Leopards and Panthers and Biopsies, Oh My!!! (Update: No Cancer, YAY!!)


EEEK!! This picture of a camouflaged leopard (hiding in the tall brown grass on the right side of the tree) gave me a flashback!

The year was 1973. One lovely spring day, I took my 2 year old son for a walk along the isolated gravel road we lived on. Our home was in southern Missouri at the time, in the Ozark Hills. Thick forests surrounded us on every side. The nearest neighbor lived about a mile away.

A small stream ran down the hill below the road. Thinking that he might enjoy playing near the water, I led my son through the trees to the bank of a shallow stream. As he was happily throwing rocks into the creek, I looked up — and there was a large panther, standing motionless on the other side of the narrow brook. The stealthy animal was almost close enough for me to reach out and touch, staring at us with eyes just like the leopard’s in this picture!

I was 20 years old then, and very naive in many ways. I did not know anything about panthers. But it was like a combination of protective mama bear and survival instincts took over. I tend to believe it was God…

Two thoughts immediately came to my mind: “Don’t feel any fear — animals sense fear and it triggers them to attack,” and “Don’t make any fast or sudden moves.”

In that moment, my emotions were completely shut down. I felt no fear, no feelings whatsoever. Without taking my eyes off the panther, I very slowly bent forward, picked up my little boy, and slowly lifted him over my head and sat him on my shoulders. Then I slowly, quietly, carefully, turned and walked away… slowly, slowly, slowly, one cautious step in front of another. I still felt no emotions at all.

I walked the 50 feet or more through the woods to the gravel road. Then, still moving just as slowly, with my son still riding on my shoulders, I walked the approximately 1/4 mile up a winding hilly curve to our house… I slowly crossed the wide front yard…. slowly climbed the steps… opened the door, walked in, shut and locked the door behind me, put my son down…. and collapsed on the floor.

I still don’t know how an “expert” would advise handling a situation like that. I have no idea if the typical panther would just stand there, moving nothing but a long twitching tail, if you were to take the same course of action. I only know what happened in my case.

Later that day, when I told someone what had happened, he thought I was crazy. “There ain’t no panthers around these parts,” he sneered. But a few days days later, a neighboring farmer who kept a herd of cattle in a field along the creek where I had seen the panther, found the remains of a calf that had been eaten by some kind of wild beast — with big cat tracks in the mud around the carcass.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving my son and me!

This afternoon I am going to see a surgeon and learn the results of a biopsy he took during a colonoscopy over a month ago. He is also going to assess an inflamed growth under my right arm that my general practitioner wants him to remove and biopsy.

I don’t wanna do this!! But I know that we are all going to leave this life, someday, in some fashion. Meanwhile, I hope I can use this trial to grow a little more spiritually.

Remembering things like my long-ago panther encounter, strengthens my faith. I do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and my Lord. As long as I am walking step by step with Him, seeking His will above all else in my life, I believe that I cannot die… not until my time has come. And then, WOW — what a glorious reunion with loved ones that will be!!!!!

God bless you, and thank you so much for stopping by. Here is a link to the terrific blog where I found this leopard picture. (I love bluebird and her blog.)


Thanks to Neurofeedback, I’m not just getting older, I’m getting happier and healthier!


The lyrics to an old Beatles song have been dancing around in my head lately:
– – –
When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four
– – –

Sixty-four! That sounds OLD, doesn’t it? Especially for someone whose generational mantra was “Never trust anyone over thirty”!

Like everyone else on this planet, I started out as a very young person. I was little, and I could not wait to be big. The years passed slowly by, and I slowly grew, and then YAY!! I was all grown up, a bona fide adult. I had finally ARRIVED!!

But the years did not stop going by. Indeed, they started going by faster, and faster, and faster still, until sometimes I feel like I’m in a speeding truck, careening down a mountainside with no brakes.

Now, my sixty-fourth birthday is just around the corner. And I’m thinking: “Huh? How did this happen?” I really did not expect to get this old, this fast!

On the inside, I don’t feel any older than I felt when I was in my twenties. Wiser, for sure, and definitely a lot more experienced, but not older. And yet, I have a granddaughter who recently turned twenty-five. (I text-chatted with her recently, and she is doing very well in her Harvard graduate program. Hey, it’s a grandmother’s right to brag, lol!)

For me, the good news about being almost sixty-four is that I am the happiest and the most peaceful that I have ever been in my entire life. This is largely due to the neurofeedback therapy I have been undergoing twice a week for the past three months, as treatment for my PTSD. (Neurofeedback is AMAZING.)

We are all getting older, every single one of us, one day at a time. But regardless of how old we become, as long as we exist, we have choices. We have hope. Today, more than ever before, there are avenues of healing: healing for our minds, healing for our spirits, and healing for our physical bodies. We don’t have to stay stuck in our old, sick paradigms. The key is to never give up on yourself. Keep seeking, and eventually you will find the answers that you need.

Considering how very badly broken I was, both mentally and physically, by multiple extreme traumas that began in my early childhood and continued through my early adulthood — if I can be happy, healthy, and thriving now, at the age of (almost) sixty-four — there isn’t anyone alive who is hopeless!

I stopped a homeless man on the street a few days ago. He was walking along the sidewalk, ranting and shouting to himself. I offered him food and water, but he did not want anything. Then I offered to pray for him. I told him: “Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I had schizophrenia, but God healed me.”

The man stopped his verbal rant then, and really looked at me. “Was it bad?” he asked.

“It was very bad,” I told him. “I spent almost two years in a mental institution.”

Then the man carefully and gingerly reached across the sidewalk, and lightly touched my hand with the tip of his finger. I understood that for him, just making that tiny, very brief human contact, was huge.

Schizophrenia is considered one of the worst mental illnesses, and it is widely believed to be incurable. I have had many physicians and therapists tell me over the years that I must have been badly misdiagnosed when I was fourteen, because there is nothing schizophrenic about me.

But I know that for two years, beginning half a century ago, I did, indeed, have all the symptoms of schizophrenia. My mind had been completely shattered by the horror of extreme trauma, and I was no less broken than the homeless man I prayed for on Easter Sunday.

But by the time I was sixteen, my symptoms of schizophrenia were completely gone, and I was taken off of all psychotropic medications. Since then, I have had three children, worked for a major TV ministry for several years, graduated from nursing school as class president, written and published a novel (under a different pen name), and in May 2000 I was on the Oprah Winfrey Show, featured in one of her inspirational “Remembering Your Spirit” segments.

Now I am (almost) sixty-four years old, and I am the happiest and healthiest that I have ever been in my entire life!

I know how badly broken I was, and I know how far I have come. This is why I believe, with all of my heart, that absolutely no one is hopeless. “Seek, and you shall find.” Our Creator God is real, and He loves us, and He really does answer prayer! I am living proof that this is true.

Kathy Boecher wrote a post earlier today about how getting older does not mean that we have to stop being productive. She is a few years older than me, and her perspective is very inspiring. I hope you will give her post a read: Leap of Faith

Thank you for stopping by, and God bless! Here is a big great-grandmother’s ((HUG)) if you want one. At the advice of my neurofeedback therapist, I am keeping comments closed for now. Plus I still have a memoir to finish… Lord willing. πŸ™‚

PS: My neurofeedback therapist agrees that I do not have any degree of schizophrenia. However, on my baseline eeg, he found plenty of evidence of developmental trauma, plus evidence of head injuries. He was exactly right: I have been knocked unconscious four times in my life, three of which were due to abuse. But neurofeedback is “rewiring” my abused, traumatized, “elderly” brain!

Neurofeedback is effective for all kinds of brain issues. The therapist told me that he has treated four diagnosed schizophrenics so far, with neurofeedback therapy. “They don’t have schizophrenia any more,” he said.