Written by Bob Ellal
Beating Cancer Four Times by Bob Ellal…
In 1991 I was diagnosed with Stage Four lymphoma cancer of the bone and given six months to live. I was 32.
My sons were aged two and six months. My ex-wife and I had just built a huge house on a lake. And my writing career in the corporate world was taking off. I had everything to live for.
Death was not in my plans.
I decided I was going to live to see my sons grow up into men—that I would beat this disease, not just for me, but for them, too. So I got to work. I researched everything I could about patients who had survived terminal illnesses. A common thread emerged: meditation and visualization. Survivors utilized the mind-body connection to bolster their immune systems.
So for the next six months while I was given double doses of CHOP chemotherapy, I meditated and visualized five or six times a day. And against all odds, at the end of six months I was cancer-free. I thought I was cured.
About a year later the cancer relapsed and the doctors recommended a stem cell transplant. It’s a medieval procedure, in which baby white cells are harvested from the blood to use after high-dose chemotherapy destroys your bone marrow—then the cells are dripped back into you to recreate your immune system. It’s a risky procedure, with a high mortality rate. I kept on meditating and visualizing, and it helped, because I got out of the transplant room in record time and cancer-free.
A year later the cancer returned. As it was a very aggressive mix of lymphoma cells, the oncologists recommended another stem cell transplant. This was dangerous for me, as having a transplant suppresses your immune system and energy for life. To subject myself to another could mean death from the chemotherapy. The doctors gave me a 20% chance of survival.
I decided I needed help to go deeper into the mind-body connection. I connected with a kung fu master from Boston who taught me the secrets of qigong, or energy work, Chinese mind/body exercises used for health and martial arts. He taught me the most difficult internal energy exercise called standing post meditation. Simply, you stand feet shoulder width-apart, toes forward, knees bent a few inches, sacrum tucked, head level, with your arms held in a big arc in front of your chest, palms facing the heart. And you focus on deep abdominal breathing. And you meditate for an hour.
I put in hundreds of hours of standing in the months preceding my transplant. And it paid off. Once again, I came out in record time (which amazed the doctors—I should have been deathly ill because of my previous transplant) and cancer free.
Eight months later the cancer returned in my spine. The pain was excruciating: My legs would collapse under me unexpectedly, and I had trouble urinating. My oncologists were at a loss, as I’d already had every time of chemo available to fight lymphoma. Out of desperation they gave me one round of the original CHOP chemo. I started doing the standing post for an hour, twice a day.
In a month the pain was gone, and so was the cancer. That was over 12 years ago, and I’ve been cancer-free ever since. I practice qigong every day to keep the wolves at bay.
And my sons have grown into men.
I kept my promise.
This story was written by a man, Bob Ellal, who has inspired my whole family (present and ex!) with his determination and will-power and I am delighted to be able to start sharing his story with you. His own book is shown above – click on it and order it from him. There is also a great book just above here called Reframe Your Life which is another worthwhile read. I wish you nothing but the very best luck and life Bob from now on and one day hope to meet you! – Julie