Aug 30, 2011 - 8:28 am
A Life Saving Tip From My Grandmother (A True Story)
I was 28 and half years old in Sept.1983. Now suffering almost 12 months with pain in my chest, I have had 5 doctors and one Internal Medicine Doctor tell me not to worry; it was chostrochondritis an inflammation of the breast bone. In pain so bad at times I wished I were dead. I thought they were wrong I kept pursuing answers. On September 19, 1983 I woke up to a terrible call from my brother. My Grandmother my favorite person in the world had just passed away. She had suffered for years on dialysis and had finally succumbed to the illness. I cried and cried. I had an appointment with another doctor that day. Since I was still skeptical about what was wrong with me and needed help, I felt compelled that I should still go to my appointment. I could not go to the United States to the funeral as I had no money, my husband in the Army at that time, was Stationed in Wuerzburg Germany.
At my appointment my new doctor now a woman listened. She had another of many x-rays done and told me she wanted me to see this new doctor (another woman) that had arrived new that day in Internal Medicine. I was in this internal medicine doctor's office for 5 minutes and (after telling her exactly what I had been telling all the other doctors I had seen in the past year), she knew exactly what was wrong with me. I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After seeing the x-rays she said I was most likely in stage IV the later stage of Hodgkin's because of how long I had suffered with it and being misdiagnosed. How did she know so quickly the day my Grandmother had died, when none of the other doctors knew what was wrong with me? After going through some rigoruous testing, cat scans and more in the hospital I was immediately in (five days) Medically Evacuated to Letterman Army Medical Center in California. I remember that flight well. We were flying backwards in an Army Plane. The military plane was with gurneys behind us, carrying bombed burn victims from the Beirut bombing that were being evacuated to the United States. They had to fly the aircraft lower than normal and the pilot had to keep calling with clearance because of his altitude. They had to do this because of my low blood cells. Because of my low blood cell count, I was on oxygen the whole flight. Along with me were my 4 children and my husband. It was an uprooting I will never forget. All our belongings were left in Germany for someone else to care for and get packed for us.
My encyclopedia at home at the time was dated back from the year 1973. This was 11 years old at that time. In the Colliers 1973 edition, Hodgkin's Lymphoma was 99% fatal at Stage I the first stages. And it was well ranked at 100% fatal at any other stages. Yet I was in the later stages, this I knew because she stated I was in stage IV; and because the cancer had been there for so long. Because I had read this in the encyclopedia, I believed I was, well, soon to die. I told my children and had given into the idea of death and the cancer, what else could I do? Wow from that time on after realizing I was dying, the Cancer grew fierce. I was going through all the stages of dying and including acceptance. I had severe pain in my chest. Blood counts were dropping daily; I went from 128 lbs to 98 lbs in a month while going through all the tests and biopsies etc. While in the hospital I went downstairs to the medical library, I looked up the cell type they had discovered. There are 4 types of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, The last on the list Lymphocyte Depleted Hodgkin's was the cell type I had. It is known as the fastest growing and hardest to cure. It has a 6 month mortality listing in other words: why was I even still here a year later was a miracle. I should have been gone in 6 months according to the medical books.
During my illness while I was in the hospital and I believe after I had started chemo-therapy I had prayed many times. While in the hospital I had many hours to worry about leaving. I was not afraid to die by this time; I understood believed it was my destiny with nothing to do to change it. I knew that it was inevitable. Instead, I worried for my children. I prayed not for me to live, but for my children to be safe from harm. You see my Ex-husband was very abusive (physically and mentally). I was afraid to leave my children in his care. I needed to watch out for them! They were helpless, 4 children ages 6-10. I feared for the safety of my children with me not around.
Now November out of the hospital living right down the block from Letterman Medical Center; a soldier from my husbands unit had became ill and within about a month died. It was very sad and strange because they the doctors had no idea why he had died or what made him sick, his liver disappeared in one day, and it was all a mystery!
His wife and children lived directly behind us in our housing tract on Presidio of San Francisco. (It was a three level brick house with a large basement downstairs, living room kitchen on the first floor and the bedrooms and full bath upstairs.) Since I had passed military inspections (white glove), and had cleaned military quarters (housing) before many times, I offered to clean her house for her so she could fly home to her family in Michigan. She did just that. She was very grateful for my help!
I was sweeping the dark basement out downstairs. There was only one light at the top of the stairs. Then I noticed a light coming from under the stairway where it was very dark. It got brighter and brighter! In this light I could see my Grandmother appearing. A bright glow all around her! I was in shock I guess I could not move or talk at all. Or this was their wish that I could not intervene with what I was seeing. Wide awake, standing there with a broom in my hand she spoke out loud …She said, "Don't worry, everything is going to be okay…You are going to be okay (Emphasizing on the word "You"). At least it seemed like it was out loud though her lips never moved. It had been about 3 months since she had died and yet she looked so healthy real and younger than I had ever remembered her maybe 30 years old. Lights were glowing all around her, beaming! She started fading away after saying that with the light fading also in an upwards sort of way! Her smile was last to leave. I will always remember that smile. I couldn't move for what felt like minutes!
Later that day in my doctor's office he told me to sit down, that he had bad news for me. I did just that. He said "They have made great strides in Hodgkin's Lymphoma over the years but because of how large the cancer was in my chest, because of where it was located in between the esophagus and all around the heart area, the type cell etc., Lymphocyte Depleted (the rarest, fastest growing and is the hardest to cure) the doctors all decided instead of the normal 35% chance of survival for stage IV Hodgkin's at that time, you are Stage IV-E" Meaning I had exceptional circumstances with the condition because I had complications and also could not receive radiation. He said "the team of doctors and him… (Almost with tears in his eyes), agree that 'You" probably only have a 25-30% chance of survival."
I jumped up smiling ear to ear and said "you mean I have a chance???" I knew then my grandmother was really there in that basement, and that what she had said was true. I was going to be okay I was really going to be okay!
Most likely I would have probably still thought after that meeting with my doctor that I would probably still die and continued to give in to the cancer having a 70-75% chance that it would come back. I would've I believe if I hadn't had that visit from my Grandmother still not fully believed I was going to be okay accentuating on "I". If you could see what I saw with other cancer patients you would understand. All those who gave in to the idea that they were dying did. It happened so quickly. It just takes over their body so fast.
Elderly patients came in one week walking, a wheelchair the next, and rolled into chemo on their beds after that, it was so quick. That is exactly what was happening to me with believing I was going to die. I could see my body falling apart. Loosing so much weight and the cancer started popping up in new areas. The blood cells were dropping daily. So much pain, now daily episodes! From that day on after seeing my Grandmother I fought. Weather it was my Grandmother or a Guardian Angel in her image it was truly from the Heavens.
My Grandmother saved my life. I had a hard time telling people before. It took me 5 years to start opening up to tell people. This was after I left my ex-husband and the abuse and control of my life and spirit. You know what I feel? I don't care if you don't believe me or you think I am crazy! I don't care what anyone says now about what I say I saw. It is what I saw. It was my grandmother after she had died, it was a gift from the heavens. I will never know why until that day when I am too in spirit. My grandmother who was a hard worker all her life never went to church when I was young but she was brought up Catholic I believe though because her mother was brought up in a Catholic orphanage. She had Rosary Beads on her wall, A big bible sitting out on her table. A picture of Jesus on the wall and other things that made me want to learn more about God. I, as a small child on my own in 3rd 4th 5th and 6th grade walked to the local church. Not catholic but Christian beliefs and I learned about praying; all because of my Grandmother. My family never went to church.
My Grandmother was a Saint she was the dearest person you would ever meet. She was also Santa Claus. She always had tons of presents at Christmas that she bought all year round. She also had bags of presents for us on our birthdays. She is the only one on my birthday who brought gifts. This was because my birthday was Dec. 20th and not many had money at that time of year. Others usually gave me one gift and said this is for your birthday and Christmas and oh by the way do not open until Christmas. Not my grandmother. I always loved her for that and for teaching me so many wonderful things especially about beliefs and the art of giving and thinking about others. She lived around the block from me as a child and most days I waited on her porch for her to come home from work. I love and miss my Grandmother. I am so happy for the extra time she has given me here with my children and now grandchildren!
I am now a nurse. I am helping others. Maybe one day I will work with other cancer patients and be able to tell them my story.
I am Just starting out as it took time to get away from that abusive controlling husband. But I now have my life as a nurse, what I always wanted to be. But most of all I have my children away from him and my new Grandchildren. I will be the Grandmother to my Grandchildren that my Grandmother was to me. I do shop all year round!
In this time of my life now free from cancer, I have thought about it, "Why me? Why did the angels come to help me?" That is funny, I said "why me" because
that is what I said when I was dying at one time, and I was dying "Why Me".
I always have to have a reason for everything. These are the reasons or conclusions I believe my Grandmother or spirits from the heavens came to help me.
1. I prayed to God, not for myself but for my children I was unselfish in that way but I didn't think about that at the time, I just worried about my children because I knew I was going to die at that time. I was not worried about me at all.
2. I was unselfish in my illness, giving aid to others this woman Mrs. Harris I believe was her name when her husband died. I could not see her staying there after her husband was gone to clean and pass a military quarter's inspection. I felt so bad for her, she was alone and away from home and all her family during a time when she needed support from family.
3. And well God knew, without my Grandmother coming to me, I probably would have not believed "I "would be okay. The cancer would have taken my life accelerating as it was. It was not my time I guess.
I now tell others. I have told preachers, family members and many others. I am not afraid of what others think of what I saw, if they believe me or not but it was real and she did come to me that day.
I know there is an afterlife now. I know and see now more than ever before. Things are so different knowing. I thank God and my Grandmother for helping me that day. And all the Angels that must have surrounded my Grandmother to make her glow like that! I hope others will learn to listen and believe. Also the will and strength of knowing "Everything will be okay, YOU will be okay is amazing!"
Well someday all of us will know there is an afterlife, but I know now and only God picks when it is time!