Wendy Lerman Blog

An addendum to the website http://www.wendylerman.com

Monday, February 03, 2014

Why Me?

My family was considered middle class until my mom’s health began to decline. It began in my childhood with her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and ended with her passing away ten years later–the start of my adulthood– from breast cancer.

Through my entire childhood, I watched helplessly as my mom struggled with her declining health. She knew something was wrong since the day she gave birth to me in an elevator. Multiple Sclerosis limited her movement, speech and thinking and eventually cancer began to feed off her body-yet she was determined to live and find the answers.

In 1987, shortly before she passed away, she sat amongst a room full of Harvard Medical School students, intent on sharing the wisdom she accumulated the previous nine years. Her focus that day was to ingrain– into these young minds-the relevance of the mind/body connection. She urged them, that while a patient might have a disease of the body, it was just as important to address the whole person-body and mind-in order to heal.

It was one of the largest funerals I’ve ever seen and I stood on the podium to read a poem I wrote. The words still echo in my head, especially this excerpt:

“Mother I love you, I’m sure that you know
I’ll be thinking about you, wherever I go
Understand why you left us? That, I do not.
I know there’s a reason. I’ll give it more thought.
Rest assured! I’ll find it! It may take a while.
For now, I’ll be brave and think about you and smile”

I’ve been having- what I can only describe as- spontaneous epiphanies since childhood. I was born with a high level of empathy, a burning desire to learn, a keen sense of direction and the innate ability to: identify problems, view them from varying perspective and utilize my original thinking to solve them. My sights were on Ivy League. There was always this sense that I was put on this earth to make a significant contribution for the greater good.

I experienced a profound, spontaneous epiphany in 1994 while watching TV. We have access to any and all resources needed for everything–in nature–and whatever wasn’t found around us could be found within us. All the resources are provided; it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.
In hindsight, I now realize the universe was nudging me into going back to school and then on to medical school. My son was one at the time and I chose to continue working my way, from the ground up, in the finance industry. Six years later, I was diagnosed with an invasive and very aggressive form of Breast Cancer.

I managed to prevail through that experience, catching two early stage melanomas along the way and I sure did learn a lot but I went right back into my normal routine, not realizing that by doing this, I was again, veering off my destined path of taking the pieces I’ve accumulated and paying it forward.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” MLK Jr.

Two years later (2003) I received my biggest wake-up call that shook me to the core. I was diagnosed with an extremely rare and deadly form of cancer, known as Angiosarcoma. I was a single mom with two small children, faced with a battle with the unknown. Very little information was available and there were no standard methods of treating this disease. With no guidelines to follow, no long term survivors to consult with, I found myself in the driver’s seat having to utilize my internal compass to navigate down roads yet to be travelled. The time came where I had to call upon my epiphany from 1994 and get to work.

I wanted to live for my children’s sake but I’m also not afraid of dying. My fight to remain on this earth was driven by and intense passion of finding a way to complete my purpose. Sometimes obstacles are not meant to be overcome, but exist to redirect.

Angiosarcoma (AS) harbors the worst prognosis with a 5-year over-all survival rate  of less than 30%. To remain NED (no evidence of disease) for five years would be a miracle.
Yesterday was my 11th anniversary of NED.

I am not alive as a result of a divine miracle. I am alive because I had a choice: to travel the road exclusively from the traditional medical approach– or– to find additional modalities, with which to integrate and form a balanced approach. I knew the resources were available and it was a matter of finding the pieces and putting them together. The clock was ticking and my life depended on it.

While I could have spent the last eleven years rebuilding my life in corporate America, seeking ways toward personal financial gain, conforming to society’s standards, I instead, sacrificed much by dedicating my remaining time on this earth seeking solutions for my fellow man.

With great sacrifice comes great reward”. Napoleon Hill

Our nation is in crisis, health and financial, physical and emotional, individual and collective.There are not enough able-bodied individuals contributing to society.

My Objective: To demonstrate how to restore the physical and emotional health of most every individual by bringing awareness to the resources we need and how to integrate Eastern and Western Medicine. I would like the opportunity to prove that not only can this be accomplished, but how significantly it will cut costs to our nation, individually and collectively, thereby restoring our economy.

On December 6, 2013, after experiencing a worsening of lower back pain, I decided to seek help. My condition didn’t warrant a visit to the ER so it was just a matter of deciding to call my PCP or Chiropractor.

I called my Chiro’s office and they fit me in. The doctor recognized that my spine alignment didn’t warrant the level of pain I was experiencing and suggested I agree to a “sick” NRT( Nutrition Response Testing) visit. The testing revealed that I had an immune challenge involving my right kidney and my body tested for a supplement that would restore balance. Fifteen minutes later I left her office with a whole-food supplement and two days later I was brand new.

No health insurance was involved. Office Visit: $25.00 Supplement $11.00 Total 36.00

My health insurance is Medicare and Mass. Health.

Had I gone to my PCP, Office visit: $367.00 Labs (urine and blood est.) $200.00 Ultrasound (est.)$470.00   Possible CT (est.) between $3,000.00-5,000.00 and RX cost (unknown). Total minimum 1,000.00, Max 6,000.00.

I’m gathering patient examples from all ends of the spectrum but to cite one other example: I know a patient who was on dialysis. Once you’re on it, you stay on unless you receive a transplant or until you die. This patient did not receive a transplant, nor did he die yet he is not on dialysis any more.

While my focus is on NRT, there are many pieces to the puzzle and I worked very hard putting them together. I can’t live with this knowledge and not put it to good use.

Long ago the foundation was set but there came a time where it began to crumble– yet we continue to build upon this unstable foundation. It’s time to repair. It’s time to restore.

Out of the realm of possibilities for solutions and finding someone qualified to offer them begs the question: Why me?

Well why not me?

If we continue to think like we’ve always thought, we’ll continue to get what we’ve always got”

While I possess so many passions, all involving ways to be of service, I struggled to decide where to put my focus. I’d always hoped that I would know when I knew.

 As the poem that I read at my mom’s funeral states, “I know there’s a reason. I’ll give it more thought. Rest Assured! I’ll find it!”

I’m going to finish what my mom started. I now know.

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 10:19 AM

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