The inspiration for writing this story came to me after traveling through the darkest reaches of a serious illness. I can tell you without a doubt that when one is told they have cancer it is the scariest thing on earth. The first thing that can roll through the mind is “why me?” After that, all sorts of things are going on in the mind, some of it questions and some of it is a negative helpless feeling of loss. Family and friends worry about you and some even feel like they don’t want to talk to you, because they don’t know what to say.
In my process I learned to meditate, breathe, exercise, eat excellent foods that don’t feed the tumor, and to find complete joy in the smallest things around me. Friends stepped in to help me with doctors appointments, surgeries and treatments, colleagues organized to provide me with healthy organic foods when I couldn’t cook. Love appeared all around me…I never knew it existed to that depth; it was beyond my wildest dreams.
At some point I began to view my illness as a gift to make me open my eyes and see the love, and the tiniest beautiful things that I had been missing as a healthy person. My cousin gave me a little golden bear to keep the seat belt off of my port-a-cath that was surgically implanted in my right upper chest. That little bear became my companion through the most difficult time in my life. I named him after my cousin Toby, and it just seemed to fit. I had months of chemo to endure and I began journaling the experience. The bear, my lessons in meditation, my yoga and my diet all come together in a story form for kids going through serious illnesses. I decided that what I had learned could be useful for kids and their parents, something to help them get through as I did. So this is my gift to others who are frightened and confused with an illness. I don’t profess to cure cancer, only to access the mind-body connection in order to help the natural healing process. Our thoughts are a very effective tool in how our life path plays out. I want kids to know they can choose the good thoughts and help themselves in their own journey.