Friday, August 07, 2009



Caring for Cancer Patients - NPR Interview of Cancer Nurse Dana Viviano

I just listened to this radio article on NPR a little while ago this morning. In it, cancer nurse Dana Viviano is interviewed by her daughter. Viviano says that the patients she cares for, all of them, teach her various things including celebrating the smallest things in life. She talks about universal constants, at least as far as humanity is concerned: love, hope, fear, acceptance of certain inevitable outcomes.

Her daughter Sarafina does an excellent job of interviewing her and asks some questions that, often, don't get asked by professional journalists. And even when they do, the questioning often seems insincere and distanced. So I found it amazing to hear such questioning from someone so young.

The link to this NPR piece is below. But, just to go off on a tangent, right after this article, I heard a report of a study or experiment that found that...people's tolerance for pain (I think, in this case, it was having one's hand placed in a container of hot water) increased after counting money.

Let me repeat that: they could take physical discomfort better after counting cash.

Is cash so magical? Well, I don't think the cash itself is. But it does remind me of other things, like recent stories suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption may actually lower mortality as much as 28 percent within a given time period (period of observation for study participants is what I mean), even eliminating for the effect of influencing factors such as impairment, disability, and socioeconomic status (which, incidentally, is something that's been reported time and time again for many years).

I think it all goes back to this: our mood and emotional state has a lot to do with our physical well-being. Is this because our immune systems are affected by how we "feel"? Hmmm. I have the opinion myself that what's going on in our heads, and hearts, is important for both our physical as well as our emotional and cognitive well-being.


Cancer Patients Teach Nurse Importance Of Love


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