In I Believe in Miracles, author Deidre Spencer shares the knowledge she gained in her fight against cancer and she provides the tools necessary to discover how to heal. As a cancer survivor, Deidre has beaten the odds, conquering an aggressive form of cancer that had an additional genetic disorder component, making it difficult for the doctors to treat. Through it all, she demonstrates the strength of conviction to follow through on her beliefs-and through sheer determination, positive thinking, and with support from family and friends, she pulled herself through those traumatic times.
Initially, the doctors saved her from the brink of death when she had only two weeks left to live. She then survived a stem cell transplant, finding she was sensitive to the chemotherapy medicine and other drugs used in treating the side effects. She again came close to dying. When she pulled through the second time, she had to learn to eat and walk again. She realised then that she had to heal all of herself-not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually; what she calls the "four bodies". Deidre is now in full remission.
I Believe in Miracles is a journey of self-discovery, trauma, and self-healing; Deidre believes that if she can do it, so can others.
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I Believe in Miracles
I am one of them Changing your thinking towards cancer
By Deidre Spencer
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Deidre Spencer
All rights reserved.
Journal: Thursday 2nd July 2009
I don't think I've mentioned to you, Journal, that I have made an appointment to see a new local doctor in Rosebud. New patients have to wait over a month to get in because the first session takes an hour. I am really looking forward to seeing her, as I feel that she will be able to help me find the answers to the questions about my health. She incorporates eastern medicine into her normal western medicine treatment. I have a feeling she will be able to pin-point what is wrong.
An interesting thing that I have noticed is that my health has dive-bombed lately to the point where I can't even get off the couch ... I still want to see this doctor, to help me fully get back on track, to have my old energy back so that I can go all day and not fall in a heap the next day; to have my clear thinking back again would be wonderful!
I had been feeling very tired, was having difficulty doing much around the house let alone creating artwork in my studio. It was difficult to think clearly at times, everything seemed to be fuzzy. I had put this down to menopause as I was fifty-two years young, but I was beginning to wonder if it was chronic fatigue syndrome. I also had a strange dry little cough that wouldn't go away. It felt hard to breathe. On top of this, when I lay down in bed at night it felt as though my heart was going to pound out of my chest. I decided that it was well and truly time to have a check-up. Due to a bad experience many years ago, I did not trust general practitioners of western medicine.
At this same time, something very special was happening in our lives.
Journal: Thursday 9th July 2009
Had a wonderful time on Tuesday when Fletch and I went up to see Stephanie's ultrasound! She is 20 weeks pregnant and bubs is right on track with all her measurements. It is nothing short of amazing to watch the monitor screen and see inside Steph's tummy. This tiny little tuppence was wriggling around all over the place. We tried to see her face, but she wouldn't stop moving! She is six inches, or 15 centimetres, long and 450 grams now. The miracle of life is incredible!
Yes, my daughter and her partner Nathan, were having a baby, my first grand-child, and I was over the moon. Even though Steph had not asked the technician what sex the baby was, I already knew it was a girl. My intuition was buzzing.CHAPTER 2
Let's go back a little further in time so I can put you more in the picture.
I married my first husband just after my twentieth birthday. My darling Joshua was born when I was twenty-three, then I lost a baby in my first trimester when I was twenty-five. I only told my husband, no-one else. My intuition told me it was a girl so I named her Jessamyne. After being told I had very little chance of having any more children, my little miracle Stephanie came along naturally five years later when I was twenty-eight.
Unfortunately when Steph was three and Josh was eight, their father decided to leave us. I was totally devastated—my whole world was shattered. Have you heard about the lady who is driving along in her car, crying her eyes out and turns on the windscreen wipers because she can't see? Well that was me. We attempted sharing the weekend care of Josh and Steph but it was not successful, so their father stopped seeing them and soon cut off all contact. They didn't see nor hear from him for another nineteen years.
After six years on my own and a couple of short romances I met my second husband. He appeared to be warm, kind and affectionate, all the things my first husband hadn't been. After eighteen months of dating we were married. During this time, I underwent a hysterectomy as a result of endometriosis. It wasn't long before I found myself wondering who this person was that I had committed myself to for the rest of my life. He showed a total personality change! Even my dear friend Jenny, who had been my bridesmaid, said she had never seen someone change so dramatically.
We bought a large house in a leafy suburb of Melbourne and I tried to convince myself that everything would be all right, but he became a total stranger and I didn't understand what was happening. The next three years turned into a nightmare.
By this time, Josh was half way through secondary college and Steph was finishing primary school. I was juggling a very demanding job as a personal assistant, bringing up two teenagers, training two little puppy dogs, and handling a very difficult husband. For legal reasons I cannot go into details. Suffice to say, we had a darkness hanging over us.
We tried marriage guidance counselling but after the third visit my husband said he wasn't going back again. Soon after, the counsellor contacted me so say that if I stayed with him I would die, as he was draining the life out of me. An alarming thought!
I was in such denial at the time myself that I resigned from a job I loved, believing it was the cause of all the stress and anguish. It was only then that I realised he was the problem. That's when I suffered a mini breakdown. All my hopes and dreams came crashing down. I would sit on the couch all day staring at the wall. My little dog Toby knew something was wrong so he stayed with me constantly, and my other little dog Merlin slept curled up beside my feet.
Josh also knew something was wrong and asked his best friend's mother, who was a nurse, to come over and check on me. Putting it simply, she saved my sanity. She helped me snap out of the haze and showed me that I had to remove my children and myself from that nightmarish situation.
So we sold that lovely big house in the leafy suburb and the kids and I moved to our new home in Scoresby. I was on my own again. I went back to full-time work, had a succession of really bad male Chief Executive bosses, then finally found a lovely boss who was the owner of a business near where we lived.
Another four years down the track and after two more mentally unstable men had come and gone in my life, I realised that I was attracting them to me. I knew I had to change myself, my thoughts, and I needed some kind of psychological help. Not long after, I came across an advertisement in the local newspaper where a beautiful face looked out at me from the centre of the page. Her name was Brenda Pearson and she was a psychologist who specialised in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) therapy (see Appendices). I spent the following six months undertaking intense therapy with Brenda, which was the best investment of time and money I have ever made. It was only after doing this profound work on myself that I finally met Fletch. We both worked for the same company and I hadn't been interested in him because he "wasn't my type". As our jobs meant we worked together often, we became good friends, being able to talk to each other about our problems. Yes, it turned into the true office romance.
When we first started seeing each other, I point blank told him that I would never live with him and I would never marry again. Twice was enough. I was happy for him to live in his place and I in mine. I needed my space; I had become a very independent woman. For some reason, he didn't take to that idea at all! I wonder why!?! He decided he would have to court me in the old-fashioned way in order to change my mind. Wednesday nights became our special night, the night when he cooked dinner for me at his unit. I loved those nights.
Fletch and I have been together now for ten years and it has been anything but uneventful. We had a scary moment six months after we became an 'item', as Steph liked to call it. Fletch was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer and within two weeks was having major surgery. The specialist said he believed he had caught it before it had spread and chemotherapy treatment was not required. It was fantastic news!
This scare led us to reassess our lives and we decided that I would sell my house in Scoresby; we would move out of the suburbs to live in our holiday house near the surf beach on the Mornington Peninsula; we would begin renovating our home; and we would get married. Yes I know, I gave in hook line and sinker. (Remember—never say never!) By that time, Steph was eighteen and had moved away from home to be closer to where she was studying. At twenty-three, it was well and truly time for Josh to make his own way in life.
After moving to the beach, Fletch decided that he still enjoyed his career and was happy to commute to work each day. So at his suggestion, and after nearly thirty years of working full-time, I gave up work to follow my dream and completed my Diploma of Visual Art (majoring in Sculpture) at the end of 2005.
I was living a life beyond my wildest dreams and had to keep pinching myself to believe it was real. Everything was going along beautifully—or so I thought.CHAPTER 3
Trouble in Paradise
Journal: Thursday 16th July 2009
Well, my Journal, what a ride we're on now!!!
To back track a little from today: I had waited five weeks to be able to see the new local doctor and I'm glad I didn't have to wait any longer. I was exhausted by the time I got there. Had spent two days on the couch unable to do anything!
My one-hour visit on Tuesday this week was very thorough and informative on both sides. My doctor ordered blood tests and a number of other tests. She was checking for anaemia for the tiredness, asthma for the trouble breathing, and a heart murmur for the pounding heart.
How it amazes me the advancement in science and technology we have made in recent years. The pathology person rang the doctor yesterday morning with the news that I was severely anaemic, with a very low haemoglobin (red blood cell) count of 63 (a normal count for a female is between 120 and 150) and I was close to renal (kidney) failure. After discussion with a Dr John Catalano her instructions for me were to get up to Frankston Public Hospital immediately, but I was not to drive myself. I was to have a blood transfusion and more tests. There was a sense of urgency in her voice.
I tried not to panic at hearing this news, but it was difficult. I tried organising an ambulance but was told it would be a two-hour wait for the patient transport ambulance to arrive, as my case was not judged to be an emergency, then a 45-minute trip up to Frankston. This was too long to wait so I rang Fletch at work who said he'd come home straight away. While I was waiting for him, I took my little dog, Toby, to my elderly next-door neighbour and asked her to mind him until I came home. (Merlin had passed away the previous year.) Little did I know that I would not be home for another eight days.
The whole saga of driving back and forth to Frankston and Rosebud Hospitals then ensued, with Fletch having to drive an hour back from work to pick me up, then back to Frankston. I remember standing in the waiting room and almost passed out at that stage, I was so weak.
Due to a lack of bed space at Frankston Hospital, Fletch (darling man) had to take me and the blood for my transfusion back to Rosebud Hospital, near home. I stayed there last night and received two units of blood. This morning I had to take a taxi back to Frankston Hospital (in my nightie and dressing-gown!) to have another two units of blood.
I have no idea of what is going on. No-one is telling me anything. I am so incredibly tired that I just go with the flow and do what I am told.
Over the past twenty-four hours I have heard a fair bit about Dr Catalano from the nurses who spoke of him with great respect. When we finally met today, I called him "the invisible doctor", he laughed and called me "the invisible patient". He was about to perform a bone marrow biopsy (see Appendices) and I was a little embarrassed when we met because I was lying on my side with my bare bottom facing him! Not the most elegant way to meet my specialist! I only remember half the biopsy as they gave me an injection that made me groggy, but what I do remember is letting out a cry of pain, then actually crying.
Dr Catalano rushed through the biopsy results in an hour and a half. The head nurse in charge of the chemo day unit has just given us the news that I have myeloma, a blood cancer (see Appendices), and that it is a multiple myeloma, which means it has spread. Apparently it is fairly advanced as it has affected my kidneys. She said more tests will show how much damage has been done. Can't think right now ...
After that first biopsy I hoped I would not have to have another one—ever. Oh, I was so mistaken on that one. Over the next three years I was to experience eight of them.
Journal: (continued at midnight)
I am writing this at midnight in a ward in Frankston Hospital. I have been told I start chemotherapy tomorrow, with oral medication. The good news is that I can do the treatment at home and only need to come into hospital once every three weeks.
I am not sure whether it has sunk in yet or not. I feel very positive about the whole thing right now, but then again they have given me a 'feel good/happy' injection, which I feel is masking the true way I feel. Fletch is coping the best he can under the circumstances. Unfortunately, there's a lot of stress at work for him right now with the massive expansion of the company he works for. At first I thought this was a bad thing because he can't take time off work, but it is actually a good thing because it will help take his mind off worrying about me.
I told Josh and Steph on the phone tonight and they took it pretty well, but I know them both well enough to know that they would have had a good cry after we hung up. I told Steph that I would still be around to watch my grandchild grow up and she said, "I certainly hope so! No other option is acceptable!" Good old Steph, ever the optimist. I asked Josh to work extra hard for me on completing his electrician's qualifications and he said he would—I believe him.
It has been a real eye-opener for me to see all the sick people in these two hospitals—not just sick but very sick, terminally ill. These hospitals are exploding with patients and ill health. I was told Frankston Hospital needed to find 30 more beds for patients, that they didn't have.
I can see now where my future lies. It is in helping people look within and release the toxic negativity that manifests these illnesses, so that the burden on the health system is reduced. If I can help people stop these illnesses from happening, the world will be a much better place. It starts with me first though, I have to heal myself.
Journal: Friday 17th July 2009
Yesterday was not a good day at all, Journal. Two nights of very little sleep did not help either. I was being given a drug called dexamethasone, which helps fight allergic reaction to other drugs. It also makes me feel good, which is lovely, but it keeps me hyped up. It is meant to be given early in the day, but they had to start it late on both days, thus very little sleep.
Anyway, I feel today is adjustment day for me. Accepting what has happened and accepting what is to come has helped lots. I can't change what has happened, but I can change the outcome down the track.
For me, this is a relief because for the first time in at least two years, I have an answer. I now know what I am dealing with. I also believe that if I had to come down with cancer, this is one of the better ones to have! I am told it is treatable and controllable. It is my aim to completely cure this dis-ease (as Louise Hay calls it in her book You Can Heal Your Life), to clear it totally from my body.
Excerpted from I Believe in Miracles by Deidre Spencer. Copyright © 2014 Deidre Spencer. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
My Story, xi,
Chapter 1 Health Problems, 1,
Chapter 2 Past History, 3,
Chapter 3 Trouble in Paradise, 7,
Chapter 4 Friends and Family, 23,
Chapter 5 Not out of the Woods, 28,
Chapter 6 Taking a New Direction, 53,
Chapter 7 The Trial Commences, 63,
Chapter 8 The Next Step, 70,
Chapter 9 Friends and Mortality, 86,
Chapter 10 Life Moves On, Then a Hick-up, 91,
Chapter 11 The Truth Is Revealed, 98,
Chapter 12 Harvest and New Friends, 117,
Chapter 13 Preparation and Training, 129,
Chapter 14 Hibernation of the Soul, 151,
Chapter 15 Decent into Hell, 164,
Chapter 16 There Is No Place Like Home, 182,
Chapter 17 Indecision and Divine Guidance, 198,
Chapter 18 The Storm Begins, 212,
Chapter 19 Torment, Then Peace Comes, 234,
Chapter 20 Donor Day Has Arrived, 247,
Chapter 21 Complications and Going Crazy, 257,
Chapter 22 The Cliff Hanger, 269,
Chapter 23 Artwork to the Rescue, 280,
Chapter 24 Lighting the Night, 288,
Chapter 25 Dreams and Driving Holidays, 298,
Chapter 26 New Beginnings, 311,
Gratitude, Love and Blessings to:, 323,