I was lying on the examination table, naked from the waist up.
“I can’t feel anything”, he shrugged.
“Push up a bit higher. Now, push down towards the chest wall,” I instructed my doctor as he was fishing around in my left arm pit.
“Oh there, yes, hmm. Well, I’m not worried about it.”
How many times had I heard those words over the past three years from Dr. F, beginning with a greenish-brown discharge from my left nipple in November of 2007.
“I’m not worried about it, it’s probably fibrocystic breast disease”. No attempt to express any of the discharge, no mention of sending it for a pathology test, no mention of a mammogram.
I was 45 years old. Even then, this lack of concern struck me as odd, but I figured, he is an MD, he knows. In retrospect, he was supposed to follow up on this in three months, didn’t happen either although I saw him every three months for a refill on a prescription.
I had regular breast exams with him once a year, he’d mumble about lumpy breasts and their increased risk of cancer, but that was it.
Enlarged Axillary Lymph Node
But now he could not find a lymph node in my arm pit the size of half a plum. Once he had finally located it he was still trying to dismiss me: “Oh, it’s probably nothing, but if you like I can send you for a mammogram.”
A month later I had a mammogram and was kept right there for an immediate ultrasound and a needle biopsy, surrounded by a team of very concerned looking doctors and nurses.
Two days later Dr. F’s office called me in. “You know, it’s a good thing we did that mammogram, because they found something.”
Yeah, let me guess, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Hopefully with your head in it.
Asked why he did not send me for testing two years ago he apologized and told me that he may have been biased because I was a naturopathic doctor. Then he offered to find me another doctor, or to make sure I’d get a great disability in case I wanted to stay with him.
Maybe his license should be in the pot, too.
So six weeks later I underwent a bilateral mastectomy, a lymph node dissection of the left axilla and a sentinel lymph node biopsy of the right one, plus immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders. The cancer had grown far too big to only remove a lump and the other breast also looked suspicious.
I was 48 years old and the single mother of a 12-year-old child whose father was not involved in our lives or paid support. My entire family lived in Germany and I lost all my financial assets in the economic slide two years before. My new boyfriend had just dumped me because I had cancer. My old boyfriend, who had promised to take care of me, my daughter and the dog after the surgery, bailed out a week before the big event.
Nonetheless, starting two days before the surgery I felt an indescribable happiness, as if something wonderful was about to happen. A feeling as if I was about to get married, or was graduating from naturopathic college again, one of the happiest days of my life.
As I was packing my bag for the hospital the evening before the surgery, singing and whistling, my daughter asked: “Mom, you seem so happy but you’re going to have surgery tomorrow, are you okay?”
I told her that I was just fine and felt amazing. I knew that a lot of people were praying for me and sending energy and I thought that this was maybe why I felt so good. Little did I know that I was about to experience an almost miraculous event.
Homeopathy for Post-Surgical Pain
But once I was in my room and allowed to take my homeopathic remedies I felt much better.
I therefore discussed using homeopathic remedies immediately after the surgery in the recovery room with my surgeons, who were both fine with it. I also asked my anaesthesiologist to give me positive healing affirmations during the surgery and he was happy to do so. The surgical team was wonderful and so were the nurses. I felt deeply cared for.
I also took along a CD player with a lovely relaxation and guided imagery CD by Dr. Teresa Clarke, MD, entitled “Remembered Wellness”.
When I woke up in the recovery room I was given my homeopathic concoction of Arnica and Hypericum. It helped dramatically but I had to take it every 8-10 minutes. There was definitely pain which would decrease within 2-3 minutes of taking the remedy and then return after about five minutes.
I would not have been able to manage without it. But I never needed any morphine at all and only a few Tylenol Extra Strength later in the day, much to the surprise of the nurses.
Anaethesia and the Mind
Once on the surgical station I asked for the CD player. This was when the magic happened. My normal mental thought process seemed to have been deconstructed by the anaesthetic and I felt as if I had been meditating deeply for hours.
I realized that my thoughts were keeping me from deeper levels of insight and consciousness and that, in fact, my whole sense of self was just a kind of thought construct.
I had previously tasted this kind of experience during deep meditation as well as during regression therapy. Essentially the anaesthesia seemed to simply inhibit the usual mind chatter, a veil was parted and I received many revelations.
These included incredibly profound insights into the nature of the mind, my condition, life in general, my future, my family, as well as the doctors, nurses and other patients around me.
Strangely I also felt an incredibly strong desire to smoke a cigarette. I was not a smoker at the time but had occasionally smoked a little in my life. I thought the anaesthesia had done something to my brain to create this craving and just ignored it.
There was a patient in the next bed, separated only by a curtain, who was in a great deal of pain after eye surgery. She kept asking the nurses to give her more medication. I felt quite concerned about her.
In the meantime I had also picked up all kinds of information about the nurses and doctors who were caring for me. One nurse had strained relationships with her children, I could pick up her situation as if I was watching a movie in my mind.
I also had deep insights into my surgeon’s character and life and ‘saw’ that he would become famous for his practice and especially his teachings of new and improved surgical techniques.
I saw that he had a very high level of consciousness and was truly a man of greatness. I saw thousands of other doctors as well as medical students being influenced by him in the future. I felt very touched by this revelation and later shared it with him.
Furthermore I was given profound insights into my life.
The Perfection of Life
I experienced a deep realization that everything that had happened in my life so far had to happen exactly as it did; that it was absolute perfection on a greater scale. And I had had a few really rough experiences in my life, a hundred times worse than this brush with cancer.
Still, those experiences, including the fact that my doctor had missed the problem for years were also part of the whole perfection. It simply had to happen that way. It is hard to explain now, but at the time it was very obvious. It was as if my whole life was laid out as a wonderful large picture or tapestry with everything in the right place.
Oddly enough I could also sense the guilt that Dr. F felt about missing my cancer, but I knew that this was also part of the plan.
I could also see my future and knew that I was not going to die any time soon, in fact, it seemed as if I was about to have a second and quite different life altogether.
The Future Looks Good
I was revealed that I would work much more with children, and with energy and love. I saw that my daughter was also involved in this work. We were there together, surrounded by many children, giving and receiving much love.
I was also shown that I would get married, or what felt like a marriage or life-long relationship with a special man. I have never been married. At the time these insights were so clear and obvious that I did not ask for any details, such as how and when these events were going to happen. It did not matter at that time.
For hours I happily surfed a blissful state of knowingness and clairvoyance, as well as a profound understanding that life was really all about love. It was love that was the true reality, love that was giving us life, love that could heal.
It even felt as if my breasts had to be removed in order for this love to be freed inside me.
No Pain with Love
Feeling love, I had almost no pain, or at least, the pain did not have me. As soon as other thoughts, any thoughts, tried to come in, there was pain. I realized that my own thinking was the cause of a restriction of the flow of love and universal energy.
I saw and felt that all life was interconnected and divinely orchestrated, for everyone and at all times, going back and forward into infinity. Only that there was no real time and space in that dimension, everything was always there somehow.
Of course, this is something well described in all religious and mystical traditions, yet, to have such a profound experience of it myself was quite a different story.
The surgery may have helped my cancer, but much more importantly it provided the opportunity for a profound experience of the deeper levels of reality and consciousness and I am very grateful for that.
Make no mistake, I did not change because of the cancer, this was already part of my destiny, to unfold in this precise order, not as a cause and effect, linear equation but much more as a unified experience.
Anaesthesia as a Gateway to Higher States of Consciousness
I wanted to share my experience to show others that there can be a different way to experience surgery, especially for serious conditions like cancer.
I think that anaesthesia has the potential to temporarily change our level of consciousness by reducing thought chatter and that this state can be used to help us heal on a deep level and to show us our true nature of divinity, love and connectedness.
Needless to say, I was on cloud nine for weeks after the surgery! No worries about the cancer at all, everything was going to be fine, no better than fine, amazing.
And anyway, for that experience I’d have gladly given both arms and legs and all it had cost me was my breasts, a small price to pay.
Six Years Later
Today, January 1, 2017, more than six years have passed since that experience.
You may wonder how it all unfolded. After the surgery I tried to figure out the details here in ‘real life’. What was going to happen with the cancer, how was I going to change my work, have this relationship and this very different, second life?
My cancer prognosis from a conventional point of view was a bit dire. The tumour was huge, 9.5 cm in diameter and I had six positive lymph nodes in my left axilla. Stage III cancer.
I even had two or three different types of cancer, one very aggressive and her2 positive. My oncologist, a lovely man, told me that if I did nothing else I’d have a 20% chance of still being alive in ten years. If I did 28 sessions of radiation plus nine months of chemo, that chance would rise to 50%.
In the end I opted for nine radiation sessions and no chemo at all and I also started to take large doses of Vitamin D and special homeopathic remedies to support my system.
Six months after the surgery I read Dr. Smit’s book ‘Autism – Beyond Despair’ and it felt as if he was speaking directly to me. I immediately began using his method and started to work almost exclusively with children.
I have since taken more training to specialize in this area and am now helping to teach other doctors as well as the general public about autism and the links to vaccines and other toxins.
This has been quite a radical shift in my life as I was rather unaware of the vaccine connection before.
Then two years ago my daughter and I were introduced to the teachings of Bruno Groening, a German healer and mystic who died in 1959.
He is helping tens of thousands of people around the world through spiritual healing and energy. I have since incorporated this work into my life and practice as well, delving more deeply into energy healing.
My daughter has taken a very strong interest in his work also and we sometimes even help people together now.
And what about my love life, you might ask. Well, two years after the surgery I met someone very special who certainly helped me to develop a totally different view of relationships and what is possible in that area.
My old paradigm of what a relationship should look and feel like was completely smashed and reconstructed and is dramatically different now than before, in many ways much more free and liberated as well as deeper and more mystical. It was not always a smooth ride mind you, more of a roller-coaster!
We ultimately parted as friends and a year later I found myself in a much more peaceful and supportive relationship into which I incorporated what I learned in the previous one. This also was not to last as lovers, but we are now working together on a couple of inventions and business ideas as best friends, so I am very happy.
The Power of Love to Heal
I really have a very different life now than before the surgery, both professionally and personally and the visions seem to be coming true, albeit more slowly than I might have expected. But hey, I still have another fourty years to go after all.
I am not afraid of the cancer. Somehow it will be taken care of. I was handed a new lease on life and am still very grateful to my wonderful surgeon, Dr. Biberdorf, who had tears of concern in his eyes when I was going to refuse the surgery initially.
From that moment of love from my doctor, everything changed. I made the decision to have the surgery, or rather the decision was made by all that is and my life went down a totally new track.
Writing this now I’m still amazed at everything that happened and excited about the future.
Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, January 2017
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Pediatrics
209-1061 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 5A1
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4