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Recently Diagnosed or Relapsed? Stop Looking For a Miracle Cure, and Use Evidence-Based Therapies To Enhance Your Treatment and Prolong Your Remission

Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.

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Mind-body – Stupid Things People Say-

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Mind-Body Therapy for the Long-Term multiple myeloma survivor is More Important than Chemotherapy or Radiation- I Do Want to Be Defined By My Cancer!

In many ways being a multiple myeloma survivor is a mind-body challenge.  How each and every patient feels about him or herself can be a challenge.

Mind-body Therapy and Multiple Myeloma

“I don’t want people to define me by my cancer.” If I’ve heard this statement once, I’ve heard and read it a thousand times.  In a way, denial is a type of mind-body therapy.

As a 25 plus year survivor of an incurable cancer, multiple myeloma, I understand why people feel this way. Your life is about much more than your cancer.

I would like to offer 3 beliefs, 3 mind-body therapies,  that convey a different approach from the statement above. Then I would like to link a cancer survivor’s blog post below.

I am both a MM survivor and MM cancer coach. Experience has taught me that mind-body therapy is central to your cancer care.

I think the three mind-body therapies below help me live with my incurable cancer- day in, day out, year after year… Keep in mind that it took me many years and lots of thinking before I was able to say what I say below.

  • I do want to be defined by my cancer. It took a lot pain and effort to get here.
  • Cancer is not a battle. It’s not a fight. If you need an analogy, consider it a chess match.
  • When oncologists refer to a cancer or a stage of cancer as “incurable” it only means that they haven’t figured out a way to cure it. Meaning the cancer patient must think outside the box.

As for the stupid comments and positive comments below, let me first say that I truly believe that when people say stupid things about your cancer, they mean well. People are desperately looking for something so say. I’ve been thinking about my own survival of an incurable blood cancer and even I don’t know what to say about it.

Thank you Lisa Bonchek Adams

For multiple myeloma coaching, mind-body therapy or information about both conventional and evidence-based non-conventional  therapies, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


The stupid things people say to those with cancer & their families

  • It will all be okay, I just know it.”
  • “Someday you will put this all behind you” (to a stage IV patient)
  • “Don’t worry, things will get better.” (to a stage IV patient)
  • “So when will you be all better?” (to a stage IV patient)
  • “When will your cancer be gone?” (to a stage IV)
  • “But you don’t look sick.”
  • “Lance Armstrong cured his stage IV cancer. You can too.”
  • “But I thought you had chemo and surgery last time. How could it be back? This is why people shouldn’t do chemo.”
  • “Do you think it was a waste to do chemo last time?”
  • “Live in the moment.” “Be strong.” “Fight hard.” “Keep your chin up.” “Don’t give up.” “Attitude is everything.”
  • “We just need a miracle for you.”
  • “If anyone can beat this, you can.”
 
After telling someone I had stage IV: “Wow. I’m going to miss you.”
Click on the headline to read the entire list of stupid mind-body therapy comments.

13 Good Things to Say to Someone with Cancer

First, Check in With Yourself

Hearing about a loved one’s diagnosis can be shocking, heartbreaking, and everything in between. Whether they break the news in person or you hear it through the grapevine, give yourself space to process and acknowledge all emotions.

It’s important to remember that there will be times when your loved one will not want to talk about their diagnosis. Consider taking a moment on your own to learn more about their condition, whether it be talking with a family member or doing some research.

What to Say

If you’re struggling to find the right words, here are 12 kind things to say to someone with cancer:

1. “I’m here for you.”

Show up for your loved ones and remain by their side as they go through this process. And if you say these words, make sure you mean them, and support them through thick and thin.

2. “You are in my thoughts and prayers.”

Hearing that your wellbeing is on someone’s mind can be a great comfort, and the act of praying may be very peaceful for you as well. If you or your loved one aren’t religious, it’s still helpful to hear someone is sending you good vibes daily.

“My BFF has been fighting cancer for two years & I mail a card each week with uplifting sentiments. I remind her how much she means to me & how proud I am of her strength & faith. I always tell her I’m praying for her journey.”

GiGi G.

3. “I’m so sorry you’re going through this.”

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, their life will be significantly changed. Let them know they will always have your sympathy and support no matter what.

4. “Let me help you with…”

This is one of the most helpful things you can say. Instead of asking your loved one how you can help, tell them specifically what you’re able to help with.

Treatment, doctor’s appointments and physical symptoms make it difficult to keep up with day-to-day life. Make sure your loved one knows that everything will be taken care of. Their focus should be on healing, not worrying.

Tip: To help coordinate tasks like meal sign up, picking up meds, and more, the CaringBridge Planner is an all-inclusive scheduling tool to help you request and receive – support with everyday tasks. It’s all there, with a time and place for each task and space for anyone who wants to help.

“Instead of placing the burden of decision on the patient or their caregiver, offer specific options of things to do. For example: may I come over and change the linens, clean out the refrigerator, bring teas for when visitors come, read to the patient while you nap.”

Thea S.

“Prepare meals, help with laundry, cleaning and give gifts to help with things to purchase.”

MaryAnn L.B.

5. Tell a Joke

After all, it’s been said that laughter is the best medicine.

“Chemo nurse says, ‘Well how ya doing today except for the cancer?’ She always made me laugh and we would go on to other funny stories that always lifted the spirits!”

Sharyn H.

“Cancer is no joke, but is still good to hear one that makes you laugh and takes your mind off of what you are going through. Even if it is just for a couple of minutes! Those minutes always mean the world to me.”

Glenn R.

6. “How are you doing?”

Sometimes physical symptoms are one part of the puzzle when it comes to cancer. You can be there for your loved one by asking them how they’re doing not just physically, but emotionally. Don’t be afraid to ask about their mental health, and always lend a shoulder to lean on if they need it.

7. “Any time you need to talk, I’ll listen.”

Having someone there to just listen can be enormously helpful for someone with cancer. They’re experiencing a lot of emotions, and you can provide an outlet for whatever they want to talk about.

8. “What day works for a visit?”

Humans are social creatures. We thrive off personal interactions, especially with those who we feel comfortable around. During this difficult time, it’s crucial to show your support by planning regular visits. This will give your friend or family member a sense of community and help them feel like things are more normal. For example, the CaringBridge Planner helps you coordinate care and organize needs like bringing meals, rides to doctor appointments or taking care of pets.

“Initially, when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – his friends came around and visited. Further into this disease they stopped coming. My wish is that they still continued to come visit, even if he wasn’t interacting with them. My dad still needed the support and love and care of his friends. This would have been real mind-body therapy. I would just go sit with my dad and read to him (even if he snoozed) or talk to him about stuff…even mundane stuff because it helps him to not be alone and to have some sense of “normality” in his illness.”

Susan B.

9. “You are beautiful.”

If undergoing chemotherapy, your loved one may lose their hair during treatment. This is a very emotional process and feeling confident could be a challenge at first.

No matter what physical symptoms your loved one is experiencing, this is an opportunity for you to make sure their inner and outer beauty is recognized.

“I have a friend who was going thru the same journey I was. When we both lost our hair, he would walk up to me and tell me that and give me a kiss on the head. His wife later told me that when he started doing it to her several times a day, it made her feel more comfortable.”

Beth S.C.

A little motivation goes a long way. Pump your loved one up. Make them feel powerful. Whatever words you choose to convey this, they may appreciate the positivity despite a negative situation.

For more ideas of words to say, these encouraging quotes might help to spark some inspiration.

10. “There are so many things to love about you.”

Cancer has a way of feeling all-encompassing. Those affected may feel like their identity revolves around being a cancer patient. That is simply not true.

Your loved one is so much more than someone who has cancer. They could be a dog-lover, artist, parent… Help them focus on all their amazing traits that have nothing to do with their illness.

11. “Did you see the latest episode?”

This isn’t a specific saying—it’s a reminder to talk about something else other than cancer. Cancer patients spend plenty of time discussing treatment, symptoms and prognosis. Your loved one will appreciate those who can find something brighter to talk about. Whatever the topic, getting their mind off their illness will be refreshing.

12. “We can still do our favorite. . .”

From daily walks, playing cards, or watching your favorite show together, you may suggest continuing your regular routines with your loved one. While they enter a new hurdle of their life, you can help by creating some familiarity for them during a period of unknown.

13. “I love you.”

When nothing else feels right, these three simple, powerful words can mean the world. They might be just the thing your loved one needs to push through the day.

“Offer specific help and unending love – just be human and present and do not expect anything in return.”

Lindsay C. R.

 

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