Friday, October 26, 2012

Common Denominators

I remember at one point a couple of years ago asking my doctor, "What do you feel are the common denominators in your patients that survived?"  I knew this was a loaded question perhaps, and of course, subjective, but my curious nature couldn't help but inquire.
His response?  "Well, I think it might be a lot of things, but a positive attitude gets you far."
At the time, I was satisfied with his answer (because it made sense to me), but then I decided to do a little of my own research in finding out what other possible "common denominators" there might be between cancer survivors.
Now, my conclusion (after talking to lots of cancer survivors)...And I admit is totally MY own opinion.  I have met a lot of cancer survivors, and many who were given a poor prognosis just like me.  Upon talking to them and getting to hear their stories, I believe that my doctor is right, attitude is everything.
People who ignore the statistics, I think, in general fare better.
People who maintain a positive outlook on life and throughout their challenges, in my opinion, often do better than those who have a poor attitude.
Those that don't give up because that isn't even an option, live longer.
But there's more.  I think there are some other common denominators between cancer survivors:
1.  They are their own best advocates when it comes to their health care.
2.  They have a good support network.
3.  They believe in a God or some "supreme being" and exercise their faith.
4.  They do everything they can to have success with treatments.  They adopt a healthier lifestyle.  Or maybe that means "thinking outside of the box" and combining uncoventional with conventional treatments.
5.  They take risks (such as choosing a cutting-edge chinical trial).
6.  They enjoy life despite their challenges and set-backs.
7.  They are happy.
8.  They allow others to help and support them when times call for it--physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
9.  They take care of themselves, eating healthy and exercising.
10.  Last but not least, they pray.  The power of prayer is a real!
I'm sure there are many more common denominators.  I know that even if one has all of these attributes it doesn't mean they will get the desired outcome, but I don't think they hurt either!
What has helped you survive cancer?


Cameron VSJ said...


I have a quick question about your blog. Could you email me when you get a chance?


Dianna said...

Dear Christina,

My name is Dianna and I'm from a healthcare-focused organization currently working on a research project that's looking to improve care for metastatic melanoma patients. I've been reading many of the patient blogs the past few days and am deeply touched by how courageous and positive you all are in your fight against this terrible disease. Your enthusiasm for life (yes, it definitely shows in your blog) is especially inspiring. As a part of our research, we are looking for direct feedback from patients regarding their treatment and overall journey with melanoma. I would really appreciate it if you would be willing to share (over telephone) some of your personal perspectives and experience with melanoma. To give you a little more information about the objectives of our project, we are first and foremost looking to speak directly with actual patients such as yourself in order to understand first-hand what you feel are the unmet needs in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. We hope to be able to utilize your feedback to help develop tangible resources including educational materials, institutional support, and other similar support tools that will improve the overall quality of life and benefit all patients as they fight and cope with melanoma.

Please let me know if you are interested in speaking with us, and if you are, what is the best way to contact you (email or phone) and I can provide you with additional details regarding our research. If you are not yet ready to share that story, I’d definitely understand and wish you and your family all the best.

I will also be posting this in other similar blogs, but if you know of other melanoma patients that would be willing to help us with this important research, please feel free to provide some contact information and I will reach out the them.

Thank you and god bless.


Christina said...


If you would like to ask my questions via email, my email is:


Yes I would love to provide you feedback based on what you are researching. My email is above.

Thank you all!