I have been performing surgery for over 26 years and the wonder of what takes place in the “operating theatre” as they call it in the UK and Oz never ceases to amaze me. I am not referring to the physical surgery, I am referring to the trust a patient has when they surrender completely to physicians and nurses that they barely know. They trust that we have their best interest in our hands. For many of you who are reading this, if you have been in the OR, you were likely asleep when you were there (frankly I prefer to be awake when I am in the OR having been both the surgeon and the patient).
The perception of what happens in the OR is typically gleaned from the television or movie impressions. It’s not just the scripted shows, but the reality TV era that has shaped our views and impressions.
- Trivia question- Who performed the first live reality surgery on the web??
- If you answered Dr Beth DuPree and Dr Robert Skalicky, you would be correct. October 1999 we had the honor of educating 1.3 million viewers as they watched a LIVE BILATERAL MASTECTOMY AND RECONSTRUCTION. Patty Derman was incredibly brave and a healer in her own right as she chose to educate millions of women and men and bring them on her journey to healing. The event was huge and ended up receiving a coveted Gracie Allen Award for excellence in broadcasting and a feature in the New York Times. (It didn’t launch my TV career as a ‘TV Surgeon’ so I had to keep my day job)
My daily operating room routine may be an experience that is a bit different from the standard OR experience. I typically escort my patients from the holding area into the room, holding their hand, their attention, their energy and the intention of healing for their highest and best (without judgement of what healing looks like for them). You cannot focus on fear or allow anxiety to set in if your attention is being held on another topic. It could be that I am simple distracting them from their fear, but isn’t that a good thing??
As they drift off to sleep under anesthesia, I hold their right hand in my left hand and place my right hand over their heart. (call it prayer, Reiki, energy healing, focused intention, what every you like- I am simply holding that individuals energy sacred, which creates the atmosphere in the OR that what I am doing surgically is sacred work). I use guided imagery and have them visualize going to a place of their choosing that brings them joy and peace in their heart. It is as simple as that.
Several times in the past, I have had healing practitioners come to the OR with me at the request of the patients. Their experiences have been profound and I believe that we need to explore, in a clinical trial setting, how this works for the patient and the staff.
I have been asked repeatedly by nurses and anesthesia “why do you bother doing that?” as the patients have been given drugs to make them forget. My reply is simple- patients are aware of everything that takes place in the OR whether or not they can access it readily. Their conscious mind may be on a mini vacation, but their unconscious mind is well aware of everything.
If you work in the operating room, remember that the person who is on the table is scared, vulnerable, and wide open so please be respectful of this at all times.
Recently, I had the great fortune and grace to have an amazing healer in the operating theatre with me. Savitur Dhanvantre, a master healer, from Shanti Mission Australia not only joined me in the OR but was able to prepare my patients for the experience with pre-operative , intra-operative and post-operative healing.
Sounds kinda funny to talk about “HEALING” in the OR as something spectacular but in our Western world, the OR is thought of as that place where cancer is “cut out”, bones are repaired or tissues are removed. Clearly the “physical body” of cancer or repairing abnormal conditions in the body is only one aspect of healthcare. I know that healing has been occurring with my patients as I am surgically removing the tumors, but I liken this to quantum healing to healing the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Energetically, the patients are shifting spiritually as the surgery shifts their bodies physically.
So, how did this all come about? During my two week trip to India, a plan had been put in place to have Shakti Durga come to the OR with me while she was in the USA. Her plans changed as she was called to return to India. Instead, Savitur was chosen to come to the USA for a retreat. Savitur obtained his TB test and provided all of the documentation to come to the OR to be present with the patients. I obtained written permission from all of the patients to allow Savitur to work with them. The hospital staff was alerted and all were open to the possibilities.
All of my patients that received healing that week had profound and amazing shifts in their physical, emotional, and energetic bodies. Anxiety, fea,r and stress melted away. Post-operatively each woman was visibly calmer and more at peace. One patient had such severe anxiety that after a simple ten minute pre-op session with Savitur, the pre-op nurse thought that the anesthesiologist had given the patient versed (a strong medication that wipes away anxiety temporarily). The patient’s husband asked if he could take Savitur home with them.
Another patient had had several previous surgeries and said that this one was “grace and ease”. No anxiety,no pain, and no worries.
So many individuals hold on to beliefs and behavior patterns that do not serve them. I do not know if it is the word “cancer” that allowed these women to make such profound shifts in their energy bodies but the changes were not only perceived and felt by the patients, but by the families and the staff as well.
My treatment of the physical disease cancer is rooted in western medicine. High tech and cutting edge. My treatment of the spiritual and emotional aspects of my patients is rooted simply in healing. Healing comes in many forms. There are so many therapeutic healing modalities available, we just need to give our patients access to them.
My work with The Healing Consciousness Foundation is of the utmost importance to me as it has given us the vehicle to allow women and men affected with breast cancer to not only experience state-of-the-art western medical care of their physical disease, but it allows them to find healing deep in PEACE in their Heart.