On Healing

The following observation was made by Michael Lerner, Ph.D, winner of a MacArthur¬† “genius” award and author of a book about cancer and complementary medicine : Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Medicine (MIT Press, 1996). (Available at amazon.com.)

“Even when a cure is not possible, healing always is. You see, a cure involves our physical body. Healing involves that inner process of the mind and the spirit.

“There are people who are cured but are never healed. And then there are people who are healed even though they are not cured.

“That is the good news given to us — that healing is possible for every one of us regardless of our physical health.”

I think this statement is profound. It can be understood in different ways — e.g., metaphysically and psychologically. And you don’t have to believe in anything supernatural to take comfort from it.

Note: Michael Lerner also heads a nonprofit organization which sponsors “retreats” for cancer patients. See commonweal.org.

3 Replies to “On Healing”

  1. Hello Leah,
    My husband had a radical prostectomy almost 4 years ago. In the past year his PSA tests have returned elevated; he was seen by an oncologist on Monday and advised to consider radiation and hormone treatment. It is understood that my husband will start treatment at the end of June in all probability. I understand that your husband is or had this treatment. I would much appreciate your observations and what I should be sensitive to. Thanks very much. Kate

  2. Dear Kate,

    I’m very sorry that you have to deal with this situation. One good thing, however, is that if the cancer recurs after a longer period of time the prognosis is better. (My husband had a recurrence at 15 mos.). My husband did not have hormone treatment, just radiation. He was very fortunate in that he had no side effects — he actually wondered if they’d turned the machine on!). Some men do experience fatigue and other side effects. Just see that the treatment is done by a very competent practioner, preferably at a top hospital. If you want more info on hormone treatment, I suggest you read the blog of my colleague Joel Nowak. Just click on the link for “advanced cancer” on the first page of this blog or link thru Malecare. My husband would also be very happy to talk to your hubby on the phone if he wanted to. You can e-mail me at Leah@malecare.com.

    All the best,


  3. Hello Leah,

    My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer over a year and half ago we immediately sort out treatment options, we decided on Proton radiaton therapy with ProCure. The support and care we received from the doctors and staff was unbelievable.The results have been equally unabelievable, my husband’s PSA has been decreasing (now down to 1.5) with little to no side effects amazing !!!

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