National Cancer Survivors Day
I'm fortunate to have never experienced cancer ... but I have friends and loved ones who have, and at least a few of them have some anger with the way our culture and health care system regards that disease process and those who live with it.
Dr. Andrew Weill addressed this in his weekend email, and reminded me that National Cancer Survivors Day is today, June 5. Here's part of his message:
I share your frustration about the way conventional medicine identifies survivors as those who are in long-term recovery when, in fact, from the moment of diagnosis, everyone touched by cancer is in survival mode. This is true not only of patients, but also their caregivers, family members, and loved ones.
Survival begins as new cancer patients first confront the suspicion of the disease, and continues as they undergo the testing, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Their emotions can vary from fear to loneliness. There often is a sense of approaching mortality, and feelings that they’ve lost control over their lives, as well as confusion in interpreting medical information.
...As far as therapies to complement your cancer treatment are concerned, you have wide choices.
Meditation and Mind-Body Medicine: Explore mind-body techniques such as guided imagery, meditation, and energy medicine modalities such as Therapeutic Touch and Reiki.
Stay Active: Regular exercise is an essential part of maintaining good health. Engage in gentle exercise (yoga is a good choice) as often as you can.
Nutrition: Eat lots of fresh (organic, if possible) fruits and vegetables (consider juicing to increase serving size without feeling too full); drink several cups of green tea daily (for its cancer protective and antioxidant effects); and eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, ground flaxseeds and cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon and sardines). Always discuss changes in your diet with your physician.
Seek Support: Join a support program for people with cancer. The inspiration and hope you’ll find there is priceless.
Have Faith: Don't underestimate the role of your spiritual being in the healing process.
To anyone who is living with this disease, I say first, "damn it." It would be really artificial to try and put a flowery pollyanna spin on this devastating disease and what you have to do to deal with it.
But on this day that honors you, I can honor your intention to live your life fully ... and extend my positive thoughts for success in achieving your best ultimate outcome, your way.
Today's fragrance: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, with a breath of anisette. Because I am comforted by it.