Cancer and I – How to Make EFT Carry You Through the Worst
It was on a sunny Wednesday morning in August that cancer came knocking at my door. It came as a complete surprise, an utter outrage! All right, people do get cancer (actually quite a few do) but I hadn’t planned on it! I’m a healthy person! I don’t smoke, I hardly drink, I am a good girl…I even eat loads of broccoli!
But there you go. The Universe was of a different opinion, or at least my cells were. They had started multiplying way beyond control. I noticed the lump in my left breast when I was having my morning shower. If I hadn’t been involved in the conversation I’d had the previous day with a friend talking about their treatment for colon cancer, I probably wouldn’t have paid it any attention at all.
But as it was, I did notice and went for a check-up. In the end, I decided on traditional treatment for the tumour that was now lodged in my body.
Of course, I have been puzzling over why I got cancer. I have lots of theories but they are pure guesswork. The shock of my mother’s unexpected death? The end of a love relationship that was very important to me? Radiation from my mobile phone? The wrong kind of food? I’ll never know for sure. One thing I know, though, is that I was extremely lucky. Lucky to live near a hospital with a very good record of treating cancer patients. Lucky that I had friends and family to support me. And most of all, lucky because I had learned EFT Tapping and became an EFT Trainer through Vitality Living College.
For those new to Emotional Freedom Techqniues (EFT Tapping), download a free booklet.
I used EFT all through my illness. I remember sitting in the hospital, waiting for the doctor to see me and tell me what was going on. I was Tapping and I didn’t care who saw me. I Tapped as the doctor told me that I’d need an operation. He wondered what I was doing, I told him the Tapping helped me stay calm and focused, I even gave him a little account of what happens in the brain when you Tap (remember, this is Sweden!) and told him about Tapping for PTSD in Africa and after the tsunami. “Interesting”, he said. “Why don’t you write a book about it?” “No,” I thought, “not another one of these sentimental cancer books! Never!”
I’m so grateful for the Tapping because it gave me a tool that empowered and helped me through the ordeal of my illness. I Tapped when I got home after seeing the doctor. I felt calm, but when I went to bed I realized I was icy cold and shivering with shock. I lay there trembling, talking to myself, giving voice to all my fears, and after about 15 minutes my body felt relaxed and warm. I fell into a deep and restful sleep, and when I woke up in the morning I thought very sensibly: “Ok, I’ve got cancer. So what do I do now?”
Tell my kids? Definitely. They had to know. But oooh, that was scary! But here too, Tapping helped me find a way to handle my emotions. I realized and also felt that if I didn’t tell them, I’d be cheating them out of an opportunity to grow as human beings. However much I wanted to, I couldn’t protect my children from the pain that life bestows on us. And after all, they were not babies anymore but grown-ups with children of their own. Talking to them made me feel so happy I had these fantastic children to support me.
I tapped before the operation, knowing that if you’re calm before they cut you up, your body heals much better afterwards. I used Emma Roberts’ brilliant self-help guide Even Though I Have Cancer as inspiration. My pre-op scans were very good, better than normal. EFT even gave me the courage to ask the surgeon not to speak about negative things (or football!) during the operation and also to repeat some positive affirmations for me while I was sedated.
I don’t know if he did, though, or perhaps it was just pure bad luck but the scar from the surgery got infected and I was left with a nasty hole in my breast, oozing pus. After six weeks, I’d had enough and set to Tapping with focussed energy, using visualisations and intention. After a week, the hole had healed. Why wait so long, you probably ask. Because I just didn’t think of Tapping at first. I was too busy trying to find a way to handle the nausea from the chemo. (Even though I had opted for traditional treatment, I tried to avoid taking all the extra medication they gave me for the side effects.)
I read up on the theory of nausea and found that Tapping really helps. I also continued eating my favourite foods, although I was advised not to. But before eating, I Tapped. “Even though I feel a bit nauseous, there is nothing wrong with this food. It’s just my brain playing tricks on me.” Tap, Tap, Tap. And I’ve never had any problems with what I ate during my illness, my brain just didn’t seem to remember that I’d felt ill when I ate certain foods.
And so it went. I Tapped during the chemo and during the radiation therapy that followed. I Tapped for losing my hair. I Tapped for tiredness, sadness, and worry. I Tapped for anything that came my way that needed to be dealt with. And I also Tapped on other people – people I met during my visits to the hospital and who needed relief from their pain and anxiety.
There was actually only two things I couldn’t Tap for: One was the overwhelming and mind-blowing fear of death that attacked me while I was waiting for the lab results telling me how seriously ill I was. I would have needed someone to Tap with me then and reassure me that death comes to us all and that right now, right then, I was still alive. Instead of Tapping, I wrote, and that was also a good thing.
The second thing I never got very far with on my own was the frustration I felt at having so little energy when the treatments were over. I had finally decided to write the book about how EFT and mindfulness can help during cancer but I never seemed to get around to it. “Take it easy”, my friends told me. “Be kind to yourself! You’ve been ill, remember?” But is it being kind to yourself to not listen to your inner voice telling you what is really important? I guess my tendency to be so hard on myself is wired into me since my childhood. I’ve worked a lot on it and here a helping hand would have been great. But I never got around to it. Shame and tiredness colluded to keep me stuck.
But I did other things that were good for me. I was out cycling a lot. I danced the Five Rhythms every morning. I meditated. I cut out sugar and red meat from my diet and added other, healthier things. I kept going to my barbershop chorus practice every week. I did things that were fun and engaging.
So the energy returned and the book materialized: my own story, followed by an introduction to EFT and how to use it for cancer. Through Facebook, I found women who were willing to try EFT, and I found that Skype sessions were a super way to do it. These women kindly allowed me to tell their stories in the book. Emma Roberts also gave me much support and shared her wide experience from working with cancer patients.
The doctors say I’m cured of my cancer now but that doesn’t mean anything to me. After all, I was healthy when I got my diagnosis five years ago. What is important though, is that EFT helped me go through this ordeal and come out the other end feeling enriched, and not broken by my experience. I’m grateful that I’m still around, being able to enjoy the wonders of life and love. Every minute, here and now.
About the author
Iréne Ödmark-Hall is a EFT Master Trainer having completed her Trainers Training with Vitality Living College & Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD) and accredited by AAMET as an EFT Master Trainer. She is also a Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner and Zen Coach. Irene specialises in sleep problems, fear of public speaking and cancer. As a practitioner, she is intuitive, gentle, creative and grounded. She is also an experienced teacher and trainer, and manages to explain complicated concepts in a clear and pedagogic way. She offers training sessions, workshops, and individual sessions by Skype/Zoom. Don’t hesitate to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org +46 70 35 24 115, www.eftscandinavia.se. Even though the website is in Swedish, Iréne speaks English. Google Translate will help you make sense of the info on her website.