My Life As A Male Nurse. A Personal Miracle.

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Miracles DO happen. Overcoming adversity and illness with the help of a higher power. My personal story of spontaneous remission of cancer.


After i graduated from nursing school, i stepped right into a staff nurse position on the surgical unit where i had been working for the previous five years as a nursing assistant. In those days we were referred to as "institutional attendants". That title seemed to be a little more formal and a little less stigmatically stereotypical.

We had this old Italian surgeon that was one of the smartest physicians, and surgeons, i have ever known. He became my mentor while I attended college and worked off shifts, weekends and holidays, to pay for my schooling. He always asked me what i was studying while i was in nursing school, and then give me some medically related subject to look up and discuss with him the next time he came to the unit. I really learned a lot from this kind and gentle man.

I was the only one he would allow to do the initial post-op dressing changes. I always did rounds with him, and the charge nurse. Since I would be working nights, weekends and holidays he said he needed someone he could trust to change his dressings when he was not here. So, during those "rounds" he would tell me to go ahead and change the dressings so he could observe my "technique", as he called it. I was more than happy to learn something new.

Anyway one day as we were doing rounds (visiting each patient to assess their progress), there was a new patient that I had done the admission assessment on for him, that we were to see next. He asked me what this one was here for. I said: "I am not a diagnostician, but I can tell you that he has cancer". He stopped and looked over my admission notes and said: "there is nothing here to indicate he has cancer". I said, "I know". He asked: Then how can you make that kind of a statement before I even see him?". I replied: " I can smell it". He just laughed.

There were no physically visible signs of cancer so he just let it go. After all the test results were done, the patient was scheduled for surgery (gall bladder removal). I prepped him and he was taken to the operating room.

The next day when i went to work, the surgeon was waiting for me. I couldn't imagine what I had done wrong. He sat down with the chart and let me read his operative notes. They indicated that when he opened the patient's abdomen for surgery, he discovered that the patient had cancer throughout his bowels. Inoperable and terminal. He was quite impressed that i had "diagnosed" this patient with cancer based on "smelling it". He questioned me extensively about how I could possibly have known this. I couldn't think of any reason, excuse, or explanation, so I just said: "they use dogs to track people by their scent. So, i guess I must have been a dog in one of my past lives". He did not find this very amusing. I had no other explanation, except that i can just "smell it".

After that incident, every time we made rounds, upon entering a patient's room, he would stand on one side of the bed, I on the other, out of the patient's field of vision and when the doctor looked at me, i would either nod 'yes,' or 'no'. I had a 100% accuracy ratiocination. Over the years I discovered that I was not unique in this ability. I found other nurses that had the same ability.

This ability proved helpful for me over the years, but i could never have dreamed it would actually save my own life.

My Own Personal Miracle

My personal miracle.

In 1993, i started getting some shortness of breath, tired easily, and began to experience some ankle edema (swelling). Then I noticed I was putting on weight (water retention). When the abdominal pain started, my belly was bulging, appetite gone, and I was wheezing audibly. And incidentally -still smoking cigarettes, as i had for the past 40 years.

The pain became unbearable. My pancreas was swollen, hard and very painful to the touch. Then, one day when i dragged myself out of bed in the morning, I got a strong pungent odor of the smell of cancer. It was nauseating and somewhat frightening to me. I knew I was in trouble. I also knew i would never put myself through that surgery, or the debilitating effects of chemotherapy. So i made a personal conscious decision.

I was currently living in a large city and was not going to die there, or burden my family with having to take care of an invalid at the end of my life.. I bought a home in the country, on 10 acres of wooded land. After throwing my cigarettes in the trash, packed up and moved there to die in a peaceful natural setting. I had made peace with the impending transition from the physical world to the spiritual. I also was at peace with the decision I made that when i became incapacitated, i would simply transition myself into the next world. I had no fear, no second thoughts, no regrets and saw no other options.

I took a sabbatical year from work and intended to die with a peaceful heart and some dignity. I was ready to face it head on. I moved to my country home. It was a beautiful, peaceful, quiet and very serene setting for me. I walked in the woods every day, smelled the flowers, touched the trees and felt a connection to nature that i had never known before. I was at peace with myself and with the world, and i had my beautiful cats to give me companionship and comfort. One day, while i was strolling in the woods with my dogs, i spoke to God: "My life is now in your hands; do with it what you will". I have never questioned that statement again.

For the next year, I ate only mashed broccoli, carrots and potatoes. These were the only foods i could ingest that did not give me pain and nausea.

After a year, or so, i woke up one morning, went for my walk in the woods and realized i had no abdominal pain, and my legs did not feel as heavy. My shoes no longer felt too small for my feet. I was no longer wheezing and actually felt hungry.

I gradually added green beans, peas and scrambled eggs to my diet and actually enjoyed them. Six months later i decide i probably needed to think about returning to work, as my funds were starting to become depleted. If I was going to live any longer, I would need to earn some money to live on.

I went back to work as an admissions assessment nurse for a local hospice agency. Amusingly telling myself, that at least when i pass on, i would have a place in which to do it with some dignity.

5 years later, i caught pneumonia and need to seek out a physician for some antibiotics. After having blood work and chest X Rays done, and two weeks of antibiotics therapy, I went back to the medical doctor for a follow up visit.. He told me all my lab tests came back within normal limits. And my lungs were clear - no more wheezing. Needless to say, i was quite surprised. {The last X Ray I had many years ago showed i had what the doctor called "black lung" from years of heavy smoking. He said the X Rays looked like the lungs of a long time coal miner.}

I asked the MD about the X ray i had done two weeks ago. He seemed puzzled that i would ask to see it after he told me it was negative.. He took it out and hung it up on the X Ray viewer he had in his office and I was again quite surprised. "Are you sure this is mine?", i asked him. He wanted to know why I would ask him that question, so i told him about that X Ray of several years ago and what the doctor told me back then. He assured me it was my X Ray and said my lungs were clear and i was obviously never a smoker. There was some old insignificant scarring at the bases, but otherwise they were normal. He said he did not believe me when i told him i had smoked for over 40 years and that i had quit about 7 years ago.

After I told him my history, he looked at it again and said - you would never know it by this X ray. I knew it was possible for adverse conditions to reverse themselves, but never thought i would witness it in relation to my own life.

I believe that a miracle happened in my life. Apparently, my life purpose was not completed yet.. Ten years after this eventful happening, i am feeling normal and in better health, both physically and mentally than i have in many years.

I really enjoy my life, the people around me, my cats (and now a couple of dogs) and my family that never knew what i went through back then. The last thing i would have wanted was pity from my friends and family. They would know when the time was right, and my need to tell them.

I feel like i have been given a second chance at life, and intend to enjoy it with as much gusto as possible.. And with a renewed respect for our creator, mother nature, love, and appreciation for those i have had the pleasure of knowing, and calling " my friends'. There was more for me to do here on this earth. I only hoped it would be done with love, dignity, and never with harm to others.

Miracles DO happen. I am living proof of that.

by: d.william 02/07/11

I told God my life was entirely in his hands, do with it what you will. I never again questioned that statement.

Obamacare is NOT a healthcare bill - it is to provide affordable insurance coverage

© 2011 d.william

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Comments 12 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Very interesting! One statement you wrote about yourself is something that is missing from too many people's understanding: "I was more than happy to learn something new." Having a teachable attitude is so important, often determining success or failure in every aspect of our lives.

Miracles do happen, that's for sure. We need to understand that our Creator owes us no explanation and trust Him according to His Word to us!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

d.william, this was an amazing story. I have heard of several people that can smell cancer, just didn't know you were one of them. Thank goodness you survived your own bout with this dreadful illness. We would sure miss you here on hub pages if you had lost the battle. Great hub my friend.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/profile/Old+Poolman

Thank you again for reading and your kind comments. They are well appreciated


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/@rtalloni

Thank you for reading and commenting.


ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 5 years ago

Wow great hub , thanks for sharing this information ,your hub rated useful.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

http://hubpages.com/@imchemist

Thanks ImChemist. I appreciate your reading and commenting.


ChristopherJRex profile image

ChristopherJRex 3 years ago from Fort Wayne, IN

Where/when were you diagnosed with cancer? I didn’t see it anywhere in your article. A nurse diagnosing themselves on the basis of a “smell” does not exactly constitute evidence of cancer, especially when it is widely believed that humans are incapable of detecting the trace amounts of airborne chemicals that signal cancer: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/CancerPreventionAndTr...

Even if you actually did have cancer, this “incredible story” of yours does not require the invocation of any “gods” or “miracles.” These kinds of things happen and are entirely explainable through modern Science. Even if your chances for survival are one in a million, you still have a small chance to survive.

“Functioning cilia can begin regenerating within a few days of quitting smoking, and may completely return to their original functioning after an extended period; statistics show that people who have quit smoking reduce their risk of developing lung cancer to that of a person who has never smoked, within 10 to 15 years after quitting.” Therefore, your lungs may show significant regeneration in a relatively short time after quitting smoking: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-c...


d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

Christopher:

Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. I surmise by your comments that your are quite a skeptic. Yes, i was diagnosed by an Oncologist who wanted to start Chemotherapy and radiation therapy as soon as possible.

I had been working in the medical field for over 30 years at that point in my life, and saw the futility of anyone undergoing such treatments, and in most cases those treatments shortened the lives of the people diagnosed as terminal, and took away their dignity, increased their pain. nausea and suffering.

I wanted no part of that torturous treatment. So, i chose to live my life out naturally and trust in nature. The pain and nausea medications made me comfortable. And an inner peace of accepting whatever comes my way relieved the stress of the life i had been living.

As i said in my article, i lived on carrots, broccoli, and potatoes for a year as that was all i could tolerate....., etc...the rest is documented in that article. There was no reason for me to add this part to that story, as i never would try to dissuade anyone from making their own decisions based on their own particular needs, hopes, or desires. That was no my job, and it is never my intent in any other situation.

I certainly did not imply that any 'God' intervened to save my pathetic life. But such transitions from what is considered a "terminal" disease to a more healthy body and mind is still a "miracle" of sorts.

But rather using the other definition of 'miracle' as: ''any unusual, or outstanding event, thing, or accomplishment''. The word "miracle" has been claimed by religion as belonging to them, and implying that anything that is outstanding must have been by the hand of their God.

As i do not belong to any organized religion i do not accept their definitions of anything, or in any way consider their views as pertinent or relevant to reality.

And yes, my lungs were black from years of smoking cigarettes and wacky weed. After quitting those, and my alcohol intake, it took 5 years to return to a state of giving the appearance of someone who never smoked in their life. This all happened in 1994 and today i am more healthy than i have been since my youth.

I do believe we are all here for a purpose, both individually, and collectively. But not in the religious sense of that purpose.

We are evolving to become intelligent sentient beings that live in the material world. When mankind has evolved enough our lifespans will extend to hundreds of years. The purpose? Exploration, education, understanding and experiencing the beauty and excitement of the material world that cannot be experienced any other way from the spiritual realm.

There are many "mysteries" in this life that no one can explain and often there is no explanation required, or necessary. We also tend to dismiss the powers of the mind as foolishness, because there is no way of scientifically "proving" that such things exist.

When one totally closes their minds to the possibilities of the human mind they become what religious zealots are today - stagnant and judgmental with such tunnel vision that they miss much of the wondrous life experiences we are meant to partake of.


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

Awesome Hub... Spiritual haters will often bring up nonsense, but regardless, it is what it is. Some people also use "mathmagics" to try and prove their multiverse theory, but I take more faith on nature, experiences and feelings, than I do brick-packed scientific imbeciles that need to write manuals on how to make a cheese sandwich.

Oh, for the above comment: Chris is just mad that the snakes haven't learned how to talk to him yet nor have they learned simple stuff like Monkey Physics. LOL!


d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

Insane:

Thanks for the heads up. I don't try to convince skeptics that they are wrong, but i do try to point out that their ideas and beliefs are no more valid than those of us who believe in the powers of the mind, the soul(spirit), matters of the heart, and our creators.

Comical comment about Chris, and i am sure it was meant in good humor and love.


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 years ago from Brazil

Wow!

Firstly I don't doubt the ability to smell a disease. This is something I know of in other animals, why not humans.

Regarding your illness, you were in a privileged position to know what normally follows in the progression of cancer. If others with this disease could clear their minds, accept their fate and re-tune their thinking, perhaps they too could survive. Whether it was divine intervention or your own body healing itself through your care both mentally and physically, who is to say? The point is you survived and with it are able to help others.

I personally feel the meaning of life is to make a difference, whether it is on a grand scale or to just one person.

Wonderful hub. Voted up and awesome.


d.william profile image

d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south Author

Blond: Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts. I don't really believe in miracles, per se, but i do believe that when bad things happen to us that could cause us death before our allotted time some intervention is made by our guardian angels to put us back on track.

It has nothing to do with whether we are good people or bad ones.

We are all here on a journey to attain some needed knowledge and/or help others on their own journeys. Our guides keep us on track, but we must know when it is time to hear/see/feel the warnings and adjust our lives to get back on the right path of that life quest we are all on.

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