Nerve cells appear to be a major factor in the growth and metastasis (spreading) of tumors. How is it that we have allowed our own bodies to use our own cells to destroy us?
Maybe that’s the wrong question. Perhaps we are not actually trying to destroy ourselves. Could we be trying to give ourselves a message? A friend of mine years ago said to me: “If you don’t hear God’s voice, you will surely feel His foot.” When our bodies send out signals that are ignored, it keeps sending out stronger and stronger signals, until we finally are forced to pay attention.
We start with colic because of undiagnosed dairy sensitivity. Then we develop eczema as infants and toddlers. By the time we are 4 or 5 we have acquired allergies. Later, as life gets more involved, we find that we have heartburn, and are taking increasing numbers of Tums every day. We then move up to one of the proton pump inhibitors. And when we finally develop blood in the stool and are diagnosed with colon cancer, we begin to realize that maybe we have a problem with our gut. Maybe we should have listened to those gut feelings. Maybe we should have gotten rid of all that old baggage (“but milk is so good for you”) that no longer serves us.
The nervous system appears to be the major vehicle for communication from our senses to our brains and seat of awareness. When we put our hands on a hot stove, it is the nervous system which activates the reflex that pulls our hands away from the source of heat - long before our brains are aware that the stove is hot, or our noses are aware of the smell of burned flesh.
When we find ourselves in (as children) or put ourselves into (as adults) a situation where we take on the victim role - often without conscious awareness of our victimhood - we have no such rapid response reflex. Instead, our bodies appear to have evolved in such a way that we have the ability to bury the feelings deep inside ourselves, all the while presenting a smiling face to the world.
When we are children, we have no power. Everyone is bigger than we are, they speak louder, they can reason better, and they often do not explain themselves. So we make up stories about being sick... We get stomach aches when Daddy comes home intoxicated, or when Uncle comes into our room to pull down our panties. We get heartburn or asthma when we are threatened by that gang of boys at school.
Is it possible that we could be burying these feelings in the pancreas? We know that pancreatic cancer may begin years before it is diagnosed.
The pancreas lies at the center of our being. Ancient medicine calls this the third chakra (manipura in Sanskrit), the energy center at the midpoint of the body, where the lower energies invert themselves and begin to feed the higher energies of heart, throat and head. The Chinese acupuncture point at that location is called by various names: Central Venter (中脘, zhōng wǎn), supreme granary (太倉, tài cāng), upper regulator (上紀, shàng jì). The color is yellow, and Deepak Chopra describes it this way: “The third chakra, which governs our will, self-esteem and sense of personal power, is located in the solar plexus. When energy flows freely through this center, we’re confident about our ability to manifest our intentions and desires. When the third chakra is blocked, however, we feel powerless and frustrated.”
We are looking at flip sides of the same coin - autonomy vs victimhood - freedom vs slavery - health vs disease. When this third chakra is blocked, we see diseases of the digestive system - gallstones, ulcers, irritable bowel, colitis, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer.
And how to do these diseases make themselves known? Mostly through pain - gallstones, ulcers and colitis all are associated with significant pain. By the time we have moved toward cancer, however, the pain sensations seem to largely disappear, replaced by a sensation of general malaise, during a period of accommodation - to the situation, to the disease, to the circumstances. It is still not too late to heal - if only we could see the path clearly, and could give up our need to be “right”, or the acceptance of our status as victims. It is still not too late to claim our personal autonomy.
And then one day we begin to bleed, or our eyes turn yellow, our stools turn white, or red, or black, or we develop fever that just won’t go away. And allopathic medicine does physical tests, and discovers that we have gallstones, or biliary cancer, or ulcers, or colon cancer... and we think it is too late.
Our own bodies have co-opted our nerves and our support systems. Our own cells have persuaded our normal cells to signal ever faster growth, to dismantle and discard the brakes, to not retire when retirement is the obvious choice. The end result is virtual immortality of the tumor cells because of growth of new blood vessels, with virtually unstoppable cell divisions, calling for new blood supply and setting up invasions into new territory, both local and distant.
What are our choices, our options, once we discover that we have cancer? We can always continue on the same path. It didn’t work so well for us before, but perhaps if we try it once more, the end result will be somehow different.
We can persist in our state of victimhood, allowing our partners to continue to bully us into therapies we really do not want, but which we do because “it is the state of the art treatment” or “insurance pays for it”.
We can refuse to accept any responsibility for our illness.
– We have always been victims. We were not good enough as children - we were stupid girls - we were inadequate sons - and nothing has changed. It’s not our fault, we just never manage to do anything right, we are always apologizing for our inadequacies, or angry that other people do not step up to the plate.
– We are way too busy (or too poor, or too frightened) to exercise. The gym is too far away. We don’t have an exercise DVD. The neighborhood is too rough to go out by ourselves.
Or we can realize that we actually have some choices. Whether or not we ever heal from our cancer, at the very least we can choose a different path.
– We can learn to change our attitude about past experiences. We can choose our response to circumstances. We may not have any control over other people’s behavior, but we certainly have control over our own. We can claim our own autonomy. We are only as inadequate as we perceive ourselves to be. As William Blake so aptly wrote:
The Senses roll themselves in fear
And the flat Earth becomes a Ball.”
We can choose - without guilt - to undergo standard conventional chemotherapy. Those doctors went to school for a very long time to learn what they do for a living. We can choose - also without guilt - to stay on our current path.
Or we can choose - also without guilt - to take a different path.
– We can choose to do any one of a number of alternative IV nutritional treatments - lipoic acid, high dose Vitamin C,
– We can choose alternative cancer fighting medications like Iscador.
As Patrick Henry said in 1775, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
The freedom of choice is ours. Freedom lies not in what is chosen, but rather in the courage to choose.
 Brat DJ, Lillemoe KD et al. Progression of pancreatic intraductal neoplasias to infiltrating adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Am J Surg Pathol. 1998 Feb;22(2):163-9