Sunday, April 26, 2009

What I have learned

Phew, so, all the details (at least the ones which won't bore the reader too much) are out there. I wanted to start from the beginning (at least the beginning of this chapter of my life), mostly so you could get a feeling for the feelings, mindset, paths I took, the money spent, the turmoils......and hopefully that you picked up on crazy thinking. I hope that there were times you read this and thought "god, she was rough on her partner" or "what a whiner!" or "that doesn't make sense!!" or "hmm, what is evolving for this woman?" Good, because those reactions are the very intent of why I write show the journey from blind ignorance to liberation.

I must first give thanks to the Power Within, the Grand Overall Design, God, The Universe, Awareness, whatever it may be called.

And, I am grateful for EVERYONE who has been in my life, because you have been in my life as tremendous teachers, to move me along my way, and for that I am eternally thankful. It awes me all the time how much we have this interwoven existence, all for the purpose of coming to learn the lessons of Love. Having a human existence, going through all the pain and suffering, to learn we are much more than our humanness and we are much more powerful and capable than we tend to realize.

May Love be your guide, and your experience.

The Biological Revolution

If you haven't guessed it already, I have this fairly particular opinion about conventional medicine. I used to be a sheeple, and a huge consumer of allopathic medicine, until I began to see the arrogance in the medical community. It helped that at my formative years I lived in Portland, land of alternative medicine....practically anything a person could want for health care is available there. I ate it up. I loved having a naturopathic physician who took the time to talk with me, who was down to earth, and on top of it, would look at the deeper reasons for whatever was ailing me. As soon as I got to Portland, I was seeing an ND in Tigard where I first lived. I needed my candida problem addressed, which eventually snowballed into an intense hypoglycemia condition (how did I manage to walk into that doc's office with a blood sugar of 28? I should have been comatose.....), and later on a touch of hepatitis A and mono. I was introduced to homeopathics, herbs, changing my eating habits, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, colonics. Many other modalities.

I change most of the physical things in my life, and still end up with cancer....technically, three times now. Why? How come with all this stuff I am doing, I continue to get growths? One homeopathist told me "you just like to grow growths.." A spiritual counselor said "you manifest quickly and you heal quickly." What does all this mean, what is missing in my healing process?

The mind!! Oh, yeah! The one thing that scares me more than anything in my life, literally. My mind, my attention to my mind, and the messages I learned god knows when is the biggest culprit....not the food, not the possible chemicals my mom ingested, not the pollution. My habitual thoughts, my ability to deal with conflicts.

German New Medicine, more than anything I have done for myself, for my health, well-being, and peace of mind, has made sense to me. It has taught me to be aware of conflicts, symptoms which tell me whether I am in conflict or healing phase, and mostly, to not panic.

In a nutshell, Dr. Hamer, the elucidator of the 5 Biological Laws of Health, came to understand these when he developed testicular cancer, after his son had been murdered. Being an MD, and head internist at an oncology clinic, he took the steps to identify his cancer, and when looking at his brain CT scan, saw something odd......concentric rings at a particular area of his brain. He asked the radiologist about these but was not able to get a definitive answer. This led to investigating other patients' scans, finding these same rings (Hamer Focus) occurring at the brain center relay for the organ which was cancerous! Having a large patient database to work from, he began to also talk with patients about their experiences with cancer, both before and after diagnosis. There were two remarkably consistent occurrences: 1. Patients invariably would be able to point to a significant conflict or shock which occurred prior to the appearance/diagnosis of cancer, and 2. Diagnostic shock more than anything else led the individual into more debilitating symptoms than the actual occurrence of the cancer.

Dr. Hamer is also a biologist, and began to also notice a number of things: such as, there was a correspondence between embryonic layer, cancer occurrence, and symptoms progression. He was also aware that most treatment and diagnostic rationales in conventional medicine were actually based on unproven and disproven theories -- germ theory, tumor markers being definitive for cancer, metastasis.

German New Medicine began to form, the explanation of cancer and cancer-equivalent or functional diseases. His paradigm of health led to new ways of "treating" individuals...which involved primarily having a strong understanding of these biological laws, using a calm and rational approach to learning about and either resolving or downplaying conflicts, and being aware of symptoms within each phase.

I have learned that my tumors, lymph node enlargements, heart palpitations and sensory numbness are my body's healing response to conflicts. So, every time I was "diagnosed" and given horrible news and prognoses, my body has been in the stage of healing; conventional medicine has wanted to cut it out, or poison my body. I have even had a medical oncologist take a look at me and say "well, you do look healthy for someone with such a high Inhibin B level (>5000), and your estrogen levels aren't really all that high......." after she was pushing me to start one of her debilitating treatment regimes!! Reminds me of something I read recently "if someone gave you food which made you sick, why would you ask for another helping?"

As Roshi Junpo of Hollow Bones Zen Group tells us: "your angst is your liberation." The occurrence of cancer has led me to this place of liberation, not being afraid of cancer anymore. Not being afraid of symptoms. Coming to understand that Health Works, and all along, I have had a healthy, responsive immune system. It just needed a little bit of help in cleaning up my act with my thinking and eating and energy maintenance.

Crazy Stuff

So, I go off to these two areas, both identified as favorable by my astrologer the midst of heart palpitation, anxiety. While on this trip, neither cities/states hit me as the place to move to....partly due to pros/cons not being favorable, partly because of the health issues I am experiencing just don't give me the access to a drive to move away from where I am at, and also realizing how good my work is for me at this time in my life. I also don't want to be away from Dr. Guo right at this point. He continues to tell me I am healthy, and as I get healthier, the tumors will shrink.

I decided to settle for a while in Titletown, focus on work, my health. The dang anxiety, heart stuff continues, though. It's October now, I see one of Dr. Guo's associates as Guo is in China....this acupuncturist is not as good as Dr. Guo, is not a cancer specialist, he suggests I get a repeat CT scan to see where things are at....I'm feeling ready to see the results, expecting shrinkage.

I was quite surprised to find out that everything was still growing!!! WTF? My mind was attached to seeing a different result! I was able initially to stay centered as the medical oncologist described to me the various chemos she was recommending....Tamoxifen, another estrogen inhibitor, an aromatase inhibitor, and one or two chemos. I told her I wanted to continue with my chinese herbal treatments, to which she became visibly upset. Bless her heart, she tried the best she could to maintain calm, and offer the kind of support she could....symptoms management for anything the herbs do not deal with. My resolve begins to erode, and I start researching Brevail, a concentrated flaxseed lignan supplement used in breast cancers, and is similar to Tamoxifen. I see Dr. Gary again two weeks later with the CT scan and the suggestions from the medical oncologist, saying that I am beginning to lose my resolve, and that I may start on the he changes my herbs to help detoxify my body while I take Brevail.

It is sold over the counter, so I pick up a packet at Down to Earth and pop one around noon one day.....and watched my energy plummet!! A friend at Beacon House (a local program providing healing services/classes for people with chronic illnesses and their support people) tells me "oh, yeah, a friend of mine took it for her breast cancer, and it made her a** drag! My inner sense is going "no way, you are not going to do this..." I get a Healing Touch session from Kathy Vanderleest, excellent practitioner, filled with heart she is. On the table, my spirit attempts to leave my spirit energy at the head begins to pull out of the body, but the rest of my body pulls it back.....rather strongly at that. Once I accept that this is happening, I relax considerably, and feel the dragging energy of the Brevail/my fears leave me...the rest of my day is wonderful, relaxed and energized.

This is a similar experience to the one I had in August, ' energy tanking, due to exhaustion, fears, outside influences. I am beginning to see the picture of how each individual is in charge of the time of their death, that it is a programmed choice, either consciously or unconsciously. The next 4 months provide me with more fodder for exploring this.

In August when I was having the intense heart palpitations, I had my brother Dale drive me down to Chicago to see Dr. Guo...I could barely function so Dale drove down. My herbs were changed, and the instant I took my herbs, I felt so much fact, I drove back most of the way. Which made me overly tired again. Crazy....I just cannot get a handle on how to take care of and respect my energy level.

I was so frustrated, however, with the language barrier with Guo, and with my perception of his demeanor towards me (he can be so unattached, so expression-less, as I experienced with tibetan buddhist teachers, and tend to read as "I must not be good enough"), that I internally cry out "God, I just want someone who can explain all this to me and tell me what is going on!" as I am paying my bill. We walk downstairs to the chinese restaurant for Dim Sum, and who walks in but Gary Clyman, a qigong master whose work "Emotional Liposuction" I had been seeing in Consciousness magazine from Chicago! We point to each other, and then talk, he shakes my hand three times, I feel this transfer of powerful energy to me, I feel alive!

I want to get treated by him, but waffle for 2 months. Until I have a particularly bad day of anxiety, and in desperation I make an appointment and drive down there 2 days later. It is painful work! He uses two fingers and presses on acupuncture points around the chest and abdomen relating to abandonment, anger, rage, etc while emitting Jing. Before Gary begins, he puts a rolled up washcloth in my mouth, and has me hold onto a loop of webbing "so that you don't try to knock the shit out of me." It feels like a red hot poker being seared into your chest! I scream and scream and cry and swear, all through the washcloth. He has to take a break, thank God, I needed it too! Then he goes right back to it...aaaaahhhh!!! When he is finished, I lie there on his table, panting, yet feeling profoundly relieved of immense layers of crud, light and energized. He suggests I do his Chi Kung program....I am hooked. I am such an experimenter, and easily led, too.

I practice the chi kung from a video, it is easy to follow. I also show up two weeks later for his Personal Power seminar....more like an EST all-day, no eating grueling workout. My energy takes a HUGE nosedive. The next morning after the seminar, I wake up in the motel with left sided numbness in my face, upper and lower extremity.....shit, what do I do? I contemplate going to see Dr. Guo in Chicago, but am embarrassed. He has cautioned me numerous times about doing other kinds of treatments without his consent. So, I decide "I am a PT, I know what to look for, my cranial nerve checks are fine, I can move my extremities without problem, I will just take it a bit at a time." The numbness lasted for about 2 hours, and dissipated by the time I got to Green Bay....I had a chiropractic appointment set up for the end of the day, so I go to that. I think Dr. Marc is concerned, but agrees that it wasn't serious. I learn later on what this all means, more on that later.

Three days later, I am driving south again for Dr. Guo's appointment. The drive is 3 hours away. I am so exhausted that morning that I make a pact with myself at 30, 60, 90 miles that I can turn back or call my brother Dale to come and get me if I can't make it to Northbrook. Dr. Guo is quite upset with me for seeing Dr. Gary, explaining that I need to stick with his suggestions only, as he is the oncologist. He assures me I am healthy, just relax, relax!! I stop the Gary Clyman Chi Kung, as Dr. Guo says it is too much for me. He basically doesn't want me to do much else, just relax.

I decide to ask for an endoscopy, as I was having intense solar plexus pain, duodenal ulcer symptoms. The CT scan did show growth around the 4th portion of the duodenum. I'm thinking "yeah, this test will show if it is an ulcer or a tumor." I am trying to believe in the integrative medicine approach, trying to be as informed as I can within reason. The endoscopy, though, did not progress into the 4th portion....I find out as I am in the recovery room when the nurse shows me the scope pictures. I quiz the nurse "why didn't he go to the 4th portion?" She asks the MD, who relays to me that "everything is fine." I ask the med oncologist a few days later, and she says "oh, they never go into the small portion of the bowel with an endoscopy!" I am blown away, so why did she ok the scope? She gives me a lame answer, I respond, "aren't you supposed to be watching my best interests here?" She is quiet.

My energy from this point goes through ups and downs. I lose my appetite for weeks. It is hard to tell what I will be like from day to day. Good days are really good, bad days are rough. I go through a week of rough, barely able to get anything down, no energy, luckily I am off work that week. My mind is going crazy "is this dying?" I ask Dr. Guo over the phone when I call in my symptoms....."no, you are fine." He sends me herbs, overnight. Wow, another resurrection, I feel normal for the first time in weeks. My energy does continue to be low, I am tired. Worried about that. But, Dr. Guo keeps telling me "you're healthy, you're healthy! You still have more healing to do, but you are healthy!"

On a good day, December 5th, I re-connect with a woman I met this summer, had felt attracted to but was not willing to approach a deeper relationship because I wasn't ready, and she was too similar in some ways to D. I feel pulled to jump in this time, her energy is intoxicating, I am seeking someone to nurture me and she outwardly provides this, our mutual cancer experiences I decide are connecting us (she had skin cancer), I mistake her spirituality as having depth....I start to run on my sexual energy. We go ahead with a relationship, quite sexually charged, and we are both exhausted. I see some very important issues between us early on, and try to work with them, try to be honest about them. But, my heart just doesn't let me continue with it, again to the point where I get intense heart palpitations. It ends as quickly as it began.

The day after we break up, I get chiropractic care from Dr. CJ Meyer, a young yet amazing practitioner. The day after that I wake up at 5am with my left face and forehead, upper and lower extremities numb once again. I put an ice pack on my head and over my ears, to stop the palpitations, ease the symptoms, call Dr. Chris Lowthert, my German New Medicine practitioner, and start truly believing the new paradigm I am studying. This time around, along with my neuro understanding that I was not having a stroke, I see the light, understand what is behind my symptoms -- sensory symptoms of the arms and legs deal with separation conflict from figures dear to me, both partner and mother/child, and at the same time, wanting to move away from this person yet also wanting to hold on to them. The nature of my relationship with this woman is right in front of my face, a huge conflict, recreating what I had with D. These symptoms used to come up for me in the past with D., but not at the same intensity as that was time to understand and resolve my pattern of lusting, grabbing, not paying attention to the messages saying "this is not right, stay away!" I realized then and there, if I am to have a truly good relationship, make good choices for me, it will no longer involve this pattern of jumping into situations where my intuition is saying "whoa, there, is this really what you want? Is this healthy for you?"

German New Medicine makes so much sense to me now. Everything that occurs to the body has a conflict basis, is experienced simultaneously in the psyche, brain and corresponding organ, and will go through well-defined conflict active and healing phases. The key is understanding what is happening, not panicking, and letting resolution/downplay of conflict occur through rational understanding of the conflict and the triggers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Going back to single life

Hello again. Where am I? Oh yes, in my little cave apartment, deciding that I need to use this time to work through my issues. I go to qi gong, Renewing Life, JinShinJyutsu classes, I get out and ski when I can, work gradually increases to 4 days of the week. It is good work, at times a little too quiet, I joke with people that it is a bit like being the Maytag Repairman.....

I continue with the herbs from Dr. Guo, these are helpful. Continue with my raging anger, getting so sick of it I start counseling with John Nemick, a buddhist priest and social worker. This helps me to reconnect with my inclination for buddhist study, meditation, and so I also start sitting with the Hollow Bones Zen group in Green Bay. Life is making a good change, I am beginning to see light ahead, yet still filled with grief, anger, rage, bitterness, sense of abandonment, and a huge desire to "prove her wrong."

5 months after our split, D announces to me that she is leaving for Vermont, and has started a relationship with an ex-partner from 22 years prior. Dagger through the heart.....especially to find out D connected with her ex a little over a month after I moved out of the house. Meditation, John, friends, all sources of comfort for me. Much to work through, much angst.

My energy, inspite of all of this, is picking up, I start biking, enjoying the freedom. Dr. Guo is pleased with my progress, as am I.

Lurking behind all this, though, are a number of issues: over-extending myself on the biking, major family issue with my dad and his wife in California creating anger and angst for us all, pushing myself to not pay attention to and be upset over D's moving on, taking continuing education courses on neuromuscular therapy, seeing more clients, a quick 2 week trip to California for work after an exhausting 2 months of covering Spring Training classes while a co-worker was out on sick leave. It leads to me having some kind of heart event.

Like, arrhthymia and loss of energy. And, me, freaked out about allopathic medicine, yet able to deal with the symptoms using meditation, focus, chinese herbs, reiki, flower essences, chiropractic (did you know how well an atlas manipulation can stop heart palpitations? Amazing!), I don't go see an MD about this. I just find myself relaxing more and more, meditating, taking life a bit easier. The pain of D is slowly changing, being less often of an irritant. I try a fact-finding/job hunting trip to Burlington, VT and Asheville, NC, knowing I want to live in a funky town with a great organic food market. Neither appeal to me. I decide to hang in with Green Bay, my salary is good, work is better and better.

The last blog entry for me was waaaaaayyyy back in September of '08, guess there has been quite a bit going on over those 7 months. I will try to get you up to speed without too much details, but enough so that you get the idea of the evolution.

So, I start working with Dr. Guo....I feel changes, good changes, with his herbal formulas. I also encounter intense fatigue, intense emotions. My partner and I are together, in our co-dependent way, and lots of stress is happening. She gets her administrative director position, we are "moving on up to the East side" of Wisconsin and in salary, to start in July. I start thinking I will be able to take time off from work and heal this thing I got going on. Three weeks later, D's step sister commits suicide. We travel out to Delaware for the funeral. Two weeks later, she and her mom go to France for their long-planned trip together. I return to work three days per week. Exhausting. In August, D is working in Ashwaubenon, looking for a place for us to live. I am freaked out about living in the area, as I experience the air pollution from the paper companies along the Fox River and then talk with numerous people about the air quality. Not good. Brown County is in the 90th percentile as far as pollution levels in this country. I demand we live further out away from the city, west so that the winds keep the pollution away. She finds it aggravating, as she wants to live close to her work, but honors me and finds a neat duplex on the edge of the country. Dr. Guo tells me my work is too physically demanding for me, that I need to cut back....luckily I have a bead on a job in Green Bay, and would be able to work 2 days per week. I finish up the last of the house packing, and exhaust myself so tremendously that it felt as though I was functioning solely on will power as I drive to my Reiki class one night.

The people in my Reiki class were unbelievably gifted healers. I got up on the table, and people went to work on me. Particularly Debra, a native american shaman. She dug out the issues, the black energy, retrieved my soul, while the others held the space, sent me Reiki energy, filled me with light. Later on, Debra told me that she had the vision as I got up onto the table to begin, that I was crawling into my coffin!! An astrology reading a few weeks later, by Altazar Player, amazing astrologer, indicated that the stars/planets were in the arrangement that I could have died under the right conditions....he told me "your friends brought you back to life!" He had seen this astrological arrangement just a few times in his career with clients, and all of them except me had died on those days.....woo, hair standing up on my arms. Blessed by God, driven by determination and guts, an inner knowing, once again.

Off to Green Bay, I go, to meet up with D, renewed energy, renewed desire to be with her, excitement for our new life, yet the underlying intense fear of "cancer" present, fogging my mind, deeming my choices, informing my behaviors. I hook up with Beacon House for support, search out where to buy organic food (no organic food market per se in this town, we still focus on Madison's Willy Street Co-op when able to go down there), host my dad for 3 weeks (another story, but suffice it to say, Peterson family energy is just too much for my partner). I arrange to start my work after my dad leaves, so that I can have time with him, and also build up my energy from the move, as I continue experiencing exhaustion.'s good. I am a physical therapist. But, the work is the least "physical" than any work I have had in my life....very little therapy initially, mostly desk work, or interacting with drivers and office workers on ergonomic needs. I like it. The women I work with are nice. I find myself essentially having my own practice, without the financial or insurance headaches. I am enjoying it!!

Our life hums along. It seems D and I are getting along better. Now and then, some irritations come up, especially around my health care choices, my preoccupation with the internet, buying books. An ongoing discussion is this "equality" issue in our relationship....her feeling I need to consider her feelings and decisions ("get surgery") and my angry response is "my body, my decision." She is able to cite friends who side with her, I have friends who are aghast at her behavior towards me, the issue becomes shelved yet festering underneath. She is very busy with her work. I start to feel a bit like a honey is the bread winner, I am the homemaker. The beginning of November, as we are driving up to Minocqua for a relaxing weekend with friends, after we had had an argument that week, she tells me about her frustration with us, and admits to feelings where she wondered if she wanted to be in relationship with me. We talk about this, me being the one who says "it is normal to have those feelings." She then asks me "can we just start over?" I say "yes," not fully taking in or discussing what she really was thinking. Little did I know how close she was to her edge. By this time, our level of trust and true communication was so blocked and I was so focused on my healing, that the ending came out of the blue for me.

A few weeks later, the shit hits the fan. She is driving back from a conference, hadn't slept well the previous night...she asks me to ask my brother who was up for dinner to leave before she gets home....I thought the request was selfish, as Dale and I had this planned for a while. I say no to her request, but that he and I would eat and then he would leave right after. She comes home, is very quiet yet civil. The next morning, she goes off to work, as I sleep in. I go to my T'ai Chi class, and one of the elderly ladies there asks me how long D and I have been together....I stop and internally reflect, feel this deep love for her, and tell her "8 years." She replies "oh, you two will be together for life." I said "yeah, we will." I really believed it. I make this amazing dinner for her that night. As we finish dinner, D comes out with it "Mariah, I am not happy in this relationship, it no longer feels equal to me, I am done. We are finished." I am blown away, totally blown away. But, I try to hang in there, acknowledge her feelings, admit my feelings of frustration. Pain, much pain. Then my anger and tears come out. Intense emotions. I am as much or more afraid of losing my picture perfect Stepford Wives life as I am of losing her connection.

To spare all the details, suffice it to say, we go through some back and forth, I eventually move out into my own little apartment, totally freaked out yet trying so hard to "stay positive" so that it doesn't "affect my cancer." Wrong. Boiling rage, bitterness, intense fear consume me. The lid is nailed shut on this relationship. We cease communicating. I have to force myself to keep going with my life. Friends do what they can to hang in there with my raging. Dr. Guo is quietly sympathetic, I cling to his herbal treatments.