1. Thou shalt regard the word, "Cancer", as exactly that: a word.
Nothing more, nothing less. For its original meaning has changed mightily
over the years, as have such words as Smallpox, TB, and Polio, all once dreaded ailments,
now non-existent as maladies. And thus, too, shall go thy Cancer. The answer
shall come to those who shall be present to hear it. Be present to hear it when it
2. Thou shalt love thy chemotherapy, thy radiation, and thy other treatments even
as thyself, for they are thy friends and champions. Although they may exact a toll
for their endeavors, they are oft most generous in the favors they bestow.
3. Thou shalt participate fully in thy recovery. Thou shalt learn all the
details of thy ailment, its diagnosis, its prognosis, its treatments, conventional and
alternative. Thou shalt discuss them openly and candidly with thy oncologist
and shalt question all thou do not comprehend. Then, thou shalt cooperate
intelligently, and knowledgeably with thy doctor.
4. Thou shalt regard thy ailment as a temporary detour in thy life and shalt
plan thy future as though this detour had not occurred. Thou shalt never, at
no time, no how, regard thy temporary ailment as permanent. Thou shalt set long-term
goals for thyself. For thou will verily recover and your believing so will
contribute mightily to thy recovery.
5. Thou shalt express thy feelings candidly and openly to thy loved ones for
they, too, are stricken. Thou shalt comfort and reassure them for they, too,
needest comforting and reassurance, even as thou doest.
6. Thou shalt be a comfort to thy
fellow-cancerites, providing knowledge,
encouragement, understanding and love. You shalt give them hope where there
may be none, for only in hope lies their salvation. And by doing so, thou providest
comfort for thyself, as well.
7. Thou shalt never relinquish hope, no matter how thou may feelest at that
moment, for thou knowest, in the deep recesses of thy heart, that thy discouragement is
but fleeting and that a better day awaits thee, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the day after
tomorrow - but certainly it shall come.
8. Thou shalt not regard thy ailment as the sum total of thy life but as merely a
part of it. Fill your life with other diversions, be they mundane, daring,
altruistic, or merely amusing. To fill your life with your ailment is to surrender
9. Thou shalt maintain, at all times and in all circumstances, thy sense of humor, for
laughter lightens thy heart and hastens thy recovery. This is not an easy task,
sometimes seemingly impossible, but it is a goal well worth the endeavor.
10. Thou shalt have enduring and unassailable faith, whether thy faith be in a Supreme
Being, in Medical Science, in Thy Future, in Thyself, or in Whatever. Steadfastly
sustain thy faith for it shall sustain thee.
- Paul H. Klein (c) September 1993