During this week, October 3-7 2022, there is a repeat free airing of the Radical Remission Docuseries https://www.discover.hayhouse.com/radicalremission/, created by researcher and author, Kelly Turner, PhD.
I commented daily on each episode as it was launched back in March 2020 in order to elaborate on my personal experience and hard-won convictions regarding cancer and cancer treatment and they are all still available here on my blog, Reflections. All of the episodes will be available for the duration so perhaps my commentary will give you a sense of which you want to dip into. I am sure that after this timeframe the documentary will be available through Hay House in other forms.
One of the reasons for writing my play, Breastless, was to share the perspective that healing from cancer takes many forms. Even the writing of it played an important role in my healing of breast cancer.
I use story to reflect on these matters and to encourage others to ask themselves what they would do, what they believe and how they might help others. Kelly Turner uses her 15yrs of research into hundreds of cases of remission from life-threatening disease.
This documentary leads us through the 10 elements that people who put themselves into remission had in common. It includes interviews with some ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Out of the ordinary, because their stories do not fit into our modern-day assumption that the scientific Western medical model has all the answers. These people all heal themselves as they embrace a wide range of approaches, including mainstream and “alternative” methods.
For many years there has been a move amongst practitioners to avoid having their work described as “alternative” and instead use the word “complementary”, but I would even like to call into question that term too. To complement means to use Western medicine as the mainstay of treatment and to add into it other modalities to enhance it. What would happen if instead we started to view Western medicine, with all its brilliance and applications, as a complement to our own internal healing abilities; as just one of a broad spectrum of choices with which we can boost our own healing potential?
I would like to help shift our bias away from solely relying on Western Medicine, and instead see each person getting encouragement to first look within themselves for clues to solutions. Then, from that empowered place, seeking professionals whose perspective and approach feel in alignment with the person’s desires and needs. This would constitute taking responsibility for our own health and healing, as opposed to relying solely on an expert to tell us what we need based on the parameters of their specific training.
I am not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but equally I would like an end to obscuring the issue with words like “complementary” to appease the medical gods of the past 200 years. It is time for a revolution; turning things around. It is time for some evolution in our thinking and actions. And it is time for the resolution of us individuals who experience health differently to speak up and be counted.
I am grateful to Dr Turner for doing her part.
EPISODE THREE: Releasing Suppressed Emotions
As the third rolls out, we see the format these episodes are all taking:
The introduction of two radical remission survivors and some intimate details about their lives, their diagnoses, the actions they take and their remission. And during this arc of story, experts in their field of healthcare give their viewpoint of why and how this approach has worked.
Now alerted to the previous two approaches, self-empowerment and diet, we start to see how those are also factors in the paths taken by the two men in this episode:
John Yochanan Russell, diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease and also myeloma cancer for which he was given 3-6 months. And Joe K. with metastatic, non small cell lung cancer.
We hear of Yochanan’s and Joe’s childhoods and how both men sat on unresolved trauma from their difficult childhoods. We then get to understand how this can be processed and released so that the person can be freed of patterns of behaviour which has debilitated their immune systems and allowed for the development of disease.
Dr Lissa Rankin; “The appearance of cancer is a signal that the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms have broken down. The cancer cells that appear everyday normally get cleared by the body’s immune system. We sometimes think that something that happened a long time go couldn’t possibly be affecting us now. But the traumas that happen in childhood for example, develop emotions that go along with them. And those emotions and the belief systems and thought patterns that go along with them stay with us throughout our lifetime, unless we treat them.”
Throughout this episode we learn that doing the work to overcome deep-rooted pain can have transformational effects in our lives.
Kelly Turner provides us the key to this third of ten elements; “What radical remission survivors do is go into those awful, terrible memories, they go into those shadow parts of themselves that they are scared of or are not proud of, that they maybe don’t feel that they have control of. They do the hard work of looking at their faults and looking at their wounds and their pain. It’s not easy.”
There is SO much of value in this episode that I couldn’t possibly include here without it becoming an epic tome, but the episode ends with the statement and question posed:
Yochanan: “Cancer is curable. We can cure it, but how are you going to do it? What methods are you going to employ?” This, obviously, said by one who has succeeded. But not everyone finds cure and it is a complete unknown why some are successful and others not. This is the conundrum, but I wonder whether a clue is left to this puzzle by what Joe reveals:
“I didn’t fear dying; part of me thought that death would be a relief from the frustrations, the pain, the suffering…I was unhappy with life. I was unhappy with who I was. I was unhappy with God.”
This resonates with me as I remember how I was in my life when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I frightened myself with how easily I sometimes felt like giving up and letting my cancer take me out. If it wasn’t for my children and my abiding love for them, I’m not sure I would have found the desire to push through my depressive coping strategies and resentment that had become my schtick in those years. I was living in quiet desperation, in co-dependency and also with a lot of shame for not being able to be grateful for the incredibly rich life I was living. It was a dark and difficult time. Any wonder cancer cells in my body couldn’t get flushed out, but rather gathered in a stagnated system.
But happily, I did my shadow work. I learned to process my suppressed emotions and even wrote about that in my one-woman play, Breastless.
And we hear again from Joe too: “I found the reason why I created the cancer and what I needed to do to get rid of it.” And get rid of it he did!
I will end with Dr Lissa Rankin’s final statement: “This is pretty revolutionary, to think that doing this cutting edge, hard-core trauma therapy is actually making people’s diseases go away.”
What do you think?