Friday, May 18, 2012

Putting The Mind To Work

It must have seemed to some of you that I may have given up on my cancer. It's far from it. I am not going to "fight" the cancer anymore. It's really tiring having to fight the cancer everyday, the moment that I wake up. When you fight, no matter who wins, both party loses. This business of having to fight is so energy zapping.  A cancer friend who used to pray for me would used words like "curse the cancer" and so forth. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate her prayers but when you curse something, your mind is full of hatred and anger. The mind is filled with negative thoughts about the cancer. I am already taking some therapies and since I have faith in the therapies, I will just let the therapies take it's course. I will not want to engaged in another fight, which in my opinion is more damaging to my body and mind.

In the past, I used to say fight this cancer and it has not done me any good. Every few months, I would go for a CT scan and then find out whether the cancer has spread or reduced in size. What I have is a lot of anxiety when I find out that my kidney tumor has say shrunk 1cm but my lung nodules have grown larger in size. Then in another scan, it shows that the lung tumors has shrunk a bit but my kidney tumor has grown back the 1cm. What does all these developments tells you? Am I getter better or worst? How does it helps me? It has caused me more heartache than anything else. Then I decided to abandoned this "fight" and stopped the CT scan. Instead I will just listen to my body.

Have you every tried to put on a smile everyday? I am sure that is a lot of work. The same goes for staying positive. However you look at it, the cancer is a part of me. So when you curse the cancer, I think you are also cursing a part of yourself. What I am doing now is to process and interpret the events differently. Instead of cursing and fighting, I would be more kinder and more compassionate to myself. To love myself more and to feel the love that is flowing inside of me. In this way, heart and mind will be peaceful and staying positive become so natural.

When the mind is happy, it secrets a chemical know as endorphins. Endorphins are among the brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system. Endorphins can be found in the pituitary gland, in other parts of the brain, or distributed throughout the nervous system. In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.

I have been a bit busy the last two days. I just got myself engaged in a little part time work and I got some catch-up work to do. I am getting a lot pain from abdominal area. My appetite is a challenge. Otherwise, I am feeling good.


  1. A gentle reminder - Remember to laugh at least once a day! I am sure it will help to relief the stress in your mother, wife, children and brother/sister. How about start including some jokes in your blog? The one about Rev afraid of loosing his hair was a good one. I shared with my hubby and we both had a good laugh.

  2. hi there,

    i am so happy to read this post. I am also a stage 4 cancer patient, and had been battling the disease for a year now. am doing well. and what i found most useful at this stage in life is to surround oneself with positive-thinking people, and stay away from those who breeds negative energy all the time. also, not constantly talking about one's condition helps. i know you blog and sometimes need to share with readers, but pls also be light-hearted about things, just like the tone in this post today.

    i can emphatize when you said when pain attacks, it's hard to ignore that one has the disease. it's important to deal with the pain symptoms, so that your mind is not being bothered by the fact that you are ill. when there are no symptoms, cancer patients, whether early stage or not, are just as normal as anyone else.

    there should be no self-pity, but gratitude and pride that one has continually been so strong in overcoming the onslaught of challenges that come your way.

  3. Hi Chang,

    You are really practising the Middle Path. Just like the mighty bamboo plant, it swings with the wind, bending here and there, yet ever mighty and strong!

    Take care and keep going.

  4. Part time job? Why not at Gary's Garden? Hehe!!

    Well, I am very pleased to read this post.

  5. Hi Chang-

    Love this post! I'm a caregiver for my sister who is also battling with cancer. I love to see when she laughs with us over small things. So yes, laughter is the best medicine. :)

  6. I also find that every night, before bed, talk to your body. This is how i recommend my sister to say every night:

    "I will feed you the food and the treatment that will heal you". I find that our body needs reassurance as well.

    By the way, do you have the book Anticancer: A New Way of Life ( If not, let me know if you need a copy and i will courier it to you.

    This is an essay about the book:

    1. Hi Emilia,

      Thanks for the info.

      I am sorry to hear about your sister. No, don't battle with cancer, it's so tiring. Instead focus on healing. I wish her speedy recovery.

      I believe a friend on mine who has a library of anti-cancer books would have a copy of it. I will borrow from him. Anyway, thanks for your book offer.

  7. Hi Chang, I met you last at Yeong/Khadijah's place. I follow your posts now and then, and always hope to read positive news.

    I like the philosophy in this post. WHAT YOU RESIST WILL PERSIST. Whilst we cannot totally resist the negatives in cancer (my wife died in 2009 from colon cancer), there is tremendous value in shifting our focus from the negative to the positive.

    I always tell people that they will never fully understand the evilness of cancer unless they suffer it or cared for someone suffering it.

    I understand this illness and would like to tell you to KEEP POSITIVE!!