9. The Story Of A Pancreatic Cancer Survivor

  My name is Connie Ji. My father, two of my fraternal uncles, my maternal grandmother and my maternal uncle were plagued with cancer. In my generation of the family, my elder sister, a fraternal cousin, and I all suffered from the same ill fate. Now everyone in my family has died, except my elder sister and I. A total of eight people in my family, including myself, suffered from cancer.

  I will now tell you how I survived this deadly cancer. I started to feel ill in the autumn of 1995 and went to the hospital for a diagnosis. Through ultrasound, the doctor saw something unusual about my biliary system. Next he did a CT (Computerized Tomography) scan. When the doctor saw the CT scan result, he asked me, "How long have you been feeling ill?" "For a while," I replied. The doctor's grave facial expression said it all. I knew there must be something seriously wrong with my health. I went to an even larger hospital for a second opinion where I was finally told that I had "lesions on the pancreas."

  Now that I knew my life was in danger, my family started to panic. I was 43 years old back then, and my son had just turned 14. To avoid aggravating my health, my parents-in-law and my husband withheld their tears in my presence. Then my family decided to take me to the Sina-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing for better medical treatment. The doctors and specialists came to a joint diagnosis and determined that I had cancer in the head of the pancreas.

  I knew that pancreatic cancer was one of the most severe types of cancer. I also learned that pancreatic cancer causes an extreme amount of pain and the cure rate is close to zero at this time. Words could not describe my feelings. I told my doctor in tears that I did not want to die and begged him to save my life, but I knew very well that no one could save me.

  I started to have jaundice because the tumor obstructed my common bile duct. I lost my appetite and became extremely ill. Only a few days after the doctor confirmed my pancreatic cancer, he decided to surgically remove my pancreas, because it was considered the only chance for a cure. However, when the doctor opened me up, he saw that the tumor had adhered to the inferior vena cava. Therefore, the operation would be associated with very high rates of operative morbidity and mortality, and the cancer could spread to other areas. He came out of the operating room, explained the situation to my family, and recommended non-surgical treatment, which might help prolong my life. After my family consented to the doctor's decision, the doctor surgically connected the common bile duct and duodenum in order to keep my digestive system running normally. Thus he stitched me up without removing my pancreas. It was another way of telling me that there was no cure for my pancreatic cancer. While waiting outside the operating room, my husband burst into tears. When I awoke from the anesthesia, I asked my family how the surgery went.

  When my elder sister told me the truth, my mind went completely blank. I could not think or say anything. Even though there was no hope for a cure, my family insisted that I continue the medical treatments with both western and Chinese traditional medicine. I was taking traditional Chinese herbal medicine, as well as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I was tormented by the physical pain of the cancer, the side effects of the chemotherapy, and the imminent shadow of death each day. It also broke my heart to think of my child. I once received a phone call from my son while I was receiving the chemotherapy. I started to imagine that my son would be motherless and he would have to grow up without the affection from his mother. Then tears started to flush down my face.

  I knew I was going to die very soon, but I had never thought about what death would be like. I didn't know the answer and I didn't want to know the answer. But I didn't want to think about the reality, either. There was a cruel barrier that separated me from the rest of the world. I felt left alone and I felt the world was uncaring and cruel. Each day I was repeatedly tormented by both the endless physical and psychological tortures. I didn't want to die, but the daily torment seemed to be worse than death. What I feared the most was that I might die after I eventually wore out every ounce of my life in extreme pain. I was overwhelmed with pain and gave up all hope for life. My family's affection and support could not improve my mood or encourage me to fight the cancer. No one in the world could save my life. Although I was still alive, I felt that nothing in the world belonged to me. I felt terribly alone. It is a feeling that only a dying person can know. I thought of spending my remaining days in a Buddhist temple because at least I could enjoy peace and quiet away from the secular world. When I discussed my dying wish with my husband, we both decided that it was an unrealistic wish in my condition. After the surgery, my weight dropped to below 90 pounds. I had lost almost all of my hair and I looked like a ghost with my dark yellow complexion and skeleton frame.

  At the end of 1996, my health became even worse and the pain escalated. I could not eat at all. I didn't want to worry my husband, so I didn't tell him until I thought I wasn't going to make it. My husband suggested that I check into the hospital again, but I really didn't want to because I did not want to die in the hospital. Then one morning, I met an elderly woman as I practiced a Chinese qigong in a park. She started the conversation by telling me that she had been watching me for several days and had wanted to introduce me to Falun Gong. "Why don't you try practicing Falun Gong?" she said. "We will start playing Teacher Li Hongzhi's Fa lecture videotapes today. Why don't you join us?" Upon hearing her invitation, I immediately decided not to go back to the hospital. She took me to the home of another Falun Gong practitioner who volunteered to assist people in learning Falun Gong's exercises, and we watched the videotapes together. I was receptive to Teacher Li Hongzhi's lectures. While I sat there watching the videotapes, I felt very comfortable. After we finished watching the videotapes that day, the volunteer assistant kindly loaned me a copy of Zhuan Falun, Falun Gong's main text. I finished reading the book in three days. On the fourth day, I went out at 4:00 a.m. and joined the elderly woman for that morning's outdoor group practice of Falun Gong exercises. It was a snowy and windy day, but I could practice Falun Gong's standing exercises with others for a full hour! Since that day, I have continued to practice Falun Gong's exercises each and every day, rain or shine, winter or summer.

  I felt as if I had found my way home. I no longer felt alone, and I no longer feared death. I felt free and peaceful.

  Before I knew it, my health started to improve. Although I still experienced pain and would occasionally vomit and have diarrhea, I knew they were signs that my body was being cleansed.

  I could eat and sleep well, and I felt very energetic. After just two months, my health made a pivotal turn and I transformed into a healthy person. The Chinese New Year came two months after I started to practice Falun Gong. When my family and relatives visited me during the Chinese New Year, they were astonished by my recovery. In May when the weather turned warm, I had gained a lot of weight and grown out of many of my clothes. As I continued to read Zhuan Falun and practice Falun Gong's exercises, I kept developing new understandings of the true meaning of life. As I tried to conduct myself according to Teacher's lectures, my health kept improving.

  I became increasingly healthy each day. I used to suffer from chronic angina and gastroenteritis, but they completely disappeared like my pancreatic cancer. I now weigh 130 pounds and am perfectly healthy. It is because I practice Falun Gong that my life span was prolonged and my life was altered.

  Falun Dafa has not only saved my family and me, but also restored millions of people's physical and mental health, as well as their moral values. I am not just sharing my story as a testimony of Falun Gong's miraculous power. I also wish to use my story as a way to validate the fact that Falun Dafa is a righteous cultivation practice, which teaches people to improve their moral values and recover their true nature. I sincerely hope that the Chinese people will stop being the victims of Jiang Zemin's slanderous and fraudulent propaganda against Falun Gong. Falun Dafa is great!