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Another Doctor Visit

May 29, 2007
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I’m off to interview another Medical oncologist this morning at 10:00. Don’t have much time right now. Top priority, a walk! right now! The weekend was quiet. Just hate this waiting for test results.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy permalink
    May 29, 2007 2:09 pm

    More on Wellness, LIz. A friend and colleague who works in wellness and is doing some work for the Center for Mind/Body Medicine, asked for 1,000 opinions on the definition of wellness. I’ve shared my reflections here, because I think any time one is dealing with illness, it’s good to also think about the parts of you that are not ill, and how to operate from a “wellness” perspective while dealing with disease or recovery. Anyway, what follows is rather lengthy and probably not of universal interest, but I thought I’d put it out there for you anyway. AND, isn’t it such a great gift to have BEAUTIFUL MUSIC and BEAUTIFUL TEXT to sustain you!!

    Thomas, per my friend Andrea’s invitation, my thoughts on wellness.

    thank you for the opportunity to participate.

    On Wellness

    For me, wellness is both professional, and personal. I currently work for a company that provides health coaching. I’ve been in the field of corporate wellness for over 15 years. I’ve listened to thousands of people talk about what wellness means to them. I think it’s not too complicated to articulate, but maybe more difficult to achieve in a lasting manner. As a professional, I’ve often designed “wellness strategies” which include multiple programs and initiatives, all of which are measurable, linear and designed to reap results in both bottom-line profits and sustainable behavior change. Wellness as a machine, as a business, as a science, as an industry.

    But really, when I think about it, that’s not wellness at all. That’s just a way to institutionalize, sanction and profit from what we all truly seek within ourselves. Or what we would seek if we stripped away the expectations we’ve baked in over a lifetime of commerce and all those extrinsic influences we encounter. I suppose that’s totally biting the hand that feeds me, and I if I didn’t feel like all the strategy really did influence the world to be a better place, I’d drop it and run. But I continue on a daily basis to walk the line between wellness as “work” and wellness as a much more fluid and elegant state of being.

    Wellness seems to fall into two categories, “what it’s not”, and “what it is”. Many define wellness by what it isn’t, which (perhaps judgmentally so), I believe may not be the best way to conceive of a personal definition. However, if figuring out what it isn’t sets you on the path to discovering what it is, then so be it.

    WELLNESS IS NOT:
    a strategy. it’s a state of being that is fluid, organic and accessible.
    simply the absence of illness.
    about policing, restricting or controlling one’s diet or physical activity and assuming that will take care of the issue.
    necessarily about being physically fit, or the perfect nutritional role model.
    about feeling guilty about what you’re not doing.
    about shame, blame, justification, denial or abdication of responsibility.
    permanent.
    just personal…it’s organizational, communal, collective, dynamic, tapped into the spiritual path that we’re all on.

    WELLNESS IS:
    the state of being that produces “flow.”
    effortlessness borne of intent, determination, hard work and the gifts of the universe.
    grace in dealing with illness, tragedy or any type of struggle. Sometimes being well doesn’t mean feeling good, it means having a beautiful, synchronous response in the face of something ugly, terrifying or profoundly sad.
    transferrable. I don’t have to keep mine to myself, and neither do you. It can be absorbed, transferred, given freely and multiplied.

  2. Liz permalink*
    May 29, 2007 4:04 pm

    Nancy,
    Heartfelt thank you. this is the perfect thing at the right time. I will read it over and over…..It is really clear to me that you understand this

  3. peggy Reaves permalink
    May 30, 2007 7:40 am

    Thanks for this PET scan update: am praying for clear results and a peaceful time of waiting for you and Tim. So thanksful your music soothed and comforted you during the scan. Am keeping the Falls CHurch updated, even in my retirement !!! Love, Peggy and Bob

  4. Nancy permalink
    May 30, 2007 10:18 am

    Easier to write about than to live it, Liz…you keep up the great work!!

  5. Mary Hillstrom permalink
    May 30, 2007 10:25 am

    Nancy – thank you for enlarging my concept of wellness. I appreciate your essay.
    Liz – you’ve been a model of wellness throughout this experience. And with this site you are sharing your wellness with all of us. To put it in Nancy’s words, I am inspired by your grace in dealing with illness. You don’t keep your experience and your supportive network to yourself. You have offered it to us to absorb, you’ve given it freely, and your wellness is multiplying. Like ripples in the pond, I see the ripples you create in the beautiful writings shared on this site. Thank you.

  6. Pat Carey permalink
    May 30, 2007 1:20 pm

    Tim & Liz — Just catching up with your news over the last week or more. We are all waiting with you to hear more news — this living, breathing and generally joyful community of friends and family spread across at least the part of the country east of the Mississippi. Why wasn’t I surprised to learn you are a serious Monk fan? (David, especially, in our household. I wonder if we watch at the same time?)

    Thank you to Nancy for the Wellness post — that’s a keeper and surely one I will pass on. We are also awaiting word on David’s lymph node readings. He got the pump removed on Friday. Don’t know if your’s was a pump or a drain without motor, but his made constant burping sounds — well, really more like something avoided in polite company. It was always a treat to get into a crowded elevator with him at the Cleveland Clinic!

    On Sunday Maria, the youngest and feistiest of the Carmelite nuns at the Monestery down the street, came over and hugged me and simply said, “Every day.” She is praying “every day” for you and David, as well as a couple others in our congregation, who are treating cancer. If I were God, I would most certainly listen to Maria! Such a gentle name for such a strong woman and warrior against injustice! Kinda like you, Liz, come to think of it — except you are much funnier and a better singer. We all have our gifts, right . . . . ?
    Love to you both — Pat
    P.S. Hope it’s okay that I tipped off a co-worker with breast cancer to your blog. It’s so valuable.

  7. May 31, 2007 11:15 am

    ((( three Hugs)))

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