By Tom Devine © 2012
On November 30th of 2011, I had to have a CAT scan to more closely inspect something seen on a chest X-ray. I didn’t know much more than what I was told: That these were 99% benign nothings; that chest X-rays really can’t see much; that this was precautionary and that it was on the right upper lobe of my lung. I’m not a smoker, so I wasn’t terribly worried, but alas, the CAT scan revealed something that looked ominous.
The next step was to have a PET scan that measures any metabolic activity in this thing. If the results glow red, then it suggests the thing is eating and growing. If no red color exists, then you know that at least it’s not a fast eater and may be something like a slow growing tumor.
I did a bit of meditating for the couple days leading up to the early Monday morning PET scan. In the hours before the scan, I became lucid in a dream. Walking in a nature area with my wife behind me, I see a nicely dressed young man of about 25 years. He’s standing in a clearing as we emerge from a cluster of trees. I notice that he has an open 12 or 24 pack of Diet Pepsi on the ground to his right.
I ask him to throw some cans into the air, as I want to try and make them hover, which I do in the lucid dream. This excites me. I then ask him to see if he can throw one through me. He does so. It sails right through my chest! Waking, we got out of bed and made our way through the cool of the morning to the medical facility.
At 5:39 that afternoon, I received a call from the doctor. He stayed late to give me my results. The results of the PET scan were negative.
We traveled to the Midwest for the holidays and I didn’t bother my family with any of this. While there, I had a very vivid non-lucid dream in which something odd happened. In it, I was squatting down and writing on something like a sandwich board that you see outside restaurants. A young, fit woman walks past me and says my name as if an old friend. I too seem younger and fitter. We hug like old friends after I blurt out her name, Penny Marshall (remember Laverne from the TV show, Laverne and Shirley?).
Again, we hug like old friends and I tell her she has to come to a christening we’re having (for a son…none yet) and she says she will. Now, I can honestly say that I don’t remember the last conscious thought I had about Penny Marshall. I really can’t. This dream was odd, so I told my wife and one of my sisters about it. I looked up Penny Marshall online a few days later and got a shock; poor Penny has…lung cancer! I shut the lid of my laptop and felt my nerves ball up.
About one week later, another lucid dream occurs, but this time with a false awakening. In this dream, I found myself in a hallway as if outside the door of a nondescript basement apartment. A man comes around the corner and since I am lucidly aware, I tell him that I want to learn something important about myself (something I’d read to try).
He says nothing, but takes out keys and so I follow him into this small, windowless apartment. Not much furniture, but there was a dresser that was about 3.5 feet high. I reach out to feel it and it feels just as I would expect it to feel, as if I was awake. On it sits one of those 1980‘s style TV/video VCR combo units.
I tell him again that I want to learn something about myself and from behind, I reach out to touch his right shoulder to make sure he hears me. The next thing I know, I have falsely awoken next to my wife. She gets out of bed and walks past the foot of our bed (from right to left, past my side) and through the French doors that lead from our room into the kitchen. Suddenly, what looks like an old priest does likewise!
Once he passes my side of the bed on his way to the kitchen, the roof above our bed disappears and the sun is struggling to break through a puffy cloud cover. The clouds are moving pretty fast (from left to right) and at last, there is a lengthy break. Golden sunlight pours through and hits me on my throat/neck area and right shoulder. It tingles and I let this happen for a few seconds before it ceases.
On January 30, 2012, I went to meet with a pulmonologist who came highly recommended. We went over my case and he showed me the nodule on the upper lobe of my right lung from the first CAT scan. It was a meeting that did not leave me in peace. The nodule had what they call a “ground glass” appearance around a solid white center. He noted that the solid white was something they see all the time and never worry about.
But that nasty ground glass look was reason for concern. After going through everything with him, the appointment ended with my making tentative plans to meet with a surgeon later that week to discuss a wedge extraction so they could test the tissue. Because of the nodule’s location, they could not do a needle biopsy behind my right clavicle, way up in my chest, almost to my shoulder. Maybe you see where this is heading.
I was to have another CAT scan to compare with the one from two months prior. Anything shy of this 16 mm nodule having shrunk or disappeared would mean that I was going under the knife for surgery. With my daughter at that point not yet two years old, it was a tense time. I went from his office to the CAT scan lab, had the scan and waited until 5:34 p.m. the next day when the phone finally rang.
It was the good doctor’s nurse. The nodule was gone. Gone.
I got the phone call that no one allows themselves the possibility of. I got the feel good ending…and brother…did it feel good.
Arguments could be made that coincidence is at work here. But what can I say? The nurse suggested that perhaps an infection can make this happen, but I had no symptoms of any infection at that time. Still, I can’t rule that out. I can say that regarding the tingly, golden sunlight which hit me in that last lucid dream; at the time I wished I could have directed it lower, onto or into the lung area.
It crossed my mind that – my being helpless to affect my circumstances – that I had maybe missed a chance for some miraculous lucid dream healing. As it turns out, “it” knew gross anatomy better than I. And my family and I are eternally grateful.
That’s my story. I hope you enjoyed it. It is 100% true and accurate.