Cancer is a tough disease by any standards and both patients and physicians always wonder if there are things other than just clinical protocols and well defined regimens that might have any role to play in the overall effectiveness of the treatment. Specifically, people always ask about the role of the attitiude of the patient in his or her treatment. Some patients, diagnosed with cancer, develop a negative even hostile attitude towards life and their surroundings in general and find it very difficult to come to grips with their new reality. There are others though who respond to their cancer with a very positive approach and demonstrate an attitude of mental strength and hope.
So, the question is "Does it really help and how much?"
The answer is not a simple yes or no. One has to look at what really does one mean by Positive Mental Attitude or PMA ?
PMA is not about developing an attitude that their cancer is just a result of some bad phase or "karma" and it will go away just by some rituals or some sudden miracle that might happen. That kind of approach is plain wishful thinking and will not help at all.
PMA is first and foremost about acknowledging the seriousness of one's condition and then developing a whole new determination to do everything possible to find all facts and details about one's cancer, discussing in-depth with one's cancer specialist the very latest in clinical options and their pros and cons, agreeing to the treatment plan devised by the oncologist and adhering to in totality and following his/her advise on diet, lifestyle and other aspects and extending total co-operation to the discipline of the clinical regiment -- all with a firm belief that I am going to fight it and I am going to do everything within my power to face this very serious and tough disease and I am going to get better because of this. One may include anything and everything in it -- prayers, hope , music whatever you like. It all could work for you --at the very least it will improve and enhance your quality of life and make it easier and better on your near and dear ones who are helping you from your family and relations.
Remember, it is very very tough on them as well.
In our cancer support group 'Saarthak' a lady cancer survivor shared about her own approach to the side effects of chemotherapy and how it was leading to a state of depression for her. An army wife, she was used to a very active social life and enjoyed her weekend get-togethers and lunches/dinners at friends' places. When our oncologist suggested to her that unlike the advice given by her previous oncologist, she was free to resume her lifestyle while following her chemo-regimen, she responded so positively and not only she came out of her depression but developed a very strong resolve to fight her cancer.
Today, she is a three year cancer survivor and is doing extremely well while enjoying her old life style with friends and families. Additionally. she is a very active member of 'Saarthak' and is very willing to help other cancer patients.
Her positive attitude, certainly, seems to have made a difference to her and it can definitely work for many other.
That is certainly my hope and my belief.
God bless and let us ,together,do everything to save another life from cancer. Please join me because "Every Life Matters"
Pradeep K Jaisingh