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My Sister Myself

by Marta J. Luzim, MS

On November 21, 2004, my sister Carla, at fifty-eight years of age died of breast cancer. When I was young I envied my sister's natural style and popularity. I wanted to hang out with her. I wanted to wear her mini skirts. I wanted to imitate the way she painted her eyes with bright blue eye shadow.

My sister was a beautiful woman who rejected her own beauty. She had a passion for conversation and loved to give advice whether you wanted it or not. She wove her husband and three sons into a tight-knit family structure believing that they would never leave her. Eight years prior to her death her husband Larry died of leukemia. Before my sister's husband died Carla had a will to live. Afterwards, she slowly slid into a depression. Therapy, medication weren't able to help, nor did her affinity for shopping or her supportive family.

For the past two years my sister hid that she had breast cancer. She blamed her ill health on a car accident. She disregarded medical intervention, refused to take a mammogram and sought treatment that kept her in denial of her prognosis. By the time she allowed an oncologist to examine her it was too late. The family was shocked by the revelation that Carla was going to die. As my sister lay dying I cried out to the heavens. How could this happen? I stared at her swollen face aching to receive an answer. Carla remained silent; entering into another realm of existence. My mind's eye wandered through menageries of memories. Carla and I dancing on the front porch of our Brooklyn home; Carla and I playing tag; Carla and I dressed in frills and lace; Carla and I fighting over a dress, a brush and our parents' attention; sisters through and through.

Each year, 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 die. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram. What made my sister one of the 13 million women?

Perusing through the Breast Cancer Site there are multitude of helpful topics; technology, treatment, prevention, genetics, detection, surgery, improved outlook and more. However, there is no discussion on cancer and depression, cancer and nutrition, cancer and meditation, cancer and healing childhood abuse, cancer and creativity, cancer and anger, cancer and grief. I am not disregarding proven medical treatment and the urgency for early detection and treatment. I am advocating for extended research into the emotionality of cancer, the negative mental influences that activate cancer and more education on carcinogenic foods.

Louise Hay, Metaphysician, publisher, author of the book, You Can Heal Your Life, and self-healed of vaginal cancer, wrote her best-selling book to guide individuals to uncover emotional beliefs and traumas that cause illness. A breast problem, according to Ms. Hayes, is "A refusal to nourish the self. Over mothering, over-protection, over bearing attitudes." Continuing on, cancer is, "Deep hurt. Longstanding resentment. A deep grief eating away at the self. Carrying Hatreds. Giving up." These intense emotions and thoughts were the exact issues my sister denied throughout her life. Ms Haye states,"The Thoughts we think and the words we speak create our experience."

Joshua Leavitt, in an article written in Parabola 1998, "A Work of Lamentation stated, "Emotional catharsis, (painful emotional expression), provides a model of healing which deals with those things which most disturb us and which we least wish to face. This process maybe crucial to our physical and spiritual survival." The movie, "What The Bleep Do You Know," explores through consciousness and physics how repressed emotional expression weakens our immune system. Kabalistic teachings, mystical knowledge of the ancient Hebrews, talks of the body being the vessel for the soul's expression; if the body is cut off from the soul's life-force, then dis-ease can occur. To delve into the self as a healer a person needs to enter into the shadow side of the psyche. As a therapist/healer to help an individual dig into their body's membranes to recover our lost and wounded soul a person cannot give up.

There was so much my sister loved in life~ and what she loved could not save her from what she hated about herself. She stopped caring and therefore denied her body life.

There are many answers and questions that guide us in life to make choices. I hope these facts, both medical and humanistic, will spark one person to choose life.

Facts about breast cancer
• Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
• One woman in eight who lives to age 85 will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
• Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
• 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 are predicted to die.
• Seventy percent of all breast cancers are found through breast self-exams. Not all lumps are detectable by touch. Regular mammograms and monthly breast self-exams are recommended.
• A mammography can detect breast cancer up to two years before it is large enough to be felt. Found early there is a five-year survival rate of 96%.

Natural Preventative remedies
• Visualize and meditate light and love through your entire body
• Health and well being come from participating passionately in life
• Eat a balanced diet and exercise
• Hug yourself often. Ask; What makes me feel alive?
• Feel, express and receive life as it is, not as it "should" be.
• Ask for help. Don't struggle through crisis alone.
• Never give up.
• Be creative and transform your emotional energy to release toxins and negativity through journaling, movement, cathartic expression, painting and other forms of expression.
• Explore stressful beliefs that lead to illness.
• Look into your eyes, repetitively Say; "I am enough just the way I am." Allow your resistance to surface and pay attention to how you reject the new belief, feel the feelings and allow your emotions to flow to release habitual thinking.
• Tap gently on your middle brow and heart and top of head, say, "Even though I am out of balance, I accept and love myself unconditionally." These are energy points that move out old beliefs.

My heart hurts knowing my sister is gone. I will miss her smile, her voice and her flamboyant laughter. She will live on in my mind and soul forever.

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Posted: 08/01/2009

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