Q & A with Bernie – February 4, 2013

Question for Bernie:

My brother is a 48 year old smoker who had a CEA blood test of 340.  A CT scan of chest showed one lymph node. He quit smoking and a new CEA blood test one month later was 430. I insisted that he have a PET/CT in two months which showed five lymph nodes (hypermetabolic). He will see pulmonary doctor tomorrow for a biopsy consultation.

The PCP is not responding fast. He told me there is not much doctors can do for my brother. I am crying day and night. Do I have to continue to rush everyone and force them to do something or just be nice and listen to my brother?

Bernie’s Answer:

living in the momentYes, listening to your brother allows him to hear himself and know what he needs to do.  It is far better to allow him to initiate getting care than for you to push him.  Many times, even if we know that what a loved one is telling us about moving more quickly to get care is what we should do, the “pushing” makes us resist.

Reading my books can help your brother in many ways.  Offer them to him but don’t force him to read them.

The best thing you can do right now is to give him the love he never had.  Then he can feel like he is a valuable person worthy of love from others and especially of love for himself.  If he can start loving his life and his body, he can boost his immune system immediately.

If your brother does choose to read my books, he will see that there is hope.  You can be a “life coach” for him, helping him live in the moment enjoying life right now.



Question for Bernie:

I wrote to you in December about my husband’s recurrent cancer. You gave me the advice of loving life. When you said that, it occurred to me that we had not enjoyed a nice Holiday Season in many years. My husband and I decided to make that our goal this year.

Holiday-Christmas was awesome—not expensive mind you—just awesome. We did things we hadn’t done and spent time with people we truly love instead of the ones who you feel obliged to spend time with.  New Year’s was spent visiting family we don’t get to see very much.  It was great.

We have cats but we bought a dog from the shelter. Ironically she had a tumor and survived it. She may have adopted us, I’m not sure.

Since the Holidays my husband has undergone surgery and the doctors are determining which treatment to use now.  Nothing can take away from us what we got back this past Holiday Season. I am totally aware there are going to be rough spots, but we are at least scheduling in time to love life. Good advice!  Thanks.

Bernie’s Answer:

Walking-DogBless you both.  When you love your life and body, your body does all it can to survive knowing that you are enjoying the day.

Your dog is a great teacher, too—she will remind you daily to live in the moment.  Kids and animals work at having a nice day and not worrying about the future.  I think they ask the question, WWLD (what would lassie do) if they are ever in doubt.



Question for Bernie:

Your incredible wisdom and examples of healing in your books helped me to heal from scleroderma, breast cancer, malt lymphoma, a thoracotomy, and deepest of all, self-hate.  I wrote about this amazing journey in my memoir, Dying to Live, which you endorsed.

I’ve been caring for my ailing husband who has been quite sick and almost infirm for a year. In Florida recently while en route home, I had a scleroderma flare and passed out in the airport. Multiple tests couldn’t figure it out.

My heart seems fine according to the cardiologist, but the carotid arteries are blocked.  One is 100% blocked and the other 50-69%. The cardiologist thinks it might somehow be related to scleroderma, or possibly “some other disease.”

Bernie, I’ve had tons of stress over my husband, but I thought I had reached a place of daily forgiveness both of myself and others.  I thought I was managing to keep it all together pretty well, and so I would love to know your thoughts on how to help myself. I just know you would have answers for me! Thanks Bernie.

With love and gratitude.

Bernie’s Answer:

heartThe answer is always to live in the moment, just one day at a time, and to abandon your past. Think about your potential and not future statistics.

Love your body and find a life you can love.  This sends the most important message to your body—that you choose to live—you choose LIFE.

Also you must work hard on getting the anger out—to me scleroderma is like building a hard wall to protect yourself.  If you let the angry feelings out, things will soften up.  I have a friend with scleroderma and more who I have been helping for 30 years.  Her childhood was what was so painful for her, as sadly it is for so many others.

I suggest you become a “love warrior” and use love as your weapon.  Let yourself become soft and let your heart make up your mind.




Related posts:

  1. Q & A with Bernie – January 7, 2013
  2. Q & A with Bernie – January 14, 2013
  3. Q & A with Bernie – February 13, 2012
  4. Q & A with Bernie – January 21, 2013
  5. Q & A with Bernie – February 6, 2012
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