"You were born awesome.
Please don't die average"
-- Robin Sharma
My mother Isa was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer January 2014. When I first heard the news, I felt like I had stumbled into a bad dream and that surely there was a big mistake. The oncologists told Isa that she had several months left to live and advised her to put her things in order.
My family was devastated but we agreed not to spread the bad news out of respect for my mother who wanted to battle cancer through alternative methods. Being a stubborn and rebellious lady since youth, Isa refused the modern medicine routes and instead opted for the roads less traveled. Although we encouraged her to not be so dramatic and combine the modern with the alternative road, my headstrong mother followed her inner voice and told us politely to mind our own business.
During the last two years, the colon cancer grew and so did the obstacles and difficulties. Loyal to her promise, Isa did not return to see the oncologists and we worried about her, all the while trusting the greater forces of life.
After consulting naturopaths who prescribed healthy diets, Isa began making herself fresh green juices every day and spent hours taking various natural remedies. We watched in admiration as my mother applied herself every day to fight the cancer that was trying to invade her entire body. Although Isa's mood varied drastically, she remained resilient and courageous.
A Remarkable Case of Fierce Positive Attitude
On February 17th, 2016, the day of her 72nd birthday, Isa finally agreed to go to the hospital because her suffering was too much to bear anymore. We called for an ambulance and with tears in our eyes, watched as the paramedics took over and carried her to the nearest hospital.
There was some confusion and chaos during the first two weeks because the oncologists had not seen my mother since over two years. They were amazed to see Isa still standing and everyone agreed she was indeed a remarkable case that had rarely been seen before.
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After thorough medical tests and examinations, doctors concluded there was nothing they could do for her other than transfer her to a good hospice in Montreal. My family stayed calm and composed despite the terrible news.
When she found herself in hospice care, Isa continued telling everyone that she would beat the colon cancer and teach it a lesson. We applauded my mother's fierce positive attitude and stood by her in every moment, praying that somehow a miracle would happen for her.
We brought her flowers, homemade cookies and dark chocolate just the way she liked them. Even though we often wanted to break down, we always forced smiles and tried to think of positive stories to share with her at her bedside.
Courage, Hope, Power And Strength
I have never liked hospitals but suddenly I began to appreciate the safety and stability it brought my family and I. Room 305 carried a special meaning for me, one of courage, hope, power and strength.
The day Isa left for the hospital by ambulance, she reached for the first book she could find on her overflowing book pile. It was Robin Sharma's book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, a book that had greatly influenced me when I read it several years ago.
She carried Robin Sharma's book with her to two hospitals and clung to it at the hospice. Every time we would see her, she would speak of the great teachings and wisdom in The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and explained to us how she had learned how diamonds are made through pressure.
Given my mother's hard childhood in Nazi Germany, the story of how pressure creates diamonds gave Isa hope that all her post-war suffering in this life had not been in vain. In her spare time, my mother took extensive notes in the novel and insisted everyone read it. Even her oncologist promised to buy his copy soon.
Praying For A Miracle
After a visit one afternoon and a long crying session alone in my kitchen, I sat down and decided to write to Robin Sharma and explain my mother's brave cancer story and her adoration of his book. I told him everything in three short precise paragraphs. As I sent the email, I prayed for a miracle for my mom and our family in this sad and painful moment.
Two days later, Robin Sharma's assistant Kelsey called me from Toronto. Kelsey introduced herself and told me she was very sorry to hear about my mother's terminal cancer. She explained that everyone at the office had been touched by the email and that Robin really wanted to do something for my mother. He was even willing to take a flight to Montreal that very week to come sit with Isa!
I was stunned and tried to find the right words to express my feelings of gratitude. With a choked voice, I admitted that my mother was not seeing any outside people presently, only family, but that a phone conversation would be as wonderful. Together we arranged the best time for the call and with many emotions running through me, I hung up the phone.
A Priceless Unforgettable Moment
On March 16th I walked into room 305 where my frail mother was trying to sit up in the hospital bed. I lifted the blinds to let some sunshine in and spoke about how spring was coming soon. With my usual positive attitude, I told Isa some of the fun events happening in the outside world and we got ready for our talk with her hero Robin Sharma.
Isa had scribbled down some questions about The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari on a piece of paper and although she looked terribly weak and tired, I could tell she was making huge efforts to stay awake and lucid. When we were transferred to Robin, I felt an instant wave of warmth flowing from his voice and tears formed in my eyes. He was the miracle I had been praying for to bring some joy back into our lives!
It was a priceless unforgettable moment to hear my mother laughing with Robin over the phone. She recounted some childhood stories in post-war Berlin, spoke of some of her spiritual struggles, shared her battle with cancer, and asked pertinent questions concerning his novel. I could tell she was living a truly uplifting and happy moment.
When Isa hung up the phone, she was too tired to continue speaking. I stroked her thin gray hair and offered her some comforting words to help her sleep. I left with tears of joy that afternoon and once at home, opened up my copy of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari to connect with my mother's soul.
It Just Takes One Light To Chase Away The Darkness
Isa Caron passed away on April 5th, 2016. She lived ten times longer than what oncologists had predicted. She had dozens of friends praying for her around the world, including Kelsey Dunlop and Robin Sharma in Toronto.
Nothing can ever prepare us for such a tragic loss but in my difficult moments, I remember her sparkling eyes as she chatted with her favorite author and recounted her difficult life to him over the phone from room 305. It is those moments that will live forever in time, reminding us all that it just takes one light to chase the darkness away.
My mother's life was awesome and so was her death. Isa embodied the true meaning of a female spiritual warrior and shall continue to do so from her new resting place.
©2016 by Nora Caron.
[Editor's Note: We wish Nora strength and inner peace in this emotional time.]
Book by this Author
Journey to the Heart: New Dimensions Trilogy, Book 1
by Nora Caron.
Watch the book trailer: Journey to the Heart - Book Trailer
About the Author
Nora Caron has a Masters degree in English Renaissance literature and speaks four languages. After struggling through the academic system, she realized that her true calling was to help people live from their hearts and explore the world through the eyes of their spirit. Nora has studied with various spiritual teachers and healers since 2003 and she practices Energy Medicine as well as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. In September 2014, her book "Journey to the Heart", received the Living Now Book Award Silver Medal for Best Inspirational Fiction. Visit her website at: www.noracaron.com
Watch a video with Nora: New Dimensions of Being
Other books in the trilogy: