As much as I want to KNOW that I’ll be cured of cancer, I’m stuck at HOPE. How do we get to knowing from hoping? Do we convince ourselves or does it hit us like a lightening bolt? I’ve “known” something was bound to happen only a few times and it didn’t arrive with great fanfare. It just settled in comfortably, like it always belonged. And it came from some place outside of me; not something I created. So how do I get it now? All I can do is pray for a knowing that I’m being cured.

As much as I want to KNOW that I’ll be cured of cancer, I’m stuck at HOPE. How do we get to knowing from hoping? Do we convince ourselves or does it hit us like a lightening bolt? I’ve “known” something was bound to happen only a few times and it didn’t arrive with great fanfare. It just settled in comfortably, like it always belonged. And it came from some place outside of me; not something I created. So how do I get it now? All I can do is pray for a knowing that I’m being cured.


I wrote this yesterday morning before my appointment with Candice Dalton. Like her famous aunt, spirit medium Maureen Hancock - http://www.maureenhancock.com - Candice also talks to those who have passed, http://www.divinehealingmessages.org. I have seen Maureen do her group sessions and was blown away with the accuracy of the message she relayed from my mother, and then again, each time another person gasped in amazement at their own messages. Today though was the first time that I had my own one-on-one session with a medium, and these experiences reinforced what I’ve believed all along: that those in spirit can communicate with us, and a good medium is a perfect way. 


Way back in my early nursing days, I began to believe that our energy does not die when our bodies do and I’ve held that belief since. As a RN, dealing with death was a common occurrence, and I needed to make sense of it because it caused so much pain. When Elisabeth Kubler Ross, author of “On Death and Dying,” said that beyond a shadow of a doubt, we exist beyond death, it put many of my patient experiences into perspective and gave me some peace. So for me, going to a medium wasn’t far out. Instead, it was long overdue.


My mother was the first to come through, “arms waving, wanting to be heard and kind of sassy,” said Candice. “What’s the lung cancer connection to her?” Candice asked. My mother died of lung cancer 11 years ago. “She is with you and helping you every step of the way.”


“She was very close to your daughter, wasn’t she? Does your daughter have her necklace? Your mother said to tell her to wear it. It still has her energy. You have her ring?” she asked. She was right because Karen has a diamond heart necklace of hers, and I always wear her ring.


“Your mother is sorry that she always nit-picked about how you looked and what you did. She’s sorry that she put so much responsibility on you after your father died,” Candice explained. My mother was cruel with her criticism, and it was unrelenting. I could never do anything right and was the target of her rage and depression after her husband killed himself and left her a 34-year-old widow with three young children to raise. “You didn’t have the mother you wanted, but that was part of your life path and hers. You were in her life to guide her. You are an old soul and she hasn’t been here many times, but she wants you to know that she loves you, is with you all the time and wants help you.”


Candice had information from my father about his suicide and my finding him. He said that he never meant for me to be the one to find him. When I came home from school that day, he said, “Oh noooo. Don’t come in the garage. Go into the house,” Candice told me. She repeated this several times and she even knew that is where I went. After a short while though, it bothered me that the car was in the garage with the door shut, because my father always dropped my mother off at work before he opened his store and then picked her up at the end of the day. My mother wasn’t home, so where was he?


Candice knew that he didn’t die in the car, but while lying on the garage floor. “He said he wasn’t in his right mind and is so sorry. He was already in heaven when you found him.” (His head was by the tail pipe, his face was blue and he was cold.) “He’s been with you since (I was 14) and hasn’t missed anything in your life.” By hearing that I wasn’t supposed to find him and how sorry he was, I was able to find peace. 


Then I asked her about my old boyfriend Tommy, the love of my life. I met him after my marriage ended and was with him from the time I was 28 until 40. I had never been loved like he loved me, and he healed me in so many ways, but the ghosts of Vietnam haunted him and he tried to forget with alcohol. Over the years, I watched it destroy him and had to leave the relationship before it did the same to me and Karen. It was so sad though because we were the love of each other’s lives.


During the 22 years after we broke up, I heard from him several times. He always professed his love for me but still suffered from his demons. He never could get himself together and he died a year and half ago.  


Candice saw and heard him. “Did you just up and leave him?” she asked. ”He says he wasn’t in his right mind and he understands why you left. He knew you had to do it. He finally gets it,” she said. “He talks to you through songs and when you hear certain ones, know that it’s him connecting with you.”


How true that was because he absolutely loved the Rolling Stones and often used their lyrics to express himself when he was hurting too much to find his own words. One of his favorites, when he was hurt or angry was, “Don’t forget to put roses on my grave.” Then Candice asked, “He’s buried? You might want to go to his grave – it will give you peace.”


She said that I have lots of people in spirit who are with me and helping me, but she doesn’t feel me dying for a long time. All of a sudden she stopped, put her hand over her left waist area and said, “Wait – did you have another cancer?” I told her that I had pancreas cancer and her hand was right over hers. “Don’t worry about that – it’s not coming back. It’s gone,” she said with strong conviction.


She asked if I write, because my father showed her that I do. When I told her yes, she said I had a book to write and she sees me speaking in front of large groups. “You have too much to do and your energy is too positive. I don’t feel you dying any time soon. You’ll be here for a long time to help other people and be there for your grandchildren.”


It’s pretty amazing to think that I loved these three people so much, yet each of them hurt me to my core and left the deepest of scars. And as much as I wanted to find peace with what happened, my pain never completely left. Because I know that forgiveness is essential to my recovery I’ve tried so hard to let it all go, but just couldn’t. Now I think I can though, because in spirit, they each told me what I needed to hear and now I understand on a different and deeper level. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I left, thinking thank you. I have my knowing and I’m going to be OK and I will beat this. 


Then while driving home, “Start Me Up” by the Stones came on the radio. It was more confirmation of my KNOWING and that Tommy was with me in spirit because he used to sing that song to me, a lot. Those lyrics spoke for him then and I could imagine him speaking them now, so I smiled inside and then drove to the cemetery and put long overdue roses on his grave.


Joyce Rothman of Massachusetts, a nurse for 40 years, was diagnosed with lung and pancreatic cancer in July 2010. Since then, she has been writing about her diagnosis, her treatment and her outlook on the process, in hopes of helping others. Follow her journey at http://makingsenseofitall.joycerothman.com.