Staying present is a must!
Staying present is not always easy, it has to be a conscience effort on your part. As a cancer patient or survivor, you have been on a physical & emotional roller coaster. I did not want to join a support group, but I did find 2 people to talk with. These women had completely different experiences with breast cancer. Talking with them has helped me process this journey.
We all know someone who has or had breast cancer. Finding people to relate to makes the roller coaster ride manageable. It still sucks, but you know you’ll get through it.
Do whatever it takes to stay present!
After chemo and radiation I thought I was done with treatments and that my life would be “normal” again. Well I was wrong. Wrong about being done and wrong about life being normal. I still had to go through hormone therapy and figure out my “new normal”.
During chemo and radiation I just put my head down and focused on staying healthy.
Now, I am leaning how to manage the side effects of hormone therapy, processing the emotions of being a cancer survivor at 31 and focusing on rebuilding my business.
This is the only advice I can offer you…Focus on the day and visit your goals often.
Anemia is defined as the condition in which the number of red blood cells is low.
Chemotherapy lowers your red blood cells and can make you anemic. Anemia is a common side effect of chemotherapy. It’s a good idea to be aware of common symptoms.
Symptoms of anemia include:
- Extreme tiredness, fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Rapid heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate
- Shortness of breath
During my treatments, I became anemic. I was feeling especially tired and became pale. My doctor told me I had to have a blood transfusion. I was not happy about this, I was actually scared. The blood transfusion was an all day event, but within 3-4 days I started to feel better and I had more energy.
If you are experiencing any symptoms listed above, tell your doctor.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself what is means to be grateful.
Who or what are you grateful for?
Gratitude is defined as a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
I am grateful for my mom! My mom has been the rock throughout my cancer journey.
She makes me feel safe when I scared and can calm me down if I am anxious or overwhelmed.
It’s important for us, cancer patients, to have someone we can count. If you have been recently diagnosed, I highly recommend appointing someone as your “rock”.
Your journey to survivorship will be much smoother.
The dry sauna and steam bath are both excellent ways to detoxify the body.
The extreme heat from the dry sauna induces sweating and causes your heart rate to rise substantially, promoting both detoxification and weight loss. As your internal body temperature rises to about 100.4° F during a 10-20 minute dry sauna session, your heart rate increases by 50-75%. This process allows your body to draw out toxins, clean clogged pores, kill harmful bacteria and viruses, increase circulation and metabolism, and enhance the immune system.
The Journal of the American Medical Association stated, “A bather in moderate condition who sweats off about 500 grams in a sauna nevertheless uses up some 300 calories – or the equivalent of running a couple of miles. The Journal went on to observe that while, yes, the water weight is regained once you rehydrate, the calories that were consumed in the sauna are not.”
Steam baths are believed to be more beneficial to those suffering from respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. A short steam room session will help loosen the chest muscles and mucous. The humidity levels in the air ensure that the skin remains hydrated throughout the steam session. This is thought to accelerate the detoxification and healing processes which take place within the body when body temperature rises. On the down side, germs and bacteria thrive in the warm, moist conditions. Make sure that the steam room you are using has been properly cleaned and disinfected.
I think the dry sauna is the way to go!!
Dark chocolate covered almonds are one of my favorite snacks!
Morning, noon or night, I love them. Portion control is sometimes an issue, but that’s why I only buy a few servings at a time. They are especially good when they have been in the freezer for a few hours!!
There are many benefits to eating this snack! Dark chocolate covered almonds are a great source of antioxidants, good for your heart and provides you with energy.
If I am feeling low on energy and want to get in an afternoon workout, dark chocolate covered almonds work every time.
So next time you are market, grab a handful of heaven!!
Sleep disturbance can be a side effect of chemotherapy. I remember not being able to sleep. Not only did I not feel well, I was exhausted! Not a good combo….
Sleep is important for everyone, especially those with cancer. Sleep improves memory, helps maintain your weight, allows your body to fight infections and keeps your mind happy!!
I found that listening to music, writing in my journal and meditating helped me sleep better while going through chemo.
What works for you?
When you feel down or a little blue, do something nice for someone else.
People generally feel better when they make someone else feel better.
It could be a simple “hello” to a stranger or a phone call to an old friend.
Today, I am motivating you to do something nice for someone else…
I hate needles and always have! I still ask my mom to go with me to get shots or blood drawn. A friend suggested that I see an acupuncturist during chemo, I chuckled and said, “No way, not happening!” She told me that acupuncture helps minimize the side effects of chemo. At this point, I was not sold. I thought to myself, “I would rather throw up then be stuck 20 times with 20 tiny needles.”
Ok, so perhaps I was being a baby. I spent many days thinking about my choices: feeling sick or 20 tiny needles. I finally made up my mind and went with the needles. And yes, my mom went with me to the appointment!
Do you see an acupuncturist? I think you should. Acupuncture really helped me with the side effects of chemotherapy. I never threw up, but most days I had a headache and felt nauseous. I am done with treatments and still go to acupuncture once a week. I find it calming and relaxing. It also reduces my level of anxiety.
Even if you have a fear of needles, try it anyway!!
Want to decrease your chances of a recurrence? Start exercising my friend!!
A Harvard Medical School study published in the, “Journal of the American Medical Association” found breast cancer survivors who walked for three to five hours a week, or exercised more strenuously for shorter periods of time, had a 50 percent lower risk of disease recurrence, regardless of the size of the cancer at time of diagnosis.
Walking, running, cycling, and strength training are great ways to exercise. I really enjoy running and strength training. Exercise not only helps me to process and reflective on the past year and a half, it decreases my chances of a recurrence. I finished chemotherapy in October, radiation in January and am currently going through hormone therapy. My workouts changed throughout each treatment, but I was consistently active.
Find an exercise routine that works for you and make it a priority. If you want to stay cancer free- EXERCISE!!!