Are you being responsible towards your recovery?

You always have a choice

You always have a choice

Ask yourself this loaded question: Do you feel responsible for getting cancer? Please note, there is no right or wrong answer.

I have asked this question of patients for years. I either get a very puzzled look, a shocked look suggesting “how dare I ask them that question!” or I receive a straight forward answer of “Yes!” followed with an elaborate explanation of how they felt responsible.

Often I have heard patients say they have never been sick before in their lives.

Some have told me they were asked by friends, “What did you do to cause cancer?” One woman said she was speechless for a moment and replied with “I didn’t do anything. Cancer just happens.”

Some patients who admitted they feel responsible for their cancer diagnosis admit to being workaholics, while others admit to holding extreme anger and resentment. The reasons for being responsible have come in many different forms.

Many authors, some cancer survivors themselves, attribute cancer to our beings being unable to handle stressful situations well. In the years working at the oncology practice, I met thousands of patients. I found that each and every one of them would disclose an event or a person behind the event that created a stressful scenario for them. Some patients held on to their stressful event/person as a quiet secret. These patients took time to feel comfortable to open up about the event or the person. Invariably, with time and patience, these patients would come forward and share their troubling event.

I have also observed patients who, while in treatment for cancer, face a marital separation and divorce. It is understood that even though marital vows often include “until death do us part”, some folks are simply not equipped to care for another being stricken with an illness. I cannot help but wonder if a weakness in a marriage is not felt on a cellular level thus creating a predisposition for illness.

My observations have shown me that those who have accepted the dismantling of their marriage, no mater how long they were married or if children were involved, those who accepted the divorce and have moved forward with their lives, past their cancer diagnosis and treatment, are those who have done remarkably well. These folks are far outliving their respective cancer statistics.

I have had the perfect front row seat observing the lives of many cancer patients. My observations and conclusions are mine alone. However, my conclusions are supported by famous best-selling authors like Dr. O. Carl Simonton, Stephanie Matthews-Simonton and James L. Creighton and by authors such as Louise Hay, Shivani Goodman, Ed.D., Norman Cousins and Caroline Myss, Ph.D. Each has written about the power of the spirit within us. We can respect the power our emotions had towards  contributing to the onset of cancer. Through our engagement with ourselves we can cultivate our emotions to work towards our recovery.

Are you responsible for having cancer? Are you being responsible towards your recovery?