Becoming a cancer doctor has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. Through the lives and stories of patients I have come to know and who passed before us, I have imbibed so many lessons that take many people a lifetime to discover. I did not originally intend to be a cancer doctor but it was truly a blessing in disguise. My life has become more meaningful and how I see life and living has changed dramatically since then.
One of the striking lessons I have gained is how to live in the present moment and carry out the items in your bucket list every single day. Our lives are fragile and evanescent. When we were born, there was no contract made with the creator as to how long our lease on life is. It can end anytime without prior notice and quite often, there is no bargaining allowed nor extension granted.
On a daily basis, I come face to face with people who deal with a potentially catastrophic life situations either physically or psychologically and I have heard countless stories of regret about how their lives could have been. I’ve also seen people who remained stunted and miserable up unto their deathbed; people who were afraid to risk and step out of their comfort zones and therefore remained stagnant in their bland and ordinary existence.
Apart from being a cancer doctor, the other door that paved the way for growth, meaning and ultimately peace and joy for me is my eating disorder. Ever since I can remember, I have had a weight issue. I was always on a diet, tried pills, gadgets, anything and everything that promised the holy grail of losing weight magically without effort. On the other hand, the more rational part of me sought after books, professionals, workshops, seminars and whatever information to learn about my problem hoping that somewhere, there is something that will make me do it easily and without having to give up my piece of cake. I call this phase, denial and refusal to accept responsibility.
Aging can be quite a turning point. I’m glad that it was not something the necessitated pushing me off a cliff to come to my realizations and I’m glad to have gotten to a point of realization. Being a doctor, I have seen that even when life circumstances push people off the cliff, many still remain in denial and refuse to take responsibility for change and move forward. This is a very sad reality of human nature.
Not wanting to get stuck and my unquenchable yearning for growth and development, I sought out to learn coaching and integrative nutrition. Initially, I pursued these for personal development only not intending it to be a career and mission. However, it was like a strong pull that I could not resist. It kept on calling and calling until I could no longer silence it and ignore. I’ve decided to shift from dealing with crisis as a physician to my patients to empowerment and proactivity so that people may live a more meaningful existence as what was originally hoped for by our creator. Hence the shift to coaching specifically for people who want to create an extraordinary life and people who have health, weight and lifestyle issues which are often not thought of as a symptom of an underlying emptiness and yearning for something deeper and more meaningful but which are nothing but.
I wanted to be a doctor to become a healer but our healthcare system has dramatically shifted to a system of fixing a problem as it arises and it has grown cold, cut-throat and saw the patient as a commodity. Working with human beings by listening to them, reframing perspectives so that they are empowered to create the changes and take action are what my current definitions of healing are. Even as a cancer doctor, my idea of healing has never been the eradication of the tumor from the patient’s body but the change in the way the patient saw things, his ability to forgive those who have wronged him, ask forgiveness from those he has wronged, laugh and remain happy despite his ill-health and graciously accept his fate and wrap up his business if necessary as well as closure for those who will be left behind.
We are faced with a health crisis that is doomed to go out of hand and grow exponentially in the next decades. I believe that the solution here is turning within and discovering our own definitions of healing and define our lives according to a plan that we created and not something that we think is handed to us. In our present environment, health is a decision that we make with every single choice we make on a moment to moment basis. Long lasting health can never be achieved unless we see the problem differently and only when we see and acknowledge this problem can we start addressing it.
It is my goal for those who choose to work with me that long lasting change be achieved through a change in the self so that the drive to change comes from within. This is what gives meaning to life and living.
Dr. Denky[box type=”bio”] I am a Doctor of Medicine. My specialty is Internal Medicine (Doctor for adults) with subspecialty in Medical Oncology (Cancer). I am also a Certified Holistic Health Coach graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York City[/box]