Cancer as a Wake-Up Call

Above we have a picture of something like the Tumor Conference that is recorded in the following interview.  Life is absurd, disease is absurd, and tumor conferences are absurd. Hopefully, you will find the following interview absurd.

While IDL does not make Stage IV “terminal” cancer get better or go away, the ability of a person with that diagnosis to deal with their circumstances can be significantly enhanced.  As a phenomenological method, IDL attempts to suspend all assumptions, including that life is better than death.  The great American medical clairvoyant Edgar Cayce once famously remarked in a reading, “Sometimes death is the greater healing.”  IDL assumes that every experience is best understood as a wake-up call.  That implies that healing first takes place in awareness and attitude.  It takes time for that healing to manifest on a physical level, and with Stage IV cancer, time is a scarce commodity.  We see healing in in awareness and attitude in abundance in the following interview.

Note: This is the third interview with Susanne since she got sick.  The first, “Cancer and Your Life Script,” was before she went into the hospital after some six months of bouts of throwing up that she thought was due first to an aversion to meat (she’s a vegetarian) and then to food poisoning.  The second, “Dancing Yourself to Inner Peace and Healing,” took place about five days after she had all of her large intestine and ovaries removed.  This one came about four days after the previous one, when she had been moved to a terminal facility beside the Havel, outside Berlin.  Oncology specialists were planning to hold a tumor conference in four days to decide if she was strong enough to administer palliative chemotherapy.

I’d like to talk to the cancer.  Is that OK?


Cancer, do you want to live?

No, not as I am.

Why not?

I got too upset.  I caused all these problems.  I didn’t want to get as strong as I am now. I was calling her and calling her but she didn’t listen.  She didn’t care.  And so I called other energies…

What do you think of this spiral inside of Susanne?  Is it your enemy? (The Spiral made its appearance in the previous interview…)

She’s a good friend of Susanne.  We all need to have a Tumor Conference inside of Susanne.

Who needs to be invited?

All of the cancer cells that got carried away.  Sarah’s spirit and soul.  Spiral, of course. It’s good to invite her son and some friends and her mother and father, too.

Tumor, do you have anything you want to say to everyone at this tumor conference?

I regret that I got out of my borders and got carried away.  I didn’t mean to do that. Susanne and I have something in common.  She sometimes gets carried away and flares up if she doesn’t feel that she is listened to.  I also did the same.  She didn’t want to listen to me.  I wanted to tell her that she should care more about herself and she just ignored me.  I got so annoyed!

Why did she ignore you?

She got so many invitations from her friends and so many impulses to care for them.  She would accept all the beautiful invitations.  She was fixated on the financial situation so she could be on her own.  She had a one-track mind to stand on her own two legs and be independent.

What do you think about that, tumor?

I think it’s crazy!  I started to shout but she wouldn’t notice.  I gave her so many signs but she was like the three monkeys: hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. But now we have to come to an agreement again.  I already have begun  to draw back because my means isn’t right.  I don’t think it was OK for me to go that far.  The means I chose to be heard were too hard.

People want to eradicate you with chemotherapy.

I want to ask for support from you.

How can we support you to stop and draw back?

At the moment I am a bit confused.  When I recognized what I had done to her body I was in shock.

Would you like to change, tumor?


Spiral, are you here?


What do you think about what the tumor has just said?

I think it’s honest.  I don’t know him very well, but I heard him calling Sarah.  We have both been calling Sarah.  I am not in contact with Tumor, but I will support him.

Tumor, the Spiral said it is willing to support you.  Is that something you want or need?

Yes! I have to tell all the crazy cells that I called to wake up Sarah.  I have to tell them to get in order again.  There are so many cells now that I don’t know if I can do it alone.

Now you have this entire Tumor Conference.  Would you like its help?

Yes! First, I ask everyone in the conference for forgiveness.

All of you, are you willing to forgive tumor or do you need to stay angry or scared?

Everybody is nodding yes.  (Cries)

Tumor, Sarah seems to have some strong feelings coming up now.  What are they about?

She’s forgiving me too.

How does that feel?

Very relieving.

Do you believe, Tumor, that you deserve forgiveness?

Yes!  I am so glad now!

I have a question for Susanne’s mother, Maria. What have you heard so far at this Tumor Conference, Maria, and has anything surprised you in what you have heard?

I am very moved by what both the tumor and Susanna have said and how they can forgive each other!  I am also willing to support both Sarah and the tumor.

And how would you like to support Susanne and the tumor?

We are all helping and holding hands. She always tells me her sorrows. We are always in contact.  I will be here.

Susanne can you feel the presence of your mom? (Deceased.)

It’s wonderful!  We both love nature.  Today I already saw her in the trees outside my window.  We had a nice wandering by the trees outside!

What’s your dad’s name?


Heiner, welcome to the Tumor Conference!  Are you surprised to be here?

I didn’t know how serious Susanne’s cancer is.  (Heine is still alive.)

What have you heard so far that is important to you?

Normally it is not my kind of communication, but I am very thankful that I am invited and that I can speak to this group.  It is good to be here with all of you.   I also had this problem with her. She wouldn’t listen!  I told her over and over but she wouldn’t listen!  Now I know her better and I’m growing older.  I understand more and more and more why she wouldn’t listen because also I wouldn’t listen to her.  Now I am doing my best to listen.

Susanne, what did you hear your father say?

I am so thankful!  We were able to be together last year without arguing, just holding hands and feeling the blood pulsing in his hands and see him breathing and wondering when he would go…

Heine, how do you feel about what Susanne just said?

We had never-ending misunderstandings.  It was not good for our relationship.  but I think the time in the hospital, when I was in coma and I didn’t expect she would come because it’s always difficult when we meet.  But she came and was by my side.  She held my hand and I heard her singing and I realized we are much closer than we thought we were.  And Bartok, her son came. And together, they called me back to life.  I am so  happy that I gave money for my funeral to help her buy her car!  I knew all my life that she was struggling to have a certain financial basis.

Tumor, what have you heard Heiner say?

Heine is also willing to support my withdrawal.

Erich, what do you think about being here at this Tumor Conference?  (Erich is a previous lover, deceased since 1988.)

Hi Claudia!  I’s nice to meet you, Mirko and Joseph! I am willing to support Sarah and the tumor to get rid of this and get past this war in her body.  I love her.  I went through similar experiences at the end.  I also got wake-up calls from my tumor, but I didn’t listen.

What recommendations would you give her?

Love! All of us need it.  Being embraced!  She has always been good at loving but she hasn’t been good at loving herself – like me!  And she always reminded me to love myself!

I wonder if she would be willing to accept all of your love right now?

I am close to her.  I am embracing her.  (Cries)

Can you feel embraced, Susanne?  How does that feel for you?

I just feel loved…

Feel embraced by all the members of your Tumor Conference…

Tumor, are you willing to hug Susanne?

Yes!  She’s listening to me!

Are you wiling to start trusting her that she will listen to you?

I will also work at listening better to her.

Tumor, is there anything else you would like to say to this Tumor Conference or to SSusanne?

How do we stay in contact?  What will be our first steps?

Do you have any preferences about how you would like to stay in contact?

I will try to give her relief in her stomach.  I will call you to help.  It’s hard work.   I want to thank you so much for your forgiveness and your support now.

Do you feel like Susanne has forgiven you?

Yes, and I am honest in what I am saying now.

Is there any other member of the Tumor Committee that would like to speak?

Benjamin (Susanne’s son):  I am willing to support Susanne.  I called you thirteen years ago when you were suffering so much and I felt you were angry because you couldn’t bear any more.

Claudia: I would like to embrace everyone too, and I would like to embrace tumor too..

Susanne.  Thank you, Claudia!

Claudia: The tea is for you too, Tumor, so you can calm down.

Claudia: Spiral, did you hear that Tumor said, that it was a bit worried that things have gotten out of hand.  He seems to need practical help to call his troops back.  they seem to have gone wild.  Do you have any idea about how to call them back when they don’t seem to listen to Tumor any longer?

Spiral: The wind outside and all the birds singing melodies…I think a retreat and dancing is much better..

Claudia: What will these cells do when they hear all these tunes?

They will get on our wavelength.  If we are going to dance with our wavelength it’s an invitation to the tumor cells to do their retreat.

So they can tune back into one song?

Yes.  If we are in the same mode and movement it’s easier to get back to the rhythm of life and to the song of life.

Claudia: I am very practical.  How do we do this?  Do we hold hands and listen to the wind and the birdsong?  Do we put on music and dance?

All kinds of good humor and joy of life!

Mirko: is there anyone else that would like to join the tumor conference that has not been invited yet?

All who feel close to Sarah are here.

Claudia: Would a chemotherapy cocktail help to calm down your troops, Tumor?


Susanne: I want to thank Mirko!  Thank you so much for your support, for loving me!  I love you so much!

Mirko: I am very thankful for all we have experienced.  Whenever we have a communication problem we can trust each other because we are all one spiritual family.

Are the above remarks projections by Susanne?  Of course!  They are expressions of parts of her greater self, so on one level, everything can be expected.  The idea of having an internal Tumor Conference was brilliant.  I wish I could take credit for it, but I think the Tumor recommended it.  What we have presented is a model of disease as a wake-up call that gets out of control when it is ignored and victimized parts of the body get “annoyed”.  The volume increases until the mechanisms become automatic, like a runaway freight train.  We aren’t used to thinking of cancer cells as having a conscience or asking for forgiveness.  Perhaps they do not, until through communication, they are humanized and made part of the system of consciousness.  The regret and remorse expressed by the tumor and the cancer cells may also be a projection of Susanne’s, but she could have projected all sorts of other responses. Why that one? What does it say?  It says that ignorance or lack of awareness, which can be explained by a lack of internal communication, caused the problem.  If that is the case, then increasing internal communication, as IDL does, becomes a means of upstream prevention of disease.

Why did Susanne ignore her wake-up calls?  She accepted too many invitations for help from friends while not accepting enough financial help from others.  She gave but did not receive enough – a sure recipe for burn-out or worse.

There is no expectation that such an interview will change the course of a disease process that has its own genetic teleology, yet there is no expectation that such an interview will not change the course of the disease process either.  Keeping an open focus through a suspension of biases, beliefs, and expectations is central to the phenomenological stance of IDL.  It trusts that through holding such a stance that space can be provided in which surprising things can evolve, that feel good and right, regardless of what they are.

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