Now I love Twitter, but there are some questions I can’t answer in 140 characters. This is one of them. I thought it was a good question to make a blog post, though, because for all my Bah! attitude I din’t have an immediate answer, and I was a little bit surprised that I didn’t.
So, this has been on my back brain for a few days. I’ve waited for an answer to formulate, but the best I have are a series of thoughts, some of which support each other, some of which contradict.
So here, my dear bloggy friends, are Bah! to cancer’s musings on whether surviving cancer is a question of attitude. Make sense of them if you can, and please add to them in the comments section.
1. I have met, and read about, many patients who have survived cancer for decades after being told it will kill them within weeks. They seem to achieve this by saying a Bah! from the heart of their being, and following that up with as many health-giving, life-supporting things as they can find and make sense to them.
2. I have also heard about people who die on the very day that their oncologist predicts. So if they have heard “3 months to live”, that’s exactly what they do – take 3 months, then die.
3. Doctors and oncologists are not always correct.
4. There’s a great deal we don’t yet know about cancer.
5. There’s a great deal we don’t yet know about the mind and how it works.
6. People with a positive approach to their own health check their bits regularly, notice unusual symptoms, and seek medical help early.
7. People with a positive attitude to diagnosis ask a lot of questions and make a decision to survive.
8. People with a positive approach to treatment for cancer attend all of their appointments, take all of their tablets, and go for all of their check ups.
9. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you are right.”
10. Cancer treatment can be brutal and frightening and maintaining a positive attitude is not as easy as skipping around saying “Hello trees, hello sky.” Not that skipping is easy when you’re being treated.
11. People with a positive attitude to survival maintain their relationships with their friends, their social lives, their family traditions. These in turn help them to feel that life is worth surviving for.
12. I do not believe that anyone has ever died of a cancer because they haven’t tried/fought/thought well enough.
In short, yes and no.
Yes: Attitude breeds behaviour and behaviour breeds outcomes…..
But some cancers are too advanced, too terrible, have already taken too much from the body, for all the attitude in the world to make a difference.
In which case their are still choices about attitude: choices about a death gracefully accepted, a peaceful and intelligent departure, that I hope, if it ever came to it, I would manage to make.
What do you think?