Hope is one of the many words that come to mind when one is diagnosed with cancer. Cancer does strike fear into the heart and for a time, can immobilize thought and action. I remember well.
Finding programs, resources, people, organizations, etc. that will guide you on a healing journey through this difficult time is critical to inspire hope – the will to live – and the evidence that it is possible. There are many of us who have moved beyond cancer – myself included, living well and healthy after a Stage 3, Breast Cancer diagnosis in the Fall of 1990.
One such resource is the Healing and Cancer Foundation, created and led by Drs. Rob Rutledge and Timothy Walker. Having attended as a facilitator at their workshops here in Calgary, Alberta, I know firsthand what a wonderful job they do in walking a person hand in hand through the healing process. They have made their work available online for all to access.
Dance is fun, brings great joy not only to the participant but also those watching. It can be an awesome workout with low impact – great for all ages.
Evidence the age range (10 – 78) of the particpants in this Flash Mob Dance I choreographed for our Wellspring Calgary fundraiser ‘Toupee For A Day’. It was such a fun project. Everyone had a great time, definitely wanted to do it more than once, and as you can see from the crowd watching, shared their joy and love of dance.
Lymphedema is a medical condition often caused by the removal of lymph nodes during a cancer surgery. For breast cancer survivors, this condition may occur in the arm and can cause swelling due to the reduction in lymphatic flow, which backs up the lymphatic fluid when under pressure. While permanent solutions for the pain or discomfort caused by Lymphedema do not exist, there are ways to cope and helpful products that provide some relief on a day-to-day basis.
To manage the swelling of Arm Lymphedema, patients may purchase a ready-to-wear armsleeve, or preferably a prescribed sleeve from a qualified lymphedema therapist. The sleeve provides compression to the swelling and is also a valuable when traveling by plane, as high altitudes can cause swelling to worsen. There are exercises you can do from home to help reduce swelling and a special massage, called a manual lymph drainage massage, which manually moves the fluid from where it has settled.
Research your options – there are many – because no one deserves to suffer.
For those coping with cancer, having a support group of similar individuals who can effectively empathize is one of the best ways to manage the disease. In cities around the globe, there are cancer help programs to aid those suffering from the disease as well as their families. These centers offer a variety of community events and ongoing support.
The internet is also rife with opportunities to reach out and connected with other people who are in the midst of a cancer journey. One of the benefits of internet cancer programs is that you can find communities that are entirely comprised of people suffering from the same form of cancer. This familiarity with a particular type of cancer increases the empathetic nature of communication and discussion.