Butterfly - Transformation

October 24th at 10 AM PT/ 7 PM CET

Surviving Cancer: a panel conversation



How do you feel when you get to know that you are seriously ill? Probably you don’t know yet, unless you have already been in that situation.

In this opening session of our series CONSCIOUS LIVING, CONSCIOUS AGEING we will discuss the experience of living with a cancer diagnosis. Our panel members will talk about how they felt, what they did to address the problem and how they managed to overcome the illness and heal.

Is LIFE different after being healed from a life threatening illness?

STREAMED LIVE HERE on October 24th, 2018


Conscious Living

0:00 Intro to the series

2:00 intro to the episode

3:30 Presentation of the guests: Marianne West, Colon cancer, her husband Mike West: prostrate cancer

6:32 Gerson Therapy: Marianne on a previous show with Heidi and Margherita

7:00 Mike Bell: Throat cancer, Prostrate cancer, skin cancer. His history in a monastary where he gave retreats and his whole life depended on his ability to speak. Doctorate on Communication. Having no voice for 2 month was a dramatic experience as he didn’t know if he ever would be able to speak again and support his family. He became a writer from there

11:00 Lynne Feldman: teacher and lawyer. Talks about the background through which the cancer might have developed: harassment. 2008 her immunsystem was down. But 2010 diagnosis of breastcancer: She researched the positive correlation between harassment and breastcancer. Then lung cancer was detected in the moment when she should have had chemo for breastcancer. The breastcancer saved her life, because otherwise she wouldn’t have discovered the lungcancer. Now she is in limbo because of possibility of new breastcancer.

16:30 Heidi talks about her own cancer and more in detail about Mark’s cancer and how he met the challenge of death

22: 00 Answers to the question: How did you meet the challenge of getting the diagnosis.

22:10 Marianne tells her story. How she got the info to get her colon checked. Breast Cancer scan saved her life and that of Heidi! Deep in my faith, surprising herself with that attitude.

26:00 Tech instructions for Mike who stays muted

27:00 Lynne talks about her relationship to Ken Wilber and Integral Theory: she chose the lense of integral framework to approach the cancer: merging eastern and western philosophies.

Her book: ”Integral Healing”, not adhering to 100% beliefs. She dived into research about

29:40 Heid shares her fear of death when having the diagnosis.

30:08 Mike is back and shares. His experience when he worked in hospitals as priest. He found 2 different responses in the patients. He remembers his patients when it gets darkest for him

35:00 develop resilience during life. Heidi: accompanying people in the dying process is a good way to develop resilience.

35:43 Lynne became an End-of-life Doula after her cancer story. Spiritual resonance

36:45 Heidi: difficulty to find a medical system which sees the person as a whole and not only the illness.

39:11 Margherita talks about Mark, she shares about her father. Now she is in the same age of when he died of skin cancer as a dermatologist. He seemed to not know how he himself could heal.

41;20 The belief systems can cause reality. E.g. “I am as old as my father when he died”, and some people belief that it is time for them to die.

42:35 You need to get informed yourself when you get the diagnosis. There are only few medical practitioners with a bigger understanding of how THE PERSON can be treated and not THE ILLNESS without regard to the person who is ill. Using the illness as an experience to get stronger. Losing the fear or come to terms with it. Trying to avoid the idea of death is counterproductive. Go to hospice in time to handle the pain.  How to encounter the announcements of how long you have to live, you need to know what is going on.

47:40 Announcement of the recording of Haralds experience “Living on the edge”

48:50 Lynne: Talks about the families who deny the end of life and don’t respect the need of the dying.

51:30 Allowing the dying person to go

52: 30 Mike: comment on doctors. A friend psychologist taught him about the importance of imagery. But the doctors were not interested in that at all, they believe dying is their failure, don’t learn about death in medical school. Mike explains his image about the cancer cells.

55:05 Positive view of oneself, Harald as an example. Doctors don’t know about HEALING, but about TREATING an illness. FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, integrated medicine would be a suggestion for who is challenged with illnesss.

56:50 Comment of Lori BE

57:02 introducing the wrap up

57:15 Marianne relied on traditional medicine and homeopathy. You need to find out what makes sense to you and you need believe it on the gut level. Her biggest experience was that she would have accepted death but believed that it was possible to survive. Recognized her tendency to load herself too much and then feel obliged to do everything although her gut says NO. What if I were to die in 6 month: Would you do this particular thing you are doing now with this perspective? Overcoming guilt, is not a good motivator: Cancer: you got your second chance, don’t blow it. Stop with what is not right for you!

1:01:45 Lynne: Scam about advice for cancer, but in private people were crying: BE REAL TO YOURSELF. Don’t let people tell you what is right for you.

1:03:00 Accusation by the New Age community: You caused your illness. Need to push back the idea that it is your own fault. People are scared to be with others who go through these difficult times! The verification who is your friend and who runs away.

1:05:05 Heidi remembers our father: nobody came to see him except one person who had overcome a severe illness himself

1:09:55 Mike: what has encouraged him: Frodo having a tough time and Gandalf said: “The only decision we have to make is what to do with the time which is given to us”.

1:06:45 Thank you’s,

Heidi closes with Mark’s story

ABOUT OUR PANEL MEMBERS (Please click on their names)

MIke Bell

Mike Bell is a retired Canadian management consultant living on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

Early in his life he spent a dozen years in a Roman Catholic monastery and worked for number a of years as a priest.  Part of that time he worked as a hospital chaplain.  He is currently practicing his Christian faith in a Unitarian fellowship. He has a special interest in Earth Spirituality. 

After a number of jobs working in American inner cities and northern Canadian resource towns Mike and his family moved to the Canadian Arctic.  They lived in Iqaluit on Baffin Island in the Eastern Arctic and then in Yellowknife in the Western Arctic. For almost thirty years Mike travelled back and forth across the Arctic working as an organizer in Inuit and Dene (First Nation) communities.

Mike’s work has been strongly influenced by the land-based insights of indigenous elders and the earth-based new cosmology of Thomas Berry. He is now applying these insights to help develop community climate change cultures.

Mike interest in the theme of “Conscious Living and Conscious Dying.” is no doubt related to his current life situation.  He will be eighty in December and has had cancer three times.

See a previous event with Mike Bell in The Wisdom Factory

My husband and I fell in love at first sight in 1969 and were married in 1971. He became my best friend and also my #1 cheerleader, the Alpha Male protector. A routine mammogram came back with a suspicious finding on my left breast, but the oncologist told me she was “sure” it was nothing but a calcification. But when I received the dreaded positive results, my husband broke down. I was told I had the same breast cancer as 80% of women, which cheered me, until I realized she had not given me any survival statistics to go along with the “commonality” of my breast cancer type. As a breast cancer patient, I was given a PET scan to see if there had been a metastasis anywhere yet. The day before the US Thanksgiving holiday, my oncologist phoned me to report a spot on my left lung had appeared, but she was “sure” it was scar tissue from childhood asthma. Well, it wasn’t. It was an asymptomatic lung cancer that was translucent to any xray, and in an asymptomatic area that was destined to kill me within three years. SO: thank goodness I had breast cancer? Plus, I had never smoked anything nor had I been around smokers. What had “gone wrong”?
Things rapidly got more complicated thereafter, and in total panic, I began blogging and researching about my two cancers. I developed a life-threatening cellulitis infection that put me in the hospital for eight days and required emergency surgery. My chemotherapy gave me a blood clot that hospitalized me for three more.
My desperation led me to deepening my spiritual practice including long cell-level meditations as well as devouring the latest medical findings on treatments and outcomes. Thank goodness I had been close to Ken Wilber, Integral philosopher, whose own wife died of breast cancer and who wrote about it in Grace and Grit.  The book became my bible, and I set about paying it forward by writing my own book, Integral Healing, which was pusblished in 2014 and by offering my services to the US-based Cancer Hope Network and other cancer programs.

Watch a previous episode with Lynne Feldman in the first season of The Wisdom Factory

An excerpt

Full conversation


Marianne West was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 45. Her father had passed away from this disease. Luckily, an operation, chemo, and natural remedies combined seemed to have done the trick. She is still here many years later. During that time, her husband also got diagnosed with cancer – prostate cancer for him. As a couple, they decided to pursue an alternative healing method called the Gerson Therapy. Her husband was doing very well with this therapy but the journey was a big struggle for her.

Watch an episode with Marianne

Full conversation   (Riposted on Heidi’s personal Youtube channel)

Mariannes “Sustainable Living Podcast” – Page on PATREON