Excerpted from Your Body Believes Every Word You Say : The Language of the Bodymind Connection by Barbara Hoberman Levine. Copyright © 2000. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved



[If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again]

[I can complain because a rose bush has thorns or rejoice because a thorn bush has roses.]


Who would have guessed that having a brain tumor would be the most beneficial, life saving adventure of my life? If anyone had told me the day would come when I would give thanks for having a brain tumor, I would have said, “You’re crazy.” If anyone had told me back in 1970 that 25 years later I would be thanking God for the gift of a brain tumor, I would have thought “You have rocks in your head.”


Nevertheless, it’s true! I would not even have this wonderful, exciting, fulfilling life now except for the fact that for many years I lived with, learned from, and wrote about this awesome brain tumor experience. And I do thank God for the ability to use this seemingly adverse event as a positive one rather than as a tragedy. Make no mistake, going through it wasn’t pleasant. There were days when I wallowed in despair, anger and self-pity. I am a master of self-pity. Yet I do give thanks for the many blessings I received from learning, healing and growing along with the tumor.


                       THE BRAIN TUMOR--MY GROWTH

The ideas in this book arose from the life-changing experience that seemed to begin in 1970 with the birth of my third child, Jennifer. But looking back, I see the experience actually began in 1966 when I became an adult orphan. Both my parents died, in their early fifties of heart disease, 10 months apart. This mind-boggling event came as an enormous shock. I became fearful and depressed, but I wasn't adept at handling or understanding my feelings at that time. Then, after Jennifer's birth, I thought I was finally perfectly happy. But the stress of the previous four years had affected me physically as well as emotionally.


I developed a weakness in my voice and could barely talk above a whisper. Doctors told me my left vocal cord was paralyzed, but they didn't know why. I was 32 years old. The pain I suffered searching for a diagnosis was almost unbearable, making me feel even sicker. Every test came back negative. A virus was blamed, when no one could find another cause. After that I lived in terror — afraid of getting sicker, afraid of taking more medical tests, not even sure I would live. A year later I became deaf in my left ear. Doctors again blamed a virus.


At that time, I was fat, a heavy smoker, and in poor physical condition. Having a paralyzed left vocal cord and a deaf left ear actually helped push me in the right direction. I realized I needed to find a way to live longer and healthier, so I could be with my two sons and my new daughter as they grew into adulthood. Living to see my children grow up was very important to me, motivating me to survive--no matter what.

I began to live one day at a time, relieving my fear whenever possible by enjoying some of the good things in my life—a nice family, good friends, and a comfortable home. After a year, my voice began to improve somewhat, even though the paralysis and deafness remained. My fear became more bearable when I focused on my newly-found-life-purpose, which was to perfect my ability to think for myself and help others to do the same. Working for women's rights, helping women become more self-aware and learning how to heal myself were key elements in this quest.


 My real growth began when I learned to live each day more fully--- because I didn't know how much time I had left. As I successfully lived through each day, I started to believe that I might live long enough to see my children grow up. "One day at a time" became a guiding principle in my life.



For the next four years, my doctors and I blamed my debilitating physical symptoms on viruses, because the need to have a reason was so strong. I didn’t have any further tests until 1974 when---after getting myself in shape mentally and physically--- I felt I was ready to handle anything that came up. I remember prophetically thinking, "Even if I need brain surgery I can handle it now." After more tests, I finally received an accurate diagnosis, I had a rare, slow-growing, non-malignant tumor. A biopsy, done through my left ear proved that I had a growth in my head.....(TO READ MORE PLEASE PURCHASE THIS BOOK)

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