Mindfulness, Raisins and My Path to Wellness

Mindfulness, Raisins and My Path to Wellness
A Lump in the Road column “Study a raisin,” Dr. Matthew McQuaid told me. “What?” I asked. “A raisin. Study it. Look at the way its skin folds into itself. Examine its lines. Look carefully at where the stem meets its body, the curvature of its edges. Hold it next to your ear and listen to it crackle.” I got it. He wants me to study a raisin. Dr. McQuaid and I were discussing mindfulness, a philosophy that focuses on awareness of the present moment, calmly acknowledging thoughts and feelings, both physical and emotional. It’s a philosophy that resonates with the doctor and one he employs in his work with patients. As a cancer survivor, some people might wonder why I chose to interview a podiatric orthopedic surgeon, a foot guy. Matthew McQuaid is a board-certified podiatrist and surgeon with a private practice in Lakeport, California. He also practices at Sutter and Adventist hospitals. Although he may have particular expertise in foot and ankle orthopedics, what he really focuses on is healing. And I am eager to heal, to be cured fully from every aspect of cancer. The kind of cancer I have, triple negative breast cancer, is aggressive and prone to come back within the first five years of diagnosis. I’m open to any philosophy that might help stave it off.

The five components of healing

My conversation with Dr. McQuaid was fascinating. In hi
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