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Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Nicole_admin on Oct 21, 2014 4:16 pm

Many people who have cancer, or are caring for a loved one with cancer, find that creative activities help them feel better. What are some of the hobbies, exercises and relaxation methods that help you relieve tension?

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Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by ColleenR on Nov 1, 2014 2:51 pm


Hi, my name is Colleen and my husband was just diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer.  I am having trouble sleeping due to anxiety and worry.  Any suggestions others would have to help me cope and relieve tension is very much appreciated.  I have been practicing deep belly breathing and it is helpful,

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by RaYmAn on Nov 1, 2014 10:45 pm

My wife dragged me to a Yin Yoga class, I'm not that flexible but this isn't your standard yoga. I was really Impressed.
Stretching (mild) and breathing. I would recommend looking for a class close by. She is also going to teach me meditation. might be worth looking into




Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by lynne on Nov 2, 2014 3:20 pm

I feel lucky that I was already writing before my husband's diagnosis and now it has become my lifeline. I have a book project underway and it is something to plunge back into when there's time. It's so important to have something for yourself-to keep you strong, that you love, and that takes your mind away from your situation for any length of time. I walk the dog a lot now that my husband can"t and plan to start yoga and swimming too. But something creative is important which allows you to express yourself positively. Something of your own, especially if you've always done a lot with your partner but can't now. A project of any kind will help.

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by dvora on Nov 3, 2014 8:19 am

Hi Lynne, I'm Dvora.  I was diagnosed with endometrial adenocarcinoma August  7th, had the hysterectomy August 19th I guess they wanted it out as soon as possible.  After the staging they decided to give radiation.  I think that is for precaution.  Waiting for that to happen.  Love that waiting game!   Anyway to try to relax I do several different things.  Mostly to pass the day and take "things" off my mind.  It works for me.  I read a book, took up knitting again, making crocheted necklaces. I like the variety especially in the winter when it's too cold to go out!  I meet with some of the ladies in our gated community for a craft afternoon,we share ideas and gossip! Lol.  I also walk the dogs(2)  and try to fit in swimming twice a week at least.  It sounds like a lot...but I need that.   I am thinking of joining a gentle yoga class here too for the anxiety and relation.  I need that too becaus I am an insomniac.  I am so jealous when my husbands head hits the pillow he is already snoring!  Lol.  I am glad to see a few upbeat posters on here keeping a positive attitude is so important.  Keep it up.  I am here everyday looking for my Companions on here.   Thankyou for being here.  We all nee a boost now and then.  Take all.  
D

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Mim on Nov 15, 2014 9:56 pm

Here I am with my annoying suggestion - exercise.  I have Breast Cancer, doing Chemo before surgery.  I have found the secret to my peace of mind is exercise.  Is it safe?  Yes.  I just finished reading a study complete in 3 sites - Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa where people receiving Chemotherapy were given an exercise regime - up to 60 minutes of walking or bicyclying 3 times per week.  One group had weight training added in.  (This is the CARE study).  The study showed that exercise made general functioning, bodily pain and fatigue easier to tolerate.  

I have tried to take a daily walk outside even during Chemo treatments and have found that the days I feel the most tension and anxiety and sleep the poorest are the days when I do not walk.  

If you saw me you would laugh at my suggestion because I'm "at the top" of my Body Mass Index, but hopefully after my surgery, I can try to improve on my lifestyle.  
The bad is always there but the good is right beside it......if you look. Mim

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Sarah251 on Nov 16, 2014 8:52 pm

Thanks for sharing, I will be starting chemo here in Ottawa this week and I was wondering if exercising would be okay or even helpful. I will defiantly check out the studies :)

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Sarah251 on Nov 16, 2014 8:55 pm

Oops, that was supposed to be *definately, not defiantly, lol

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by marilyn thomson on Nov 16, 2014 11:36 pm

I have been doing alot of reading..exercise is as important as clean food.

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Helen59 on Jan 16, 2015 8:25 am

I'm from the Cambridge area and just registered for meditation classes. Are there any groups that get together to talk? My husband is interested in this also. 

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by goldensrfun on Jan 16, 2015 2:02 pm

I finished chemotherapy 3weeks ago and will start radiation treatments in just over a week so I figured it was time to slowly try to get back into shape.  Prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer I was in great shapel. I lost 30 lbs, did 40 minutes on the eliptical 4 days a week, yoga 1 day a week, and walked the dog daily.  Well with the surgeries and the chemo most of that was out the window, but I did manage to continue to walk the dog on most of my good days.  So today I thoght I would start back at it.  I knew I would have to take it easy so planned on only aiming for 10 minutes on the eliptical to start.  I am so discouraged!  After 2 minutes I was very short of breath and my leg muscles were very tired.  Is this normal?  It was really pushing it, but I made myself go at a very slow pace and do 5 minutes.  I even found I am more tired than normal walking the dog, and out of breath quickly.  I'm just wondering if anybody else has experienced this after trying to return to getting fit?  

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Mim on Feb 1, 2015 10:26 pm

Sorry I just saw this now. How are you getting along now with exercise? Slow and steady wins the race.
The bad is always there but the good is right beside it......if you look. Mim

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by northernguy on Feb 18, 2015 1:32 pm

goldensrfun:
I finished chemotherapy 3weeks ago and will start radiation treatments in just over a week so I figured it was time to slowly try to get back into shape.  Prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer I was in great shapel. I lost 30 lbs, did 40 minutes on the eliptical 4 days a week, yoga 1 day a week, and walked the dog daily.  Well with the surgeries and the chemo most of that was out the window, but I did manage to continue to walk the dog on most of my good days.  So today I thoght I would start back at it.  I knew I would have to take it easy so planned on only aiming for 10 minutes on the eliptical to start.  I am so discouraged!  After 2 minutes I was very short of breath and my leg muscles were very tired.  Is this normal?  It was really pushing it, but I made myself go at a very slow pace and do 5 minutes.  I even found I am more tired than normal walking the dog, and out of breath quickly.  I'm just wondering if anybody else has experienced this after trying to return to getting fit?  
Depends on how long your treatments were as my friend did Chemo and couldn't walk more than a half block and he used to work fulltime and was always walking now he can barely go upstairs.  Slow and steady and you will have to train your muscles again as like myself it took a long time after my surgery to walk a km a day.  good luck

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by rhmccoll on Feb 19, 2015 4:52 am

After 3 chemos and 35 radiation treatments, I was so weak I colapsed at a bus stop and ended up in hospital for almost a month getting my strength back to the point where I could walk a couple of blocks. It took almost 3 months of constant pushing myself to get to the point where I could go up stairs and walk a couple of kms.
It just takes stuborn determination and pushing yourself a little each day, but you'll get back to the point where you were before treatment.
Walking has always been a good tension reliever for me, you walk along a trail and look at nature. It somehow takes your mind to a better place. Good luck.

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by April Star on Feb 19, 2015 10:50 am

I haven't introduced myself yet.  I've been reading the posts and taking bits of wisdom from them.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 last April.  I finished chemo 2 and a half weeks ago and just started radiation this week.  Pre-cancer, I was exercising 4-5 times a week from hikes, strength training to kick-boxing.  I did a tough mudder in 2013 and was feeling so in charge of my body.  Cancer brought that all to a complete halt.  Since I had a lumpectomy and lymph node dissection in May, I thought that was the worst of it.  Then I had to go in for another surgery to remove more of my breast and another lymph node dissection as the cancer had spread into the lymph nodes.  That slowed my exercising down quite a bit but I got going again for about 2 months before I started chemo.  Chemo basically knocked me on my ass. The last 6 months were horrible and exercise wasn't possible except the occasional walk. And I worked full time throughout all this.  The last month of chemo wasn't as bad and I started to get back into a bit of an exercise routine and was shocked when a flight of stairs winded me. Or my pace for a walk was slowed right down.  Even my strength was gone and I'm back to the girlie weights.  But the good news is, it comes back fast. Yesterday I started doing stairs to help strengthen my legs and work on my cardiovascular system - I was able to do 14 floors of stairs in decent time.  My walks are getting faster.  My strength is returning.  The key is to be persistant and listen to your body.  They tell me that I'm going to get fatigued during radiation.  I plan to use exercise to combat that.  It helps with depression, sleep and feeling better about yourself.  And your body likes exercise whether you believe it or not.   It only gets better from here!

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Shirl007 on Apr 8, 2015 8:21 pm

Hi. I am pretty discouraged having just come out of hospital after a nasty infection. My surgery for what they now know started as ovarian cancer was Jan. 30 and six hours long. I came through it and healed well externally, but a series of urinary tract infections and this last round in hospital, has knocked all of my confidence out of me. Plus I have an ileostomy to contend with. I know about the values of exercise but I cried today when I started to try and do the simplest thing. Any suggestions for this broken down woman? I'm 69 and in good health other than this very severe cancer. 

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by FrannyVolunteer on Apr 9, 2015 9:19 am

Shirley, Please do not give up. The exercises is not  difficult to do and will make you feel better. Just start slowly with chair exercises and progress to chair side, using the chair for balance and support.  Then move to a little more difficult as you feel you can. You do not need to do 10 of each movement, just start with one or two at a time and work your way up.  This way you can work your way up to a good exercises routine and not hurt your self.  Remember your muscles are at rest and (as I would tell my patients in Fun & fitness)  they do not want to move again after a long holiday, besides who is the boss of your muscles you or them?  Just talk to your Doctor to see if you can do exercises or not and what to take if you start hurting.  Just take it easy and enjoy getting back to full force. You maybe surprised how fast things will get back to normal.
" IF THERE IS A NORMAL AFTER CANCER"  we are all so different that how could there be a normal.  If you find the answer, Please let me no.. Take care and good luck... 
PS: I had malignant Melanoma and was not expected to live, 15 years ago and my treatment was 14mts long,  so I was not in good shape after I finished. Now I'm 69 and feeling fine and moving myself to a now home..
F.J.Seguin

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by Beth on Apr 20, 2015 12:03 pm

I find self hypnosis or guided meditation useful for settling to sleep.  It is not easy to relax when tired because the mind can get on a worry track and it is like an automatic snowball of worry.  So the best way to interrupt this is to invite the mind to focus on a calming track instead. Sounds simple? It is and it isn't. Singing a lullaby to a child or reading a book like Goodnight Moon is, in essence, a trance induction process. Or the classic “counting sheep” is mostly about focussing on something simple and repetitive and not emotionally charged. I use an app on my iPhone called Sleep Stream 2. There are various sounds, and my favourite is a 20 minute Pre-Sleep Meditation that you download in the app. There are other relaxation scripts in it too. If you are not a Mac user, there are lots of “scripts” that you can follow -  It takes practice to focus on something calming because when we are tired, our minds tend to run on autopilot. So the idea is to train the mind to go on autopilot in a calming way. Jon Kabat Zinn’s books and audios are excellent, e.g. Full Catastrophe Living, which is about a program for mindfullness based stress reduction (MBSR) - there are courses in a lot of places. Sometimes a very simple phrase repeated over and over again can help, eg "I don't have to sleep, but I do need to rest" or a prayer such as 23rd psalm.  One simple prayer is "Be still and know that I am God." You can repeat this prayer, dropping off a word from the end each time, ending with "Be still and know... Be still and... Be still... Be."  Music is also a powerful avenue for staying as relaxed and positive as you can be. The Vancouver Chamber Choir has some beautiful healing music CDs. Good luck. You are not alone.

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by naturelover on May 26, 2015 10:39 am

For me exercise has been and still is a huge stress reliever. After two rounds of chemo and one of radiation I was overweight and very weak. My doctor thought that I had a heart attack and sent me for tests. The result was that chemo had weakened my muscles including my heart. I began walking. It was hard at first and I needed many park bench rest stops but in time I could walk 5K without resting. I lost my excess weight and am now starting to bike. It is important to listen to your body. Before my diagnosis of mantel cell lymphoma I ran 5K and practiced karate. Change is hard but acceptance is the answer for me as it reduces anxiety and stress. Thank you for this opportunity to share my experiences.
 

Re: Let's discuss ways to relieve tension

Posted by FrannyVolunteer on May 27, 2015 2:31 pm

Naturelover, Thank You you have just confirmed my theory of exercise is one of the factors that can make you feel better.
F.J.Seguin