CANCER: One of Life’s Greatest Gifts

“You have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And since it’s in your bone marrow throughout your skeleton, it is Stage 4.” Little did I know what those words really meant until I Googled “Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” Oh my God, I thought. I have cancer and it’s stage 4… and there is no stage 5. How surreal. Little did I know I’d received one the greatest gifts of my life. So often the diagnosis of cancer, regardless of the type or severity, triggers our worst fears. Those fears then ripple out to and are reflected back to us by all our friends and family. So often THE unspoken fear is that of death…physical death…death of life the way we’ve known it…DEATH! It also triggers anger…why me?...especially given that I’ve been doing all the right things…especially because SO many people are dependent on me…especially… WHY ME??

Well, I’m here to say that I was no different. But then I became determined above all else to keep my power and to not give it away…not to my fears, not to my anger, not to the doctors, not to my terribly weakened condition…not to anyone or anything. I was staying in charge of how I was going to handle this. I would hire the best experts I could possibly have and anybody who wanted to join me in my endeavor to get well would be welcomed on my team. And so my journey began. That was in 2006.

Last month my status of cancer patient officially ended with my final post-chemo exam. Clean as a whistle with a high likelihood the cancer will never return. Furthermore, I’m now a mentor for patients at the Sutter Hospital Cancer Center. I’m left with an extreme sense of gratitude for having had the experience of my “dance with cancer.” During that dance I was privileged to reach the “choice point,” a point at which I had decided to leave this life (to die) and during which I was given a choice. For reasons I’ll discuss later, I decided to stay. Having that conversation with Death left me with courage I’d never known …courage above all else to speak my truth …courage to abandon beliefs that no longer served me …courage to end or drastically alter relationships that were destructive to my spirit… courage to wake up and live a more authentic, meaningful life, honoring my authentic truth instead of my various roles in life. I gained courage to love with abandon without regard to limitations set by society, religion, customs or roles. This is unconditional love…love without any agenda, without any expectation, without any exceptions, without caring about what anyone else thinks.

Yes, I learned to face and deal with the spiritual, existential and emotional aspects of my life, committing myself to egoless, unconditional love. Turns out, love is our very essence and the source of true healing. Oh, yes, CANCER was one of the most precious gifts the Universe has given me to date!

Written and contributed by Aileen Kader.  Aileen currently mentors cancer patients.  She is also an EFT Practitioner and a Psych-K Facilitator, as EFT and Psych-K were the most helpful tools for her in her journey.  She invites your inquiries at