Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1999, Maureen Kennedy was no stranger to cancer, surgery or radiation when she arrived at the Introductory Program at the Centre for Integrated Healing recently. She had already decided that this time around she would take the chemotherapy recommended and already scheduled by her oncologist, but was in search of something in addition to this plan.
After learning about the centre's new model for healing she said, “I believe stress helped to cause my cancer. With the old model my cancer can recur, but with the new model I can make a change and really heal.” A sense of true empowerment grew in Maureen over the course of the two days at the centre. She believes empowerment will be the basis for her recovery. “If I believe I can play a role in my own healing, I will do things like eat properly, make sure I get the rest I need and feel worthy of keeping up with my spirituality.”
At one point during the program, Maureen was moved to see that Philip, the program facilitator, had lit some braided sweet grass. As a member of the Cree First Nations, Maureen recognized the gesture as extremely knowledgeable and caring, since sweet grass, grown on the Prairies where she is from, is very sacred in healing. She said the model that the centre advocates is closer to First Nations healing than any other modern treatment she's seen. “They talk about the spiritual, physical and emotional…it would be very difficult to heal from cancer if I was carrying resentment or hatred.” Her native name is “Rainbow Woman,” and she is known to respect all races. She was happy that at the centre she was able to respect all medicines, too.
When Maureen went through her course of chemotherapy, she says she was able to picture it as healing, thanks to the creative visualization instruction given at the centre. This was a welcome relief from fearing it as a dangerous poison as she originally felt. The vitamins and minerals the centre supplied were also beneficial, and she learned a lot about healthful nutrition, which she has since incorporated into her life.
“The Centre facilitated awareness on a deeper level. This is an exciting time,” she says. Her empowerment includes a beautiful sense of peace. While her funeral is almost paid off and her will is prepared, Maureen says “I'm not dying today.” She is eager to share her knowledge and what she calls the gifts she has received through cancer, and says, “I haven't gotten all my gifts yet.”
PHOTO (COLOR): “I'M NOT DYING TODAY.”