Listen: Brain Cancer, Chess, Beth Israel Hospital discussed on 10% Happier with Dan Harris
"One of the many things that I liked about your book is really the feeling of being brought into the room. He's done that another books, but I, but I got an this book a sense of the repeatedly of the back and forth the complexity the sort of multidimensional chess game you are playing while treating patients just say some more of that. Well, there's a thing that happened that I didn't put into this book. But that was sort of like, the the prelude to this book that I think would help to answer your question, which was my father who like your father. Was a physician in Boston and a scientist and a researcher and clinician my father got brain cancer at the age of eighty four on the silent part of his brain. So on the non dominant part of his brain. So he was working seeing patients doing research until he got lost one day driving home from the Beth Israel hospital to my parents have some Brookline, you know, a ten minute drive that he taken for thirty years got lost. That's how they found the tumor by the time they found it it had extended. So they couldn't really do anything about it. And it was the same kind of malignant tumor that John McCain has and that Ted Kennedy died from you know, and my father being a the physician that he was new the prognosis knew he only had a short time to live as did. I and I had never talked to him. He's in like my patient. But but more. So I knew he wasn't interested in any of the spiritual stuff another way in which he's like my father another way in which he is. Yes. And I understood he was very proud of my writing, and he had all my books on a special shelf and his office. I think he had some of them. But we never talked about the the media that you know, exactly what's going on. I think it's not unusual. But I didn't wanna make him uncomfortable. And I had gone my way, and we had worked our stuff out. And you know, that was all fine. But I remember sitting in my office, which is here in New York, realizing my father was going to die soon. And that we had never talked about. What may be I understood from the Buddhist world about what could help in the process of dying. So this is coming into like the complexity of the kinds of conversations. That one can have as a therapist or as a son, or as a friend, or you know, it's not that different. So I decided I would call my father on the phone and try to talk to him which I did. And he picked up he was at home, and he was very receptive. And I said, you know, we've never talked about any of this. But, but maybe it would be helpful. You know, as you go into this new thing for you to know what what they say. And what what I sort of believe, and I wanted to talk to him in like sort of in the non spiritual language just in day to day language. So I said something like you. You know, the feeling that that you've always had deep inside about who you are that when you were twenty or forty or sixty or eighty doesn't seem to have changed very much like if you close your eyes, you're just you're still you. But if you try to find that feeling to try to put your finger on it. It's. Sort of invisible kind of transparent. But yet, you know, it's there, you know, you're not like another person when you, you know, I said what the Buddhist seem to say is that if you learn how to relax your mind into that feeling of who you've always been that you can ride that feeling out when you die when the body starts to fall away, and never, you know, who you think you are no longer operative, and so on that still there and my father listened, and he was very nice, and he's like, okay, darling. All try, you know. But that I've faced that I've had those kinds of conversations, you know, different with everybody. But in my office because. Sooner or later, everybody goes through, you know, really intense things like this. You know, someone comes in at the age of thirty one newly newly discovered that they have the breast cancer, gene, you know, and they have to go in three weeks for a double mastectomy, you know, or someone comes who's a child has been run over,."