Carmen’s health update

In June 2019, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Whoa! How did that happen? I’ve never had a major illness. Never been in hospital before. I’m a long term vegetarian, more recently vegan. I don’t drink alcohol or take drugs. I avoid chemicals as much as I can and eat organic wherever possible. I meditate. I look after myself pretty well. But … I do spend a lot of time sitting at my computer desk. Several people in the medical profession told me that sitting is the new smoking in relation to cancer.

For 6 months prior to the diagnosis of cancer, I had been noticing, but disbelieving, drops of blood in my stool. Kept dismissing it. Then gradually there were other changes in frequency and consistency, and then one day I couldn’t ignore all these signs anymore and booked in for a colonoscopy. Immediately after the colonoscopy David and I were informed that there was a malignant bowel tumour. What a shock! It was all a bit surreal. I managed to draw upon my years of meditation practice and a phrase came to me, which remained my companion through the whole journey.

“It is what it is”.

I was very fortunate to be referred to St Vincent’s Public Hospital in Melbourne. A wonderful place, with an atmosphere of calmness and care, provided by an awesome team of nurses, doctors, anaesthetists, radiologists, dieticians, volunteers, receptionists, cleaners …. I would especially like to honour Dr Richard Brouwer and Mr Michael Hii, my two awesome surgeons, and their teams, who were all spectacular. And the nurses on 7 East and 7 West at St Vincent’s, who are earth angels.

After various scans a second tumour was discovered in my stomach. A GIST (gastro-intestinal stromal tumour). Whoa! Two surprises!

In August 2019 I had successful surgery to remove the bowel cancer and was extremely fortunate to avoid any follow-up chemo or radiotherapy. I am so grateful for that. I did however receive an accessory to my body in the form of an ileostomy. I was supported by family, friends and my partner and was able to take time-out, and do nothing but heal. I slept a lot. Watched a lot of movies. Enjoyed the birds in the garden. Several people dropped some funds into our bank account – unasked and incredibly generously.

I could hardly think, and definitely wasn’t in a creative space. Some people suggested writing a new book, but honestly, I couldn’t write a single sentence. All my inner resources went into healing. This took many months.

In January 2020, the second tumour was removed, by a resourceful surgical team led by Michael Hii, who managed to do the whole process via keyhole surgery – brilliant! Healing required a fluid-only diet for some time afterwards. Smoothies, soups and juices – yum.

I’m now waiting for a date to reverse the ileostomy and get my body back. I was scheduled to go back for this surgery on 3rd April … and then COVID-19 entered our collective reality and my surgery is postponed. There’s a glimmer of hope that the reversal surgery might be rescheduled in the middle of 2020.

Why am I telling you this story?

I want to leave you with two thoughts. Firstly, if you notice any changes in your body and bodily functions, any symptoms or signs, then PLEASE attend to it immediately. Don’t put it off. It could be a life-saving moment.

Secondly, I want you to remember that there is hope. Your body can heal. You can survive cancer.

love

Carmen

PS – upon diagnosis, I asked myself – why has this cancer come to me? I lean into spirituality and consciousness at such times, and I recognised that within me there was a deep-seated worry about survival. About having a secure place to live and enough money to survive after I retire. I’ve been doing my best ever since, to let go layers of worry, and to trust. I am safe. I’m OK. Everything’s going to be OK.

87 Comments on Carmen’s health update

  1. Beautifully instructive Carmie. Thank you for a deeply a personal insight into your journey and for such a positive attitude. Much love to you and David

      • Dearest sweetest Carmen
        , I had no idea about your illness, I am so happy to hear that you have been cared for by wonderful angels. I do hope the reversal goes ahead in the summer there is a wonderful book by my friend Dr. David Hamilton talking about how your mind can assist the healing of the body. Please try and get a copy. David has been to Madhuban in 2002. The book is called it is the thought that counts, and the other one is how your thoughts can heal your body. If you can’t get a copy I will send them to you if you give me your address . God loves you so much he will take care of you just trust. All will be well.
        Sending you buckets of love and good wishes from Scotland. Big hug Margaret

        • Dear Margaret, thank you for your loving message of support. I’ve followed up with Dr DH, thank you for putting me in touch with him, I remember our meeting all those years ago. I’m splashing around in your buckets of love. Big hugs to you too dear xxxx

        • Thank you Gopi, I was inspired by your journey. Yes, one day we will meet again! Strange times. Much love always, Carmen xx

    • Thank you Carmen and I know you are healed. Thanks for all your beautiful meditation commentaries. I learned a lot from them as a BK. If you have read Dr. Joe Dispenza books which I recommend, I think you can benefit from them in a very significant way. Anyway just grateful to you for being Baba’s instrument.

  2. Carmen, so very very pleased to hear the second surgery went so well and your recovery is well under way. It is interesting what your medico told you about sitting being the new smoking. Too much sitting would naturally impact the base chakra and as we know that is where many of our survival fears can originate from. Knowing and loving both yourself and David it is very clear that you will use your experiences and spiritual insights to provide a guiding light to others on their journey. Big hugs to you both xxxx

    • Thank you Dee for your loving comment. And thank you for your beautiful healing energy – it was greatly appreciated. much love to you and your family xx

  3. Dear Carmen , i knew you had been unwell and i thank you for sharing your healing journey. Your courage, your wisdom, your awareness, your insights and your power are a true example of a great soul who has been living a life of true Spiritual depth.With Love ,Christaa🌟

      • Thank you for sharing your health and healing journey Carmen- I am so pleased to hear that you are on the road to recovery.
        I had a colostomy 20 years ago following a surgical accident when I was 26. I had it for 5 months- having it saved my life and both challenged & changed me in unexpected ways. Your meditations & retreats have been a part of my healing journey and I just wanted to thank you and wish you all the best for your treatments.
        Take care & rest up- when you are ready your creativity will return.
        With love- Tabitha XoX

        • Hello Tabitha, thanks for your message and reminding me of your own journey. Ah, those life-saving bags – love them and hate them in equal measure. I look forward to meeting you again one day, you lovely radiant, creative being, much love, Carmen xx

  4. I too had cancer. Non hodgkins lymphona. I was lucky to get a correct diagnosis, after being wrongly diagnosed by our public hospital. My message is get a second opinion if you are unsure or have an intuitive feeling about a wrong diagnosis. Trust in the Divine and never give up. I thank Epworth hospital, Box Hill and the care of Associate Professor Joe McKendrick
    Well done, Carmen
    Om shanti. X

    • Thank you Margaret – yes good point about getting a second opinion, and also about following your intuition. Blessings to the wonderful team you mentioned, and love to you xx

    • Dear Carmen. Just came to know about your health. Surprise.Just wishing you lots of Divine light and that you keep yourself surrounded by love so that the healing comes inside and outside soonest as possible.Much love Luciana

      • Wow thats a journey Carmen. Your such an amazing woman Sending u some extra love n light good healing energy Bless you dear lady. Xx

        • Kochana Carmen. What a shock but hopeful you are, and will be, okay. I had breast cancer and was MIA for a year. It takes time to heal in body and soul. Be gentle with yourself and know you are loved by me and by many. Sending rainbows and sparkles. Big hug xxx

          • Kochana Helen, thank you for your loving message, full of rainbows, sparkles and hugs. All is well. Much love, Carmen xx

  5. Thank you Carmen, for sharing your experience, your wise words and thoughtful advice. Your strength is inspiring and we love you lots. xxx

      • Thankyou for sharing your story. It resonated with me. I was diagnosed with NH Lymphoma in September 2019 and like you I ate well etc. I’ve had surgery, chemo and radiotherapy and I take hope and inspiration from your story. May you be well.

        • Dear Juliana, thank you for your loving message. I’m sorry to hear about your own diagnosis, and I’m gathering up all the love and blessings that have come to me, and forwarding it on to you with a huge loving hug. May you be well. Peace, blessings and love, Carmen

  6. Dear Carmen, Many thanks for your update. I’m happy to know you’ve come through all that so very well. Every best wish for the future. Pat xx

  7. Beautifully put, as with everything you do, Carmen.
    Quite a journey you’ve been on and pleasing to see that you’ve successfully negotiated it.
    Thanks for the very sound advice.
    Best wishes to you and David.
    Regards,
    Peter

      • Dear Carmen
        Thank you so much for sharing your journey over the past months with us. To me you continue to be a role model and person of influence. So sorry that you have been so ill. What a powerful experience you have had! Don’t forget your little lake house awaits!
        Love and every blessing .

        • Thank you dear Maureen for your loving message of support. Ah yes, the lake house … we often imagine ourselves there with you and John. Much love to you both, Carmen

  8. Oh Carmen this news is so so so good. Your courage, your light, your generosity – thank you for sharing them all. I am overjoyed you are doing well and send you oodles of love. May it be smooth sailing from here on in. XOXOXO

  9. Dear Carmen Thank you for sharing your news. When i first heard some news of an illness you had, I wanted to contact you – but I think it was when you were going through a lot and I couldnt find out. It concerned me but I had the faith that you had good friends around you and I sent lots of good wishes that all would be well and I would hear something soon. Thanks for filling in the blanks and your willingness to share your personal journey. Sending many good wishes for continued healing and positive loving energy for next op to be successful. in the meantime much love to you my beautiful loving friend. Linda

    • Hi Carmen
      You have gone on an interesting journey. So pleased to hear you are healing in so many ways. Lots and lots of love to you and David “my sweet sweet kids”
      Love Gail

    • thank you beautiful Linda for your kind message. Yes, it’s hard to find the energy to communicate when one is going on a healing journey, I was aware many of my friends wanted news but I just had to withdraw from the world and let my body do what it needed in isolation. Coming back out of that space now, and all will be well. Much love to you always dear heart. xx

  10. Hello Carmen, thank you for sharing your journey and yes, your message to get any signs checked out as soon as it occurs is most important. Don’t push it to the side and say “its nothing”. Best let the medics tell you it’s nothing… if that’s what it is. My heart goes out to you and I send much healing and love your way. So pleased your body is responding to the rest, relaxation and meditation and beautiful care by the medics and David. Sending a big hug your way. Much love. Anita xxx

    • Dear Carmen, you have taught me how to meditate, your calm voice and beautiful words have guided me into meditation for the last 15 years..Now your words are here to support me when I worry about my future due to the Corona virus situation..
      You say have faith, we are going to be ok…
      Thank you and all the very best of health for you.
      Love,
      Lilian

    • Thank you beautiful Anita – I like the way you put it: “Let the medics tell you it’s nothing”. Sometimes the first step seems to present the most obstacles. I spent far too many weeks ignoring the signs – looking back with hindsight it was so obvious something was wrong, but I put it off. Amazing how the mind can trick us. I thought it would go away, I thought it wasn’t serious. I thought I was making a mountain out of a molehill. I didn’t want to pester the doctor over nothing etc etc. So many excuses. Anyway, let’s keep getting this message out there. Lots of love xx

  11. Dear Carmen, I hadn’t heard you were having such profound health challenges, so reading your graceful and lucid reporting of what you’ve faced, with courage and clear-sightedness, was a shock. I’m so glad that it’s gone well to date under the circumstances, and that the future is looking even better. Here’s to great outcomes from here on in. Very best wishes to you and to David.
    Regards, Ian

    • Dear Ian, good to hear from you. I understand your feeling of shock – David and I had exactly the same reaction when we first heard the news. Thank you for your blessings and good wishes. Love, Carmen

  12. Hello Carmen,
    Hearing in more detail your circumstances and experience makes our family so grateful for your assistance in our recent bereavement. You were kind enough and demonstrated amazing inner strength to put your own inner thoughts and personal situation to one side to help our family celebrate the life of our family member. A situation of a person passing before their time due to terminal cancer.
    Your contribution and involvement at the funeral was profound and helped make a difficult day into a process of reconciling the passing of a close family member and ultimately a day of celebration. Your inimitable calmness and sense of serenity were significant factors on the day.
    From our family I would like to thank you from the depth of our hearts and to you and David and the rest of your family we offer our deepest thoughts and hope for your continued convalescence.

  13. Hi Carmen , thanks for filling in the details of your health dramas as I felt somewhat uncomfortable even approaching you to tell me , while you where still in the middle of the storm.
    You have always been generous and understanding in helping my family coming to terms with the death of mum and dad through conducting service at their funerals . We never quite know how we will react to the threat of our mortality until it hits us in the face , with serious illness . I got a glimpse of that myself last year !
    Wishing you all my love for a healthy , wealthy , lucky and lovely life . Ross

    • Hello Ross, yes it was a storm and I battoned down the hatches to get through. I didn’t have much energy for communicating, so I’m glad to be able to fill in the story for friends now. Hope your health is good this year. I love the way you signed off. The same back to you. Love, Carmen

  14. Your openness, honesty and bravery is inspirational darling Carmen. Always thinking of you and sending love and light. Shell xoxo

    • Dearest Shell, thank you for your loving message. Wishing you all good things as we together navigate this rocky era. Love always, Carmen

  15. Oh Min …. you are a true warrior and an angel all in one. And I love the final realization … you will always be taken care of because you have taken care of so many! You are an inspiration!
    sending heartfelt love from over the waves….. and now i’m standing as I type this!!! 🙄❤️❤️❤️💫

    • Dearest Rose, thank you for your loving message, now please sit down again! On a chair with good back-support, naturally. Love you heaps, Carmen xxx

  16. Beautifully written Carmen! So glad to hear your health challenges have turned out successfully. My heart goes out! That’s a lot to go through. If you managed to Be with the One you were a super star! I love the discovery you came to through reflection. I can relate! Hope that reversal happens soon for you. Sending love and light and feel blessed for all the times I’ve listened to your sweet voice which has guided me into beautiful meditation experiences with the Divine. Thank you and all the best 💜🙏💜

  17. Dear Carmen
    I am reminded of your Sanctuary Series and the message to you is that you are already okay and there are an ocean of possibilities just waiting for you. Looking forward to big hugs from you when the physical distancing phase has passed. Om Shanti 🙏🏾

    • Thank you Sheela, for reminding me about that ocean of possibilities. Yes bring on the hugging era again! Much love, to you and your family, Carmen xx

  18. Thank you for being so open and sharing. I know I can sometimes feel self-conscious about sharing and have a concern to pull attention to myself. However, I am so grateful when others share about themselves as we all want to know how our dear friends are doing and yet do not want to impinge on their privacy nor use their energy in communication. YOur sharing is full of love for your self and others and accepting of what is. Much love to you for your full recovery and even better health in the future.

    • Thank you Morni for your lovely message. Yes, I’ve been aware that my friends wanted to know my story, but as you say, it takes energy to communicate and I just didn’t have that sort of energy until now. Thank you for understanding that. Love always, Carmen

  19. Thanks for update Carmen and lots of love from Perth. Nothing wrong with the writing of this and healing is a journey on its own. I could feel your smile whilst reading this and congratulations for getting through what you have and let’s hope that reversal comes your way .lots of love Maureen

  20. Hi Carmen, Thank you for being open with your holistic experience. Sometimes healing comes through different hats and not in ways we expect, and your insights are wonderful, thank you. I do feel the link between us is as lovely as has always been, even though we hardly communicate. So your sharing was especially special. Love always, Annette

    • Hi Annette, yes, not in ways we expect – definitely agree with that one! Connections forged are indelible. Much love to you, Carmen

  21. Hi Carmen,

    Thanks for sharing your story, journey, and insights. I respect you so much for doing that, as well as your approach to your health and well being. Wishing you all the very best, and hope to see you again soon, fit, well, and radiating with good health! Kind regards, and much love, Sue

    • Thank you Sue for your lovely message full of love and good wishes. Until we meet again, take care. Much love, Carmen

  22. Dear Carmen,
    Thank you for sharing your challenging health journey. I am glad you on the way back to good health. I believe our bodies are trying very hard to look after us and sometimes pull us to a stop as we keep ignoring signs & symptoms. You know I have had a few health issues and each one teaches me so much about my inner world. You with Baba have provided so many peace through you music and creativity.You will always be cared for with love by all your good karma. Sending you lots of love, contentment and healing.
    Hugs & kisses
    Kana

    • Dearest Kana, thank you for your beautiful perspective on illness and how it becomes our teacher. Peace blessings and love to you always, Carmen
      xx

  23. Dearest and most lovely Carmencita. Echoing today’s FB message … although aware of your surgical and healing travails, it was particularly special to read your own gracious, grateful and honest recounting of events, your thoughts and understandings on the diagnosis and how you’ve chosen to respond to those understandings. You are a remarkable woman and have earned many times over all the love and support, tangible and intangible, you have received and will continue to receive from those near and far. The expression of your many creative gifts has inspired and helped many, including me. Honoured to call you my friend, dear one. Miss Flippy xx

    • Thank you dearest Miss Flippy, for your kind messages filled with love. Honoured to call you my friend too, and blessing you on your own journey. Much much love always, Carmen xx

  24. Dear Carmen
    So lovely of you to share your story. Thank you. I’ ve not met you but have heard much of you through the Bk grapevine. I have used your commentaries when running voluntary community meditation sessions in South East London. I also have I’ll for past 7 years or so and wish you so much love. For me illness was a blessing to help tether me so I could learn to be mindful, to appreciate the little things in life again. I wish you much joy

    • Thank you Deirdre for sharing some of your journey with me, and what gifts it has brought into your life. Peace and blessings, Carmen

  25. Dear sweet sister….we may have met on a subtle plane with your beautiful meditation commentaries which I’ve shared and enjoyed in my own spiritual practice. Your sharing was beautiful and coming from a deep place of knowing and healing. I myself suffered a serious fracture of the knee and it was the ability to turn within and spiritual faith to see it through the darkest hours. The healing journey continues. Wishing you complete healing and recovery ❤️💫🙏

    • Thank you Mirubhen, for saying hello and sharing your story with my. Those who have a spiritual practice to deal with challenging circumstance are indeed fortunate. Thank you for your blessings and much healing love and light to you too.

  26. Dearest Carmie, How amazing to finally see what your own thoughts have been thru this enormous big situation. I know that David has passed on my deepest love to you many times thru the process. It’s massively huge and the Zen bit of it all is as you say “it is what it is…”. Tons of love to you and DJ. Sam. Xx

    • thank you dear Sam, yes I received all your messages of love and support, thank you, they meant a lot. much love always, Carmen

      • Dear Great Warrioress! I can hear the chimes ringing in the garden and see the breeze blowing the leaves around in a gentle breeze. The birds are at lunch and thank goodness they are or they might see me as I sit here like a statue in awe of you. This has now been the sunshine of my day. A bow, a smile and wave. A trickle of the garden fountain, the dogs midday slumber but neither or else know the extent the Bright Star has traveled. Thank you, Bright Star.

        • That’s the most poetic text message I have ever received. Loved it! Thank you dear Russell, much love to you and the great one you live with on this earthly plane xx

  27. Dear Carmen, That was very good of you to tell that story,it brings so many more good wishes,you must have so many now your basket must be overflowing,not just for what you went through but because of the caring person you are. My father went through a similar experience. It’s good to give others the awareness.All my love to you and David,I will always remember the beautiful ceremony you carried out for Neddy.

    • Hi Chris, thank you for your loving message. Yes I do feel that basket full of blessings, you’re right. Love always, Carmen

  28. Hello dear angel Carmen,
    Thank you for your courage in sharing your journey. I’m so relieved your on the mend, baba and the bks love will continue to look after you, you’re needed to keep spreading love and peace, Much love, hugs and healing xxx

  29. Dearest Carmen. Endless thanks for telling your story. Wishing your health returns in abundance. Sincere heart felt love to you (n David)

  30. Dear Divinely Lovely Carmen, thanks SO much for sharing the news of the health of your body. I can not begin to imagine what it has been like. I am so glad you had the support of God, of your inner qualities and of David. You are such an angel with the dearest heart, always helping others. Indeed even your health report shows your deep love for humanity and helping others learn from your honesty. Much Love for the future… sent from Mount Abu, the Land of Love.

    • Thank you beautiful Janet – oh are you in Mount Abu? Did you get stranded there due to the pandemic? much love xx

  31. Dear Carmen so hard to comprehend and learn about your health challenges but so glad to know now that you are in recovery and there are sunny days ahead with much love forthcoming from all directions,no doubt your wisdom and beauty will carry you forward with much love to you and David Iwona xx

  32. Thanks Carmen for the wonderful news, which, no doubt you’ve manifested! That deep healing, where our most vulnerable selves crave to be acknowledged, seems to be so important. Lots of love and joy to you and David.

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