The Loneliest Journey – Part 3

Long Hallway

Attitude means a lot. This is a truth that really should be clear to us all. How we react to things and circumstances not only says a lot about who we are but also goes a long way to determining how those circumstances affect us, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

This is nothing new. Long before Norman Vincent Peale started espousing “positive thinking” the truth of the importance of a good attitude was known. Sometime around three thousand years ago, Solomon wrote “A merry heart does good, like medicine” and “Pleasant words are like flowing honey, sweet to the taste and healing to the bones.”

The implication, at least to me, is that a joyful attitude, regardless of the circumstances, is vitally important to every part of your being and especially to your physical health.

The opposite is also true. Through my years in family practice I have encountered a number of patients whose anger and bitterness was literally eating them up inside. Some were discontent and disappointed with life in general. Some had suffered loss and tragedy and had become stuck in a decades long trap of unforgiveness and grief. Others simply could not believe that everything was all right and remained convinced some awful disease was stalking them. All of them were so focused on the past with its loss and failure or on a threatening and dismal future that they could not enjoy the present.

Attitude does not just affect yourself, it affects those around you. The Bible says it would be better to live on the corner of the roof than it would be to live with a bitter person. It is not only more enjoyable and pleasant to be around people who are upbeat and happy, it is also healthier.

In my time, I have known and worked with many nurses. The vast majority of been professional, capable and caring. There have been those who were always cheerful and others who were always grumpy. I have never encountered a group of nurses with such a consistently positive attitude as I have met at the cancer clinic.

I have found the nurses at the Allan Blair Cancer Center to be unfailingly friendly, caring and happy. Joyful even. One might think that working with cancer patients day after day might drag you down but it seems to have done the opposite. Maybe only those nurses who are by nature joyful can work in such an environment. Or maybe they have learned the value for themselves and their patients of maintaining a positive attitude. Regardless, I am grateful.

Getting chemotherapy is not fun. I have been very blessed to have had a minimum of side effects thus far, (other than the hair loss), but the whole experience is definitely made more bearable by the superb care rendered by the nursing staff at the center.

Thank you all.

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2 Responses to The Loneliest Journey – Part 3

  1. *former Polio victim* says:

    Dr. D. ~ I was shocked when I heard of your recent [this summer til now] trials.
    I hope and pray God brings your through, *well*.
    Thank you for the God fearing person you are. 🙂
    Hope you haven’t run out of Sudoko. :).
    God bless you and your family.

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