The Case for Hope was born of necessity. When I was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma) in 2011, my world stopped. According to my doctors and the statistics, I would not survive it. Of course, it was devastating but, after some time, I started to consider something else—hope. Hope that I could beat it and live a healthy life again. Maybe I could even discover how I got in the situation in the first place and learn from it.
With those ideas in mind, I asked myself two basic questions:
1. “If just one person can beat this disease, why can’t I?”
2. “Since we naturally heal ourselves all the time with cuts, colds and broken bones, why can’t I heal this, too?”
These questions created hope in me. And although hope is not a strategy in and of itself, it can be the spark that creates action, and action can create change. In the case of illness, change can occur when we learn about and use healing tools and find balance and wellness in our lives.
By being curious and feeling compelled to find a way to beat my abysmal diagnosis, even with the traditional medical treatment I was going to receive, I began to learn about the many facets of healing through the mind, body, and spirit. One discovery would lead to another and another, like alchemy. In this way, I stepped into a mystery that changed my entire life.
Among other things, I was learning that healing isn’t just about surgeries and drugs. In fact, many people heal without any of that. But for me, I began to see a whole spectrum of healing that was directly affecting me in every way for the better.
What I was discovering was miraculous, really. Over time, I created a list of healing options I found and used. Ultimately, I learned that others fighting against the odds were using similar tools themselves to heal. Eventually, I started to share this information with others in need. Everyone should know.
The result is The Case for Hope.
This book is dedicated to others who might want to learn about the powerful healing connections of the mind, body, and spirit. It’s for those fighting illness, their supportive friends and families, and those who are simply looking to live a better life.
My goal was to write a book that was easy to understand and was full of facts about the insights and practical methods I had discovered, how they help us, and how to use them. I added examples and stories to keep the information interesting and relatable. I wanted to share these tools so people could know that self-healing is “a thing” and that we can heal many aspects of ourselves with a little guidance in the right direction.
For example, during my healing journey, I learned that extended periods of stress can create illness. Stress is a big problem for a lot of people. Yet, when we use tools to help us release the stress reaction, we give our immune system a great gift towards healing.
I also learned that cancer thrives on sugar and that we can make simple changes in our diet to minimize the problem. I learned relaxation techniques like Qigong—an exercise developed in ancient China—and breathing exercises that encourage our blood flow and immune system to thrive and fight illnesses. I learned that spirituality is not just important; it is vital to living fully.
As The Case for Hope begins, I share my story, my emotional reaction, and my spiritual discovery in the midst of the shock, and the final call-to-arms to fight the illness. This is where the learning began. Ultimately, it is a universal story of healing, as I am not the first and certainly won’t be the last in this position.
The next section, “Key Concepts,” provides an overview of the potential causes of illness and how healing is generally treated in the U.S. Here we are introduced to the concepts of the mind, the body, and the spirit, the importance of understanding our stress reactions, common challenges with some traditional doctors, as well as the importance of making positive changes to heal.
In the following two sections, “The Body-9-1-1” and “More About the Body,” I talk about the importance of learning about and reminding ourselves how to improve our wellness using powerful tools, such as simple breathing techniques, quality sleep, clean water, exercise, the many gifts of eating healthy foods, and dealing with toxins in our lives.
The next section, “The Mind: Moving Energy to Heal,” I point out the many tools that are available that can improve health almost immediately by reducing stress and creating a healthier, more balanced nervous system, which, in turn, supports the immune system. These powerful tools include Qigong, meditation and guided meditation, prayer, visualization, massage, yoga, acupuncture, music, joy, writing your thoughts, and spending time in nature.
“The Spirit: Going Deeper” offers the opportunity for deep exploration into your most fundamental aspect of yourself—your soul. Much understanding and growth can happen when we ask for spiritual help from others so we can grow, learn, and heal. As I discuss the need for support from the “inside out,” I delve into the sticky areas of perspective, judgment, forgiveness, the releasing power of connecting to the soul, and the many gifts that can be found there.
Finally, “Putting It All Together” discusses the aggregate benefit of incorporating all aspects of healing—the mind, body and spirit—to enhance our health, joy, balance, and spiritual awareness. This overview of the concepts in the book is meant to remind you that you can begin creating your own path of healing using the methods discussed in these pages.
It is possible for us to improve our chances to heal, recover, and stay well when we engage with healing tools. This information can be good for anyone.
The message in this book is as simple as it is big: We can heal.