Cancer & Illness Healing Stories

A weekly column for individuals who have overcome cancer or a seroiusness illness or who are currently patients.
The column will also include excerpts from "Draw No Conclusions", my new book about my 4 year journey with cancer. Due to be released in 2011

Post Treatment Visits

Holding your breath before a post-treatment visit is not the best idea! The days and hours leading up to your appointment can be filled with anxiety. I take it as an opportunity to let go of projections, to be in the now. If I get anxious or afraid, I remember that I am paying too much attention to my thoughts. Always knowing that before I have any feeling I have a thought-a spiritual fact that cannot be debated.
I would strongly suggest you bring a family member or friend along. If there isn’t someone available, you might wonder why you have not magnetized a friend in your life who would be available. Or why you can’t reach out and ask for help. These are not easy inquiries to have but I believe they are important questions to aid your healing. This is what happened to me a few years after the cancer treatment. I moved to a new area and when I needed to have surgery on my wrist and I couldn’t think of anyone to go with me. Sometimes, in our mind, we translate acquaintances into friends. But that is another chapter!
On your way to the appointment, look at the world around you; focus on things outside of yourself. Appreciate that beautiful tree
or the new building that just went up and the style of architecture. Move yourself into a place of gratitude. In fact, that morning when you wake up, make a list of ten things you have to be grateful for. What you want to do here is get into a good centered place inside yourself. It’s in this place that you can listen to what the doctor says with a quiet mind and not get caught up in fears.
Don’t forget to bring written questions and have no concerns about asking too many questions. It’s your health and your body; you have the right to get everything you need. Because this is a new life and in this new life you get all your needs met-right! Don’t worry about the time you take, talking with the doctor or if they’re fidgeting or putting out an impatient vibe-that’s their issue not yours. If the doctor is running out of time and can’t assert themselves, again, that’s their issue. Another lesson in not taking things personal. And also a lesson in taking care of yourself before taking care of everyone else in the world–the usual pattern! People bring tape recorders and tape the appointment. Why not!
Take a few moments before the appointment to know that’s if it’s bad news, you’ll deal with it as you always do, one step at a time, you will draw no conclusions. You will not pay attention to statistics or the urgency of doctors to do something “right away”. (Of course there are exceptions to this in an emergency situation-like a tumor is about to explode) You will go home, take a breath, relax and create a plan of action out of place of objectivity, not panic. Remember our big word-equanimity! You will consult your list of advisors and call who you feel can best assist you. And when you have gotten all the information, then and only then you will make a decision. Perhaps that decision is to take action right away. Or a decision to wait and see-which is a pro-active decision and one I made a few times. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s not.
You will sense when your drifting or avoiding and hopefully you will have advisors around you who can query you about this. And always pray for guidance, pray for a sign. I think God loves to gives signs; He is just waiting for us to ask. Keep your eyes and heart open and look for the signs on the path.

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