"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spontaneous Remission

"the disappearance, complete or incomplete, of a disease or cancer without medical treatment or treatment that is considered inadequate to produce the resulting disappearance of disease symptoms or tumor." Institute of Noetic Sciences


Sometimes cancer just seems to miraculously disappear. Wouldn’t it be nice if this were more common! Or wouldn’t it be nice if we could put our finger on the cause and replicate it at will.  Caryle Hirshberg and Brendan O'Reagan of the Institute of Noetic Sciences conducted an extensive review of documented cases of spontaneous remission. Their research included over 1000 cases related to cancer. In reviewing the cases they were able to identify a number of common themes which seemed to keep coming up in the stories of survivors.

1. A change from dependency to autonomy combined with activities, attitudes, and behaviors that promote increased autonomy, awareness of themselves, others, and their environment, love, joy, playfulness, satisfaction, laughter, and humor.
2. Facing the crisis, the despair, the sadness, and the pain and discovering they have the power to find a new way of life that is fulfilling and meaningful.
3. Taking control of their lives, (personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, and medical) and living each day fully combined with a willingness to evaluate their beliefs and attitudes and change old beliefs and attitudes that are no longer appropriate or adequate.
4. Becoming comfortable with and expressing and accepting both their positive and negative emotions/feelings, their needs, wants, and desires (physical, emotional, spiritual); the ability to say “No” when it is necessary for their well being.
5. Having at least one strong loving relationship—a strong connection to another person, an activity, an organization(s), changing the quality of their interpersonal relationships with spouses, friends, family, neighbors, doctors, nurses, etc. in a positive way, and motivation to help others.
6. Working in partnership with their physicians and participating in decisions related to their health and well being.
7. Finding meaning in the experience of cancer, finding reasons to live, accepting the diagnosis but not the prognosis, seeing the disease as a challenge, belief in a positive outcome, and having a renewed desire, will and commitment to life.
8. Choosing activities and practices that promote increased awareness and reduce stress (imagery, stress reduction, yoga, etc.); showing renewed spiritual awareness (Soul) that often results in a spiritual practice (prayer, meditation, religious affiliation, connection to nature, etc.).

What a great list!!

Live and love deeply... Rob
"You feel your own life - your heart, your mind, your body, your sexuality, the people and things you are connected to - and you spontaneously fill with the exclamation: "God, it feels great to be alive!" That's delight." Ronald Rolheiser
originally posted July 2007

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