A few days later, Abby called me to tell me that Rick was feeling much better. He was doing his own laundry again and grocery shopping. He was feeling hopeful and beginning to feel like his old self. Life had meaning again. He even felt good enough to go fishing. Mark loaded up the canoe so they could fish on an unusually warm February day at Donner Lake. Rick was looking forward to his two little girls coming to visit in a few weeks.
The next time I visited, Rick’s whole face lit up in a smile when he saw me walk into the apartment. He sat up from the couch for a few minutes and told me his nausea had subsided and the pain was less. The Jin Shin treatments were giving him relief. He also said he was enjoying my visits because it gave him something to look forward to.
For the next couple of weeks, I gave him treatments two to three times a week. Life was feeling good again for Rick.
Unfortunately, the nausea settled in again. He thought movement would help. One time, while visiting, he wandered around the living room only to fall helplessly onto the hallway floor in extreme pain. I convinced him to go back to the couch where he’d be more comfortable.
“I just want to die.” He moaned holding his stomach as he crawled back to the couch.
My heart skipped a beat as I pulled the lazy boy chair over to him as he lay back down on the couch.
I whispered, “ Rick, that is your choice. If this is what you want, then you need to give yourself permission to live or die. I know you must be in a lot of pain. Is it the cancer or your own personal regrets that’s eating at you? Do you feel your life is being cut short?”
He didn’t answer me. Just stared blankly, holding his stomach and gently rocking.
I continued softly, “Rick, you can make the most of what you have right now. I have an idea. Have you ever heard of guided meditation?”
“No.” he answered.
“Let’s try and look at your cancer and see what message it has for you. I know it sounds crazy, but it will distract you for awhile. Are you open to trying it?”
He smiled weakly at me, “Yea.”
“Ok, close your eyes and imagine a path of white light traveling down your throat, down into your stomach, then into your liver where the cancer lives. Surround your liver with this white light and just love your liver. (Pause) Now, I want you to imagine taking a shovel and digging up the cancer. Then throw it into a large trash bag. Just keep shoveling till the bag is full. I know there is a lot so just keep shoveling. Is the bag full yet?”
After a few moments, he replied weakly, clutching his stomach again. “It’s full.”
“Now, I want you to visualize that you are walking on this path of white light with your bag full of cancer. Go past the stomach and up through the esophagus, up your throat and out of your body.”
“Ahhhh, my stomach hurts so much.” Rick moaned and started tossing and turning.
“Rick, try to stay with me,” I say gently. “Keep visualizing the white light and the bag heavy on your back. You need to get rid of it. Imagine this path has led you to the Grand Canyon. Throw that bag into the canyon and yell good riddance!”
He moaned and rolled over on his side with his back toward me.
Soothingly, I say, “It’s OK., do what you can.”
Silence lingered between us for a few moments. I was near tears, feeling his pain.
Then I asked, “Do you believe in angels?”
“I think so.” he replied, his back still toward me.
I slipped off the chair and onto the floor. Holding his hands, I gently turn him toward me.
I put my face close to his and whisper, “Everyone has angels, you know. You need to talk to them daily. They are waiting to hear from you. They can help you. Do you ever talk with your angels, Rick?”
Moments later he took a deep breath, turned fully around and said, “You always make me smile. Have I told you about my wife? “
I shook my head no.
“Pam was so pretty. We were happy for about 5 years before moving to Truckee. She left our mountain home not six months upon arriving. Claimed she wasn’t a mountain woman and wanted to be in the city. Actually, she found another man and already moved in with him. She took my girls, Brandy, 10 and Tina, 8, back to Los Angeles.” Rick hung his head in sadness because his girls were being exposed to drugs and their mom being drunk all the time. It was an awful situation and he didn’t know what to do about it.
He also told me that when he was well, he would pay me back. We would go out and have fun enjoying life. His nausea had subsided again. Rick was feeling much better.