11 year Astrocytoma tumor survivor Maury shares his story on how meditation and praying have played a large role in his healing.
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Maury Smeyne: I guess it all started, my wife and I were packing for a trip one day and I went to button my shirt. I just finished packing my suitcase, I went to button my shirt and I couldn't move -- my left hand trembled and I just couldn't get to do the simplest task of buttoning my shirt. And I started noticing that tremble and about over the next three, four weeks. It seemed progressively to be getting worse and worse where just all of a sudden my hand would start shaking. I went to see my family doctor, and luckily he suggested to getting an MRI done, he ruled out everything else. And we got a call on my cellphone and it was from another doctor who practiced and he basically, said, we need to see you first thing Monday morning. We found something on your MRI and of course, that scared the crap out of me, because we didn't know for a weekend what the deal was. So all I could think about was something major is wrong. We went and saw the neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon told me that I had about 5% chance of surviving 3-5 years. He diagnosed me with an astrocytoma and I had a legion on my brain. It was about the size of a walnut and it was on my motor strip. To make a long story short as a result they werent be able to do biopsy, because of where it was located. But we ended up getting some other opinions and I guess, the turning point for me was going to MD Anderson and I'll never forget getting there one night and just walking and sort of praying. I was in the under campus, quite night and it was just absolutely gorgeous and I was just praying. And as I said, it was like this sense of serenity me came over me and it was sort of like God saying, you are in the right place where you need to be, get your treatment or whatever. And so one of the things I started doing of course, and I think she mentioned it, was I started picturing this tumor and just washing down this drain in my head and I would go out every night and I would just lay in the pool and I would sit there and just medicate and picture this thing and pray and just picture this thing going away. And the neat part was that 6 months later and I'll never forget that part, was walking back into the doctors office, MD Anderson he is sitting there looking at my MRI and he is shaking his head and he's saying explain this, I can't explain it. And I said what? He says, it's gone. There's just a little speck left. He says I can't explain it and I said, well, I can and he says, no I don't want to hear it and that's not putting him down at all. It was just that he couldn't handle the anecdotal evidence. But I think there's a lot between our minds and our bodies that we don't understand and a lot of it's attitude and the way you approach things and as a matter of fact, when Brenda was going through her Chemotherapy with her breast cancer. I'll never forget walking into watching people. Yeah, chemo it's almost like in some cases you can see this is a survival, because you can see that attitude on their face, you can see their demeanor and their posture about what they are experiencing. You just got to have hope and keep some faith and you may have a one of ten chance of surviving, but you can be the one. It doesn't mean you have to be one of the other nine.