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Chapter 2. All About Stress > The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief

Consider the amazing story reported by Ernest Rossi in his book The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing. Dr. Rossi recounted the story of Mr. Wright, as told by his personal physician, Dr. Phillip West, over thirty years ago. Mr. Wright suffered from an advanced malignancy of the lymph nodes known as lymphosarcoma. His condition was terminal and he had deteriorated to the point where his physician thought death was imminent. He had tumors the size of oranges in his neck, groin, chest, and abdomen. His spleen and liver were grossly enlarged. Copious amounts of fluid were drawn from his chest on a daily basis. He was bedridden and had severe difficulty breathing. All standard cancer treatments of that time, including radiation, had proved useless. Although his doctors had given up hope for his recovery, Mr. Wright maintained an optimistic attitude, for since the onset of his illness he had held fast to a belief that a miracle drug would come along to save the day.

This expectation was fulfilled when newspapers reported that a newly developed drug, Krebiozen, showed significant promise in the treatment of cancer. This hope was further heightened when he learned that the hospital where he was staying would be included in a research project studying the effectiveness of this new drug. Even though he did not fit the criteria for inclusion in the study (because of the advanced nature of his condition), he begged his doctors to include him in the treatment protocol. Against their better judgment his doctors included him in the study, fully expecting he would die within the week, thus freeing up a supply of Krebiozen for another patient.


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