I received the following message from a fellow natural clinician:
“My patient moved to hospice care today and she is refusing medical intervention as of yesterday. I spoke with her husband yesterday and today. She said goodbye to her children and her brothers yesterday.
I am so bad at this part. It’s so hard. I still want to try and help her find healing, but I’m not sure she is open to it at this point in time. She is one of those patients that just climbed into my heart and became like my family.
At what point do you let go when you serve a God of resurrection power?
Thanks for listening. Blessings on your team today.”
When I read messages like this my empathy becomes acute to the point of painful. I have stood in her shoes more times than I am capable of tracking.
As I write this post I, too, have a young patient who has transitioned to palliative hospice care. My eyes immediately well up when I think of what a sweetheart she is, what a battle she’s fought, and how her cancer has persisted no matter what she or I attempted in trying to slow its progression.
It’s a level of humility, of helplessness that I have rarely experienced elsewhere in my life. For the moment I am a practitioner whose patient didn’t heal in the manner desired. It’s a grappling with failure, with responsibility, with identity and with faith.
“I’m so bad at this part. It’s so hard…”
It is very hard. We are now nearing a realm that is between two worlds: our temporary, earthly home and the Home of our spirit, our soul. Modern day society tends to ignore this realm at all costs and we are often unfamiliar with how to traverse such sacred and sensitive territory.
It’s times like these that I am driven to my knees and I must mindfully reiterate to myself the following truths:
~ I believe in the human body’s God-given power to heal itself naturally with every fiber of my being. But I cannot forget that, given our imperfect/toxic world and individual circumstances, a patient’s natural healing process still might not be enough to slow certain cancers and prevent them from having their way.
~ I do believe that there are certain supplements and protocols which end up becoming ‘the missing link’, igniting a healing journey that ultimately leads to cancer remission. But I cannot forget that there is no such thing as a food group, a therapy, a supplement, a protocol or a regenerative process that is a cure-all.
~ I make it my life’s work to help patients move away from their state of dis-ease so that their future years are healthier and more fulfilling than previously experienced. But I cannot forget that in some cases the dis-ease itself might bring a version of healing that I don’t, or may never, understand.
“At what point do you let go…”
It is vitally important to recognize and then continually remind ourselves that letting go and giving up are not the same.
I tell patients that I won’t give up hope that God, in His sovereignty, has the ability to erase our physical woes in a moment’s notice if that is truly part of His Will. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen the unimaginable miracle happen.
Letting go, however, is different.
Letting go is about relinquishing my control over the situation, my will for the patient’s life, and my identity as someone’s healer, solution or inspiration.
Letting go is something that needs to happen in the every day, in the mundane, not just in the moments when a patient begins to transition from one world to the other.
Letting go is, in my opinion, the more difficult practice for a natural practitioner. It is the ultimate acceptance of the patient’s freedom of choice. It is the ultimate recognition of a Divine purpose beyond my cognitive capabilities.
Letting go is praying that God’s Will be made manifest in my patients’ lives, even if that means calling them Home.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:17-18
Michelle Hamburger is the Lead Practitioner, Clinical Kinesiologist and Methyl Genetic Nutritionist for Conners Clinic, trained by apprenticeship under Dr. Conners since 2010. Michelle developed and directs CC’s distance care program, traveling the U.S. to bring alternative services directly to patients. She is a graduate of Trinity International University with a degree in Social Sciences, emphasis on psychology, sociology and health. She is completing her Naturopathic degree and her AMA Fellowship in Integrative Cancer Therapy.