Pat Crilly is an RN who was diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots) - and she found herself on the other side of medicine: as a patient.
She tells her story much better than I, so here it is in part (more is available at http://www.feelyounger-lookyounger.com). Thank you Pat for your courage and for sharing your story to empower others!
"On Wednesday August 18, 2009, I had a special MRI of my pelvis to check how high up the blood clots went. On Friday August 20th, I received a call from my hematologist. There is a problem. You have a “mass ”. A big one. Do you have a gynecologist? If I see my gynecologist will she send me to an oncologist anyway? Yes. Then let’s go right for the Gyn/Onc. I was not going to be foolish. I wanted the best medical care available. Whatever this thing was, I wanted it OUT OF ME!
I sounded reasonable and calm on the phone even though, I was shaking uncontrollably and could barely speak above a whisper. The voice in my head, however, was loud and clear. “C’mon, Pat. You’re a nurse. You know it’s cancer. You’re toast. My thoughts went from cancer to fear to pain to death in a nanosecond.
I quickly realized that the all-consuming paralyzing fear was doing just that – paralyzing me from any productive thought or action. A dear friend and colleague joined me for lunch after my last client and helped me push aside the fear long enough to consider that A.) It might not be cancer or B.) I could get rid of it with self-healing. In that moment, I decided that I was not ready to die. I was not willing to suffer through the treatments and I began to banish my fear and begin to believe that I could be well.
When I met Dr. G. (the Gyn/Onc) for the first time, I told her rather boldly and with more than a bit of false bravado, that I was a practitioner of alternative modalities and that I believed in self-healing. I further told her that it was important that she accept and respect my beliefs or I was out of there. She, simply, nodded her head in the affirmative.
Here is where things got a little tricky. I only had two weeks until surgery. Each test yielded more and more devastating results. Things were not looking too good.The diagnosis: invasive ovarian cancer.
I told only a handful of people the truth about the surgery. The rest, some dear friends and family, I told that I was having a hysterectomy (not a lie) for fibroids (a big lie). I did not want the energy of their fear of the “c” word entering into the world of Well-Being I was creating.
I wanted to believe self-healing was possible with all of my being. I realized that I believed it intellectually but in my heart of hearts, not so much. In those two weeks prior to surgery, a massive, life-altering shift in all that I believed was turned upside down.
I had called upon all of my friends and colleagues in the healing arts. Yes, even the woo-woo ones. I had Reiki, hypnosis, reflexology, chakra balancing, massage therapy, psychotherapy and meridian tapping. I said affirmations and repeated healing mantras. My name was placed in prayer groups and healing circles.
I read everything I could find about self-healing. I watched videos of the Healing Gurus. I ate miniature Baby Ruths and Snickers by the bag. My body craved them and I figured on the off chance that I might croak, I was going to enjoy myself.
Much to my surprise, I even prayed. Praying in my adult life had become more of an internal dialogue with Source and not the fervent supplication of my youth to a man with a long white beard dressed in flowing robes. It was prayer nonetheless. I promised to eat more veggies. I promised to be a better person. Wait a minute, I thought, I already am a good person. This is not a punishment. I don’t need to make amends. I deserve to be well. Really, why you? Why not me?
I had begun to think of my body as an inhospitable host to an unwelcome guest. The cancer had no choice but to leave. Suddenly, a profound and peaceful calm came over me. In retrospect, I now know that I was being suffused with unconditional love. In that same moment, I heard or, more accurately, felt a voice inside my head say, “You’re fine. It’s gone”. That was it. Just like that. I had the “knowing”. No clap of thunder. No visit from an Archangel. No heavenly choirs. Just those four little words and I was good to go.
Later that afternoon, Dr. G. came to get my consent and to explain the surgery and what might have to be done depending on how the cancer had spread. I had been telling her all along that I was healing myself and I, naively, thought she had taken my word for it. When she finished the long and complicated description of possible surgical options, she asked if I understood. I responded by asking how long it would take if she had to do all of what she had described. About seven hours. Seven hours! That’s a lot of work. I told her that I didn’t want her to work so hard and that all I needed was just your garden variety hysterectomy.
Perhaps out of frustration or exasperation, she placed her arms akimbo and said, “You have no fear, no anxiety. Where does this come from?” I told her that I had a knowing and that when she opened me up she would find things to be very different than she was expecting. She wanted to know how I knew. Hmm. It is difficult to explain without having experienced it. You just know when you have a knowing.
I thought a bit and said, “When you look at me, you see a woman riddled with cancer and when I look in the mirror, I see a healthy vibrant woman and that is who I want you to operate on!” I signed the consent and as she left, I am sure she must have considered a psychiatric consult as I was clearly in denial if not delusional. The truth is, she never wavered in her support and respect for my beliefs and philosophy.
As the Anesthesiologist was preparing to “knock me out”, Dr. G. came in to reassure me that she would take good care of me. Of that, I had no doubt. I held her hands in mine and told her that I was given healing Reiki symbols from a friend and that I was passing them on to her. I told her that the moment her scalpel touched my skin, I would begin to heal. She thanked me and as I looked around the Operating Room, everyone was standing quite still and staring at me. What? I was just expressing my authentic self.
Soon, I slipped into the arms of Morpheus accompanied by healing music imbedded with subliminal messages of healing and well-being from my iPod."
More to come later this week.