Jay P. Granat, Ph.D., LMFT
Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Founder, StayInTheZone.com
My wife was recently diagnosed with a very serious brain tumor.
I have mentioned this in previous blog posts.
Now I am writing a series of pieces on using humor, sport psychology and self-hypnosis to put up a good fight against this challenging disease.
Believe it or not, I am finding some positive experiences during this crisis.
First, there has been outpouring of love, support, prayers and help from our fantastic network of friends and family. We have heard from some people who we thought we had lost touch with, as the power of social media has called attention to our challenge.
Second, while I have coached some mentally tough people in my practice including world class athletes, I have met some of the toughest and most optimistic people I have ever encountered since we started treatment.
I talk with them in the blood lab, in the waiting areas, in the infusion center and at the radiology department.
Many are quite cheerful and playful. And some of the veteran patients give great advice on getting the system to work for you.
Third, while there are many problems with our health care system, we have met some of the kindest and most dedicated people you can find anywhere.
Fourth, the man who plows out my driveway in snow storms said he would no longer charge me for his services when he learned about my wife’s illness. I told him I felt uncomfortable about this. He gave a big hug and said, “This is what men, friends and neighbors do for one another.” Amazing…………….
Fifth, if you are the patient, you get a lot of love and attention. However, I told my wife that if she is pretending to have this disease to get attention, she can end the act now.
Sixth, you get to learn about the character of your friends and family members.
Some are loving, supportive and can’t do enough for you. Others, feel awkward and they remain silent and distant. And some are just not capable of being there for you in a time of crisis. Perhaps they are too frightened or too narcissistic. I suggest you save your time and energy for your good pals and let go of people who show no concern, no empathy or no compassion for you and your family. Pray for them. Get rid of them. Take them out of your cell phone contacts. This will create more space in your hand held device.
Seventh, you get to hear some great doctor jokes when you go for treatment and check ups.
Eighth, cancer encourages you to live one day at a time and to try to enjoy each and every hour and minute you have. It helps us to put what is really important in perspective and waste less time and energy on some meaningless issues that we all can get caught up in at times.
Ninth, some facilities have free snacks. My sister loves the pretzels.
Tenth, some of the nurses are gorgeous and delightful.
Eleventh, you may be eligible for a handicap parking permit. This is very useful in the metropolitan area.
I am also running a support group for cancer patients and their families. If you want to part of it, call me at 201 647-9191 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org