Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist, Author, Founder, www.StayInTheZone.com
In the last forty days, I have been thrown into the role of super caretaker.
My dear wife has been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor that she is being treated for with chemo and radiation and a third medication. She went from being quite healthy to being quite sick very rapidly.
She is now taking about nine pills each day.
To make matters more challenging my ninety three year old mother has her share of health issues and she frequently needs some assistance from me and from my sister.
In addition, I do a fair amount of caretaking in my psychotherapy practice.
So, it is very important that I identify and implement strategies that keep me vibrant and that keep from burning out.
Here are a few tips that are essential for both patients and their caretakers.
First, do one fun thing for yourself each and every day. Pick something which helps you to feel nurtured and which provides with some joy and recreation.
Second, develop a solid eating, exercising and eating regime.
Third, surround yourself with teammates, friends, colleagues and family members who can help you to stay positive.
Fourth, take and do just one thing at time.
Fifth, be sure to find some humor in the challenges that cancer creates for patients and their caretakers. I am a terrible cook, but I have been preparing some very basic meals for my wife. I recently told her, if the cancer does not kill her my meals just might do her in.”
Sixth, remember and apply the serenity prayer and use this simple philosophy to manage your thoughts, feelings and behavior. For those of you who are not familiar with this prayer which is an important part of twelve step programs, I am including the shortened version here:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
I am also starting a support group of patients and caretakers. This group will show people how to use humor, sport psychology and self-hypnosis to manage the stress associated with cancer.
Interested? Give me a call at 201 647-9191 or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org