The Day of the Educational Campaign Against Cancer (Aug.4) reinforces the importance of preventative measures
“I was in shock when I received the positive result. I asked myself ‘why me?’ A person who is walking the spiritual path, vegetarian and homeopathic?
A person who receives a positive cancer exam experiences a whirlwind of feelings and sensations. They feel out of place, out of rhythm with life. It is a very strong feeling; you enter into another reality: drawing closer to finiteness. We always ignore death, which is absolute in our existence.”
Our first story is from a collaborator of the Light-Network, affiliated with the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), and could describe the fear and the anguish of millions of people all around the world who received the same diagnosis. For this collaborator, we will use the pseudonym ‘Cristina,’ to respect her privacy.
A planetary reality
Cancer is the main public health problem in the world and is already among the four main causes of premature death (before 70 years of age) in most countries. The most recent statistics indicate that 18 million new cases of cancer and 9.6 million deaths occurred around the world during 2018. Brazil is expected to register 625,000 new cases of cancer per year by 2022, according to the National Institute of Cancer (NIC).
To change this reality, the educational health campaigns have been reinforcing the importance of preventative practices and drawing the attention of society to continual health care, which may even prevent other diseases. Information and care are powerful tools in the fight against cancer. Specialists affirm the importance of regular visits to the doctor, as an early diagnosis of the disease considerably increases the chance of a cure.
As for Mariandja (Luzia Serdano), primary missionary of the Fraternity (FIHI), doing a self-examination was essential to discover the breast cancer. “When you are given a diagnosis of cancer, that is the beginning of a path. Nothing is gained by walking outward. You have to walk inward.”
In the period when she received the diagnosis, Mariandja was acting as a psychologist in the preparation of the team that was to participate in the humanitarian mission to Turkey. On seeing the images of the suffering of hundreds of thousands of refugee women that were walking in search of a more dignified life, she was thinking how blessed her life was. She was grateful for the love and care she received from everybody around her. “I asked Christ a lot for [everything that I received] it to reach all of them in some way.”
Mariandja tells us that during the period when she was receiving treatment at the hospital, she was reading the biography of Saint Faustina and tried to understand through this what the Mercy of God is, and she thought: “here is a place where Mercy needs to be expressed. And I felt that everything was so small in light of what I saw and heard… I felt filled with the Mercy of God.”
“The news: everyday information that we have about cancer is very negative. After going through the first impact and perceiving, understanding, that I couldn’t run away from cancer because it was in me, the question ‘why me?’ changed to ‘why not me?’ I perceived that there were many people that had gone through this experience. So everything I lived and experienced in the Work I put into practice, I saw as an opportunity for learning, of practicing the Teachings, of uniting matter with the spiritual world, finiteness with infinity; I did this for me and for all those going through the same situation and that didn’t have the instruction of Trigueirinho, of the Universe, the Cosmos, of everything that God offered us, expresses ‘Cristina.’
Prevention and Cure
Research has shown that the chances of healing can be up to 90% when the cancer is detected early. The World Health Organization (WHO) and its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) point out that in the last 50 years there have been great advances in the treatment of cancer, mainly in countries that adopted prevention programs, early diagnosis, and screening that, together with better treatments, contributed to a reduction of 21% in premature deaths between 2000 and 2015. The challenge for countries will be to adopt parameters that equalize criteria of cost, feasibility and effectiveness, facilitating access to treatment.
This high level of cure confirms the importance of reinforcing the Educational Campaign Against Cancer (Aug.4), which happens every year. With simple measures, with the eating of healthy food and doing physical exercise, cancer and other illnesses can be prevented.
Struggle, faith and hope
Beyond the statistics, when we speak about severe illnesses such as cancer, we cannot forget that we are speaking about people, and that each individual has their own path and are witnesses to different ways of struggle, of faith, and of hope.
‘Cristina’ speaks about her path of struggle, faith, and prayer:
I did not have that perspective: “fight against cancer.” I did not see cancer as an enemy, I saw it as a test to be welcomed, understood, and so I was able to collaborate with profound meekness [with] everything that came forward, in spite of the suffering…
Invasive Breast Medullary Carcinoma, TN (triple negative), level 3, considered the worst breast cancer, super-aggressive.
In the beginning, I spoke with various people that had gone through cancer treatment. I found the doctors with whom I trusted doing what had to be done. My husband was the one who took care of all the practical procedures, doctors, exams, consultations, medication, etc.
I didn’t think about whether [I] would be cured of cancer, I lived each day… it was as if time didn’t exist. Already more than nine years have gone by and I don’t know if I will get cancer again or not. Today, if I were asked if I would have chosen to go through this experience, what would I say? I would respond that everything I went through is part of my maturing and I am profoundly grateful for the meetings with very special people, the hugs, the smiles, the silences, and the group prayers!
The chemotherapy was my greatest challenge…
After 21 years of homeopathy, I had to plunge into allopathy. Here was an opportunity for union, just as I united the spiritual with the material. I did the sessions listening to sharings from instructors, to the music CD White Essence, and silently praying, with the intention of radiating [that energy] to people that were doing it together with me, as well as to all of humanity.
In the effects of the ‘chemo’ I had the opportunity of finding the pain of the world, ‘where’ only prayer brought relief, like a Light on the horizon. I had the following image when the effects of the medication would come: a soil completely devastated by fire, and a few days after, when the effects had disappeared, it was like a gentle rain over that earth, and there I saw a tiny plant emerging, very green, delicately strong, signifying faith, the lifeforce, rebirth.
The loving, patient, and unconditional presence of my husband, my children, the support and accompaniment of the brothers and sisters of Figueira.
Faith in the Instruction, in prayer, in the presence of the Divine Mother and Christ, which I felt in my heart.
I set the ‘chemo’ sessions for Tuesdays, because the Group of Prayer, begun in July of 2009, got together on Mondays; in this way, I had time to recover from the ‘chemo’ so as to be able to participate in the prayer and prepare for the next session.
Whenever I had the chance, during the process, I would go there.
That Love, Faith, and Gratitude are a blessing for those moments of pain. Just as are the love of family, the gratitude of being with a loved one and connecting with their essence, with what is really important for you.
After this process, I strengthened my spiritual path, consecrating my life to the Most Holy Mary and to Christ, and in this way, I continue to affirm my faith and allow my spiritual essence to express itself through love for my fellow beings, the Kingdoms [of Nature], this planet, the Universe and God!