Step 3: Healing— It’s a Mind Game
Are you waiting for me to tell you to eat more fruits and vegetables in order recover from your cancer? Or get to the part where you need to exercise more, eat less, and lead a cancer prevention lifestyle? I’m happy to do that.
Many cancer patients follow my advice and I stand by it. They eat lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise daily, avoid tobacco, and drink alcohol in moderation. However, I firmly believe that cancer affects the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Cancer treatment, and subsequently, cancer recovery, are not just physical journeys. While your diagnosis may have started with a physical symptom, your healing has to start with the mind.
There are several people who have impressed me with their understanding of the mind-body connection and the mental work involved in healing. I recommend Dr. Habib Saedghi’s book The Clarity Cleanse. Dr. Sadeghi believes that a patient’s, “biography becomes their biology,” and that part of a patient’s journey is to look at their past experience to discover why the illness manifested in them. He sees illness as a sign of a deeper wound, that the person has not processed. Essentially, the cancer is a warning sign, showing the person the need to focus on their health.
*Of note, I am not endorsing Dr. Sadeghi’s own decision regarding his treatment course for testicular cancer. I am not aware of the specifics of his case and am basing my recommendation of The Clarity Cleanse on his work regarding the mind-body connection.*
I concur with Dr. Sadeghi that a cancer diagnosis presents us with a choice. “We can choose to see our circumstances as unfortunate, ourselves as broken. Or we can choose to look past the surface damage to the gold beneath”. To find gold, you have to understand your biography. His book advocates for personal clarity. What stories are you telling yourself? What emotions or situations have you not processed that could have caused internal (and subsequently physical) disease?
Patient-focused treatment, and an individualized approach to oncology means Dr. Norleena Gullett is not just treating cancer, she's treating the whole person.