Marshall Cancer Research Group, LLC
combines Modern Medical Treatments with Buddhism Practices
Cases & Analysis (Continued) ...

Introduction [Book: Section I] by Authors
After the countless years of helping people participate in the process of healing their lives and curing their bodies when they have been diagnosed with cancer, I can tell you that I have seen the power of faith, hope, and healing, and what they can accomplish. These three states of grace have taught me that all the side effects of cancer are not by definition bad. So-called curses can become blessings, and an illness can help us come alive as human beings. Many people see their disease as a wake-up call that inspired them to literally begin their life anew The side effects of cancer can become the labor pains by which we give birth to ourselves and the lives we were meant to live. The side effects empower us to nourish our lives, just as hunger forces us to seek nourishment for our bodies.

In the following pages, I will share with you the inspiring stories of those who have experienced cancer, and in their own way found deeper faith, hope, and healing- and even joy through the process. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, these stories will encourage and help you to develop attitudes and behaviors that survivors share, while also offering you a myriad of ways to get through this difficult time and discover the gifts that cancer can bring into your life. After each entry, I will share my reflections about the lessons that can be learned and the wisdom derived from experiencing these stories.

Why collect these stories? Why do I feel it is truly educational and healing to read the stories of others who have gone through similar ordeals? To put it simply, it is because the tourists cannot help the natives. What I mean is, those who have experienced a diagnosis of cancer can help you to cope with and triumph over yours. What can you learn from people like Carol Westfahl, Tom Martin, Jane Goldman, and the many other brave individuals whose stories are included here? You can learn the enormous healing power of art, the amazing transformation that journaling can produce, and the spiritual resources available to us all. Each person shares how their desire, intention, determination, and willingness to survive led them to become an active participant in their life and health. In all cases, the decision to participate and take responsibility was a true turning point in their life.

Faith is needed to survive. Life is full of obstacles that make it difficult and sometimes seem meaningless, but faith will help you to find support and meaning. As you adjust to the changes of your day-to-day life after your diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a loved one, you will find that faith is a strong component in helping to pull you through. There is a reason God didn't make a perfect world—perfection would make our lives meaningless. We would never have the opportunity to grow and appreciate life's little gifts and miracles if everything were already perfect.

Faith and spirituality relate to the wonder and creation of life. But what you have faith in is the key. Just as you have a remote control to select channels, you use your mind to select what messages you are open to and where your faith is placed. When you have faith, your actions become creative. You can trust in what comes your way and use it to better your life and the lives of those around you.

"Hope," Emily Dickinson wrote, "is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all." How can anyone live without hope? One oncologist, giving a protocol with four chemotherapeutic agents which began with the letters EPO and H, realized that if he turned the letters around they spelled HOPE. So he began to call his therapy program the HOPE Protocol. While others gave the EPOH Protocol, he found that he had more patients responding positively to his therapy even though they were all given the same drugs and dosage.

When we feel no hope, because of the words of doctors or others, we are more likely to die because of what this does to our attitude, immune function, and various hormone levels. Hope is real and not necessarily related to statistics. Words can help heal us by focusing our beliefs and mind on messages of love and encouragement. With renewed hope, joy can appear.

Joy is found in the relationships with those we love, whether it is with our family, friends, or beloved pets. Our relationships help keep us alive and make our lives meaningful. Often people try to find happiness through material things or by being a financial success, and then find that success does not make them happy. I say joy and success are found when you do what makes you happy.

A cancer diagnosis gives many people permission to live life to the fullest. The pain of cancer helps redefine them by granting them the permission to do the things they were either too busy or simply afraid to do. The disease frees them to reclaim their true identity and reminds them of the freedom of choice that is theirs and always has been. I hope those of you who read their stories will learn from them and not wait for, or need, a disease to enlighten you.

Remember, what we are talking about is healing your life and focusing your life's energy on healing. Healing and curing are two very separate processes. I know it to be true that when you heal your life, you may experience a cure as a side effect. But when you focus only on the mechanical aspects of treatment and curing your disease while neglecting yourself and your life, you are expending your energy by engaging in a struggle, and your life becomes more like a war than a process of healing.

Medical treatment can be seen not just as an attempt to not die, but as a part of the healing process, too. When you heal your life, you free yourself of the old wounds accumulated over a lifetime. In a sense, you reparent yourself and bring forth the divine child within you. When the change occurs, your entire body feels the love you now have for life, and it strives to keep you alive and eliminate any afflictions that threaten your life.

Remember, your body loves you and knows how to heal, but it needs to know you love it and that you also love your life and the opportunities it provides you with. You are born with a potential to not just survive but to thrive. You deserve the opportunity to do this by healing the old wounds and moving on to a new life and journey with faith, hope, and joy as your companions.

I urge you to redirect your life toward enjoying the day instead of just doing your job, or fulfilling a role that someone else has assigned to you. As part of the healing process I have seen, people move, change jobs, get divorced, toss out their ties and jackets, or buy a house on the ocean. When people choose to live joyfully, as they were meant to do, it turns out they live longer, healthier, and happier lives. Let your inner light burn brightly and be a beacon for others. To do that, you must let your life shine. Some time ago a friend moved to Colorado after his cancer diagnosis because he was told he had a short time left to live and he'd always dreamed of living in the mountains. It was expected that he would die very soon. After some time, I hadn't heard anything from his family and began to wonder if they had forgotten to invite me to the funeral. I was upset and called them, only to have him answer the phone and say, "It was so beautiful here I forgot to die."

This book can offer you a gift, the encouragement and inspiration to eliminate fear from your life. When you heal your life and in the process bring faith, hope, and joy into your life, fear cannot exist. I know this to be true because I have lived and worked with many of these courageous people whose experiences you are about to witness. Their stories will teach you, as they have taught me, about our common strengths and how to live an authentic, joy-filled life.

END [Introduction]