Recently I have been dealing with a cancerous breast lump. I had surgery in December, and started chemotherapy a few days ago. At this point my prognosis is good, and I am doing well.
Using my NLP and hypnosis skills to deal with cancer
As you can imagine, throughout my diagnosis and treatment, I have been using my NLP and hypnosis skills to:
- Accept my situation, and deal with it resourcefully and proactively.
- Keep my perspective. While I am dealing with a potentially life-threatening illness, in the present I’m in good health, and better off than millions of other people. Including many people I’ve personally met.
- Manage my internal states, so that I am consistently resourceful almost all the time, in a good mood, and mostly happy. Rather than staying in unresourceful and unpleasant states, I have taught myself to automatically pop out them after a short time.
- Feel and express my emotions, without letting negative emotions overwhelm or dominate me.
- Minimize worry and awfulizing.
- Reduce stress — largely by not creating it in the first place! For instance, I stay in the present during medical procedures, so that I only experience what actually happens, rather than creating the exaggerated imaginary problems with which patients often upset themselves. Rather than resisting my situation, and instead of worrying and complaining as I used to, I relax into and welcome what’s happening as much as possible. It helps a lot.
- Prepare for and cope with medical procedures, so they are as easy and pleasant as I can make them. I have found hypnosis particularly useful for staying calm before and during procedures, minimizing discomfort and fear, and minimizing after-effects.
- Appreciate what I do have, especially the many wonderful people in my life.
- Express appreciation, thanks, and gratitude.
- Clearly request what I want people to do for me, and accept their choices to do it or not.
- Let people respond to my situation however they do, without feeling attached to their responses, or getting upset about responses I dislike.
- Remain cheerful, upbeat, and pleasant about my experiences and condition. This makes it much easier for other people. My friends know they can interact with and support me without getting dragged down by my negativity. Staying cheerful also makes life much more pleasant for me!
- Utilize this situation to improve my life. Dealing with a life-threatening illness has helped me rearrange my priorities in some very useful ways.
Since I had the option to use conventional cancer treatments, and their documented success rate is so far much higher than alternative therapies alone, I decided to use NLP, hypnosis, and other alternative therapies as an adjunct to standard anti-cancer therapies. (Note that the higher documented success rate of conventional treatments doesn’t prove that they actually work better than alternatives, only that their successes got documented more thoroughly.) If my cancer had been one with a very poor prognosis via conventional therapy, I might have chosen otherwise.
I am lucky to have 3 excellent NLPers working with me to resolve any and all mental issues that may affect my wellness:
- Pati McDermott is a specialist in an offshoot of NLP called Thought Pattern Management (TPM). TPM has an excellent track record of helping people heal physical illnesses. Pati is known for her thorough work helping people achieve what she calls “whole-life makeovers.” I’ve noticed big changes since I started working with her, in areas of my life where, despite my skills, I hadn’t been able to change myself.
- Michael Harris has years of experience doing health-related NLP. In one phone session, a nifty diagnostic he uses uncovered a bunch of areas of my life where having my life work was in conflict with healing with cancer. (If I imagined the cancer vanishing, my imagined quality of life decreased. Or if I imagined increasing my quality of life, my representation of the cancer got bigger.) We were able to resolve these issues in 2 more phone sessions.
- NLP developer Jan (pronounced “yon”) Saeger specializes in helping people make rapid paradigm shifts.
I find staying resourceful more useful than bravery
Several times before in my life I dealt with (and overcame) seriously disabling or life-threatening problems. Back then, I was much less resourceful, seriously conflicted, and a master of worry and negative self-talk. I made my problems even worse than they needed to be.
This time, thanks to NLP and hypnosis, I’m having a much easier time dealing with my health issues.
People keep commenting on my positive, upbeat attitude, and calling me brave. I don’t think of myself as particularly brave. I get scared. Sometimes I get intensely scared. However, even when I feel scared, I stay resourceful. Because I stay resourceful, I keep taking action, and that action gets me results I want.
Because I stay resourceful almost all the time, I rarely get scared or overwhelmed.
In talking with people who have dealt with cancer or are dealing with it now, I keep wondering what would be the fastest and easiest way to teach people the key skills that have made dealing with cancer so much easier for me. Any ideas?