we have to take care of something in our lives or we can interpreted cancer as a death sentence as the way I did it on 2010 when my mom was diagnosed.
The body, emotions and language are always interconnected and in the case of diseases is the same. Te coherence or the interaction of this 3 subjects is leading to different outcomes in our lives. In the case of cancer, this is not given simply by living habits, nor as are our thoughts or what we interpret what happens to us. For this reason is that we have heard about people that during their lives they have abused from their bodies with drugs, cigarette and no exercise and despite all of this the not have cancer in their bodies as opposed to people with “healthy lifestyle” who are suffering of this disease. To experience suffering or wellbeing in our lives, it need to happen the triangulation between emotion, body and mind. There is no purpose to have a vegetarian diet, exercise every day etc. if the reason why I am doing all of this is because I am acting from fear trying to prevent this disease. The reason must be that I do all this thing as a manifestation of the love that I have for my own life and wellbeing.
The difference between acting from thoughts of fear or do it from self-love, is that in the first scenario what I do or evade is to avoid a result, in the case of cancer is to prevent me from cancer but my fearful thoughts are constantly in the disease until finally something happens. In the other scenario, I act from self-love, and what I do or do not do it is because I enjoy it and I’m honoring my body, mind and emotions.
I might not have a strict diet, but if I am compassionate with my body and I am not so hard and punish it from my thoughts I could find an ideal balance for my life. Remember, it’s not one or the other, coherence between my body, mind and emotions is what really generates different results.
To whoever is reading thank you for listen and share my story. To my Mommy, today on your birthday I say once again that I love you with all my heart and I promise you to live fully live until the day we meet again.
Finally, I want to share a song that has a lot of meaning for me and even today resonates in my heart. Years ago when my mom started his fight against cancer I dedicated her the song of Jorge Celedon “Que bonita es esta vida”… we both had it as a ring tone on our cellular when we called each other. If it is not too much to ask, I ask you to listen and if you know it, sing it with me and join me to celebrate the birthday of a wonderful woman.
SEE YOU SOON MOM 🙂