May 22nd, 2010

no one can stop us now

"People they come together / People they fall apart"

So, Molly started a blog for her journey with cancer

I was really struck by her entry "How You Can Pray for Me."  Excerpt:
So, every cancer patient needs a way of thinking about healing, and curing, their cancer. I read a great book many years ago, Love, Medicine and Miracles, written by a doctor who started a program in the 80s for “Exceptional Cancer Patients.” He found that the patients who were not just ‘positive’ but really had a deep imagination for curing their cancer, had much better outcomes—not all of them lived, but they had less pain, lived a lot longer, and many of them did survive.


For a lot of people, fighting imagery works—they imagine a little shoot-em-up video game inside their bloodstream, their affected organs. I’m so glad this works for them. It’s saved countless lives, given courage and confidence and faith where it was needed most.

But this is not very me. I claim to be a pacifist—well, I’d like to be. My family, on the front lines of my irritation and anger, when I get irritated and angry, know otherwise. But, I can’t personally invest in violent imagery to cure my cancer. I don’t think this cancer is evil, it’s an anomaly in my body, but it’s its own thing, maybe even good in itself—just misguided, misdirected, it’s something that’s where it doesn’t belong. It’s lost.

There are 3 or 4 or 5 ways things get out of the body (this is where it becomes apparent that I have not taken much science since 9th grade biology). Perspiration, excretion, and respiration come to mind. For the cancer to get out, it needs an exit point.

This is where the Holy Spirit Portal comes in. This is how I am praying the cancer out of my body, and how you can join me, if you wish.

First, you know (or maybe you don’t) that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit). Jeff Von Wald and the re/New team led an amazing worship at church last weekend all about the Holy Spirit, Hebrew name Ru’ach, Greek name Pneumos—the ancient word that means wind or breath. Maybe I can get Jeff to post some of the quotes they read aloud at re/New to describe the HS. Or maybe you’d like to post your own description below—please do!

Now, this is the prayer. Take a deep, deep breath. What you are breathing in is pure Holy Spirit. Doesn’t matter if you’re in traffic on Storrow, on the T at the end of a humid Boston day at rush hour with all kinds of interesting smells in the air, or in a dewy meadow in the early morning of Vermont. Underneath the human and industrial muck is God’s own breath. Breathe it in. Imagine it going all the way down to your toes.

Now as you get ready to exhale, imagine it as a vacuum, sucking out one or two or perhaps ten of my free-floating cancer cells. Let your exhale accelerate, and WHOOSH! Set the cells free. Send them away, tell them there is a place for them, where they do belong—not in any other human or animal body, perhaps in deep space. God has a place for them. Because Ewing’s cells are called “blue cells” I have been (smile) imagining that they are flying off to a distant galaxy to start a superrace of humanoids called the Na’avi, a peaceful people.

Do this breath three times. Hopefully it’ll help you, too—you don’t have to be a yogi to know how cleansing and grounding and healing it is to stop what you’re doing and breathe.

The good thing about a prayer like this, is that it doesn’t take long to do, and it feels complete. You don’t have to worry that it was “enough.” God knows, we all have enough we are worrying about already.
The part that made me cry, though, (for reasons unrelated to Molly) is from her post "The Best Part":
Here’s my takeaway—at least, the first of many takeaways from this whole experience:  I was ashamed to want surgery, to want relief. I felt like it was a personal failure to ask for it. But if I hadn’t, it would have taken many more months to discover and diagnose my Ewing’s. How’s that for a holy spirit portal?
[Explanation of why she began calling it a "Holy Spirit Portal" here.]