March 20, 2004    Breast Cancer - Survivor Or Warrior


        The fine wines
Become the sweet vines
        The harsh liquors
Evaporate into soft waters
        A home becomes a journey into within
And three women who know not of each other
        Become Warriors of Peace and Love
To share their story of what it takes
        To triumph over disease

This week is unlike any other week at Arnold's Way. To say things are exciting or happening and a scutllebrush of other outstanding adjectives would be a disservice to the word excellence. What I want to say and what I write are worlds apart. I think of my daily routines, which could be boring to some as well as almost nonexistent to others. All is which is of no concern to me. What I do is observe, contemplate and then write. It is that simple, that pure. It is on this note that I begin this week's newsletter. I think of a banner, which I have been seeing twice a day, on my way to work and on my way home. It appears on the front lawn in front of a local church. I think of the bright red letters. I think of the hugeness in size of this banner. I think of all the hope, the glory and the best intentions that went into creating this banner. It is 6 ft by 3 ft. equaling almost 18 sq ft of glorifying advertisement that debunks the true essence of a woman.

I speak of Breast Cancer Survivor in the large red letters. I speak of these words that are destroying the very essence of a woman's soul. I speak of beauty, of Mother Earth, of feminine qualities that bring great warmth and love not only to herself but all those that surround her. I speak not of surviving on a daily basis, as if nothing or everything is barely adequate to sustain a daily normal routine of life itself. I speak of anger and with a tinge of -yes hate - for those words and how it enslaves the very essence of woman on a moment-to-moment basis. My friends, our body, our cells, our every thought understands these words of control and captivity. Our brain can no longer function properly when we are survivors of a disease that ravages the body. Our thoughts are no longer free to soak up the sun's rays, or eat the fruits of the vine when we become products of a medical mishap that is designed to divide and then conquer the very essence of our being.

They insult our intelligence by saying cancer is a fluke coming from the great outdoors. Are we, when labeled forever, becoming foot soldiers marching onward without ever being at peace, at home. I stop my sentence at mid thought. I think of three woman-warriors who I am not only honored to know but also privileged to know what they did and why. They each acquired their so call medical mishap. They were each given their prognosis, the tests and worst of all their own special label of a disease. Each of them could also have been given the label " survivor" if, they so chose. A so called catchy phrase, being in my opinion a victim without power without rights and most important without choice to trust their own innate wisdom of what is best for their body.

It is with this newsletter that I salute Claudia, who for 10 years was given the label of M.S. Who for ten years was given treatment after treatment and test after test with some hope in the beginning which soon changed to no hope. Claudia would have been labeled a "survivor" if she hadn't gone on a 100 percent Natural Hygiene diet (only fresh organic fruit and vegetable mostly blended), began rebounding and began seeing herself walk again. Claudia began following this regimen day-in and day out. Claudia went from no hope to all hope. She began to take tiny strides without her walker. The tiny strides became walking. It was very weak but nevertheless it was walking. Beginning from one minute to almost an hour.

Today June 12th 2004 Claudia is beginning a 30 day water fast retreat. All 90 pounds of her at the Tanglewood Wellness Center which would hopefully lead to a complete recovery not only from her M.S. but also from Colitis. So I sit in silence and prayer for Claudia's safe and speedy recovery. I think of Barbara who proudly shouts that she's 59 years young.

Barbara too had the survivor mentality applied to her. Hung over her shoulders like a dead limb from a fallen tree. She too has her story of medical mishap, medical misdiagnosis and medical prognosis of no hope. All those negative connotations became like whispers that were so easily brushed aside when she put her victim attitude aside. Barbara took action. She began to study, began to change her lifestyle and began to depend on her own self-worth. In other words Barbara became a warrior not a survivor. She does not lament. She espouses health and vitality. I take her words. I take her actions.

I invite you the public to hear her story at our next pot luck on Friday June 18th at 6pm. Reservations are required see - ongoing events for further information.

Last but not least I think of Judy Larson, who knows and understands what a standard American Diet will do to a woman's body. Judy knows and understands that in order to become a Breast Cancer Survivor you have to go through Breast Cancer treatment-surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or heavy-duty medication. Each treatment espoused as the latest in medical technology. Each treatment is designed to destroy the cancer but unfortunately it also weakens the immune system. Judy did her homework, trusted her own innate wisdom and triumphed over breast cancer to become a warrior not a survivor.

At Arnold's Way we salute these three women who chose their options with intelligence, fortitude and a strong belief in their natural healing system. And triumph over their diseases.

Judy will be speaking Tuesday June 22nd at 6:30 pm. It is a free event. Reservations are required.

I thank you for your time,