How to tame a terminal illness

Tonic Clinic defies a terminal diagnosis  >  Being arm 111diagnosed with a terminal illness will strike fear into the heart of the most stoic patient. If this is you, hopefully, with the help of friends, family and care professionals you have not been overwhelmed by your emotions. You have reached a level of acceptance that allows you to make the most of whatever time is left.

But is surrender your only option?

Having goals and staying creative are important parts of life, and they become more important when facing up to a life-threatening illness.

How to live with a terminal illness

Thus the NHS will tell you it is about living with an illness, rather than dying from an illness – continuing with the pleasures and responsibilities that give your life colour and meaning. You will be guided and supported so that you can make choices from the mass of possibilities presented by your diagnosis.

This is all well and good, though you will quickly realise that our culture focuses too much on youth and beauty, making it hard to discuss openly anything to do with death and dying. It is a no-go area for polite conversation, on a par with religion, politics and sex.

When you need your friends the most they will start to keep their distance. How sad is that! arm 222

It is true that many journalists and celebrities have shared stories of their terminal illnesses, but it is still hard for you to discuss your grade three anaplastic asterocytoma. Best just to keep quiet and keep on smiling sweetly!

But hang on a minute. At your stage in life, there is no time to be weighed down with other people’s sensitivities.  The doctrine of passive acceptance will only have one outcome, so why not become a rebel with a cause – the worst that can happen is that you go down with all guns blazing?

Our sister company The Tonic Clinic takes a radical approach to terminal conditions, such as inoperable brain tumours. It will encourage you to accept your diagnosis but defy the verdict.  TonicClinic offers you hope not counselling …

12 thoughts on “How to tame a terminal illness

  1. Julie Howard (Nottingham) says:

    I could not agree more. Life may be different after a serious diagnosis, but the person is the same. People have described feeling ‘untouchable’ or ‘infected’ once cancer is diagnosed – however, you can’t ‘catch’ cancer. So patients must constantly reassure those around them that they’re the same person as they always were and that company and contact is vital.

  2. Mrs J. Claude says:

    It may be different, but I felt the same after my husband died. Lifelong friends actually crossed the road to avoid me rather than have the embarrassment of acknowledging my grief. How sad for both parties.

  3. Can M says:

    I know nothing about what Tonic offers but …
    “It is about living with an illness, rather than dying from an illness”
    I like that. Thanks

  4. Name & clinic removed by Moderator (no adverts please) says:

    Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness can be a devastating experience, for you and all the people in your life who cherish you. It turns your life upside down and brings with it a tidal wave of emotions that you have to deal with whilst making some very important practical and treatment decisions. It brings you face-to-face with your own mortality. Your whole identity is changed as you enter an unknown world of being a ‘patient’, a walking set of ‘symptoms’ to be ‘treated’.
    I see you recommend the tonicclinic.com but it is also worth checking out other hypnotherapists in your area.

  5. Dr Alison James says:

    Hypnotherpy processes can indeed address needs of dying patients and family members for sleep issues, releasing anxiety, pain management, and dealing with impending separation, loss, and grief.
    For some patients, pain management strategies can provide alternatives to morphine and drugs to allow at least short periods of time for communication between the dying person, spouse and relatives. This can be useful for creating quality family time and saying goodbye. But beyond that claim of cures become dubious and unhelpful.

  6. pat in huddersfield says:

    people are terrified of death
    or more likely theyre terrified of dying a lingering painful death from some obscure or not-so-obscure ailment even their spiritual beliefs and values seem to offer them little comfort
    so that leaves many people afraid of living and scared of dying
    what a way to live
    wheres the joy in that
    that certainly was not the way our higher selves intended us to spend our earthly years in this lifetime

  7. Dalai Lama (The quote that is – not me!) says:

    “Death is a part of all our lives. Whether we like it or not, it is bound to happen. Instead of avoiding thinking about it, it is better to understand its meaning.”

  8. Jan (Client 44) says:

    Once we can accept that physical death is an inevitable transition, like our birth, we can be released from fear and its limitations and can begin to truly Be Alive.
    In fact, research has shown that people who have had NDEs (Near Death Experiences) go on to live life very differently in the light of that experience. To ‘live in the light of death’. When our life is under threat, we have the opportunity to live as if we have already had an NDE – without the flatlines!

  9. Clara Hancock says:

    What I learned as a palliative nurse is this is a time for friends and family to step in and help. Anything we can do to reduce worry and create an uplifting atmosphere will help make for an easier time for your loved one while dying. I so understand that some will be able to do something and understand and some won’t.
    Even so, anything you can do to help a person at this time, please do. Hold their hand, rub their forehead, sing, pray, or whatever you do in your tradition. But please know that, as the body is going through the shutting down process of death, that person is going through so much.
    Nursing taught me that hearing is the last sense to leave the body. So be careful what you say and do, do respect the body of that person, preserve their dignity.

    • Edith K-L says:

      A palliative nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying and put her findings into a book called ‘The Top Five Regrets of The Dying.’ The bottom line is that it is important to remember that whatever stage we are at in life, there is no need for regret. The process of regret is one that provides nothing but suffering for ourselves as we begin to allow the past to dictate how we should feel now. Instead, we can use the past as a reference point to understand what adjustments we would like to make moving forward. The adjustments do not have to come out of pain, sorrow, regret or judgment, but simply a choice to do things in a different way. We are learning all the time, we can quickly slow that learning process down by getting stuck in the idea of regret. When it comes to making changes, be at peace with the past and remember that each moment is a new choice.

    • Jane Mulligan says:

      Edith – I read this book. These, in order are the most common ‘regrets’ listed in that book …
      1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
      2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
      3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
      4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
      Last but not least is No 5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
      This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

  10. For some people fear of death or dying becomes an obsessive pattern of thinking that dominates their life. This kind of fear is based upon your instinct to survive and is quite natural in some circumstances, for example if your life is threatened. However, when your day to day living is plagued by thoughts of death it it time to do something about it, and that’s where NLP and hypnotherapy can be so effective.

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