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Forty-three years ago at age 30, my surgeon stood beside my bed and told me he had removed a large mass from my abdomen, and that I had terminal cancer, with only about two months at most to live.

He went on to say that treatment had been delayed too long, and that he removed as much as he could, but there was a limit to how far he could go.

I can still clearly remember the grey veil that seemed to slip down over my eyes as he spoke to me, and whilst I could hear normally I appeared to be seeing, him through a ‘glass darkly’. The only comment I could get out of a dry mouth was that I wasn’t worrying about myself, but for my pregnant wife and two little children, his parting words were ‘not to drop the bundle’ and they would ‘do their best to get me on my feet and back to a nursing home in Sydney’.

About two weeks later, after ever worsening pain, sleepless and sometimes delirious nights, the contents of my bowel began to empty into my abdominal cavity and seep out a small drainage tube in my side. A blockage had built up where the bowel had been cut away and rejoined, the resultant backpressure causing the join to rupture, with peritonitis looking to beat cancer to the post.
The surgeon advised I would not survive another operation, so it was penicillin in my backside and sweat it out.

Sleep was the thing of the past as you can imagine. The days and especially the nights were spent in my little room staring at the ceiling trying to find a way out, searching apparently for the impossible. Looking back as I have many times it is quite clear to me how I did receive intuition and guidance, a bit at a time, sufficient to keep me going until I was ready to take the next step. I spent many hours in deep pondering and reflection, almost meditation, (which I knew nothing about at the time). At other times the pain virtually put me in an altered state of consciousness, which surprisingly was of help, but I now prefer to use less harrowing methods.

In the year previous to the op I had been plagued with a continuous pain in my tummy, and visits to doctors and hospitals with various tests proved fruitless, many nights were spent walking around the house yard trying to get relief from the pain, trying all sorts of home remedies, even boiling paspalum grass to try and find a herbal cure. (Definitely not recommended – it’s awful. Try wheatgrass instead).

My condition worsened, becoming weaker and continually feeling sick and nauseous, and at times quite frightened, walking with a continuous stoop because of the pain. My mates told me they were going to draw lots for my clothes and tool kit, but not my overdraft. We thought that was quite funny, actually, at the time. A doctor told me at the local hospital that my pain was psychosomatic and to pull myself together and stop worrying about my business. A week later I collapsed on a business trip interstate. An urgent round of examinations and tests showed I was badly under-weight, weak and anaemic with an unwanted intruder in my tummy – but definitely not pregnant (a real relief!) so an exploratory operation was decided.

As you would understand, I was deeply shocked at the news that I was given after the op and the situation I was in, but I distinctly remember saying to myself when the surgeon left the room after telling me I was going to die: “Like heck I will”. It was spontaneous. I was not going to die and leave my wife and children.

This was not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of a new beginning. A journey of learning and opening experiences, which life should be, which at 67 I can look back over and marvel at, yet I realise I am still only beginning. The stress I was under was extreme, and I knew instinctively it was going to hinder any hopes of recovery, or even break me; yet stress was either unheard of then or completely ignored. Years later I read a book written by a doctor in 1928, on stress causing and obstructing recovery from many illnesses. He was apparently nearly thrown out of his profession because of it.

Any questions I put to the surgeon, pathologist or hospital staff as to what may have caused my cancer, and what I could do to help my recovery from it was met with constant negatives, and I had the distinct impression my questions were regarded as somewhat silly and I should accept my situation.

It was obvious from here on it was up to me and I had to find other ways to see it through, and give Mother Nature who had been looking after me all those years, every help to help me. The surgeon had done a marvelous job under the circumstances but there was obviously a limit to what orthodox medicine knew or could do. I had to move on.

The years I had spent roaming the bush in my younger days stood me in very good stead from now on. I had a deep and abiding love for Mother Nature, spending countless hours staring up into the starry heavens on camping trips and marveling at the wonder of it all. At a very young age I instinctively knew that our bodies, our world and the universe around us worked in harmony to perfect laws, otherwise life would be impossible and chaos would reign. The one thing badly out of step with it all seemed to be the human race.

Gradually in the hospital I built up a little programme to help offset the load on mind and body as I lay on my back helpless and apparently hopeless, barely able to move. The most important factor was I was so fortunate to be granted the Spirit and Will to hang on, yet surprisingly I never once thought of praying. Didn’t know how then, though now I use Prayer and healing meditations constantly to help others who are in the same situation I was in.

The constant battle against negative and depressing thoughts was a difficult one, especially at night, so I refused to let anyone catch me looking miserable or worried and for a while became the world’s greatest actor. (Though not when you7re badly in need of a hospital bottle or pan – no one is that good). We all have an effect on one another so we can use joy, love and laughter to beat negativity and depression. Try it, no matter what.

The programme I used in hospital to overcome the pain and long hours was eventually to come down to living through each minute, not the day or even the hour. To play mind games every time negativity tried to thrust its way in – a form of pleasant daydreaming -, which today has been refined to what is a very effective tool, called visualisation. Mine was very amateurish at the time but it did the job. Whenever I felt myself sliding I would see myself fit and well and far better than I had ever been, seeing myself holding my yet unborn baby, playing in an orchestra or conducting it, allowing much loved music to play in my head and often bursting into song – though not when anyone was around – there was a limit to what the staff could be expected to bear. Using anything, including doing physical exercises in the mind, but always seeing myself fitter and stronger. I had a regular regime of exercising fingers and toes, muscle squeezing and breathing exercises, gradually building up body and muscle tone, extremely limited as it may have been. The first day I was out of bed I shuffled a sort of way, increasing the distance daily, giving me the physical and psychological boost I so badly needed.

The day I felt sufficiently mobile I signed out from the hospital believing that Home was the best place to continue my quest for full recovery. I am eternally grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff for their kindness.

It was a life of constant searching, research and learning along with running my business and trying to remain solvent. Fortunately I had attended a Natural Therapist in my teenage years for the after effects of rheumatic fever and other problems, so I went back to investigate what was to offer in that field, and found one that gave me tremendous help and knowledge and pointed me in a different direction to that in which I was heading B.C. (before cancer). On reading medical journals and papers I soon came to realise that everything concentrated on cells, tissues and pathology, but not the real ‘I’. The philosophy of the NSW Natural Health Society, that I joined, became very clear and real. “A healthy Spirit and Mind in a healthy Body by the use of good nutrition, rest, sunshine, fresh air”. In other words as far as practical and sensible get back to basics. Our modern lifestyle is murder for many people creating disease of Spirit, Mind and Body.

If we study the writings and wisdom of the Ancients, no matter what society or culture, there are the same underlying truths for all of us in this day and age. It is the hunger, the searching of the human soul to understand itself; it’s destiny and why we are here at all. Our hurts, disappointments and life’s sometimes heavy experiences often bring disillusionment and lack of faith, often leading to spiritual depression and eventually physical disease.

After a quarter of a century of gaining experience, often the hard way, and having my old protagonist, cancer, visit me again on more than one occasion, I have found the following has helped myself and many others I have been involved with. Why don’t you give it a try?

Gently make changes from the unsatisfactory old to the new, without placing yourself under more pressure by going overboard. A firm but gentle discipline. Put aside special caring time for yourself to let go and forget temporarily your problems and the rest of the world. Devote yourself to having quiet reflection/meditation, prayer, music and whatever you find gives you spiritual sustenance. Live more for now rather than the future, the emphasis being on quality, not necessarily on quantity. Whenever possible be a ‘helper’ for others. Eliminate hurtful negative thoughts such as fear, resentment, anger, bitterness, jealously, envy, and greed and replace them, as you are able with love, compassion, understanding, caring, joy and laughter. Remember those around you; your family, friends and special ‘carers’ are having a hard time of it also. One of the easiest ways to get started is to sit by the quiet light of a candle with gentle background music. I find repeating the old version of the 23rd Psalm it this time extremely comforting. You find what soothes you.

A good sensible nutritious diet with some supplementation, eliminating the rubbish we have been jamming into our bodies for years, fasting and enemas properly supervised I have found can be extremely beneficial.

Gentle exercise – especially breathing and walking. Enjoy your walks, don’t push, have a good look at the wonders of your world.

Search and learn from what others have done. Get as much help as you can. Take the first small step and you will find help will come.

Know that this physical life is not the beginning and the end of your spiritual Journey. There is a reason for you being here. May peace come to you. God Bless.

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