Goodness from adversity

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A personal reflection on some of the positive things that can come from dealing with cancer

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Goodness from adversity

  1. 1. GOODNESS OUT OF ADVERSITYSOME POSITIVE BENEFITSOF HAVING TO DEAL WITH CANCER Richard Tredennick-Titchen – March 2012 - Istanbul
  2. 2. GOODNESS COMES OUT OF ADVERSITY• We have all heard the phrases “Every cloud has a silver lining” or “Goodness comes out of adversity”, but until something negative happens to us, we never know if there is any truth in the phrases• Nine months ago I was diagnosed with cancer, and I am living testament to the truth that “Goodness can come out of adversity”
  3. 3. GOODNESS COMES OUT OF ADVERSITY• This is my story, but I believe that everyone in a similar situation can experience some of the same „goodnesses‟ or „blessings‟ if they open themselves to them
  4. 4. MY HEALTH SITUATION• I have had two major operations for oral cancer on my tongue & lower mouth, which makes my kneck & lips look a bit strange• The cancer has now spread to my lungs• I cannot eat solids, or speak clearly, but I can do most other things• Despite this, I am living as full a life as possible, by simply trying to put worry aside ... Well most of the time
  5. 5. MY PARTNER• Müge, my wife is the most important person in my life• We married on a romantic beach in Turkey 6 years ago• We have always had a wonderful relationship, but my illness has drawn us even closer together
  6. 6. MY FAMILY• I only have two younger brothers, who both have families• News of my illness, prompted one of my brothers to re-establish contact with me after a gap of 10 years
  7. 7. MY WIFE’S FAMILY• I do not have any family in Turkey• But, Müge’s parents & family have helped to look after me in the house, and visited me in hospital• And, they have also supported Müge, as my primary carer
  8. 8. MY CLOSEST FRIENDS• My closest friends have been fantastic• They have been there for me every step of the way• What a treasure true friendship is ... And it lasts for ever
  9. 9. MY CIRCLE OF FRIENDS• Thanks to facebook, I recieved messages of encouragement from over 300 of my friends• This outpouring of support has raised my morale & positive thinking enormously• It has reconnected me to friends that I have not seen or heard from in years ... very exciting & emotional
  10. 10. MY DOCTORS & NURSES• My doctors & nurses have not only provided me with the best medical services• But, they have also made every effort to give me the best quality of life in my present health situation
  11. 11. MUGE’S CLOSEST FRIENDS• In circumstances such as mine, I realise that the one closest to me – Müge - is suffering more than me• But, thanks to the constant support of her closest friends, she has been given the strength to look after both herself & me• I am eternally grateful to Aslı, Esra & Esra
  12. 12. MUGE’S FRIENDS/MY FRIENDS• Close friends Müge, Aslı, Esra & Esra, have known each other for ever• They have always been important to me, but since my illness, they have been there for me every day• So I now consider them not just „Müge‟s friends, but „my‟ friends too ... A real honour & privelege
  13. 13. TAKING CONTROL• Your illness does not have to control you• You can take control and take active steps to fight the cancer• I have employed self- hypnosis, meditation, exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy, diet & spirituality in my life survival plan
  14. 14. TAKING CONTROL• You may not be in control of your every aspect of your illness, but you can and should be in control of your care• It is your body & your life• You can discuss your treatment programme, and ask to what extent the side effects will effect the quality of your remaining life• Then make your decisions
  15. 15. THE POWER OF THE MIND• It is now becoming more widely accepted in medical science, that the mind has enormous power over the body• We know that stress & anxiety can cause physical illness• Whereas positive thought can greatly assist the physical healing process• It works for me
  16. 16. REFLECTING ON THE PAST, BUTCONCENTRATING ON THE PRESENT & FUTURE• It is natural to look back over our lives at this time• But, we cannot change the past• We can however influence the present & help shape the future• This is a real challenge & gift to be exploited
  17. 17. WHAT IS IMPORTANT• Because cancer is not always curable, it has encouraged me to check that I am only dealing with those matters in life that are important to me• First, my closest relationships• Second, my life’s values• Third, my spirituality• LOVE IS MY LIFE FORCE
  18. 18. WHAT IS IMPORTANT• To think out of the box & experience new things• To live every moment to the full – with love & joy• To laugh a much as possible – the best tonic• To be grateful for all the gifts that life has bestowed on me
  19. 19. WHAT IS NOT IMPORTANT• Looking back & regretting• Feeling self-pity• Letting fear dominate your daily life• Judging yourself & others• Worrying about what other people think of you• Being preoccupied with dying
  20. 20. BUT BE REALISTIC• However positive and optimistic you may be, there will be times when you simply feel very ill, or even depressed• This is normal• Do not be de-motivated, but seek help from a psychologist or healthcare professional
  21. 21. FIND & EXPLOIT HOPE• Hope means finding meaning in life, whether that life will last five more days, five more months or five years
  22. 22. SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF• Don’t be afraid to ask to be alone. We need time to be by ourselves• Sometimes family and friends may feel driven to fill your every waking moment with activities• Perhaps they are trying to “take your mind off your situation”• But they may also be doing the same thing for themselves• My wife & friends encourage me to spend some time alone, for which I am grateful
  23. 23. LISTEN TO YOURSELF• Be your own counsel. No one, including your physician, religious counselor, spouse, or friends can understand 100% what you want and need• You also need time to explore your understand & explore your real needs
  24. 24. BE AS REALISTIC AS POSSIBLE• I believe that true “self- knowledge” is the starting point for every thing we do in life• But, most people shy away from examining themselves• It is all about knowing “who we are”, rather than “what we are”• Learning “who we are”, can be an exciting road to travel
  25. 25. WHO DO YOU REALLY TRUST• Search for and then trust in a single individual. This does not mean you should not listen to all health professionals and follow reasonable directions and advice. But focus on one individual as the final helper. This normally will be the specialist physician in charge of your case• Prof.Dr. Günter Hafız is the guy I really trust ... Lucky me
  26. 26. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PALLIATIVE CARE• Palliative care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients, particularly from pain• Palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life• This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness
  27. 27. PALLIATIVE CARE• Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patients life
  28. 28. PALLIATIVE CARE• This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness
  29. 29. A FAMOUS QUOTE TO END ON“Seeing death as the end of life, is likeseeing the horizon as the end of the ocean” David Searls Richard Tredennick-Titchen – March 2012 – American Hospital Istanbul

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