So said my lovely husband, Philip Rogers, when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in the autumn of 2010. He did heal, immensely, on all levels except the physical. But the last 14 months in his body was the most intense, intimate and loving of his whole 66 years, partly because he wrote the blog you will find on this site.
If you believe that healing only happens when the physical body recovers from the cancer, then you won’t want to read on. But if you are open to the idea that healing also happens emotionally, spiritually, mentally and intellectually, then you will find this blog illuminating, inspiring and poignant, with a raw honesty that will challenge you. You have been warned!
Two and a half years later, I wrote my book Gifted By Grief: A True Story of Cancer, Loss and Rebirth. In it, I include excerpts of Philip’s blog, plus my own journal entries. You can read the first two chapters for free here
Here is the original home page Philip wrote:
“I want to say up front that cancer can help you heal yourself. That cancer can be a motivator for you to change and grow. It is not all doom, gloom and death.
When I was told I had cancer, after the initial shock, I was looking on the net at various cancer sites and books and was deeply shocked at the aggressive attitude I found, and the military language. Words like battle, fight, kill, war, and so on. And many people being very angry about cancer on forums and in comments. I didn’t feel like that about it and felt quite disturbed. I questioned myself:
“If I don’t want to fight it, does this mean I don’t want to live?”
It took me a while to get to a place where I felt more comfortable with my approach, which was basically to see what I needed to learn from this. I was willing to have conventional medicine treatments, they were quite positive about what they could do for me, but I also knew that I was going on a deep inner journey at the same time. Being confronted with a life-threatening disease is a shock, yes, but it is also an opportunity.
If you have cancer as I do, or are close to someone who does, then you have choices to make.
How can you take responsibility in this frightening situation?
The best way I know is to see the word responsibility as response-ability. You have the ability to respond to everything that happens to you. And your response is yours alone, it belongs to you, no-one else can do it for you. Yes, there is support out there, tremendous support, but you have to open yourself and ask for it and that starts within you. Ask yourself:
- Can I turn the fear towards love?
- Can I be angry constructively?
- How do I expand with this rather than contract?
- What could this ordeal teach me?
- Can it be a positive experience as well? If yes, how?
- What can I do to help heal myself, and save my life?
The key thing about this exploration of ourselves is that we are empowered. We are not just patients expecting the all-powerful medics to save us. We are active participants in our healing.
The blog is my account of this journey with questions such as these, through the twists and turns of the treatment, the ups and downs of my path seeking the other support that I needed to go alongside the conventional. There are a lot of alternative and complementary treatments on offer. How do you know what will work for you? The blog relates what I did about this.
I hope the blog and this site will support and inspire you to see the positive possibilities in this cancer experience more. It is not just a dread visitation from the dark forces in life, it can be so much more than that. It is up to me, and up to you”.