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Healing Happens: When You Live - Part 2

This is an excerpt from an interview for the upcoming book Healing Happens: 23 Stories of Healing Against All Odds.

Bernie: Eight years later my wife had an abnormal mammogram and had cancer. I just

thought, “Okay. We’ll take it one day at a time. I’m not going to worry what’s going to happen next year, five years from now.” I stopped some of the treatments she was put on, because her MS was making her feel even more tired. “How can you do that?” some of her doctors asked me. I replied, “Don’t you know that what you’re giving her is no good? She’s on hormones and other things to keep her as young and healthy as possible.” Experiences like this have reoriented me to care for individuals, not treat diseases. We need to continually emphasize that patients are human beings and have complex life histories.

“Yeah, but I’m -- like our son said, I’m worried about today. I’m not worried about next year or five years from now. We’re trying to get her to have a nice day.”

It really reorients you to care for the person and their life and not treat a disease, But the doctors are trained to treat the result, not the cause. We just focus on the disease, but not on what’s going on in your life. What may have caused this now? How can we help you stay healthy? So I’ve learned to focus on the life.

I have to tell you this story because of my son’s sense of humor that I mentioned to you.

My wife had a mammogram two years ago. The report was her breasts are normal. I wrote them a letter saying, “My wife's breasts are far better than normal.”

I went on with this full-page letter and I mailed it to them because I always think they’ll laugh, give me a call, say “Hey…”

But no response, no answer. I thought “Well that didn’t help anything.”

But when it does help, you become a character and people then know you as a person.

The next year she had a mammogram and out from the back came the radiologist who had just taken a look at it. She said, “Your wife's breasts are excellent.” And then the whole place was laughing.

To learn more about the book Healing Happens: 23 Stories of Healing Against All Odds, and discover more inspirational stories and transformative health and healing tips, please visit:

To connect with Dr. Bernie Siegel, please visit

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