What’s All This Chemotion About?

This morning I went for a chest X-Ray, but I won’t know the results until tomorrow. I’m a little concerned, but not nearly as much as I am about my emotional state. It keeps rising and falling, just like my breath in the belly!

Cancerport was a bit disappointing this morning. I thought I would be able to share more of the emotional content of my life, but there were so many people there that I didn’t feel comfortable letting it all hang out. Many people complained of care that was not so good and one person said that she had to take charge herself. I realized that she was right and that this was what I had been doing and need to keep doing.

Chemotion is a term I just created. It refers to the emotional ups and downs that have been occurring in me over the past three weeks, since the completion of my chemotherapy. I like the word, and I’m going to continue to use it. I went to speak with D. S. about chemotion. She has been living with ovarian cancer since 1991, and has been sending my get-well cards almost weekly. She is a person with a high level of self-esteem and a strong will to live. She shared with me her similar experiences with swinging emotions, and I felt quite comforted.


Another Day of Healing

I went to Cancerport this morning to share my good news and everyone was thrilled. Many people came up to me and told me that they were inspired by my success. Just about everyone wanted me to speak first, and I did. Naturally, I took the opportunity to share how important it was to combine conventional medicine with alternatives, and one of the members pointed out that they were no longer considered “alternatives,” but “complimentary.” All in all, I enjoyed the good wishes of everyone.

Next, I had the most incredible Feldenkrais session with Gail Teehan. She had just completed a two and one half weeks of training. She worked mainly on my hips, pelvis, and shoulders, and I felt my body move in ways it never had before. Our contact in the session was extremely close and healing. I am most grateful for having these sessions with Gail. Next time, I’m also going to get a massage!


The Day Before

I got a massage from Elyse this morning. It was the best massage I ever had from her in probably two years of seeing her. Today, I seemed more relaxed and she was more able to penetrate my tissues. In addition, she has very healing hands and really cares about me. She spent a lot of time massaging my belly and bladder, and remarked how easy and free I was. It was a terrific experience!

Cancerport was once again very supportive to my surgery tomorrow. They were very encouraged by my report from Dr. Belknap, and excited by Julie Motz. Unfortunately, two of our members passed away this week. One of them was the lady I visited last month. Another member is having his last few days. I wonder where I stand in all of this.

In the evening, Julie Motz spoke at Marin General Hospital. After telling her story about how she became an energy healer, she spoke about the heart. She said that in Chinese medicine, the heart is the governor of the body, and that the seeds of emotion lie in different organs. She also said that anger is the energy of the heart. She talked about the pericardium, the protective tissue around the heart, as the location of the seat of love.

She gave her ideas about surgery, which essentially is that early trauma needs to be worked out through surgery. She also restated her proposition that cancer begins in the womb as immature, incomplete, fetal cells which stop growing and that wait around for an opportunity to grow out of control. In breast cancer, patients usually feel that their mother was burdened or embittered by the experience of mothering and this had an effect for the patient. Mothers were ambivalent or under a lot of stress during pregnancy.

She led us on a guided imagery experience through each chamber of the heart. The left aortic valve represents fear. The left ventricle valve represent anger, and is the origin of the heart beat. The right aortic valve puts us in touch with pain, and the right ventricle is the origin of love.


It’s May, It’s May!

I started the day off by taking the girls to school. From there I went to Cascade Falls in Mill Valley to do the immune system building exercises and meditated, but it was too cold to sit quietly that early in the morning. Nevertheless, I did the exercises and walked for about thirty minutes up on Mount Tamalpias, going uphill from the falls. The walk was very pleasant and I enjoyed it very much. I was able to be mindful most of the way.

The meeting at Cancerport was rather typical. I announced the Julie Motz lecture next week, and told everyone that she was going to be at my surgery. Other than that, all I had to report was my nervousness over the procedure next week.

Alan Sheets was gentle and caring. He is really interested in doing something about the pain in my knees. He wants me to videotape my tennis play so that he can see just why I’m wearing out the toes of my right shoe faster than any other part of the shoe.

At night, I went to my Evolutionary Circle group. Many people were feeling tired last night, especially me! Once again, the theme was laying on of the hands healing, and I was the first subject. The healing felt good. I remember one of the healers saying that I was surrounded by love and joy in my life! What a nice idea!


The Mother Ship

Last night, I had a dream. In the dream I was running away from an impending nuclear disaster to a space ship that was to take a number of people to safety. The “mother ship” had a lift that would allow one person at a time to be speedily transported into the ship. I noticed that the entry mechanism was rather weak and decided to redesign it. As I did so, the space ship seemed to grow in diameter and I was able to try out my new designs rather easily. Naturally, I woke before the disaster. I wonder what it all means.

At Cancerport today, I offered a copy of Yellow Stream to the group. I explained how each day had it’s own title and that some of them were quite funny. I shared how the book became known as Yellow Stream and everyone laughed. Earlier, someone mentioned that laughter was really good for healing, so we had plenty of it!

At night, we had another meeting of our Evolutionary Circle. The theme was once again based on healing through laying on of the hands. Before we actually did any healing work, we each had an opportunity to check in with the group. I could feel such love and support from everyone, as I shared what had happened in the last week. We are such an unlikely group of people that somehow we’ve managed to stay together for over a year now.


Feel Good to Heal Good!

April 10, 1997 – Feel Good to Heal Good!

I woke up very early this morning, feeling almost normal! Before I had cancer, I would wake up early, go down into my office, and begin working. This morning, I followed the same procedure, in spite of having taken a sleeping pill last night. Aside from Cancerport, later this morning, I have an Evolutionary Circle meeting tonight, for the first time in about a month.

Cancerport was a very moving experience for me, as mothers spoke of children they wanted to see graduate and get married! This is also my experience, as one daughter graduates middle school in June and the other next June. I want to be there when they have grandchildren! I felt that it was appropriate to share my guided imagery session about “healthy cells growing all by themselves” again, and once more, it was received with great interest and care.

Several of us went to eat together at Taqueria San Jose in San Rafael. If you have never been there, you’re in for a treat. This is a real, down-home taco place that serves fresh orange juice and fresh carrot juice made to order. I also enjoy their soft tacos more than anywhere else.

During the discussion, I heard about one woman who is surviving cervical cancer for over twenty-two years, with eleven recurrences! One of the women I had lunch with has survived over eleven years with hers!

At the Evolutionary Circle, I showed a ten minute segment from In Search of … Faith Healing from 1980, in which my son’s Wilm’s tumor was the subject of research. The group was moved by his amazing healing and felt very inspired. I next spoke for a long time about my healing process, including “healthy cells grow all by themselves,” and other anecdotes. The love and support I felt transformed my feeling of exhaustion into as state of excitement. We all shared where were mentally and emotionally and left with good feelings for each other.

A friend of R. W.’s was there who is a Reiki healer and does laying on of the hands healing. I look forward to next week’s meeting where she will teach us some of her healing techniques.

This group has been going now for almost two years! In we try to support the goals and desires of each of the members with our thoughts and imagery. Next week we should have T. W. and her husband also.


Following the “Yellow Stream!”

April 4, 1997 – Following the “Yellow Stream!”

Last night was quite difficult for me. I felt really exhausted and didn’t like what was going on in my body. I prepared a modest meal and got in bed to read more of That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist. I enjoy it thoroughly, but the chapter on the holocaust moved me to tears and longing. I felt rejected by god and Jews as a child, but something is still trying to make itself felt in the way of devotional practice. I can’t wait until my conversation with Sylvia Boorstein on April 15! One other thing about the book: If you take a combination of traits from my siblings, including myself, you get something that resembles the life of Sylvia and her family. David is orthodox and lives in St. Louis and is a grandpa. Joe is orthodox and lives in Israel with his family. Brenda is a drama therapist, and Manny is the owner of Art and Science of Computer Imaging – a very creative outlook!

My wife went with me to Leslie Davenport’s cancer group. Many of the people in attendance were also at Cancerport the day before. During the meditation, I was filled with images of Hebrew school and the Miriam Hebrew Academy, which I hated so much. But I did remember and continue to reflect on one moment one fine day in April or May of 1946 or 1947 when I was filled with and experience of awe and wonder that has been with me all my life. I believe that this might have been my first transcendental experience, in which I became fully aware of the sun, the sky, the back yard of the academy, all of the other boys and girls playing their little games, the grass, and the brick garage with its attached brick ash pit. This moment was special for me, and I knew then that I was different from all the other boys and girls. I had no friends and played alone. At that point in my life I didn’t know rejection, but I did feel left out. I used to sit in class and day dream about this and that, but never a clear image. I drew a picture of the garage and the ash pit and a boy playing ball.

In the afternoon, I went to a Feldenkrais session with Alan Sheets. Alan and I had worked together on an article which appeared in Enneagram Monthly on The Enneagram of the Body, which is Alan’s method of teaching the enneagram. We had a really nice connection while we were working on the article and he express his gratitude for how much he appreciated my work.

Before the session, Alan asked me what I wanted to work on. I explained to him the importance of reality anchoring in the body, especially when you are ill, and that this is what I wanted to continue to work on. I told him about the weakness of my knees, lower back, and shoulders, and that this is what I wanted him to work on. For this session, Alan chose to work on my knees and lower back. I could feel the subtle movements as he proceeded to heal my body. The session was magnificent, but I really felt exhausted afterwards. One of the nicest moments came near the end when I could feel the energy flow from the bottoms of my feet where Alan was working all the way up to my skull. I believe that this has the wonderful effect of aiding lymphatic return and circulation.

Reality anchoring in the body is one of the foundations of the Abhidhamma, or Buddhist psychology. The principle is that out of all of our experience, what goes on in our bodies is of prime importance and it is what we share in common. It is based on the idea that we share reality from this common ground of being. We don’t easily share thoughts, feeling, or emotions, but we all know what it is like to overeat, cut our fingers, burn our hands, or have a good night’s sleep. Reality anchoring in the body provides us with a reality check on our condition. When we have a strong sense of reality anchoring in the body, we can proceed to manage our health care in a realistic way, without denial or fear.


That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being A Faithful Jew and a Passionate
That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist:
On Being A Faithful Jew and a Passionate

Healing Support

April 3, 1997 – Healing Support

Today I went to Cancerport again. The group was once again quite small, so just about everyone got a chance to speak. People asked how I was doing, and I had a long opportunity to explain what was going on with me. Basically, I told them that I had not recovered as quickly from the second chemotherapy and radiation as the first, but mentally and emotionally I was doing quite well. I still have difficult periods with my elimination and a lot of tiredness. I explained how my meditation and imagery work kept my mind focused in my body and away from morbid thoughts. I explained how radical cystectomy was the standard of treatment and that I had decided to take charge of my own case by doing the Shipley method and just how that worked. I told them how I used the web to find out information about my disease and as a means of tracking my healing progress.

Someone then asked me about how I felt about having cancer. I proceed to explain that my father had bladder cancer and died at the age of eighty-six from it, but that he had had a tumor in his bladder for perhaps twenty years. I told them about my son’s metastatic Wilm’s tumor, and that it was another form of urinary track cancer. Then I explained my sister’s death due to Leukemia twenty-eight years ago and my mother’s osteosarcoma. Finally, I mentioned that all my aunts and uncles died from cancer. Thus I felt that I had a genetic disposition towards getting cancer and that the stress brought about by the loss of my job two and one-half years ago probably brought it on.

The discussion turned more towards the alternative treatments that I am using and I spoke about specifically about Michael Broffman and Marty Rossman as partners in my care with the Marin Cancer Institute. I tried to explain that one did not have to believe in meditation or imagery for them to work, even though several people insisted that some level of belief was necessary. So I explained that just a people go to work out at the gym to keep their physical bodies in good shape, they could learn to quiet their mind with a little practice. Wonderfully enough, other people with imagery and/or meditation experience backed up my mini-lesson on meditation, and I felt safe enough to share the insight about “healthy cells grow all by themselves.”

From there, I went to Gail Teehan for another Functional Integration session. It was tremendously healing, once again, and Gail and I shared a lot with each other about our lives and our personal growth. I love working with her because she’s so understanding and has such great hands. I bet she gives a hell of a massage!

Tonight I was supposed to meet my wife at M. C.’s house for dinner and a movie, but I really don’t feel up to going out again. I think yesterday was too much for me and I still exhausted from the long drive to Menlo Park.

Well, “enough for today,” as Bhagwan used to say!


Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves

March 24, 1997 – Healthy Cells Grow All By Themselves

I passed up an opportunity to play tennis today because I didn’t want to be too exhausted for my chemotherapy and radiation therapy tomorrow. We still need a fourth and I wasn’t about to play singles. So I spent most of the day working except for a two hour break to visit on of the members of Cancerport who hadn’t be showing up and who sent her husband as an emissary. The visit was something I felt I could do for the lady and I also wanted her to know about Aloe Vera and Cesium Chloride treatments.

Speaking of cesium chloride, I had a rather long conversation with Michael Broffman about the meeting with C. H. and especially about the strategy for what we were going to do after Thursday. Cesium chloride seems like a good possibility.

At night, I went to Anna Halprin’s class only to find that she wasn’t there. The class was taught very capably by two of her students, and I felt tremendous joy as I shared my experience with Leslie Davenport on Friday. I felt totally loved and supported. I danced and drew the experience. In the drawing, I wrote,

Lying still,
Breathing in, Breathing out,
Healthy cells grow all by themselves!
I am free of cancer

Naturally, this was based on the Zen poem previously mentioned.

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Tennis, Cancerport, and Feldenkrais

March 20, 1997 – Tennis, Cancerport, and Feldenkrais

Today was an up and down day, with the highs being much greater than the lows. In the morning, I was experiencing some of the side effects from radiation therapy resulting in diarrhea. Even so, I managed to play two sets of tennis with some of my favorite players. Naturally, I had no symptoms while I was on the court!

Later in the morning, I took my wife to Cancerport with me. It was really nice to have her there and experience the people I have become attached to, simply because we share similar life circumstance. I mainly shared my experience of the chemotherapy and radiation, and that I was feeling well enough to play tennis. All three of the leaders commented on how therapeutic tennis could be and I agreed with them by stating that I’d prefer to play tennis than attend a support group. So it is likely that I’ll miss Leslie Davenport’s group tomorrow because I’m scheduled to play tennis at 8:30 in the morning on the first day of spring!

From Cancerport, I went to get my new racket strung and then to Gail Teehan’s for a Feldenkrais lesson. It was truly amazing! She was so attuned to my body that she discovered my traditional places of where I hold tension. Not only that, but I experienced the transmission of energy through my skeletal system as she pressed and manipulated various areas. The climax was when she rolled me up to a sitting position! This was quite remarkable, as one moment I was lying on my side and the next moment I was sitting up, and the transition was made so seamlessly that I felt totally reassured, comfortable, and relaxed. I highly recommend stopping by to have a session with Gail!

When I finally got home, I picked up the mail and became stressed out even before I opened it! I had stressful items to deal with from the IRS, the State Board of Equalization, and Cigna Health Care. The stress I felt was in addition to being exhausted from all my activities. Nevertheless, I proceeded to do a mind story, and felt a little relieved. Then I realized that the best way to deal with the stressful items was simply to tackle them one at a time.

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Copyright © 2004-2018, Jerome Freedman, Ph. D.