Cancer Wellness & Recovery Blog

This blog shares various posts and articles on “cancer wellness & trauma recovery coaching” to inspire both patients and caregivers to feel supported, hopeful and empowered. Support is paramount for both healing and quality of life during treatment.

happiness and illness

I Have Cancer, Can I Still Be Happy?

Happiness comes deep from within us.  It is a practice in which we have to be actively involved, not expecting it will come to us by some divine intervention.  This is actually good news…it means we can bring about our happiness, regardless of circumstances even when facing cancer. 3 Steps to Happiness During Cancer Treatment Now happiness may not be an anti-cancer solution, but it is a practical and effective way for you to support your well being and even enhance your recovery from cancer. The question I hear often is how? How can I be happy when cancer has taken over my thoughts, my body and my life? I don’t pretend to have all the answers. What I do know to be effective comes from seeing what works for my clients and this is the purpose of this post, to share with you this knowledge so you will know what to do when fear and despair have darkened your day. Here are three essential elements for happiness.  Adopt these three behaviors, and find a little bit of joy every day. 1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Many of us are in the habit of regularly evaluating ourselves against others.  We do so because it helps us make sense of the world. However, there are costly side-effects to a judgmental mind which serve only to reinforce negative perceptions and even damage our health. Do not compare yourself with others, whether you are healthy or not. You never know what you are really comparing as you don’t know everything in someone’s heart, mind and body.  You may be comparing their strengths with your weaknesses. Action Step: Make a list of things or peoples you are fortunate to have in your life. Bring to mind people you have touched or impacted in a positive way. If you can’t resist your mind’s habit of comparing yourself, instead of using others as your yard stick, evaluate yourself in terms of your own growth. 2. Spend time in Gratitude. According to Wikipedia, gratitude is a “positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.” When illness colors our lives with gloom and self-pity, gratitude is an oasis for the spirit. Focus on the good; celebrate your achievements by regularly reviewing what went well in your life instead of thinking only about problems or setbacks. Action Step: Count your blessings, remind yourself of your strengths, your values, those things for which you are loved; Read that list every night before you go to bed. Find something daily for which you are grateful.  You can always find something! Continue Reading I Have Cancer, Can I Still Be Happy?

healing happiness

Can Happiness Help Heal My Cancer?

For most people, happiness is a value they aspire toward though only a handful can truly claim they have attained it.  But notice that searching for happiness and being happy are two different things, one is future oriented while the other is more of an awareness to all that is in the present. In the context of illness and health, happiness plays a major role. Since my belief is that emotions are road signs which point us in the right direction, happiness is a very clear arrow pointing straight ahead; toward a better and healthier state of mind. So what does happiness has to do with healing? First of all, it feels good when we are happy, and feel-good state of mind correlate with certain health promoting chemicals production. These hormones and chemicals are dispersed through the blood stream to nourish, strengthen and heal that part which is currently vulnerable with cancer. Secondly, happiness actually represents a state of health, spiritual health that is.  Since happiness is a level of awareness, the question is awareness to what? Several mystical sources, mainly the Jewish Kabalah, consider happiness as an indicator that the soul is in alignment with its divine purpose. What this means is that the soul, you, is exactly where it needs to be, doing exactly what it need be doing and in the right time. This presents a challenging paradox where even in the direst of circumstances, such as life threatening cancer, one can feel pure joy and happiness if the alignment is in place. Healing is an outcome, much like happiness, and stem from the same alignment described above. Please comment below and tell me and the community how you find happiness? Continue Reading Can Happiness Help Heal My Cancer?

finding joy during illness

Can You Find Joy and Happiness While Undergoing Cancer Treatment?

When most of us think of happiness, we think of all that is good and joyful in our lives. However, in the context of illness, happiness may seem like a foreign concept.  Surely, “happiness” won’t be the first word that comes to mind, right? Consider the age old question “Do You Want to Be Happy or Do You Want to Be Right?” This is not a trick question. Think about it for a moment and choose your answer?  What does your instinct tell you? Most people’s very logical response is, well, “Can’t I be both?” In most cases my answer will be No. This is because each answer – Right or Happy – represent a contradicting state of mind; one is of the Ego and the other is of the Soul or Spirit. I am not suggesting there is anything happy about illness in general and cancer in particular.  But could we possibly be happy during this period of time? The unequivocal answer is YES WE CAN and here are some tips to help you choose: Four Points to Remember 1.       Happiness is an outcome, a byproduct of the awareness of seeing more than the present moment of discomfort offers.  Happiness does not depend on external things, things of material nature or even other people. It’s an inside job. A decision to focus on the good despite the awareness of the bad. 2.       Find happiness in recognizing your sovereignty over your mind.  Owning your state of mind, and taking responsibility for what you choose to hold in your mind is your birth right. This means you have that capacity, it’s part of how your brain wired. 3.       If your happiness depends on whom you are with, or what someone else had to say to you, you set yourself up for disappointment.  Lifelong disappointment.  No one will ever do exactly as you wish and say the right words to satisfy you.  Instead, look for happiness in the relationships you have, the positive aspects of every loving relationship or person and find gratitude in their love. 4.       Contrary to what some people think, happiness during illness does not mean you are in denial. Yes, you are right, being sick is terrible.  But if you find happiness in moments even during an illness, you are choosing something much greater than the simple satisfaction of your Ego. Continue Reading Can You Find Joy and Happiness While Undergoing Cancer Treatment?

healing from cancer naturally

Around Every Dark Cloud There is a Silver Lining

This old proverb means that in every situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem, there is always something to take away, something of meaningful, something positive which help us and sometime force us to grow. Have you ever wondered how some people are more resourceful than others? Especially when facing a difficult situation such as illness. What do they do differently that allows them to navigate the rough sea’s of the unknown successfully? Here are some thoughts: Seek knowledge – as the saying goes, knowledge is power. If your concern isn’t addressed by your doctor for whatever reason, ask a nurse, or another practitioner.  Find the resources that help you learn about your options in a constructive and positive manner so you can make educated decisions. Shift your focus – Probably the most effective way to divert fear and worry which naturally arise when being diagnosed, is to shift your mind’s focus from you to someone else or something else.  A great way to do that is to offer support for other cancer patients or find something that resonant with you like an organization with a meaningful cause and join in. Develop Resilience -in Wikipedia “Resilience” means “the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity”.  Developing the skill of resilience may take time and practice but you can take the following shortcut: 1.       Accept that change is a part of living. Change can be viewed as an opportunity to grow in new directions. Letting go of what cannot be changed helps you focus on you can actually do. 2.       Craft an action plan to negate your stress. Taking care of you is your number one priority, do what you enjoy most, feed your body, relax your mind and get plenty of rest. 3.       Nurture a positive view of yourself. Prime your body and mind with positive self-talk, be kind and supportive of you, trust that you have appropriate resources to cope and remember that you are much more than just your body. 4.       Set healthy personal boundaries. When you need space, ask for it. Those who love you may not know how to demonstrate their love and affection for you. Those who care for you do not know what treatment feels like, they do not know what it’s like to feel or be you. Help them by letting them know what is right for you. If you have some great resources, please share with us. Continue Reading Around Every Dark Cloud There is a Silver Lining

strategy for healing cancer

A Practical Strategy for coping with Fear of Cancer

The notion of a life threatening illness is debilitating. Tough we all have different personalities and coping mechanism, fear seems to color every aspect of our lives with gloom.  Recently a client said she felt that her field of vision narrowed from wide and bright, to narrow and dark when she found out she had cancer. It’s felt like “walking in a corridor with different doors, each door lead to another piece of her life” she said. This client is not alone.  Her vivid description shed light on the common effects of fear and the need for a practical, realistic and effective way to deal with it. She asked me to share her experience with the hope it will be of use to others as they come face to face with it and so I do. F.E.A.R stands for False Evidence Appear Real. See the big picture – Though many of us think of cancer as an incurable disease, this is not necessarily the case anymore. With the advancement of medicine, treatment and technology more and more people these days survive their cancer. Remember the Truth of Statistics – Statistics are just numbers.  I am not making light of medical data, but at the end of the day we are all unique. We have different DNA, different resilience levels and different belief systems and therefore cope with treatment differently. If we were all alike in every sense, there would be just one treatment or cure for cancer and it would work for everyone every time. It may be tempting to see yourself as part of this study or that body of data but if you are doing so, you must consider all those who survived and lived much longer than expected or predicted. In light of this view, the fragile nature of this form of evaluation comes to light. Search for the lesson – Being diagnosed with cancer does not mean you are helpless or hopeless. There are many things you can do take back control of your life, your body and your mind. From a holistic perspective a state of illness is a state where your body serves as a messenger from your inner self, that spiritual part of you that is at the core of your being. This part forever communicates with us and there is always a lesson to be learned. Figuring out what it is we need to hear or learn brings not only peace of mind and comfort but it also permits the body to utilize its healing potential. It dissolve the inhibiting factors which lessen the effectiveness of medicine or the body’s ability to embrace it. It is worth noting that Immersive Healing which is the practice I could offer this client, may not be right for you. There are different ways to reach the top of the mountain and hypnosis for cancer is not the only one or the only effective one. How do you cope your fearful moments?  Can you give others some advice? Continue Reading A Practical Strategy for coping with Fear of Cancer

subconscious Mind and Illness

Mary’s Time to Look Inside

A client of mine, let’s call her Mary, was diagnosed with a very aggressive stage four anal cancer. This was not her first battle with the disease as she has already survived breast cancer. Knowing what lies ahead of her, she felt her back was to the wall and that she must take  ownership and responsibility in someway for what she is going through. She decided it was time to do what she feared the most, to look inside. Mary has served a wonderful reminder to me why so many of us decide to not look inside, into our own mind, thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Looking inside is frightening.  In fact it was so frightening to her that when she was given the option to have a colostomy, which is a life altering surgery with significant consequences, she still chose to shy away from healing her pain. To treat not only her physical part but also the part of her that does not feel she is worthy of healing. It was hard for me to understand why despite of what’s at stake, she was hesitant to do the work.  Mary was a client of mine working on issues not directly related to her cancer, which put me in a unique position to witness her journey and finally accepting the daunting task of looking inward. Further discussion revealed why Mary would have preferred to have altered her body and pay such high cost to her quality of life.  She was afraid. Afraid of looking at that part of her she kept locked deep within, that part she believed to be broken, lack of worth, distorted… a part which later she found wasn’t based on her truth but rather on other people’s view. This was completely natural.  It is natural of course for us to fear any serious medical condition or procedure.  But what I could not understand at that time was that her fear of her upcoming medical treatments was less frightening than the “non-evasive” work of healing her mind. Anthony Robbins once said that as people “we tend to move away from pain toward pleasure.” There are no lengthy recoveries; no pain medications, no physical hardships involved in Immersive Healing and Hypnosis for Cancer, yet the pain inside is scarier than the pain of surgery. Mary’s cancer spread beyond the anus and surgery was no longer a viable option as it will not serve to isolate the tumor.  She had little options available from a medical perspective and that is when her courage kicked in. She interpret this dire news as a call to action, a call for her to heal from the inside out. She felt ready to face what she feared the most, herself. Would you have chosen surgery before healing as well? Continue Reading Mary’s Time to Look Inside