Sue Rorstad

October 2nd 2012

I had not been feeling well for some several months. I had a persistent cough (previously diagnosed as asthma), temperature swings and suspected that there was something seriously wrong. On My 58th Birthday (13th May 2011) I promised my daughter and husband that I would go to the doctor. I was terrified, I knew in my heart it was cancer. When the GP suggested I probably had a virus and to come back in 2 weeks I was happy to accept this and hide from what I knew to be true.

Within 2 weeks the cough became so violent I was coughing up blood. My terror increased. I rushed back to a different doctor who said I had pneumonia, prescribed antibiotics and also sent me for a chest X-Ray. I was expecting the worst. A couple of days later I was back at the original doctor who was telling me it was almost definitely cancer and a large tumour and he would refer me to a specialist.

I was in shock and terrified. The doctor offered anti-depressants which I declined. A couple of days later my husband and I saw a specialist who (without a biopsy or any scans) told us at 8pm on a Friday that it was lung cancer, not at an early stage and the prognosis was very poor. I would of course have a biopsy and scans to confirm things.

My husband and I fell off an emotional cliff. Neither of us could stop crying; neither could eat or sleep. We both believed that cancer meant death and in my case, fairly soon.

The next day we continued to try to deal with our emotions. I had to pull myself together to phone my two adult children and try to sound calm and even in control. That over, we attempted to come to terms with our new reality.

I wanted to go to church. Whilst not a practising Christian, I had always believed in God. I now asked God to help me die well. I had had a good and full life - now I wanted God to help me to die, as I had tried to live as an example to other people. I found profound peace in that moment when I asked God for help.

My husband came to church but spent the rest of the day searching the internet. About mid-afternoon he found Greg Andersons book ‘Cancer -50 essential things’. He managed to print off some pages for me to read and ordered the book. I hung onto the pages like a lifeline and when the book arrived read it from cover to cover. I read it over and over again. I read it through my biopsy and scans, I followed its advice. I changed as much of the ‘bads’ in myself as I possibly could. I have always been fit and strong. I continued to swim 3 miles a week and took up walking. I forced myself to eat 2000 calories per day to keep my weight up. I challenged my assumptions about cancer; I stopped ‘awfulizing’, I removed stress from my life.

I challenged fear, I looked at it dissected it and removed it. I visualised myself cancer free, I practiced meditation and said innumerable affirmations. I embraced my spirituality. I talked with God everywhere and continued to visit church. I developed positivity and lived in the moment. I did not push those who love me away, but enjoyed being with them - living as normally as I could during my treatment. I shared my positivity with everyone I could. They shared theirs with me. I kept reading the book over and over again. Once I finished I started again. This was my life’s work.

Once I started the radical treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I continued following the advice in this book. I researched other work by other people, including Bernie Siegel and others who recognise the power of the mind and spirit over the body. I found myself changing and changing for the better. Despite the cancer life was GOOD and I felt HAPPY.

About a month into the horrible treatment I thought “If I get through this, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” A couple of weeks later, that had changed to “whether I beat the cancer or not, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world!” Despite the treatment, the side - effects, the nausea, the fatigue, life was really good.

Life has stayed good. I continue to live in the moment. I continue to avoid toxic stress. I continue with positivity. I continue to develop my spirituality. I continue to talk to GOD.

My treatment ended on November 3rd 2011. Now it is October 2012. I have no symptoms or signs of cancer. I do not see cancer as a certain death sentence, yet I do not fear death. I believe that many things played their part in my recovery: my oncologist, my special nurses, my good friends, my family to whom I am closer than ever before, my husband who has shared the worst, yet the best time of my life. I must thank Greg Anderson who wrote the book which showed me the way, sustained me through my journey and changed my life. Above all I must thank God who made all this possible.

If you or anyone you love has been diagnosed with cancer or has had cancer return, get a copy of Greg Andersons book. Open your mind and put your trust in God. No matter how long or short life may be, life can be GOOD.’