Jennifer Dickenson

The Case for Hope: 12 Year Glioblastoma Brain Cancer Survivor

Season  1Episode  1665 MinutesFebruary 29, 2024

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Join Jeff Hopeck as he talks with Jennifer Dickenson, a 12 year survivor of glioblastoma brain cancer.  When you hear Jennifer’s voice, you can’t help but feel the weight of her cancer and healing journey, that she’s emerged from with a vigor for life that’s utterly contagious.

This episode is a tapestry of resilience and rebirth, woven by Jennifer’s own hands, as she unveils the raw moments of her diagnosis at 44 and the uprising of hope that followed. Her story isn’t just one of survival; it’s a beacon for anyone seeking meaning in the midst of life’s most challenging trials.

Strap in for a narrative that will perhaps reshape your view on wellness. Jennifer’s path led her from the dismissive office of a neurologist to the empowering embrace of holistic healing practices.

Discover how practices like directed meditation and Qi Gong, paired with a conscious diet, became Jennifer’s tools for navigating the treacherous waters of cancer treatment.

Finally, we’ll ponder the potential for a seismic shift in the medical community, where the full spectrum of healing—including diet, mindset, and compassionate care—takes its rightful place alongside traditional medicine. Jennifer’s insights, drawn not just from her battle but from the wisdom she shares in her book “The Case for Hope,” provide us with a roadmap for living a vibrant, balanced life, regardless of the health challenges we may face.

Join us for a heartfelt exploration of what it means to truly heal and the revolutionary notion that we can shape a future where wellness is the cornerstone of our medical ethos.


Key takeaways from Jennifer:

  1. Anything is possible for you. Believe and pray.
  2. Be curious about your own self and what might be possible for you.
  3. Believe in yourself. Think empowered thoughts. You are not a victim of an illness.

 


 

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Timestamps:

0:00 Surviving Brain Cancer

5:32 Brain Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

16:07 Life-Changing Tools for Cancer Healing

21:58 Navigating Brain Cancer Treatment Journey

33:39 Holistic Healing Approach to Cancer

40:37 Revolutionizing Medicine Through Mind, Body, Spirit

46:30 Lenox Hill, Brain Surgery, and Hope

53:42 The Case for Healthy Living

 


Show Transcript

Jennifer Dickenson: 

one of the things they did for brain cancer people. So they’re, he’s in there and he’s doing the surgery. They wake you up only in one way, so that you can communicate to see what’s happening with your brain. But this other part about is understanding that people were praying for me and feeling that love. In my office, one of the lawyers said if anybody wants to pray for Jennifer with me because she should be in surgery. It was exactly the same time. We’ve correlated the timeframe and so people who wanted to pray came into the big conference room and they just prayed Wow, right, right. So there’s something, there are other things beyond the limitations of this world that can come into our lives for the better, and it’s astounding. I’m so grateful for what I have learned, wow.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Welcome to another episode of Interesting Humans. My name is Jeff Hopek, host Today. I have with me just a remarkable story, miss Jennifer Dickinson. Jennifer, thank you for being here.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Thank you for having me so much.

Jeff Hopeck: 

This is. This is just going to be remarkable for the audience. Folks, folks, 12 year Gleeoblastoma survivor and if you just do a simple Google search, you’ll see right at the top that there are not many of those. So I think it’s it’s fair to say it’s pretty much a death sentence, right? So five to six months it looks like, yes, where most, most, most pass. Remarkable, so multiple emotions across the board. Again, we’re sitting here 12 years. So this is. There’s so much joy and happiness in in this story. So, jennifer, let me start off by asking you the first five minutes after the diagnosis, much time as you need what was it? Oh my God, who came to mind? Who were you thinking of? What were you thinking of?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Oh my gosh, wow, that was unexpected Emotions. How can this possibly be? This can’t you know? How could this possibly? I’m a healthy person, you know, just like I didn’t understand that, and just initially it was asking questions, but then, within a couple of minutes, I was like just a bit of a shock. In a couple of minutes I was like just a mess, you know. So how can this be? I’m a runner, you know like. I exercise, I take care of myself, I’m a, I’m a big deal and I’m a lawyer. How could I, how could this possibly be? So I think I was just broken down, really just broken down by the news and they shuttled me away from the main area because obviously the news couldn’t get, couldn’t be worse. So I was in their own, their office area or their private area, and so I’m just sitting there just like I’m 44 years old. This does not happen. I’m a healthy person. So I think that might. It was just I was a mess.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, yeah. How do they, how do they actually say that to you?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

They said so I had been having problems for probably about five months and finally I get the MRI and they, they did a test. And then they came back in and they did another test. And I was like, oh, that’s not good, right, when they come back and do another test. So they’re, they’re checking my MRI, they were doing an MRI. And so then I’m in the waiting room with everybody else and the guy says I need you to talk to this other guy, the guy who actually did the test. He’s, he’s, he wrote the test, he, you know. So he’s a doctor. And he said we don’t normally like to do this, you know, at an MRI place, but I, you can’t drive home. Okay, you have to go to the hospital immediately. I’m like what the? I’ve got a client, I got to have lunch with it one o’clock. This isn’t, this isn’t in my plan. And and he said you’ve got brain cancer. He said it’s, can’t, it’s, it is definitely cancer and it’s a high level. He goes I can’t tell if it’s a three or a four, but you have to go to the hospital right away. And my reaction was like, oh, okay, well, thank you for that information. I appreciate you telling me all of this stuff. And then I sat down in that same kind of area and I was just like holy, like this is happening, like this is me. I got something growing in my brain, just a mess. So that’s kind of. It started out like a normal conversation. I was all professional, and then later on I was like I don’t understand this.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So there was nothing chronic going on by the sounds of it. You were just sort of okay.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Tell you. What’s weird is that I had been having issues for about five months before that actually happened, like it, and I did a lot of public speaking at that time as a lawyer. But in January there was a big snowstorm in Georgia, which is, you know, we don’t have a lot of snowstorm shows it’s.

Jeff Hopeck: 

I remember what year was that. That was the big 2011. Okay, the 11 was 2011.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

So in that January I was on the phone at at home talking to a client because nobody could drive and stuff. So I just remember it and it’s a well-known person and they were asking me a question and I couldn’t. I had referred them to another lawyer for another aspect of and I couldn’t remember his name and they weren’t helping me. You know. They weren’t like oh yeah, yeah, wasn’t it Bob? Or so I was struggling with that for about four minutes and so that was the first time. I was like I don’t know what’s going on. And then lights started being really bright at my office and I would get our IT guy. I’m like what’s going on? Can you just do this? But then I started having trouble reading. I had trouble with memory. So about five months, these things and I’m doing public speaking all the time, right, but towards the very end of it I was at a public speaking and there were like hundreds of people there stand, only people standing up, and I couldn’t perform. You know like I was looking at my notes and I couldn’t read them my own notes and I had spoken these boring topics the federal law, the applications and a lot of the lawyers didn’t know. So I would teach it to lawyers and bankers and stuff. But I couldn’t read my own notes so I put it down. I did it by memory for like an hour it’s a long time, right. I go home and again I had gone to a neurologist two months before that and he’s like, oh, all the lawyers are stressed out, kind of like don’t worry, right. Well, yeah, and it was growing really fast. So that was happening. Everything was degrading pretty quickly until and I didn’t know until that day where I was at the MRI place.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Right On that event, that public speaking, did you ever go back and listen to it? Did anybody ever say, wow, you crushed it. Or Do you know it? I don’t think I want to.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

I think I did crush it, but I actually do think, cause I had talked about it. But there’s another one I did in that January, that first January where things started happening weird I did something at PBS, their station down there in Atlanta, and it was all the lawyers talking about different topics and stuff and they video it and for other people can see live and later and I do remember that same feeling it’s folks funny. I just came back, I was just thinking about it that I’ve never I really don’t remember what I even said. I remember telling people like was that even good? Did it make sense, any sense? I should go back and look at that one, though, because that was the beginning of all of that. Some of this stuff. I just don’t want to look. I just don’t want to see Cause yeah, I can understand.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So you get the diagnosis. You’re in the room. You said they carted you off. What did that mean?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Like they just took you to another room.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Like do they come in? Is it like, do they bring a wheelchair in? No, no, no.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah, no carting, I use dramatic words. No, they pretty much were like I’m starting to melt down in the area where everybody else is getting preparing. So they’re just like, miss Dickinson, would you here, let me give you privacy for you. And I’m like, yeah, and also for you, cause this is probably not good for business that I’m sitting here and I’m just like, oh my God, I’ve got these little girls, like my girls were first grader and a third grader. They were little, little peanuts and I’m like I have to be here, you know for these guys and I love my husband. I’m like this can’t be it. I do remember saying that. I said I’m a lover of life. I don’t understand this. This doesn’t, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m a lover of life. I remember saying that when I’m in the waiting in the area, the private area Didn’t understand I love life. Then why? Why, this happened to me.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Right, so, as you’re sitting there, as the only the only symptom you really had was the memory stuff, were you having pain?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

I never, and a lot of people who have brain cancer or even tumors have headaches, a lot of headaches. I really didn’t have that part of it. It was just the degraded degradation of certain things Like the eye, the lightness of eyes and my reading ability was getting worse and I could not remember names Like big. I have a big sports guy that I worked with for many things. I was so proud of that relationship. It was such a great one. I would be like what sport is that again, is it this? And I would just list it like all the things. I couldn’t get the word and then that towards the end I couldn’t remember some of my staff name and I’d be like what’s your name? You know, like you do with your kids sometimes when you’re busy, you’ll be like what’s your name? And the kids are like my name is Bob. It’s not, you know it was like that at my office, but it was not like funny.

Jeff Hopeck: 

You know like.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

I don’t know his name.

Jeff Hopeck: 

This was different. This was different, clearly different. Okay, so we diagnosis, then walk us through what happens. So you have that period, they take you off, do you go right to a hospital. What sort of happens there? How does it all?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

So my husband picks me up because my car has to sit there. You know, my husband picks me up. We go to the hospital and just a flurry of different people coming in, doctors coming in. Our next door neighbor came by. He’s a surgeon. He’s a brain surgeon. My next door neighbor who lived right there, who only bought that house about a year ago from Texas, is a brain surgeon Next door right. We used to drink beer with those guys and all of a sudden my husband, when he was coming to pick me up, he called him and said Doc, which is he would call them Doc, I need you to help me out. We got this terrible news. So he’s there at the hospital with his wife, who’s also a nurse who has helped people with brain cancer. What a God thing, right.

Jeff Hopeck: 

I mean wow.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

It doesn’t make any sense. So I’m in there and it’s all sort of coming together. The doctors are like we’re gonna do a biopsy of you tomorrow and we’re gonna just try to understand how what you have exactly. Is it grade three, grade four? I don’t know. Some other doctors have said why didn’t they just cut it out? But thank God they did not Because they were not the right people to do that very important work which is brain surgery in your brain. So thank God they just took a sample.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Hang on one second, who wasn’t the right people?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

The doctors that I started. Now, I love the oncologist, but the surgeon who was did the sample, he was not the right guy to do my surgery. He was. There were so many weird flags. First of all, it took us nine days to get the results from the sample. Nine days I’m like how bad is this? I knew it was growing quickly. Then I got a letter from the doctor who was ostensibly gonna do my surgery. I got a letter saying that he is terminating his work because he wants to go to work in Ghana and help people who need doctors and things like that. Yeah, yeah. So I get that and I’m like what does this mean? And then, like two days later, after getting the letter, he’s like I can do the surgery, but I don’t have my A team. Well, I can do it anyway. And I’m like thank you, god for showing this all of these weirdness, because he was not the guy. Not the guy. Yeah, so I know, but you don’t know what the heck I mean. You’re literally upside down in the water when you have something like this. It is. You’re just turned around and you’re just trying to ready yourself and say, whoa, where do I go to get the care that I need?

Jeff Hopeck: 

How do they even, how do they do the biopsy?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

They cut a little piece in your hair, they cut out some of your hair and get into your brain and they just it’s a sample, I think. They just I don’t know what it is and they can take it and they take it out.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Is it a surgery Like?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

are they?

Jeff Hopeck: 

going in under. I don’t know. I have no idea how it works. I did go under.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

It did go under. It is some kind of a surgery, but not like the brain surgery. My brain surgery with my great doctor, seven and a half hours of that Now, that was brain surgery. This was more of like an insertion and they’re just trying to get into that area. But you know, I learned later it’s dangerous to do that because you’ve got the what is it? The barking dog or the bear, or something? This area is growing fast and now you’re tinkering in, taking little pieces. Well, it starts to grow even faster, right? So the danger of all of this is just really mind boggling, Right.

Jeff Hopeck: 

At that time, right there, did you know it was, did you know it was glial blastoma, or you just knew it was brains? Okay, so you knew it was glial.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Well, glial is the grade four. That’s the worst one. So I didn’t know if it was grade three. I don’t even know what they call it for grade three, but grade four. I knew it was glial, I knew that was a possibility, but I knew it was really bad whatever it was, what do you do in those nine days? See, that’s the beautiful part. That’s the beautiful part, okay, because you know we’re sort of freaking out. But at the same time it was Memorial Day, right the end of May, right, it was the end of the school, had just ended, so I just hung out at the pool but my dad I mean my brother and my mom sent me some information. You know one? It was a book about beat your cancer or something like that. My brother sent me something how to do Qi Gang, which is a gentle movement, chinese from 2000 years ago, and he sent me some a directed meditation. So in that nine days, although stuff was still growing, I started to calm down and my husband started to calm down and sort of get a plan. But I started using tools, which became all of the tools, and one thing would lead to another, would lead to another and, for example, just the directed meditation. I had never done that before. I was like, oh, I’m a busy lawyer so I don’t have time to do meditation. I’ve got other stuff to do, but that directed meditation and the Qi Gang let me feel like I was not sick at all, like I was more whole than I had ever felt before and I’ve got cancer growing in my brain. They’re about ready to do surgery and I’ve got these two little girls and it would sometimes, when I would do like the Qi Gang, I would just start to have tears come out of my face because of the way we can allow ourselves to feel calm and well using these different tools that are so important.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Okay. So these two tools is it safe to say. No matter what you’re going through in life, basically, if you have a heartbeat, these tools are effective 100% Okay. So directed meditation and find that somewhere. Find that on Amazon, yes, oh yes. So just type in directed meditation.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yes.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Okay, spell the other one.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

It’s called Qi Gang. It’s Q-I-G-O-N-G. Okay, got it.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, I’ve seen that written. Okay, so I didn’t know the pronunciation. Wow, so you’re doing those? Anything else during that time?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

And just my husband and I just sort of figuring out and where to get the surgery and we’re just starting to do that process. But it was a. We’re hanging out by the pool and I’m looking at the sun, I’m looking at the trees and I’m like, okay, okay, okay, I’ve got a second. You know, maybe it doesn’t have to be what everybody is telling me, maybe something like maybe something else could happen too you know this is remarkable.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Oh my goodness, wow. So is there again staying in these nine days? Is it like? Is every second sort of, or every minute that you’re living like five times? What is it?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

You know it’s so, yeah, yeah, I started to figure out how my life had been. I was not managing my life the way I wanted to. I started I mean, that started actually at the night, the night at the hospital. The night at the hospital, something really crazy happened. My next door neighbor, the nurse, she is hugging me and she’s like I’m not gonna lie about this, this is really really, really bad. Like this is really really bad. She wasn’t saying, oh, you might beat it, no, no, no, no. I mean, she was telling me the truth. In that moment, there was a direct and immediate restructuring of my entire life, and I know that sounds so dramatic, but it happened. I basically prayed to God and I said God, please let me live. And I didn’t grow up with religion, but I was at the bottom of the barrel and I’m like God, please let me beat this, let me live again, I’ll honor my children, I’ll honor my husband, I’ll prioritize my family. Basically was kind of my message, because I could see that I had been mismanaging my life and this crazy thing happened to me. All of a sudden, I saw this restructuring of my entire life and the first part was God. I, like, saw God and I saw me and my relationship by myself associated with God, but also my experience here in this earth. And then I saw my family and guess what? There was nothing else. In other words, nothing about my success as a lawyer or the people know me as a lawyer Literally nothing Like meat fell, falls from the bone or something without that term. It was like there wasn’t even anything else there and I was stunned. So that was a critical moment in my life. We’re like whoa, there’s something I’m supposed to learn from this Mm-hmm. Right, and that’s what I started doing in that nine days Just accepting, starting to put the pieces together a little bit more and understanding these tools. I’m like this stuff feels so good. This has to be part of the path, right? So that’s incredible.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Okay, so we’re on the nine days. We start to do things. You mentioned being a runner. You also mentioned food and fitness changed for you, which I’m interested for you to explain that. So what did all that? What was all that sort of like?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Mm-hmm, you mean, like, my changing of how I exercise or the way there was a.

Jeff Hopeck: 

You told a story about how you were eating and thought it was healthy. I don’t want to give it away because I’m going to eat it, but you thought it was healthy because you were vegan Vegan let’s spend a little time there. It’s, I think it’s critical.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah, so, yeah. So again being shocked why I’m so helpful. I work out every day.

Jeff Hopeck: 

I’m a vegetarian.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

I’m a runner, Like I’m in great shape. Look at me, I like look great. But in my trying to be a vegan, I had been doing that for about 16 years at that point. But you know what you do when you do that is you fill yourself with, like I love chicken, so I’d get fake chicken made of soy. And then you look at the ingredients. I mean I realize this now, but at that time I thought, oh, I’m doing something good for me and my family. But if you look at the ingredients, it’s crap upon crap upon crap, chemical upon chemical and so. But that’s where I was getting that yearn for eating like real stuff, and so I thought I was doing great. But this is one of the things that I learned from my exercise and my workout was just do it. Because I got to get to the office. In my mind I’m always thinking here’s all the stuff I got to deal with over there, and you know I was a co-owner of that place and there’s crazy things going on, so. But I didn’t exercise. I didn’t exercise for joy. Move your body, feel it, turn off the stupid TV and just be outside, go running. These are the things I learned later. I was just checking the box. I wasn’t living my life completely the way I really wanted to, and that’s what it’s almost like. The thaw started happening once I got sick, realizing whoa, I’ve really been mismanaging the way I wanna live my life.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, oh, my goodness. So that’s just a dagger in my heart and I’m grateful for it. I’m glad you brought it up. So I worked out right before this show today, and I don’t know if, like, I worked out, but I did just as many texts and responded to three clients, and so this hits me Okay. So I think. A great takeaway for everybody is feel.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Oh.

Jeff Hopeck: 

God In this feel, oh God, cause you could probably be exercising and be stressed as all as possible.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

You just said it so perfectly. And I’ll be in a place and everybody’s got their stupid phones on and their people or whatever, and I just look around Like I don’t even do that. I just look around I look at people, I look at what’s going on. I have an awareness of life that I never had before, that, before all that stuff happened. Still, I have it.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Today I have it. What does exercise look like now?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

So now I like love swimming and I just love doing that. I do like to exercise, I run and there are trails near where I live and I just love it and I don’t put anything on my body Like I know music I used to love listening to music and stuff when I run. That’s totally good, but I just wanna be free and I wanna hear the birds when I’m running and stuff like that. So it’s a different dynamic. It’s not check the box, it’s I wanna feel this and I deserve this too.

Jeff Hopeck: 

I hear that as a theme. You keep saying over and over and I love it. It sits so well feel it yeah. Like that’s. I love that. Okay, so hearing the birds feeling the exercise let’s talk a little bit about. So we’re past the nine days. I’m guessing where you started to like. You mentioned Duke and some other places. You started to research. What was all that? When was it? Was that right before? Was that right after?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah. So after the nine days they call us back and they said it’s grade four. You know this is. You know this is not what we were hoping for. Three isn’t a big gift either, but four is the worst. And so we started looking at different places, and Duke was an option, and then that other doctor, and then all that weird stuff started having like no way you’re out, you’re out. So Duke seemed like the obvious choice, but they were. We had that feeling that we were just one of many and they made us feel that way. And other people have had great experience there with their brain cancer. They’ve got a really amazing facility there for brain surgery and things. So you know, maybe that was just a bad day, but the guy basically yelled at my husband and I’m like you know, the spouse or the other person who is dealing with the other one who’s sick, they’re having their own emotions too. I mean, that is that’s my wife, you know. And this guy just blasted him because he called him back on his number and he’s like you shouldn’t call me on my cell phone number. My husband’s like then you shouldn’t have called me on this phone number, I’m just calling you back. So I was like I don’t think this is the right fit. But my next door neighbor literally gift of God came is the one who was like I’m telling you use this guy in Texas, he’s the best brain surgeon, he’s phenomenal. If my wife had this I would go. And I’m like Texas, ut, southwest, I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like the big names. This guy was amazing, dr Mickey, I think he might be retired now, but he was amazing. So finally he was traveling, he was in Europe and my next door neighbor. He’s sending me images of my brain and how, where it’s looking, and it’s interesting to them, right, I’m like, geez, that’s my brain, man. But the guy was looking at the doctor, was looking at it while he was in Bruges or wherever he was, and then when he came back he came back on a Monday he looked at our stuff on Wednesday. He’s like can you be here tomorrow? On Thursday, my little girls, my husband and myself, we pack everything, we go and we go to Texas and then we’re there for more than two weeks because he takes me in, he prepares us and with surgery was on that Monday and we did the brain surgery part of it, which is the first part.

Jeff Hopeck: 

And this is where, again, this is South. You said the name.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

North. What are you? Southwest Texas, Southwest.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Is that the name of the hospital? What’s the hospital?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah, it’s Southwest North. How do we do it Southwest?

Jeff Hopeck: 

But it’s not. What’s the big one there? Md Anderson, it’s not. Is it affiliate? Okay, not affiliate.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

They’re all affiliated. Yeah, there’s like six hospitals in that area, so everybody says this is a part of it.

Jeff Hopeck: 

It’s basically a part of it, perfect, and the doc is probably retired. Okay cool, so we go there. The whole family goes.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

The whole family goes Special and my mom and dad come for the surgery and they’re there and stuff. Here’s the other great, amazing thing Again worst diagnosis, worst situation, shocked by everybody. How could this possibly be? Where the surgery was? My husband’s brother has a home, huge home, and 20 minutes away from where the surgery is gonna be. This doesn’t make sense, right? My next door neighbor is a brain surgeon. We are getting the surgery in Texas. We can go 20 minutes away. I don’t have to stay in a hotel Cause you can’t. After you have surgery like this, you cannot get on a plane and go back home. You gotta. You’re so swollen and it’s a lot, so you have to stay somewhere. They’ve got a pool, they’ve got plenty of space, so we all just camped over there for two weeks. We’re so fortunate.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So incredible. All right, so you get connected with that doc. You go, you have a good way of great experience down there. What’s that day like? What’s that the day? You said it was a Wednesday, right?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So you got scheduled surgery.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah, you show up that morning.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Show up the night before.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

So you’re asking the day before the surgery?

Jeff Hopeck: 

When is checking? I guess Okay so check in.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Okay, so Wednesday, that’s Thursday morning, thursday morning, and my brother and my brother-in-law, my husband and my brother-in-law See, these are some of the things that come up when you have brain cancer. There are some things that I’m always gonna have to deal with, and I mix words sometimes, or I miss a word, and so what? No worries.

Jeff Hopeck: 

It’s tiny. That’s tiny in the big right.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

My husband and my brother-in-law come to the hospital with me and we meet Dr Mickey for the first time and he’s testing me. He’s like having me look at a magazine. He’s like read this, and I just start crying. I can’t read it, I can’t read it, I can’t read it. And then he says well, can you take a simpler thing and tell me what it means? And I said I don’t understand what it means, I can’t read it and I can’t understand anything. And that was almost like I knew that these things had happened. But now, through all the different steps and where we’re coming in, he’s just asking these simple questions. I’m like, wow, that’s where the cancer was coming from. It wasn’t that I was just stressed out, which I was in my office in my work. I had been a stress case for like five years before this, but it was like so clear how sick I was in that moment.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So it wasn’t. You couldn’t see it, or you can see the. What is that? Like I could see the words.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Sometimes I could even read, say, the words, had no idea what I was just reading. And then some of the words I couldn’t read at all and I still have trouble with certain words, Like if it’s a complicated word, it’s so embarrassing, kind of. I went to Emory Law School, I’m so smart and whatever, supposedly. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not smart, it just means that it not. It was my left temporal lobe and that affects memory and it affects even short-term memory. So I might say something to you and give an answer like the address or the location where I got the surgery and I can’t recall it again, necessarily, but they’re really exciting because I never know what that’s gonna happen.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Does it affect work at all?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah, yes, it does, it does. But what I’ve learned to do is work around where I can. But no, I will never be able to do the things that I used to do, and I’m okay with that. But there are plenty of things like I can talk with you If somebody’s having a problem. I’m really good at that. So there are lots of things I can do. But no, run a law firm of 100 lawyers and staff no, I’ll never, ever, ever be able to do it. You’re here. Yeah, I’m here, and what a blessing.

Jeff Hopeck: 

You’re here, yeah, so you lose a couple things.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Big deal it’s right, but it’s a choice right, but this kind of thinking is a choice. In my office there were two women who had breast cancer before I was diagnosed, so that’s three people. In our offices there were artists. That location we maybe had 18 people, 20 people in this particular. We had offices all over but that one. And so one of them was a young woman and she was like 27 and she had the cancer and then she got surgery and things like that. In that time I got my surgery and then I was sort of coming back to the office and visiting and stuff like that. And she’s like you’re so strong, I’m so angry. And I’m like I don’t feel angry, I feel like a new chance in my life, like things are starting to make sense now. Yeah, I mean, I still was in chemotherapy and all of these different things, but she was so angry about it and I remember her also saying that she said I was so happy when things kind of got back to what they were like in the car you’re driving and you’re like hey, you jerk, you just whatever. She’s like I was so happy to get back to that and I was like wow, I’m exactly the opposite. I’m like when I hear the birds, I stop what I’m doing and I just stop and I listen. So these are different choices. In her circumstance she was so angry to be so young to have had that and then she had a recurrence in a different part of her body and very heartbreakingly she passed away. And I think that your mindset is so important and the doctors do not teach this part of healing. And it is critical If I can get a brain cancer person or any cancer person or somebody just struggling with something serious, if I can get them early on, if I can get my little hooks in them, things start changing. How?

Jeff Hopeck: 

do you do that. Well this podcast will help, but how do you do it then?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Well, what I do is I was three years out of my. In my situation I was like I’m humming along. Yeah, my little path was the path. And so I started getting referrals from people because they’d see me around they’re like, wow, she’s alive. It’s hard to believe. But then they started sending people to me who were sick and so I wrote a seven page paper and this is what I would use for people. I’d say I’ll send it to you, I’ll send it to you, we can talk about it on the phone. I never charged anybody for any of that. So I was referred to this one guy. This is my favorite one. This guy was diagnosed with brain cancer, glial blastoma. Because of the location they couldn’t do surgery because it’s a chemical. It’s like your computer right In your computer. Sometimes you can’t take everything out until you make a. You don’t want to be a vegetable. So in hit the location, they couldn’t do anything. So it’s like it’s pretty much this is what it’s gonna be. But my friend referred him to me and I went to his house and his wife and I gave him my little seven paper. Actually I did a little thing just for him, but based on the tape paper and this guy literally did everything that I told him the mind, the body and the spirit, and all of those are broken down into different things. I’m like do you believe in God? And that’s what my work on it, my God, was like work on it. I’m not trying to force you, but this is another avenue, all the things with your mind that you can do. He did everything. He is still alive and I think he’s got, I think he’s at eight years and he didn’t even have the surgery. I mean, that surgery is pretty big deal, right, he didn’t even have that. So when the doctors, it’s all of those things, it’s this aggregate of all these things, so the doctors would see him after like five months later or six months, and it was shrinking, shrinking, shrinking, shrinking and at this point he has no cancer, right. So that’s why when, when, when that happened with him and then also other people, the feedback and all of this stuff. I’m like this is kind of bigger than my seven paper piece paper. And that’s where I said I got to write a book about this, because people need to know. And the reason that you don’t know is Because when you get really, really sick, you go to the doctor, right? Well, the doctor has in in the doctor’s world For whatever, right or wrong, their pie chart is them. It’s everything. It’s the surgery, it’s the chemo, the drugs. That’s what is in your pie chart. And at the beginning you kind of think that. But even at the beginning I was like enough had happened already. You know, with my qigong and stuff and the meditation and the meditation. I’m like I don’t think you got the corner on my health. My friends, like I am going to avail myself to the benefits of the things that you do know, but, man, you’re missing a bunch of stuff. And so now I see the pie chart, as the medical part is a part of it, but I see the mind and I see the body and I see the spirit. That’s the suit sauce.

Jeff Hopeck: 

That’s the spirit, pillars for.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Yeah, absolutely Okay.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, that’s Unbelievable and medical does not talk about that at all.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

In fact they’ll say exactly the opposite. Like I had a holistic doctor on the side right and and I told my oncologist what I must said, just for kind of kicks, because at this point I was kind of Feeling it like I was, I was getting it, I was understanding how this stuff, it can heal me and support my body and my mind. And so the holistic lady I had supplements and books Like the power of now, like would your MD give you a book called the power of now? power of now is Eckert Tolle not a chance, eckert Tolle, it’s just blows your mind about your, your purpose here in life and what you’re supposed to do. And but I one time I went to the doc, the oncologist, and I said what do you think I should be doing as far as I, the kinds of food I should be eating and stuff, and he just kind of looked at me up and down. He’s like you look good, just keep doing what you’re doing. And I really like this guy a lot, like I really do. But holy, Holy, I mean not surprise, like I know, but we need to be furious with that kind of behavior and but? But this is what they tell you. Traditional medicine it’s. That is not everything at all. Now some hospitals are starting to Integrate a little bit of this, but it’s built man, I mean the people who are surviving these diseases that they’re not supposedly supposed to like. I’m thriving. I have no cancer. I don’t take drugs to keep me going. I’ve Completely changed my mindset, my thoughts. I eat. Amazingly, I don’t starve. I do eat meat Now, but I did real, real meat.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, one ingredient me.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Exactly, in fact, if I get a product that has, like, more than five ingredients, I’m like it’s, it’s trash. I don’t want a lab in my body, right exactly made in the lab, unbelievable.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Wow. Okay, so vegan, 16 years, duke wasn’t the answer. Texas, the group in Texas? Now I’m curious.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

So University of Tennessee, I mean, you know, university of Texas Southwest.

Jeff Hopeck: 

University of Texas Southwest.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

That’s great. It’s fun. This is a fun game. If anything else jumps to my eyes, I will shout it out no problem, that’s awesome.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Okay, so University of Texas Southwest where Would be a spot if you were, if you had to go all over again? Where would be a place that you would go now that your doctors retired? You said Dr Mickey’s retired, you believe so. Well, was it him? Was it the hospice? What was it all? And then what? How would that change today? Yeah, how you might look at things.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Hi, honestly, I think I’d go back to you University.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Texas.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Southwest because it’s a teaching. It’s a teaching school. Okay and, um, I Was so impressed by the way I wasn’t just thrown around, that I was so well taken care of and they were the bomb. I mean, there’s this one. So so, yes, I would want to go. I would say who is the best brain surgeon around At that facility? And I’d probably. I’ve really liked that experience. Yeah, they were. They didn’t make you feel like you’re just a number. That’s so cool and you know that’s a big problem when you’re sick. You know like I’m also bossy. I’m like I’m the, you know I’m big deal, I’m a lawyer or whatever, right that goes. We, I learned where that was. Yeah, nowhere. So when you go to these locations and you’re getting your radiation and your chemo, the people who are working there, they don’t understand how, how vulnerable these other people are. I’m just one of another person getting radiation today and some of them can be great oh honey, how are you doing? You know, like real sweet, and then other people could not care. This is a job and you feel that, yeah, and I really I was so bossy, I’d be like you haven’t even put your eyes on me. It’s important for me that you look at me. Yeah, I would say stuff like that I was like who the hell am I? You know I’m in this facility, right, but they just don’t Treat the, the people who are there, that great all the time. And I think that’s another area. I mean, there’s so many areas in the medical side that could be directly Improved with just a little bit getting the people who really give it. Yeah right right.

Jeff Hopeck: 

The whole piece in those places in those places like, if you’re the front person, yeah, dealing with a sick patient, yeah, and you can’t, are incapable of doing it. Stay at the hospital if you need a job, but go work where you don’t have to deal with people yeah. So maybe this will bring change, that change.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

I had. All I want to do is to share this information with as many people as possible so they can learn to use mind, body and spirit to heal. And it’s a simple path. And if enough people starts to start to put this together, then we could really have a chance to make a big impact in the world and improve the way that people look at medicine and forget that Staying healthy Right isn’t that the whole goal is just in. These stories are so difficult when you hear them, and some end well and some don’t, and that’s part of the whole thing. But what if Everybody started? What if there were PSAs on TV that said Exercise is so important for your body instead of more drugs marketing? Yeah right, why not? Why? Why isn’t that happen? I know why it’s not happening because there’s no money in that no money in healthy people, I know right right fortunate.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Well, this show Will live on forever. It’ll be this, this episode. It will be on interestinghumans dot show, dot show w instead of calm, and You’re gonna have the video. This will be there, the transcription will be there, the audio will be there, so you’ll have a legacy. I love it on this, which is so cool, and link over to. I see you have a book, yes, and, and we’re gonna talk about that in a couple minutes, but we’ll also link over to the book on there and everything. Before we do, I want to ask you question on Did you ever hear of the folks at Lenox Hill? Are you familiar with Lenox Hill? So it was a documentary out on Netflix couple seasons. They Primarily in the first few seasons. They seems like most of what they did was brain surgery. Oh really place in New York. So I’d be curious. But then it’s not on anymore.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

But it was fast like it’s either either love it or absolutely watch it.

Jeff Hopeck: 

It was as graphical as you can be, which is awesome.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Oh, that I mean I don’t want to go into these other things, but one of the things they did with, with what they do with for brain cancer people. So they’re, they’re in, he’s in there and he’s doing the surgery. They wake you up.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So that’s true in them.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

It’s so true and that’s why I won’t. I probably won’t see that, because you can see my doctor who did that. There’s a video of him doing that not me, but somebody else. I will never look at it because I it’s, I just can’t. They woke me up and there’s another doctor and the doctor he’s showing me images like a bunny or a watch or whatever, and, and what happens is I have to. Sometimes I couldn’t get the word, even if it was bunny, right, because it’s it’s not me, it’s the growth is affected, this, these, these things. And what he’s doing is he’s Trying to see where it’s firing in my brain. So my doctor is paying attention where my brain is, what’s firing by my understanding, my ability to say a word, that he’s just showing this I’m awake, my head’s open, and he’s doing that, right, crazy. But this, let me tell you another, like another God thing that happened. Remember, I did not grow up in the religion.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah all.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

But at that moment that morning, actually before the surgery, I felt like people were praying for me and I was Crying like it was just pouring, like I felt the energy of people loving on me. And Then that at this time where I’m open, exposed and I’m doing numbers and stuff, and he settled down for a minute, I had the same feeling. I’m crying, crying, crying and but of joy. It was joyful, you know, and I’m talking to this guy. I’m talking to this guy and I’m telling him all my law firm and you know all the stuff. My head is open. So it’s kind of amazing, you don’t know it.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah or you do know you’re awake.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

I am awake and I’m aware my head’s open and I’m where I’m communicating. Somehow they can hold your. I wasn’t moving around. It’s not like I was walking around like hey, let’s party, but my head was stuck in this position. But they wake you up in only in one way so that you can communicate to see where what’s happening with your brain. But the but this other part about is understanding that people were praying for me and feeling that love. When everything settled down and all this stuff In my office, one of the lawyers said if anybody wants to pray for Jennifer with me because she should be in surgery. It was exactly the same time We’ve correlated the timeframe and so people who wanted to pray came into the big conference room and they just prayed and she was a good prayer. This lawyer was a good prayer. Wow, Right, Right. So there’s something. There are other things beyond the limitations of this world that can come into our lives for the better, and it’s astounding. I’m so grateful for what I have learned Wow.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Okay, your book. Yeah, let’s okay. Hold it up, my book, so everybody can read it. The case for hope. Oh, my goodness. All right, tell us about it, oh.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

First of all, it took me a lot of time to write this but, as you know, I started feeling like I definitely need to. I need to do this because I could see from my seven page book there’s a big need for this and it’s making a difference. So I started writing this and I’ve rewritten it and rewrote it, but my whole theory was here I’m sorry, just keep it over, sure and my whole theory was I don’t want to write a tome and I don’t even think I could write a tome. I just want to get to the bottom of it. What’s good, what can you do for yourself, how do you do it and how is it good for me? That was my whole theory. Was those elements I didn’t I’m a lawyer like get to the bottom. People tell their stories and they’re like oh, I’m, like, I know what I’m looking for. Right, this is what people need and this is I always like to say this is the book I wished I had had when I got sick. This is the book I wish I had had, the book you wish you had. Because what this would have laid it all out for me. It’s right here. And so it did take me a lot of time because I had to read. Even now, I can’t read quickly, I can’t read I can, and so what? Right, but it is sort of frustrating and I to read all of the books that I had to read to support the terms that I was saying. Everything here has been researched, so it’s not like, oh, I’m just making stuff up. No, proper sleep is a really important plus, if you are sick or avoiding getting sick, right, simple basic stuff meditation or writing out your thoughts those are emotional ways to push out thoughts, very healthy and very important. And then the spiritual discoveries were also incredible. And how do we talk about that? And it just sort of led, one thing led to another, to create that book. But before that, to help me first, and although I started having messages and things that were coming in from the other realm, I didn’t have the sense that six months, don’t worry about it, you’re gonna beat this. I did not know. Do you have to go into faith and say, if one person has beaten this, why can’t I beat that, why can’t I beat it? That was a really important part is to engage your will and say I get it, I’ve got to get my papers in order. But I think we can chew gum and walk at the same time. I think I can also throw everything at my body and my mind and my spirit to try to beat this, and I think that’s okay and that’s why I love this little sucker, because it’s got everything there. You can read this in three days and it’s designed for that. But then I have appendix with the kinds of foods you should eat and the stuff to avoid. There’s this one thing in here I really like I was sort of proud of that one. It’s called sneaky sugars. Sugar is really bad news, not just for weight, but it’s just for health and inflammation and all these bad things, and so there’s a whole thing to show where to go for the, what are the sugars are and how to avoid them, and they’re everywhere.

Jeff Hopeck: 

I’ve seen it written before that sugar can even act as like growing cancer.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Okay, so sugar cancer thrives on sugar. There you go. And that’s one of the things I did learn at the very beginning. My mom had sent me this one book and I was like, oh so I starve what it wants, like I’ll starve. This is what cancer wants. I mean, cancer wants sugar, plenty of sugar. It needs a little bit of oxygen, but not too much. So don’t go exercising, don’t do the, do breathing exercise, sit there like that and watch TV. That’s about enough. It also loves an acidic environment more than an alkaline. Okay, alkaline’s gonna be your vegetables and your greens.

Jeff Hopeck: 

It hates that it hates that, I guess it hates it, oh, it hates it.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

It’s like kryptonite, but acidic foods. Which is your crappy food or your? I always pick McDonald’s. I’m sorry, mcdonald’s but just low quality, just food that’s creating inflammation in your body. Your body’s like what do I do with this? All of those things, no good, no good.

Jeff Hopeck: 

And do you? This would just be your opinion. Do you think? Hey, it’s okay to have McDonald’s once or twice a month, but right?

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Here’s the problem, totally agree with you and I’m not crazy and I have. During this time I had junk food for my girls because it’s just because I’m going through this doesn’t mean that she can’t but I wouldn’t eat. I wouldn’t eat that stuff. But yes, here’s the problem, that some of these foods are so addictive it’s kind of hard to get off, like even cookies. If you look at just a basic cookie, you should see how much sugar is in that. It’s a lot, and so you give it to the kids and stuff. It has an addictive aspect of it. But if you can have smaller amounts or, like you said, maybe once a month, if you just to scratch that itch, that’s another thing. But on a consistent basis you’re gonna get in the loop again. But 75, no, 73% of all Americans are either overweight or obese and 42% are obese. We are not well, we are not eating well. It’s a major problem. But of the 42% who are, who are really having the struggle, a lot of them don’t have enough nutrients in their bodies. They’re malnourished. Why isn’t this on TV? Why isn’t this a PSA saying please, no, you don’t have to take all these drugs, you can just be strong. Even during the COVID-19 thing happened. I remember them saying at the beginning they were saying and this is not political, this is just an observation they were saying the people who have comorbidities are the most vulnerable right People who have more than one or two illnesses, like some older people or whatever. But we’ve put ourselves in this situation. We’re so freaking sick and we all have that like the majority of us are in this situation, but how about we swing it around? We had 75% of us are healthy and we exercise and we take care of ourselves and we put all these things together. That’s what really excites me is having enough people say God, this stuff is killing me literally. Right, that’s not okay.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, three indicators that shouldn’t all rise at the same time is the amount of exercise tools and gadgets and opportunities in gyms rising, which I’m okay with, I love that. But two other things shouldn’t rise with it. And then see, this outcome is then you have the number of fast food locations more open every day, right, mcdonald’s, I think. Just this morning I read six years ago I was teaching my seven year old because he owns stock in McDonald’s and we were talking about it because they had very poor earnings. Report this morning. But the point is, just a decade ago they had 36,000 locations and they’re over 50,000 locations. So we’re eating food, right.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

The evidence is out there.

Jeff Hopeck: 

But if okay, so exercise, and all this is rising, fast foods rising, but so is sickness. It should be working the other way around right, it is not, it’s not working. The other way around. Exactly, we’re forgetting about the food part of it but that’s a whole other episode, All right incredible. I can’t wait. I can’t personally wait to read the book. It’s just sounds like it’s gonna be incredible for anybody dealing with cancer. Do I have that right? Or anything or any million life.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Anything. I am getting people who buy it and then they read it and they’re like, oh my God, amazing. They go and buy four more for other people Not even if somebody reads this and understands the setup. It’s really not that complicated, honestly. I just one thing led to another and all of a sudden I was like whoa, this is the path. It’s the path for anybody. If you’re sick or you’re not sick, I’d love it. If you’re not sick and you start to realize this, you’re gonna be healthier and happier and get off of those drugs as much as possible. Some drugs are important, right, but they’re using drugs for everything instead of start number one. Try to heal this. Let’s try to heal this first. Yeah, yeah.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Incredible. I’m gonna give you a moment to speak to everyone now and leave us with, like your tips, just whether you talked about them today or not Like, what is your package to give to the world right now to say, if you, anybody you know, anybody you love, et cetera, is going through, this has gone through it. Here’s your support, your tips, your.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Okay, do I go here? No, we can just do right here. Just talk to you like a normal person.

Jeff Hopeck: 

But I just wanna frame this up and really have this, because we’re gonna then, you know, clip it out and use this on social media to really say here’s your inspiration, folks.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

You are perfectly made Mm-hmm and you are very loved, and you are love. Anything is possible in you, no matter where you are in your life, no matter what your challenge is when it comes to health and healing. There’s a whole path for you, and the earlier you can get this into your mind and into your body and into your spirit, the better it’s going to be for you, and my goal is for people to understand and apply this for themselves so they can be part of a bigger story that can make an impact upon the world, and understanding that we’re not getting everything the way, what we should be getting right now, but it is available for you and there are so many other stories. My story is one story, but there’s so many survivors of grade four, whatever or whatever, so it’s possible for anybody, and so my goal is to fight. Ask questions be, curious, ask the question. The book is called the Case for Hope. When everybody’s telling you you’ve got no hope, say I don’t know. You don’t know me, you don’t know what’s inside of me. So that would be my biggest thing is to be a little bit curious. Be, curious about your own self and what might be possible for you.

Jeff Hopeck: 

So incredible. Well, thank you so much.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Thank you.

Jeff Hopeck: 

For coming on and sharing this.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Thank you, this has been a blessing.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Tough for me. I was sort of battling, I mean this is incredible. I was almost going to say guys pause for a minute, because I almost Really but I would never do that, I mean it’s emotional because I’m just. Things are different now being a father. So I just think of this now as it through the eyes of being a dad and kids and if that happens, with that it’s different, life’s different now.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Here’s the thing, though. Here’s the amazing thing Even if you don’t read this book and you’ll read it you’re gonna read it because it’s so freaking good. But even if you didn’t, you’re gonna remember this lady who had this amazing story, and she helped somebody else also who had this, and she helps all these other people. So now I’m sick, I’m gonna find that book because I remember that reminded me in the back of my mind and that’s almost all you need, right, I want people to know this on the front end. But if anything happened to your family or anybody, you are empowered now. You are not a victim. You know exactly what you would do. You’d go through this steps. It’s not. I just, oh, I just. People secede their own power when they get sick and that is not the path. And but somebody has to. Hey, wake up. Wake up. Here’s a path you can follow. Now, some people, they see the path and they still say, no, I wanna eat my ho-hoes, nothing’s gonna matter anyway. That’s also a choice and that is a valuable choice. I’m not judging that. But if your choice is man, I got a Like. I had two little girls. I remember at one point thinking my husband is never gonna be able to handle them during high school. You know I’m like I have to beat this.

Jeff Hopeck: 

I have to Right.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

And I was right. I was right because, oh gosh, they’re busy little ones, but so grateful for it.

Jeff Hopeck: 

Yeah, awesome. Well, thank you again.

Jennifer Dickenson: 

Thank you.

Jeff Hopeck: 

This was excellent Folks, interesting humans, you heard today. This is what it’s all about. It was about me getting to the sweet spot of my own purpose and my own why. Transfer knowledge is here, it’s happening right here, it’s taking place and it’s going out to the world, and that’s my purpose here. So I love it. I love learning, but I love learning to pass. So it’s the transfer of knowledge. So that’s what Interesting Humans is about. Thank you again for being here and, folks, I would love it if you can go out and, on whatever platform you’re watching or listening, if you can rate us if it’s a thumbs up, it’s five stars or write a little story. We’d be grateful. It will help the show out, it will help get these stories out. And, as always, thank you for being here and we’ll see you in the next episode. Thank you.

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