Life is great. Till you are hit by a truck.
And not just literally.
Discovering that you have a life-threatening disease can be severely traumatic.
When you are blessed with good health, you take it for granted. You seldom value it. Till things go wrong.
Then, you struggle to deal with it. Why me, you ask yourself, and others around you. You cringe, cry, and creep into depression.
None of this is unnatural. The bulk of humanity responds in this manner.
Not if you are Rajneesh Singh.
You will soon find out why. But first, a few words about him.
Rajneesh is a top-class HR professional. And a terrific human.
From Perfectly Good Health to Cancer, Just Like That
Rajneesh was perfectly healthy a year ago, or so he thought, till the Big C (Cancer) entered his body. How he responded to it is a case study that can benefit us all. So, here it goes:
Rajneesh was diagnosed with Colon Cancer during the monsoon of 2021. There was a spot on his liver too. It was a double blow. It meant the cancer was spreading to other organs. His doctors recommended immediate surgery.
Rajneesh didn’t bat an eyelid. He submitted himself to the hands of the surgeon and placed complete faith in the medical team serving him.
Sharing is Inspiring, the Rajneesh Way
After he came out of surgery, he took to social media to share his experiences. He narrated on Facebook the full sequence of events following his diagnosis with abundant positive energy and optimism. He referred to himself as “the Good Patient” in his posts and evocatively shared moments of his journey in his post-cancer life.
He began by cheerfully narrating every detail of his pre-and post-surgery experience in the hospital. Some readers could well have mistaken it to be a few nights’ stays at a comfortable hotel.
The best hotels are indeed known for their hospitality. But are hospital stays looked forward to for leisurely comforts?
Unless you view life from the lens of “the Good Patient”.
Sample this excerpt from one of his posts:
“I wanted to spend at least a couple of weeks in the comforts of a room in a hospital. You may find that weird. But that has always fascinated me. Imagine a room to yourself, lying down all day, food being served to your bed, watching TV, thinking, or literally doing nothing. My time to be the Good Patient was here.”
I bet you are thinking “Wow! Can someone who has just entered the Cancer Club think like this?”
It’s possible if you think like “the Good Patient”.
Here’s one more:
“ This was the next dream thing I always wanted to experience as the Good Patient. Be in a scanner machine that checks your body. I always envisioned that it would be like one space station feeling.”
He used the term “dream”, not usually referenced for downsides in life. One can see how Rajneesh is looking forward to this sick journey. To understand better how he thinks, you need to read the next one. And this one’s straight after coming into consciousness from a 12-hour surgery
“I woke up and saw my wife smiling down at me. I told her to take a pic of smiling me. This was a unique experience that I went through, and it had to be captured. I was told that the biopsy is being done too since they found some unusual growth near my rectum. The next wait was for this fascinating report.”
Yes, you read that right.
He refers to the biopsy report as “fascinating”.
You may be wondering if there is something wrong with his vocabulary. Could he be imagining different meanings for words that mean something else?
No, he is not. What’s fascinating is: how he trains his mind to think.
Rajneesh is also fascinated by the number nine and all numbers adding up to nine.
And God knows about it.
Call it destiny or coincidence, Rajneesh’s tryst with nine continued in this stage of his life too. Check out this post which he shared on Facebook.
“Evening of August 9 was memorable after we had checked into Room no. 2349 of the hospital. Both the date and the room digits added up to a couple of numbers The Good Patient loves. 9 & 18.”
The next course of treatment required him to undergo chemotherapy over six months. Just before he signed up for the treatment, he again took to social media. This time he chose LinkedIn to share (you probably guessed it by now) ‘nine’ lessons from his experience, which can benefit others in the same place at present. Or in the future.
1. Enjoy the Adversity: Rajneesh embraced his new medical condition wholeheartedly. He did not get into why me, how did it happen, etc. He readily accepted it as part of life’s new challenge.
2. Have a Single-Minded Focus: Rajneesh avoided too many medical opinions. He consulted a couple of doctors and accepted their advice.
3. Act Swiftly: He realised time is of the essence and decided to act swiftly.
4. Stay Positive: Rajneesh recognised the importance of positive thinking. He told himself he was lucky to have been diagnosed. And now that corrective action was underway, he believed this phase of life too will pass.
5. View it as a Temporary Blip: Rajneesh viewed his new condition as a bad patch of road in the grand expressway of life which requires slowing down temporarily. Once the hurdles are behind him, he will get back on track. He did just that.
6. Trust the Experts: Having decided to take corrective measures, he placed complete trust in the medical professionals under whose care he had signed up.
7. Draw Courage from Your Support System: Rajneesh has a large family — including biological, social, and professional. When you are Rajneesh Singh, relations are not just by blood. All those who know him feel related to him. All those who know him were there for him, prayed for him, and had the best of wishes for him. Rajneesh derived a lot of hope and courage from the positive energy of this large family.
8. Complete Belief in The Almighty: Rajneesh submitted himself completely to the Almighty with total belief that he will be blessed.
9. Rest and Heal: Rajneesh decided to use this opportunity to rejuvenate his body and mind and come out on the other side healthier.
These lessons served Rajneesh well and he wished the whole wide world to benefit from them. Rajneesh knows the biggest battle when encountering such an event is the battle of the mind. And it is here, many either give up or do not find the courage to face it.
Rajneesh decided to share with the community his chemistry with chemotherapy. He seemed to be enjoying the experience, evident from this post on Facebook:
“The OPD area, also called Day Care, was absolute fun. You get to sit on a recliner, food gets served right there including breakfast and lunch while the chemo drip is on through the chemo port. This gave the Good Patient a feeling of traveling in a Shatabdi Express. Fully pampered”
Rajneesh and chemotherapy hit it off so well that none of the usual side effects known to surface troubled him much. Rajneesh has documented his dalliance with the disease like an enthusiast participating in a travel show. Every moment is vividly expressed. And thoroughly enjoyed.
A true leader shines in the face of adversity. Rajneesh Singh ranks right up there in the pantheon of great leaders who live by their example.
Can You & I be “The Good Patient”?
Rajneesh Singh’s story is inspiring. And I have no doubt you feel the same too. None of us know what the future holds for us. If fate puts us in a similar spot, can we live the life of “the Good Patient”?
Rajneesh believes we can.
And his primary reason for sharing his experiences with us is to make us believe just that: If he can, we can too.
Not every medical case is similar. Sometimes, things can go wrong if the disease is detected late. Or any other complication or critical condition crops up, which results in an a-point-of-no-return. But what’s incontrovertible is — “the Good Patient” approach remains the best one to follow — when life throws you a curveball.
Rajneesh not only accepted his newfound medical condition but also embraced it as well.
Rajneesh not only braced up for the journey, but he thoroughly enjoyed the travel.
Rajneesh not only faced up to the challenge, but he also saw it as a real-life experience to be a model patient — what is now etched in folklore as “the Good Patient”.
You and I can also be “the Good Patient”. But first, we need to think like Rajneesh Singh. The good news is: the human mind is completely capable of such thoughts, we just need to open access and think out of the box.
Yes, it’s easier said than done.
But impossible, it is not.