Natural Healing

Radical remission: healing the emotion behind cancer

By Sari Huhtala  

With the wind brushing against her face, the sound of leaves dancing in the trees and the warmth of the sun shining down on her, Dr. Antonietta Francini’s legs carried her through the winding path of the park she had just run to. It is here she has come to seek refuge from her thoughts and to become one with the power of nature. She has just been handed a death sentence – three months to live. The invasive cancer of her thyroid has spread into her lymphatic system. With the sound of the doctor’s prognosis a distant murmuring in her thoughts, she has decided not to die.

  “Something very powerful inside of me said ‘no,’” Francini, a North Bay resident, remembers. “The very first moment I received the diagnosis I phoned my husband, then went outside and then went running into a big park to be in nature; to be with the trees and I felt the power of nature helping me and decided I was going to fight for my children because they needed their mother. I call it a ‘living eternity’ – a power that comes to you when you need it. You only have to ask for it with the right intention, passion and commitment. Living eternity is a request for life.”

  Somewhere, in the scattered hurriedness of life as a mother and a family physician with a private practice, putting in long hours working in the local hospital and medical teaching, she had forgotten about the very practice that had saved her life as a young child at the age of nine. The time had arrived to bring it all back into her life.

  She began a daily ritual of one hour of yoga in the morning and evening, daily meditation and yoga breathing exercises and visualization.

  ”I went to look in a book at my cancer cells and visualized I was killing it,” she recalls. “I visualized the cancer cells going away.

  “I went on a macrobiotic diet of fresh fruit and vegetables and changed my lifestyle to avoid stress and I did it for 18 years, because then you get used to it,” she says with a smile.

  That was in 1965.

  She is not the least bit reticent about revealing what she believes was the root cause of her thyroid cancer in 1965. Born in November of 1925 in Rome, Francini remembers what life was like for her as a teenager during five years of upheaval during the Battle of Monte Cassino.

  Surviving on dandelion and scrounging for water daily, always with the imminent danger of being kidnapped by the Germans, life for civilians at that time was extremely difficult, she says.

  “There was bombing almost every night,” she says. “We were so used to it, and we just didn’t ever try to sleep. Our mother had us all up in one room because she said then we would all die together.”

  The war ended when she was 19, and at the age of 21 she left Europe and traveled to South America, then studied and graduated in medicine, training at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

  “I left it all behind when I left Rome,” she says. “I suppressed all of the anger and resentment. I had post-traumatic stress disorder after the war and I had pushed all of the emotions down and ignored it for many years, but you cannot ignore something so traumatic. In order to heal, you must have forgiveness. You cannot be healed unless you forgive – forgive yourself first because at a certain moment you had hatred in your heart.”

  Everything was perfect in her life in 1965. Her two boys were born in 1962 and 1963, she had a loving husband and a career in medicine, and because everything was perfect “I released the suppression and the cancer came up,” she says.

  “The thyroid is very much the point of emotion. My cancer was definitely emotional. I needed to find forgiveness.”

  So many people are unable to forgive and move on, she says. Moving through the stages of forgiveness one must first come to a resolve to the question “Is it right or wrong to forgive?” she says. “You have to convince yourself it is right to forgive.”

  “We often believe that to forgive is to delete somehow the evil that has been done, so you have to overcome this questioning inside yourself and then you realize that evil exists in you only because you were offended or suffering or stressed because of something that someone else did. Once you overcome this questioning the point changes and you are no longer dealing with the evil that was done. Instead you are dealing with your reaction with your feelings and no longer questioning if it was right or wrong.

  “I was suffering because of something somebody else did.”

  “People hang on because they think that if they forgive they’re doing some good to that person, but that’s not true. You then ask yourself “Why am I suffering hatred because someone else misbehaved? And you realize there is no reason or rationale for you to suffer.”

 While she believes her cancer was tied to an emotion, with so much “poison in the environment we live in,” cancer is not always linked to an emotion, she points out.

  “Cancer is definitely due to contamination of the environment, the food we eat, genetically modified foods and pesticides” and so many other environmental factors, she says.

  Her brush with cancer in 1965 wasn’t the first time she had confronted death. At the age of nine she had contracted a severe infection of the kidneys and with no antibiotics available at the time, her family had little hope she would survive. She remembers getting up out of bed and asking her mother if she was going to die, and her mother simply patted her on the head.

  Alone at home, while her parents were at work, she crept into a room where her mother had kept a library of books and came across a of typed manuscript: Science of Breath, which states that life is absolutely dependent on the act of breathing, that breathe is life and life is breathe. And so she had a starting point – conscious breathing. She discovered a second manuscript – Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy – a New Age philosophy built on principles of mind over matter.

  Both manuscripts were written by William Walker Atkinson (aka Yogi Ramacharaka), an American lawyer who had built up a successful law practice before professional burnout led him to a religious New Thought movement.

  “I read both of them and I started to do breathing exercises in the morning and got in touch with yoga at the age of nine,” she remembers. “I started to eat an apple twice a day and I visualized I was absorbing the power of the sun and the earth in the apple, that I was receiving prana – life force energy – from the apple.”

  Within a month she was out of bed and had healed herself.

  A strong believer in the link between emotion and wellness, and the capacity inside of ourselves to connect to a higher consciousness that is healing, Francini preaches spirituality as a pathway to a peaceful and compassionate life. She has authored a book: Seeking Freedom and Joy in the Winding Path of Life, as well as a second book: Seeking Health and Joy in the Winding Path of Life, which is a book about forgiveness because “you can’t have health and joy unless you forgive,” she says.

  “We are built in such a way that we are able to touch the lowest, most dense vibration, yet expand our own consciousness into the most subtle vibration. Unconditional love is the most subtle vibration. Like the experience when a baby is born, you know what unconditional love is.”

  “We have to forgive ourselves and others and see things with love” and in order to do that we need to recognize the beauty that exists around us, she says.

  “Nature has given us the power of abstraction; abstract thoughts of beauty. Go and see the sunset and you say it’s beautiful. There must be something inside of you that’s beautiful in order for you to recognize it. The beauty is inside you already.”

  Society does not encourage oneness, but rather division and separation, with little emphasis placed on finding a spiritual meaning to life.

  In essence, we are condemned to live life as a “machine, and to be a machine, our life is meaningless,” she says. “Have a spiritual meaning to your life. You have to develop the connection with your own divinity in such a way that it becomes a reality and certainty.

  “The system teaches us you have to study so you have a career and you get your pay cheque and you pay your taxes. We pay a very high price if we only look at the paycheque coming in. “

  “The task is to transform the mentality that we have a spark of divinity that we have to connect with, then life becomes meaningful.”

Visit http://www.antoniettafrancini.ca/ for links to her books.

Subscribe to our free Alive and Fit E-News!