Larry Whipple had to travel 1,500 miles from his hometown for a second opinion after he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, but through the course of his treatment he had to remain in isolation to avoid further illness.
After receiving a diagnosis of advanced lung cancer, Larry Whipple became his best own advocate by asking the right questions and seeking the most qualified experts — including finding a second opinion nearly 1,500 miles from his hometown. But as he soon found out the diagnosis, he realized his journey would be a difficult one, mostly due to his need to live in isolation to keep his immune system as healthy as possible.
Here, Whipple explains how his approach to isolation helped him get through the tough times, mainly by managing his expectations. “If you manage your expectations and you can manage them effectively,” Whipple says, “you can be a pretty happy and content person, because you’re not disappointed.”
The chemotherapy (severely weakens) your immune system. Once the chemo started, I literally was quarantined for about six months.
Seriously, I mean, I didn’t go out of the home. My wife and I didn’t do any socializing. We saw my son and daughter-in-law once in a while. They have four children, so I didn’t really want to be exposed in any way. The isolation was very difficult. The actual treatment was a cakewalk. It had absolutely zero effect. You can see my coiffure here: That’s by choice and genetics; it has nothing to do with chemo.
I’ve learned in life that happiness and contentment is all related to what your expectations are. So, if you manage your expectations and you can manage them effectively, you can be a pretty happy and content person, because you’re not disappointed.