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Conquer Cancer Health News
Cancer, just the name evokes fear,

for we have all known a family member or friend who has had to face this fight. Working as a registered nurse for the past 26 years I have seen my share of family, friends and patients face this diagnosis. For the past 6 years I have worked exclusively as a certified chemotherapy nurse, taking an active fight against a might enemy. I have talked extensively with patients regarding their disease process, their fears and their attitudes. It is my hope to pass on to you the message I try to pass along each day to my patients and their families. That message is that the treatment of any disease must be viewed as a dual process. That process being systemized medicine, the other being the activation of the body's own healing system. Attitude is the name of the game!

We've all heard or read about miracles, patient's who have recovered from supposedly irreversible illnesses, including neurological, cardiac and even cancers. In research and interviews made with these patients it was found that these patients were not content to be passive participants in their own illnesses. Most of these patients were told at the time of diagnosis, that the chances of recovery were slim. Unfortunately, a significant number of these patients experienced a severe downturn following their diagnosis. Many suffered from severe depression and panic attacks, certainly not an uncommon reaction to a serious disease. Many cancer patients report difficulty sleeping. In my experience as a nurse, we commonly see nighttime as difficult on ill patients, mostly because the distraction of the world around us is gone. Pain is increased both physically and mentally. I have heard patient's talk of bedtime as their biggest fear, "the nights are dark and long", " there is just too much time to think".

Brain research is now turning up evidence that attitudes of defeat or panic constrict the blood vessels and create emotional stresses that have a debilitating effect on the endocrine and immune systems. Attitudes of confidence and determination are shown to activate good and therapeutic secretions in the brain. Current medical research clearly shows that the healing system is connected to the belief system, that attitudes play a vital part in the recovery process.

In research done on patients who have survived these illnesses it was found they made a conscious decision to reject the inevitable. They were determined not to rely exclusively on treatment provided by others, but to take an active part in the recovery process. This certainly is not to say you should disregard your physician, and the life saving medical advances we now see as effective tools in fighting these diseases. But combine the best medical science has to offer with attitude. I have heard cancer survivors say that "Cancer actually saved my life!!" it was a wake up call to find the importance of each day. To use a worn out phrase "wake up and smell the roses" love yourself, your family. Take each day on this earth and live it as though it were your last. For not one of us knows, regardless of any diagnosis how long we will be here. Take time each day to treat your emotional well being. Many communities offer medication or stress reduction seminars or groups. Check the adult education bulletins in your town or with your local Cancer Society. It is important to know that a powerful positive mental attitude will not cure every disease or illness, but along with medical research, my personal experience has shown that those patients with positive attitudes do much better. Recognize the power you have and use it as a vital element on the road to recovery.

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