Holy Sit: Don't Let Them Cut into You!

Don't Let Them Cut into You!

“Your test results aren’t good.” Dr. E said the words no one wants to hear. “I’m having your pathology reviewed by another lab at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center (UCSF), but it could be uterine cancer. I need you to come to my office tomorrow.”

On October 5, 2011, the same day Steve Jobs lost his battle with cancer, I received the call from my doctor. There are times in your life when time stands still, and this was one of them. The air was still. Colors were dull. There were no sounds. As I tried to assimilate the news, I couldn’t breathe. Simultaneously, I felt shock, disbelief, anger, and denial. How could someone like me, so conscious of health, be getting this diagnosis? It couldn’t be true. But what if it was true? What would I do?

I sat in my car after the phone call, and tears streamed down my face. Soon, strange panic noises that didn’t sound like me, escaped my mouth. I sucked in my breath and thought I might throw up. Li’l Blue, my environmentally responsible Prius, hugged me tightly and kept me safe in a random parking lot on D Street in San Rafael, California. What should I do? Whom should I call? I still didn’t know many people, since I’d moved to the Bay Area just six months prior and most of my family was still in Seattle. I was scheduled to meet with my new boss in an hour.

Pull it together, Hine! This was a common and telling dialogue I’d had with myself throughout my life. What happened next could be attributed only to my multidimensional, psychospiritual life—a life that I would soon be forced to reclaim.

My emotional elevator barely had time to reach the despair department, when I heard three taps on my window. When I looked up through my blurry eyes, I saw a little old lady outside my window. She appeared to be in her seventies, with chin-length, curly silver hair, friendly brown eyes, and a wide smile. Guardedly, I lowered the window to see what she wanted.

“How’s your day going, dear?” she asked in a voice that was too cheery for my somber mood.

“Not so great,” I replied, with a sarcastic undertone of “obviously” in my voice.

“Yes, I could tell. I saw your tears when I pulled into the parking lot,” she said gently. “What’s the matter, dear?” she asked.

I spotted an angel pin on her baby-blue sweater and decided it was safe to disclose my raw news.

“I’m having a bit of a cancer scare,” I admitted. I was unwilling to say that I actually had the dreaded “c-word,” because technically I wasn’t sure. But every cell in my body knew the truth.

“Oh,” she said. And then, with more enthusiasm than I thought the situation warranted, she asked, “Well, do you believe in God?”

“Yes,” I mumbled.

“Great,” she replied. “Do you believe in Jesus?”

I’d grown up Catholic and had twelve years of private school and plaid uniforms under my belt, so the man on the cross was no stranger to me. When I was a kid, the concept of God was too mysterious for me to comprehend. In my mind, God was synonymous with church dogma. The “we are born sinners” stuff never resonated with me. But this Jesus guy . . . he was cool. When I was about ten years old, I started to pray to him directly, and he answered me. I lay in bed in my wood-paneled room, having long conversations with him.

When I was twelve, I went to Easter camp and sealed my spiritual crush. I came back from camp and told my sister Wendy that I was going to become a nun. For once, she didn’t mock me. Later, I fell away from the church, and soccer and boys replaced my aspirations to be a nun. Even then, my admiration for JC didn’t diminish. We just had what you might call an on-again, off-again relationship.
“Do you believe in Jesus?” The question hung there.

“Of course—he’s one of my spiritual guides,” I replied to the angel lady.

She said, “Well, good, because Jesus is just giving you this cross because you haven’t fully surrendered to him. Have you fully surrendered to Jesus?”

If this gray-haired, angel pin-wearing woman had known anything about Emily Hine, then she would know that I hadn’t surrendered to any man, even the most powerful dude on the cross—no matter how close we were!

“No,” I replied meekly, wondering why I hadn’t “surrendered,” and unsure what that even meant.

She said, “Well, you just need to surrender to Jesus. That, and, you need to drink kombucha tea! It will heal you. The man who created kombucha cured his mother of cancer. I have some tea in the car, and we’ll drink it together.” She went on, “I’ve been with Mother Teresa. She hugged me for ten minutes in a chapel. Get out of the car, dear; I’m going to give you a hug.”

I obeyed because I had no idea what was happening. It had started to rain, but she just kept talking. And, like a dazed car-crash victim, I listened and nodded my head.

“I’ve been in a number of accidents recently,” she informed me. “In fact, my foot is in a boot.” She pointed down. “I’m driving a rental car while my car is in the shop. That’s just Jesus trying to get my attention.” She laughed.

If Jesus was trying to get her attention with a car crash and a bunion boot, then what was he trying to communicate to me about this possible collision course with cancer? Finally, she went around to the other side of her car to get the tea. That gave me time to snap back to reality. I looked up at the sky and thought, Really? This is who you deliver to me in my hour of need? Where’s the hot paramedic with the understanding green eyes? Where’s the uncharacteristically sensitive, muscular fireman who happens to be walking by on his break and notices me crying alone in my car?

The angel lady, using a cane, limped around to the passenger side of my car. She carried a plastic bag that held a glass bottle of kombucha and a mug. I opened the door from the inside so she could get in. I pulled out a travel mug for the tea.

“You have to get this brand with the black label.” She showed me. “It has good probiotics that will heal you. Don’t shake it; it might explode.”

I carefully opened the bottle and poured the effervescent tea for us. We cheered to my health, and I took my first sip of the tea that would supposedly heee-al me.

As my objectivity returned, I recalled when I’d had other chance encounters of this unique nature. Usually the person I met, if it was a woman, was named Mary (as in Mother Mary, mom of Jesus, the aforementioned surrender-requester). So I asked my Prius guest, “What is your name?”

She replied, “Maria.” Obviously. “Maria C. I work at the San Rafael mission.”

Of course she did. She wore an angel pin, worshiped God and Jesus, and likely had Bible verses memorized.

Maria went on, “I live in Sausalito. My husband was a famous artist. He’s dead now, but you can find him on Google.”

Who knew Google was responsible for preserving life after death? Well done, Google.

For the next fifteen minutes, I learned about Maria’s life. She’d had a rough childhood and an abusive father. To keep Maria safe, her mother had placed her in an orphanage. There was a dramatic and dangerous escape from the orphanage. It went on and on, and I thought, Why isn’t Maria pissed off? She had a horrible childhood, and her husband is dead. But here she is in her boot with her cane, laughing about her catastrophes and happily sharing her kombucha with an emotional stranger.

Maria revealed more of her character. She said, “They call me the singing lady. I’m always singing.” Then, moving within four inches of my face and without an ounce of self-consciousness, she confidently belted out an operatic “I saw you crying in the chapel. . . . ”

As I took in the song, the lyrics, and the significance of this whole strange interaction, I realized I had been sitting in my car for only about three minutes before Maria appeared. I’d barely had time to think about my next steps, and there she was. Again, I looked to the sky and just shook my head in disbelief. Even I, especially in my darkest hour, wouldn’t look a gift angel in the mouth, especially since her healing modalities included a heavenly singing telegram.

After her melodramatic vocal interlude, Maria’s expression became serious. She looked me in the eyes and spoke the words that would echo in my brain on a daily basis for the next three months. “Don’t you let them cut into you! The doctors will want to do surgery. Don’t let them cut into you. Eat organic food, drink kombucha tea, surrender to Jesus, and you will be fine.”

I didn’t have an official diagnosis; it would come the next day. But, by God, I had a prescription for curing cancer, only it was delivered by an angel, not an MD.

To continue the story, click here.

In Peace,

Emily Hine

Note: This Holy Sit blog is one in a series of blog posts that tell the story of my journey healing from cancer without surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. It's also about spiritual awakening and finding inner peace and compassion in a chaotic world. If you want to read the full story, check out the chapter titles on the Holy Sit home page and start with this one.  Cheers to your health!