The Gifts of Experience
(Note: Phil and his wife are such beautiful Souls and have so much to share that we asked them to start writing down some of their vast experiences so that others may learn from them… Enjoy!! Celest and David)
Now that is some title for an article isn’t it? Yet millions and millions of people over the last one hundred years or so have received that news from a doctor located in any part of the world you want to name. Cancer shows no preference, it is non-denominational; it cares little about economic or social status and it doesn’t matter how old you are. It just comes silently into your world without any fanfare and hides away in your body and just grows and grows until sometime down the road it manifests itself in some flagrant way. It is at that point that you get the pronouncement from the physician that you have cancer.
Many times, like me, you discover it by accident. Back in 2006 I decided to have a CT scan due to some unusual heavy heartbeat I was experiencing. I went into a non-hospital related business that did health screening for companies who wished to give their employees a free screening so that early detection could be made if there were any problems with the heart, etc. There was a charge for just the heart scan, which is what I originally made an appointment for, but a full-body scan would only be a small amount more, so I opted for the full body scan.
The heart scan showed that I had an extremely large amount of plaque in my cardiac arteries which ultimately required five bypasses to fix. However when the proprietor of the scanning business told me “the rest of the story”, the full-body scan reflected that I also had masses in the abdomen. Now he wasn’t an MD but he had seen enough of these scan results to correctly guess that it appeared to him to be lymphoma. I was officially diagnosed as having Follicular Lymphoma, a type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It is the slowest growing type of NHL, which in one sense is good because it is slow growing, but in another sense it is bad, because modern medicine cannot cure it, or so the oncologist at the nation’s leading cancer center told me. So I’ve spent the last nine years receiving treatments, undergoing periodic testing and dealing with the disease. But, I am thankful that there were treatments that extended my life for these past nine years. I got to experience the birth and growth of three beautiful granddaughters since I was diagnosed.
Many times a person has been diagnosed with cancer and the one question that they first ask is; “Why Me”? There are people who always eat the proper foods in the appropriate quantities, take the most advanced supplements (not the stuff you get at the big box stores), and just do everything right. Why them? There is no real answer to be had. An answer might be the possibility that the Soul that the person represents designed that condition into the life plan that they are experiencing at the present time. There is also the circumstance that the life plan did not contain such an occurrence, but that environmental circumstances could have overwhelmed the body and the cancer came into the body from that type of source.
I have thought a great deal over the past nine years how cancer forms in a person and I am beginning to have a theory about how we might be jump starting our bodies to begin to form tumors. First of all, it is my belief that everyone has some type of source, maybe a cancer gene, or whatever you want to call it, in their bodies. It waits for a “trigger” to start to expand itself and make the cancer known to the person that it resides in. What can be the trigger? It could be the environmental conditions that I mentioned earlier that we are saddled with. I believe the bombardment of the toxic substances swirling around in the atmosphere that we can’t easily observe can be a cause for tumors to begin to grow.
There is another cause that I believe may be more prevalent and that cause, I believe, is the reason my cancer began to grow. That cause is “STRESS”. Stress comes in so many forms that one can’t possibly recognize them all to try to eliminate most of them. Early in life I had less confidence in myself and how I performed in comparison to the others, particularly in school. Nothing big you understand but just that feeling that tagged along with me for many years to come. I wasn’t strong academically in school, but that may have been because I really didn’t exert myself to learn. I found out much later after I got out of the military and resumed my college studies that I really was a bright individual and graduated with honors from the University.
However it was the stress of worrying about not performing that started the habits that I would take with me for the next thirty to forty years. I did not like to venture into areas that I wasn’t sure that I had the capability to perform in. Whenever I did take the chance, I usually did perform well and over the years I gained more confidence in my abilities. It took me until I was fifty before I knew that I could handle anything that came my way.
But the stress that was produced during those intervening years came along for the ride and just stayed with me. There was a time in my business career that I had to dissolve a company due to economic conditions. I had spent almost five years building it up and then had to unwind it over the next year. That experience took me more than a year to get over and the level of stress was tremendous. Then I went back to school to obtain a master’s degree that prepared me to pass the CPA exam. I was able to get a good position in a privately owned holding company that had eleven operating divisions. I was the CFO and did my upmost to try to convince the owner to liquidate the six operating divisions that lost more money than the five other operating divisions posted in profits. I had followed in the footsteps of two other CFO’s that had tried to accomplish the same task and had failed.
The day came when the company had to file Chapter 11 and then the real work started. Those unique individuals who hire themselves out to attempt to get companies turned around to come out of bankruptcy truly have my utmost admiration. They must have nerves of steel and ice water in their veins because it is a formidable task. While in Chapter 11 the company was able to liquidate nine of the divisions and pay off the majority of the bank creditors, but the company ultimately ended up in liquidation. Was it my fault that the company ended up as it did? Initially I felt that I had a major part in it, but subsequently came to the realization that the owner would never have listened to anyone. I now believe he almost had a “death” wish regarding the company. But again my old friend stress was there keeping me company all along the way.
Stress is worrying that you won’t be able to pull off some task. Stress is always thinking about the events that may be coming down the pike and if so how will you handle it? Someone once said that 90% of all the things people worry about, never come about. But that doesn’t stop most of us from still thinking about the 90%. And there is stress just working in the background and waiting to give us a body blow in the form of cancer.
Now some may be saying that they really don’t have much stress, because they are very competent in their job and just don’t worry about things like that. It’s like let the chips fall where they may. Good for you! How about your children? Are they doing well in school? Do you ever wonder if they will try some substance that may affect them for the rest of their lives? There are stresses everywhere and as I said the stress can be very significant or very insignificant but can be deadly in the long run. So enough of this doom and gloom. How can we combat stress?
Stress is a form of worry and worry is a form of fear. And fear is what the shadow riders like to see occur because it is what the shadow riders feed upon. We need to stay out of fear. And to do that we need to protect those who are our family and our friends. We need to raise our children to know, specifically, between right and wrong. They need to be able to discern what choices will be good for them and what choices may be hazardous to them, regardless of what any state legislature decides to legalize. We must always be available to them to answer their questions and to provide guidance to them as they grow. Many times it is not always easy and sometimes it is downright hard, but we took on the responsibility when we decided to have children. A strong family life is a good start to teaching and showing our children the path to take. They need to be independent but they also must have your availability on which to rely on too.
Does that absolutely guarantee that they will not fall into some less than desirable circumstance? No it doesn’t and that could be a result of them using their freedom of expression. If you have done all in your power to guide them, then at some point they have to utilize their own intestinal fortitude to make the right decisions. And the next thing to say on this is that maybe the life plan they are following had that incident designed into it and they were just following the life plan. Does it make it any easier to observe? No it surely doesn’t and at that point you step in and help them pick up the pieces. Remember since they are your children, you most likely had this same scenario also designed into the life plan that you are experiencing.
People have to live their lives and sometimes the Soul that they represent had different events designed into the life plans that don’t appear to the average observer to be very smart. But it is all experiencing. Some may say that the person shouldn’t have done that or they shouldn’t have been in that place at that time. But I believe that we, most of the time, are in every scenario that we need to be in. I have read in many spiritual books that there are no coincidences.
So is cancer a coincidence? No, I don’t believe so. Should we like it? No, we don’t have to like it, but we must acknowledge that we have it. And that it may have been just part of the life plan that we are experiencing. There is absolutely no good that can come from saying, “Why Me?” It does not matter. You have it and now you must put your best foot forward and become a positive individual in your thinking of how you will handle the cancer. There are a number of ways to handle it.
You can sit back and continuously feel sorry for yourself and continue to think “Why Me” and make everyone else around you feel uncomfortable. You have it, now you have to deal with it! Be positive so that others around you will want to be with you to assist you in any way that they can. You have to believe that you will improve and be allowed to live as long as your life plan dictates. The cancer diagnosis used to be an immediate death sentence because the cancer was found so late in its development. But now with earlier detection much can be done to slow the cancer down. Be glad that there may be treatments that may give you more time to accomplish what you came to do. Some of those treatments can be very harsh as well I know. They too will pass somewhat and you just keep on going.
There may be some who come to visit you and they inadvertently bring you down by leading you down the path to feel sorry for yourself again. They bring up the questions of how could you have gotten cancer and then you are right back into the “Why Me” discourse. Put the word out to friends and relatives that you are not into discussions of the “how” and the “whys” that you got cancer. Remember dwelling on the positive can produce positive events. Anyway, you do not wish to dwell on the negative that could lead to negative events that you don’t want to deal with.
Some might be saying that if the life plan that one is experiencing contains a bought with cancer, then how can one be positive? But maybe the life plan also contained a caveat that gave you the chance to learn to be positive even in the face of such a nasty disease. If you pull it off and do become positive and mentally work at defeating the cancer, then you have experienced a victory for yourself.
According to my last CT scan my cancer has been in remission for over two years. I have made the statement that I don’t believe that it will come back for a fourth time. Will I be right? Don’t know. But I ask daily for the ability to continue to do what I believe is my purpose in this lifetime and that the cancer won’t prohibit me from completing the task. Everyone will leave the physical according to their life plan. I ask that I will be allowed to complete my tasks and live out my life plan until that time when I will pass over according to that life plan, whether it comes as a result of the disease or some other factor.
For those who now have cancer and for those who may contract the disease, we all develop a feeling for all the others who also have the disease. I guess you could call it a silent brotherhood or an unconscious connection that can span the globe. I know that I have a special empathy for all of you who have cancer, even though you may live far from me, because I KNOW what you are going through. God bless all who deal with this disease. I love you and I know that God loves you too.
Until next time, Phil
The Gifts of Experience / www.awakenedhearts.com