Chapter #7: One in a Million
"Thank you for letting me know," Dan said to the doctor as she delivered his terminal cancer diagnosis. Sunlight bounced off the walls in the pale hospital room as they sat together on his bed.
The doctor looked at him, concerned and confused. She went to speak, choked on her words, and then tried again, "Daniel... do you understand what I just told you?"
"Yes, I understand," he said. "I appreciate you letting me know."
The doctor looked absolutely perplexed by Dan's reaction. Her eyes swelled up as she stared at him awkwardly, not knowing what to say.
"Are you okay?" Dan lovingly asked, placing his hand upon hers.
The doctor became emotional and apologized as she left the room. A nurse came in and Dan immediately asked if the doctor was alright, expressing compassion for any confusion he may have caused her.
That was Dan Copes. Even when told he had a fatal disease he stayed calm, grateful, and caring.
After the unexpected diagnosis, we started connecting the dots over the past few years. Dan's symptoms from Lymes Disease must have slowly blended with any new symptoms from this cancer—masking the underlying illness. This is seen a lot with rare and unknown cancers.
Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma is one of the rarest cancers in the world.
One in a million people may get this type of cancer. The odds are extremely profound and Dan was an even rarer case because his adrenal tumor was abnormal—making his case closer to one in a few million.
Adrenal cancer is referred to as a "silent killer" because it typically doesn't cause noticeable symptoms until it spreads to other parts of the body. This was also the case for Dan. When diagnosed, he was already in the final Stage IV.
Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma is so rare that there's no treatment protocol, unlike most cancers that have a set treatment plan with specific drugs and rounds of chemo/radiation, etc.
Medical science has not yet been able to study this cancer, develop a treatment plan, or understand why it develops because patients are diagnosed so late and pass too quickly.
Over the next two months, together Dan and I navigated one of the most complex, rare, and challenging illnesses on the planet. Our deep spirituality, honor to each other, and the wisdom of our prior life experiences allowed us to walk with patience and love in our hearts down this unknown path.
The hospital allowed me to live in Dan's room for his entire stay, and for that I will forever be grateful. I slept in a recliner for 2 months, but I was able to be with my twin flame during his last days on Earth.
The abnormality of Dan's illness was extremely complicated for our young minds to understand, but we continuously impressed all of the professionals with our ability to research, comprehend, and make difficult medical decisions all on our own.
Both of our demeanors seemed to puzzle and stun those around us. We didn't have time to lose our minds and fall into agony and despair as everyone expected us to. We didn't know how long we'd have left with each other—so we decided early on to focus in the present moment and nothing else.
In those moments, Dan was still alive. I determined I would deal with the pain of his death if and when it came. Until then, there was nothing to do except embody pure love and gratitude for every day left with him.
I learned quickly that nothing else puts you more in the present moment than death.
The first couple of weeks we spent hanging out in his hospital room making friends with the nurses. We were always excited to see what food was coming on the lunch tray and Dan let me eat his dinner rolls, like a gentleman.
We explored every realm of emotion during those times... we laughed, cried, hugged, and loved—slowly surrendering more and more to the destiny that may await us. One night, we both admitted to knowing all along that this fate could someday come.
Ever since Dan and I got together we had the hardest time parting, and I always had this fear in the back of my mind that he was going to die. I thought it was just PTSD from losing my best friend Shanise years before, but I now realize it was my intuition preparing me for what was to come.
Never doubt your intuition.
"I know you're one in a million, babe, but... really?! Did you have to be THIS special?" I joked to Dan one afternoon as he ate his lunch.
"Sorry, Little One. What can I tell ya?!" He laughed back at me—dipping a cucumber into his yogurt like a weirdo.
The hospital had never seen anyone with adrenal cancer, so they partnered with a bigger hospital in New York that had a little more experience. The doctors went over treatment options with us—making sure we knew that chemotherapy could possibly prolong his life and lessen his symptoms—but nothing could ever cure him.
They asked if we wanted to know their estimate of how long Dan had left to live.
"Thank you, but it's not necessary," he said, "That's not for us to decide."
Over the next month, Dan's diagnosis began to advance and cause a variety of challenges. He started his first round of chemotherapy synchronistically on 7/17/2020 (7 & 17 being our spirit numbers).
The oncology department decided on the most aggressive chemotherapy regiment possible—in hopes that it could kill the cancer and Dan's youthful immune system would help rebuild healthy cells and prolong his life as much as possible.
Anyone that knew Dan knew he did NOT like taking medicine. He wouldn't even take aspirin, so this was one of the most challenging things for him to deal with.
Dan knew his friends and family needed hope, so he selflessly and heroically journeyed on with treatment for the ones he loved.
Before each treatment, we would pray and chant together. I would put my mouth over his abdomen and vocalize loud OM's—sending the vibration of the universe deep into his core.
We talked to the cells in his body, programming them to take in the medicine safely and only send it to cancer cells. We prayed over the chemicals, asking them to only attack places of the body housing disease and to please spare his healthy cells.
We both believe our intentions helped keep Dan more comfortable and supported during his chemotherapy. He did not develop most of the common symptoms from the treatment they expected, especially with him getting such high doses. This truly taught me the power of prayer and intention.
Dan's body did begin to change as his illness progressed, though he skillfully kept his strong demeanor and grateful attitude despite the obstacles. Doctor upon doctor pulled me aside with tears in their eyes, expressing how they never met a person like Dan before.
When the hospital staff looked at Dan's diagnosis and daily test results on paper, they expected to walk into the room and see a bed-bound, lifeless, withering shell. Instead, they were greeted by an upright, grinning, and courageous young warrior.
His voice became weak and it was harder to walk when he wasn't feeling well, but every new person that came into the room received a big smile, a courteous handshake, and the enthusiastic greeting, "Hi, I'm Dan!"
It was surreal how time seemed to not exist while we lived in the hospital. Every day we were on the same routine—meals, medicine, visitors, sleep, repeat. Hundreds of beeping machines, spinning lights, and loud voices twirled around us daily like a chaotic performance. Almost 2 months went by and Dan's 31st birthday arrived before we could even blink.
Celebrating your birthday while dying is a very unique energy Dan had to face. Although, as expected, he pushed through the hard feelings and found the strength to embody gratitude.
He generously brought his chocolate cake out into the hospital lobby to share with everyone—nurses, doctors, and patients alike. He always expressed how much he felt for the other patients that didn't get many visitors, so he took it upon himself to share and bring them some love, too.
A week before his birthday, I collected over 60 short videos from family and friends wishing Dan a Happy Birthday, so he could see all the faces of his loved ones and hear their message.
He was also friends with the leader of an orphanage in Africa named "Born Like This" for disabled orphans. They sent him many videos of the children singing and wishing him well.
I'm still to this day grateful for my intuition... because that was the last opportunity most would have to send Dan their love and wishes.
A week later in September, Dan started to become more sleepy. He hadn't been outside in a week or two, and one day his loving nurse made it her mission to get him some sunshine.
We wheeled him out under a tree in the parking lot. I remember seeing how much being in nature calmed and soothed his soul. He sat quietly, listening to the birds and feeling the wind on his skin.
He spoke a beautiful and profound lesson that I will never forget:
"I know that this is hard and I know what is happening to me. But, my God... the sky has never looked so beautiful."
The true beauty in life exists in its absence. The closer we are to the end of something, the more beautiful everything is. Dan taught me this lesson and many others in his final days, and he continues to teach me more every single day.
On the evening of September 8, 2020, Dan was surrounded lovingly by family and friends. He was intubated, as he could no longer breathe on his own. The doctors said that even though he was sedated, he should still be able to hear us.
One of his nurses was on a breathing tube after an accident and she assured us that she was able to hear and feel everyone that came to see her, which gave us peace knowing he was still there and listening.
The point came that night where they told us there was nothing left they could do. It was time to allow Dan to cross.
We all gathered around him telling stories, laughing, crying, hugging, and sharing the purest form of love that ever will exist. We held his hands, kissed his forehead, stroked his hair, and told him everything was going to be okay.
By divine grace, after multiple rounds of chemo, Dan defied all odds and did not lose his radiant, red dreadlocks. I know that meant so much to him.
Together, we all began to sing.
Dan's life-long passion for music flowed through us as we surrounded him with beautiful vibrations. We sang his favorite songs and showered him with love until he took his final breath.
The past 2 months came crumbling down upon me after Dan died. The stress and pressure on my nervous system and physical body all caught up to me and I went through a period of deep emotional release and physical exhaustion.
Even though I knew he was no longer in his body and I was grieving so deeply, I was extremely surprised in ways by how I still felt Dan after he passed. I expected to feel this huge severance when Dan died, like losing a limb—as he was the other half of my soul. But, it was only his physical presence that felt missing.
I still felt Dan's energetic presence around me just as strong as when he was here. It was mind-blowing.
The telepathic and energetic connection I spoke of before, that held us together when he was alive and we were physically apart... was still there.
I was staying at my Dad's, planning to go back to the yoga ashram, when one morning I felt this strong pull to go to Dan's apartment.
"Find the spiral notebook," I kept hearing over and over in my mind.
I knew exactly what notebook it was referring to. When Dan and I started dating in 2017 he had written all of our synchronicities, divine coincidences, and supernatural experiences in this small, red notebook.
I drove to his place and searched his apartment high and low. I almost gave up, until something told me to look one last place.
Underneath Dan's bed was an old, green duffle bag from high school. It had his track and field number on it and was filled with random keepsakes from all around the world, as it was the bag he always took with him traveling.
I unzipped the bag, dug around through the random objects, and to my surprise... pulled out the spiral notebook.
I would have never believed what I found in that book if it was someone else telling me this story. But, my direct experience with the divine miracles of life and death now lead me to walk tall on this higher path of understanding.
In that book was a prophesied dream documented by Dan from 2017... where he described scene for scene exactly what happened on the day of his death.
I'll share it with you next Tuesday,
Kailin of Earth