I found myself fighting for my life with estrogen-sensitive, inflammatory breast cancer -rare, but deadly! How could this happen to me? Today, I know why I got cancer. It's so simple; I wonder why I didn't see it before. I know that if I had taken better care of my mental, emotional and spiritual health, the stresses of my everyday life would never have been able to take hold and corrupt my body with cancer.
That's the secret.
Yes, I know, I've heard it before, "Stop blaming yourself, it's not your fault." If you ever hear anyone say this to you, don't you believe them! That kind of thinking will get you killed. It might not be your fault, but you had a part in your own disease. When you refuse to hold yourself accountable for your own decisions in life, self-pitying thoughts will creep in and hold you prisoner. How many times did I tell myself, "Poor me?" Every time something devastating happened, I wasn't really surprised. It was just one more thing in a long list of you-know-what.
When a woman (or man) is diagnosed with breast cancer, that person cannot afford to lie to themselves. If you are reading this because you too have cancer or you know someone who has, for the love of God, wake up. Tell yourself the truth - if you had a part in bringing this terrifying disease into your life, then you also have a part in getting it out! You are not stuck and you don't have to continue abusing yourself with lies. Hold yourself up in the mirror and become accountable for your own thoughts, feelings & actions. There is a mind/body connection that either leads to wellness or disease.
I used to believe all the hype out there that stuff happens, and we are all just a victim of circumstances. That is such a lie. It was far easier to believe that than to do anything to change my world. Please trust me, your mind-body connection is not an illusion, it is real!
There are only three major factors which contribute to our getting sick, and the longer these three factors are out of balance, the sicker we become. This is a Universal truth. You may ask yourself what credentials I have, and am I a doctor? No, I'm not a doctor; I'm a breast cancer survivor who has taken the time to look at my life holistically. I was asleep at the wheel of life, not seeing where I was going. I hope that my waking up will help someone else wake up too.
The three factors to seriously review if you are sick, or know someone who is, are:
1. Your Mental Beliefs
2. Your Blocked Emotions
3. Your Lack of a Spiritual Connection with a God you can Trust
Mental, emotional and spiritual; that's it! Our Spirit lives in these temporary bodies and while it's true our bodies will die one day, our Spirits never will. Today I know that if I want to house that precious Spirit in a solid home, I must nurture these three areas, mind, emotions and spirit because that's what keeps my body alive. It was only after I nearly died of breast cancer that I finally began to seriously ask myself the questions that would save my life.
How did my beliefs and thought patterns make me sick? After becoming critically ill, I finally woke up and looked back at my personal history, in truth this time, instead of denial. First I had to admit my background and realistically look at all the experiences which had formed my twisted mental beliefs. What I saw shocked and frustrated me. I was shocked that my responses to these stresses are what contributed to the onset of my breast cancer. Breast cancer was not the fault of my mother, my father, my poverty, my job or any of my husbands; it was my reaction to them. I was frustrated because now I couldn't play the blame game anymore. And I was so good at it.
I was sure I was just a victim.
My biological father abandoned my mother and me before I was born, so surely I was unworthy of love. My mother married a wonderful man, but he suffered from alcoholism and was frequently away from home. Angry, she resorted to violence and abuse toward her three little children. She couldn't help herself and did not possess the skills necessary to endure her own stresses. As a four-year-old I can remember wanting to step up and let her take it out on me if she would just leave my brothers alone. But I could not protect the little ones from her rage. At a very young age I believed that I was nothing but a helpless, weak and ineffective nobody.
I withdrew and grew into my teens, silent and invisible through anorexia. Anxious to get out of our dysfunctional home, I became pregnant at 16 and trapped my daughter's father into taking care of us. Unable to contribute to a decent marriage, and by then the mother of two children, I divorced him and blamed it on his alcoholism and drug usage. In truth, I was immature and unlearned in the art of marriage. I remarried almost immediately, afraid to be alone. I married a man who could not be faithful, divorced him and promptly went into the downward spiral of alcoholism. I lost the ability to care for my children and so my daughter moved out and my son went to live with his father. I was a failure on all fronts.
I then leaped into ten years of promiscuity, believing that my body was the only thing left of value. All-the-while I sat back in pitiful resignation as I watched what little, and I do mean little, self-esteem I had left, slide further into the sewer. I married a third time to another alcoholic and cheater. My outer life proved what I had come to believe all along, "Poor Kathi, you were born unimportant and you have no reason to be alive. Quit breathing worthy people's oxygen and die." It took awhile, but soon my distorted beliefs began to weaken my immune system and I was left wide open to disease.
Until I was in my forties I couldn't even tell you what an emotion was. When someone would ask me how I felt, I would respond with, "I think... “But I was really feeling, exploited and insane because I was not allowed to own my feelings. I couldn't cry when I was hurt. I wasn't allowed to be scared and I couldn't reach out for help, unless it was at the end of my own arm. In my generation, one did not air their dirty laundry in public (always said in a haughty tone).
Deep down inside I felt miserable and victimized. But I pushed those feelings down, put a smile on my face and pretended I was just f-I-n-e.
While I did go to Sunday school for a short time, I learned early in life that the one with the most power, brutality and loudest voice got to be God. I was afraid, and hated God. I can remember as a twelve-year-old my mother slapping me across the face. I looked at her with pure hatred and thought to myself that if I'd had a gun, I would have shot her face off. It's scary now to think how much darkness and helplessness I had within me. Is it any wonder I got sick?
When breast cancer struck, I asked myself why anyone wouldn't think I was a victim. Of course I was a victim. I was justified. I was also dying.
Today I know why I got cancer and I also know what to do about it. I totally mismanaged my thoughts, feelings and spirituality. I was able to survive more than 28 trips to the hospital, and numerous trips to the cancer center for chemo. It was three years of pure hell from the time of diagnosis until I was finally well again. It was the hardest three years of my life. Even harder than the stuff I had suffered growing up. But I found a way out.
The lessons I learned were very clear. I could choose to believe that life on earth is hell, and make myself deathly ill. Or I could try and figure out a way to change my beliefs so the terrible stress I placed on myself would heal my already-weakened body.
I never knew how much power I actually had over the quality of my own life. Stricken with a fatal disease, it took several near death experiences before I found a reason to value and trust, not only myself, but others, again. With the help of a new and loving God, I have learned to forgive my abuser, my absent father (who I was never able to meet before he died), my alcoholic father and my first and third alcoholic husbands and my unfaithful second husband. But most of all, I've learned to forgive myself for contributing to my own life-threatening illness. Like the others I looked down on, and thought I was "better than," we didn't know any better.
There is a beautiful saying on a piece of paper which I've kept near me for so many years that it is now wrinkled and torn. It says:
What we are forgiving is not the act,
nor the violence,
not the neglect, the incest, the divorce or the abuse.
What we are forgiving are those who could not manage to honor
and cherish their own children,
or their own lives,
in a gentle way.
We are forgiving their suffering,
their confusion,
their unskilfulness,
their desperation
and their humanity.
This poem was a crucial part of my ability to heal. Without the prayers of family, friends and complete strangers, I would not have made it out alive, because I remember the moment I gave up. Exhausted, I remember crying and praying in my hospital bed, "God, if you're done with me here on earth, I'm ready to come home. I can't fight this anymore. Please take me now." The next thing I remembered was waking up and feeling better for the first time in a long time. It turned out that God was not done with me after all.
Today I can tell you that we all have accountability in the quality of our lives. When we have had enough of the Big Lie, we will wake up and know that God, or Spirit, or whatever we have faith in, gives us everything we need for a beautiful life here on earth. It's up to us to stop lying to ourselves and to forever get rid of the belief that we are victims. Yes, horrible things have happened to us. They've happened to everyone. But miracles happen too. If we let these experiences teach us anything, we can learn that we have survived and become stronger, more empathetic and loving. Our hearts have gentled and our minds have opened, and we now have a God we can do business with.
I am here to tell you that if you have run out of hope and belief, my strength is here for you. When you no longer have the hope to pray for yourself, know that I am right beside you, praying for your recovery. You don't ever have to feel alone again. You are blessed and loved and important to God and to people like me, who are perfect strangers. However much time you have here on earth, live that precious life with everything you've got! Your life is worth living.

Author's Bio: 

My life's work is to inspire others to have a God-filled life with all the Fruits of the Spirit that go with it. All my articles are designed to uplift you, give you hope and solutions. This is done with my Spiritual Woman Gifts website, Facebook, blog and newsletters. Sign up for your free God-Inspired Newsletter at http://www.SpiritualWomanGifts.com entering your email address at the upper left corner in the green box. For heirloom quality gift ideas for those you love please visit us at http://www.SpiritualWomanGifts.com