To my very dearest heart filled soul,
When I used to dream of experiencing true love with another person, I used to experience my biggest fear also.
What if I finally found that person and then they died?
To me, this would be the greatest irony, and biggest challenge ever.
My most beloved partner and lover and fiancé John and I celebrate our 3 year anniversary this month.
We are also now experiencing a tremendous challenge, and I am experiencing my greatest fear, in the form of John just being diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic colon cancer.
This came “out of the blue” as so many things do, and when I heard the diagnosis, I truly felt as if I’d been shot in the heart.
John has always experienced exceptional health, and I felt certain that we’d have a very long and happy & healthy life together. In fact I’d planned on it, which didn’t account for my greatest fear at all. I thought I’d be writing to you about our new wedding date.
Life with John has been and is, the happiest time of my entire life.
You may know that we also wrote a book together, which was completed the day before he went into the hospital.
It is a book about love and relationships, called Succulent Wild Love: Six Powerful Habits for Feeling More Love More Often. It’s a whole new philosophy of love and relationships for everyone, including loving yourself perhaps more deeply than you ever have.
We are now living those 6 habits in this situation too- feeling all the love in the world, and practicing the principles, in the face of this most challenging diagnosis. The book will be out this fall.
I’m choosing to share this personal health news with you now, because I have always shared my real life in my books and in my blog posts, and because I know that sharing what hurts is what helps- not only John and me, but everyone.
We are all experiencing our biggest fears, in one form or another, in this human life. And of course many people are experiencing, or have experienced, far worse. And we are not meant to do it all alone.
Our friend Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen sat by me in the hospital during the first horrifying days, and shared some of her own stories of medical challenges, and said, “There is a tremendous power in this diagnosis.”
I didn’t know exactly what she meant then, but I do now.
- The power is in the fact that I’ve not ever felt or experienced more love- there are so many miracles and so much love to share- through this experience too.
- The power is that I’ve begun a life review that is deeper and more fearless than I’ve ever experienced- I’ll be sharing all about this in my blog posts.
- The power is that I’m more certain of the presence of angels, miracles and my inner wise self than ever before- and the evidence is immense.
I do wish that it wasn’t through this route.
I do not want John to die.
I really really really to infinity do not want John to die.
If John dies from this, I am not sure what will become of me and my heart.
A secondary fear is that John would live, but live a significantly diminished life due to health circumstances, and that I would not know how to go on with that either.
I do know that I intend to go on with deep love, uncommon faith and indelible trust. I am doing everything I know to experience love through every possible channel, through this too.
And that is my greatest blessing– to be present for whatever happens- including the possibility of his healing and living! I want to be present for every moment that I can.
All my “what ifs” or doctors’ opinions cannot predict what will happen, and I am learning to create “spaciousness in the uncertainty” instead of rehearsing tragedy, as my friend Lissa reminded me the other day, as we discussed Brene Brown’s books.
I am receiving so much love and practicing exquisite self care more than EVER. I am working with healers, body workers and angelic guides. I am also receiving more than ever, saying multiple times daily, “I accept” to everything offered.
As for John, he’s deeply engaged in the power of this diagnosis, doing his inner and outer healing, with the help and wisdom of the seen and unseen. And with the help of his medical team and his inner work, there are already positive physical changes.
He has a fantastic holistic doctor, oncologist, healer, and belief in the Law of Attraction, which is his profound world view that like attracts like, and that he creates his own reality. I am fully aware that this is not everyone’s view.
John is writing about what’s happening and his experiences too, and has profound insights about healing to share.
John is taking 100% responsibility for his cancer experience- not in a way of blaming himself or anyone, including the cancer, instead in a way of understanding the factors that helped create the conditions for cancer to grow and take shape.
In this way, John is not “fighting” the cancer. Rather, he is seeing this event as a teacher and as a profound guide.
If this is not your world view, I completely respect that. I want to share what John’s world view is, so that you can understand more of my experience, and can offer us your love and support in a more informed way, if you wish. We don’t need to agree on every belief in order to share that. Also, I want to say that when I first heard the diagnosis, I hated the law of attraction. And now I am reminded that it is like hating gravity.
What you can do to help, is to envision John and me as powerfull creators, surrounded by love and fully engaged in healing. You can also help by being fully present for your own life, and sharing the blessings of that life.
Friends and supporters are putting together some practical and innovative ways for you to help also, which you can find here. We appreciate this so much.
I’ve learned what doesn’t help- even if well meaning: pity, believing that either of us are victims, misunderstanding John or his world view, stories about people who thought similarly and died anyway, drastic miracle cures, recommendations about what to eat or do, and how to heal based on other people’s experiences.
Everyone’s experience with cancer- or with anything, is as different and similar as we are as people. We will most benefit from your sharing your love, in whatever form that takes.
We completely welcome you and your world view and experience. I’m just not up for discussing any differences. I’ve always said about John that he truly lives what he teaches, and he truly does, in the terrifying face of this too.
He intends to live and love and learn from his cancer, and teach the principles and philosophy from our book, travel the world and illuminate lives. He is a student in this new health realm, and he is definitely doing his homework. He is open to love in every and all forms, and gratefull for what is to come, whatever that is. He feels that he is climbing a mountain and learning from it all.
I am welcoming and receiving your love, wisdom, grace and gladness, prayers, energy and presence.
I am feeling periodically profoundly devastated and writing about that too.
I am continuing to live my purpose, which is to be a transformer, uplifter and laser beam of love.
I’m reading and learning from some tremendous books during this time, which I’ll be sharing along the way in my blog.
Thank you for compassionately witnessing me/us at this time, and for extending your loving kindness and care. Your presence matters and I/we appreciate it. If you feel moved to write a note here, I’ll read what you share. If there’s a message for John specifically, I’ll read that to him.
If you want to voice your love, you can call me at 415.546.3742. This is the Inspiration Line, which I’ve operated for over 20 years, and it has all-ways deeply inspired me too.
I’m writing and alchemizing throughout this journey and also welcome your support by your reading. My intention is to build “caring bridges” between us all, for all of our challenges and for our gifts, and finding and experiencing the moments of grace and growth everywhere. Love, Susan (and John)
Here’s one I recently wrote to our friends and family:
By Susan Kennedy — Jul 23, 2015 5:25pm
John’s mountain climbing journey is so changeable and fast moving.
In one moment we’re kissing & John is dreaming of eating pizza, the next moment we’re hearing about tumors on his liver and what chemo can actually do, and not do, and how he’ll need to do at least 3 months of it, in order to know anything. In another moment, his doctor, Paul, is saying that we can ultrasound the liver to see the effects of the chemo much sooner than 3 months.
The next moment his doctor is presenting holistic options that can work synergistically with the chemo, and John is meeting with a healer on the phone who is helping him a great deal.
The next moment, I am hiking straight up a mountain in an attempt to integrate all of this, and I am wondering about chemotherapy, and wondering about John’s best path, and then I notice I am on a path, and there is a big white dog running straight towards me.
A woman calls out, “Don’t worry! She’s just coming to give you love.” And the big white dog did just that. I asked the dogs name and the woman cheerfully said “Chemo!” And I shook my head, startled and asked her how she spelled that. And she said “K. I. M. O.”
And so, I am sharing all the pieces and parts, and you all continually reassure me that you can hold it, see it, witness it, and I believe you.
This whole process and outcome is truly unknown and moves at the speed of love- which is always the case for all of us anyway, and especially right now for John.
And so we live in our moments. Our friend Karin sent us this quote today: “Let me fall. If I must fall. The one I will become will catch me.” The Baal Shem Tov.