March 18, 2009
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.”
“Tingling in your hands or feet.”
“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.