Bedridden, unable to walk, riddled with cancer, it was a panic attack (brought on by a sudden obsessive thought that he was about to die) that gave Michael his most effective tool for dealing with the radiation, chemo, bone marrow transplant, and learning to walk again. In the aftermath of the panic attack four words came to him out of the blue: Love, Trust, Gratitude, Healing, and he began repeating them like a mantra. Exploring each word in turn through meditation and cultivating a deeper awareness McDaeth realized he was repeating something universal, a true statement or formula, Love+Trust+Gratitude=Healing.
Michael shares his confrontation with cancer and mortality through his new memoir Love Trust Gratitude Healing: Turning a Battle into a Dance and making Peace with Cancer. Reflecting on his life and meditation on Love Trust Gratitude and Healing while enduring a seemingly endless schedule of treatments he writes about the surprising gifts he received along the way that broadened his perspective, deepened his appreciation for life, helping him heal emotionally and spiritually even when he was struggling to heal physically.
This incredibly difficult journey led McDaeth to many positive revelations which may be the result of choosing dance as the metaphor in response to his cancer instead of the default response of war. Though it may sound heroic to cast folks with cancer as warriors in a battle it doesn’t reveal much about the struggle and it reduces the experience to win or lose. Michael’s mission with his new memoir is to share his life and experience and open up the conversation on cancer, to inspire people to change the words they use around cancer in recognizing that this major life confrontation like all confrontations is contingent on the quality of our response.