SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Schulz-Kindermann, come to you every day people with cancer. What talking you, if you are afraid to die?
Schulz-Kindermann: First of all: cancer is not a death sentence anymore. Newer therapies prolong the life expectancy today is quite different than it was even ten years ago. Educate-is, of course, the task of the physician. But I have patients who live for several years with a metastatic Tumor. For them the great challenge is to accept that you can no longer be cured, but not necessarily within a short time of their illness to die.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Have the topics changed, which of their patients need to?
Schulz-Kindermann: Previously, there were mainly discussions with the terminally Ill and the Survivors. For the latter, the task is to come after it emerges from cancer, back to life. Today, there are in addition many patients ask questions such as: “What is the meaning of palliative treatment for me? How can I live with the cancer?”.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How can you help?
Schulz-Kindermann: First, we clarify with all patients, who for you actually, the threads in the Hand holds. It is the family doctor, the oncologist, the medical specialist, the palliative care doctors, the nursing service, a relative, the hospital Clinician or, possibly, the complementary physicians? In this maze of managers, we bring order and the wishes, needs and questions of patients.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: That sounds very practical.
Schulz-Kindermann: Really, the first is hugely important, because often are the Affected after the diagnosis with many overwhelmed. With us, you can sort in peace. On a psychological level, we talk about how it is the patient and what changes the disease brings. There are pain, disability, fatigue? We also talk about what the disease means for the Partner, the family and the work. To talk about these issues, succeed the most. It is more difficult when it comes to the Dying, and the search for meaning.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: you are a psycho-oncologist. You have to talk to you about death?
Schulz-Kindermann: no, not at all. But I offer the topic and question: “Has the death?” Some patients act in the short for themselves, others work intensively with it. Both is in order.
SPIEGEL ONLINE : How do your patients, if you learn that your cancer will die?
Schulz-Kindermann: This is very different. Often there are both everyday life as well as death-related topics. Some patients plan their funeral, the grave stone and the guests write list for the funeral ceremony. Thus, they are active and can relieve your loved ones. Sometimes you can feel a lot of energy to live and making travel plans. Then again, it’s all about parting and loss. This side by side such contradictory feelings – for the environment – and often difficult-to-bearable.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: where does this ambivalence?
Schulz-Kindermann: I think that the soul seeks refuge and activity distract. You can’t face 24 hours a day with death, grief, and Trauma. A young, hard-to-cancer-stricken woman said in a meeting much of your funeral, from the Die, by Release. Then you wrote me in a letter that she no longer wanted to talk about these issues in the future. At the next Meeting, she started again. I’ve seen it as an important need of her to talk about it and encourages, the Juxtaposition of loss and the near future.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Should patients a sense of your cancer to look for?
Schulz-Kindermann: I would never say. But if a Patient finds meaning, then I support him. Questions such as “Why? Why me? Why now?” has many.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: answers you can probably give.
Schulz-Kindermann: no, I don’t. But as a therapist, I can help the patient in finding his own personal answers. Because often the painful loss of the personal Narrative behind the “Why?”.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What do you mean?
Schulz-Kindermann: A cancer destroys its own history, the presented CV with family or friends, with plans, work and leisure, the painted future. The patients need a new narrative for your life. We will help you to find this new Narrative.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is the role of the members in your work?
Schulz-Kindermann: you are a very important Element. We have here in the University hospital of joint group meetings for Cancer patients and family members. A pair can alone come to me and I offer partner conversations. Since it is sometimes quite specifically, to communication with the Partner. You wouldn’t believe what all can go wrong, even if you want to help.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What can be so wrong?
Schulz-Kindermann: There are members of the sick, inspire want him to put pressure on you. “You always have to think positively”, then an appeal. Others are self physically or mentally strong and took the next to the representatives of the patient. You take him literally Hand over the reins and run with the medical file under his Arm from one doctor to another. The Patient no longer gets a word in and is always passive.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Even Doctors let the patient often with a mountain of questions, some pussy-footed around when it comes to the extent of the disease. Should Doctors receive the hope of their patients at any price?
Schulz-Kindermann: hope is an extremely powerful engine, and I find it very useful to max with hope to deal with. That is not to say that you can’t be honest to the patient. Also a human being with metastatic cancer can have hopes, can make him happy.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What Fears plague your patients?
Schulz-Kindermann: Very different. There is the fear of pain, loss of control, dependence on other. Also the fear of being alone and of Dying. Some fear that the death in a kind of limbo, detached from the body, but forever trapped in an air-empty space. Such conversations can go very deep, and not only to the patient for inspiration.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How do you deal with all of the suffering and death around you?
Schulz-Kindermann: I feel not as stressful or exhausting, but mostly as rewarding. It pleases me to be for my Opposite number there, to give him respect and appreciation and a protected space in which he is allowed to say anything, what’s bothering him. I find my work very creative and inspiring. In the talks there is a lot of room for hope and Confidence.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: And if someone dies?
Schulz-Kindermann: Then it moved me, sometimes even very. To me, our Ritual can help, here at the Institute: We come together and light a candle. We are talking about the deceased and remain silent for a while. There is room to Pause. If it weren’t for the, it would be even more difficult.