In the Moment
I would like to tell you a story about Lydia that helps explain how she lived with her cancer. It was about 3 months after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic Breast Cancer. She had already been given a mastectomy and started a round of chemotherapy in Italy. Lydia abruptly ended it to fly back to California. She was scared and confused as to the best course of action. She took me to the desert of Death Valley. She loved the desert and we spent a few days soaking in some hot springs. We were very much in love and despite the grim prognosis we believed that we would find a way to better health and happiness.
One of the evenings Lydia and I decided to check out a nearby town that was once the set of old Hollywood spaghetti westerns. We arrived at dusk and got a room in a little bed and breakfast. There was only one saloon in town and we walked the dusty road to hear live music coming from the picture perfect western scene. We pushed our way through the swinging doors to find many a surprised eye on both of us. Lydia at the time had shaved her beautiful head and looked very much like a punk fashion model. I looked the part of the rogue artist with long wild hair. We found a table and watched a community of friends dance and enjoy a night out.
It didn't take long for Lydia to jump up and join the many women in some western line dance. She observed their feet for a moment and replicated the moves flawlessly. This caught the women's attention quickly and they welcomed her in and taught her more and more dance moves. Before long I was out there too and we were dancing and laughing with all the locals.
During one of the band's breaks we got to talking and Lydia introduced herself. She explained that she was a professional musical theatre actress. The band immediately invited her to sing with them and they figured out what songs they knew in common. Lydia belted out old rock and roll classics by Janis Joplin, The Eagles, and many more. By the end of the evening we were sitting with the owner of the bar and he had the kitchen fire up the grill and serve us an incredible meal.
We made lots of friends and later strolled back to our room under a full moon night sky. We were full of joy and full of love.
Lydia and I spent four years together fighting her cancer. There were many battles fought and won. Lydia at one point went an entire year on hormone therapy. Her cancer appeared to be dormant. She returned to the stage and we both toured around Europe. We lived for the moment. Our hearts were one and we could do anything. We followed our hearts to adventure and Lydia experienced true health and happiness.
Along the way we discovered the Gerson Treatment, which consists of a diet of freshly squeezed juices. This helped build Lydia's immune system so that her own body would fight hard against the cancer and recover quickly from the chemotherapy. Gentle adjustments by a wonderful chiropractor also aided in her overall health. Yoga was a standard practice as was following the teachings and affirmations of Louise L. Hays. But it was the Chinese medicines and acupuncture that I saw do the most complementary therapy. The chemo and other medications came with a slew of side effects. Lydia's hormones were all off balance and her various organ functions were compromised. The Chinese medicines would work immediately. Most common side effects from chemo were relieved. It was amazing to witness.
I look back on that time and relive the memories that still inspire me and still give me so much pain. I see that Lydia's attitude and her willingness to live life to the fullest was the real treatment. Lydia lived in the moment and made many positive changes in the way she thought about the world. She built better relationships with her friends and family. She only surrounded herself with positive energy and had faith in the world. In all of our spontaneous adventures we would always come out on top with an incredible story to tell.
When she passed into the next life she was at home surrounded by her closest friends and family. She accepted her path and slipped away with the words that she loved us all on her last breaths. She lived and died with so much grace.
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