Welcome to Robert’s site. Please sign in to show your support.

Journal

View comments
May
18
2021

May 18, 2021

Dear Friends,

I wanted to share a short update on how I am doing. As before I will share how I am doing on a physical level and an inner, subjective dimension.

Physically, I am feeling very good. The process I am living through is long. As they say at the hospital it is "not a sprint, but a marathon." This time is allowing me to care for my body.  The process I am living is one of participating in what I see as the most aligned and state-of-the-art strategies. The healing approach is a metabolic approach that focuses on supporting the immune system. This includes a plant-based diet, no sugar, dairy, or processed foods.  After receiving a Dendritic Cell vaccine, which is made from my own blood and cancer cells actively working to kill cancer cells.

 I will be returning to the hospital in Mexico in about 3 and then 6 months, then following it with a once-a-year follow-up visit for at least 5 years.  By the way, I feel lighter and more clear than I ever have in my life. Although, at this phase of my healing, I have limited physical energy, tire easily, and rest a lot. I am not in pain and the most uncomfortable part is the vocal cord paresis, partial paralysis of my right vocal cord, due to the pressure that a tumor is exerting on it. As a result, I do not have my full voice (it sounds like I have laryngitis, hoarse, and very airy sounds).

There is uncertainty about measurable "progress" until I get my next PET scan in mid-July.

On a subjective, spiritual dimension, I am more and more joyful, inspired, and grateful. My heart is opening as my life becomes a living meditation. I feel enormous gratitude for the loving and energetic support I have received from so many. The financial support allows me to rest at ease and focus on my physical healing and spiritual transformation. As I wrote earlier, it is as though I am on an extended spiritual retreat. 

The emerging and growing inner intent are to become a more open vehicle for Spirit, Love, and Compassion. I am surrendering more and more to the Inner Being. I am humbled and receiving daily, hourly, and present moment insights.  I sense an unknown future as far as my future work of Living Compassion. I am offering an online course that meets every 3 or 4 weeks. I am also initiating an initiative in partnership with many people who have participated in the work of Living Compassion through the Life programs in the United States, Europe, and New Zealand. It is called a "Worldwide Network of Living Compassion." This initiative is fueled by the vision to see the living compassion go out into the world to meet the deep longings for compassion. 

I would enjoy reading any responses to anyone who reads this post if you are moved.

with love and gratitude,

Robert

 

Show your love and support for Robert.

Make a donation to CaringBridge to keep Robert’s site up and running.

May
5
2021

May 4, 2021

Dear Friends,

I have a tinge of regret for waiting to share my current update. This has been a very full experience, trying to balance my time and energy with treatments, resting, taking walks, I finished my treatment at Oasis of Hope hospital on Friday, 30 April. My wife Ruth spent the last 4 days with me in the hospital, which was a wonderful experience. We shared these last few days, eating together, walks on the beach and in the nearby streets, in what is a uniquely Mexican border town experience. She walked with me in partnership and love in this part of a challenging life journey.

 

This has been an amazing experience.

 

It was an intensive experience, for the first two weeks receiving various treatments, educational presentations by doctors, nutritional classes on the best food that supports the body’s wholeness and  immune optimal support, cooking classes that were exceedingly fun, resting, walking on the beach and nearby streets,

 

The people who serve (doctors, nurses, kitchen staff, cleaning crew, ...)  exuded care, professional expertise, and the kind of whole-human care I long to see in all hospitals. It was such a contrast from what I experienced in the large teaching university hospital in Oregon. In their care, they instill the namesake of the hospital, hope.  I believe what is offered here on a purely medical level is state-of-the-art. I feel tremendously hopeful about my healing journey. My relationship with Oasis of Hope will continue. They provide an incredible follow-up and support. I plan to return for continued care in about 3 months and then the third cycle in another 6 months, one year, and periodically for a 5-year follow-up.

 

From the beginning, I approached this as a spiritual retreat. It was a very intensive experience. I intended to approach with intention, presence surrendering to the grace of life that brought me to this experience and to this hospital.

 

In my first intake meeting, I met with a whole team of doctors including the head of the hospital Dr. Ernesto Contreras, doctors, nutritional specialists, psychologist/ emotional healing staff. It was in this first meeting this Dr. Contreras asked me what I did for a living. I shared with him that I shared Nonviolent/Compassionate Communication with a focus on self-compassion and living compassion. In a bit of a surprise, he seemed very interested and asked me if I was interested in giving a presentation to the staff the last week of my stay. I was delighted by his openness and interest. I said yes, and a day before I was discharged, I gave a presentation to 8 of their staff, which included a video recording for the people who could not be present. I gave a presentation on self-compassion, principles of Nonviolent/Compassionate Communication, compassionate listening, and their greatest need to address the enormous challenges that they experience serving cancer patients, many of whom are in stage 4 or worse phases of their illness. My intention is to further provide support to the people in this hospital to address their greatest challenge which was described as either shutting off their feelings in a protective intent or being overwhelmed with the suffering of their patients. I want to find ways to support them in what I see as a sacred mission.

 

 This entire experience is a transformative awakening in the deepest sense. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is an initiation into a doorway into the unknown, and at the same time intensifying the evolutionary force of my soul's unfolding. I have never felt more alive, humble, held, and guided by a Presence, that is a gentle and powerful Force of Life. I am being guided to utterly surrender to a loving intelligence. Insights come like the ever-flowing cascade of a waterfall. A recent insight: I am cultivating, in partnership with the Divine, the body/mind/soul as an instrument of living. The body wants to be happy, so I celebrate "Body Happiness". The body is innocent and subject to my attention and choices. May I listen with reverence, compassion, and joy.

On a deeper level of this transformation (which continues), the symbol that came to mind is the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The mysterious process that takes place inside the chrysalis, of the caterpillar being digested/digesting its substance in a kind of trans-substantiation. This for me is a transformation of the very substance of my existence: of everything from the past, old beliefs, habits, ways of thinking, all and everything conditioned into an ever-emerging NEW self, new mind, new, body, and new world. Everything changes, everything goes, there is a new contract with myself, with life, and with the presence of a mysterious loving intelligence.

 
This process continues. And on one level it is mine alone to traverse. Only I can choose and open to life. Only I can feel the darker moments and challenges of stretching the boundaries of my being. On another level, I am witnessed and supported by a loving community, my wife, friends, and the presence of Life.

 

 I am so deeply grateful for all of the loving support  I received from so many people. The Go Fund Me campaign was so successful and continues to be as I relax knowing that the substantial medical pharmaceutical and nutraceutical expense will be covered allowing me to attend to my healing without distraction or worry.

In unending gratitude, belonging, and love,
Robert

 

 

April
24
2021

April 24, 2021

I am feeling a radiance in my heart today, Endless gratitude to be alive and receiving the love of sacred community.
I am seeing beauty everywhere and in everyone.
Robert

April
16
2021

April 16, 2021

Dear Friends,

This is the fourth day of my residence in Oasis of Hope hospital. Overall, I am doing very well here. I am so impressed by the quality of care here. I experience an atmosphere of love and professionalism that I beleive supports optimal healing. They provide a primarily plant-based diet, organically grown non-GMO foods,  green juices and much more. Additionally, each morning as I am receiving my Vitamin C., K, and B-17 infusions, there is a person singing beautiful and inspiring songs, followed by inspired words (mostly oriented in a Christian, somewhat biblically oriented fashion. Although it is a different way of orienting spirituality, the energy behind it is pure love. (This is so different from anything that I experienced in the U.S. western-oriented medical care). What follows are other educational sessions by a doctor helping us to understand the phenomenon of "cancer",  and helping patients understand the physical phenomenon, but also the emotional and psychological approach that can optimize healing. There was a comprehensive session by the nutritionist on  the diet, with recipes and a whole lot more. There was a session on emotional healing the addressed stress and its effects on health. This is a short summary and there is much more.
The strongest sense I have from these first few days is. " I am in the best place for my healing and transformation."
 
On a level of deeper meaning, what has become more and more  clear to me is that what I am living though
is an initiation. Life has invited me into a soul-journey into the emergent and unknown space of life. What this is for me is moving into a state of being-and-living of being more and more of who I really am: more loving, authentic, fearless (which embraces fear with compassion), present, and connected to all of life. This initiation is one of many in life, this is simply the next one. The process is how my soul's purpose and the fundamental meaning of existence is unfolding. Ultimately this is an evolution of embodying soul. I experience it as at once beautiful in its simplicity and containing a depth that is beyond understanding. 
 
My heart is opening and I am filled with grace. The grace of your loving support, which provides me with the sustenance and juice for living. 
 
in unending gratitude and love,
Robert

April
10
2021

April 10, 2021

Dear Friends,

This is my first entry after we created the fundraising process through Go Fund Me and this platform which will enable me to share regular updates with you. As I think about what I am experiencing, what comes to mind are the two primary dimensions of my experience.

The first one is the factual, observational, and exterior aspect of what I am going through. I will call this "Observations/Exterior".

The second part of my experience is my subjective, interior experiencing. I will call this "Subjective/Interior". The objective aspects are certainly important and a place of high value on the choices that I make and the impact that I have and that exterior life has on me. This aspect in many ways is more important because it is the state of being and experience from which I see, feel, and choose in the exterior world. It is the dimension of deep meaning and represents the movement of the deeper self/soul.

Observations/Exterior: I will be flying to Tijuana, Mexico on Monday morning and begin a 20-day treatment process at Oasis of Hope Hospital.

Subjective/Interior: From the very beginning I saw this experience as an unwanted Big Event, a crisis, and a huge life problem. Eventually, as I stay present to myself and enter into life, which includes the reality of world conditions and the suffering of others, I began to see this entire experience as no different from other experiences in life. I see the "disease" and "cancer" as a message from the unseen parts of my existence revealing something to me. It is a message, and my most important task is to listen and to slow way down and in a kind of deep urgency, to feel and sense from my heart, body, and from the conscious Presence that is accompanying me.

As I relax, let go and enter into this mystery, I can see clearly the different layers of experience that correspond to the different layers of my identity. One layer, one that might seem the most obvious and, in some ways, the loudest, is what I call my conditioned self, my personal self, with his history and life experiences through which I have lived. This layer of existence has been the dimension of my being that received the information about my diagnosis and, mostly non-verbally but revealing the thinking/imaging of fear. I can feel the fear, projecting into the future the possibility of dying. Dying much sooner than I want to. I feel the energy in my body/mind as intensity and shakiness. My mind interprets this as a mild panic. There are many layers in this experience. My primary intention is to open and welcome this experience. I notice subtle resistance, and I breathe and open into a gradual warm space. I am eventually feeling the fear/images in an ever-widening space. The inner spaciousness is the space of compassion. This is a continual dance, that moves into this space and dances with the other layers. The verbal description of this is not easy to convey. I experience an intensity, of feeling energy throughout my body/being. I am ever-watchful of how my conditioned mind so easily interprets this as not good, fear or depression. I allow it also being vigilant to any denial or suppression of my inner experience. I see this as one aspect of my practice.

Another layer is grief and tenderness. When I feel this, I feel more myself. When I feel this the most, I am undefended and the tears flow easily and naturally. My being and the Presence invites me into this and it shows itself to be a sacred space. I breathe, always staying. Life is more beautiful. I am loving more. I see the beauty in other people and in life more.  I wake up a little more each moment in what feels like a natural process.

I see this entire life process, from the "soul perspective" as the ongoing transformational process of evolution. It has awakened with greater lucidity the Vision/Dream for my life and this existence.

On another note, I feel immense gratitude, a little surprise, and much love with the results so far of the fundraising efforts of the Caring Collective through the Go Fund Me process. As of this moment, there have been 278 people donating and we have reached 83% of our goal.

I also feel a connection with a greater community, seeing names of people I haven't seen for years, but remembering them with warmth and love.

The people who make up the Caring Collective are Jeff Brown (Organizer), Andrea Steidl, Elke Dobkowitz, Filipa Hope, Howard Evans, Matthias Heidel, Nadine Helm, Rhonda Eldridge, and Simone Anliker. 

Heart shaky with love,

Robert

P.S. If you would like to make a financial contribution, please do so at the GoFundMe page (rather than here through CaringBridge).

 

 

 

April
5
2021

An update on my health and inviting your support

Dear Friends,

 

It is with sadness, tenderness, and care that I write this. Regarding my current health situation, I had an endoscopy in January 2021 as a follow-up for esophageal cancer that I experience two years ago. The endoscopy showed that my cancer has returned. I had follow-up PET and CT scans that confirmed this diagnosis. 

 

Also, in January, during a 9-day online retreat but I was a trainer in, I started experiencing laryngitis symptoms. It's been over 8 weeks and I still have the symptoms with very little improvement. I had a test done and it showed that I had paralysis and 1/2 of my vocal cord. The PET scan I mentioned before showed that there was a mass in my thyroid gland pressing against my larynx. A biopsy of the tumor showed malignancy.

 

Given what I know now about my health my highest priority is for my healing and well-being. To support this, my greatest need is for spaciousness to focus as much of my time and energy on my healing. I am already engaged in many alternative healing protocols. I found a hospital in Mexico that specializes in alternative treatments for cancer. I have decided to not undergo conventional medical treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. 

 

This experience has given me the opportunity to process. I feel deep gratitude for all the work I have done in my life that has developed my capacity to meet this experience with openness, acceptance, grace, and love. I am grateful to the richness of inner resources that are always available to me.

 

On a deeper level this journey has taken me deeply into presence, connection and meaning. In the truest sense I am experiencing this reality with my body as intimately linked with my soul. I sense a deep impulse inviting me into transformation.

 

What I see so far are all of the encompassing ways in which I have held onto and been attached to old and conditioned ways of being.  This is a call to completely let go, and open to something on a level is intimately known and on another level is completely unknown.

 

One thing that I am more and more clear about in life is the central importance of a loving and supportive community and relationships. I welcome hearing from anyone who wants to respond in any way. I enjoy receiving any message you are moved to share.

 

Love,

Robert

 

P.S. I also have set up a page on GoFundMe for people who would like to support me. (if you wish to make a contribution, please do so at this page rather than here on CaringBridge).