Category: Cancer Help

Sprouting Grains for Health – An Old Idea Back

Green-Peas-WmkI remember years ago when my kids were young sprouting seeds which I would put in salads, sandwich fillings, casseroles, etc.  We had the jars with the mesh lid and the tiered sprouting trays.  I tried and used them all.

When my youngest was little, I used to fill up a cup with mung beans for his snack.  He thought they were awesome – fresh, crunchy and filling.  I didn’t tell him they were healthy.  Why ruin a good thing.

For a while, no one seemed to be doing this anymore.  You could buy sprouts in the superstores but they definitely are not as fresh and tasty as the ones I sprouted at home.  And, it was so easy.

Sprouts are a wonderful, healthy, versatile and nutritious food that fights cancer.  It’s easy, inexpensive and something your children could do as a learning experience. How about trying these organic sprouting seeds – alfalfa, barley grass, broccoli, buckwheat, French lentil, mung bean, radish, red clover, sunflower, sweet green pea and wheatgrass.  The sky is the limit.

Easy Solutions for Bandaging for Lymphedema Patients

tribute_fingertips_to_axilla_largeOver the years, I’ve heard many people talk about the length of time it takes to wrap their arm (or leg) for the night or during active therapy.  In fact, if you go to this video, a breast cancer survivor shares her experience with wrapping.  It is time consuming.

Is there another way?  Yes!  There are several solutions by different manufacturers which involve an inner sleeve with outer sleeves that offer compression and use velcro straps for ease of donning.  For someone who struggles with mobility which is often the case especially right after surgery, these are a godsend.

Another use of the compression garments is for those that are in active therapy to reduce the swelling.  This the stage when bandaging is the option until the swelling has stabilized.  At this point,  the therapist is able to write a prescription for a compression sleeve which can then be worn in place of the bandaging.

Lymphedema is never an easy side effect of cancer treatment, but more and more, there are ways to make this situation easier and more fashionable, if one can even imagine wearing a compression sleeve as fashionable.  And this applies to other extremities as well, such as the leg and the torso.

Bothered by Hot Flashes – A Solution

frontpagetravel72Spring is coming hopefully for those of us who have endured a very harsh winter. Depending on where you live, spring also heralds warmer weather. Yeah! But warmer weather often triggers more hot flashes which women going through chemotherapy now experience.  Can you find a comfortable solution?

Yes, wicking fabric used in the sports industry has been adopted by manufacturers who focus on those individuals going through cancer. These companies provide beautiful wicking nightwear, casual tops, and also bed linens so you can stay dry during the night.  Styles are available for both men and women as sometimes, men, when going through treatment, have some of the same issues.

Staying dry and comfortable is a challenge when you don’t have the proper clothing to wick away the sweat.  The sweat, after the hot flash, will leave you feeling cold and clammy.  Not fun.  So, it’s worth it to invest in at least the wicking nightwear so you can get a good nights rest – critical for healing.


Which Gemstones Aid in Healing Cancer

Amethyst birthstones2While gemstones will not ‘cure’ cancer, there are many healing properties of gemstones that assist the body to heal.  Gemstones work by clearing out energy blockages from the body and heal with positive vibrations, each specific and special to the particular gemstone with the powers that emanate from the earth.  They are, after all, energy.

Here is a list of healing gemstones specific to the needs of cancer patients:

  • Amber – absorbs negative energy transforming it to positive energy thereby rejuvenating the body cells.
  • Amethyst – boosts immunity, reduces pain and strengthens the body to fight against cancer.
  • Carnelian – in combination with bloodstone helps detoxify and rejuvenate the body for cancers of the kidney and liver.
  • Malachite – known to be effective in killing tumors and cancerous growths.  Promotes good health.
  • Smokey Quartz – shortens the after effects of radiation and chemotherapy.  Stimulates cellular regeneration.
  • Blue Tourmaline – encourages restorative healing.

These healing gemstones can be worn as beautiful jewelry, carried in a pouch or pocket, set in a special place in your home, and are often placed on the skin of the body close to the relevant chakras for your condition.

Please note, that healing gemstones are meant to be complementary to your cancer treatment, not in place of a treatment.

Are You a Bath or Shower Person?

Frelaxor myself, I usually grab a shower in the morning.  It’s faster and for easier for washing my hair.

However, when I’m not well or feeling stiff from too much exercise, I’ll run a bath.  For a cold, etc., I love to put in a few drops of Eucalyptus Oil to clear out the sinuses.  For stiff muscles, I use Epsom salts which pulls toxins from the body and the build up of lactic acid from exercise.  Simple things that definitely make my body feel much better.  Plus then I really enjoy a bath – can relax and just unwind.

Additionally, these are organic skin products that have no fragrance (perfume) – something to which I am highly sensitive, as I find most people are who have gone through cancer.  More and more places are posting ‘No Fragrance Please’ signs up.  I have trouble even walking through the beauty counters in department stores.  I take a deep breath and hold it until I’m past that area.

Fresh, clean, invigorating is much better.  It’s embracing your body with nature.  By using products that are natural, free of chemicals, fragrances and not tested on animals, you are not only being kind to your body, but also to the environment.

Music for Inspiration and Relaxation – Absolutely!

Relaxing-music1One of the best gifts I got when going through cancer was a series of music tapes with healing and inspiring music.  When life got tough, I would plug in and drift off into a wonderland of joy and wholeness.

We all have different tastes in music. Some like classical, some jazz, some resounding rock or gospel, some quiet and peaceful.  If you know your friend, you can match their style and give them beautiful moments of ‘away’ time.  Maybe it’s music you share together and will help them think of you and your love.

There is also subliminal music wherein the brain waves are accessed to create deep meditation, relieve stress, increase relaxation and deepen sleep.  Who wouldn’t want all of these benefits!

When you are thinking of an inspirational gift for a cancer patient, think music.  It’s a very special way to say you care and want to help.

Exercise for Body/Mind/Spirit Healing

tai chiMany studies have been done on the benefits of exercise to prevent cancer and also facilitate healing from cancer.  Exercise for anyone is beneficial, but what kind is most helpful when going through cancer – and even after treatment is finished.

Some of the best forms of exercise for achieving the goals listed below in a gentle way are yoga (look for yoga forms that are gentle – i.e. restorative yoga) and the ancient Chinese way of staying healthy, tai chi.

Yoga and Tai Chi provide many benefits of exercising during and after cancer, such as:

  • increasing range of motion
  • stretching out scar tissue
  • reducing the risk of lymphedema
  • increasing self esteem
  • increasing energy
  • improving posture and
  • increasing strength.

Both of these forms of exercise to prevent cancer or heal from cancer can be done in a group or alone, inside or outside, without any equipment and special attire.  These, together with walking, are easy, gentle yet incredibly effective and efficient ways to create an exercise program that will feed your body, mind, and spirit.


When Food Becomes Your Medicine

A focus on foods that fight cancer becomes an important part of the healing process.  There are lots of books available with different approaches to what will nourish your body during, after and long after you have gone through treatment.  One I’ve been following is The China Study.

spices-marketMost of them focus on plenty of fruits and vegetables with some to no meats, and various theories on dairy and carbohydrates.  All stress the importance of organic as much as your budget will allow.

Learning to cook this way can be a challenge if you are accustomed to highly spiced and salted foods that are the norm in North America.  It requires using more spices to season dishes – organic spices in particular which are not always available.  Many world cuisines use spices very creatively to create delicious meals using basic ingredients.

A whole new world of culinary cuisine awaits you.  It’s an adventure.  And, gives you a reason to try out some of those ethnic restaurants in your area.  This is where you’ll find ideas for new dishes in your quest for foods that fight cancer and have the opportunity to see which ones appeal to you.  Happy dining!!


Body Image, Self Esteem and Mastectomy

shutterstock_152680100Having a mastectomy is never simple.  The surgery itself takes time for recovery, but often longer is the recovery from a  change in your body image.  We women are attached to our bosoms.  They nourish our children.  They matter in how we dress.  They can be an expression of our sexuality.

With an adjusted body, comes an emotional adjustment to losing part of us that was important.  For some, this is easier than for others.  Some women even have mastectomies to prevent a cancer risk depending on their genetic profile.

But for all  women who have undergone a mastectomy, there is the need to find comfortable, functional, yet feminine mastectomy bras.  This is a viable solution for many women. With proper fitting, body image and self esteem can co-exist with your new you.

For those whom these mastectomy bras is not workable, reconstructive surgery is a viable option.  Another topic for another day.

More Women Wear Wigs Than You’d Imagine

For those of us who have been through chemotherapy, we know about the hair loss that comes with it.  There are many options for dressing our bald heads – chemo hats, turbans, scarves and wigs.  When you look around, suddenly you now see more people wearing these chemo hats than you could ever have imagined.

re588-01-lDid you also know that thinning hair happens to a lot of women as they age?  Many of these women wear wigs.  Our society is not accustomed to women who are bald or have thin hair.  For men, it seems to be okay, but not for women.

Alopecia is another disease or condition that results in thinning or baldness.  Wigs come to the rescue as these women are not into wearing chemo head wear that would identify them as having cancer.

Luckily there are wonderful options now that years ago were either be too expensive or just didn’t look good.  I even remember wearing wigs to just have a different fashion look.  It had nothing to do with cancer, thinning hair or baldness – it was fun – a new look.

So, join the fun crowd and find a wig.  You can sport a whole new personality with a wig.  Who knows – people may not even recognize you.  I know from experience how much hair makes a difference in  a person’s look.  When cancer patient’s hair grows back, they often have to re-introduce themselves to me as I’m accustomed to seeing them with either a chemo hat on or no hair.  I sometimes don’t immediately recognize them with hair.  We both then have a good laugh.