(87) How Do You Proceed When All Seems to Collapse (Part 1)

I couldn’t ignore it, I knew it, again a tumor was sitting in my breast.

It’s May 2015 when I feel a bump in my breast for the second time. This time just a bit outside the area of the surgery that was nine years ago. I felt a twinge a few weeks ago that remembered me of the previous time. After that my breast felt a bit more firmer and a bit more sensitive. I just couldn’t believe it. I hardly could feel the lump because it was sitting so deep inside. But I couldn’t ignore it, I knew it, again a tumor was sitting in my breast.

The replacement General Practitioner didn’t feel anything which gave me a bit of hope. Nevertheless, given my previous experience, we decided that it would be better to have it checked by the surgeon.

In the hospital, a mammogram and an ultrasound were made and before I realized it a needle was in my chest to take a puncture from the tumor that was deep inside. I was in shock! Freezing cold and trembling I walked back to the surgery. Again, my body let me down, that’s how it felt for me. The surgeon told me that she would discuss this with the oncology team, first surgery and then chemo- or hormone therapy or the other way around. In any case, it would be an amputation, because to operate upon the same breast twice was not an option. Stunned, I listened to what she told me.

I went home and started wondering what I wanted to do. An operation… is that what I wanted… a chemo therapy… or a hormone therapy… had I still confidence in the hospital? In the end, I decided to request a second opinion at a specialized hospital.

Further research was carried out to determine the exact location of the tumor and to see if the rest of my body was tumor free. No metastases were found fortunately. The present tumor could have been from a remnant of the previous one perhaps, but it could be a new tumor too. In the meantime, I had decided to try to get rid of the tumor by my own mindpower, adjusted nutrition and the use of supplements. Even though I found it exciting, I wondered if I my willpower would be strong enough to see this through. I told the oncologist what I wanted and together we decided to try this in combination with a hormone therapy. The oncologist gave me a year’s time, then we would see how to proceed from there. I was very grateful to her that she was willing to give me this opportunity.

I meditated and visualized that all my cells were energetic and vital and functioned as was originally intended, I visualized that the immune cells were recovering each and every irregularity that had occurred. In addition, I skipped all sugar and meat form my diet and supported my body with dietary supplements that increased my natural resistance. The tumor reduced steadily in size, but continued to suffer from anxiety attacks in which I saw the tumor growing and spreading in my body. After nine months, the tumor was shrunk by more than half. Proud as I was with the result, I had my 3-moths check with the oncologist when she remembered me that the year was almost over and that she found this an excellent moment for scheduling a breast amputation. In addition, she said, despite my good intentions, usually the tumor starts growing again after a year. My world collapsed, fear and panic overwhelmed me and I lost all power to proceed with this approach. Three months later it appeared that the tumor had increased again. I decided for the operation.

Had I failed? Of course, this thought occurred to me. But I know now two things 1) I can influence my health and 2) it requires rock solid confidence and discipline. In addition, you can only go against the regular order with guts and perseverance . I’m happy I’ve listened to my wish and that I dared to do it my way first.

(83) Dilemmas

The dilemma at a choice between different interests with respect to dear ones could be that this requires key decisions from which future happiness depends. It is choosing between two dear worlds and you must make the best of it. Sometimes, afterwards, you regret your choice. But you can never know where that other choice would have lead to. Maybe you would’ve regret that choice too in the end. And at that moment, when the awareness is there, you suddenly step into a grieving process.


The past few blogs I’ve asked the readers if they could help me by providing me with their experiences they’ve had, experiences they are still going through perhaps and, what their opinion was about that. The story of one of the readers triggered something deep inside me. The blog is not just about her story alone, but also about others.

I would like to thank again all readers for their contribution.

What is the story about in this blog?

Kathy, a fictional name, and her partner have a son and a daughter who lead their lives for a long time.

The son lived alone and passed away a few years ago. The son had often visited his parents and his sister. Kathy and her partner took comfort in walking and music… and they took comfort from their daughter’s family. The daughter had much grief about the loss of her brother. From personal experience, I know all too well what the impact is when you lose a child. It doesn’t matter how you explain it, only people who have experienced this themselves will understand you. You’ll carry your sadness for the loss of a child for the rest of your life.

The daughter has a family and a child and lives abroad because of het partner’s work, it’s at about 6 hours flying distance. It’s a happy family. Despite all communication tools we have in our today’s world, Kathy misses direct contact with her daughter. The distance doesn’t make it easy either.

The daughter misses her brother, he often came to visit her. She also misses her parents and would love to have them living near her so they could see each other more often.

The relationship between Kathy and her mother was never optimal. Nevertheless, Kathy is doing a lion’s share of the care of her mother. It is becoming increasingly difficult for Kathy to keep it up. There are other family members who could help her mother. Her mother, however, considers it Kathy’s job to take care of her. Her mother doesn’t ask anything from the other family members.

When Kathy is with her mother, they never talk about Kathy’s deceased son. When Kathy is with her daughter, they can talk about him. Here Kathy feels herself complete again… as if her family is one tight set again.

Kathy and her partner are not one of the youngest anymore and have so their shortcomings. Moving to her daughter is not easy and how do you arrange the care for your mother? And all the acquaintances and friends that they have now… all those that you’re going to miss? It would be a whole new start… and that at her age.

And there you are… how to proceed from here?

Everyone wants everything from Kathy. If Kathy stays here for her mother, then Kathy will eventually blame her mother she can’t be with her daughter. When Kathy choses for her daughter then in the end, her mother will start complaining to Kathy she’s not with her.

An almost obvious question that is not asked to Kathy, in my point of view… “What does Kathy want?” In my opinion this a form of hidden loss and hidden grief, one of the variants of a mourning process.

What is it you want when you need to make such a choice… where nobody realizes what’s going on and because of that the question is not asked… or… is everyone afraid to ask that question to you? But most important is… “What do you want?”

The dilemma at a choice between different interests with respect to dear ones could be that this requires key decisions from which future happiness depends. It is choosing between two dear worlds and you must make the best of it. Sometimes, afterwards, you regret your choice. But you can never know where that other choice would have lead to. Maybe you would’ve regret that choice too in the end. And at that moment, when the awareness is there, you suddenly step into a grieving process.

A choice like that is rarely a simple one, but once made you should totally go for it. Never look back with the idea you should have taken the other choice. It’s about you and your partner and more important… it should feel if not great, it should feel good. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

(76) Acceptance

When you accept who you are, accept your abilities and can live with that, by using the most of your opportunities, then from my point of view you are performing at your best!


Acceptance, a word, with a very powerful and sometimes also oppressed connotation. A word that even can have a great influence on our lives.

But, acceptance of what? Is it about the acceptance of the other, the way he or she is… the way he or she looks or behaves… without any comment? Sometimes… but when processing your grief or your loss then acceptance is about yourself. Accepting of what you are or who you are. Maybe the next step could be that you’re content with who you are. The acceptance of your limitations. Accepting the possibilities, you have in life in order to do the things you… can do. Not those things you would like to do but can’t because these are outside your abilities. But when you can live with all the limitations you have… whether these are physical… or financial… or you didn’t have the education you would love to have… When you can live with what you have… that is acceptance!

shutterstock_131791328When you accept who you are, accept your abilities and you can live with that… also by using the most of your opportunities… then from my point of view you are performing at your best. Then, even if others have a different opinion, you do great. In order to do so, you do not need to be rich. You are wealthy because you accomplish what you want to achieve… with all possibilities and abilities that are available to you.

Whatever opinion the other has about you, though important in itself, shouldn’t interfere with the acceptance of yourself.

Acceptance can lead to a positive attitude and that helps you in not simply complying to the limitations and opportunities of yourself and the world around you, but in making use of all means and possibilities how limited or promising these may be for you by setting an objective that is achievable for you. It’s not the objective that is only important, but also the experiences you acquire on its path.

And what if you don’t accept or, not can or, you are not willing to accept? Then, you become bitter. Then, you push away people. Then, you’ll come at a point in life where you can’t or won’t accept assistance or help no matter how well intended. Then, you become lonely and it goes from bad to worse. And all your energy is being wasted in a losing battle.

For that reason alone, acceptance is vital. It leads to a positive attitude which can help you in making something beautiful out of your life!

(75) Impossible Choices

A choice that is made with love and that is accepted by all involved with their heart is not a choice at all… but a matter of course! To me that is unconditional love!


They love each other. But the thing is… her parents are not really happy with her relationship. They do not stand with her! And that she finds very difficult. She finds it difficult because she loves the other deeply… and she also wants her parents no sorrow because of her. She feels lonely… all alone… but she’s being forced to make one of the most difficult choices in her life.

A choice? Can you even speak of a choice in this case? Essentially it’s almost impossible to make a choice! After all, whatever the choice is, as long as it is not accepted by all involved with their heart (emotionally), there always will be people who consciously or unconsciously do not agree with it.

How often does it happen that you have a bad feeling about the choice that was made… but you don’t understand why? How often does it happen… that you are aware that you do not agree with the choice made? In all these cases, loss, whether it’s hidden or not, plays an important role in our life. Loss that translates itself into helplessness, sadness and in extreme cases even into bereavement.

One way or the other, we always have to be aware of that loss before we can accept it. And with that we end up in one of the many variations of processing grief. It also means that in this particular case loss has a (completely) different meaning for all involved. Because of that each person involved processes the resulting grief in a different way.

An illustrative example.

They both agree that they get divorced.

They both used to work at the same company and when at home they could discuss what they experienced during the day. They were a happy couple. She started to work with another company. A company where everything that was carried out was confidential and one was not allowed to discuss this with other people. Their relationship started to deteriorate because of that. She, on the other hand, was pushing hard to maintain their relationship on the level it used to be. He was promoted and the company needed him to work abroad for prolonged periods. The job required to work closely with others, so closely that a relationship emerged with one of the staff.

The both agree that they get divorced… but for different reasons. He, because he felt he couldn’t close the gap between his wife and himself. She, because he was cheating her.

Processing their grief will be different for each of them. Not just because they have different personalities and cultural backgrounds, but also because the staring points of their loss (the divorce) is different.

Now back to the choice at the beginning of this blog.

Every person is responsible for their own choices. But the other one, who loves her deeply… can only observe with all the love that person has… and can only be there for the one who makes the choice. Whatever you may think of this, however deeply they love each other, it’s my opinion that you are never allowed to influence the choice of your loved one. The parents are important too. And it’s my opinion that also the parents are not allowed to influence the choice of their daughter when it relates to love. Whatever happens, they may only observe and be there for her.

Isn’t it sad? On the one hand you do not want to grieve your parents and on the other hand you do not want to lose your loved one. You’re in a dilemma… it’s just not fair… it’s hardly possible to make a choice. And… should you even make a choice?

shutterstock_223648765The person who makes the choice, should do this with the heart. And it doesn’t matter how bad it is for the others… they are only allowed to watch and be there. For one thing is sure, when they interfere with the choice it’s my opinion that that choice is the wrong one.  Either the relationship ends or… the relationship will be infected one way or the other with the choice that was made… or there is a feeling that choice is enforced by one of the persons that are involved. The person who makes the choice should be able to do this freely, with the heart and without influence from anybody.

When everyone involved cannot accept the choice that was made with their heart then it’s my opinion that every person involved will end up with a mourning process from bewilderment through helplessness, awareness and hopefully understanding to a kind of acceptance. Because one way or the other, whatever the choice is that was made, the relationship with her and her loved one is damaged. And, also the relationship with her and her parents is damaged.

We really don’t think about it when we make these kind of decisions. Whatever the choice is, relationships will never be the same again. It’s my point of view that when this kind of choice is either influenced or enforced you cannot speak of true love between the one who makes the choice and the one who influenced whether it is the loved one or (one of) the parents. It is certainly not fair to the one who was “forced” to make the choice… and not only that… this person is scarred for life!

The alternative… a choice that is made with love and that is accepted by all involved with their heart is not a choice at all… but a matter of course! To me that is unconditional love!

(61) Has God a Plan?

The answers to question whether He really has a plan, or what the purpose in our life is, or whether there is life after death, are not unimportant. They determine in a large extent the processing of, and the way we process our mourning after the loss of a dear one.

Sometime ago I came across a quote from a movie: “God has a plan, but I do not always agree with that.”

Unfortunately I do not remember from which movie the quote is. Please, provide me with its details when you do know. It would give me the opportunity to make a proper reference to the movie in this blog.

Personally, I would not want to be limited to one single religion in particular and therefor replace in the word “God” or “The Almighty” in this blog by “He” or “Him.” In this way I hope to embrace all religions and do them justice.

Whether we believe, or maybe even know, there is life after death, we always remain with questions like “why are we here,” or “what is our destiny in this life and in this universe?” And what about those people who assume that after our death… there is no life, nothing at all… what is in their opinion the purpose in life… why do they do the things they do?

The answers to question whether He really has a plan, or what the purpose in our life is, or whether there is life after death, are not unimportant. They determine in a large extent the processing of, and the way we process our mourning after the loss of a dear one.

What is that purpose or objective in our life? Personally I have an opinion about that, but since every person is unique I assume that everybody’s objective in life is also unique. Moreover, I have found that the view I have about myself does not always match with the view somebody else has about me. That happened to me e.g. shortly after my open heart operations. Resting was a necessary thing for me to do. What made it distinctive though, was that my resting was not so much related to the recovery of my body, but it was related to something else completely. It felt like a coming home… but where and why… I had no idea. Most people who know me well see the difference, but not me! When other people have a different view about you than you experience yourself… or perhaps you can feel, but do not understand or can put into words… then how would you to be able to formulate your purpose in life anyway.

In my opinion a quote from the movie “The 47 Ronin” starts to provide some insight. It goes like this: “My father told me, this world is only a preparation to the next world. All we can ask for is that when leaving we have been loved.” From the quote you could deduce that in addition to a life after death the central theme in our life is love.

Would it be that simple? If true then in our world we all have a lot to learn because many people are killed for reasons like ideas, opinions, money, religion, culture or power. Indeed, we have a lot to learn!

A quote from the movie “Winter’s Tale” is going a step further. “When true love is lost, life can bleed of all meaning. We are left blank. But the possibility of destiny remains. What we are meant for may yet be discovered. And once in a very long while, that journey to find our destiny may defeat even time itself.” Also this quote could infer that love is a central theme in our lives. But there is more. Although that “more” is not always clear in our lives.

Love is a central theme in our lives; as is in mine. And yes, my true love has gone on her journey to the next world… and me… I stayed behind… “empty.” Despite my loss I am “traveling” again to find my destiny in life. Where that will be is not yet really clear to me. But one thing I know for sure… the destination will completely amaze me and will exceed my expectations.

What is that purpose in my life? Although still vague, I think I am starting to see and maybe beginning to understand the purpose in my life. I also expect that everybody else could see and understand the purpose of their lives. You could do this by imagining what has happened over a prolonged period of time in your surroundings and to you. What has changed for you and with you? How decisive were those changes on you and your way of life? Those changes do not need to be very impressive at all; most of the time it happens in a very subtle way. However, when you monitor those changes over a long period of time some changes will stand out… then you’ll see and understand.

On such moments you may ask yourself the question, just as I did: “Would he have a plan nonetheless?”