Cancer - A Medical and Spiritual Guide
William A. Fintel, Gerald McDermott, Dave Dravecky
Modern medicine has made amazing advances in the treatment of cancer, but most people still react with shock and fear when they receive the diagnosis. Cancer doesn't just affect the patient physically; it has emotional and spiritual implications as well.
This comprehensive guide to cancer from a Christian perspective combines the hands-on experience of a medical doctor with the wisdom and compassion of a theologian.
The book surveys a variety of topics including:
- cancer testing, diagnosis, and treatments
- alternative therapies
- the mind-body connection
- faith, fear, healing, and doubts
- life after the diagnosis
Written in accessible language, this complete manual will help cancer patients, as well as their families and friends. It is an essential resource for pastors, counselors, lay ministers, and hospice groups.
I am a firm believer in planning whatever I want to achieve in my life. Planning (and taking all the actions required to realise the plan) was invaluable in coping with my six lifetime cancer diagnoses.
First diagnosed in 1979, in 2004 I faced my most challenging cancer encounter. For the second time in my life the lymphoma had relapsed to stage 4 (there is no stage 5). Six months of chemotherapy preceded the removal of my spleen, high-dose chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant.
The combined effects of advanced disease and treatments left me weaker and less mobile than ever before. My willpower, determination and exuberance for life, which had always been my strongest suits, were waning.
My plan for coping included employing a range of psychosocial support measures that had helped me in the past. I drew from my humour library, regularly watching my favourite comedies to lift my spirits. I played music to help me express and manage my emotions. I wrote about what I was experiencing each day to help me examine and vent my feelings.
What helped most though was carrying out a review of my life; looking at whether it was everything I wanted it to be (the cancer notwithstanding). When at your lowest ebb, you need everything possible in your present and future to encourage you to hold on. Reflecting on all areas of my life I realised I needed to change my vocation.
I had never enjoyed some aspects of being a corporate manager. By nature I loved to create and positively influence those around me, while the corporate world is driven by competitiveness and immersed in politics, where values are often surrendered for self-interest. There was a fundamental mismatch between who I was and what I did for a living and I felt remedying this would help my recovery aspirations.
I wrote a compelling vision statement to focus me on a new career and lifestyle: To show people how to live happier and more fulfilling lives. For me this meant doing a number of things. I had long intended to write a book on how to take action to help cope with a cancer battle. I set this project as a high priority.
One thing I had really enjoyed about my corporate job was helping my staff develop and grow as people. I did some research and resolved that I would be able to focus on this for a living as a life and career coach.
I also wanted to give something back in recognition of the support I had received in coping with cancer throughout my life. Like so many people I had benefited greatly from the services of my local Cancer Society, but many others had given freely and generously to help me cope too. I decided that after I had recovered I would find forums to deliver talks about the coping strategies I would subsequently write about in my book Life, Happiness & Cancer.
The motivation and excitement generated by my life-after-cancer planning helped me re-gain my zest for life and emotional strength. I began to cope better with the treatments and my recovery progressed well. By Christmas 2004 I was back at home in full remission. My energies returned steadily along with my hair, as I put my plan into action full of enthusiasm for life.
That was over two years ago. I found happiness and fulfilment in my new activities. I wrote and published my book, which became and remains a bestseller in New Zealand. I trained to become a life and career coach and established my own business. I was even discovered (as they say) while promoting my book on television, and became the resident life coach on a morning TV show. And as Christmas 2006 arrived I had delivered my Life, Happiness & Cancer presentation to over 1,500 people at 31 forums.
But my ultimate joy came in November 2006 when I learned my wife Gillian was pregnant with our first child. This too, we planned!
The great English poet WH Auden defined cancer as a foiled creative fire. For me, reigniting my own fire by planning a new lifestyle and career helped me cope with and eventually overcome cancer, and to establish an even better life than before.
Phil Kerslake lives in New Zealand, is a six-time survivor of different lymphomas across four decades and the author of the 2006 book Life, Happiness & Cancer: Survive with Action and Attitude! For more information about Phil, his book and presentations to cancer support conferences visit his website www.lifepaths.co.nz.
When it comes to fighting cancer, many people seem to want to go it alone. For some reason we view the cancer struggle as a private affair and often hold at arms length people who might otherwise have helped us immensely. I know because I was certainly one of those people in 1979 when I was first diagnosed with a lymphoma as a teenager. In 1987 when I was admitted to Wellington hospital with widespread, advanced disease I was still of the mind that the business of beating my cancer was mine alone, making it clear to even my closest friends that they were to leave me alone until I surfaced again, with full health restored.
You can therefore imagine my response when invited to attend cancer support groups back then. I avoided them like the plague. I was clearly a loner when it came to facing my health problems but on top of that I had a terribly negative image of cancer support groups. I had this preconception of mutual moaning forums. I also very uncharitably believed people who joined a group were not strong enough to face their battles alone. I saw myself as stronger than that.
I was intrigued then in the early 1990s when, with an early notion of writing a book on boosting quality of life and maybe even the odds of beating cancer I came across screeds of material lauding cancer support groups for their therapeutic benefits. My reading suggested a safe, positive and unpretentious environment where participants could express their feelings but also simply share the nuances and peculiarities of the cancer experience with people in the same predicament as they.
First and foremost, the literature said, a support group enabled you to express yourself in a safe and truly understanding forum. An important benefit of a group was said to be that it allowed the cancer patient to regain some sense of control in their lives after a period since their diagnosis where they had quite possibly felt out of control in every sense. Amongst other people facing similar challenges life crises are put into better perspective. I knew as a cancer survivor that when diagnosed with the disease you can and often do feel like the only one afflicted.
In 1994 I received another recurrence scare. This time my recurrence was localized and some weeks of radiotherapy cleared the disease. However for me that didnt lessen the usual associated fears, reflections and element of post-treatment depression. I decided to change my coping pattern and took steps to link up with a support group for a period of time. What I experienced reflected all the good things Id read about cancer support groups and more. I found the group to be a strong set of individuals. While we all had our fears about the present and the future, there was a dignity and resilience in each person that I admired greatly.
People didnt complain or whine as I had imagined those years before. Each person brought their own coping approaches to the table and I found that I learned from them. I became more open, more giving and more sharing. I actually believe that I became a better person for the experience. When I had my latest recurrence from late 2003 through all of 2004, I found myself with an entirely different coping style which served me well. This time I was open to all my friends and family in the experience and I know that the reciprocated love, caring and openness made a difference for me. It may have been the difference in my recovery.
Even the most individualistic of us cannot be Islands unto ourselves. Even the strongest and most private of us needs to open ourselves up to others. Being able to share our experiences during a cancer battle helps us achieve a more settled state of mind which underpins our recovery aspirations. Now, as a 47 year old man with 28 years experience with cancer my first advice to the newly diagnosed is to find a cancer support group and allow the collective dignity, strength and humanity found there to steady and ground them for the difficult experience ahead.
Phil Kerslake is a New Zealand six-time cancer survivor, speaker to cancer support forums worldwide and author of the 2006 book: Life, Happiness & Cancer: Survive with Action and Attitude! For more about Phil, his book and speaking services visit his website www.lifepaths.co.nz.
gyn cancer forum, very supportive and informative
This is a patient education brochure. Great resource for explaining CA125 levels and what causes numbers to rise etc... You can go to www.thegcf.org and click on publications and then go to view or print order form. The brochure is FREE for 75 or less.
"The most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and the startling implications for diet, weight loss, and long-term health"
Distilled from more than two decades of firsthand experiences and affirmed by nearly two million readers of his other books, Greg Anderson's message in Cancer and the Lord's Prayer is refreshingly simple. The greatest prayer is a blueprint for the development of the soul, leading to physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. You'll see how the daily discipline of this life-changing prayer can help you leave "dis-ease" behind and discover the extraordinary life you were meant to live.
This 92 page book is not intimidating even for a non-reader.
I joined this website, CSN, a number of months ago, shortly after my daughter was diagnosed with cervical cancer. In the meantime, my mom, who is in remission for a different cancer in each breast, was genetically tested for a mutated cancer gene, and, unfortunately, she tested positive for the BRCA 2 mutated gene. Secondly, my sister, who is 36 was tested and she too came back positive for the BRCA 2 gene. I have resisted this test, but after my daughters diagnosis of cancer, felt it was necessary to do all I could to "try" to do what I could to avoid getting any cancer(s). I was tested and yes, like my mom and sister am also BRCA 2 positive. Then my sweet daughter, with the cervical cancer, which by the way, a year later from her diagnosis on 11/18/05 is"today" at least, cancerfree; she too has the BRCA 2 gene. Incidentally, my mothers mother and her mother both died of breast cancer. So, as you can see it is a very BAD gene in our family. Anyway, this is a very informative website dealing with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and is affiliated with H.Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. I hope it is as helpful for anyone reading this as it has been for me and my family.
Provides mentoring,education,awareness and screenings for Prostate Cancer. For minorities and underserved populations in Austin,Texas.Also advocacy in Austin ,Texas and Washington D.C.
The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is an organization of colon and rectal cancer survivors, their families, caregivers, people genetically predisposed to the disease and the medical community.