You always hear that saying about people looking for the greener grass, but they never find it. However, I’m here to tell you that I’ve actually found the greener grass. It’s on the other side of cancer survival. I’m a survivor and I don’t need a doctor to tell me that I am clean, I know it already and I feel it inside.
I say the grass is greener because before my diagnosis, I was just living my life, day to day. I would say I was happy, but I was only putting in half the effort. It’s like when everyone around you says you’re “on fire,” but you know down deep inside you the fire could burn better and brighter. No one can do anything about making the fire burn better but you.
Then you get this life-changing diagnosis and you think that you may die sooner than you expected, but you get a second chance and WOW! What a difference. (more…)
By Carol Dunlop at OptimumBodySculpting.com
When I first informed friends and online followers that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had decided to move forward with chemotherapy, I received so many opinions that I couldn’t think. In the end, I had to fall back on the old saying about opinions—everyone has one—then move on. Wow! I heard everything from “Wait, don’t do it!” to “you’re being poisoned and your body will never recover” to ”why?” It really took me by surprise as to how deep peoples’ opinions run. I also received a lot of positive feedback, but you always remember the negative more, don’t you?
So after I digested everything and scratched the rest, I opted for the temporary “poison.” I didn’t feel that pumping my body full of supplements with their own side effects was worth the risk of maybe not working. I can honestly say that the chemo has been …well, not that bad. Yes, I did get sick, so sick that I couldn’t get out of bed for a couple days, but of the five treatments, so far, to have just one like that has to count for something, right? And now I’m on my last one. Yeah! Double Yeah! I feel that I have been through the fire and back with this whole process. It really isn’t over because now I have hormone therapy to look forward to. (more…)
When I first began my breast cancer journey, I couldn’t get enough input of what to expect and craved glimpses through the journey of others. I wanted to know what mine would be like. Now that I am finishing up the middle part—chemo—I have some room for reflection on my journey thus far.
Deciding to have the mastectomy was the easiest part of this journey, for me. I wanted to have the least possible chance of the breast cancer coming back and I figured it would be a great opportunity to sculpt my body. What woman wouldn’t want that? Dealing with the pain from the mastectomy and the reconstruction, now that was a whole other story of survival, whew! I have a high pain tolerance, but believe me; pills were in plenty of supply. The only thing that I had to worry about was taking too many or staying on them for too long, but my husband kept that in check.
Getting chemo was a HUGE stressor for me. I lost 10 pounds before the first treatment from stress and worry alone. Then I had the first one, gauged my body’s reaction, and moved on to the next and the next. Now, I’m at the end, the last one YEAH! (more…)
While the mortality rate of women with breast cancer is decreasing, the incidence of depression in women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer is on the rise. As many as 50% of all women who are affected with the disease will experience some kind of post-recovery melancholy. Thankfully, researchers from the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri have brought to our attention a specific meditation technique, and suggest how it can help breast cancer survivors revive their zest for life.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a type of mindfulness training that uses the mind to combat anxiety and bring about a sense of wellbeing. It includes mental practices that heighten physical awareness, as well as yoga and time spent in quiet, reflective meditation. Developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, MBSR helps people foster their own mind-body connection, as well as create a deeper awareness of how thoughts and feelings can affect physical and emotional health.
The MBSR program consists of eight to ten week group sessions including practice in meditation skills, stress response and coping techniques. The University of Missouri’s team of researchers gathered data from the participants during and after the group sessions. Measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate were recorded. Not surprisingly, the participants’ physical responses to MBSR were favorable. Blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate all decreased, suggesting a lowered stress response. In addition, the subjects said their mood improved and their level of mindfulness increased.
Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2011 and she is sharing her story of survival at DietsInReview.com. Check out her website, OptimumBodySculpting.com.
Are you aware that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? That’s a sobering statement, but one that you may not really connect with unless you have a personal experience with breast cancer. I am the one in eight.
I have to admit that I was like most people, I heard about breast cancer, donated to the cause and sympathized with anyone that was diagnosed. However, I never had a personal experience with it in my family or any close friends, until I was diagnosed. My husband’s mother passed from complications from breast cancer, but that was long before we even met. Now, my outlook and my reaction to hearing that a woman has passed from having this disease is totally different. It hits me deep in my heart. (more…)