Author: Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg
You have Cancer! Yes, this is scary, when we hear the pronouncement. Many of us will immediately think about some of our relatives, friends and celebrities that have gradually deteriorated and died of this dreadful disease.
According to a recent report for the President's Cancer Panel- a three-person panel reporting to the U.S. president on the National Cancer Program, approximately forty-one percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime and about 21 percent will die from cancer. Are we going to be one of these statistics?
On the other hand, all is not gloom and doom. There are millions of cancer survivors using their cancer experiences as opportunities for creative self-transformation into “better persons” or as a motivation to face all kinds of challenges and goals. One of these survivors is Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg, an educator for over fifty-one years, who has authored thirteen non-fiction books and who is an eight year cancer survivor.
In her most recent tome, A Cluster of Cancers: A Simple Coping Guide for Patients Dr. Meinberg provides several tools to deal with the stormy waters of cancer and she delivers the ever-needed reminder that a diagnosis of cancer does not automatically lead to a death sentence.
Just by looking at the fifty-one pages of references that appear at the back of the book, you are assured that Dr. Meinberg has done her homework. And with her vast amount of research she invites her readers to consider a cancer diagnosis from a different perspective and look at your situation in a fresh and different way. As she states: “See your cancer as a creative challenge, not a burden. Place your personal spin on it, by dealing with your lifestyle issues in your own way.”
Her thirty-two short essays begin with affirmations with such headings as: self care, mind/emotions, self-talk, decide/declare, belief, visualizations, exercise/movements, rest/relaxation, sleep/naps, nutrition, stress management, prayer, humor, gratitude, and relationships. Every one of the essays provide something rich and satisfying helping cancer patients cope with the disease. After all, knowledge is power and the more you know about your cancer, the more you will understand it thus making it less frightening.
For example, when we look at the essay entitled Attitude, which begins with a quotation from Winston Churchill, Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference, Dr. Meinberg reminds us “that your attitude toward cancer determines the intensity of your experience. Know that there is no faster way to bring about a worsening about your condition than to think it is coming. Your thought is a powerful force.” In another essay, Belief, she quotes Frank Lloyd Wright, “The thing always happens that you believe in, and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” She then goes onto to refer to Dr. Bruce H. Lipton's book The Biology of Belief where he clearly illustrates that the mind overrides the body.
Dr. Meinberg relates to the various subjects so intimately that it is impossible not to be motivated with her sage advice. Hopefully her book will have an impact on cancer patients to face their challenges when armed with these inspirational essays.
Just remember, that today, the advances in understanding risk and prevention, early detection and treatment have revolutionized the management of cancer leading to improved outcomes for patients.