- Question from kt9192: How much of a role do you believe state of mind plays in dealing and moving through the cancer experience, and do you think a really positive state of mind is enough to ward off the possibility of recurrence?
- Answers - David Spiegel I wish I did but I don't. There is no magic talisman. The problem with that point of view is that it can lead you to avoid dealing with natural reactions to the illness and also to blaming yourself if the disease progresses. I think there is a difference between being rigidly upbeat, which my patients call the prison of positive thinking, and being realistically optimistic--seeing what lies ahead of you and what is happening but finding the best life you can with this disease. It is more a matter of being optimistic about life but not giving yourself false hope, and also not giving yourself false despair.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. I think it is important to accept that recovery doesn't mean that you feel better every day after you finish your breast cancer experience. That you will have some good days, some okay days, and some days that will really stink. And that's normal. I think the main thing is to try to head in a direction that feels right to you, and acknowledging a lot of the complicated feelings that you normally should have.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Feelings about Breast Cancer featured David Spiegel, Ph.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about the emotional effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2000.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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