Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 67 · 1 year ago

67: Using Love as Medicine with Dr. Steven Eisenberg

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Steven Eisenberg is not your average oncologist. After all, how many doctors can say they’ve written hundreds of songs with their patients, written a book, and appeared on America’s Got Talent?

Yet Dr. Steven has done it all. And in his new book, LOVE IS THE STRONGEST MEDICINE: Notes from a Cancer Doctor on Connection, Creativity, and Compassion, he’s sharing how the relationships in our lives play such an important role.

We’re also talking about guitars, the power of having hope, and how to blog every single day for nearly five years. And, yes, Steven shares his experience on America’s Got Talent, even if it didn’t quite end the way he hoped. But from that experience, something even better was born. 

Good people cool things as a podcast feature and conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. Get inspired by their stories to do your own cool thing, and here's your host, Joey held. Welcome to good people, cool things. Today's guest is Dr Stephen Eisenberg, who is the author behind the book love is the strongest medicine. Notes from a cancer doctor on connection, creativity and compassion. Stephen is also known as the singing oncologist, and so we're going to be talk all about how he creates songs with his patients and builds a super cool connection with them in some of the darkest times of their lives. We're talking about how well being as a verb and his worst gig ever, which was pretty public, so you may have even seen it and might recognize it as Stephen is telling the story. But there's lots of good stuff all on there. He's also written a blog every single day since January one, two thousand and seventeen, coming up on close to two thousand of those blogs total. So we're talking about that kind of consistency and building a habit into your daily life. And we also discovered that Stephen is a big Seinfeld Fan. So we are talking through some of our favorite moments from the show serenity now, which isn't one of them, but I mean that's a common phrase that almost everyone knows that his familiar with Finefeld, so why not throw it in there? If you'd like to get in touch with the show, you can do so via good people, cool thingscom or sending an email joey at good people cool thingscom. You can also follow the show on facebook, twitter or Instagram, all of those, R GPCT podcast and if you head on over to good people cool thingscom shop you might notice one or two cool new things in the merge store. There's lots of goodies on there and you can also find some stuff on etsy. So we'll drop a link in the show notes for that, because, I mean, everyone's getting on at seater in the pandemic. I did it very late, but have been on there for a little bit and haven't people check something without but there's some ex exclusives on their still all fantastic stuff to help support a show that hopefully you enjoy, just like I know you'll enjoy this conversation with Stephen. Thank you for having me here. This is this is my life's work, I mean creatively, and it's sort of chronicles this crazy project that I started several years ago where, in an attempt to connect on a true, really at a soul to soul level with my patients and and and an attempt to sort of save my soul as a doctor, I started writing songs for my patients with my patients. WERE CO writers and it was it was it. I called it lyrical life. This the the lyrical life project, and it's all chronicled in here. But why I why I started doing it was one of my favorite artists is name's Peter Himmelman, happens to be Bob Dylan's son in law. That's for another podcast, though, but he he wrote a song for me when I was at one of my lowest points as a doctor. And how did IT COME TO BE? Well, it was a story writing contest I was on. I I was on his email list and it was like, one day, get this email. Write a story of how Peter's Music has impacted you in your life. So I wrote a story about being woken up all night as an intern and and and being inspired by his Song Mission of my soul. We should link it it's a great song. Mission of my soul was like my anthem at the time of internship in residency, because when you're when you have your sleep deprived and you're being woken up every hour on the hour throughout the entire night, you got to have a mission in your heart, a mission of your soul, to keep going, to keep remembering why, why am I doing this? Why do I want to be a doctor? And so I wrote the story and, little did I know, I won and and so he took everything that I expressed in the story. You know, the few times I had sheepishly taken the guitar out into the Chemo Room and wrote some spontaneous lyrics for people sitting in their chemo...

...chairs, you know, just sort of asking people, Hey, what do you love to do when you go home and you're you're not getting chemo and what? The one song that always sticks out is Mary told me that she's got seven dogs, she's got five cats, he's got three goats, he's got two cows. So it just started writing. Mary's got five cats, you know, don't forget those dogs for show. She's the greatest Mary, and I just like started playing this funny song and everyone started laughing, they started smiling. In a chemo room right like it could be one of the most oppressing places in the world. But I wanted to create an invite, healing environment, one where people could sort of feed off of that little creative, you know, the laughter or whatever it was. They were silly songs to begin with, and so he wrote this song for me and at the time I was I was going through a really hard, crazy time as a doctor. I was burned out. But, believe it or not, there's a compassion crisis in American medicine right now where burnout is rampant, and I was at myself going through this horrible period of burnout where all my creativity was being pushed away into the corridor. My Guitar was before I brought it into the Chemo Room those few times, was collecting so much dust and I was just trying to be the perfect promost productive, you know, beat out all the competition. I was the new kid on the block for the practice to hire me in. So I had to prove myself, I had to prove that I was worthy of being part of this practice and all of my all of my creativity, all of my compassion was slowly being drained out by, like the Daytoday, slog and the business of being a private practice doctor. And bringing the guitar into the Chemo Room was my attempt to try and rediscover who I was. And then I got the song from Peter and we I'll send it to you. We can link it here. And what what? What that did was it shocked me back into reality, meaning it was like CPR for me, and and I write about this in the book CPR meaning connection, presence and resilience. I was disconnected to myself. I forgot why I was, why I wanted to be a doctor, why wanted to be an on college. Just wasn't to strive and beat out everybody and be the most productive most successful. It was to bring love and light and laughter and creativity to people going through some of the hardest times of their lives. And hearing the song, the floodgates opened. I started crying hysterically because all these pent up emotions and all the frustrations and all the symptoms of burnout we're just it just flooded through me and it it was like a clink in the armor. It was like a crack in the armor and some light started to come in, and that's when I decided to go all in, to write the way he wrote, a personalized song for me, to write a personalized song with you, the patient, all about what moves you, what touches you, what inspires you, what brings you to life, because oncology is about living. It's not about dying, it's about living and thriving while dealing with one of the most horrible things you could ever deal with. And so that's how this, this book, came to be, because love is the strongest medicine. To me, is all about connection, reconnecting to who you are at your highest self and sharing that with other people. And so that's that's how the songs came to be. That's how I tried my best to Meld the two worlds of creativity, compassion and medicine. And and not only did...

...the patients do they still love it. Some patients comeing and go, where's my song, like, like that's like the first thing they say to me that I walk in. Where we do? Can we do a song when I'm finished my chemo? And some patients never heard about it, though, but it's sometimes it happens organicly you know, they see something on online or something about the songs. So that's how it all came to be and I'm just thrilled to be here and the books sort of chronicles this whole you know, this whole path and all the lessons that I've learned from my patience of doing being with people, having the privilege, it's really a privilege to be with people for twenty five years where they're fighting for their life every single day and in many cases just like just to wake up and go and come into the center and get whatever treatment they're on and just to it's really like it's so inspiring to be with those, to be with my patients, and they taught me and continue to teach me more than I could ever impart to them. What's one of the lessons that they've taught you? That was a surprising one. We were like wow, I didn't expect that. Well, Dawn, she's just she's this amazing soul. She she dyed her hair purple, lavender. No, she says, let it's Lavender, doc it's not purple. You know, she taught me the power of hope in uncertainty. So, young mother, two young girls and breast cancer everywhere. When we first met, and she's she you know, she said like I feel pretty hopeless right now when we first met, and what she taught me was the power of your words and how you communicate to others and to yourself. Like she was just communicating that there was no hope, that she was a goner and that was it. So the first thing I had to do when I walked in that room, the whole goal wasn't fair, to understand every little nuance of how we were going to treat the cancer and her too positive and all these new treatments. That was part of it, but it was just to create the possibility of hope in that ten by ten exam room when you can speak to somebody who you just met, but in five to ten minutes we're talking as if she's my little sister, because she's the same age as my little sister in real life. And so by the end of the visit we're talking like she's my little sister. She's starting to understand that her type of breast cancer happened to be a lot more treatable because of this. It was her too positive and there's all these new treatments, these new monoclonel aibodies that we could give her and she said it was her, her husband and her her parents. At the end of that visit we did this like group Hug, all five of us, and she said this is the first time I felt hopeful and it was all because the connection that we created like brother, sister and and just, you know, just to be able to say there was there was hope. There was hope to get a remission, to get a complete response and her stories in the book. And she very soon after that hope was created in the room was her scans were free, there was no sign of cancer, and so it was really cool. It was really cool the power of your words that, especially when you're an oncologist like I mean, talk about like people, you you know, sitting on the edge of their seat to listen to everything you're saying. This is like life and death. So I can't tell you how many times I hear from people all...

...over the world like yeah, like the communication sometimes is lacking, they feel disconnected to their care team, and so the first thing is, I say, is connection. Reconnect to who you know yourself to be, and that's also just that the songs really at their if you break them down, they're just an attempt to help people reconnect to their highest self, because I'm all the the lyrics are all about what you love, what inspires you, what moves you, what touches you, what brings you to life, what lights you up, and it's never, never about the cancer, never about the diagnose. It's always about what fills you with joy in those hardest moments. Because people always say, what do I say? My best friend was just diagnosed with cancer. What do I say to them? What do I I don't, I don't have the prefect, perfect thing I can I can say or get them or do for them. What can I do? You can listen, because there is no perfect thing to say to someone. One thing to not say to somebody because they've heard it too much and it doesn't mean anything to them when they've first been diagnosed with cancer, is just think positive. It doesn't connect because you're you're filled with anger, you you're pissed off, you're you're in shock. When you hear those three words you have cancer, your body goes into a posttraumatic stress state. All we can do is listen and send love and understanding and slowly this you can slow it down and slowly. The ultimate goal is to take that posttraumatic stress of the diagnosis and start to slow it down and start to reverse it and by the end, hopefully, from my lips to God's ears for anybody who's going through it, you go into this post traumatic growth, post traumatic wisdom, like you're a changed human being for having gone through that and you've all this wisdom, all this growth, because you made it. You made it through that first treatment, you made it through that first scan, you made it through that first whatever it is for you, and it's not just cancer. That's why the books called love is the strongest medicine. It's for anyone who's struggling and could use a little love, a little reminder of who they are in their heart. Even you, you can't even get reconnected to your doctors, and that's that's part of my mission, right to sort of break down the wall, the wall that's between doctor and patient, that we're actually taught, you know, keep it this. Some keep a wall, keep this wall so you're you're not too emotional with your patients, and that's been shown. That has been shown to be the thing that predisposes doctors most to burn out. When they are, when they have the biggest, tallest, hardest, thickest wall between them and the patient. Start to disconnect to who you are as a doctor, who you said yourself to be, who you wanted to be, who you wanted to help people, wanted to connect and wanted to bring healing to paper people. The compassion research is now like catching up to all the years and years of what we knew like we wanted, we wanted to help people, but this wall has been created, so we got to break it down. And then when you actually can get deeper, deeper and deeper connected to your life and to your patients, symptoms of burnout paradoxically go away. It's not that you are Oh, I'm now, I'm emotionally invested and I now I'm so burned it out because of the emotions. It's the exact opposite. You got to do a George Costanza, the exact opposite of what you think you should do. Disconnect and not be there, you not be there fully and connected with your patient. It's the opposite. So the songs in such a deep way, was like my my I was crying out for connection and and all of my burnout symptoms slowly but surely went away. So for me that was the love but for someone else it's drawing, it's listening to music, it's writing, it's journaling, it's any type of creative expression that you guys can share. Absolutely. Yeah, I think any kind of creative...

...outlet like that does so much more than we we can even know as we're going through it, and I do kind of what it said. You touched on this a little bit of your writing with your patients, but what does that songwriting process look like? Do you have like a checklist of like give me these like five things you like and then you kind of weave it in, or is it kind of like you're writing the lines together? How does that look? I call it the songwriting session. It's usually like okay, we've done all, we've gone over your we've gone over your scans, we've gone over your blood work. We've got five minutes at the end of the visit. So I take out a pie blank piece of paper and I just asked random like whatever comes up. Like I like the question you know, what's the secret of your marriage, for example, if they're married, because a lot of my page they had. I've been married fifty years and like what, how'd you guys meet? What's the secret? I like that one. What we like is a kid. What would you put on a billboard? That's going to be there for five years no matter what, and it's just going to be whatever you want to say to the world. There are no rules. I A lot of times I'm just scribbling down things they say, phrases where they were born and what it was like for them, and and I get, like to two to three pages of just scribbling notes. It's all just things that they've shared, like just just random thoughts they've had from an and there's no there is no checklist. It's a great idea. Would probably make it easier. There's that. I love that idea, but there's no checklist. It's sort of just organic and from these notes there's a few phrases that stick. You know, I've got to see them, I've gotten to be with them, you know, at there at their scariest time in their life, and it's vulnerability and vulnerability is is it's just so beautiful and and so when I'm when I can be vulnerable back and I can perform this song for them that they created with me I've seen people's lives change just because they've heard their the the most beautiful parts of their life come back in a two and a half minute little ditty that they wrote with me and, you know, in some spiritual level, I think, their mind and their body and their and their soul or sort of unified in that moment and become like a really strong ally in the fight against whatever they're up against. The research in this wonderful book I've been I've been reading called compassion omics. It's all the studies on compassion and you can give the same exact treatment to the two people. One delivered with beautiful compassion and one just delivered just straight, just very wrote, but the same beautiful exact treatment and the right treatment. And the patients who are delivered with compassion they actually do better. It's crazy. It's crazy that. And it doesn't take doesn't take songwriting, it doesn't for me that that was my thing it and it doesn't make your visit go an hour longer. They also showed you can. You can, you can foster that compassion and deliver that compassion with not being a second longer in the room with a patient. I went to med school thinking could I could I learn how creativity can tap in to the brain and how can that aid? And for me I chose cancer patients because it was like that seemed to me to be some of the darkest times you can go through and if I could do just a little flicker of light, a little I mean that, that's where I thought I could make the biggest impact and I didn't know how I was. I didn't go into it thinking I'm going to bring my guitar into a Chemo Room, but it was that, like I like I said in the beginning, it was like this Aha moment that not only would my patients like this, but maybe my soul needed this. And for my Guitar Geek, my fellow Guitar Gigs, I what kind of Gutar do you have? I have it right over there. It's an ovation legend Cherry burst. I got IT IN MED school. I had it made me it I got I was broke. After I bought this thing, I was playing a beat up...

...guitar that I found in my attic. It was my dad's. It was it was a righty, so I had to restring it lefty and then I I went to medley music and Lancaster Avenue in Philly and this thing was sitting there. Was the only lefty in the store and I was like, Whoa, I love that color. Oh, it's a great color, and this thing's old. I mean I got this thing in like ninety ninety three or something, so it's really, you know, still good, cool things. I'd have to go deep into your origin story. Oh yeah, and then I could. I then I could really write a good song for you know that? Yeah, that's fantastic. I just always I always love chatting through there. I mean there's I'm not gonna say I'm a guitar pro like there's plenty of people who are like, Oh, yeah, I have this and I'm just like, I can't picture what that looks like, but I have I have one that's a very similar color. It's my dad's old gibson SG and it's kind of cooling Cherry one. and talking about old guitars, I'm pretty sure that's from like one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven or something like that. So ie like it's and it still sounds so good and I'm just like, I hope I can keep chaking care of this. Yeah, a lot of responsibility have in that. Is it in the room? Is it in the room where you are? It's not. Now it's I have my guitars, not, not super close to the podcast studio, but yeah, I also have I got to give another shout out to I have a Hoffner Guitar, which I had never heard of before until I saw it in a store and they at least this one looks like a violin, but it's a guitar. Look like a gorgeous looking violin guitar and it's got kind of like a jazzy bluesy sound, which is quite the contrast to some of the other ones I've played. So I like I like having that as little mix up, but it needs to be restrongt it is very badly out of tune and I think missing a string. I love this thing. I had to get this thing rebuilt my kid dropped it once. Oh No, he's crack in it. You know, this is like I can never get rid of this thing. I thought, well, maybe I'll sell it an upgrade it, but you know, I know first guitar. Yeah, yeah, once you say point, you're like, Nah, you can't. I didn't. I didn't realize it until now it's sort of matches the color of that. I didn't that wasn't planned. At some good color skimming, though. WHOEVER WASN'T DESIGN? I ever, yeah, it wasn't planned. All right, t's this that I was going to ask you this before we started recording. But have you ever had, I. A guitar performance that was not so good that I classify as your worst Gig? Does does America's got talent count? Absolutely, absolutely, Yea. One day I come to my office and there's a note on my desk and I'm like, Oh, I got a probably you know, hospital calling to go see a patient and it says it says America's got talent called. Please call back. Producer. I'm like, my medical assistants messing with me. This is ridiculous, right. They're like no, no, it's not a prank. Like Lindsay called from agt. So I called back. I'm like, what's this all about? We saw your we saw you online that you you know you you write songs with your patients and we think it's a really heartwarming story. Please come on the show. Like, I'm not a professional singer, you know, I I throw together songs for for you know people going through cancer and they love to hear, you know, they love to see their on colleges create something with them. I can't go up against like an eighteen year old, you know, with a beautiful voice who's, you know, going to be signed to a pop star contract. No, Olivia Rodrigue no, no fame behind, not at all. So, but I did it. I did it because I wanted to spread this message of love to the world, that that a doctor and a patient could come together and write a song. But I couldn't. I couldn't bring a patient up there because it's it was it wasn't the right thing. So I wrote. I wrote a song about my overbearing mother who followed me to San Diego from Philadelphia, and it just fell flat and it was...

I was almost trying to create like a comedy bit out of it and it was just they didn't get it. They just didn't get it. The audience didn't get it, nobody got it and it was almost a spoof. But I got like like fo xes. It was like public humuni humiliation. But you know, I really grew from the experience. I'd been through plenty of failures in my life before then, but not so publicly and at the time I think it was the most watch show in the world. I thought like well, you know, I learned a lot because it was it was really at that point, it was really learning how to how to pick yourself up off the canvas and not not be dissuaded, not be not be stopped, and and it just would have made me recommit to the patients even even deeper. Wouldn't you know it? After that crazy experience, one year pretty much to the day, I got the deal to write this book. So from failure and my friend said to me, one of my oldest friends, Kevin, said to me that part of you had to die on stage for the book to be born. That's great. It's sort of interesting, like because I did. I died on stage, like you know, when you say I, you know you in comedy, you either kill or you bomb. Well, I bombed, like you know, like I'm dying up here. I died on stage. But sort of that, it was very interesting that that part of me had to go through that for the love is the strongest medicine to be born, and I thought that was a cool way of framing it, but it was. It was a crazy it was a crazy experience. I couldn't hear, I couldn't hear the music and and I wanted to do like a like a change the words to a known song. MMM, but you can't do that. It's not allowed because of all the copyrights. You either have to do like, you know, a song that's known or an original. So I did an original song about my overbearing mom. A lot of mothers in the crowd. They were just like not and it was like no, I got like a thousand comments like Mama's boy, and it was just it was funny. It was really fun. But that was that was a huge, hilarious failure, but a great story after the fact, which is always why I enjoy reflects like a few years to be able to talk about it make fun of it. Yeah, it's terrible in the moment, but then afterwards and like you said, a book was born out of it, which I think it wildly, probably more than I think a lot of people can say. What they'll their fail yeah, I had to go through it. I had to learn that that that failure can be beautiful. And you know what, my patients loved it. They came in and they that was great, like they loved it, you know, and you know the so they lifted me back up again. They lifted me back up again. It was because it was a patient. It was a patient named flabby, her stories in the book. That called me out when I was when I was burned out, I walked into her hospital room one day and we were she was in there. She's eighty years old, she smoked her whole life and she's she was in there because there she wasn't doing well with the Chemo. I walked in, you know, not feeling great morning, flavvy. How are you today? Remember, she's got like less than six months to live. She stops, she looks at me right in the face, right in the eyes. How are you doing there, kid? Forget about me for a minute. I'm going to get out of here. Don't worry. But you, how are you doing today? Because I got to tell you, you look like crap. And she she could see it in my face. She could see it because I again, this thing wasn't part of...

...my life. It was, you know, it was collecting dust, it was, and I had lost that spark, that that you know, in my soul. So she called me out. How you going to take care of all of us if you can't take care of yourself. Give me here, kid, let me give you a hug. So I'm like, what, what is this? You know, I'm this is a hospital. Like it. Like, is this a spoof? So I walk over to her. The Damn right I'm going to. So I we she hugs me and don't forget, she was a dancer in her younger in her younger year. So we start, she's we start to do a little dance and we're dancing a little bit in the hospital room and she goes, you got to let go of the stress, Kiddo, because if you don't, this job's going to kill you and we need you to be yet your best. This woman, she had a few months left to live, and her one of her biggest commitments in that moment and for weeks, all weeks following, was to make sure that I got my life back on track and started to meditate and do Yoga and bring that guitar into the Chemo Room that first time. You got to be yourself. So it was like my patients took a stand for me to be the best I could be, and so that's sort of that was a big deal and that and Peter Song, the patients rattling around me to get back to who I knew I could be and hearing it all in a song. Those two things change my life. And then the fight and then you know, years later that the whole agt to Boco, that was really that's what I think really led to the birth of this book, because I had been I had had this idea for twenty years. I wanted a book and I wrote all these different proposals and all these different ideas, but none of them were of quite there. It's really hard to get it, to get it, to get a the right book deal. I was very attached. It had to be the right book, it had to be the right thing, it had to be the right publisher, it had to be this, it had to be that. It was like this attachment. And after, after Agt, you know, I learned to sort of let go of that and let go, let go of expectations that it had to look a certain way and be a certain way and it and and winning look like this and failing look like this, because I didn't see agt as a failure. I saw it as as a shout out to my patients. This thing will change lives, because we all need love right now. There's too much hate in the world and we're disconnected from ourselves and from each other. But I got to tell you, man, I feel connected to you right now and I can feel the love, the brotherly love, from Philly, the city of brotherly love. Oh Shit, I just thought of that, the city of brotherly love. It's hot, coming together, Joey, because because my my music name is skinny Philly Kid, because I used to be super skinny, have a fro, buck teeth, and everyone just said, who's that skinny kid from Philly? Like because I got I got picked on as a as a kid. I was so skinny. Again, I had to learn how to love myself, skinniness, Buckteeth, big hair everything, even though I was bullied. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to really get present to the love in your life and self compassion, selfcompassion, and that's one thing I stress in oncology, because people are patients. My patients like to come in and go, you know, they like to they've they feel almost like self blame. Oh, if only I would have, should have, could have done this differently. What happened happened. Here we are. We're going to deal with it. Can't look back. That's not going to empower you at all. It's just going to disempower you. We're going to deal with what we need to do with today, come up with a plan of what...

...we're going to do tomorrow, and you're going to try and be present each day. It's not easy. It's probably the hardest thing in the world to be present in your life when you've going through something as scary as cancer, because of all the uncertainty. Am I going to be here in six, nine, twelve months? But you know, the hardest thing we can ever ask of ourselves is to keep every day, every day, just creating it. I'm going to be here, I'm going to do some things today, then I'm going to do some things tomorrow. My friend, my my college roommate, said the thing that gets him through the hardest times of his life is to just do the next right thing. Do the next right thing, like okay, wow, like what's the next right thing? Well, let Joey Talk. That's the next right thing right now. So let Joey have some time to talk. Like that's like, okay, that's the next right thing. That feels right. That segues very nicely into the next question as well. So it's like it's like you teed it up. But something I like to ask is something that you wish you were asked more frequently, and you wanted to chat about your daily Dose Blog, which you've done every day since January, one two thousand and seventeen, which means you're on your five of it, if my rudimentary math is correct, which is crazy, and I think that's a and crazy in a good way, of course, not like but like, well, they're not yeah, but they're yeah. But how have you, yeah, how have you kept up with that over running? I'm five years now on every day. It came out of being inspired by by Seth Goden and I bought he put out these huge mega books and it was like, you know, the best of his blog from twenty two thousand and six to two thousand and twelve or something like that. It's this thick and it's so heavy. I don't have it in this room but and you know, I had just failed getting a book deal or something and I just thought, you know what, just start writing each day. I'd heard it. I've heard everyone said, you know, you got to keep that muscle going. You got to keep that muscle strong. Just keep writing every day, just keep writing and seth says, you know, ship it shit it hit publish. So you know, I really, I really worked at it and they're short. They're very short. They're the longest ones probably one minute read maybe to some are just acronyms like I've had. You know, I'll have I'll just say like love, listening, observing, verbalizing, empathizing love, and that's us. That that's just the blog post for that day. I love coming up with, with creating sort of new acronyms for things. So they're just little I just call them little daily dose of Health and wellness inspiration. But you know what they're a lot of times it's just for me to remind myself, because I can't write a song every day for a patient, but these little these little nuggets are like little reminders to myself after a crazy, long day. I just take a moment and maybe the whole process takes ten, fifteen minutes, because I then I'll pick a nice picture to go with it and I'll put it up and I'll hit publish on the blog and it's there and you can go in there. You can go to Dr Stephencom, Dr Stevencom with a V and you can search and you can just put anything in and these daily doses will come up if they're if there's a relevant search term, and some of them are pretty good. And what we did was we took some of the little excerpts of them and some of them are the you know, like in a chap with the beginning of a chapter of the book it'll say like here's one. For example, chapter two is called my way. Every every chapter is a song, a song title, and that Song Sort of is the theme of that chapter. This is called my way and it just starts with you may lose, but don't lose yourself. You may feel abandoned, but don't abandon yourself. You may not...

...know the answer, but know who you are. Daily Dose May Fourteen, two thousand and twenty, and that was during the pandemic. So there's little excerpts of them to start off the chapters and so who knew they'd be used in my you know, so like you never know, right, you never you never know. But I do think that there is something too deliberate creativity. My friend Dr Galati's writing a book called deliberate creativity. It's not out yet, but you know, forcing yourself to produce something every single day it's challenging. Sometimes I don't want to do it and there's been times where I've skipped today and then did to the next day. But again, doesn't have to be perfect. But there is one there every single day from January one, two thousand and seventeen until now it's like over one fifteen hundred. I don't know how many it is. You'd have to go to Google's a day since hundred and seventeen, but it's it's over, it's it's we're getting close to twozo. At some point I thought maybe if this first book does well, they'll maybe they would plub publish a bunch of some of the best ones, like, you know, like three hundred sixty five, blah, blah, blah, you know, like one of those kind of yeah, but who knows? Well, either way, that's exciting that some of them have gotten in and looking forward to more and I love it. The repurposing content, which is always, always something I like preaching. So I love I love seeing that and action and again segueg nicely. That's we're all about. The segues here into, I like, the top three. I'm repurposing something that you said earlier about George Costanza and oh he's doing the opposite, which I feel like is a good enough that's that's like a deep enough pull that I assume you're a pretty big signfeld fan. Good people, cool things. Who are those people? What are these cool things? Very solid side, but very solid. Thank you. So I know that's like that's like Jimmy Fallon doing something, but I'll still like it. Who are those good people and what are this cool things they're doing? Well, I'm gonna let you choose your own ending here with the top three, either your top three Seinfeld quotes or your top three seinfeld episodes. I mean, I can't think of them right now that I would say. Let's go episodes. Doing George doing the opposite, for sure. Elaine doing the bad dance. She's so good at that dance. I can't do the leg kick, but you know, I'm trying to get that hold on. Yeah, that's impressive flexibility. Well then like kick. So George doing the opposite the leg kick. And then, last but not least, can you spare a square? I think you know Jamie Gertz. I was always a big Jamie Gertz Fan and she's the can you spare a square person and I don't know, I love that one. But those three that's came to mind. And Yeah, I think I aspire to write one joke as good as Jerry one day. One day I'll do it when I go and just do a chemo concert. The personalized songs are all you know. They're more emotional and deep, but they're still they still make them smile. The thing, the next thing I'm going to do is is to do some to do some stand up in the cut in the chemo room, and I start off with a bit like, even if I suck, you guys just can't get up and walk out. It's really bad. I know it's horrible. You're stort of saying, trapped here for a few hours. Oh well, if I suck, too bad. But so I love stack. I Love the art of stand uff and I think it's the hardest thing to do. I think it to be good at it, like Chappelle and Michael Jay and Chris Rock, like Jerry Sigh, I mean those guys, to be able to do my goal is to be able to do a solid five minutes in the Chemo Room that makes people laugh while getting chemo. That's my next that's going to be the next book. You'll have...

...the eye, the showtime at the Apollo Cane ready ready to pull you off. If Dad, Babe, by I mean I'll go on tour to get to chemo rooms, not clubs. I'll call my friends who are on college as say can I play your Chemo Room for five minutes? It's ridiculous, I know, right. I mean come Bu sorowly saying those small, small venues are their favorites, right, because you get such an intimated setting. But who needs laughter? Who needs laughter more than someone who's hooked up to some cancer treatment and their trap there for three hours? If I can, if these songs are a bit makes them somebody smile for and they and they're just taken a distracted from getting chemo for a minute or two. That's like that's like winning, that's like winning an emmy for best best comedy special, because you have to give yourself permission to laugh because you know again you have cancer. Those three words. It's like shut down and it's like how can I laugh? How can I have fun, like you got to give yourself permission and it's and it's like deliberate creation. You have to create it. Watch fifty episodes your fur, your fifty most favorite episodes of Seinfeld, back to back to back, until you start to laugh a little, like you got to have that permission. You got to give yourself permission to laugh, permission to cry. Again, you don't have to go go through this perfectly. If you're having a bad day, it's okay to have a bad day. It's okay, I tell you, it's okay to have a bad day. Chemosucks. Chemo sucks. Chemosucks, Chemo Sucks, and it's okay to say it. Chemo sucks. It's that same thing that the mother of all psycho oncology. She's a psychiatrist. She's amazing. She wrote this amazing book about the psychology of going through cancer, and the one if the chapters in the book is the tyranny of the pot, the tyranny of a positive attitude, meaning everyone coming at you. Just be positive, just be positive, just it's okay to be like, I'm having a Shitty Day and I hate this, like you got to let that out. And so, as a caregiver. Just listen to that and you don't have to fix it or change it. I got it today. Sucks. And then when you can, when that's fully expressed, when there's nothing else for them to say, it's all out, then there's that little that little crack in the armor, and a little light comes in and just maybe there's a little something on the other side of that, a little opening. All right. Well, what's the next right thing to do? Well, and in this case I think the next right thing to do is to let you plug your stuff, because we've we've reached the end of the episodes of people want to learn more about all that you do. If they want to check out a copy of your book, where can I find you? Well, you can get it anywhere. Books are sold anywhere. It's from Hay House. When it first got released it went to number one new release. It was a number one new release under the entire cancer category. L Yeah, so I'm excited three days whenever this comes out. But the book's birthday is May Twenty Five, two thousand and twenty one, and I just got a call from a doctor asking me to go see someone at the hospital and she goes. I just want to let you know my birthday is the same birthday as your book. She ordered it, but you can get it on Amazon or anywhere, Barnes, you know, any place books are sold, or you can go to Dr Stephencom, Dr Stephen with a vcom, and there you can also join my private facebook meet up for cancer patients and it's called Dr Stevens Cancer Fight Club. I like that. And and we're just going to create a we're just creating a community where we're just love each other through it. We're just going to and we're going to teach the principles of the book and and I'm personally leading everyone. And once a month we're going to do it and we're going to just give each other lots of love and support. Doctors will be on their patients will be on there and we're just gonna we're just going to love each...

...other through it, through it all. And I want to say thanks for having me man. Absolutely yeah, thanks for coming on. This is fantastic. Thank you so much. And of course we got to end with a cording joke. Maybe this will find its way into your set one day, but I was it was just retold this joke recently and I it always makes me laugh, so we'll do it here. But yeah, yeah, there's a group of tomatoes walking along the path and one of them starts falling behind and it goes, it goes, Mommy, Mommy, and falling behind and the mom walks back and steps on it and says catch up, good after said everyople. I love catch up. I love that catch up. I really love that one. Good people cool things is produced in Austin, Texas. If you were a fan of this episode, go ahead and hit that follow button. That helps more people here the show. As always, you can send me a message Joey at good people cool thingscom. Thank you to all of the guests who have been on good people cool things. Check out all the old episodes. Be a good people cool thingscom as always, thank you for listening. Have a wonderful day.

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