If hope was like the fuel gauge in a vehicle, my optimism gauge would have been almost empty when I visited my doctor a couple of months ago. Dr. Robin Wilson is one of the best doctors that I have ever had, and I have a lot of trust in him. As mentioned previously, my doctor was surprised at how my voice had deteriorated in the year since my last checkup.
‘I’m going to send you for a contrast ct scan at the hospital and I’ll be referring you to Dr. Maharaj, the specialist. We need to have this checked out.”
I had the contrast ct scan in December and hoped to get the results shortly after that. But Christmas and New Years came and went, and there was no word from my doctor or the specialist. So, I was comforted by the notion that ‘no news is good news.’
And then, on February 4th, I received an email from Dr. Maharaj’s office advising that I had an appointment to see him on February 13th, at 9:40 am.
I’ve always prided myself for being a ‘glass is half-full’ optimist, and seldom have I ever been pessimistic about anything. I’m also a bit of a realist and will concede when faced with the truth, regardless of how painful the consequences.
Over the next week or so, I began convincing myself that the ct scan results would be bad. I began to believe that cancer had returned. As the days passed, I had a difficult time accepting that I might have to go through the same painful treatments that I endured in 2009. But every time I thought about my situation, I found my eyes filling with tears.
Two weeks ago, I visited a gal pal of mine. As soon as I sat down in the chair, she asked me how I was doing. And that’s when I broke down and started crying. In between sobs, I blurted out that I was going to see the specialist and that I was sure that cancer had returned.
My friend reached for a yellow post-it pad and wrote the name Anita Moorjani. She handed it to me and recommended that I read this lady’s book ‘Dying to Be Me. The book is about Anita’s four-year battle with stage 4 lymphoma and how she had a ‘near-death experience.’
I explained that I seldom read anymore. I’ve always had a bit of ADD (attention deficit disorder) and find it difficult to concentrate while reading. I end up reading the same page over and over again.
But my friend said that the author’s books are also available as audiobooks. She then started scribbling the name of another author – Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who had also written about his ‘near-death experience.
My friend then wrote another name on a post-it and handed it to me. She smiled and explained how listening to the books will help me on my journey.
We hugged, and I promised to get the audiobooks when I got home.
I purchased and then listened to Anita Moorjani’s book ‘Dying to Be Me.’ It is almost seven hours long, but I was able to get through most of it before going to bed. I finished listening to the rest of the book the next morning, and it was life-changing! Her message was beautiful. It answered many of the questions I have wrestled with for much of my life.
I then purchased Anita’s ‘What if this is Heaven?’ audiobook and listened to it all day Tuesday. I found that this book explained in detail what Anita had gone through and how she has applied her learnings to her ‘new life.’
Most of the people reading this will either roll their eyes in skepticism or dismiss it outright. And that’s okay. But if you’re dealing with cancer or any other illness or impairment – I recommend that you listen or read Anita’s books. If you know someone who has cancer – send this book to them tomorrow on Valentine’s Day.
In a couple of hours, I’ll be at the specialist’s office to hear the results of my ct scan. I am hopeful that the news will be good, but I’ll be at peace, regardless of the results. Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come – but I have today, and I’m going to be outrageously happy!
UPDATE: I arrived at the specialist’s office at 9:30 am and sat quietly in the waiting room for 45 minutes. I was almost totally calm but every time I began to feel anxious, I talked myself into remaining positive. And in those moments, I felt the love and support from my friends which made me smile.
When the good doctor entered the room, we exchanged niceties and then he put the camera down my nostrils and inside my throat. Shortly after, he removed it and before he opened his mouth, I saw the answer in his eyes.
“Everything looks fine. Your voice is the result of the ongoing effects of radiation, but you’re otherwise in good health. The tests revealed that you’re cancer-free.”
I broke down crying in the chair but it was tears of joy. I thanked Dr. Maharaj, shook his hand and left his office. On the way out, I noticed the following sign in his waiting room:
Thanks, for the outpouring of love and support. I know in my heart that each of your prayers for me was answered. I hope you feel the warmth of my love for you, in return. ~ Danny
Dedicated to Mouna,
Today’s tune from Danny’s library (purchased):