Sunday, January 07, 2007

Going to War - OR Standing for Peace

I just had to write tonight after spending the afternoon with a friend of mine who recently found out she has the "garden variety" of breast cancer. She had a biopsy and doesn't need a mastectomy - they think they got what they needed to get. She recently went back and had 14 lymph nodes removed just to be safe. They found just a tiny spot in one of the 14, so that was good news. She's also had all of the tests she needs to have to make sure this estrogen-receptive cancer hasn't found its way to the liver or bones - two of the most common places it goes.

Her prognosis is good, but she's having a heavy dose of chemotherapy just to be safe - it's 4 days on and 3 days off for 4 months. She said by the time you usually find cancer, it's further along than if you kill it off before it shows up. She said she doesn't want to take any chances and that she's "going to war" against this cancer. She knows she will lose her hair and is well aware of the side effects of this aggressive treatment.

I admire her resolve; however, a part of me wonders about the "going to war" part of her plan. Does fighting against something give it more opportunity to fight back? Is there a way to stand for health instead of fighting against cancer?

Sure, it's easy for me, the one without cancer - but this makes me wonder what I would really do if I found myself in this position. She's willing to fight, so maybe that's the most important thing. Whatever it is we have the most faith in appears to be what shows up most for us, so if she believes strongly enough that going through 4 months of aggressive chemo will make her healthy, then that's what will work.

In some way this reminds me of the training I'll be doing all this week and all next week. It's training in a 4-step method for solving problems with people you supervise. The attendees get a 2-sided laminated card as part of the class. On one side is the 4-step method and on the other side is a list of ideas for building the foundations of good relationships. In other words, one side of the card shows what to do when there are problems, and the other side helps the focus shift from what's wrong to what the class calls "preventive medicine." If we can focus on what's right - and catching people doing things well, we shouldn't have as many problems to solve.

If we can stand for health, and for positive work environments, and for happy employees, then we shouldn't have to be against cancer, or against bad attitudes, or against crabby employees.

I guess what it comes down to is realizing that maybe it's not about what's wrong or what's right - it's more about what's working and what's not working. Choose what's working and do more of that - regardless of what anyone else thinks or says.

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At 3:25 PM, Blogger Robyne said...

another good blog Jodee

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wow! Such powerful subject. I often wonder how I might deal with the same issue.

It made me think of that scene in The Secret, where Esther Hicks is talking about that very same thing...being Pro-Peace vs. it's a subtle shift in language but takes our mind to such a different place.

Yet, I agree with you...if that's what works for your friend, then good for her! I haven't had to face that issue so how would I know how I might respond?

I recently had a new friend (I'd only known her less than one year, but we really connected) pass from Lukemia...she was SO amazing to watch thru the process.

I think she was somewhere in the middle, like, "Yeah, they've told me I have this disease, but I'm gonna keep on loving, and shining, and BEing the same way I was before they told me this"...she went thru 2 rounds of intense chemo, but just a month before she transitioned, I saw her at a Cardinal baseball game with friends, having the time of her life! She handled her situation with such grace and was inspiring to witness.

Thanks for the provacative post!


At 6:29 PM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Robyn & Kammie: Thanks so much for visiting and for your comments! Although death can really be a sad subject, I just have such a different perspective about things since I've been reading Conversations With God, watching The Secret and studying A Course in Miracles. I see all of life as a continuum of which this physical life and physical death is just a part. It's so difficult to try to understand and/or explain why wonderful people who are so positive and upbeat still die young.

My dad died almost exactly a year ago, and had it not been for these new perspectives, that would have much more difficult to accept.

This could be an entirely new post - I may talk about it on my other blog (

Thanks to both of you for your wonderful blogs - and for participating in the dialogue here!


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