One fateful day at the end of June in 1998 when I was spending some time at home; my mother came to me with the bad news: my parent's best friend, Tommy, had been diagnosed with brain cancer. He had been sick for some time and we all had anxiously been awaiting a prognosis. But none of us were ready for the bumpy roads that lay ahead: testing, surgery, chemotherapy, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. Even loud music would induce vomiting. He just felt all around lousy. After several surgeries and many rounds of chemotherapy, Tommy had lost the will to go on. He stayed at home in bed, he didn't eat, he had lost the "go get' em ¬Ě attitude he once had. We all tried to give him the love and support he needed, but it didn't look good.
The doctor gave him until Christmas time. Then, one day there was a glimmer of hope in the darkness. Tommy's cousin Tom Tripodi called one morning and told Tommy and his wife Barbara about an Indian healing ceremony. Skeptical at first, we began to learn more about the ancient art of healing ceremonies. We all warmed up to the idea, and Barbara took out several books on the subject. The decision had been toiled over, and finally made. Tommy was g