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Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Nicole_admin on Feb 22, 2016 9:24 am

A cancer diagnosis and its treatment can be very difficult on both your mind and body. It's important to take extra care of yourself during treatment. During cancer treatment do you take extra care with your nutrition, work to boost your immune system, take up a new exercise program, or practice meditation or relaxation? 

Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment. 
 
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Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Nicole_admin on Mar 3, 2016 11:11 am

Research has shown that yoga can help people living with cancer relieve their anxiety and depression. It’s also been shown to increase a sense of spiritual well-being. I'm wondering, what ways do you take care of your body during cancer treatment?
 

Re: How do you get over the depression?

Posted by Heathercook on Mar 4, 2016 8:00 am

Since I have been diagnosed, I've been depressed and feel totally defeated.  When you are depressed, it's difficult to want to get up and move. I.E. exercise, eating properly.  I don't even want to get off the couch because of the depression.  I know I should stop feeling sorry for myself, but I can't seem to break the depression.  I admore all of you that are doing all of the right things and only wish that I could get there.  Thanks for listening to me.  Heather.
 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Nicole_admin on Mar 4, 2016 9:00 am

Hi Heathercook,

Welcome to our community. You've made a big step by posting on here, please feel free to express your feelings. We do not judge. 

You may find it helpful to take part in the discussion happening, sad and needing to vent. There you will meet people like endee and michelle4444 who have shared their own struggles of coping with cancer. You mentioned that since being diagnosed you've felt depressed, have you shared this with your medical team? 

If you're not sure whether to seek professional help or even where you may be able to find help in your area, please call our Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333. An Information Specialist can provide you with professional and community resources, and this service is free and confidential. 

Thinking of you,
Nicole

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by journeys on Mar 5, 2016 11:04 am

Hi Heather. I've been there and I understand. There's probably nothing I can tell you that you haven't already heard. I myself have had bouts of depression before (mine was unrelated to cancer) but it amounts to similar reactions. I didnt want to get out of bed, didn't care about anything, was too depressed to take care of myself properly in those months. The only that helped me was forcing myself to do things that would lift my mood a bit, and reaching out to talk to people who understood. That lifted me enough to take more steps. I wish the best for you! Stay in touch on these boards. Journeys

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by DanielleDL on Mar 5, 2016 12:30 pm

Hi Heather,  thank you so much for sharing. You are not alone.

I'm 35 and currently in treatment for triple-negative breast cancer, and this week will be round 12 of chemotherapy.  I have many days just like you, where I don't have the motivation, energy or desire to do any of the "right" things.  I don't eat well, I don't exercise, I lie in bed thinking about scary and sad things. It's really hard sometimes, and at times I'm not sure how much longer I can go on. But then there are days where I do one little thing, I go for a walk, or I eat some veggies (instead of junk food), or I manage to drink a whole glass of water.   Those are my small victories. That's the best I can do right now.  And I try to accept that this is the way things are.  For now.

I remember what it was like to have the energy and motivation to take care of my body, and so I try to remind myself that this is just temporary. Even on a day-to-day basis, I can notice the little ups and downs, the moments when the nausea is slightly less, or when I have a tiny bit more energy and I get out of bed for a few hours.  To me, that's as good as it gets right now, and I try not to push myself to do more.  I accept that I am sick, that my body is a battlefield right now and my only job is to let the chemotherapy do it's work.

For me what eased my depression was to just give myself permission to lay in bed, to be sad, to grieve my life "before cancer", and to accept that right now I am sick.  That I can't expect too much of myself, otherwise I will just get frustrated or more depressed, and that's not helpful.

Also,  I don't know where you live, but reaching out to cancer support networks really helps. In Calgary here, we have the Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation, and I go there every few weeks to meet with a doctor to just talk about whatever is on my mind. It's not like a typical medical appointment, because I get the full hour and she will talk with me about absolutely anything. It helps immensely.  Also, going to events and classes where you can meet other survivors and people currently in cancer treatment can be helpful too. It's like finding a "tribe" of people who 100% understand what you're going through. And what surprised me most was that hanging out with other people who have cancer is actually uplighting for my mood.  It makes me feel like i'm not alone, and that things don't have to be serious or depressing all the time.  

Sending you lots of good energy, and hoping you can find those "small victories" in your day. 

Danielle

 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Garden Girl on Mar 21, 2016 9:53 am

hello - i am also finding it difficult to deal with my cancer. some days i just cry and cry. this has suprised me as i don't usally cry. i am also so scared. scared of catching a cold. scard on not having a high enough blood count to get treatment. scared of losing weight and being too weak to do anything. scared for , my family. sad for all of us. this is not easy and i try to give myself a break and be compasionate towards myself and those around me.  the smal victories such going out for a meal, taking a walk. getting a new head scarf. that cheers me up. no one understands what it is we are going through unless they are in the same battle. i am hoping to find a councellor to talk with or a group to join. i am in Calgary if anyone can direct me. thanks Cecile
 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by t_bar on Mar 22, 2016 4:24 pm

Hi Garden Girl,
You could always talk to one of the phone volunteers here, or a councellor at the cancer clinic, there's also the De Sousa Institute who hold online professionally led support groups for people with cancer and caregivers etc. also they have lots of info about other help....here's a link

   https://cancerchat.desouzainstitute.com/resources

And there's other sites similar but different than this one such as the U.S. based.... Smart Patients

 https://www.smartpatients.com/home

Hope this helps a bit.

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Glamma on Mar 23, 2016 12:19 pm

Hi I just read your post. I was diagnosed in December 2015 with triple negative stage two grade three. I couldn't quit crying. What worked for me was reading! I purchased books on my type of cancer. I talked and talked. I relied on my family and friends that are so open to my tears and always told me it was okay. That this is my normal. Fear still creeps in and on those days I let it out. I'm finding I'm having more better days now. Your nurses need to know how you are feeling. There is lots of help thru the cancer society I hope you are doing good today. I eill jeep you in my thoughts

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Owlsome on Jul 4, 2016 1:32 pm

Hi Nicole, 
I am wondering if you have any suggestions for easy to follow yoga videos on site here or online for people with cancer, who would like to make this part of their routine at home.  There are so many yoga videos to purchase but it's hard to know if you are purchasing something that is easy to follow and at an appropriate level if one is lacking energy, motivation or feeling low. 
Thanks for your help. 
 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Sunnynights on Jul 11, 2016 4:21 pm

Hi,
I am also interested in yoga but, have no experience.  
Thanks
 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Dogswalker on Jul 12, 2016 5:27 am

Hi I have found Yoga to be a great help in my cancer journey, for my body but also for my spirit. I use the breathing and meditation techniques I have learned while I am going through procedures and treatments and it really helps to center and calm me. I follow a lady on YouTube her name is Ardiene and her channel is called Yoga with Adriene. Here's a link to her latest video: https://youtu.be/bJJWArRfKa0 While she is not specifically for cancer I really recommend you give her a try. She gives very clear instructions and if you have never done yoga before she has a great line of beginner videos. I also love her attitude as she is a big believer in self love and not being too hard on yourself. I find that after doing her videos I am much calmer and more able to take on what life throws at me. And I also love that I am able to do this in the privacy of my own home. I hope you find this helpful and I wish you the very best on your journey with cancer. Liz

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Nicole_admin on Jul 12, 2016 9:06 am

Hi Owlsome, Sunnynights, and Dogswalker! I'm happy to hear about the interest in yoga, it can be very beneficial both physically and mentally. You can read more information about yoga by clicking here.

As Dogswalker mentioned, there are videos you can find online that can help you with your practice. There is also information available online about where you can find yoga classes in your community. You'll find these listings in the Community Services Locator, just be sure to select your province from the drop-down menu on the top of the page. 

I'm curious to hear from those who regularly practice yoga or have practiced in the past, how has your experience been? 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Linda-N on Dec 7, 2016 11:41 am

To everyone who has contributed to this discussion,

Thank you! I think I just realized that I may be suffering from depression.  I was so tired yesterday and spent a lot of time in bed, not sleeping, but laying there on my iPad, daydreaming, doing nothing productive. However, I've been giving myself the room to do so because I've had 2 surgeries and just finished radiation last week and all this with my cancer diagnosis in May 2016. But it was the first time I realized that my condition may be more than just recouping from radiation. My mental state has been more fragile than ever before. I cry so easily now, can't call my cousin who's still grieving the loss of her husband this past year, my aunt who went in for surgery yesterday...too much...way too much.

I was a go-go person with 3 teenage kids at 3 different schools, not working anywhwere, but just taking care of the homestead and our dog. That is enough for me. I don't think I really slowed down and took a step back to look at myself even after my diagnosis. I have thyroid cancer, the most common form papillary, but have also present 2 other rarer cancer cell forms but in a low percentage ( rad onc and endocrinologist said not to worry). Now I have no thyroid gland and you'd be amazed at how much that little gland does for the human body! It's not just metabolism, but a slew of bodily functions and since I had to be off my meds to have radiation treatment, the side effects are beyond what I could ever expect. 

I knew to be tired and expected it, but I had bad headaches, insomnia, hair loss, brain fog and was extra sensitive or "moody".  I didn't recognize my face staring me back in the mirror when I went in for radiation treatment. I looked so haggard, beatup, aged.  But what I didn't realize is how much radiation can set you back further. I couldn't taste my food...let me tell you scariest thing biting into an apple and not tasting a thing, totally depleted of energy much like a flu only 10x worse, my stomach doesn't like food all too much these days, dry mouth isn't helping things either, headaches still persisting etc.

This is where yoga comes in! I'm going to try it at home first. Slow and steady. I was never an active person before cancer but I'm going to give it a go. Anything to get out of this state I'm in because I don't feel like me, physically and mentally. Seeing my kids and husband continue on, I know I'm not the same anymore, I just have to figure out what's going to get me closer to where I was before or at least feeling better.

one day at a time,
Linda 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Kolombe on Dec 8, 2016 9:28 am

Linda, yoga can be great. You might want to look into restorative yoga if there is anyone doing it in your area. It is a fully supported practice so it is a gentle way to get into things. YIN yoga is also a supported form which I love!

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Dogswalker on Dec 9, 2016 9:18 am

Hi Linda

I agree yoga is great both for your physical health but also your mental health. If you never have done yoga before I would suggest going on YouTube. There are lots of great yoga channels there. I personally love Yoga with Adrienne. Her motto is "find what feels good".  She explains the poses very well so a beginner can feel confident they are not going to strain themselves. She also does some focus on the meditative side of yoga which I have found so great in helping to cope with all of the procedures that have come along on my cancer journey. 
I have low thyroid and take medication for it and I have no idea how you could function at all without your thyroid meds. I take the lowest dose and if I forget it I am almost incapacitated. Couldn't imagine how you did it with no thyroid hormone going through your system at all. I know that part of dealing with this disease is the feelings of frustration that come from not being able to do everything you want to do or normally would do. But try not to be to hard on yourself. Give yourself permission to heal. It takes a while. Advice that I need to follow too

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Linda-N on Dec 9, 2016 4:47 pm

Kolombe:
Linda, yoga can be great. You might want to look into restorative yoga if there is anyone doing it in your area. It is a fully supported practice so it is a gentle way to get into things. YIN yoga is also a supported form which I love!

Hi Kolombe,

I really think yoga will help. I just have to commit to it. But could you help explain to me what do you mean by "restorative" yoga and "a fully supported practice"? 
My stomach has been giving me trouble lately: bloated beyond anything, constipation, taste still hasn't recovered and my emotions are all over the place. I'm back on my probiotics, taking senokot and my thyroid meds that still have to be adjusted since my total thyroidectomy. Radiation just hammered into me my fragility which is something I'm still coming to terms with. I'm usually stronger than this so I'm seeing myself very differently these days. 
Linda
 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Linda-N on Dec 9, 2016 5:18 pm

Dogswalker:
Hi Linda

I agree yoga is great both for your physical health but also your mental health. If you never have done yoga before I would suggest going on YouTube. There are lots of great yoga channels there. I personally love Yoga with Adrienne. Her motto is "find what feels good".  She explains the poses very well so a beginner can feel confident they are not going to strain themselves. She also does some focus on the meditative side of yoga which I have found so great in helping to cope with all of the procedures that have come along on my cancer journey. 
I have low thyroid and take medication for it and I have no idea how you could function at all without your thyroid meds. I take the lowest dose and if I forget it I am almost incapacitated. Couldn't imagine how you did it with no thyroid hormone going through your system at all. I know that part of dealing with this disease is the feelings of frustration that come from not being able to do everything you want to do or normally would do. But try not to be to hard on yourself. Give yourself permission to heal. It takes a while. Advice that I need to follow too

Hi Dogswalker, 

Thank you for replying and reiterating how recovery just isn't about your physical body but also your mental state. Anyone who is on their cancer journey will understand how it's a lot to take in. I didn't realize how radiation would affect me so much. For me it's like the last nail to be hammered in and I can't explain why I feel this way. Yes, I have side effects but reading about them and experiencing them are two different things as I'm beginning to realize. I'm trying to give myself room to grieve over the loss of my life before cancer but it's truly a process and I'm only beginning to see how much it's affected me this past year. My diagnosis, surgeries and radiation treatment all have happened within the last 7 months. 

Thank you also for understanding how that little thyroid hormone pill works wonders for getting your energy back, bodily functions all in order, sharper mind, better mood and overall general well-being. I only went off of my meds to prep for radiation treatment. Now that that is over with, as I understand, radiation on any remaining thyroid cancer cells and other cells affected takes time to show its effect so I may be further surprised down the road by some unexpected health events, that sucks in a nutshell! It's like a dark cloud that hangs over me and all I want to do is run faster into the sunshine but I can't because this beast called cancer fights back hard and keeps pushing this dark cloud towards me. 

Meanwhile, I've got to live and carry on because I won't let this beast beat me. I just have to figure out what can I do that I'm comfortable with that will help me and yoga will be one of the first things I do on my road to healing. I don't like feeling so vulnerable, emotional, tired and dull. It's not me. The old me wasn't like that at all and the new me wants back my life. Now I've just got to put in my time to get me to where I want to be: out of from under the dark cloud and into the sunshine of life!

Linda

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Kolombe on Dec 9, 2016 7:16 pm

Hi Linda,

Supported yogas are done on the mat, rather than standing. They use positions held for longer amounts of time. They use bolsters, blocks, blankets etc. to support your boy so your muscles do not have to work, but allow for deep tissue stretching. Restorative is the most gentle with the focus more on relaxing than easing into deeper stretch. 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Linda-N on Dec 11, 2016 11:03 pm

Hi Kolombe,

thank you for clarifying. How has yoga helped you since being diagnosed? Were you doing yoga before your diagnosis?
 

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 27, 2017 12:27 am

I go for walks, play my piano, do crossword puzzles.  Eat a well balanced diet.  I also find prayer really helps and reading my bible.

Re: Let's discuss how you take care of your body during cancer treatment

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Jan 27, 2017 10:01 am

Great ways to take care of yourself :) Thanks for sharing.

Where are you located? How is the weather there?