A man goes to his doctor for a complete checkup. He hasn’t been feeling well and wants to find out if he’s ill. After the checkup the doctor comes out with the results of the examination.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news. You’re dying and you don’t have much time,” the doctor says.
“Oh no, that’s terrible. How long have I got?” the man asks.
“10…” says the doctor.
“10? 10 what? Months? Weeks? What?!” he asks desperately.
I do love black humour, but why do some people in the medical profession believe anyone facing the shock of a cancer diagnosis must be in complete denial and in urgent need of a nice little chat about death?
Personally I would have thought this is the very time you could do with a bit of gentle brain reconditioning to build up your mental strength, but there appears a rush to unload both barrels on you faster than quick draw McGraw with the occasional book recommendation for your children on losing a parent lobbed in to lighten the mood!
Facing your demons is in my opinion a bogus concept which causes even more anxiety than the hard working journalists from the Daily Mail!
Once upon a time I enjoyed the perverse pleasure to be had from a misery memoir, but these days I crave informed positivity and happy news even more than I crave the mute button on the nickelodeon channel, or a solid chocolate KitKat.
My own experience, which still stains my memory, was from the Ian Rennie nurses who introduced themselves with a motivational “Hi we are from the end of life and terminal care team”. Friends have also reported priceless gems such as “So I hear you want to talk about your death” to “If you pay into a pension, I wouldn’t bother to continue if I were you”. Now should you manage to get over this punch in the gut (possibly by holding your brain under a running hot water tap and scrubbing thoroughly for several months), there is amazing support, care and positivity out there and I can’t fault the dedication. It just seems a shame that we have to go through this ritual first, rather like an initiation into a street gang!
Surely with the amount of evidence available on the effect of meditation, visualisation and keeping a positive outlook, there should be more support focused here? I am sure I am not alone in calling for more guidance or training for the medical profession on giving life changing news like this?
Anyway, I have just about recovered my composure and am doing well thanks to all the support and medical attention I have received and I hope the same can be said for any newcomers into the club. The joys of Chemo cycle 7 await on Monday morning so I will be getting friendly with my bed again for a few days, after which I need to get on with some sculpting or pottery to keep myself busy and away from the pull of the virtual world and back into the real one!
Thanks to everyone for keeping me positive and healthy!