DISEASE DIAGNOSIS SUPPORT

When someone we love, someone we have come to know at work, a neighbor, is diagnosed with a serious or life-altering illness, we protectively stop treating him or her as whole person.
Why do we suddenly define them through their disease and cease treating them how we would want them to treat us?
The illness could be heart disease, or cancer or even a mental illness. Let's begin to resource our instincts and our empathic sides. Be patient and listen to your inner guide. It’s important for a person that is suffering to feel as though their loved ones react to them the same way that they did before their diagnosis. Be the one that thinks outside the box. There will be many people that will guide them in the medical arena and many people that will try to lift their spirits by telling them stories of others that have suffered the same and come through with flying colors. That support has its value but on a continuous basis it is draining to the spirit rather than uplifting.
If your friend has interests you should help perpetuate those interests even if in conversation alone. Talk about those interests or hobbies. Talk about their children and about other life issues. Remain the confidant or friend that person turned to when their car broke down or when they were out of town on business and asked if you could feed their cat. Be the same person to them and they will resonate with you and be the same person they were before.
Funny memories will be evoked that they have or even memories you may have both shared. This will serve to subtly let that person be who they are rather than be the disease they have.
All of a sudden they become “ Gail has cancer” or “Could you believe that Jim has cancer?” We immediately try to rationalize and seek answers. Confusion sets in and our subconscious will relay a message of disbelief. This gnaws at their core. They may begin to avoid you as a result and that is anything other than what they need now. Even if at times you are pretending to be optimistic just be so.
Everyday questions and updates are also debilitating. I’m not suggesting we shut down our display of concern. I'm suggesting we find a balance so they don’t feel as encumbered with their illness when you are around them. People don’t want to constantly talk about drama and chaos. Don’t always speak the language of their disease either. If they speak about it this doesnt suggest we ignore them and change the subject. Listen and offer your thoughts if asked.
Our minds can heal our own bodies.
Perhaps our minds can also energize the healing state of someone else’s mind and body too!
Live who you are and not what you have!

Wendy Brandell Sebrow, CPLC. Wendy practices Disease Recovery Coaching and its mind/body affect in relationships in Englewood, N.J. 201.293.6390 or at wendy@discoveryhealthstrategies.com. Wendy Sebrow speaks at cancer and cardiac disease support groups in NJ with hopes of evolving a changing view of those afflicted with disease. She is married to a prominent ophthalmologist, Osher Sebrow, M.D. who practices a specialty in Cornea Disease and Refractive Surgery in Fairlawn, N.J.

Author's Bio: 

Wendy Brandell Sebrow, CPLC. Wendy practices Disease Recovery Coaching and its mind/body affect in relationships in Englewood, N.J. 201.293.6390 or at wendy@discoveryhealthstrategies.com. Wendy Sebrow speaks at cancer and cardiac disease support groups in NJ with hopes of evolving a changing view of those afflicted with disease. She is married to a prominent ophthalmologist, Osher Sebrow, M.D. who practices a specialty in Cornea Disease and Refractive Surgery in Fairlawn, N.J.