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Tom Godfrey Shakes Hands with Death [Inspirational]

6 December 2010 12,384 views 2 Comments

I found this truly inspirational story, personal account, of Tom Godfrey’s miracle on a cancer forum. You might be wondering why I was reading a cancer forum and no, I don’t have cancer. The company I work for owns a cancer forum that I was looking at analytics for and got sidetracked reading some of the posts. I stumbled upon this story and thought I would share it with all of you. I’ll update this post with my thoughts later, but it really got me thinking about the way we approach life and I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts below!

The 30th June 2009 is the date I was confirmed as dying. My surgeon declared me inoperable, terminally ill and with at most six months to live. It is on this day my story starts.

I knew immediately, as I caught my sister’s worried gaze, that the operation had not been a success. There were whispered conversations behind the door between my wife Cheryl and the surgeon. The cancer had spread through out my body and was inoperable. I knew my condition was terminal before the oncologist confirmed I had stage 4 colon cancer and had maybe six months to live. As far as the medical profession was concerned and indeed everyone else, I was dying.

When told that I had six months to live, I was naturally overcome with fear. I was afraid of death but also afraid of life with a terminal illness. There were only two responses: either fatalistically accept my fate and make plans for a graceful exit or convince myself that as an individual with ‘free will’ I have the power to control and change my destiny and actively set about healing myself. The weight of medical opinion, logic and society dictated the first course of action and I diligently wrote my will, applied to liquidate my life insurance policy on the grounds that I was dying, told my business partner I wanted to sell my share of our expanding business and half-heartedly discussed the possibilities of buying medicinal opium and booking a hospice for my final moments. However while doing these tasks I also strongly believed that my life journey had got seriously confused and that the plot definitely did not end in this manner. I had too much to learn and too much to give. Surely there were many episodes and experiences yet to come. So I also actively tried to change my life, my attitude, and to learn to live with cancer.

I began to conceive my treatment as being conducted on three levels: physical, mental and spiritual. Physically I was paying attention to my body. Initially my body was racked with pain and fear, especially before the operation. My wife gave me massages with oils and guided me through breathing exercises that helped reduce the pain and panic attacks. Later I was swimming and walking regularly. I was also eating more natural foods especially fruit and vegetables and the so-called “wonder food’ dried apricot seeds that reputedly combats cancer naturally (fortunately available in Turkey but not widespread in the West!). I briefly researched special diets. These typically proclaimed banning staples such as sugar and salt but in the end I just ate what I felt like. The rationale treatment (mental) was provided by medical science. I was prescribed intensive chemotherapy over two days every two weeks over a six-month period: a cocktail of Avastin and FOLFOX 6. Being aware of the horror stories of chemotherapy involving hair loss and gradual disintegration of the body, I was relieved to merely experience bouts of tiredness, diahorrea and a tingling sensation in the hands and feet which were not severe enough to stop me from continuing to go to work. It was on the spiritual level that I believe much of the important healing occurred. Even the medical profession, the paragons of empirical science, accepts that a ‘positive attitude’ to treatment is an important factor in a patient’s recovery. How can you have a ‘positive attitude’ to terminal cancer and chemotherapy? And more worryingly, if I accept that I have the power to influence my healing process and the course of my life, then by extension I also have to accept the horrifying thought that I am also, in some way, responsible for the cancer being allowed into my body in the first place. I meditated once a week, with the help of an instrument called a Zapper, which gives off an electric pulse for 7 minutes three times in twenty-minute intervals. The theory is that the cancer is a parasite that clings on to the cell tissue; the vibration causes them to dislodge from the cells and disappear. I did not find this explanation very convincing but the discipline of sitting still for an hour and grasping electrodes became part of my meditative routine. I also used a technique I refer to as ‘affirmations’. When I was swimming I would mentally chant the following affirmation to myself:

“My body is healthy and clear of cancer
Cancer cells go to the light
I am starting a new life free of cancer”

Later I discovered a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which is reputedly related to acupuncture. You tap certain pressure points on your body while chanting positive affirmations. While swimming and meditating I also used visualization. I would visualize my cancer as black flies clambering around my colon and throughout my body, then I would visualize them forming a swarm and flying down my arm and out of my body and through a nearby window. Undoubtedly the greatest influence on my health and well-being was the incredible love and support of family and friends. I remember tears of gratitude at the amazing response when friends (and also complete strangers who had heard of my condition through the grapevine) filled the hospital’s blood bank with their donations of blood. Unquestionably the greatest positive influence on my health was Cheryl, my wife, who supported me with love and energy at every stage along the journey. Fortunately, for me, Cheryl is a holistic health practitioner who was able to introduce and guide me through the healing processes.

On 17th February 2010, eight months after the aborted operation where I was declared clinically inoperable and terminally ill, I was admitted into Capa, a Turkish University teaching hospital, and anxiously operated on by the same surgeon, Turker Bey. This time after the operation it was smiles all round. The main primary cancer tumours in the colon and the tumour in the bladder were successfully removed along with 30% of my intestines. Subsequent analysis of the intestines in pathology revealed, to the incredulity of the medical team, that they contained 0% cancer cells. The cancer had gone! The surgeon admitted that in the space of 8 months I had gone from terminally ill to cured and was at a loss to explain how it was possible! Other doctors, who I have spoken to subsequently, either do not believe my account or question the accuracy of the original diagnosis. However I have all the medical reports and radiology scans to verify my experiences.
To read the full account: http://tomgodfrey.wordpress.com/

Photo by DeviantArt user luckynumberkevin

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