This article was recently featured at the Barb Silkstone’s Second Act Café. I think you’ll find it fascinating. Part One of Two:
Lisa Hinsley has cancer.
At the age of forty, with a loving husband and three children, she was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. Lisa is one of those beautiful people who touch many lives in the most gentle ways. For the past one and one-half years, Lisa has been fighting the beast called cancer like a tiger, and inspiring a large group with her courage and generosity.
Lisa on Lisa from her blog: Lisa Hinsley
Penny Sartori has been doing a series of articles for The Daily Mail about near death experiences or NDEs. The latest report had me thinking about my own experience. Here’s the link to Penny Sartori’s article: The Children Who have Near Death Experiences. And here is what I thought about NDEs–I was four years old when I had my near death experience. For weeks I had been suffering from a cough that became steadily worse until one day my parents lost me in the house. They found me hidden in a wardrobe rambling madly with a high fever. At that point I was rushed to the hospital.I don’t remember being delirious in the wardrobe, but I do remember being high in the sky watching my parent’s car pull into a car park. My emotions were detached, I felt nothing, no pain, no fear, no excitement, maybe a slight pull of curiosity as a man I recognized as my father jumped out of the driver’s side. He raced around to the other side of the car to take out a tiny limp body from the back seat. My mother was there too, and the two of them ran off. This is when the odd became most peculiar. I know now they were running to the hospital, but what I saw was far different. There was a crystal city. That is what I have always thought of it as: an enormous city of crystals taking up the entire horizon internally lit with this wonderful silvery-white light. There was no longer an absence of emotions in me, this vision was calm, welcoming, and so very beautiful.
Way down below, my mother and father were running towards the crystal city with my father still holding that tiny limp body. For me there was no tunnel, no being asking me to return, no relatives to greet me, and no urgency to get back to a broken body. I simply came back to myself, all of a sudden. The vision of the crystal city was replaced with a cubicle in the hospital. I was on a bed. A blue curtain was pulled across for privacy. A nurse had a tube down my throat and I coughed my way back into life. This was no dream. They fade over time. This is a memory of a happening. Just as I vividly remember the house we lived in at the time, I remember floating above my body. Just as I remember the family holiday on the island of Sky nine months later, I remember the glowing crystal city and how it seemed to be an excellent idea to go there.
I can’t say that I don’t fear death less than anyone else, I’m not in their heads and can’t judge that. My guess is I fear death as much as the next person, and for me it’s more about the method of dying that frightens me rather than the actual event. I have a strong desire to live my life and do it well, to the limits of my ability. Maybe that comes from the NDE, maybe it’s just how I am. What I do know is that I am very spiritual and the idea of a higher being seems like a no brainer. I don’t attend church but I have a very strong sense of right and wrong, and have always tried to do the best for those around me.
The recent article in The Daily Mail suggests that children who have had NDEs go on to lead a charmed life. Perhaps I have a habit of making things complicated, but this certainly hasn’t happened for me. I had a very rough relationship in my early twenties, but escaped and have been in a rock solid marriage since. I’ve never had a problem with drink or drugs. Sometimes I think of myself as a cat with nine lives, and wonder when they will run out. At the age of 40 I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.
A year and a half later and I am still here, fighting. I would say this, rather than my NDE has given me the incentive to live out my dreams. Fear of a short life eggs me on, makes me accomplish things I might otherwise not have. It makes me love my family more and try harder to be a better mum. Recently I ended up in hospital for a week after a reaction to my chemo. I was in the worst pain imaginable. These things that happen to me help my state of mind, I know now that I can handle and survive excruciating pain. This is no longer a fear. But I have the NDE in my back pocket letting me know that when the time eventually comes, there is a wonderful place to go for my next stage of existence.
That Elusive Cure
Lisa has created the most marvelous novel in her collection of both fiction and nonfiction books. This is a must-read book about a fictional character, Kathy Wyatt, who is very familiar to those who know and love Lisa.
Here’s the blurb from the book jacket:
Kathy is going to die. All that’s left to do is prepare for the end.
While waiting for her chemotherapy session, a woman called Janie approaches Kathy, offering a revolutionary treatment for cancer. Janie pitches the cure like an expert and what does Kathy have to lose? The doctors now measure her life in months, not years.
Kathy follows Janie to an abandoned church where a futuristic machine is hidden. Made of silvery metal, long, and with rounded edges, the pod is like nothing Kathy’s ever seen before. Janie encourages her to climb in telling her the process is painless and quick. A few sessions are all she’ll need to be cured. Despite serious reservations, what does she have to lose? She gets in. And the results are miraculous.
A few days later, when the wonderful sense of well-being she experienced begins to ebb, all she can think about is having another session. In spite of the apparent improvement, Kathy’s renewed energy is soured by doubt. What exactly is this machine? What if none of this is real and the next MRI shows all the tumors are still there? Time is so short…
THAT ELUSIVE CURE is about facing up to illness, both mental and physical, of family struggle and above all, the amazing power of hope.
Born in Portsmouth in 1971, Lisa Hinsley grew up in England, Scotland, and America. She now lives on the Wirral, in northwest England, with her husband, three children, and four cats.
Lisa’s novels Plague and The Ultimate Choice have featured regularly on the UK Amazon bestsellers charts and are now published in the USA by Simon & Schuster.
Lisa has been interviewed on the BBC regarding care for cancer patients. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22023820