Online Breast Cancer Support Network

   Home    Foundation    News    Newsletter    Resources    Sign-In    Tributes    Press    Store
Sign up for our Monthly Email Pink Power
Celebrate In Pink -- Distinctive Pink Ribbon Celebrationware
Walk for Hope
Pink-Link Story at
Pink-Link Breast Cancer Articles 

Six L’s of Caring and Coping- Live in the Moment

March 26, 2007
by Dave Balch, Founder of The Patient/Partner Project

Dealing with cancer is not just about cancer; it’s about life with cancer.  It’s about all of the stresses, joys, and responsibilities you already had in your life in addition to the new stresses and responsibilities that come with serious illness.  It’s easy to get bogged down. Our situation was no different.   When my wife was diagnosed I decided that it was her job to get better, and my job to do everything else.  “Everything else” in this case meant doing all of her normal chores when she was unable to, plus scheduling the medical appointments, going to those appointments and doing most of the driving, buying the food, making the food, filling and refilling the prescriptions, and on and on; all of this in addition to my regular household chores and, incidentally, making a living.
Due to the stress and overwhelm, I found myself worrying needlessly about things that might never happen and I soon realized the importance of living in the moment. In any situation like this there will be things you can control and things that you cannot control.  Try to spend your energy on those things you can control. It is a skill that must be learned and practiced, but when you can effectively concentrate your energies on the things that will produce results there will be a noticeable difference in your stress level.
Here’s a perfect example.  It was in July that we learned that my wife’s treatment schedule would play out such that radiation treatments would be every day, five days per week, for six weeks beginning in December.  We live in the mountains of Southern California and we would have to drive to the city for each treatment.  December and January weather can make for difficult driving and I started to think of the possibilities; fog, snow, mud, rocks… what would happen to her if she couldn’t get down the mountain and missed one or more treatments?  I found that I was working myself into a frenzy when I suddenly realized that I couldn’t do anything about this potential situation.  I couldn’t adjust the timing of the radiation, and I obviously wouldn’t be able to control the weather.  After all, the weather may be perfectly fine!  I was simply going to have to put it out of my mind and let whatever was going to happen, happen. Here’s a phrase that will help to remind you of this basic principle:  “Don’t go there ‘till you get there.”  There was no sense in worrying about this situation in advance, and I could spend that same energy on something that would make a difference in her condition, comfort, or treatment. 
“Don’t go there ‘till you get there.” Easy to say.  Hard to do.  But oh, so very important.
                     Dave Balch founded The Patient/Partner Project, which is focused on helping other patients by helping their partners.  Visit for Internet resources and services for patients and partners, including free online progress reporting for family and friends and a free email mini-course of “Six ‘L’s’ of Caring and Coping.”  You can contact Dave at or toll-free at 1-8-MORAL SUPPORT (1-866-725-7877) ã 2004, Dave Balch.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

Back to Announcements

FAQ  -  Newsletter  -  Contact Us  -  Site Map  -  Privacy Policy -  Financial Disclosure -  Disclaimer -  Links  -  Banners
Copyright 2005-2010 Pink-Link. All Rights Reserved. 501(c)3 Tax ID#20-2884742