I have it in writing that I'm a "quite remarkable" and "rather extraordinary" person. That's what my specialists wrote in my medical reports after I successfully recovered from both pancreatic cancer and malignant melanoma. With only 3% surviving pancreatic cancer for five years, add melanoma and my chances were pretty slim. That was over six years ago.
Doctors are still unsure why some patients survive and others succumb. An excellent medical team helped in my case, plus the love and prayers of my family, and the strange psychic dreams that played such a significant part in my healing. But isn't life ironic; just when I thought I was free and clear and ready to tackle everything I'd put on hold the last few years, I received news that the innocent-looking pink 'insect bite' on my arm was actually a dangerous amelanotic (non-pigmented) nodular melanoma! Apparently the Universe hadn't finished with me yet and there was more healing for me to do.
What was so remarkable about my healing was the fact that I'd survived a 10cm pancreatic tumour when few people survive anything larger than 4.5cm, because the tumour was enclosed in a protective membrane that prevented any cancerous cells from invading the rest of my body. Even more amazing was the healing advice that came to me in dreams.
My medical drama began early 2005 when the abdominal discomfort I'd supposed was too much partying over Christmas was diagnosed as a whopping 7cm pancreatic carcinoma. I was scheduled for an immediate Whipple Procedure - a complicated surgical operation that entailed the removal of most of my digestive organs, but because of a spate of serious emergency cases taking priority in the IC Unit, my procedure was delayed for several days until a post-op bed was available. During that anxious wait I was convinced 'the lump' was growing. It was! By the time it was removed it had grown to 10cm!
Then strange things began to happen. One night, I dreamed that a young nurse in a pale blue tunic stood at the bottom of my bed smiling encouragingly at me. Next morning, my team told me they'd finally procured a bed in intensive care and the operation could go ahead. I remembered the dream of my 'guardian angel' as I was wheeled into theatre and knew everything would turn out well. It wasn't just a hazy dream of one of the ward nurses as the nurses on my ward all wore navy blue pantsuits. Some protective presence was with me through 10 long hours of delicate surgery for I woke up in intensive care with my husband by my side - and there, at the foot of my bed, stood a young nurse in a pale blue tunic, smiling encouragingly at me! What was even more bizarre - she told us her name was Rona - the same name as my sister! We could hardly believe the coincidence. My sister Rona lives in New Zealand, but on the night before surgery she'd said a prayer for me and vowed that although she could not be with me in the flesh she would be with me in spirit. Somehow Fate, or God, or whatever Divine Force arranges these cosmic connections, had organised a stand-in for my sister, and had given me a preview in a dream.
This is not the first time my sister and I have been psychically in touch, and as our uncle back in Scotland was a trance healer, to us paranormal activity is perfectly natural. In fact, in Scotland the world of the supernatural is held with the greatest of reverence. But it takes more than psychic dreams and cosmic connections to explain the unusual membrane surrounding the aggressive tumour that threatened my life. It was my body's own intelligence that created that protective membrane, and I'm forever in awe of such amazing body wisdom.
Unfortunately, a fine-needle biopsy done on the tumour before surgery punctured the membrane allowing the 'seeding' of cancerous cells into my system, forming two secondary tumours, and during chemotherapy a mole on my palm reacting to the chemo proved to be a malignant melanoma. More surgery ... skin grafts to repair the damage ... situation critical!
But again the Universe stepped in. My 'library angel' dropped a magazine into my hands in the doctor's waiting room with an article detailing the results of research showing turmeric killed melanoma cells on contact, and experiments for pancreatic cancer were proving promising. We ate lots of curry from then on! Then, while in hospital having skin grafts, another dream - this time a vision of a row of blue-green spheres trailing gossamer filaments. Somehow I knew these little spheres were important for cleaning up my system, but had no idea what they could be. Imagine my surprise when I got home to find that my husband had bought some Co-enzyme Q10 - and they were little blue-green spheres! Strangely enough, all the Q10 we've bought since then have been plain old brown.
That was during 2005 and, apart from regular scans and blood tests over the next four years, there was no further evidence of carcinoma, prompting my specialists to describe my case as "quite remarkable" and "rather extraordinary". I was beginning to believe that all my health problems were over and I could start making plans for the future. Then Wham ... that innocent-looking pink "insect bite" that proved to be so deadly!
Amelanotic nodular melanomas are not like other skin cancers. They don't normally look nasty or suspicious, and for that reason are hard to detect and often overlooked until too late. Also, this type of skin cancer does not spread on the surface, but forms a nodular tumour that burrows deep into the tissue. It is very aggressive and spreads rapidly throughout the system and into the brain. I knew nothing about this until I researched on line. Very scary stuff!
So how did I detect it? I didn't; I was convinced it was just an insect bite. But my incredible body alerted me that something was wrong! I'd put off having a skin check because of all the tests I'd had to undergo for pancreatic cancer, but once I had my five year check-up I decided to have one, just to get rid of the feeling of disquiet. The full body scan and initial biopsy at the local skin cancer clinic came back negative and I should have felt relieved, but the lump kept worrying me. It wasn't in any way painful but it seemed to be getting bigger, so I went back to the clinic to double check.
This time the skin specialist cut out a bigger section for biopsy. She was quite intrigued as she popped a gristly chunk into the container for pathology but didn't seem too concerned. Then the bad news, followed by PET scans, blood tests, ultrasounds and, scariest of all, a brain scan. I spent Christmas Eve at the Melanoma Institute having a wide excision over the original cut as the biopsy done at the clinic didn't have clear margins.
It was an anxious time waiting for results of the tests. I kept hoping for news but everything had closed until after the New Year. I was also freaking out about every pink spot, rubbing each one I found with turmeric. But again I had dreams, or rather Voices, three nights in a row. "No Messages!" ... "Divine Progress!" ... "Cancer Free!" Were Divine Protectors checking out the results before I got them? Four days later, the surgeon rang to say the tests were "All Clear!"
My melanoma surgeon decided to remove the sentinel node as a precaution, and in spite of all the tests being clear, microscopic melanoma cells were found which meant excision of all the lymph nodes in my axilla. Apparently scans only detect tumours larger than 5cm! Luckily, my dream Voices alerted me with the warning "Scrutiny! Attention!" for I found two new lumps on the original scar!
Another excision close to the bone and involving a blood vessel that had to be cut and tied. I was terrified the melanoma would enter my blood stream, but was reassured by an image in a dream of my forearm with a section of skin pulled back showing healthy flesh and a neatly tied-off vein.
Later in hospital after removal of my lymph nodes, my little granddaughter brought me angel cards to put under my pillow, and some healing crystals. I used their powerful energy to heal my wounds before undergoing a course of radiation to kill off any residual melanoma.
Since my brushes with death, I have such a reverence for the sacredness of life, the awesome power of love, prayer, and dreams, and the body's incredible ability to self heal. I greet each day with joy and gratitude, and use the time I've been granted to pass on the message that powerful forces are at work in the Universe, available to everyone. All that's required is to trust in the Divine.
My Survival Strategies
Observe Your Body: it tells you when something is wrong by discomfort or subtle changes in bodily functions. Don't ignore any unusual symptoms. Check out pink lumps if you are fair skinned and of Celtic origin.
See Your Doctor even if you regularly visit a natural therapist. Clinical studies suggest that the best outcomes are achieved by a combination of medical intervention and complementary medicine.
Double Check if told nothing's wrong. Your 'body intelligence' alerts you before any signs are apparent.
Boost Your Immune System before any chemotherapy or radiation with antioxidants, Co-enzyme Q10 and fish oil, but discontinue during treatment as it may reduce effectiveness. Start taking after short interval to clear toxins and strengthen healthy cells.
Nutrition: Melanoma sufferers are often deficient in Vitamin D. Apart from sunlight and supplements, foods rich in this hormone (yes!) are egg yolks, oily fish, dairy products, liver and mushrooms. Natural amygdalyn (not synthetic B17) is found in almonds, apricots, blueberries, cherries and seeds. Turmeric reduces abnormal cell growth, and use calendula ointment for deep tissue burns after radiation.
Powerful Vibrations: The healing vibrations of crystals have been recognised since ancient times. After a dream image of a gold mesh bracelet I'd inherited, I placed it over my scar. I later saw reports of experiments with gold mesh dressings for hard to heal wounds, and silver has long been used in antibacterial dressings. Energy healing - called Quantum or Psi - all work on energetic vibrations.
Pay Attention to Your Dreams: Don't silence your inner voice. In ancient Greece, Temples of Healing used dream therapy to diagnose and treat illness. Modern physicians may scoff, but many scientific breakthroughs were discovered through dreams.
Don't Panic: Fear is the body's worst enemy. New drug therapies are giving excellent survival rates if caught early