I am sharing this deeply personal experience, because my story may save someone’s life. At a minimum, it may encourage someone reading this blog to better maintain their health by undergoing a routine colonoscopy. As I’ve recently learned, prevention is key to early detection—and removal—of cancer. I am sharing because I think Eastern practices and Western treatments working alone or together can save lives.
On March 6, 2018, I had a colonoscopy. I prolonged it a bit. I should have been more awake about it, because there is a history of colon cancer in my family. I also knew I should have gotten tested earlier than the recommended age of 50. Finally, I summoned the courage to go for my routine screening for a colonoscopy, which both my brother and sister had undergone years ago. I had no reason to think anything would be wrong. My blood work was normal, and I was neither in pain nor experiencing a loss of appetite. In fact, after having attended my first “Unleash the Power” seminar by Tony Robbins, my diet was healthy for the last several years. I ate a lot of vegetables, did several cleanses, and did not drink wine or coffee. I was not overly concerned about my upcoming procedure, so I bit the proverbial bullet and scheduled the exam. The GI doctor explained to me why people should have a colonoscopy. The reason being, if polyps are found, they can be removed. Untreated, these polyps can—and often do—lead to cancer. If removed early, they are not life-threatening. That is why routine colonoscopies are so crucial to saving lives. Not without trepidation, I nonetheless had my colonoscopy. In the recovery room, after I awoke from my drug-induced twilight, my doctor came, took a deep breath and said: “We found a mass. We hope it has not spread. Come to my office on Monday, and I’ll give you the numbers of a surgeon and an oncologist.” My body started to shake, and I couldn’t fully grasp what I had been told.
The next several months, terror filled my mind whenever I spoke to the doctors. Apparently, it looked likely I carried a gene associated with Lynch syndrome (which is similar to the BRCA gene), where you have an increased risk of contracting other types of cancer. The doctor wanted to schedule surgery right away, and remove the tumor and a great amount of my internal organs as a preventive measure—similar to what actress Angelina Jolie had done, though she did not have cancer, because of her own heightened odds of possibly developing cancer. I met with a geneticist shortly after the appointment with the surgeon, who explained to me that there was an 80-percent chance I had the mutation for Lynch syndrome. It would take a month for test results to return. Even without the results, the surgeon wanted to take out most of my insides. I said to the geneticist: “There’s a 20-percent chance I don’t have this gene, and they still want to take out so much.” The geneticist’s one-word reply was clear. “Yes,” she said.
This is where my Tony Robbins-based training kicked in. I have been to numerous “Unleash the Power Within” events, where 14,000 people do incantations and scream:
NOW I AM THE VOICE. I WILL LEAD, NOT FOLLOW. I WILL DEFY THE ODDS. I AM A FORCE OF GOOD, I AM A FORCE OF G-D…
I summoned up my inner voice which was not booming, it was weak and I found it gathering volume and strength. I heard it in my mind, until I had no doubt I was . . . I AM THE VOICE. I told the geneticist I wanted to wait a month for the results before any surgery. Everyone’s concern, including mine, was that the cancer could spread. The geneticist said she would back me on my decision at the team meeting about my case. The next day I got a call from the surgeon. She said that they usually never wait; however, the team, which consisted of 7 people, decided to wait a month to get the test results before surgery. The team would wait to see how much of my insides they would have to remove, and confirm if I had this mutated gene. My feeling was, I’ve made money in years where there had been a smaller chance of 20-percent of making money (at a casino, for instance) and this was my life. So, with fear and anxiety, tempered by what I had learned through Tony Robbins’s training, I followed my own inner voice and waited for the test results to tell me how to proceed. During that time, I knew I had atleast a month to put into practice what I had also learned from Tony Robbin’s health seminar in Fiji and Spain, the Kabbalah Center, Theta Healing, my chiropractor, as well as other healing modalities.
A heavenly gift came down several weeks later and I got a call that I did not have the Lynch gene, so the surgery would consist only of removing the tumor. I couldn’t help but think everyone wanted to remove so much of my insides without a conclusive answer to a test; that it was beyond scary how quickly this practice had been ready to proceed, which would have impacted the quality of my life forever. I think it was G-d showing me how precious life is. In the month prior to receiving my test results, I had two choices: Go to Hippocrates Health Institute, where the founder had Stage 4 colon cancer and healed herself holistically; or, meet with a doctor, who was also a rabbi, in Israel. He claimed he healed everyone holistically, if the patient followed his diet with exactitude. I liked the idea of the doctor in Israel, as he incorporated more of G-d in the healing process. Going to Israel would also allow me to pray for a miracle, at the holy souls’ graves. The next day I got on a plane to visit this doctor in Israel, who put me on raw food diet, gave me some drops, and told me to push off the surgery for three months. He said it would take six weeks for a CAT scan to reveal if the tumor had shrunk. My feeling was, if it shrank, I would continue what I was doing. If it stayed the same or got bigger, I would immediately go into surgery.
While I was in Israel I hired a driver and went to visit all the miracle-working rabbis I knew of, or whose deeds I had read about for years. I did this because one of the lives we’ve saved at my nonprofit (www.Save1person.org) is Heshy Felig. We had sent out a Save 1 Alert for Heshy over the media when he needed a kidney from a living donor. Marisa Hester from Alabama saw it, and donated her kidney. Heshy claims his miracle originated in Israel when he went to all the righteous souls’ graves to pray for a living kidney donor for himself—and G-d connected Save 1 Person as the messenger for this miracle through our Save 1 Alert. That situation stuck in my brain. I thought I must go pray for myself, so I hired a driver, Benny, who is now my friend, and we went to the matriarchs’ and patriarchs’ graves in Hevron. We also went to Rabbi Meir Haness (the miracle rabbi), the Rabbi Babi Sali (another miracle Rabbi) and I went to Tsfat to pray at the Ari’s grave (a great kabbalist). I also went to my most recent teacher, Rabbi Berg, from the Kabbalah Center to ask for his G-dly help; and I also went to King David’s father grave in Hevron. I was further advised to go to the Mikvah in Israel, as there’s nothing like the healing waters of the Holy Land for a miracle. I cried, prayed, and put my faith in a much higher power to get me through this.
To segue, let me say, additionally, I will never forget my intervention with Tony Robbins in Amsterdam, where I asked him how to grow my nonprofit: (www.Save1person.org) One of the questions he asked me was: “Have you ever donated a kidney, since you ask others to?” I said no. To wit, he said: “Why not?” I said because I hate doctors and hospitals—and the audience started laughing.I believe everyone has different ways of contributing, and, just because being a living organ donor may not be your calling in life, there are many ways to save a life such as using your G-dly skills to make the world a better place. My point being, I was in a situation where I had to confront my worst fears involving doctors and hospitalization. And, I had to face my own mortality, the mistakes I’ve made in life, the love I should have given, and confront the life lessons of having cancer.
When I got home from Israel, I put another one of Tony Robbins’s teachings into practice. I put 80-percent focus on the solution. I went to my chiropractor, Dr Oleg Gonzenpud, (www.laboflife72.com) every day for adjustments. I went to saunas to sweat out the toxins in my body, along with foot baths again to do the same. I was also encouraged to do Rife Therapy This therapy, as I understand it, is designed to raise your body’s frequency. People get sick because their frequency lowers in various parts of the body. According to what I learned, patients who did this therapy for three months were healed of all sorts of diseases. I, on the other hand, only had three weeks to experiment with this. Sitting in front of this machine, which looks like a long and over sized light bulb, I watched it change colors to raise my frequency. While I was doing this I simultaneously listened to Dr. Joe Dispenza’s CDs. Now, for those who don’t know who Dr. Dispenza is (www.drjoedispenza.com) he has a very similar school of thought about raising your energy through meditation. After having been hit by a truck, Dr. Joe was also told he would never walk again. He refused surgery, and, through the power of his mind, he rebuilt his spine and walked three months later. He’s since dedicated his life to healing others. Dr. Joe also claims people have had spontaneous remissions, meaning the cancers or diseases would disappear after participating in this work. I’ve done his meditations, where it felt like I had entered a different space and a different world. Instead of studying about G-d as I have over the years, I felt the Divine presence while in those meditations. I also tried acupuncture, as I had heard good things about it and used it to improve my immunity. The tougher work was the spiritual teachings I knew I had to confront. What is cancer here to teach me? I learned about Theta Healing (www.theatahealing.com) through my amazing Kabbalah teacher, Sarah Yardeni, who encouraged me to take this class. First, let me say, Sarah also had me spiritually address this challenge by reading the Zohar, the Pinchas section which is all about healing, go to the Mikvah as much as possible (which is where you dunk in water and meditate on healing), and give charity to various organizations. Sarah explained charity creates miracles, that when you go against your nature, new worlds open. And true charity consists of 30 percent of what you take home after taxes. And I did Theta healing sessions with different practitioners.
Let me explain what Theta Healing is, by way of this story. A woman named Vianna Stibal, was told by her doctors that she had a tumor in her leg and that the doctors wanted to amputate. Vianna had this gift, and she developed this practice where she went up to the Creator of All That Is (otherwise known as the 7th plane), and developed a technique for what some call a spontaneous remission. Vianna asked the Creator for a complete healing, in the energy of G-d, and witnessed herself being cured in a meditative state and her tumor disappeared instantly. Vianna was her own first patient. She cured herself of cancer and made this tumor disappear. Since then, she has been teaching others this practice around the world and she has cured countless people with all sorts of diseases and conditions. Vianna has taught countless people how to do the same. An important part of this work is “belief work,” where you dig up beliefs that are hidden in your brain, that are not serving you and replace these beliefs with the love of the Creator—new downloads, so to speak. In my own sessions I did my belief work with my blessed Kabbalah teacher, Sarah Yardeni, Eric, Yoav, Daniel and Joanne (a plat sister) from the Theta Healing Center. I was shocked about the things that came up for me, that were long forgotten. I didn’t know I was holding on to these past hurts. I was attached to some past relationships out of some outdated beliefs. I hadn’t healed from the trauma of my father’s death (even though I thought I had) and the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from a beloved friend from me and others were resentments still lingering. I was also holding onto some old romantic relationships that should have been released many years prior.
Tears flowed as these realizations were discovered, released and forgiven and replaced with downloads of G-d’s unconditional love. Also all of these practicioners did healings on me during the course of our sessions. The healings consist of going to G-d’s unconditional love, witnessing the negative energy or problem come out, replacing with G-d’s healing light.
Another place I turned was what one might call energy healers with perhaps psychic abilities. I asked Zeev Kolman (www.Zeevkolman.com) for some distant healings and a man by the name of Nizzan who does energy work. Zeev’s story is a little out there, though some claim to have been cured by him. Zeev says he was captured by aliens ( I know it sounds crazy) when he was in the Israeli army and he was returned by the same aliens with special healing powers. I knew of Zeev because years back I had a horrible sinus infection that was not cured by doctors or medicine and I gave him a shot. During my session, his hands waved over my face and it felt like a million little strings were going in and out of my nose. My eyes and nose felt like they were gushing. When I opened my eyes, I could breathe for the first time in months and my sinus infection never came back. I hired him for some sessions with this diagnosis because you just don’t know what the winning formula may be. I had nothing to lose. The other energy healer I worked with was Nizzan from Israel. He claimed that my father’s spirit, or a soul attached to my body, was sucking my energy which was a cause of this tumor. ( I know, again, it sounds crazy.) According to Nizzan, this spirit decreased my life force and energy, which is not what anyone wants to hear. And he gave me some exercises to do for 30 days to release this spirit that was attached to me. Again, whatever it takes. We also spoke of life lessons. Nizzan had me do this exercise with the Holy Fire, visualizations to say goodbye to any lingering souls, spirits, or attachments I might have as a result of my father’s sudden and traumatic death. I know these practices might make me sound desperate and/or naive. I nonetheless believe with every ounce of my heart there’s a higher power out there in the heavens and there are heavenly messengers doing his work here on Earth. And I was willing to put what I’ve learned over the years to use in the current situation.
So, after six weeks of doing this work, the holistic diet, the Theta, the energy work, and more it was time to see if any of this made a difference in the size of the tumor. I took my CAT scan, and, to my horror and dismay, my tumor had actually gotten bigger. I was beyond shocked. How could this be? I believe in these practices. All this money, time, praying: Where did it go? I had my surgery two days after this CAT scan to remove this tumor from my body. I couldn’t believe what I had done did not make a difference. I let myself be sad for about two minutes, and prepared for my surgery. I changed my state through music and meditation, and got myself ready for surgery, just like walking over hot coals at Tony Robbins’s seminar. I insisted as they walked me into surgery that I listen to my music during surgery, and the surgeon and anesthesiologist agreed; and we all listened to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” and played it in the operating room. The worst part of this was not knowing what stage this was, and what the follow-up treatment would be. I had to wait a week for the pathology report after my surgery, which would tell me if the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes. I could be in store for chemo for a year. For two months until I had surgery, I had no idea what the prognosis was. This was the toughest mindf-ck, if you will. I didn’t tell a lot of people; I couldn’t if I wanted to keep my focus on the solution. Some people would say, “I’m so sorry,” as If I’m already dead, or people share their war stories with me, which I do not want to hear. These stories usually cause me to feel fear, anxiety and do not offer hope. The best response I heard was from my friend Lisa who didn’t give me a pity party. Her response was to tell me that her cousin had had Stage 4 colon cancer and he’s fine, with a bunch of kids; that I would be okay and not to worry.
In the time during and after surgery, close friends kept me busy, my brother was constantly checking in ( my brother was amazing every step of the way), my mom took care of my son, my sister visited, during which I think we had our best conversation ever. My aunt, who hasn’t talked to me in 20 years (because of issues stemming from my father’s death), bought me food for shabbat, my father’s girlfriend of 20 years visited, and I felt really supported by close friends and family.
One of the lessons of cancer:
YOU DON’T NEED CANCER TO BRING FAMILY TOGETHER AND TO SHOW OTHERS YOUR LOVE. BRING LOVE WITH GRACE, DIGNITY, AND EASE, NOT IN TIMES OF TROUBLE.
Another life lesson that helped me greatly at this time of uncertainty was something I picked up at a Tony Robbins seminar. When people would say to me this was going to be a battle, a war or a fight, I would cringe. I dislike those words greatly, and I would shut down those conversations or try to get out of them as quickly as possible. Recently, Tony Robbins got beat up in the media for his #MeToo statement and for what appeared bullying of a woman at his seminar. Tony Robbins used as an example when you push at something it pushes back, so he pushed against this woman with his towering height and she pushed back. The media slammed this as bullying. What this clip didn’t show, and stayed in my mind at this terrifying time, was the dance Tony Robbins does on stage with pushing back and fear. . . . I thought it was so silly watching on stage Tony Robbins dancing on stage with a participant, yet that was the life-saving lesson. You move with fear, you dance with fear, you twirl with fear and then you can glide with fear by your side. If you push against fear you break. It’s similar to a tree that can sway in a hurricane can survive a storm, while a tree that stands rigid breaks in a hurricane. I don’t mean to make cancer a dance, because it’s scary as hell, yet the only thing I could keep in mind was this dance Tony Robbins did on stage. So, when I walked into the GI doctor’s office to hear about my diagnosis, I played upbeat music to dance along with this. Going into surgery again I played my “Dancing Queen” song by ABBA. After I learned of my diagnosis I took my son on a helicopter ride to spin with this fear. I took Theta healing seminars to twirl with it; I listened to Dr. Joe Dispenza to move along side of it. I believe this is the only reason why I didn’t emotionally fall apart, as I was taught how to dance. As a side note, I saw Denise Albert, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, dance through her situation. She is an inspiration to so many, and, although I don’t feel comfortable sharing every step of my journey, I do believe there are many valuable life lessons to be learned and shared that can help save the lives of others.
I received a call a week later from my surgeon that the pathology report came back and it was Stage 1 cancer; and it did not go into my lymph nodes, which meant no chemo. I was in shock again. I was trying to prepare myself for the worst. I told the surgeon I loved her, and thanked her for taking out the tumor. I was such in awe of the world, the universe, the gift of life, the teachings, the healing. I saw a Jim Carrey, Facebook post that said, “As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want, then letting go of how you think it will come to pass.” I thought my miracle should be the shrinking of the tumor, the universe had a different miracle in store that it did not go into my lymph nodes and it delivered my miracle in a way I wasn’t expecting. While all my holistic and alternative therapies didn’t work the way I expected, I believe they worked in a way that kept my body from going to a different stage in this journey by feeding my body, my mind and my energy with different and healing information.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? I hope someone reading this will go get a colonscopy at 50 because early screening saves lives. If there’s a family history of colon cancer, get the procedure at 40 or earlier. I hope someone reading this will explore alternative healing practices that could save a life. I hope that if you or a family member are in this type of situation that you know that it’s possible for Eastern practices to save a life and at times Eastern and Western practices can work together to save a life. I also pray one of the things I learned along my journey can help another in his or her time of need.
As my friend Daniel reminds me, thank cancer for the lessons it has taught me, tell cancer lovingly you can learn these lessons now with ease, grace and dignity.
Most importantly, I pray that I can use my life for a higher purpose and dance with every ounce of my being as long as I’m here on the planet. And I pray this dance includes endless love and contribution. I also pray that one day my non profit (www.Save1person.org) will be saving lives on a daily basis through media outlets and other channels. I also pray that we will be able to educate the publc about how to prevent ever being in that situation in the first place through proper nutrition, elimating toxins, pysical and emotional health. Save 1 Person. Save The World.