Once upon a wintertime! Winter indeed, warm (for the Arctic) at between -6 and -12 C day after day. But with 40 cm or so of snow here in Inuvik within the past 72 hours. And thigh high snow drifts. One local resident says she can only remember one other year when there was this much snow. And of course the winter is far from over. But the sun is coming back. The sun is now up for about 6 hours a day with long drawn colourful twilight at sunrise and sunset.
I recently received a beautiful card from a dear friend in Illinois who wanted me to share about what really keeps me well in body and spirit. And my dearest friend and spouse Sandra agrees with her! I talk about the Iscador, the turmeric/curcumin, avoiding sugar, the good nutrition - but that is only the physical part of my cancer and kidney healing. What about the personal part: attitude and emotion and belief? And the spiritual part?
Because I am a very private person, having grown up as an only child, I don't often share my inmost thoughts and cares and beliefs. Ok, here goes - !
We often read of people who recover from grave ailments simply because they believe they will recover. People in drug trials who are given a placebo rather than the real thing, but who recover simply because they believe they have received a healing treatment. This underscores the importance of attitude.
Right from the beginning, the quite miraculous discovery of my Stage 4 renal carcinoma (chest, abdomen, and lungs) at age 75, discovered only when I was sent south out of the Arctic by air ambulance with a false alarm of heart attack, made me wonder about other wondrous support. Combined with the intervention of a truly exceptionally-gifted surgeon, Dr Adrian Fairey. Why was I still alive, when the surgeon expressed surprise about that fact before the operation, because a tumour was possibly within minutes of stopping my heart?
When I awoke from the anesthetic I had two first thoughts. The first was "I'm still alive." The second was "Nothing matters but salvation" - meaning being entirely ready and willing for whatever God had planned for me. And I began to develop a very positive attitude toward post-operative healing. I knew of my cousin Aleta who had healed from leukemia many years ago with little help from the conventional medical profession. If she could do it, I could too! That was good enough reasoning for me at the beginning.
Following close on the heels of a positive attitude was joy. Joy goes far beyond mirth, happiness, peace, and comfort. It includes all these but transcends them as an integral part of spiritual well-being. I realized that, in whatever time I had left in life I needed joy.
Those of you who know me well know that I treasure the wisdom recorded in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I read many, many, authors and books old and new, but none have the depth of meaning contained in the Bible. I prefer the King James Version of the Bible because I love the poetic resonance of old English.
So, getting back to joy. Every time I read Joel 1:12 I have a profound sense of wonder. After naming several fruit trees Joel says: "all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men." From this came a profound personal revelation, that JOY is necessary in order for fruit to be produced. Anything of lasting value in my life, any spiritual fruit, cannot be produced without joy being there at the beginning. So if I want the miracle of healing, I need joy, first and foremost. When I refer to spiritual fruit I simply mean what the writer Paul refers to in his letter to the Christian church in Galatia, Gal 5:22: "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance -." Spirit with a capital "S" means that I need spirit way beyond the spirit of man, I need the Spirit of God. And of course I note that joy is mentioned right after "love" as the preeminent fruit of God's Spirit.
So both in terms of natural and spiritual healing in life, I am kept by the power of God. I can't help but think of the 10th verse of chapter 35 of the book of Isaiah: "the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
In conclusion, I ask myself: what else is necessary for healing to continue? And the only answer that comes is - thankfulness - gratitude. Being thankful to God that I have been given these added days of joy. Which leads to my "new year's resolution" for 2017, that I must show my gratitude by living the last days/years of my life to be a help to others as I journey.
Finally, back to the natural side of healing, my kidney is responding, slowly but surely, to better nutrition and plenty of water in my daily diet. The eGFR rating is now between 36 on the low end and 47 on the high end, much better than a year ago, when it hovered around 32 to 35, and the corresponding creatinine number now usually falls below 150. And I feel full of energy most of the time, not lethargic and tired out. My physical strength is returning, however slowly, and working out at the gym helps, not to mention shovelling snow!! And being virtually cancer free is wonderful, with the only cautionary note being that I need to keep my two enlarged lymph nodes in my chest shrinking to normal size. For that I need to continue to keep my immune system happy and healthy every day.