"Cancer needs person-centric approach"

Last Updated: Mon, Apr 29, 2013 10:52 hrs

New Delhi, Apr 29 (IBNS) 'You have cancer.' These simple words come as a terrible shock. Life changes in an instant and nothing is the same again. Panic and fear overwhelm a person as he desperately pins his hopes on doctors and on medical treatment. But this is only part of the story.

While doctors focus on healing one´s body, he can and must focus on healing himself, just as Vijay Bhat did to beat his cancer.

Based on their 11-year journey as survivor and caregiver, the authors of 'My Cancer Is Me' -Vijay Bhat and Nilima Bhat- propose that healing requires a 'person-centric' approach, where the focus is the whole person and all the aspects of his inner and outer life, rather than an 'organ-centric' one, where the focus is merely the disease or affected organ.

According to them, cancer is the result of your physical lifestyle along with your mental, emotional and spiritual processes and the 'stressors' associated with these processes.

For instance, negative thoughts and attitudes are mental stressors while negative emotions such as anger and guilt are emotional stressors. Addressing these aspects of oneself is essential for true healing.

The authors guide cancer patients through his process of self-discovery, showing himow to find his stressors and teaching him how to recover from them. They also present exercises and worksheets devised for this purpose.

Vijay said: "Cancer did for me what Richard Parker did for Pi. It scared me, challenged me, toughened me and matured me. In my 23 years as a successful advertising professional, I could never have foreseen how Cancer would re-direct my life.

"It put me back in touch with a deeper, wiser, more resourceful and more humane part of me, that I had lost sight of. I invite our readers to treat cancer as a worthy partner in your healing and growth journey. It can be done, I promise you!"

The book also gives useful information on the biological aspects of cancer and its causes; dietary and nutritional needs of cancer patients; how to maintain optimum immunity; how to confront loss and death; and the role of the caregiver.

Nilima said: "It is said ´That which is deeply personal is also completely universal´. So I have bared my inner journey of pain, invisible to the public eye, even as the world saw a brave wife who seemed to heroically be the Savitri to her Satyavan.

"I share it in the hope that you too become more accepting of your frail, fallible, human self ... for on the other side of this acceptance is the power and Grace of who you journey towards and become. As a care-giver or a therapist, may cancer be your own heroic ´call to adventure´."

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