Throughout my life, a walk in nature has always been what I needed to restore balance and calm when life got too busy or overwhelming. No matter what city I lived in, I would always gravitate to the green areas or water.
I recall one instance while I was going through radiation treatment when I set out to take a Tai Chi class, couldn’t find the studio, and ended up at the ocean. It was obvious to me that was where I was supposed to be. Even the night sweats were more bearable that day.
Walking along the shoreline, my thoughts were soothed by the quiet sound and rhythm of the waves breaking on the shore . . . the rhythm of the universe. Worries washed away, fear abated, and I felt becalmed in the midst of the cancer drama that had become my life. Being close to nature affirmed that there was a bigger picture, a universal presence which I call God and a knowing that healing and help was available to me if I asked.
Now, many years later (since the fall of 1990), I am still here. I am still walking in nature to find peace and calm. The steady rhythm of my stride, the swing of my arms, my breathing, all create the essence of a walking meditation – away from distraction allowing inner thoughts to be heard – thoughts and insights that are often drowned out in the roar of modern society.
Our complexion (skin) is the outer sign of health. When it becomes dull, dry and/or blemished, it indicates that we might need to pay attention to our lifestyle – diet, sleep, habits, environment.
With cancer, skin is affected by cancer treatments, both chemotherapy and radiation. The body is being exposed to chemicals, both internally and externally. Chemicals in skin care products and makeup often create unwelcome reactions.
It is therefore very important, for both men and women, to find and use organic skin care products – those that are free of harmful chemicals and aligned environmentally.
This question often comes up when I speak with those who have a family member or friend going through cancer. They just aren’t sure what will be helpful at this time. Where the person is on the cancer journey also matters. What is appropriate?
Consider a gift basket with inspirational gifts for cancer patients. These healing baskets save you the work of trying to figure out what would be helpful, have different themes, are focused for gender, age and/or specific issue, etc..
And, if you live distant from the person you want to support, what a wonderful way to say ‘I Care’, ‘I’m Here For You’.
Taste buds change when going through cancer treatment. Also, nutrition becomes a key factor when making healing choices. At the top of the list for nutiritional beverages is Green Tea. I know for myself, coffee just didn’t taste right anymore, so I did gravitate to teas for taste, but more importantly for health reasons. One of my favorites is Macha Tea.
inhibited growth of cancer cells as a result of a compound in green tea
lowered total cholesterol levels, as well as improved ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.
For those who still want their caffeine fix without the coffee, green tea is an ideal option. It provides the caffeine, although at a much lower dose than coffee, while one reaps the health benefits listed above.
So, slow down and enjoy a wonderful cup of green tea.
Everyone experiences moments in life that are less than ideal; for some they could even be described as depressing, gloomy or blue. But the important thing to remember is that everyone must take in the bad with the good; after all, it’s the not-so-great moments that allow us to really enjoy the true pleasures in life. However, it never hurts to have a few words of encouragement along the way, no matter what your grievance may be.
I enjoy helping others through their hard times because it makes my own problems seem pale in comparison with their hardships. For example, my Aunt Kelly was diagnosed with Leukemia about four years ago. Since then she’s received all sorts of extensive treatments that weaken her body and her spirits from time to time. Therefore, I like to write her lots of inspirational poems to help comfort her in this time of suffering. I only wish there was more I could do to make her smile.
Moving meditation is often how tai chi is described. For those who have problems sitting still, tai chi is a wonderful option for meditation. It focuses the mind using the body as a breathing organism, moving chi through the pathways of mind, body and spirit.
Tai chi can be done anywhere – inside, outside, while travelling, at home, with a group. Creating a time for daily practise reaps huge benefits, especially at a time such as cancer when stress is high. Streaming energy (chi) through the body helps combat the fatigue and depression often associate with cancer treatment.
Due to the flowing and gentle nature of tai chi, it is also a wonderful exercise for lymphedema – both as risk reduction and management. Lymphedema is often a side effect of cancer treatment, especially for breast cancer patients. Lymphedema can also occur in lower extremeties due to prostate, colon, etc. surgeries and treatment.
As someone who had Stage 3 cancer in 1990, I have read, heard, and experienced many amazing outcomes of a cancer diagnosis. We in North America, as a nation and culture, are programmed to believe that medical science is THE only way to heal. If you look at history, this is a relatively new belief. In older cultures, there were many ways of healing which interestingly enough are now being acknowledged and verified. Medical science and these wise ancient healing methods can work hand in hand to your good health.
Here is a video clip of an very insightful interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of ‘The Biology of Belief’ by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It will give you food for thought and maybe challenge your belief systems.
You will find that there are many books resources for cancer patients which address these views. I would highly recommend ‘The Biology of Belief’ by Dr. Bruce Lipton as a starting point.
Let me know what you think! What has been your experience?
One of the healing modalities I used during cancer treatment – and even now – was journalling. There is something very therapeutic about taking the thoughts that are running around in your head and putting them on paper. Much like unwinding a tangled ball of yarn for those of you who are knitters.
1. The emotion attached to the thought once unravelled and seen on paper seems to dissipate if not go away entirely. Often a solution pops out or a new insight emerges.
2. I found I could see patterns of thought – issues that kept reappearing on the page as reoccuring themes. It gave me a chance to rethink and change what wasn’t working – and acknowledge what was working.
3. Messages would appear on the page – seemingly from somewhere outside of me – the universe . Now you think I’m a ‘woo-woo’, but truly there is a connection between a higher power, however you define higher power, and you. It’s not unlike artists or writers who have the feeling they are being guided – that they are the messenger only.
I have at times gone back to look over old journals and can recognize how far I have come from the person I was during treatment. Healing has occurred and continues to occur as life moves forward. There will always be challenges. How we deal with them is one of the keys to healing. Journalling helps us see what our mind is processing.
If you are looking for inspirational gifts for cancer patients, journals are a wonderful choice. Many times, I have given a journal as a gift to a friend going through cancer and it has always been appreciated.
A cancer diagnosis can cause a major shift in a person’s perspective and although not a easy thing to hear, can be an opportunity for change. Initially, absorbing the reality of the diagnosis and dealing with the treatment options is foremost. However, as you travel down the healing path, many other issues come up – more than the physical.
Treatment is the first phase of the healing process. The other phases move into the mind-body-spirit connection. This area becomes more challenging as often uncomfortable issues surface as a person digs deeper into self. This part of the work is so powerful. It is learning to not only move through cancer, but more importantly it is learning how to live well and differently.
Ultimately, a cancer diagnosis can call a person to not only cope with the treatment but can move them on a path to greater fulfilment. I know this seems a strange thing to say, but I think if you talk to most individuals who have been on a cancer journey, they will verify this fact.
There are many books for cancer patients and organizations that will support your healing. One book I just finished reading is ‘The Biology of Belief’ by Dr. Bruce Lipton. Definitely worth your time. The information will expand your horizon.