Managing Life-Threatening Illness


Therapist Advocate

Managing a life threatening illness takes everything we’ve got.  I’ve been there. 

Here are three critical reasons we all need help working with life-threatening illness:

  1. We need to make peace with our mortality, impending or not. When death is imminent, we need to learn how we can come to die in peace.
  2. The doctors do not know everything. We need an experienced guide. I call that person a therapist advocate.
  3. Illness is an expression of the body's wisdom and intelligence. We need to learn how to tune into its message. 

We Need to Make Peace With Our Mortality

Years before I ever faced a life threatening illness, I attended a lecture given by Bernie Siegel, an American physician who specializes in the treatment of those facing life threatening illness.  

He asked the audience, “Which of my patients are the most likely to recover?” I’ll never forget his answer: “Those who could surrender as completely as possible to the possibility that they might die.”

The truth is that fear of death requires a lot of energy to manage. And when we can free ourselves from that fear, suddenly we have a treasure trove of new found energy we can redirect towards our healing.

And in general, quite apart from facing serious illness, the more we can make peace with our mortality, the more we are free and have the juice for living. The more we can co-habit peacefully with all of our fears, the more Eros or lust for life we can find.

The Doctors Do Not Know Everything - Find a Mentor

So just because your doctor says you are dying, that opinion is not the gospel truth!  It is critical to find a mentor or case manager.

My Life-Threatening Illness

When I was diagnosed with metastatic invasive ductal carcinoma in 2010 - a very aggressive form of breast cancer, I was told that if I did not follow the advice of my oncologist that I would face a recurrence. But I decided to turn away from the advice of modern medicine, namely chemo, radiotherapy, and hormone therapy because I was certain that I would rather have a natural and organic death from cancer than a nightmarish, pharmaceutical death from chemo, a death that would have been preceded by months of very compromised quality of life.

But guess what.  I did not die. And I am not alone. I could find you countless remissions such as mine.

I followed the road less travelled — a natural medicine road. I am cancer free, in complete remission and thriving.

I can support you if you choose the road less travelled.  But I can also support you if you choose the one that is well travelled.

So point number 2. The doctors do not know everything. Find a mentor.

Reading Messages From the Body

Thirdly, illness requires an attentive ear of us. It is an expression of the body's wisdom and intelligence.  Mindfulness training can play a huge role in the management of illness. Our bodies are always talking to us.  Largely we seem to override their signals and do what we strongly desire to do  — until cancer or MS or Parkinson’s hit us between the eyes and then we stop in our tracks.

Managing a life-threatening illness takes everything we’ve got.  I can help you with that. I’ll be taking you skilfully down a road that I successfully traversed myself.  You will benefit from the advantage of my experience both as a patient and as a therapist. I am well-connected with a vast array of health care partners.  As your case manager, we can bring them into play and create of symphony of health care tailored to the choices you make for yourself. Together we will choose from a long list of life-restoring therapies and work methodically back to health.

Medical Disclaimer
The preceding words are in no way to be construed as medical advice.  I am not a physical health care practitioner. Consult your health care provider for advice prior to proceeding with any treatment.