April 2010: The start of a very different life
As a student and teacher of philosophy, I have always believed it possible to think my way out of any situation. In the past, I have almost always managed to get what I want, although it hasn’t always turned out to be what I expected.
In June of 2006 I found myself in a situation that made me wonder if I was wrong. Maybe I had met my match; maybe this was the situation where thinking was not going to help. I was only half right.
After many difficult years, I found myself living a magical life. I had the most wonderful six-year-old daughter, a perfect baby girl in my arms and a man who was, in my eyes, more desirable than any movie star. Things were going well with my family too, especially my sister Belinda and her four fabulous sons. By December, everything had changed.
My sister had lost her long battle with breast cancer and a stroke had turned my karate master Steve into a 17-stone child with no speech, severely reduced movement and little understanding of what was going on around him. My mother was dangerously ill, I had slipped a disk trying to lift Steve and I had many signs of breast cancer. How was I going to think my way out of this?
There were days when I wondered if I was the subject of a cosmic stress test run by a group of mad scientists in a Matrix-type world. I imagined them giggling away in their lab, nudging each other and whispering, “Lets see what happens if we make the commode split, the doorbell ring, the baby cry and Steve shout all at the same time!”
Some people turn to comfort food at times like this. I do too but I also take comfort in reading; the heavier and more obscure the topic the better. When Steve fell ill, I asked his doctors and therapists to give me papers to read. I wanted everything they had on stroke. Then I went online. I started on the first entry that popped up and read and read and read.
A moment of discovery
After a year, I stumbled upon a treatment the doctors had never mentioned and it really helped Steve. I found another and another, until the light came back into his eyes, the movement came back into his paralyzed arm and the hope came back into our lives. I decided to share my discoveries with others who, like us, were desperately searching for help. This led me to create the Research & Hope website: http://www.researchandhope.com/
I didn’t know it at the time but my website would lead to a series of meetings and opportunities that would change all of our lives.