Monday, February 22, 2010

Whatever happened to mind over matter?

I hate it when I am wrong. I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong, I just hate being wrong! I was so sure that I could "outsmart" chemotherapy and feel just fine by using mind over matter. Mind over matter is a phrase popularized during the 1960s and 1970s that was originally used in reference to paranormal phenomena, especially psychokinesis. However, it has also been used in reference to mind-centric spiritual and philosophic doctrines such as responsibility assumption. It is the belief that the mind is more powerful than the body. Specifically, mind over matter refers to controlling pain that you may or may not be experiencing, such as holding your hand under extremely hot water and feeling no pain. Also, "self-help" personalities such as Tony Robbins claim that, through the power of concentration and "positive thinking", people can walk on hot coals without getting burned.
I have utilized this phenomenon many times in my life. Like the time in Junior High when Randy Higbie put itching powder down my back. Now itching powder isn't really a powder, but actually looks like hundreds of tiny slivers. It will just keep itching and itching until it can be washed off. Well, that afternoon I decided that I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of scratching, so I willed myself not to scratch. He was actually quite impressed with my ability to withstand the agony. But, when I got home, I made my mom scratch my back for what seemed like hours until the itching subsided. My question is, was it worth it? I sat with that crap down my back for at least 2 hours, refusing to scratch!
So, today I went to the clinic because I felt so god-awful. I think I have only felt this bad once before and that was when I had meningitis (yes, a very scary thought). They say this could very well be the cumulative effect of chemo and to ride it out. Of course the doctor was running behind today so, as I was laying across 3 seats in the waiting room trying not to spew bodily fluids everywhere, I surrendered to the chemo. Yes, chemo wins! I will allow my body to feel the effects and let them dissipate naturally.

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