I’d like to tell you all a story…a story of a young man who exactly 9 earth revolutions around the sun ago (or 9 years) had a bone marrow transplant. This is a short story about suffering, deep intense suffering, and the results of that suffering. So if you have time, and this calls to you, here we go…
After 7 straight days of full body radiation 2 times per day, 2 days of intense chemotherapy, and 2 days to prepare for the day of reckoning, that day had finally come, February 12, 2004. As he laid there he watched the nurse come in to his room and inject the pre-meds into his chest catheter. 30 minutes later the Bone Marrow Transplant team of doctors walked in to his room with 2 liters of stem cells harvested from an unknown donor. They hung the blood on the pump stand and the process began. It was just another blood transfusion, but this blood was the blood that would now run through his veins, no longer the blood of fear and stress, but that of new life, a rebirth.
The transfusion went perfectly as planned, but the days to follow were going to be the most physically and emotional demanding moments of his young life. More difficult than the first 9 months of chemotherapy that he endured during his first diagnosis, and more difficult than the days of holding himself up without moving while receiving full-body radiation in the previous weeks. As if he had questions before about the meaning of life and why 2 year old children were being diagnosed with cancer, this experience would not only test him far beyond anything he could imagine but would catapult him into a realm of questioning.
The radiation had begun to show it’s side-effects…constant nausea while being unable to vomit because he no longer had any stomach acids to throw up, intense burning sensations in his hands as if his hands were on fire, excruciating sores along his mouth and trachea not allowing him to swallow but only drool. Each day his body withered away more and more because of his inability to move, unable to muster up the strength to even get up and shower most days. He constantly used morphine to dull the pain and to put him into a self-induced coma because of the constant pain.
His parents looked on at this in despair. Feeling unable to do anything but send their love to him and answer any request he had, not knowing that that was the most powerful thing they could have done. Not knowing whether their first-born son would live or die, stay sleeping or awaken, speak to their son or to the altered state of consciousness he became from the drugs. What they didn’t know was that their Love would help him through this and he would fight through the darkness to bring forth the Light.
The month following February 12, 2004 seemed to be a dream for him…entering in and out of consciousness from all of the morphine he continually pushed until he finally began to awake from the fog. As he did, he no longer recognized the form that he perceived the world through. His temple had been pillaged from substances that at the time had removed the impurities.
As the days passed, he dreamed to enter into the world again. To not be stuck in a prison for healing. Staring out the window, wishing to walk in fresh air again. He dreamt of the young man he had been…the athlete, the joker, the ladies man. The days went by, and he began to fall into a depression. He looked at where he was and was so scared that the mountain he would have to climb was far too great. He questioned at times if he had the strength to climb the mountain before him. He fell deeper and deeper into sadness. He called his father on the phone one night sobbing, spilling all of his fears that he didn’t know if he was strong enough to climb this mountain. Crying, wanting to give up. His father did his best to console him, to support him, to send the boy his Love. When the call ended, the boy felt stronger. At that moment, a voice within told him that he would get through it. That although the mountain seemed far too daunting to conquer, that together they would walk as One and reach the top. The boy didn’t know what was telling him this, but he KNEW that the voice was right.
As the days passed into April, the boy began to find more strength. His family surrounded him with Love and he knew that he was strong enough to overcome this obstacle. His physical strength improved week by week, and the stem cells began to assimilate into his body, to recognize their new home. Finally, the boy was allowed to re-enter the world.
It took many months for him to fully regain his strength physically. It took a determination not of his own will, but the Spirit within that pushed him along. He knew within his heart that his experiences had not occurred to simply be forgotten. He had experienced this suffering so that he may help heal others. He did not know how he would help heal others, but he knew that with the Power of his will and the will of the Father within that he would help.
Now, as I’m sure most of you who have read this have figured out, this story is about me, Zach. Most years this day passes by and I don’t even recognize it, but this year I felt compelled to write this. In this new age of Aquarius, this age of Unity and Love, I felt that this story may help some of my brothers and sisters out there who are suffering. I am always asked, “Did you ever feel like giving up?” And this shows you just how close I was. I wanted so badly to give up, to call it quits because I didn’t see how I could possibly reach the mountain top. I knew that was where I wanted to be and I could see myself there, I just had no idea how I could accomplish that. But I always had that little voice within me, that God-Self, Higher Self, pushing me along, just as it pushes you and all of us along in difficult times.
I’m always asked, “That must have been horrible. How did you get through it.” All I can say is, I kept walking. I chose to listen to the voice that said, “I AM here with you and together we will overcome this,” rather than the one that said, “This is too much, you should just give up.” And…I had a lot of support behind me — parents, siblings, and family members that loved me. The other question I always get asked is, “Did you ever ask ‘Why me?'” Of course I did! But I didn’t ask that and want someone else to get sick, I just wanted to know why I got sick, period! It’s normal, if you’re not questioning why things are happening how will you ever learn from them? How will you ever help others to live the life they want if you’re not questioning how you got the life you have?
But I ultimately wanted to write this to say that although this story sounds horrible, for everyone involved, every time I think about it I feel grateful. I feel grateful that I suffered like I did! Everything that I experienced in my past has made me exactly who I am today. The vomiting, the mouth sores, the crying, the despair, the physical deterioration and weakness, the chest catheter, the pain in my family’s eyes, the pain in the eyes of other families who had a sick child, all of it. Do I wish I could go back and heal every single child that I met in the hospital…absolutely!!! Do I wish I could have told the nurses to give me the chemo instead of those children…absolutely!!! But I also know that the suffering experienced by those children and their families, as well as mine, have made their souls evolve and become stronger.
Every bit of suffering has made me stronger, just as each step up the mountain has made me stronger. Our suffering makes us who we are. Does it always feel great while we’re in it?…absolutely not. Do we emerge stronger and evolved from it?…Absolutely!
On this day, which has immense significance for me, I am grateful for every bit of suffering that has allowed me to become who I am today. I want you all to know that even though it may be difficult, you are so much stronger than you recognize and you will always have Source walking with you when you feel weak. These experiences are dear to my growth and I wanted to share them with you…my dearest brothers and sisters. This is the first time I have expressed this to anyone, and I am honored to have shared this with you all. I Love You all so much, truly and forever, and hope this message can help you see how incredibly strong You are!
With All My Love, ❤