Perfect Patient

People always ask me how I seem to do so well when going through chemotherapy. I’m fully convinced that it’s my positive mental attitude that makes the difference. Let me share with you an example from my recent trip to Dr. Jeff’s office this past Monday.

When I check in at the front desk, I’m handed a 2-page check sheet that runs through a bunch of possible side effects from the chemo. It ranges from nausea to nerve damage. It’s a self-rating system where you circle the number, 1 to 5, that applies to you. 1 means “no issues,” while “5” is about as bad as it could be.

So this week, like all weeks, I breeze through the checklist, circling all the 1’s that are asked of me. I’m not ignoring symptoms or not reporting them though, the truth is, I feel wonderful. But then, I always do.

Next, I get my blood drawn so they can see how my counts are doing. All but my platelets are normal. I asked Dr. Reid how my hemoglobin counts were doing, as Gemzar, the chemo I’m on now, has a habit of lowering mine. He said, “Oh, it’s 11.0. That’s low for the general population, but in this office, those are rock star numbers!”

He continued, “Any nausea?”
“Only after I’m done at the gym every morning.”
“Haha! Diarrhea?”
“No thanks.”
“Tingling in your hands or feet.”
“No sir.”
“Boy, you really are the perfect patient.”
“Well, I’m doing my part Doc.”

It’s not that my body is immune to the effects of chemotherapy because when I was first diagnosed and treated, things were a lot tougher. But over the years, I have learned that the mental pictures I set on a daily basis have a tremendous impact in the physiological processes that go on inside my body. You can do the same. I hope you look into it and give it a try. Let us know how it works for you by leaving a comment below.



I have to agree on the attitude is everything philosophy. When I talk about my experience I always say that it was the worst experience I have ever gone through but it was the best experienc I could have had with it. I wasnt sick and I worked all 8 months of chemo. I knew it was something I had to do... I had no choice! My family and friends never treated me as if I was sick and I never acted like I was sick. I loved my nurses and my Doctor is WONDERFUL!!! Don,,, you are seriously an inspiration! Wish I would have had this when I was going through my treatments!!! Keep it up!

What an AWESOME way to handle ones self....

You are a true rock star patient,thanks for being so open minded to share with the world what works best for you. In return the world needs to know this could very well be them, in every day life, you don't have to be a cancer patient! See the world in a positive way no matter what curve balls life throws your way.


That is awesome!!!! That is how I try to live my life. People often ask me how I do it. I always say that I have 2 choices!!! I choose to live!!

I'm mental too! lol

I completely agree with everything....I really did struggle through chemo and all of the "fun" that came with it but the way I saw it, it really made radiation a day at the beach! Thanks for your positive approach and views! Keep on keepin on!

Way to Go!!

From my experience with chemo...I have to say you are Totally Right!!! I was also a "perfect patient" and a positive attitude is vital to rehabiliatation and/or recovery. I wish you continued success on your way to your remission and happiness. My positive thoughts and prayers will be with you! I applaud you for your positive attitude and the forum you have created for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. God Bless You and Good Karma Always.

Smile and the world smiles with you

Have to whole-heartedly agree with your outlook Don. Sorry to see that you are back to visits with Dr. Jeff, but good to know that you two are having a good working relationship. And that's the point, isn't it? Our relationship with the physicians and their staff is not just a casual one, but somewhat of a long-term one. At my wife's clinic, you go through a left door or a right door when you are called or greeted by a nurse practitioner who takes your weight and blood pressure. There is a running joke because the digital scale on the left side adds five pounds. And they know that we always roll our eyes when they see that my wife has lost weight or gained it from the last appointment. ("We weighed you on the other side last time, didn't we?")It is so hard for these clinics dealing with very sick patients on a daily basis and in many ways, having my wife in there is a different persepective as we are younger. While we don't have your humor, we tend to inject it in there when appropriate and we can get a few smiles on a tough day for that staff. While it isn't our goal to hear such things, one nurse told us, "I look forward to seeing you guys, you always make it fun". Well if we can lighten the day for them, then they can help lighten the day for us and all of their other patients. It is a two way street for sure! So I don't know if the positive outlook has helped with my wife's recovery, but hopefully it has had an impact on others. Did you note the other day that Don Imus was diagnosed with Prostate cancer and he blamed it on stress?

Agree 100%

I totally agree, I had the same type of attitude throughout my chemo, to me it was just something I had to do and no use complaining about it. I could have sat at home for four months and cried why me or I could have just lived my life as normal as possible. My nasusa wasn't bad at all maybe 3-4 days at the most and I wasn't sick once :) I actually missed seeing my radiation people when I finished radiation and went through doctor withdrawl for a few weeks post cancer treatments!

Attitude is everything

I completely agree! Attitude is everything, and I am not exaggerating - EVERYTHING! I've been thru cancer now twice, once BC and recently NHL. Luckily, both were caught very early and have been very treatable. And my positive mental attitude has brought me through both (not to discount God, supportive family & friends, etc!).I also believe that if you think your treatments will make you better, they probably will. However, if you don't believe in your treatments, or believe they will make you sick, guess what? They probably won't be as effective and you probably won't feel so good. Go Don! Keep on writing, and keep on looking up!

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