This is a guest post written by Scott Sanders from CancerWell.org. In this post are tips and advice on how to best help a loved one who is going through cancer treatment.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing, earth-shattering experience. A person with a serious illness is filled with lots of emotions and feeling a lot of physical pain, too. Learn how to give your best self to your loved one and find ways to give them the support they need during this difficult time.
How to Talk to Your Loved One
The things you say to a cancer patient affect them in a lot of ways. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply listen and say nothing at all, according to Cancer Care. Don’t give advice or opinions unless you’re asked or make reassurances that everything is going to be OK.
Get Them to Talk to You
It’s not uncommon for terminally ill patients to attempt to downplay their pain or refuse to talk about it. Encourage your loved one to be open about when they’re in pain, what the pain is like and how much of it they’re experiencing. Physicians treating the cancer need to know about the physical discomfort of their patients so they can design effective treatment plans, and you need to know when they’re in pain so you can help them through it.
There are many physical things you can do to help a person who has a serious illness. Do their grocery shopping for them, run errands and do chores around the house. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, these things can be very helpful and provide the sick person with the support they need.
Get Mentally Prepared
The way you react to your loved one is going to affect them. That’s why it’s important for you to mentally prepare yourself for the changes that cancer may cause. People going through this often suffer from weight changes, all-over hair loss, extreme fatigue and pale skin. You will also notice many emotional changes. Cancer patients may have trouble staying focused, vomit frequently and suffer with insomnia, according to the American Cancer Society. Try your best not to have a visible reaction to these changes. Understand that these changes are normal and expected.
Create a Safe Space
People who have a terminal illness often feel as though they have lost control of their lives, because in many ways they have. Depression, anxiety, stress and other strong emotional states are common among people who have cancer. One way you can help them is by decluttering their homes. This may seem like a strange approach, but decluttering can decrease stress and increase that feeling of being in control and in charge that seriously ill people lack in their lives. Decluttering helps increase focus and improves mood, and that will always have a positive effect.
Encourage Positive Feelings
After you’ve decluttered for your loved one, give them a meditation space. Pick a room, or even just a corner of a room, and turn this into a tiny meditation retreat where they can let go of stress and learn how to focus their minds away from the pain. Some physicians use meditation as a treatment tool for this reason.
Create a meditation space by placing a comfortable chair or bed that your loved one can use, along with some candles or incense, in the space. Provide them with a focal point, a small piece of art or some beloved object, so they can use this to tune out the rest of the world. You may even include a book or a graphic picture that offers tips on how to meditate.
Stay supportive, stay prepared and stay active when you want to help a loved one with cancer. Keep doing the little things that you can do to make them more comfortable and make their environment more pleasant. Be a good listener, and when you aren’t sure what to say just don’t say anything. Stick to a few simple tips, and you’ll be the best friend you can possibly be to your loved one.
In episode Ten of the podcast, Simon your host, interviews the founder of the cancer charity ‘Yes To Life’, Robin Daly
In this episode we explore how Robin found his way to being the director of a cancer charity that gives advice on Integrative health care. We look at some of the fundamental steps you can take to ensuring your own health should you be in the position of having cancer and facing chemo therapy. Along with other findings on improving your chances to survive cancer.
We discuss the state of the mainstream medical establishment, what is holding it back from being more effective and patient centred, as well as the developments in the field that are changing the way the industry operates.
And we also discuss a number of other brilliant resources that will get you on the right path should you be diagnosed with cancer (or to recommend to anyone in your life who receives the diagnosis)
And as always, you can download the podcast episode from iTunes and Stitcher Radio or play right here in the browser
If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe, share with your friends and colleagues and if you feel so inclined we’d really appreciate a review!
Links for the resources we talked about in this episode:
The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast is un-sponsored by you!
We’ve decided to keep the podcast sponsor and ad free by utilising Patreon as a way for our listeners to pledge their support to the project!
Patreon is a bit like crowd funding for artistic projects, you can pledge as much or as little as you want, starting from as little as $1 per month or per episode and you can even decide to cap your contribution at a monthly max…
My mother was diagnosed with a particularly agressive forms of Uterine cancer on her ovaries, which only 7 weeks after being removed by surgery had grown back to the same size (large grapefruit, or two fists held together). So in December of 2012 my wife and I made a fast dash to my native New Zealand for what we thought would be a last Christmas and a farewell to my mother. But first I loaded her up with information about Cancer…
Before leaving I compiled a list of the best alternative and complementary cancer advice I could find on the internet from my favourite sources. (Dr Mercola and Dr Lam were the main sites)
She didn’t follow even half of the advice, but she chose a few and really stuck to them. While we were with her we cooked her healthy vegetarian food from fresh produce, filled with yummy super foods.
The main things she chose to do where:
No sugar or alcohol (right through the festive season, not an easy feat)
She stopped microwaving her coffee and tea (a weird practice that people of a certain generation seem to do all the time?)
She added frozen and grated lemons to EVERYTHING she ate (something to do with getting all of the nutrients, this came from a friend, not me)
But I think the most important thing she decided, was that she wasn’t ready to die yet! That it was worth fighting to life, it was worth having goals and plans beyond the next Chemo session… To me this was the single most important factor in her survival thus far (it’s now April of 2013, and she is still fighting!)
Update: As of October 2017 my mum is still alive and well, she has had over 100 chemo treatments, but went on to a drug trial working with Immunotherapy… Her tumour is much smaller than it was and has shrunk dramatically over the course of the immunotherapy treatments 🙂
My original email to her with information about Cancer is below:
Nutrition and diet advice for you to beat the beastie!
Hello Mumbo, I hope you’re feeling ok after the treatment…
So here is my quick digest of do’s and don’ts and also a bunch of links for further reading at the bottom…
These are taken from Dr Mercola (mercola.com) and Dr Lam (drlam.com) If I find more I will send it through to you, but for now this should keep you going for quite a while. I wouldn’t change anything you’re doing with the doctors, but
Cut out GMO foods
Eat Organic wherever possible
Cut out Sugars, artificial sweeteners and preservatives etc in food – or basically eat a natural whole-food diet
Cut out instant coffee (I know you love your coffee, but who knows what process they put that stuff through to get it to dissolve like that… drink organic ground coffee if you have to)
replace black/english tea with green tea, Matcha Green tea if it’s available – high in antioxidants!
Start taking Vitamin D3 supplements – oral spray is the best way to get it into your body quickly – can take with calcium too (don’t take D2 or cod liver oil)
Safe sun exposure over large parts of your body is the best way to get Vit D, but only until the skin turns the lightest pink
Might not be helpful at the moment, but keeping strong muscles is a good way to reduce the risk… a little late info perhaps…
Another important supplement is curcumin, which effectively addresses inflammation and has potent anti-cancer properties.
Apparently you should get your home checked for Radon gas (which comes from underground…) it’s easy to block it out…
Avoid non-stick cookware and stain resistant fabrics…
Check out your personal products (skin care, soaps and cosmetics) – Some of the most common culprits to avoid include SLS, parabens, phthalates, antibacterials, musks, 1,4-dioxane, mineral oil and petrolatum, hydroquinone, nano particles, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-producing ingredients.
Avoid canned foods and foods in plastic package and containers – they contain a chemical called BPA, which isn’t good for us. Eat traditionally fermented foods to help break the BPA down and lower absorption in the intestines, as well as containing health bacteria.
Get rid of all of the chemical cleaners, use soap and water or 3% hydrogen peroxide and vinegar
Use Green building materials… there are lots of harmful chemicals in paint, varnish etc, get low or no VOC paints (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Don’t put chemicals on your garden if you’re going to eat the produce…
Sleep in complete darkness, or wear an eye shade – get rid of night lights, block street lights getting in through the window, cover clock radios with lights, don’t turn the light on when you go to the toilet in the night etc
Eat Onions and Garlic! Often!
Take Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium (30-60 minutes before meals or 60-120 minutes after, so as not to reduce effectiveness of digestion)
Proper exercise is important! See the link below
Take mega doses of Vitamin C daily!
Over 5,000 studies have been conducted on vitamin C, and here is the general parameter on a daily intake basis:
· High Dose – 2,000 – 10,000 mg (where cancer cells are killed and normal cells are spared)
· Very High Dose – for Active cancer treatment alone or as adjunct to conventional treatment: 5 gram to 50 grams (by mouth and IV)
· Toxic Dose – where cancer calls and normal cells are both killed. There is no established toxic dose.
(Recommend to take 2000 to 10,000 mg per day… Dr Lam offers a consultation via email depending on your particular case: http://www.drlam.com/askme.asp)
Build your Immune system: Take cats claw, Oliver leaf extract, Fish Oils, Mstletoe (aka Iscador treatment – involved subcutaneous injections, do more research on this yourself perhaps?), Miatake, Shitaki and Reishi Mushroom extracts, and super mushroom Agaricus Blazei Murill(ABM). Also take Gotu Kola (a herb that has anti-inflamatory benefits amongst others)
When the Treatment is Worse than the Disease…
Perhaps more importantly, most conventional cancer treatments tend to add insult to injury by doing more harm than good — a fact that has been largely swept under the rug by the medical industry.
Meanwhile, the real culprits—the underlying causes—are completely ignored, and that is, I believe, the root of the problem. The cancer industry has become a massive for-profit business that is doing everything in its power to maintain the status quo. It is, quite simply, not interested in truly reducing cancer rates; it’s interested in treating cancer. From that perspective, the more cancer cases the better…
Information about Cancer – Winning the War Against Cancer Begins with Your Personal Choices
You can do a lot, right now, to significantly decrease your cancer risk. Even the conservative American Cancer Society states that one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying excess weight. So making the following healthy lifestyle changes can go a very long way toward ending the failure-streak and becoming one less statistic in this war against cancer:
4. Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
5. Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
6. Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.