Make the Best of the Worst

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

October 28, 2019 [printfriendly]




Make the Best of the Worst


So, I have been through a lot. I have had my ups and downs. As a matter of fact, some of my downs have reached depths you might not be able to imagine. But I can tell you this. Attitude has been everything for me.




Attitude is immensely important. When the world seems to be collapsing around you, you must gather your wits and get your mind spinning a web of support and positivity. You must make the best of the worst just as I must make the best of the worst.


I speak from a position of power. I speak from the point of view of a person dying from an incurable bone marrow cancer. This cancer is destroying the strength of my bones. My skeleton is crumbling. My bones look like Swiss cheese – littered with holes. They cannot support the normal weight of my body. Because of this fragility, pathological fractures are occurring with regularity.


“Pathological fractures” are fractures that occur as a result of a disease rather than an injury. These fractures result in much pain, which can bring me to the precipice of severe depression. So, I can honestly tell you that my upbeat attitude is critical if I want to survive and continue with a quality of life.


I ask you, “What choices do I really have if I want to move forward?” Quality of life has been my overriding goal all along my journey to heal my body. I demand it. And I will continue to strive for it.




From my position, I believe I have two basic choices.


  • I could dwell on my disease and a “poorly dealt hand”. I could blame people; I could blame poor decisions I have made in life; I even could blame God for my current misfortune. However, these misguided choices would keep me in a depressed state of mind. They would not be productive.
  • Or, I could see my glass-of-life as half-full. And I could pursue the beauty of life and my purpose for being a human walking this earth.


I choose the latter.



Your Attitude

Whatever is going on in your life, you too have two choices. Make the right decision!


From my experience, you alone must take control and make sure your attitude is positive and proactive. Close friends and family can help create a support group, but only you can dig deeply within yourself to find the will and purpose to create and solidify your positive view for a quality of life with dignity.


You could use meditation to go deeper into your thoughts. Possibly you might try hypnosis to get in touch with your higher self. Maybe you could investigate altered states of consciousness to open up your horizons. I have experienced this mind-expanding process by attending the Monroe Institute years ago. I participated in two separate 5-day/6-night programs at the Institute in Faber, VA – Gateway Voyage® and Guidelines®. I highly recommend these experiences for anyone interested.


If you are religious, you know that God has a purpose for you. If you are spiritual, you know that your soul has an intimate connection with your physical body to learn lessons here on earth. If you are an atheist, you know that you have control over your body and its actions.



Half-Full or Half-Empty

Whatever your point of view and your belief system, do you see your glass-of-life as half-full or half-empty?


Ideally, you want to have a positive attitude and see your glass-of-life at least half-full. The remainder of your glass should be dedicated to fulfilling your purpose.


In contrast, a negative attitude should never be a part of the equation. A negative attitude suggests that you view your glass-of-life as half-empty representing a depressing future.



Practical Steps

To get a handle on your life’s purpose moving forward, start with a paper and pencil. Divide the paper into two columns. In one column, write down the negatives in your life. Be very specific. In the second column, write down the positives in your life. Again, be as specific as you can.


To get this list started, think about those who depend on you and look to you for guidance and love. Recall the things you have done for people and things people have done for you. Don’t emphasize the material aspects of life. Give more attention to non-material aspects that have moved you emotionally. Recall the things that have made you laugh and cry; things that have touched your heart; things that have given you pause and made you believe that this is what life is all about. Consider all the memories that are indelible in your mind and contribute to the person you are today.


Then, like a scale, weigh the positives against the negatives. Whatever the scale tells you, dwell on the positive side.


When I get down and depressed, which is part of life for everyone, I follow my recommendations I have just described. Then I write. I write and write and write. I have found that when I put my thoughts – no matter what they are – down on paper, I can defuse the emotional distress and can see the light that leads me to the path of changing my attitude. I can be more positive and can express and appreciate the gratitude I have for life. For me, this is refreshing.


Then, I can leave the negatives behind and look forward to being a beacon of encouragement for me and for others. I actively can make the best of the worst.



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  1. Dr. Danenberg you ARE a beacon of light to me. I have followed your journey since the beginning of your diagnosis. I share your positive attitude throughout my life, through thick and thin. I pray that given similar circumstances such as you have had I can look to your beacon of light and pay it forward as you have done. You are my hero. God Bless.

  2. Thanks Dr Danenberg for this beautiful and powerful post. This is a wonderful reminder to all of us that no matter what hardships we face, we’ll always have the choice of our attitude and what we focus on will grow. Much love to you and thanks for the great work you do, Natalie

  3. You ARE a beacon of encouragement to me and I am sure many! Thank you!

  4. So blessed to have interviewed you and get a taste of your genius! So smart and inspiring

  5. Dear Doctor Al,
    I am glad to hear your attitude is upbeat and thoughtful.
    I am also trying to embody similar thoughts. I was recently involved in a major car accident. I really believe that there is good in everything even when there is a lot of pain.
    I have been finding myself laughing more and am finding more gratitude and blessings each day. I tell my husband about your posts and we send many good thoughts your way.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story. My mom has MM too. ❤️

  7. Inspiring words. I struggle with chronic pain and always asked why me, and felt sorry for myself. I try to remain positive and focus on the good things in life. It is a constant battle in my head but I choose to see the positive. I also have a son who struggles with negative thoughts and depression so I try to help him understand that your thoughts create your world. I always correct his negative thoughts with something positive that he can focus on. You are very strong and courageous even if you don’t physically feel like it. I admire your outlook on life and I hope I can stay that positive, I have to for my son. Love and light!

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