Monday, February 16, 2015

Answering a Question is Not Always Easy

Last week I was busy co-moderating and participating in the #gyncsm  chat on Care Beyond Medical Care. In response to the topic questions "What things do you find helpful in reducing stress? " I tweeted :

 The tweets were coming at me pretty quick so it was not until I was reading through the transcript to put together the resources for the #gyncsm blog did I realized one of the participants had asked me what my mantra was.

I have been pondering whether or not to respond to the question on twitter or here in a post. I realize that many things that are shared on social media may be ridiculed, made fun of and insulted. I've seen enough of that in the years I have been blogging and tweeting. So I have hesitated sharing my mantra.

When discussing the tools patients use to get themselves through some pretty debilitating surgeries,  chemotherapy or radiations treatments that go along with a cancer diagnosis there is seldom a mention of faith or religion or prayer or even spirituality. There is some research on faith/ spirituality  and the role it might play in the life of a person diagnosed with cancer. See sources below.

When people ask me what got me through my diagnosis and treatment I respond " My family, faith, good medicine, and good doctors ". Usually the discussion will then lean toward the clinical trial I was on or where I was treated.Very few people have asked me what about my faith had helped me. After getting that question on Twitter I thought it may just be time to share some of my thoughts. 

Let's begin with my mantra which is:

"With God All Things Are Possible". 

I can't say how often I have repeated the phrase over the past 10 years but believe me I have used it very,very frequently.

My faith and prayer helped me get through two surgeries and 16 chemotherapy treatments. When I couldn't sleep at night and I was pacing the floor I would say the Rosary and meditate on the mysteries. By the time I was done I was calmer and ready to go to sleep. I carried a mini rosary with me to every chemo treatment. I prayed to Saint Pope John Paul II and still carry a rosary in my pocket book that was blessed by Saint Pope John Paul II when he came to NJ.

Most recently I used the phrase when I went for a CT scan. As I waited for the nurse to find a vein for the IV contrast, I repeated the phrase to myself over and over. Then again as my body entered the donut-shaped machine and the voice said" Take a deep breath and hold it" I said the phrase again.

So faith has played a role in my life and in my journey with cancer. Have others had their faith or spirituality help them get through the rough times?

Every Day is a Blessing!


Importance of Faith on Medical Decisions Regarding Cancer Care : 

In God and CAM we trust. Religious faith and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in a nationwide cohort of women treated for early breast cancer

Spirituality in the cancer trajectory


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