Published on January 25, 2018
Is there power in saying yes? Licensed Clinical Social Worker Robin Katz, from Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center shares how saying yes to activities and making new connections can be beneficial for a patient’s mind and body. Tune in to learn more from this oncology expert and myeloma care partner Lori Puente.
The Living Well with Myeloma series is a Patient Empowerment Network Program produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene, Takeda, Amgen and AbbVie for their support.
Transcript | Tips for Nourishing Mind and Body After a Myeloma Diagnosis
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So, Robin, living in the now, and I’m saying the power of yes, but that’s what I threw in. But, your comments as a professional on some of the things that Danny and Laurie have been talking about.
Yeah. To just go back to what Danny said about worrying—it’s very stressful to worry. It takes a lot of energy away from the patient and their family. So, I love his concept of, “How did it help you?” It doesn’t help you. It really doesn’t. Saying yes to activities is such a great and powerful thing for the patient and the family, because you’re still doing stuff. You’re active. You’re trying to utilize your mind and your body.
I understand some patients don’t feel well enough, but we try and encourage them to make those connections, and even if the connections are online, to still make those connections because that will give the patient a little more uplifting feeling of being a participant in life instead of being a professional patient. And so the more they do it, the better off they are, because it becomes a mindset, like Danny said earlier. He’s been living a Zen life for many years, and it’s a mindset versus trying to remember to do it.
You know, Esther gets on me about this sometimes—I’m more outgoing than she is. When I’m in a waiting room at a cancer clinic, I actually—it’s kind of like you’re in prison in a way, when you say, “What are you in for? What are you here for?” I turn to the people next to me and say, “Oh, do you have Dr. Whomever as well? Are you seeing them?” “Yeah.” I don’t push them to give their diagnosis.
But people—I’ve been in waiting rooms, and maybe you have, too, where maybe you’ve corresponded with people online, and you end up with a sort of coffee klatch there in the waiting room. Sometimes, the receptionist is like, “What are they doing? They’re going crazy here in the waiting room.” But reach out to other people. We’re so blessed—and, the myeloma community definitely is—where people are connecting online just like we’re doing now. There are people you can talk to. Lori and Danny know each other in this way. You would encourage people to reach out, wouldn’t you? You’re not alone.
Absolutely. My first online group—I went on a business meeting with Dave down into the Bay Area, and he was afraid to go by himself. It was his first thing to go away. So I went with him, and I sat in this beautiful garden, and pulled out my laptop, and started looking online, and I found my first online group. It was in England, and it was the Macmillan Group. That’s what they call their nurses. And I still have those friends—on my Facebook now, because we all got mad at Macmillan and we left. There was something going on, and I don’t remember what it was.
And so we’re friends on Facebook, and I truly hope to go there someday and see them like you might go to New Zealand. But that was my first—because it worked for me, those times when I couldn’t sleep late at night. Online is 24 hours, versus a support group that’s once a month, and you’ve got to drive and do all that. That’s fine; that works for some people, but for me, that was what worked. And I just—I loved it.