An Uncommon Cancer Journey
The Cosmic Kick That Healed Our Lives
by Alice Hardesty
This is a story that had to be told
Whenever I told people that my husband had been healed from one of the worst kinds of cancer, that allopathic medicine had given up on him twice, and that we had tried every kind of alternative and complementary treatment we could think of, they would say,
You’ve got to write that down!
Then I told them about how our marriage was not too great early on and how we found a therapist who made us work like hell, forcing us to reveal shameful secrets and pent-up rage, focusing on keeping Jack alive as well as rescuing our marriage. Since people seemed very interested in the story, I would go on about how we both learned some wonderful healing practices, like acupressure, meditation and visualization, how we walked on hot coals to really get the power of mind over matter, and how Jack nearly died from one of the alternative treatments.
With that, everybody wanted to know much more, and specifically, what we did that made the cancer go away. The answer to that question was to tell the whole story, after which they could make up their own minds about what worked.
Sometimes the loss of a beloved pet is a strange sort of gift in that it brings up old losses that may have been floating beneath the surface for years, losses that are deeper and often more complex, losses that may need additional grieving. Losing Bacho has reminded me of the deaths of both parents and my relationships with them. And losing Bacho has naturally rekindled the grief of losing Jack.Read More
After watching the recent Ken Burns documentary on PBS, Cancer, the Emperor of All Maladies, I felt the need to write about it, not so much because of its superb analysis of the history and state-of-the-art of allopathic cancer treatment, but because of what it left out.Read More
I wear two hats (at least). As Alice Hardesty, I am a poet, writer, and busy citizen living in Portland Oregon. My activities in Portland are many and varied. They include dog-walking, tai chi, singing in the St. Michael's Singers, and interviewing classical musicians. I am also an activist for social and environmental causes, chairing a committee called “Advocacy Action” at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Portland. And, because my husband, Jack, had an amazing healing from a usually fatal form of cancer, I’ve spent quite a bit of time investigating alternative and complimentary healing processes.
As Alice H. Suter, Ph.D., I am an audiologist with a specialty in the effects of noise on hearing, consulting to government agencies, universities, and employers of noise exposed workers. Because I married late, I kept my family name for business and professional purposes, but I’ve always preferred my husband’s name, Hardesty, so that’s what I use socially and for my writing. I love to write and consider it a spiritual practice — a necessary nutrient in the diet of life.
How did I get to be a writer? That question has puzzled me, so I’ve taken a look at my past.
Of course there are many advantages of being published by a commercial house. You get an editor, a nice name on the spine of your book, and help with marketing. However, there are certain advantages to self-publishing. The process can be much faster, you have more control over the product, and you get to pick the name of your publishing company. Like Bacho Press.
Bacho is my dog. He is a golden retriever-border collie mix. He too has had a cancer challenge. After the initial biopsy, I was given a pretty depressing prognosis. A malignant tumor under his left eye was growing and the ophthalmologist told us there was no treatment for it. I was devastated. He is my constant companion, my best buddy. It brought back all kinds of terrible memories about Jack’s dismal prognoses. But just as Jack always did, we refused to give up and went on to try something new — a second opinion, a risky surgery, and a happy outcome.
My beloved friend is no longer beautiful in the traditional sense, but he’s still beautiful in spirit. Besides, he doesn’t look in the mirror.