One of the biggest lessons learned going through the cancer healing journey was the value of taking time for myself. Life moves on too fast sometimes, and before you know it, every minute is jammed. This is life in North America. A sad commentary on our lifestyle.
However, when cancer is diagnosed, there is motivation to rethink how one lives life. Suddenly what appears so important before cancer becomes insignificant. It is then time to re-evaluate. Questions pop up. What am I doing? Where am I going? Who is with me on this journey?
This requires quiet time – time to just be still and hear your own thoughts. For me, walk time became a space in time just for me. Meditation helped quiet my mind which had become a rabbit warren of worrying thoughts vying for space. Music transported me to magical places. Reading books for cancer patients, especially by survivors to learn how they coped with cancer.
In time, calm, peace and energy returned in a more manageable manner.
My main reason for making the change was to eliminate a nagging stomach problem that seemed to be escaping diagnosis by scoping and probing. Nothing showed up, but I knew I had a problem. Once I switched to this way of eating, the stomach issue cleared up and only returns if I slide off the suggested protocols.
It was a bit tricky at first to change the way I thought about food, especially what I would eat for a main meal. The rest I had pretty much figured out. I am purposely not sharing all the details because I really want you to read the book and decide for yourself whether it makes sense to you.
Other benefits, besides a happy stomach, are a return to my ideal weight, improved vision, more energy, less bloating, and an overall sense of well-being. Now that I have been eating this way for a bit, I really have come to enjoy the foods. It has become an adventure – a healthy adventure.
So, I invite you to check it out for yourself. Love to hear your thoughts and/or changes if you do decide to follow this path.
Once the initial shock of getting a cancer diagnosis has faded, finding ways to help oneself through the next phase starts. One of these ways, a very well researched option, is diet and nutrition. It is said that ‘we are what we eat’. In this day of fast food and hurried meals, far away from the made-from-scratch meals our mothers provided, this is quite alarmingly true.
Rethinking what you eat and how it does or does not nourish your body takes some research. Most would agree that getting rid of junk food, highly sugared foods, and wasted calories is a good start. Combined with exercise – exercise as simple as a half hour walk – can make a huge impact on your body’s ability to heal.
There are many nutrition/diet books for cancer patients available. One of the ones I read recently is The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. The information has made a huge impact on me – even 20 years after my original cancer diagnosis. There were pieces of the puzzle learned prior that finally all came together. Hence, I am following his guidelines and noticing greatly improved health. Worth a read.
Do some research and find what makes a difference for you. We are all unique and what works for one does not necessarily work for another.
At first, a cancer diagnosis renders you stunned. Normal reaction. Eventually the information sinks in at about the same time you end up in a round of doctors appointments and treatments. Life takes on a new schedule, one not of your own making.
One of the best ways to help yourself during this process – the cancer journey – is to be informed. There are many excellent books, DVD’s, etc. about cancer, the newest research, survivor stories, cancer nutrition, etc. on the market to guide you.
Being informed will help you feel more in control, give you insight into the right questions to ask of health providers, point the way to how you can help yourself, and provide inspiration from those who have travelled before you.
Not all of us have a support group or cancer center close by. However, most of us have access to a book store, library or the internet where books for cancer patients are available, also DVD’s and Kindle-type ebooks. There are even online discussion groups where you can ask members for their opinions, encouragement, etc.
If you are too fatigued or not feeling well enough to do the research yourself, a friend or family member may be more than happy to help you. They often don’t know what to do, feel helpless – this will give them a way to connect and support you. You may also choose book CD’s which you can listen to while resting or travelling.
Have you ever listened to a piece of music and felt tingles go up your spine? Or have you put on music to calm and soothe you during stressful times? Have you ever felt the beat of drums or the vibration of sound as it washes over you. These are telltale signs of the power that music has to heal and influence our very being.
I know when I was going through cancer treatment, I used music in a number of ways.
During chemo, I listened to meditation music and transported myself to a different place.
At night,when I was anxious and having problems sleeping, I’d play music that was relaxing.
To soothe and feed my soul, I would sit quietly by myself and strum on my guitar.
Singing or vocalizing sounds would release tension as I felt the vibrations resonate through my chakras
There are many ways to use the power of sound in healing. As you look through books for cancer patients, you will find several on sound wellness and how to incorporate sound and/or music into your healing journey.
As a New Year starts, it is always a great time to take stock of the past year. I like to pause between Christmas and New Years- take time to slow down, appreciate family and friends, express gratitude for life and health, and refresh my mind. This is one of the lessons I’ve learned from my cancer journey. Living life on the 24/7 treadmill is not healthy. Slowing down and learning to savour life instead of running through life is not only less stressful, but infinitely more fulfilling and definitely more healthy.
So I challenge each of you in the year ahead to have a good look at your lifestyle, especially if you have cancer or have had cancer. Certainly getting cancer makes a person re-evaluate life. I know I certainly did and still do.
There are a few books on the subject of slowing down. They aren’t always listed under books for cancer patients, but the wisdom in them sure applies. Definitely well worth a read.
a) Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a More Peaceful, Simpler Life from the Inside Out,
b) In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed and
c) Time Shifting: A Revolutionary New Approach to Creating More Time for Your Life
May you find health, purpose, fulfillment and love moving forward into 2011 and beyond.
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?
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.
No matter how the disease has affected you personally, coping with cancer is always difficult. It’s common to feel fear, anxiety and a host of other emotions, but it’s important to take proactive steps to address these feelings. Here are a few of the things you can do to help cope with cancer:
Talk to Your Doctor: A cancer diagnosis is inevitably accompanied by a litany of questions, so talk to your doctor to get the answers your need.
Research: Look online or purchase books to learn more about the specific type of cancer, including available treatments and how it spreads.
Create a Network: Friends and family are a great place to turn when you need extra support or inspiration.
There are a number ways to promote healing. With a diagnosis of cancer, one tends to look at them all. One that is very helpful and easy to implement is sound and music. Sound has a vibration which connects with your energy. Do you ever get tingles up your spine when you hear a piece of music that resonates with you? That’s energy and sound at work.
Several books have been written about sound therapy, especially for healing. Those with cancer can definitely benefit. You may have heard of crystal bowls. I’d encourage you to investigate this mode of healing therapy.
If you can, find a class or workshop in your area. If there aren’t any, investigate webinars online and read sound therapy books for cancer patients. There is so much to learn. Find what works for you. It could be sound and music.