Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Employing Fran Drescher's "Cancer Schmancer" Approach


"Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it." - Josh Billings

This saying is so true... I took my health and the health of those around me pretty much for granted, that is, until the near and dear friend whom I had mentioned to you a few weeks ago, had been diagnosed with cancer. This is despite the fact that over the years I had lost some members of both my family and my husband's family to various illnesses.

India - Matheran - 11 - Lush Maharashtran landscape

Today, I am feeling very sad. My friend had been operated on today and had a few cancer-infected body parts removed. Thankfully, the surgery went well but I know that he will have quite a battle ahead of him including 3 to 6 months of chemotherapy followed by a subsequent surgery.

This person had been such an active vibrant personality before falling ill and now all of a sudden, he has this terrible disease to fight. I wish my friend lived nearby but alas, he lives very far away. I will have to wait until I complete my studies and placement for the year (3 more weeks) before being able to fly out to visit him.

I wanted to be there for the surgery but my friend and his family insisted that I not come, that it was not necessary. I was told that he had a support system in place and that I should focus on completing my studies right now. In an ideal world, I would have been able to be in both places at once - finishing up my studies and being there with him. Actually, in an ideal world, I would have had the ability to wave a magic wand and just make this awful disease disappear.

This situation makes me think of the following expression:
"Drugs are not always necessary. Belief in recovery always is." - Norman Cousins

UK - 04 - St. James's Park

Not that I have the hope that my friend can recuperate on positive thoughts alone, but I believe that having a positive outlook is in general beneficial to making the most of your life, and that it can be helpful when you are trying to fight an illness of any sort.

To that end, when I visit my friend, I will try to be as upbeat as possible so as to assist as much as possible in his belief in his recovery. I plan on bringing along a copy of the book Cancer Schmancer by Fran Drescher. It's a great uplifting book about Fran Drescher's own battle with cancer. Not only is Fran's successful battle with cancer inspiring but her bits of humor interspersed throughout the book make you laugh. And laughter is one of those things that makes you feel good inside and helps you feel better. My hope is that it will sometimes help my friend feel better too...

Thanks for listening:)

What are your thoughts? Do you have anyone close to you fighting a disease that could take their life? Does this story make you think differently about your health or the health of those you care about?

Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mckaysavage/2997557892
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mckaysavage/2798636723

7 comments:

  1. HI Dorlee,
    This is such a sweet and touching article. I do feel like that sometimes..wanting to be at 2 places at once... I do want that magic wand too :)
    But you know, we all have a heart and soul thats full of the magic of love. Giving that out freely and openly and as you say having a positive outlook can make even the most worst of situations seem fine.
    Here is a big hug for you wrapped in lots of love, so that you feel better. Just pray, believe and keep the faith.
    Everything will magically work out.
    Much Love,
    Z~

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  2. Dear Zeenat,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and your big hug wrapped in lots of love. I feel it:)

    Your words "Everything will magically work out" - in G-d's ears, as the expression goes.

    With much appreciation and love back to you,
    Dorlee

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  3. Dorlee,
    Thanks so much for sharing as openly as you have here. Having a close friend diagnosed with a life-threatening disease is not easy. I have a friend, also, going through something similar. It began last fall as what seemed like just a really bad headache. This has led to brain surgery to remove lesions, and a diagnosis of cancer. He seemed to be doing better up until just recently, when he had another hospital stay. And at such a young age, this is really difficult to watch.

    Today, I thank you for the reminder of laughter...even in challenging moments...and how it can really help to uplift.

    Know that I wish the best for your friend, and that your visit brings much peace.

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  4. Dear Lance,

    Thank you for being willing to share what you are going through...

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend who is battling brain cancer. My heart goes out for you and I'm wishing the best for your friend.

    Yes, using laughter can sometimes help lift the spirits. As an Irish Proverb states:

    "A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book."

    Best,
    Dorlee

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  5. Also, many thanks, Lance, for your good wishes.

    Best,
    Dorlee

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  6. Dorlee,

    An post on a very important topic. My heart is with you and your friend.

    To me, the most important thing is to support the person, regardless of their choice of treatment. So often, I see others want to impose. I know it is out of a desire to see the persons we love better - and out of fear.

    Personally, I love that we have alternative options available. And I love the title of the book. I'll check it out.

    Thanks for the valuable information.

    Lauren

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  7. Dear Lauren,

    Thanks so much for your advice and heartfelt comment.

    I can't wait till I get to see my friend next week:)

    Best,
    Dorlee

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