Dr. Itami’s Meaningful Life Therapy Guidelines for People Affected by Illness

1) Be an active agent in your disease management.

2) Live an active life devoted to setting meaningful goals and taking steps each day to accomplish them.

3) Do something positive for the benefit of others and contributing to other’s wellbeing. Help yourself by helping others.

4) Learn to co-exist with uncertainty and to cope effectively with anxiety and fear including the fear of death.

5) Acknowledge death as a natural event for all of us, and prepare for one’s own death as practically as possible.

Dr. Jinroh Itami is a physician, researcher and visionary who has devoted his life to the well being of cancer patients. He has taken them to climb Mont Blanc and Mt Fuji; travelled to the North West Territories to see the Aurora Borealis and inspired patients at home to live active, creative, purposeful lives while looking for moments of good humour and ways to be helpful to others. He was a pioneer in understanding the importance of exercise and the creative arts to promote the well being of cancer patients.

What is also true, is that these guidelines are available and helpful to anyone dealing with a difficult illness including caregivers. They are universal. It is with a debt of gratitude that I pass on to those I meet his principles of living well with illness. A deep bow to Dr. Itami, who now in his 80’s still persists as a dedicated advocate for his cancer patients.