Articles by G van Londen, MD

Dr. van Londen is a cancer provider/medical oncologist and a cancer survivor. Born and raised in The Netherlands, she has migrated to the USA where she completed a medical residency, as well as fellowships in medical oncology and geriatric medicine. She has practiced medicine in the USA for nearly 20 years at a large health care system in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Her background has prepared her to handle diverse and complicated cases. She specializes in: 1) Treating newly diagnosed, older breast cancer patients by performing a geriatric assessment and creating a personalized, multidisciplinary treatment plan that aims to respect patient’s preferences and desire for independence. 2) Cancer survivorship care to prevent/support the late/long-term post-treatment needs of cancer survivors of any gender and tumor type (and their caregivers). Together with a village of various supportive care providers, she performs clinical, research, and educational activities to empower cancer survivors (and their caregivers and providers) to support the post-treatment emotional, physical, and functional needs of cancer survivors. The content of this domain is protected. Entries and replies are not endorsements. Views are mine. No COI.
Cancer and New Years Resolutions

Cancer and New Years Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions. I am sure many of us are getting ready to make ours, even if just to be ready when we’re asked about them. But for whom are we making these resolutions – for others or ourselves? 

Almost everyone seems to make them. Keeping them is harder. Maybe we put the bar too high or maybe the problem is that we’re creatures of habit. Many resolutions aim to deprive us of something (e.g. food) or do more of something we don’t enjoy (e.g. exercise). If we don’t follow through on them we can feel like failures and lose trust in our ability to accomplish change, often resulting in disillusionment. 

I wonder why we make them. I guess the reasoning behind it may differ from person to person. In general, they give us meaningful goals to work towards and perhaps a deadline to hold us accountable. The anticipation of them gives us hope for a bigger, better, healthier life. This annual inventory-taking may allow us to feel that we’re keeping an eye on the big picture so that we don’t stray too far and become too loose and free. Perhaps the attraction is that they give us a sense of belonging to a group of people who are also working on the common goal of bettering themselves. 

It’s probably clear that I’m not a big proponent of these resolutions, but it’s hard to escape them. Perhaps we can approach them differently this year. After all, even if you decide to be nicer to yourself, then you have made a resolution. Or if you decide to not make resolutions, then you have made a resolution, too. 

There’s a fine line between accepting who you are and trying to improve on yourself. If and when you make your News Year’s resolutions this year, I encourage you to take some time to give yourself credit for how far you’ve come in terms of your emotional well-being, health and functional status, social interactions, spiritual/religious growth, and financial or vocational goals. Taking stock of your progress instead of simply focusing on ways you want to change may allow you to like yourself ‘just the way you are’, as Mr. Rogers would say!  

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