My wife is being treated for a serious brain tumor and is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
She is about four weeks into her rigorous treatment regime now.
Several sport psychology techniques have proven to be helpful to her, to me as her caretaker and to her fellow cancer warriors.
Notice, that I do not refer to these people as cancer patients.
Rather, I view them as soldiers, fighters and warriors who are facing a significant life challenge.
When we go for blood tests, chemotherapy or radiation I make a point of greeting everyone we encounter. I give them a smile, ask them how they are and if they are willing we have a short conversation.
Sitting alone in silence waiting for the doctors and the technicians is not and it is not good for your spirit.
I would encourage other people who are fighting cancer and their caretakers to reach out to their fellow warriors. These people should be looked upon as being your colleagues in a high stakes battle.
There is a lot that you can teach one another and a lot that you can share to be helpful to one another.
For instance, when I met a woman in the waiting room who told me that she was there for her last radiations treatment, I remarked, “Terrific you are a graduate.” She smiled and thanked me.
Your other teammates are you doctors, the nurses, the support staff, the technicians and last but not least your family members, friends and loved ones.
Sport psychologists talk a lot about leadership and about team building.
Do all you can to recruit the right people and be sure to treat them all with kindness, dignity and respect. Also, be certain to ask for help at any time during this battle. You can not do this alone and you will be amazed at how willing your good friends are to help you in any way you can.
The outpouring of love, support, kindness and encouragement that I have been experiencing has been beyond overwhelming. I am very grateful for this and reaching out to other who are walking the slippery slope that is the battle with cancer is a small and simple way of giving a little back.
I am starting a support group for patients and their caretakers.
If you are interested, give me a call at 201 647-9191 or email me at
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D., Psychotherapist, Author, Founder, StayInTheZone.com