Finding Our Strength

 “In times of crisis we summon our strength…
call on every resource…every forgotten image…
every memory that can make us know our power.”
– Muriel Rukeyser

How does one live with uncertainty when facing a life-threatening illness? Where does one find inner strength? Where does one look for supportive resources? Most patients will tell you that they frequently ask themselves these questions.

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Transforming Medical Crisis into Opportunities to Find Meaning in One’s Life

The Center for Communication in Medicine, which I am a founder, decided that our next SpeakSooner Community Education Program on October 26 in Bennington would focus on the theme of transforming a medical crisis into an opportunity to find meaning and joy in one’s life. Planning this event brought to mind a woman whom I had known from time passed.

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When The Conversation Changes

“Learn the art of fragmented, irrational conversations and follow
the patient’s lead instead of trying to control the dialogue.”
Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s

In the days when there were video stores I would walk by the film “Iris” countless times, knowing it was a story of the writer Iris Murdoch and her husband’s experience with her cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease.

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The Illusion of Caring—is That Enough?

I recently stumbled upon a writing exercise completed by a patient who participated in the “Writing is Good Medicine”TM, program, which I created to help patients put words to their experience of living with illness. Participants were encouraged to share their writing with family and healthcare providers in order to open communication about issues and concerns. For one exercise I posed the question, “What do you expect from your doctors?”

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