Mexico and Bonding
At that time, everyone was talking about a miracle cure that was being offered in Mexico; it had been reported in the newspapers and magazines carried stories about it. While some people said they were cured of their cancer, others labeled it a hoax. But we still hoped for a miracle so we contacted the clinics in Mexico, and they sent us information about Laetrile, the cure that was made from apricot pits. The Laetrile treatment caused an anti-toxin effect that flushed the cancer from the patient. It sounded safe and natural, so we decided to try it and made arrangements for Johnny to go. We sold our new house that was still under construction to pay for the trip to Mexico and the treatments.
Before we signed the papers, a financial consultant advised me to keep the house, which would be ours free and clear because of our insurance, after my husband passed. In my heart, I knew I didn’t want the house--I just wanted to do everything possible for him to live. Something inside me was leading me from the beginning, even though I was in a fog. That mysterious spirit guided us, and I felt deeply that getting the Laetrile treatment was the most important thing we could do, and we could always get another house later.
At that point it was November, nearly a year since his illness began and he went to Mexico, where he’d be treated for four to six weeks. My brothers and brothers-in-law willingly took time off from work to go to Mexico with him; everyone was comfortable with this decision and agreed there was no reason for me to go. This meant I could stay home with my daughter, who had just started first grade, and let her have as normal a life as possible under the circumstances.
My brothers-in-law were self-employed and could easily make arrangements for time off, and one of them was my husband’s best friend; they had grown up together and had met in grade school. My other brother-in-law owned a home improvement company and my husband worked for him, and my loving sisters and sisters-in-law did without their husbands in an effort to save another life.
The amazing spirit of God was shown through everyone’s dedication in trying to save his life. We were excited, and with many mixed emotions, we took them all to the airport, all the while hoping for a miracle.
We kept in touch through short, expensive phone calls; this was before everyone had cell phones, and there were no flat-rate calling plans. After a few weeks, they called to say they didn’t see any improvement in my husband’s condition, yet, the doctors said he was in remission. My husband sent me letters about the treatments they were giving him but said he didn’t feel any better; in fact, he told me he was so weak, he could barely walk or talk from being so short of breath. He described the hospital as a little village with an adjoining small chapel, and explained that the hospital rooms were very small and hot because air-conditioning was only installed in the main treatment rooms and offices.
He told me that they gave him doses of Laetrile and natural laxatives to cleanse and release any cancer cells or toxins that his body gave off. His diet consisted of all natural fruits and vegetables, and he was given no meat at all. He said the staff was extremely kind to him and compassionate, and that they spoke every day about the importance of faith to his recovery and that was to attend a church service every day.
Although it is clear to me now why they emphasized the importance of faith in healing, we were young and didn’t understand the significance of what they said at that point in our lives.
But Johnny was afraid and he told me he was ready to come home ahead of schedule. I agreed and he shortened his stay. By that point, I knew it was best to let him decide. And whenever we spoke, he’d ask about our daughter; he reminded me to tell her that as soon as he got home, he was taking her to Disneyland! In the midst of all his pain, he was still planning a special adventure for her.
My daughter and I stayed with my parents while Johnny was away; this turned into a time of sacred bonding with my family, especially with my five younger siblings who were still living at home with my parents. The kids ranged from age sixteen to twenty-one, and I wasn’t much older. It was winter and there was a great deal of snow, so indoor activities were all we could manage. We’d prepare dinner together and tell stories about the fun times we’d had growing up together. . I’ll always be grateful for their support during that time, as the younger ones showed their love through their compassion, something I found much later in life that helped me survive. My family kept us busy at all times, hoping to make the weeks go by quickly.
My mother had a special love for my daughter, and she somehow understood the loss this little girl was about to suffer. Mom showered Natalie with constant love and attention, something that was unusual for her, as she always tried to be impartial with all of us. Having raised so many children herself, she no doubt understood that my daughter needed a strong, loving foundation in order to survive the loss of her father. And perhaps she knew that soon I’d be falling into a deep well of sadness and less emotionally available to help my child. That would leave Natalie without a father and a mother.
Excerpt from: " Imprinted Wisdom" by Catherine Nagle
Causes Catherine Nagle Supports
Westwind Foster Family Agency, Christian Children's Fund, Compassion International, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Invisible Children, Save the Children