January 30, 2013

There are times when the joy of the Christmas season seems muted by sad recollections of pain and suffering amidst the circle of friends and loved  ones.  The season just past was, for me a  sort of punctuation of a lifetime of such events.   On Thanksgiving night I was rushed to the hospital with fever and chills.   What started out as a narrow escape from death by sepsis infection actually turned out to be a life saving event.  It seems that  in searching for the cause of the infection, a golf ball sized tumor was discovered on my right lung.  It was a  metastasis from a renal cell cancer tumor that had lain dormant for  17 years ago waiting patiently to kill me.  As was the case with the original tumor, I had the option of running in circles in a  full panic mode or that of taking charge, gathering  data, making a plan and killing it before it killed me.   My family and I decided to go for an indoor record of minimum time from discovery to kill.  Using the time required for recovery from the sepsis infection and treatment, we visited four different doctors at as many facilities and, as might  be expected, got 4 different opinions.   We selected an approach involving the latest  in laparoscopic technology that literally pulled the rug out from under  this nasty creature and sent it to the incinerator.   No further treatment is indicated based  on scans.

After an initial meeting with the surgeon and scheduling an operation asap, the following sequence of events took place. I showed up for the operation on a Tuesday morning early.  That night, I actually ate a light meal.   The next day, I walked a couple of laps around the nurses station and, on Friday, I walked out of the hospital and went home with the Foley catheter still in place rather than risk getting the flu that is pandemic around public places such as hospitals.   This yields an elapsed time of about 4 days which I like to think of as a record.

I am not blameless for this recurrence of the cancer.  I was successful in getting rid of the monster to beat a death sentence years ago with a self directed program of guided imagery.  This story is told in my book, THREE MONTHS TO LIFE. I got a bit lazy in doing my guided   imagery over the years and allowed this villain  to sneak up on me.  This will not happen again. There is a lot to be learned from this experience.   Perhaps the most important is that when we finally get those little devils on the ropes, we should just keep on punching and never let them get a breath of air.  People facing the issue of recurrence should take some comfort in the fundamental truth that if they are  close  enough to kill us, they are also close enough for us to kill them!

Above all, we should note St Paul’s admonition to be grateful IN all things (not necessarily FOR all things).  When contemplating the grief of loss, it is always worthwhile to take stock  of what one  has left and that usually leads to a healthy attitude of rejoicing.   Depression is not the mandated destiny of the soul that suffers.  No, there is always the choice for gratitude and this connects to the thread of joy that runs  through the fellowship of pain that connects us all  to a higher calling.  It is out of experience, that I  refer to those marvelous words of Romans 8:28 “-all things work together for good to them that love God-“.  Joy is a close relative to love and  love truly conquers all.  Don’t let anything or anybody ever take your  joy.

It IS  possible!

You CAN defeat recurrent cancer!!

Gerald W. White, P.E.




  1. Barbara Hopkins Says:

    I’m so thankful you have recovered from this awful illness. Glory be to God!
    Will enjoy reading your blog and love the name. Barbara

  2. Sharon Says:

    Glad to hear you are again victorious!!!!you’ve helped so many; please do take care of yourself. I start chemo tomorrow , have been doing your MAARS guided imagery for about two weeks now (thank you for sending it along so quickly). I am confident I have armies of cells at work for me and any trace of cancer will be decimated! Kind regards, Sharon

  3. divaathome Says:

    Hello Mr. White been doing the Maars GI every night at bed time. So far so good. I see that was last January when you made this post about your health. You are coming up on an 1 year anniversary of sorts and hope all continues to be good for you.

    • I believe I am addressing Cheryl Mason, as I do recall corresponding with you. You’ve no idea how pleased I am that you have contacted me as it shows a remarkable capacity for caring on your part which is most commendable.

      Yes, I did get careless and let the beast sneak up on me as the article you reference suggests. Now for the story to date. The operation, which would have been unimaginable back in 1993 at my first encounter with rcc, was very successful and, other than some discomfort and inconvenience that lasted a little over a week, I am to this day as good as new. That is if you can call an 82 year old man “new”.

      The oncologist ( a very famous one) suggested at the time that there were some wonderful new drugs that I should start on “just to be on the safe side”. I thanked him for his suggestion but assured him that I would take care of it myself by getting back on the guided imagery program that had saved my rear in the first place. Here we are , almost a year later and scans show no disease. This is, of course, pleasing to me but a bit embarrassing to the oncologist. These guys never seem to like it when a patient gets well for the wrong reason.

      Having said all the above, I would just love to share with you in my latest endeavor. In response to requests from worried parents, I have devoted the last few months to the writing of a children’s story to help deal with pediatric cancers. The book is just now completed and we have also produced a companion CD of Guided Imagery for children. One of those involved was a descendant of AA Milne who wrote Winnie the Pooh. The book is along the lines of the characters in the 100 acre woods. In developing the project we have had three objectives in mind; first it must be a stand alone and interesting story that the children will enjoy. Second, the children will be practicing effective guided imagery without ever realizing they are doing it and we never mention the word cancer.

      This was a labor of love and was done simply for the sake of helping one little boy. Where it goes, if anywhere, beyond that, I am sure I don’t know. Perhaps you might have some suggestions. That was the same for my other works and yet many wonderful stories of remissions after hope had dimmed have been achieved. It is my prayer that this work will accomplish the healing mission for which it is intended, but , at age 82, I can hardly expect to live to see it. Sometimes we do things like climbing the mountain simply because it is there and we see it within our ability to do so.

      At times when I ask myself if it has all been worth the effort, a kind note like yours comes in to provide more than enough reassurance that it has. Now let me wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of the greatest healer for the ills of mankind the world has ever known. Without His comforting presence, none of the things mentioned above could have been achieved.

      Jerry white

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