Hope and Everything

hopeI’ve read another awesome book—this one written by a woman who survived stage 4 lung cancer quite possibly because she harnessed the healing power of love and followed the guidance of meditations where goddesses acted as healers and dancers did the likes of popping bubble wrap on the surface of her lung.

The book, published this fall, is actually two books.

everythingPick it up one way and the cover reads: “Something More Than Hope: Surviving despite the odds, thriving because of them,” by Diana Lindsay.

Turn it upside down and end-for-end, and the cover reads: “Something More Than Everything: A caregiver’s commentary on what went right when life went wrong,” by Diana’s husband Kelly Lindsay, who, she says in her portion of the book, “transformed his love into healing power and saved me.”

Diana was 52 in 2006 when she went to the doctor because of a bad cough, learned she had stage 4 lung cancer,  and was told that 1% of people diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer survive 5 years. However, she was determined to live, and she threw herself into healing her body with mind and heart wide open.

Shortly afterwards, a friend recommended a technique from Jin Shin Jyutsu, a Japanese healing touch system, that involved the treatment-giver holding a finger from one of Diana’s hands and a toe from her opposite foot until her pulses synched up, and then moving on to the next pair of fingers and toes. Jin Shin started out as a bit of a lark, as something people could do when there didn’t seem to be anything else they could do to help—and then someone noticed that when she was receiving a Jin Shin treatment, Diana stopped coughing. This got everyone’s attention.

Diana decided to let her intuition about the needs of her body be her guide in deciding which alternative healing avenues to pursue, and which western medical treatments to choose. (Among the alternative avenues was Yi Ren Qigong, which is how I met her.)

In “Something More Than Hope,” she shares her journey—the visual-imagery-packed meditations, the summoning of the support of family and friends who were many and willing, the canoe trips and visits to waterfalls when water became prominent in her dreams and meditations, the visit with the Muckleshoot tribal shaman, and on and on—the “everything” to which Kelly refers.

For me, one of the most stunning chapters in the book details Diana’s meeting with Dr. William Parks, director of the Center for Lung Biology at the University of Washington. Diana shared with him the imagery from her dreams and meditations at the various stages of her healing, and he correlated them with what must have been going on at the medical level. For example, her meditations about water flowing down her chest and destroying the cancer as the byproducts emerged from her navel must have represented the flows of interstitial fluid through the body’s tissues into the lymphatic system.

Clearly, through her visual imagery Diana was able to get in touch with what was happening in her body at the cellular level. That certainly gets my attention.

In his side of the book, Kelly tells how he came to Diana’s cancer journey with a good deal of skepticism for things like holding fingers and toes, but also with determination to do whatever he could to help her and willingness to be open to the possibility that things he might once have thought whacky might actually work. When Jin Shin seemed to be helping Diana, he took the clothes and hair off a Ken doll so he could draw the energy meridians on it with colored pens. He went on to take Reiki energy healing classes and then, with Diana, Yi Ren Qigong seminars.

It has been more than eight years since Diana’s diagnosis, and she has been told “there is no evidence of disease.” If you met her, you would see a woman as vibrant as any woman could be; you would not imagine that she was once pretty much given a death sentence.

I appreciate “Something More Than Hope/Something More Than Everything” as a testament to the ability of the body to heal if we listen to it and nurture it and draw upon our intuitive powers, which can be drowned out by logic and fear and too many words. I am amazed and, frankly, envious of Diana’s ability to access non-conscious awareness of what is going on in her body through visual imagery.

I also appreciate the book as a love story, the story of Diana’s and Kelly’s love for each other.

I met Diana and Kelly at one of the first Yi Ren Qigong seminars I attended. Diana was staying for the afternoon session, but Kelly had to leave. As they were parting, Diana kissed Kelly on the lips—once, and then, after a brief pause, a second time. The pause, and the second kiss, said “this is not perfunctory, I mean this kiss.”

That image came back to me over and over again as I read Diana’s and Kelly’s book.

When Diana was diagnosed, she and Kelly were co-owners of Lindsay Communications, a strategic marking consulting company. Now they teach Body/Mind Healing for Antioch University and are the founders of Healing Circles Langley on Whidbey Island, WA.

They believe that what they learned can and should be shared with other patients and caregivers and with the medical community. These are not people who coast….

PS: Their book, like so many others, is available at amazon.com.

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