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1 July 2014 / erikduval

It’s all in the mind…

So, I had my fifth chemo session last Thursday. As I recovered quickly after my previous session, I was of course silly enough to expect the same thing this time. Silly, indeed, because I started feeling nauseous as soon as I entered the hospital, even before I got any chemo into my veins! And I still get waves of nausea today… (I’ll spare you the details.)

You see, it’s all in the mind: apparently, some patients get sick as soon as they enter the hospital. I’m trying to come up with strategies to make my mind work for me in that sense. Thinking about nature (polar bears, river valleys, our dogs, …) certainly helps to feel better. Discussing my health (or writing about it, as I discover now) doesn’t help at all. Doing Work Stuff helps. Watching an exciting game of soccer helps too. As does watching Monty Python’s Holy Grail, after so many years, for the first time with my kids… (Any excuse is fine to include a Monty Python clip in my blog posts!)

There’s a Bigger Theme here: in the FIFA soccer world cup, it seems to me that the mind plays a big role too… The Netherlands played awfully against Spain in the first half and then superbly (well, somewhat…) in the second half. Same players. Different mindset? The Belgians didn’t play that well in their first three games. Really hope their mindset will be different this evening.

And I often see this with my students too. As a teacher, my main role ¬†seems to be to make them believe that they can solve the problem they’re working on, and maybe motivate them a bit to do so. And then they can actually do it. If I put them in a negative context, they can hardly remember their own name.

Hey, I’m like that too: sometimes, I’m in the flow, it all comes naturally, I (have the feeling that I) get loads of things done, etc. And, sometimes, I put a lot of effort into achieving … very little if anything at all.

Hmm, something to keep my mind wondering about. Maybe that’ll help with the nausea too. If not, nice cards like this one will. (Thx, Els!)



Leave a Comment
  1. Maurice Hendrix / Jul 1 2014 6:18 pm

    First of all good luck with your battle and I hope you feel better soon!

    Secondly for educational games flow is often described as occurring when the challenge and skill level are matched such that the task is neither too easy nor too difficult. Reading this post, surely there has got to be more to it than that to explain these variations (same task, same skill level)

  2. Allyn Radford / Jul 1 2014 11:06 pm

    Erik, although I do not know you so well and we have only met a few times at educational conferences, now might be a good time for you to be reminded of the huge positive impact you have already made through your work so far. You and your work is mentioned many more times than you know. I cannot speak of any other dimensions of your life but when you say “work stuff helps” as you reflect on what makes a difference in your own mind, be assured that in another sense, *your* work stuff helps people around the world each day. Draw strength from those positive things in your life and use that strength for the things that matter most.

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