What does cancer have to do with happiness?

My father in law has been suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for the past two years.    This type of cancer is linked with our immune system.  That leads us to the next point,  our immune system is what keeps us basically running.

He doesn’t seem to be getting better.  He’s received three rounds of chemo (he’s currently on the third), and one round of radiation.  At the early onset of his illness the oncologist (treating him at that time), said that this type of cancer was very treatable.  He stated that “it doesn’t kill you.”.

When you hear that terrible word, it’s kind of getting of glimpse of the ripper. So, that was reassuring at that time.

I’ve often wondered if his emotional intelligence has something to do with the fact that he’s not getting better.  Which lead me to research on the later.

via Google Images

I thought about the basic part of our emotional intelligence, happiness.  Was he happy sometimes, or never?  Did he smile?  These two simple questions had an also simple answer.  NO!

Then, I poised myself the following question:

Does our emotional intelligence have adverse effects on our bodies?

Not to my surprise I read an article published by The University of Texas Medical Branch titled The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Health and Wellbeing , that discussed our perception of being healthy and how it affected our own health.

Two major points I found in this article, were,

1)  “People who are emotionally intelligent feel healthier than those who are less emotionally intelligent.”

2)  “One’s ability to understand and accept oneself is the strongest predictor of health.”

Steering him towards this type of intelligence is difficult, even more if you’ve spent a lifetime steering yourself away from it.

To begin with he needs to feel healthier.  However, how can he do this?

One way would be trying to take his mind off his cancer.  He’s giving it so much power, its overpowering him into self-pity and wailing and whining about everyone and everything.

The other one, is even more important.  Even if you don’t have cancer we need to understand and accept ourselves.

We really can’t get there unless we go through a deep introspection.  It’s about giving ourselves a deep honest to God look. Taking in all the bad, and rejoicing in the good.  Celebrating our life as only we can do it.

Cancer came upon him, in the midst of a retirement he wasn’t ready to begin.  His retirement at the age of 70, wasn’t something he felt ready  for and it was just thrown at him when his company downsized.  So, here he is trying to cope with his retirement and dealing with cancer.

It would be great, if I could share all this insight with him, yet he’s not ready to listen to me or anyone in fact.

In the meanwhile, we are shattered knowing that nothing we can do or say will prevent him from suffering like he does every day. We can only stand by him, and offer him a shoulder if he decides to lean on it.   Yet, after two years we’re still waiting for that to happen.

Probably he didn’t count on the mishaps of life and how things work.  It’s like in baseball, you never know…..

via Google Images

Life sure does throw you some curve balls once in a while.  You just need to listen to that perfect sound they make to know that it’s a curve and adjust your glove to make an also perfect catch.

I hope with all my heart that he’s getting ready to catch that curve and begin getting better and not the other way around.