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I know this may not be a popular topic to post about ,but a few months ago before Christmas my wife of 30 yrs was diagnosed with breast cancer .Since this time she has undergone intense chemo treatments .In which her suffering from the chemo side effects has effected my state of mind .In retrospect. My wife works as a physical therapist and has always lead a very healthy life; she is a very spiritually focused person who is not afraid to help and serve others and has given much to the world in her work. No doubt this experience has been helpful in dealing with this disease. A number of our friends have died of cancer. Since my wife's diagnosis I've carried around a lot of anxiety concerning her condition. I sometimes can't sleep at night. My wife lost all her hair and she gets stomach troubles with Chemo. I attend to her as best as I can. We pray, chant mantra, spend time meditating and listen to spiritual talks like the ones John gives publicly.

I see people here write about many different kinds of problems that seem serious to them, but in my view 90% of what I see seems meaningless compared to dealing with the hard effects of cancer. I wonder... What is it about superficial suffering that makes us human beings struggle so much and make us believe we are far away from knowing ultimate reality? I invite cancer survivors and sufferers to comment or anyone else who has had a loved one pass away to share any insights. May everyone be at peace in their life. Celia & Roger

Hi Roger,

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's serious illness. I'm not a cancer survivor nor a sufferer of serious illness, but I've been looking into lifestyle choices and health recently, and came across researchers and studies about diet and cancer at YouTube. I don't know if you know this already, but there have been studies made on the effect of fasting before chemotherapy. A few days' water fast before chemo seems to mitigate the symptoms that the toxins cause in the body, and make the cancer cells more vulnerable to the therapy. Fasting selectively weakens the cancer cells' ability to cope with the toxins and strengthens the healthy cells. In this state chemotherapy seems to hit the cancer harder.

What comes to our common illness of fear of life, it seems to me that all kinds of things in life are seen as serious threats to our well being resulting in the superficial suffering you mentioned. They seem as threatening as cancer and we are alarmed all time and on defense. Hence the metaphor of "psychological auto immune disease". This is a serious condition, as we know. We also know the cure but it acts out until completely gone. Most of those things become meaningless when faced with death. But absent of imminent threat of death, other things occupy our minds. I was affected quite a lot when guy of my age I see daily, under fifty, faced the same threat from cancer. It makes you think.

I wish your wife strength and success fighting cancer, and peace of mind for you, too, Roger.

I have been thinking about this post for quite awhile and recently have felt some things have gelled enough for me to respond. First, I am sorry for your situation. I have experienced serial grief in my life, most recently when my mother died within 2 weeks of my mother in laws' death, but nothing this intimate. On the occasion of tending my mother and her death, which was perfectly natural for a 93 year old, I found that my grief was clean, or at least cleaner than in the past, more efficient. By this I mean that the looking, over time, seems to have made my emotional states more efficient and productive. I have less meta-emotions about my emotions. Grief is just grief, sadness is just sadness, without reactive meta-anxiety about the grief that spirals the grief and sadness into a whole new realm. I still get anxious, but I'm not anxious about my anxiety. I still get sad, but I'm not depressed about my sadness, thereby avoiding a self perpetuating pattern that goes on and on.

Our mothers died two years ago, three years after I looked. Now I feel I have some perspective on what was happening then by observing the increasing efficiency of my emotional states now. The absence of fear allows us to respond naturally to painful events without the emotional drama of the past. It still hurts, no question, but we also have the space to process the meaning of the event and see it more wholistically, as well as be present for those we love.

I hope all is well.


Thank you for your cancer update and support . My wife does fast before chemo also she takes immune supplements .She was unaware fasting could help the medicine work better .I can also comment my wife has lead a very healthy lifestyle following a traditional strict Satvic yoga diet for the past 15 yrs,She got good news after Chemo treatment nr 3 some weeks ago.that her tumor reduced by 35-40% . This week we go again for treatment nr 4 ,which has been on cycles of once / 3 weeks.There is another study unrelated to diet that reports 'positive attitude ' is critical to having strong immune response .

Would like to report. My wife's tumor has reduced by 85-90%. With the help of conventional medical treatment, meditation plus other forms of alternative support, it looks like this thing is finally on the run ! It's been almost 5 months since her diagnosis and with another month to go with Chemo before the final treatments are finished which is greatly encouraging. I wish other cancer sufferers best wishes with their treatments. I have learned a great deal in terms of striking a balance between alternative and conventional medical treatments .

Great news!

Roger, that's wonderful! Please give her our love. Thanks for letting us know!

Further updates about cancer ,once one's cancer is suppressed there always remains the possibility it can come back . The immune system must be strengthened in order to fight off new attacks of cancer cells. I feel the same thing about fear of life (birth-death etc. ) . One has to keep constant vigilance on the ''cause of the diseased mind'' which is obsessed with its past history as well as being constantly 'worried about the future ' . The way to keep vigilant is to turn up the light of awareness to its max and then maintain it ,sort of like using high beams when driving a car at night .Just flip the switch in your mind and soon it will be effortless. I recently rescued a tiny hedgehog a few nights ago on a dark road ,while other cars ran directly over this 600 gram aninal ..just missing killing the cute little fellow . I got out of my car ..stood in the middle of the road and waved my hands so I could retrieve the prickly creature ,which stung my hands .Sometimes its mind over matter in getting things done ,sure it painful holding a creature that has spikes all over its body ,but when one has a firm intention many obstacles can be over come .


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