Accentuating the Positive

While we cannot precisely control our thoughts, a cancer patient must make a drastic attempt to avoid negative feelings and enhance and concentrate on positive reflections. Our immune system is what we depend on to prevent and destroy cancer. Stress depresses the immune system. Thoughts can create or eradicate stress. Many of us believe that positive thoughts can even enhance the immune system.

Negative thoughts or depression is absolutely normal for a cancer patient. The greatest damage will be done if he doesn’t face it. The more an individual tries to avoid depression, the greater that depression will grow. Denying depression is costly in terms of personal energy. Suppressed depression will not dissipate but will continue to sap a person’s energy. It is particularly harmful to a patient who needs all his resources to combat this disease. It will not help to try to suppress depression. Get it out in the open so that it can be relieved.

We cannot overcome our depression until we admit it. After we finally face up to it, there are ways to overcome and learn to exist with it. Coming to terms with cancer means that denial must give way to free, healthy expression of grief and fear. Moving from denial to realizing fear and anger can bring positive responses in many ways. The belief that our life had meaning can lessen the fear of dying. The quality of our daily life affects our ability to handle fear. Being active and doing things you like gives less time to brood about your condition which, in itself, enhances your fear by allowing you to think about negative factors. Just the simple act of making a decision can give you a sense of moving forward and gaining purpose, of being in control.

From time to time, depression and negative thoughts will cross your mind. If they didn’t, you would not be normal. Anger, impatience and selfishness are absolutely normal and could even be considered positive reactions. The one thing you must avoid is continued depression. The mere diagnosis of cancer causes depression. Many cancer treatments are depressing. Depression decreases the function of your immune system. Your immune system fights cancer. It is important that when you do find yourself depressed, you shake this feeling. Do this by talking about your depression to your family or friends. Change your thoughts from depressing subjects to positive, pleasant subjects. Channel the energy you would waste in depression into more positive thoughts. Acknowledging the existence of depression will not make it get worse. Admitting that we are depressed can give us the strength to overcome it. That in itself can give us hope and a better quality of life. Concentrate all available energy into fighting your cancer.

Make up your mind that you have lots of things to do and lots of places to go. Whenever you feel yourself getting worried or depressed, try to change the direction of your thoughts and think about a forthcoming event. Plan things to do when you are with a particular relative or friend. Concentrate on your pleasant surroundings or try to recall some of the enjoyable situations you recently experienced or one of the many wonderful blessings with which you have been endowed. Keep looking at the donut and not at the hole. Continuously plan new projects and goals that are realistic and attainable.

Cancer is a disease in which we can never have the luxury of looking back and saying, “I wish I would have…” We must do everything in our power to fight and win!


  • The mind is full of thoughts. It is how thoughts are chosen that makes the big difference. Thoughts can lift us into heaven or lower us into hell… Good thoughts anoint a man, ill thoughts kill a man.
  • Pleasant thoughts sung in a lullaby can put a babe to sleep; thoughts of hatred and passion can arouse a person to violence.
  • Thoughts have both the explosive power of a nuclear bomb and the soothing effect of oil on troubled waters. They can start a war or they can keep the peace.
  • The art of thoughts is to use them creatively; to select and arrange them to inspire the mind, stir the heart, lift the spirit…
  • Thoughts of encouragement fan the spark of genius into the flame of achievement.
  • Thoughts are the pegs on which we hang creative ideas.
  • Thoughts of faith, hope and courage lift men upward. Negative thoughts drag men downward.
  • Choose well your thoughts! They will go marching down the years in the lives you touch!