When the bell tolls, almost everyone, at least fleetingly, wonders "what has God got to do with it?” Some set off on a spiritual journey which can make their bell lap as intensely a spiritual time as it is an intensely biologic, social and economic time.  Even those for whom everything spiritual smacks of hogwash start to wonder, “Does God have a role here? And, if so, how?  And, so what?  Does it really make a difference?”  No matter whether you are, atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or Christian, this time becomes one of dicey questioning, especially as you smell the decay and feel the heat of the Dragon's breath on the back of your neck.

Cancer can destroy a body, but it often destroys a life first. A battle must be engaged on two fronts, one the biologic and the other spiritual, recognizing that with every victory on one front frees up energy and resources to commit to the other. This is real ! Are you tired? Then pay attention. 

If  my readers are anything like my patients, then I am speaking to a few who know God well, some who have just met Him, some who met Him long ago only to push Him onto a back shelf, some who were force-fed religion about Him only to walk away nauseated, and some who have never given anything spiritual much thought.

In the Cancer Center, I never knew to whom I was speaking, but I needed to speak to them all just as I want to with you right now. I have been in many of those same spiritual places myself and have wrestled with many of the same challenges. Please hang with me in those moments when I am writing to someone other than you.  I believe there are some things, albeit different things, which each of you will find meaningful; indeed critical.

I have watched and queried and chronicled those friends and patients whose stories simply refuse to have tragic endings, and over the years a picture has emerged, some truths have been revealed – at least for me. I have put them to the test and they seem to be real. This book is about that picture and those truths that leap from the pages of my patient’s lives. So let me show you the bread crumbs they left for us along the trail of their journeys and through the dark forests of their cancers.

The scientific method instructs us precisely what it takes to establish scientific fact; It is taught in medical schools. Research studies are performed under controlled conditions evaluating a limited number of variables. The results are reported, reviewed and published. But one published paper of experimental findings does not a truth make. The methods of the experiment must also be published, the data evaluated, and then the same study must be reproduced by other reputable scientists in the same way, and must yield the same results. For me it was as if my patients were doing a study with their lives and their souls. I was the scientist observing the consequences of their choices and was startled by the results.

Now I think I understand their methods. I have passed them on to other patients, and I have tried them in my own life, and in both cases the original results have been reproduced. That is as close as I can get to the scientific method applied to the human condition, so I conclude the results are both valid and scientifically sound. When you finish reading, it will be for you to decide – just a bunch of hogwash or worth a try?  Maybe your story is waiting to be part of a much bigger story.

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