Thursday, August 30, 2007

You can live well even while ill

…Eric Kingson, professor of social work and public administration at Syracuse, wrote Lessons from Joan: Living and Loving with Cancer—A Husband’s Story. HA talked to him on another matter, and he offered these tips for living with illness.

…Self-help is good, but don’t blame yourself. Some self-help approaches imply not only that you can “cure” yourself, but that if you don’t, it’s your fault you're worse or even sick in the first place. His wife greatly resented this message! His wife was clear when someone told her she had “failed chemo.” “Chemo failed me!” she said.

…You can control little things—and they matter. You can control your responses…look at the clouds, take time with your loved ones, play with your dog. (HA added ther last--dogs rule.)

…Learn to accept care from those you love. Letting them help is a gift to them. By adulthood, Kingson says, many of us give more than receive. His wife learned to accept help with grace—which brought her closer to her caregivers.

…Kindness matters. A nurse kissed his wife on the forehead before a feared procedure. Kingson and his wife never forgot that.

…Leave a videotape, letter or other message. Kingson lost his Dad when he was 13 and always wished he could find a letter or other message.

…Recognize special opportunites the illness may present. You can learn and love much once you recognize the limitations of life.

…Living in hope trumps fear. Yes, cancer is fearsome. But fearing too much can rob time from fun, even laughter. Kingson and his wife went from hope for remission to hope for a good death.

…From this, they received, he said, more life than they ever could have expected.

…Hmmm. Words to think about.


Eric said...


Just saw your article. Thanks for doing such a good and caring job with it.

Best wishes,


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