This article originally appeared in Edgar Cayce's Venture Inward magazine (USA), Sept/Oct 2004
Shock and grief were Susan Schell’s first reactions when the doctor diagnosed her multiple sclerosis five years ago.
“I could hear the doors slamming along the corridor of my life. There’s a lot of grief that goes along with that,” said Schell, 48, a journalist who worked on daily newspapers in Ohio for more than 20 years.
She had dealt with some less serious health challenges in the past and already made diet and lifestyle changes to promote wellness. She had worked through some old grief from the loss of her brother, who died from an illness when he was five years old.
She first found the A.R.E. more than 20 years ago, looking for answers to family and personal issues.
“It really resonated on a deep level and led me to explore many paths,” she said. For many years she followed a Sufi path. She did personal work based on information from two men whose readings are similar to those of Edgar Cayce. The first was the late Ross Peterson of Michigan. She has also done work with Douglas Cottrell, a deep-trance psychic who lives in Canada.
When she had numbness, tingling, and pain in her legs and the doctor diagnosed a relatively mild form of multiple sclerosis, she was stunned.
“I don’t get this. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. There was no warning,” she thought.
Schell made an appointment for a reading with Cottrell. She could barely walk, but she was determined to make the seven-hour drive to London, Ontario for the reading.
“I went to have the reading in person because I could ask questions if he said something that needed more clarification,” she said. She knew the most important question. Could she be healed? His answer from that reading is etched on her heart and soul: “Indeed.”
She followed the advice from doctors to have intravenous steroids to treat the disease, which by then, they had diagnosed as chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. The physicians told her that she should not expect to improve with the treatment, but the steroids might be able to halt the progress of the disease. Her symptoms continued to worsen. She had more and more difficulty walking and many other physical problems. “I could hardly turn over in bed,” she said.
She agreed to have seven months of chemotherapy, another attempt to slow the progression of the disease. Meanwhile, she put into effect the information from Cottrell’s reading, including the use of the radial appliance, which Cayce had recommended (Radiac, available from www.Baar.com). Later she added acupuncture treatments, homeopathic remedies, and bee venom therapy.
The reading advised that she should continue work on the emotional and mental levels, as well as the physical. She continued with prayer, meditation, and dream work.
Eventually the chemotherapy made her feel so sick and so weak that, at one very low moment, she wondered if she should plan her funeral. She made a choice.
“I know there’s a better way,” she thought. “I know that healing is possible.”
She stopped the chemotherapy, against the advice of the doctors. Medical professionals continued to tell her that she could not expect to heal. Schell had to make moment-by-moment choices to hold onto positive thoughts. “I had to train myself to think of MS like a case of the flu. It was something that I had to deal with in the moment, but I told myself, minute by minute, that I’m getting better.”
It was a difficult discipline, but she constantly reminded herself that the body is very resilient and can heal. “I found that if you do that long enough, you start to believe it on a very deep level, and in my experience, the healing starts to occur,” Schell said.
She went to a weeklong healing workshop at Ananda Village in California, a community based on the work of Paramahansa Yogananda, a yoga master from India who lived in the United States in the early 20th century.
Schell was so weak that she had to use a wheelchair to get across the airport for her flight to California. She had a healing experience during her week at Ananda Village three years ago. She hasn’t used a wheelchair since then.
It was one of a multitude of steps in a healing journey that she continued, intensely and diligently, for years. She has incorporated homeopathy, dietary supplements, Chi Gong, and tai chi into her lifestyle to help her heal. She is now much stronger, walks comfortably, practices martial arts almost every day, and works full-time.
“In some ways, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said.
The most important thing she learned from one of her teachers, Schell said, is this: “Hope. Hope always.”