The Seven Levels of Healing

October 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

I recently completed a course called “The Seven Levels of Healing” hosted by my oncology office, Kansas City Cancer Centers.

I was initially introduced to the 7 levels class by my treasured Nurse Kim. Actually, the last conversation she and I ever had was about this class. She lit up the room with excitement and hope as she talked about the opportunity to offer this course to all of KCCC’s patients. She had gone through the class herself and absolutely raved about it. After that day, I was sold, but had not signed up yet. After her sad departure from this world, I knew I had to go through it and not wait another minute. Not only had I been facing some issues that the class could help me with, but it was a way to honor my friend and keep her work going.

When I signed up for the class, I was nervous, excited, and clueless about what was to come. I saw a counselor this summer for several weeks and was curious if the class would cover the same topics. It did cover some of the same topics, but offered me a totally unique and surprising experience that I could have ever imagined.

The course is broken up into seven levels:
1. Education & Information
2. Connection with Others
3. The Body as Garden
4. Emotional Healing
5. The Nature of Mind
6. Life Assessment
7. The Nature of Spirit

Each week offered me a new perspective on how to handle life with cancer. I walked away realizing that my body is a garden, not a machine, that must be carefully tended to. I was reminded about the power of our thoughts, and of unharbored bitterness and forgiveness. I had a host of others cheer lead me through some frustrating test results one week, and I was faced with the uncomfortable situation of thinking about my personal bucket list. I was encouraged that the secular class covered the role that the spirit plays in our physical healing.

This class was absolutely fantastic, but what was even more awesome was the group that I went through the class with. As a teen survivor, I have not been one to jump on the “support groups” train in the past. I have never been against them, but avoided them as I knew I’d be by far the youngest person in the room. Now that I’m in my twenties, I am still usually the youngest person in the group, but there’s often a thirty or forty-something in there with me. And while age has held me back from joining groups in the past, this experience quickly taught me that age doesn’t matter when you’re dealing with cancer – all of us could relate with one another in a deep, very emotional way. Like many of my experiences with the Colon Club, this group of a dozen strangers or so quickly became close friends over the course of seven weeks, and I pray we continue to keep in touch.

I am thankful for the Kansas City Cancer Centers for offering this class. It really did feel like my doctors and nurses were giving back to me in a way. It was of no charge to me and my husband was able to come with me, too. It was led by two nurses who, like my Nurse Kim, believe in the program so much, they volunteer their time to lead the group. It is informative, impactful and mind-altering. It’s helped me view cancer not as a monster hiding in my closet, waiting to strike again – but as a beatable, manageable disease that comes with a lot of support from others who’ve also been through it. If you’re in the KC area and diagnosed with the Big “C,” I strongly recommend checking out this class at KCCC. It will help you heal in ways you had no idea you were hurting.

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