How To Fight Cancer: Twenty One Tips For Patients And Caretakers

How To Fight Cancer With Sport Psychology:

Twenty One Tips For Patients And Caretakers

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.

   For almost thirty years, I have coached some of the top athletes in the world from a wide variety of individual and team sports. You name the sport and I have worked with an athlete who participates in that sport-frequently at a high level.

Recently, my wife, a fine athlete and outstanding figure skater, was diagnosed with a very serious brain tumor.

After getting over the initial shock, fear and terror, I realized that some of the mental toughness skills that I have taught others and used in my own life would be helpful to both cancer patients to their family members and caretakers.

I have decided to write some blog posts dedicated to the above topics.

In addition, I will be running a support group for people who are being impacted by this challenging disease.

On a regular basis, I will outline some tips that I believe will be helpful.

  1. Get good at staying the present and taking life one day at a time.
  2. Better yet, try living life one breath at a time.
  3. Surround yourself with a team of doctors and health care professionals who you like and who know what they are doing.
  4. Accept the support and generous offers of friends and family members.
  5. Don’t go into hiding about the situation. Being open and candid will alleviate stress and help to get the support you need.
  6. Be sure to take care of yourself if you are a caretaker: eat well, sleep well and exercise often.
  7. Make contact with nature.
  8. Spend time with your pets.
  9. Cancer is a reminder that life is precious. So, make every day count.
  10. Use humor as a way of coping. Some funny things do happen during the course of treatment.
  11. You will meet some amazing people in this world. Embrace your contact with them.
  12. Avoid extensive contact with people who are negative and pessimistic. You need positive, but realistic advice and tips.
  13. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor anything.
  14. If you are a spiritual or religious person, utilize your faith. It certainly can’t hurt. It seems like there are now thousands of people praying for my wife and my family.
  15. Search for any sliver lining with the grey clouds. This is not always easy, but is very important to find these linings.
  16. Expect some peaks and valleys as you or your loved one goes through treatment. Try to discover what helps you and your loved one to be resilient.
  17. Fighting cancer and managing the health care system can be very challenging. Break this complex down into small steps.
  18. Develop a daily routine which allows you to manage work, family, leisure, treatment and caretaking.
  19. Do at least one fun thing every day.
  20. Talk with a good friend every day.
  21. Keep a journal about your feelings and your experiences.

I have also decided to start a support group for patients and their families. If you are interested, call me at 201 647-9191 or reach out to me at












Dr. Granat

About Dr. Granat

Since 1978, Dr. Granat has counseled thousands of highly competitive athletes from many different sports. His clients have included golfers, tennis players, bowlers, runners, boxers, baseball players, basketball players, pool players, hockey players, ice skaters, wrestlers, fencers and martial artists. (Satisfied Clients) on this site. Now athletes who are struggling with choking, nervousness, lack of confidence, negative thoughts, self-doubt, lack of energy or concentration problems can get the help they need to excel in their respective sport by phone.
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