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.