Category Archives: Conventional Methods

Chemotherapy, Surgery, Conventional Companions

Remember the Rachels on Mother’s Day

Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.

Matthew 2:16-18, New Living Translation

Rachel was an early biblical character who died giving birth to her second son. She was buried by the road to Bethlehem. Bethlehem would later become the birth location for a king, according to Matthew’s gospel. And Herod, the jealous and frightened ruler at the time, sent his soldiers to kill all the male infants and toddlers near Bethlehem to remove this new threat. One cannot imagine the kind of imperishable grief such an act would produce on a vulnerable population.

This story is part of the birth narrative of Jesus. When was the last time you heard a preacher talk about this trauma in connection with the nativity story? It seems to me that mothers who grieve their children appear easily overlooked.

The world is full of Rachels who weep disconsolately for their deceased children. My friend Joan just lost her daughter to diabetes.

With the current opioid epidemic, mothers who are cancer patients need to be wary. I was told in 2011 to “stay ahead of the pain,” and was sent home with a month’s supply of what I now realize were heroin pills. Recently I talked with a cancer survivor who also had leftover opioids and a teenaged son at home. I urged her to get a digital lockbox or return the pills to a pharmacy. Even if her son doesn’t find or use them, a friend of his might. Then the treacherous slide into heroin overdose begins.

If I ever doubt myself as a mother fighting for her children, all I have to do is look at this Mother’s Day card my deceased son made for me about ten years ago. I’m seen as firm with my words and my sword… with a kind smile on my face, all centered in a heart glowing with love.

I’m hardly alone. Even my son’s memorial garden was just visited again by Rachel’s weeping. A mother bird in the sweet gum tree had fought valiantly for her eggs, evidenced by the circle of feathers; but her efforts simply weren’t enough. The nest fell to the grass and her babies were hungrily consumed.

Mother’s Day is approaching. Ugh. For me, and for perhaps hundreds of thousands of mothers, this time on the calendar is a terrible reminder of broken hearts and empty arms. Despite all we do, sometimes we still lose our children. Some mothers lose their only children—I know two such women who lost theirs to heroin. I have heard of one woman who lost all three of her children to heroin overdoses. Losing your children is bad enough. Add on the stigma of death to drugs and you have an unfathomable nightmare.

I am most fortunate that one of my brothers will be here and we will spend the day making and eating delicious meals our mother made when we were growing up—a time of innocence. My younger son will get to indulge with us. (He loves to tell me there’s no food in my house.) Foods I typically now avoid, yet that give comfort and solace to an empty heart. Corn fritters, hamburger pie, cheesecake, springerle. I’ll still be weeping for my child, as I do nearly every day, yet with social support I also will have some consolation.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Mothers fight for their offspring, though not always successfully. Many of these mothers are single. It can be such a lonely time, especially with the isolation that can come from losing a child to drugs.

On Mother’s Day, please pray for or send positive intentions to the Rachels everywhere. Those who have suffered heavy losses need comfort and love—a kind word, a simple text, a card—something to let them know they are not entirely alone.

Message in a Cardinal

If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young;

Deuteronomy 22:6, JPS Tanakh 1917

The compassionate act for a hungry person of ancient times was to take only the eggs from a bird’s nest and leave the mother. This created benefits: humans had food and birds could again reproduce, making more human food.

Fortunately I can walk to a store open 24 hours every day and get a variety of foods to eat. I don’t need the eggs in the nest by my porch to satisfy my survival needs.

The cardinal nesting by my side door probably is the one that tried to create a nest on my porch light. Hanging from this light fixture is the beautiful wind chime given to me by Kay so my deceased son could make it sing for me.

Perhaps the mother bird gave up when the door kept swinging open and shut, open and shut. So she moved to the tree next to the porch. As close as she could get without the constant disturbance.

Her nest cradles two eggs. I enjoy seeing her as I walk by.

How did those eggs get out of her little body?

How does she know to sit on her eggs? The sea turtle lays her eggs and abandons them, returning to the sea.

How does she know to leave the eggs alone? If she were human, I imagine she’d be neurotically inspecting the eggs, rolling them around, listening for any sounds.

Nope. She sits calmly, quietly, still as stone. Watching. Waiting. Being.

She makes me wonder about my way of being as a mother. I was anxious, wanting everything to work out perfectly for my two offspring. Instead, one turned to drugs, and three years ago lost his life.

Would I blame the bird if one of her eggs broke, or if a hatchling fell out of the nest, or if a creature ate one? Today I found a broken robin’s egg on my driveway, not five feet from the tree where the cardinal nestles. This is life. These things happen. We do not control outcomes, especially with terrible illnesses like cancer and addiction.

James Hillman (American psychologist, 1926 –2011), in his book The Soul’s Code, calls the inordinate self-blame of grieving parents “the parental fallacy.” It is false to think we have enough control to manage every outcome. We can try and influence, yet ultimately, it is not up to us.

Perhaps this is why the cardinal tried to build a nest right above my son’s wind chime and the robin lost her baby. Maybe it’s a message, like, “It’s not your fault, Mom. You did everything you could. Sometimes terrible things happen. And I am near you now, singing through the wind chime, watching you through the eyes of a bird nesting by your door.”

They are reminders to have compassion for myself, as I have compassion for these mother birds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“’Thriver Soup’ saved my life!”

Jacqui Roell, a Registered Nurse, says, “Thriver Soup saved my life!”

Jacqui was diagnosed with Stage 2b lobular breast cancer and a friend urged her to read Thriver Soup. The first thing Jacqui read in the book was, “I thought I had been sentenced to die. Instead, I had been invited to live joyfully so my soul could prosper” (p. 19).

Jacqui was not expecting to read something like that. She set Thriver Soup aside.

She had already decided not to do chemotherapy or radiation. Eventually she wanted to see what I suggested in the way of alternative treatments.

She opened up Thriver Soup again, and read, “At the start of my cancer journey, I had a long talk with Vince and Connie Lasorso at Whatever Works Wellness Center. For decades they have offered complementary treatment methods and emotional support to cancer patients. They told me the story of a woman who worked in the local holistic community and got cancer. She rejected all conventional treatments and focused on a variety of alternative healing practices. She ended up dying of cancer, acknowledging at the end that if she had received conventional medical care in the beginning, she probably would have survived. That story struck a note with me and I decided to follow what my doctors recommended.” (p. 25)

Jacqui says, “That was huge for me. It made me take a step back and reconsider my options. It gave me permission to do what my doctor wanted me to do, while also taking care of what I needed to do spiritually and mentally.”

Using the practical tips in Thriver Soup for managing chemo and radiation, Jacqui did conventional treatment.Thriver Soup is my bible,” she said. “It is amazing and made a huge difference for me.”

Jacqui finished treatment January 12, 2018, and is free of evidence of disease. Yet she continues to read and refer to Thriver Soup, because the ideas can apply to any and every area of life.

“Everyone should read Thriver Soup, including caregivers of people diagnosed with cancer,” she says. “It can help caregivers support their loved ones by learning about complementary treatments that assist the patient. This can reduce the patients’ experience of stress.”

Jacqui spoke at the Feb. 17 HIME Wellness event at Crossroads Mason in Ohio.

I will be speaking at 10:30 am and 1 pm on Saturday at Kent Cook Institute, and at noon on Tuesday at Main Street Books, both in Davidson, NC.

On Thursday, March 1, I am the headline speaker at 2 pm at the Annie Appleseed Conference in West Palm Beach, FL.

Presentation: Power Up Your Spiritual Vibration with Energized Food

Meet me Saturday, noon, at Victory of Light to discover simple ways to super-charge your spiritual life with high-vibrational foods. Learn how to select more enlightening edibles to thrive on every level. Take home easy pointers for preparing power-packed provisions to raise your consciousness.

Discover what foods impart these qualities:

? = joy

? = Divine love

? = self-assurance

? = enthusiasm and fresh energy

? = self-control

? = mental vitality

Hope to see you there!

Sharonville Convention Center
11355 Chester Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246
10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday
Admission:  $15/single day – $25/weekend
http://www.victoryoflight.com/pages/index.cgi/201711_festival?disp=Workshops