My doctor found a lump in my neck that isn't going away and today I have a CT scan of it. This is when I would normally call someone and ask them for prayers. But since I am completely certain that that would be ridiculous, I am not sure what to "do." Think happy thoughts? Ignore it? Hope? I went for a massage to calm down and she put "hope" essential oil on me. Like it was going to infuse hope. I don't really believe that. I guess what you do is look into yourself for the hope and centeredness you need to face a scary thing. I do find strength in the people I love.

What do I do instead of pray?

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if everything works out and all is good, make sure to "Thank Doctors".

You've already gotten some good advice but to make sure you don't think the advice is all over the map:

Our minds and bodies are not separate - so do what you need to so you can reinforce: your confidence in the doctors, your support structure (friends and family), and your mental health. Do what is right for you.

For me, doing those sorts of things has included: watching movies that help my mood (from comedy to apolocalyptic), talking with my mom, getting together with friends, researching things related to my issues, and eating tasty stuff that's bad for me especially chocolate (although dark chocolate isn't as bad as was once thought).

Yes! Support in friends and loved ones is great. I've been sick for awhile and a Christian part of the time and an atheist most of the time. What I found out is that I have so MUCH strength in myself that "prayer" had just really been a personal pep talk. So now, I give myself personal pep talks! Its actually FAR more affective than prayer because if something doesn't go the way I want it to, its not because some god let me down (and you start thinking, what did I do wrong to upset him?) :-) Instead, its about admitting to yourself that, yea this sucks!, but I can't get through it. Hang in there!!

I can't thank everyone enough for your thoughts on the issue at hand. Thank you for taking the time to advise me and to care. It means a lot to me! Kim

As frightning as it is, try to stay calm until you have a certain diagnosis. Specifically, because the added stress can significantly impact other aspects of your heart (elevated blood pressure, ulcers, etc.). If you do get a bad diagnosis, spend your time researching the education and abilities of doctors who may be able to treat you. Also become an authority on the condition its self. Information is power, learn about the newest medications, sucesses of trial studies, etc. I hope you will keep us posted on it as much as you feel comfortable.

If you think about it, prayer is really just a form of meditation. I would recommend you find something that has a calming effect on you - a place, an activity, etc. - and do that. Clear your mind, relax, and just "be". That wil help you more than any prayer would.

For me? I find being around my kids and animals to be the most healing, comforting thing in the world. Since my kids are all teens or grown up, my dogs tend to give me a lot of comfort, especially during the day, or anytime my pain level is high (I am a chronic pain sufferer).

Good luck - with everything - and come here to talk if you need to. That's what we're here for - to commune with each other and support each other.

Instead of praying? Well you are doing it now by talking about it.

I know it is a bit of a shock to get news like that and the first few days get a bit foggy until you get your head around it. I am sure that you will get better advice and solace from the friendly strangers on this site than from well meaning people who will only offer to pray for you. But for the best advice keep in touch with the medical teams and if necessary talk with people who have already walked that road. Sharing with them will make you stronger and empower you. So put your trust in the medical science. It will turn the crisis into a problem that can be managed.

Priests and pastors are coming up with new cures and treatments all the time. Ooops I meant to say scientists and doctors so there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic and no real reasons not to. Knowing that should give you a great sense of Hope. Who needs prayer? And when you get the all clear you will be able to pass on that sense of Hope to others when they need it.

Take charge of your body and mind as much as within your capability. What the diagnosis may eventually be, make it your mission to educate yourself about whatever afflicts you. The human body is able to heal itself, if you help it as much as you can. All research in disease indicates that disease benefits from exercise, something that the majority sniff at cause everyone wants the magic pill, they're content to remain on blood pressure meds instead of doing the things(life style changes) they need to do. Only one example, yes there are things that can not be prevented but like I said all research says disease is made better by vigorous exercise.

Kim, please reach out and talk to the people you love and let them know you are worried and need their support.  There is comfort in knowing people care about you and love you.  Having people pray for you or put "hope" oil on you is just part of dealing with other peoples superstitions.  It really only has a negative effect on you when people truly think they are doing something wonderful for you when they tell you they are asking god to help you in prayer and what you really want and need is a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on.

I think what you want to know is where are you going to find the inspiration to help you battle any illness etc. This is where the concept of God is good and powerful. It doesn't matter if it is delusion if it brings one strength then one is stronger.

This is why I respect Indian hinduism. The Gods are so interchangeable and they are all representations of different facets of ourselves. The equivalent to God in hinduism would be Atman and no one worships him because he is too far removed.

Meditation is far stronger than prayer for what you want to achieve. However, being able to meditate is far more difficult than being able to pray. Usually takes years of practice before you can use the benefits at will.

Fitness is a healing thing.

Selfless service is a healing thing.

Singing (especially devotional) is a healing thing.

Doing yoga is a healing thing.

Receiving massage is a healing thing.

Finding closure on things that require closure is a healing thing.

Forgiving (in true sense) is a healing thing (similar to above).

Trust is an empowering thing.

Oh! i nearly forgot. Probably the most powerful of all:


I tend to meditate. I usually just sit in a chair, close my yes, and rest and focus my thoughts. I shove the fear aside and look at the problem as rationally as possible. If I need to put my faith in anything, then I put my faith in myself, modern science, and the people who love me.


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