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« Faith in Science | Main | Miscues »

July 04, 2009


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Ronni Gordon

Sometimes that freedom from fear comes along in a wave of calm that feels almost out of my control. It is as though my brain has had enough worrying and really needs a break. I guess the next step is willing it to take a back seat when that fear comes over you. Sometimes it's pretty hard to accept the fear but to not dwell on it.

By the way I liked your idea about how to stop jumping to big conclusions, for example by saying, "I need platelets," and stopping there, rather than catastrophizing about what that might mean, as in "I need platelets, and now I'm really cooked and I'm going to relapse and...bla bla bla." So thanks for that.

Wendy S. Harpham, M.D.

Dear Ronni,

I like your image of a wave of calm that comes naturally and causes fear to recede spontaneously. And I like your notion that the next step is learning how to will that wave to come and push fear to the back seat.

I imagine there are some people for whom Healthy Survivorship comes naturally, just as there are some people who pick up a tennis racket and start out playing better than I was at my best. For most people, including me, becoming a Healthy Survivor involves (1) learning how to do the things that help us get good care and live as fully as possible and then (2) practicing, practicing, practicing, until it comes more naturally.

Ronnie, I suspect I'm learning as much from you and your blog as you are learning from me.

With hope, Wendy

Kairol Rosenthal

When I think about freedom from fear, cancer, and 4th of July, all I can think of is the lack of freedom so many Americans with cancer face not knowing if they will have to sell their house and lose their savings in order to pay for their care.

I think about how lucky we are in this country to have the freedom to vote for our leaders and how important it is that they follow the wishes of 72% of Americans who want the public option, and who live in the fear, or reality of, economic healthcare hell.

blog -

Wendy S. Harpham, M.D.


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