Mentally, fighting cancer takes a toll. Even for the most rational mind, it’s not uncommon to have morbid or fatalist thoughts flash through the orbital sphere invoking a sense of aloneness, a feeling of being out of control and vulnerable. It’s important to admit honestly to someone close, what struggles the mind undertakes, to speak them out load and then to release them. It’s also important for the listeners to understand their role is to listen, love and encourage. I’ve shared my struggle with my family, close friends and want to talk about it in this forum. Mostly, to document the process of healing but hopefully to encourage others who may be going through treatment (whether Traditional or Western) and those walking alongside.
THE MENTAL GAME:
Six months ago I was introduced to a whole new way of thinking about my healthcare. I began to learn more about the science of cancer, the history of Western approaches, as well as, Traditional options including; Black Salve, nutritional therapy, PH of our bodies and what creates a hostile environment for cancer to grow in our bodies. Through it all a deep desire for healing ensued.
After very successful Traditional Black Salve treatments, on three separate spots, I started to feel quite empowered. My confidence was building up enough for me to tackle a 20-year-old spot on my leg. The one that, a few years ago, the dermatologist told me was very suspicious, the one he wanted to biopsy for $1500. The one he said seemed like a rare, deadly form of cancer that likes to grow near scars. The one he later said, was just scar tissue and not to worry. His wishy-washy care left me feeling uneasy about the spot on my leg, but I didn’t know exactly what to do about it. The introduction to the Salve changed everything and a few months ago, I applied the Black Salve to the spot on my leg. I was ready for whatever verdict my body was going to offer. I waited the prescribed 24 hours and there was no reaction. No reaction means, no abnormal cells. I jumped for joy, my family jumped for joy. We celebrated!
Next I successfully treated a spot on my nose and my confidence level sky rocketed. I was finding more consistency with my PH levels and had a growing knowledge of my food/supplement intake. The healing results were hard to contain and anyone who would listen, would hear about the victories my body had overcome.
Treating the next area was high on the radar as I planned to address a spot that had formed near my left eye about a year ago. Originally, it started as a fungus or rash on my lower lid. I sourced a few over the counter anti-fungal creams, which did nothing. I tried a concoction of essential oils including Vitamin E oil, Rose hip, Frankincense, and coconut oil, and the rash went away but a small boil or cyst shaped mole appeared, which sat dormant until I addressed the spot on my nose. During that treatment the boil began to shrink, which alerted me that it might be rooted/linked with the cancer that I was treating on my nose. And, so on May 20, two days before our son’s 13 birthday I applied the Blk Salve with boldness to the spot on my left eye. It reacted violently, immediately.
I though I was prepared mentally, however, the reaction was so dramatic that it caught me off guard. My confidence plummeted. I began to flail emotionally, unsure of how to communicate this drastic sense of loss and the heavy feeling of mourning that swept over me. I felt defeated and all that I could manage to say, was “Why is this happening to me?! I don’t want this in my body. I don’t want cancer.” The pain was immense (mind you, I have a very low physical pain tolerance) I hid in my room for two days, unable to face my family and our two fellow travelers. Mentally, I went darker and darker. Still unable to communicate what I was feeling, my tolerance for basic tasks and conversations was short and I’m sure I pushed my family away. On the third day, all I wanted to do was stay home but thank God, I had to muster up some gumption to focus on my son’s birthday. And, thankfully, we had so many dear friends in Austin, TX (where we were parked for 3 weeks) to help with all of the B-day prep and encouraged me through my sadness and pain.
The party turned out well, and I started to regain my composer. However, over the next few days my mental focus shifted to chastising myself for allowing such weakness, I tried to white knuckle joy back into my everyday life. Then the first Escher (tumor) came out. I was relieved that the ordeal was over and looking forward to going back to “normal.” I was looking forward to not having a band-aid on my face and for my mind to rest and recharge. Unfortunately, the “white root” I had been warned about, reared its ugly head.
You see, at times cancer can have a root system, meaning that it’s not isolated. The roots can travel like tree roots to other parts of the body. When you use Blk Salve and an Escher comes out, you check to see if there is a pink or white spot. Pink means, free and clear, ready to heal and move on. If there is a white spot, it means there is a root and not all of the cancer is out. That means, you might wait a day or two for a few layers of skin to form but you must re-apply the Blk Salve. If you remember in Debby’s story, she had to do this procedure 4 times until it was free and clear. And so, I knew this was a possibility but figured that since the other spots I treated didn’t have the white root, that this one wouldn’t either. The root alerted me that this one was more serious and the mental game re-surged. Ugh!
I re-applied. The process began, and this time I was determined to take captive my thoughts. I began to read more scripture, pray more though out my day but the fearful thoughts settled in like unwanted guests. I tried to stay busy, which sort of worked.
With a band-aid on my eye, many conversations with others ensued about my experience with skin cancer and the difficulty I was going through mentally was exasperated by their responses. My choice to treat it Traditionally, whether spoken or unspoken, was called into question. Some suggested I see a “professional,” and stop trying to take things into my own hands. From a Western mindset, this makes sense. We live in very defined, rule based system that says if you’re not with us, you’re against us. We also live in a society that wants quick fixes and is inept at dealing with others pain. And so, to swim upstream is often rebuked when things get difficult or don’t go according to plan.
In the mean time, the second Escher came out and the white root was still there. By this point, anger started to flood into my soul and fueled a re-application right away. The area reacted even more violently than the first treatment as the Escher went deeper and satellite areas started to emerge. I was at my limit mentally, feeling isolated from my family and friends, as trying to communicate to them was like walking through mud. All I could manage was a silent groaning in my cries to God.
In a last-ditch effort, I reached out to some of my new comrades on a Black Salve Cancer forum. They are from all over the world and have all been through it and more, some of them are experts in the field, some of them laymen like me but all of them champions for one another. They began to offer handfuls of encouragement, advice and wisdom on what to do next. My spirits lifted and as the third Escher fell off I had a renewed focus.
This week, I began my fourth treatment on this bugger of a spot. I hope this is the last battle for this one, but even if it’s not, I know I am not alone. I know there are those who have gone before me. And, most importantly, I know that even when I feel out of control, fatalistic, angry or alone God is faithful no matter what.
This experience has birthed in me a desire to cultivate a culture of healing where ever I go. I will continue to work to take captive my mind and with the resources and knowledge God has provided, I will seek answers through the Word, prayer and by reaching out to other who have gone before me.