"I was diagnosed with throat cancer at the age of 51 (the week after running a 10K), requiring a significant throat surgery, during which some of the muscles necessary for swallowing needed to be trimmed. I was then sent to radiation therapy, which entails lying flat on my back with my head pinned in exact place by a dense plastic mesh that allowed for basically no movement (they’re shooting lasers at you, they really don’t want you to move). Because I was no longer able to swallow consistently, and given a lifelong phobia of drowning to death in my own saliva, I was experiencing significant panic attacks about the process. In the weekend before my first treatment, I ingested 3000 calories a day and still lost weight because I was so keyed up.
I was seeking out any support I could find to provide me with skills to address the relentless fear I was feeling. In my search for hypnotherapists, I ran across Mark’s website, and contacted him about options. He was amazingly responsive and engaging (when others closer to home had not been) and had an amazing positivity that I hadn’t seen/felt/experienced since the diagnosis of cancer appeared in my life. Once we figured out how we could time the sessions, he sent me materials to work on before we even got started, and some of those became part of my pre-treatment ritual. The imagery in his grounding exercise figured prominently in my getting through the first several treatments, proving to myself it was possible.
He was massively interactive and accommodating; my schedule changed weekly (we found out on Fridays what the next week’s schedule would look like) and he was able to work with me to rearrange plans each time. When I had to change an appointment last minute due to the unexpected death of my dog, he was unflinchingly supportive. He was a tremendously important part of making my radiation treatments successful. Last night I rang the bell to signify completion of my radiation treatments, and this morning I wrote this email to thank him profusely for all of his help. He was fantastic!"