My Medical Miracle

Claudia - Spencertown, New York
Entered on October 25, 2010
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe a miracle happened to me on August 6, 2003, and it turned my view of medicine, and the whole world, completely upside down.

Maybe you won’t believe me.

It was the second summer I had to face treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, a curable cancer. I felt as healthy as a racehorse that summer. I was jogging and sporting a wild mane of new curls.

Still, the CT scan at my regular check up showed an olive-sized spot in my chest. The oncologist insisted I needed a stem cell transplant, a procedure that brings you near death before it cures you, supposedly.

I demanded a second opinion, and sought out a specialist in Boston.

Meanwhile, I took my sister-in-law’s advice and consulted a medical intuitive. Why? Because my sister-in-law told me, simply, “She will blow your mind.”

And blow my mind she did.

August 6th was a hot day in L.A., where I was visiting my sister. I phoned the medical intuitive at precisely 7 a.m., as she’d instructed. The intuitive – who diagnoses disease from a distance, on total strangers – was in Stowe, Vermont.

She had never met me. She didn’t know my last name. She knew only that I had suffered from cancer.

“Lie down,” she said. “Your limbs will get heavy. After 45 minutes the feeling will go away. Call me back.”

Lying in my sister’s guest room, my arms and legs puddled into cement. An hour later, I phoned the woman back.

“Did your mother have lung cancer?” asked the intuitive, named Karin.

“No.”

“Did she have a serious lung ailment?”

“She had asthma, very bad, as I grew up.”

“So, underlying your cancer is your resentment towards your mother’s illness,” the intuitive said matter-of-factly. My heart raced. I had always had difficulty dealing with my mother being sick.

But Karin wasn’t finished.

“You have one spot of cancer to cure. It’s on your left side, right above your diaphragm, and below your rib cage. You will be cured, but you must deal with your feelings toward your mother.”

My jaw dropped. Only two people in the world knew where that spot was: my doctor and my husband. How could she possibly know?

I was premed — a biology major — at Brown University and later, I worked as a reporter for one of the nation’s leading daily newspapers. I was trained to look at the world rather skeptically. I have always believed in a rational universe that operated according to logical rules that could be tested.

But here was something I couldn’t explain. This woman knew a fundamental and frightening truth about my body, no matter that she was a total stranger and 3,000 miles away.

That day I began to realize there are deep mysteries in the universe. We know what makes cell phones and computers tick, but we are far from grasping the secrets of the human mind. We aren’t even sure what consciousness is, and are just starting to figure out how our thinking influences the body. We are beginning to see that human beings –like the Universe itself – are complex energy systems finely tuned and capable of fantastic powers.

An hour after my intuitive reading, my husband called. The doctor in Boston had phoned: I did not need the stem cell transplant after all; that olive-sized spot was left over from the first treatment. He prescribed more chemo and radiation, and soon I was healed.

But my exploration of a brand new world was just beginning.