Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Pages 27 - 30

‘Cancer – 50 Essential Things to Do’ is a book by Greg Anderson which I used as a guide to journal what I needed to work through in the immediate aftermath of being diagnosed with Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer in February, 2006. I’m broken down and I need the paths of others who have gone before me. I need them to lead me across the water and to tell me how best to save myself.

Quotes from the book will be in italics.

Find A Positive Support Group (28):

Cancer patients who regularly attend support group meetings live longer than those who do not.

In a study of patients with advanced breast cancer, those who attended a weekly two hour support group session had a life expectancy twice that of non-attendees (Standford University).

Two types of support groups are informational and psychosocial.

Psychosocial support groups are more critical to survival.

Look for groups that take a stance of hope without denying the reality of the illness.

You want to encourage personal growth, not have a pity party.

Read And Study These Books (29):

Knowledge is power. Educate yourself!

Wahid said ‘you cannot be in denial about your health.’

Make sure you read books that are current; as changes to cancer treatments and outcomes change every day.

Discover Your Beliefs (30):

Cancer, no matter how advanced, may or may not mean death.

*A wide range of treatments do exist. The difficulties in recovery are far outweighed by the benefits.

Your response to a problem is more powerful than the problem itself.

The fact is, there are long-term survivors of every type of cancer, including many patients who have been told by their doctors that there was no hope.

When I think of my cancer diagnosis, my thought is let’s get started on my treatment and get rid of the cancer from my body.

I believe my cancer treatment is going to be successful and that no matter what the treatment is, it will be more than doable.

The one thing I believe would best help me is conventional treatment and a positive attitude.

Reframe Your Cancer (31):

Cancer is not a threat, it is a challenge.

Your mind and spirit have cancer only if you allow it to.

What belief about cancer do you want to change? That it can spread faster than my treatment can get to it.

What does holding this belief currently gain you? Absolutely nothing.

How might you change that belief and view cancer as a positive challenge? I can change that belief by remembering that my medical team is constantly doing tests and knows exactly where my cancer is and is giving me the best treatment to eradicate the cancer. I have the best minds and the best of medicine at my disposal.

Writing this down and bringing it out in the open has already helped me. My belief in my treatment is strong.

*My experience of the illness will be largely determined by the way I think. Too true!

The way I think is something I can choose.


Angela Recada said...

You are incredible.

I love you.


yoborobo said...

Renee - what a marvel you are. You think things through, make informed decisions, proceed along a path, and you do it with humor, and grace, and compassion. I am thinking that maybe, just maybe you are related to Mr. Spock. Except that you are such a warm and funny person. And I'm sure your ears are far more attractive than his. :) Love to you, Renee, of the strong spirit. xox Pam

Marion said...

I salute you for your courage, your faith and your determination in the face of adversity. You inspire us all. You're my hero. Love and Blessings---

Wendy said...

Thinking positive thoughts with you, dear friend.
Love and Light,

Baino said...

Well if anyone can beat it you can. Incredible strength you have and a perfect example of the 'power' of positive thinking.I wish I was so positive, I really do.

Deborah said...

Renee, you are such an inspiration. You with cancer believe that you can chose how you think, so me without, can certainly choose a good attitude. You lift all of us up, when it should be the other way. What a blessing you are to the world. Truly a blessing. Sending you all my love, Deborah

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

As you help yourself, you are helping so many others. Such an important message about perception and attitude - that is always in our control. Good on you! Sending you love and light . . .

soulbrush said...

you touch me so deeply renee, somewhere in the furthest corners of my heart and soul....
here is judy's web:

lakeviewer said...

Renee, you have touched so many lives, have been inspirational to many whose lives have been changed by your courage and your insightful words and pictures.

May their blessings touch you and help you.

My love flies over the northern skies and touches you too.

Manon Doyle said...

When I'm feeling down I think of you Renee.... honest to god! You have lifted my spirits so many times I can't even tell you!


Sonia ;) said...


I know your positive and honest...So Im kicking you in the ass anyway...Why ? Because I love you....Now get up and dance to Jeremiah was a bull frog....

(_/_) (_|_) (_\_)...Shake it ..Shake it goooooood......

Dear Friend.....You always encourage me, tell me the truth and shake me up...Lets shake it ..Its another day!!!!

Love ya Lovey xoxox S

Sarah said...

Hi Renee,
There are so many positives in this section of your book which are all really encouraging. It must be so easy for a support group to turn into a 'pity party' but I bet you would bring it back to the point.
Positively yours,
Sarah xx

secret agent woman said...

Support is key, I really believe that.

I had a patient today who was sent for an ultrasound and mammogram for breast pain, both negative so her family doc is treating her with antibiotics for a presumed bacterial infection. I quizzed her about her symptoms, which included some shooting pains and a visibly enlarged breast. Then urged her to ask her doctor if she is aware of IBC. After the third time I said it, she seemed to realize I was serious and agreed to follow-up on that. I sure hope it's not, but I hated the idea that she might be wasting time with antibiotics. Anyway, I have you to thank for even making me aware to ask about it.

kathy hare said...

Thankyou for your kind words Renee.. you really are a very special person..

love you

Lori ann said...

Dear Renee,

I never know what to say like everyone else. I wish I could take you out in our kayak everyday and show you so many beautiful things, starfish and tidepools, you know oceany things.

I like the line best about your mind and spirit not having cancer, only if you allow it. Which will NEVER happen. Your amazing.


Anonymous said...

YOU are awesome! I have found in life in general many items you talk of and grapple with are common in everyday life. In cancer or any terminal or chronic illness the thinking must be realistic yet positive! Your doing your part... i'll continue to do mine... pray for a cure for cancer.

Pattee said...

Dear Renee
This book and your thoughts on the pages of these books gives me hope!

I love what Sonia said... shake it up... and you shake it up for me too : ) We 3 can shake whatever we got..hmm that's not a pretty sight... well not for me anyway : )

I love your open honesty to everything.
I love you...

The picture you posted to this blog looked like reality to me... and most of the ship is above water and that means to me, hope, living, trusting it will will pulled to ground. Seeing love and support from all those around you

Much love my friend~pattee

nollyposh said...


Linda Sue said...

You are a much better woman than I- a much better human! I admire your strength and honesty and when you feel like shite you are not faking polyanna attitude- LOVE you, you inspire me so much all the time!

Daria said...

Sounds like an amazing book ...

Hope you are doing well and feeling well.

Ribbon said...

Hi Renee :-)
I just popped over to see if there was anything I could nick!
Nah just kidding...

Absolutely! The way you think is the way you are.... illness or not.
The mind has a direct link to the spirit and the spirit can't sore when the mind attempts to drag it down.
I think negative emotions have there place. Without them we wouldn't know what positive is.

In a mature state negative emotions such as fear can protect us as opposed to limit us.
It's only when they're in an immature state that they can do us in.

A couple of guys who teach this stuff really well are a zen master by the name of Genpo Roshi and a generous man named Bill Harris.
They run seminars "Big mind Big Heart"

Well I had better shut up now and move on as I've just about written a whole post. Certainly more than I write on my own blog.

xoxo best wishes always
Ribbon :-)

~ ennui ~ said...

For my sister and the ourselves, Gildas Club was a huge help.

Stay positive...you are an amazing woman indeed.

Sue said...

Your response to a problem is more powerful than the problem itself.

How true! Renee, just by your posts here, I can tell that you pretty darn powerful in your response to this 'problem'. You rock lady!


Marie S said...

Hello Darling!
I love when you post these. It is always such a reality check for me.
Thank you!
Love and huge hugs.

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Renee,

You are such a brave and incredible Lady.

I see you have the Bella Sinclair Award ~ I visited someone else who had just been awarded that.
I am thinking of dear Bella and her daughters, so much.

Sending my love, hugs & positive vibes to you Renee.

Carolyn xo

Elizabeth said...

I can learn a lot about my views toward epilepsy and the treatments for it through reading your inspiring words. Thank you.

Rob-bear said...

Wonderful words of wisdom and experience, Renee. Thank you for sharing them.

Blessings, from the province to the west.

Mariana Soffer said...

Completely agree with your post I liked when you said
"Look for groups that take a stance of hope without denying the reality of the illness." In my words that would be my life motto "accept but dont resign yourself to the loss"
It is a little related to my post about placebos hope and all that, txs dude.

A Cuban In London said...

Wahid is right. You cannot deny what's happening even if it hurts. That it is a man saying it makes it even more important. I have often found that men, including me, are in complete denial to talk about problems. That's one of the reasons why prostate cancer does not get as much publicity as other types.

You've got a true fighting soul. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Woman in a Window said...

Spirit indefatigable! As it should be with us all.

My husband told me of a strange premonition he had when we met 13 years ago. He's never let it out but has believed it quietly. Now he believes we have just changed the course of history. (Lots of side story.) He's always thought I would die at 46 from breast cancer. I let it out here, not as premonition, but as airing a box that was clamped shut for too long. Let it blow away, with yours too, and leave us many many years.

Weird, eh?

Anonymous said...

Renee, I think these types of posts are very helpful. Although I don't know what it's like to live through cancer of my own, many of the suggestions from the book you quote could be applied to other types of "cancer", like addictions, sterotypes or self-esteem issues. Like cancer, you can't let these things consume you. You always have the power to rise above them if you recognize that they don't define you.

Hope all is well with you.


Carol Lawecki said...

You are amazing and such an inspiration! xoxoxo

Deanna said...

The way I think is something I can choose.

Boy, did I need to hear those words...

Thanks Renee...

Meghann LittleStudio said...

You go Renee! We are here every day to love and support you. You are strong, you are enduring, and you are fabulous :)
I hope you have a good day today,
Hugs and prayers,
Meg xoxo

Robin said...

A great post as always....

I'm just stopping by to root you on....and leave my ever and always...
Have a most beautiful day.

Sarah said...

So many of these things apply to other places in our lives!! What a wonderful book!! Hope your day is going well hon!!!You amaze me!!
I'm soooo excited about Elizabeth's treat!! Whoo hoo!! Thanks for telling me!!
Am feeling almost back to normal!! What ever normal is - lol!Happy dance!
Love ya, Sarah

Deborah said...

Hello my love. Where are you? Off doing pleasant or unpleasant things. You are in every prayer I whisper. Sending you all my love, Deb

Anonymous said...

You go girl! Renee I am so proud of you. How open you are and how much strength of character you muster up.
I love you so much Renee, your such a fantastic lady!

kj said...

xoxox, be back after a little bit of travelin'

oh, and what angela recada said: me too.

Jen said...

Renee, I just love you to pieces!

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

I think I'd like to see you on Oprah :) You've touched SO many here in blogland, just think what strength and courage you could share with many more!
I just started blogging in January, so maybe this has already been addressed, but seriously, has Oprah ever done a show on IBC? If not, she SHOULD and i want you right there next to her on that stage! :)
Oh, and if she asks if you'd like to bring a friend, YEs, YES, of course I'll join you!♥♥♥
Love, Darla

Ces said...

Hello Love, I have been here several times but have no energy to comment because I have been blown away by the bug. I am slowly getting up but it's a struggle. You put me to shame. There you are overcoming great adversoty and all I had was a litlle infection and I was knocked out for five days. The Bella says hello to you. She's been busy running around as you can imagine. She asked how you are doing. Have a great day love and thanks. Hey, did you read my dream post? It is eerie!

A Palmer said...

Attitude, attitude, attitude! You've got it. I've given you an award, Renee if you'd like to pick it up at my site. Hugs and more hugs.


Chrisy said...

Thank you for giving us a peek into your journals...there's always a little bit of wisdom that I can use...a thought that touches something in me...

Clarity said...

Renee, thank you for your lovely words and visit.

You know you are strong and that you can FIGHT for your right to be.

Please be strong and I shall pray for you and root for you. This is the best time to exist, with not only the advancements and care available, but because of the love that surrounds you.

Your Friend, x

Diana Evans said...

oh you are so incredible Renee!!! We all love you dearly!!! I was just looking at a post about you on Manon's blog...beautiful!!! you are a window to all of us!!! bright and always open for a fresh look on life...

Bless you !!!


rochambeau said...

Dearest Lovely, Wise, Wonderful Renee,
Your response to a problem is more powerful than the problem itself.
Thank you for these words, as they are applicable to my life too!
I see you surrounded in *Light* & will go surround you some more now!


Pattee said...

Hi Renee my dear friend,

We made it to Denver! Hot dry dusty town... (99o)

Still haven't slept since that email I sent you this morning.

How was the spa?

I can't use my email but can check my blog.

I think I'm finally brain dead...
smushed brain...

I'll write to you tomorrow when *crossing fingers* will be more rested.

Much love ~
and thoughts~

SILVER said...

You know what? You've got yourself on a very good start with the right footing coupled with positive and loving support, treatments and faith in the One who determines it all- who's greater than Cancer or anything else..we'll go in and win this one.


Kate James said...

If Greg Anderson ever hears about the support network you've created he'll be completely gobsmacked!!

And I'm guessing you're doing at least ten times more than two hours per week :)

With lots of love xxx

Yvonne Anderson said...

You can choose from a place of power every time Renee.

I have faith in the power of our minds. We can create and destroy.

We can choose our response and reaction to everything from a place of inner wisdom.

Be safe...xx

Ces said...

I mean adversity.

Ces said...

Hi Sweet! I am in bed today resting but feeling much better. I was supposed to go to work today, well I'll try again tomorrow. I have forgotten what my office looks like and Oliver, my plant may be dying or dead if I don't get back tomorrow.

You know what? I think I'll call the secretary to take him out and run him under the faucet. Thanks!

Tessa said...

Beautiful, intelligent and brave. You know, Renee, birds rise highest against the wind, not with it. I know that you rise against the wind. And even when you're tired, the love of your family and friends will lift you higher against that fierce wind.

marianne said...

can't imagine what it is to live with a challenge like that!
I know already you are very brave and have a possitive attitude, too bad this disease seems so fast.....

Thanks for your visit on my birthday!


BT said...

I find these post so interesting Renee, they lift my heart in an odd way. We all believe you will beat this thing you know. All the love goes to you.