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You Are Not Alone A Practical Guide for Maintaining Your Quality of Life While Living with Cancer You're Not Alone

IV. Conclusion

"... serious illness is a reminder that life is not infinite. Those who respond creatively to a life-threatening illness hear it as a wake-up call, a reminder of how time is short and life is precious. They do what matters most while they can, experience the joys of living and loving, and let the people around them know how much they are loved and appreciated.

To feel embedded in a network of caring at a time of serious illness is deeply reassuring. The will to live is not the denial of death. Rather, it is the intensification of life experience which comes when you realize how finite life is."
David Spiegel, MD

Health professionals today believe that a combination of medical therapy and supportive care offers the best chance to maintain a patient's quality of life. Such comprehensive care addresses a wide range of needs, from relief of the physical symptoms of cancer and cancer therapy to satisfying the craving for intellectual, creative, and spiritual sustenance. Satisfaction of these diverse needs demonstrates the powerful connection between mind and body.

Obtaining relief from pain, nausea, or fatigue, for example, restores a sense of calm. Getting sufficient sleep, appropriate exercise, and good nutrition are energizing. Discussing one's negative feelings candidly with others can diminish their effect. Learning to control blood pressure and heart rate through such means as biofeedback or self-hypnosis can foster a sense of personal power. Exploring one's creative potential can lead to joy and transcendence.

Cancer - because it can have an impact on every aspect of your life, from your faith and the quality of your relationships to your physical being and your career is an assault on your life. Yet, as we have seen with so many of our patients, it need not destroy the quality of your life.

Remember, You're Not Alone !
Mastery of courage is the challenge.
Quality of Life is the goal!
Ernest H. Rosenbaum, MD

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