When you allow yourself to be unpredictable, you step from the known into the unknown, where anything is possible.  

Deepak Chopra. M.D

Sometimes Dying is Not Such a Bad Thing After All


Monique Patè

Have you ever experience an “unexpected” event in your life? Life is full of unpredictable happenings such winning the lottery, landing the perfect job, getting pregnant (the shocked reaction and question many ask, “how did this happen?”) or winning that brand-new car on the Price is Right. But what if the unforeseen event is a standard medical procedure that is executed successfully but…out of the blue… goes adrift?

In April of 2015, a day after returning to Italy from a visit with my family in New York. I developed a high fever, inflammation in my sciatic nerve, swelling on my left ankle and my right knee. I was in excruciating pain and agony. With every micro organism that circulates in the airplanes, I was sure that I had caught some dreadful parasite. After being homebound for two weeks with a persistent fever like a boiling kettle, yet feeling chills as if a bucket of icy cold water had been poured on me, I wondered if my time had come. As I lied on my couch looking out the window, I prayed to God to help me. A few days later, I was hospitalized which was a totally new experience for me since I was a healthy vegetarian, physically active and a well-balanced person up until that moment. After a series of tests, including a biopsy of my bone marrow, I got a diagnosis of  Asymptomatic Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer I had never heard of before. I had no symptoms whatsoever which made the diagnosis mind-boggling. In fact, the infection that I had in my sciatic nerve and knee was caused by a streptococcus bacteria that had nothing to do with the diagnosed pathology. The infection was truly a blessing in disguise.  

I have spent the last year in a half of my life living with feelings of uncertainty and wondering how this could have happened to me considering my spirituality, lifestyle, and healthy eating habits. However, from this “unexpected” event, a transformation was forming. I embarked on an expedition to excavate my soul like an anthropologist digging for bones. Having Multiple Myeloma forced open my Pandora’s Box. It obliged me to come face to face with my internal conflicts that continued to linger like clothes swaying on a clothesline. I had put my unresolved issues on a back burner, and now they were playing out like a movie on a big screen.  The mind is a very powerful instrument that can either make or break you. The potency of silencing the mind is a challenged, but when achieved, it truly can be the best medicine for reaching the soul. I was spending so much time in my head not only trying to make sense of it all but also stressing about what was going to become my life.

I was learning to die of things that had become negative patterns, attitudes, behaviors, false images, beliefs, fears, insecurities, judgments, fear of the unknown, questioning my faith and the existences of God.  Nothing in this life is predictable but unpredictable. I had a fatal touch with death that was both metaphorical and corporal metamorphosing my mind, body, and spirit like a butterfly pushing its way out of its cocoon. While this unexpected phenomenon was occurring, an opportunity was emerging. It was teaching me to let go so that I could begin to live more aligned with my true self.

I will not pretend that my journey has been an easy one. It certainly has taught me not to take anything for granted but to live, smell, see, touch, feel and taste my surrounding like a new born baby coming to light into the world.  To appreciate that everything that has happened in the past, in the present and what’s to come of my future as opportunities to strike a balance between self-care and serving others. The trials and tribulations of my experience continue to nourish my soul, gradually bringing my life to a full circle where I can now begin to live more and can continue to let die what no longer feeds my mind, body, and spirit.

About Monique Patè

Monique Patè is a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and a Certified Food Therapist from The Natural Gourmet Institute who lives in Italy. After her “unexpected” brush with death, she ended her career as head of school to pursue her passion of empowering people living with cancer in their quest for health and well-being. Her compelling memoir to be released in 2017, tells the story of how having Multiple Myeloma forced her to confront her demons and started uncovering her purpose in life. She is an inspiring, fun-loving person whose smile, contiguous laughter and positivity have the power to shift situations entirely. She loves to cook, dance flamenco, organize social gatherings and spend time in nature. Visit www.moniquepate.com.

This story is an excerpt from our new ebook, SPARKS of INSPIRATION Kindle Edition #2.

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