Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices Book Review

This simple and colorful book is just what the doctor ordered for you during your treatment with breast cancer. Your oncologists and radiologists have given you hand-outs and booklets on what to expect during treatment. I would guess that some of you did not know what an oncologist was until you heard those words, “I am sorry, you have breast cancer.” You who live in rural areas are having to commute as much as four hours for treatment; a commute that makes you feel lonely, frightened, and hyper-vigilante. You have entered a foreign country of medical language and uncomfortable body procedures, driving into a big city that is so foreign to you to be treated by big city doctors who intimidate you. The loneliness and fear scale escalate, you might find yourself saying, “I can’t do this.” Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices: Self Care Tools For Treatment & Recovery is here to help you realize you can do this day by day. This strange journey into a strange land is here and you are going to face it head on (some-days); other days you are going to pull the covers up and scream, “NO!” There are going to be good days and bad days in this journey of yours. The truth is your life has been full of good days and bad days all along. That is the way of life.

Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices: Self Care Tools For Treatment & RecoveryThis book is here to help you change your focus by beginning to practice the art of mindfulness, which is staying present to yourself. You will learn to stay present to your emotions and needs during difficult times. You have entered a land where awareness of what is going on with your body is the biggest gift in this process. This book will help you change your focus from the medical maze to focusing on words; words like abundance, breath, music, and resilience. This book guides you towards an oasis of positive thought-provoking words with simple explanations that help you gear up for the medical battle you are facing.
Another unique feature about this book are the simple coloring exercises for you to do while you focus on the mindful words. The coloring is not complex and you can take as long as you like. The beautiful flowers and simple designs invite you to bring your worries, concerns, fears, and hopes right into the creative art to create your own hope for the future. This book invites you to participate in your healing process as a true human being who is just putting one foot in front of the other. Trying to make the best decisions possible for yourself and your family as you move through this often lonely and sometimes terrorizing battle.

If you or a friend have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, this book is intended to be an oasis from the medical procedures, tough decisions, and daily chores of getting well. This book is here to give you a safe place in the middle of the storm, and to build your strength and courage along the way. Be hopeful, be safe, and be brave. Each day is a new adventure and the twenty-six words from the alphabet are here to be your ally.

Dawn Breast CancerAbout Dawn Bradford Lange:  Co-founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Dawn is making a difference with Breast Cancer Yoga therapeutic products designed to support you emotionally and physically during breast cancer . We want to give you the attention and personal service you need so please email us at info@breastcanceryoga.com if you have questions.

How to OPEN Your Mind and Body to Change During Breast Cancer

breast-cancer-psychological-help-openToday is a good day to contemplate OPENING UP. The diagnosis of Breast Cancer and its treatment can cause you to close down, withdraw, and pull your body inward. Do some things today that help you OPEN yourself to healing and working with your body to heal itself. OPEN your arms and stretch to the sky. Stretch as far as you are comfortable, take a big inhale and stretch a little further. OPEN your mouth and stretch it as the face often holds each of our fears. Fear is an interesting phenomena as the more closed we are, the bigger fear grows. The more OPEN we become the more courage we create. Being OPEN is one of the best ways to conquer fear. Practice with your body and OPEN it to new possibilities.

OPEN your heart to love and acceptance. You did not cause this breast cancer, it is not your fault. So, let go of self-blame and use that energy to OPEN yourself to new possibilities. OPEN your mind and body to change. Most of us now know that our foods are full of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), but we are just learning that fact. So be OPEN to eating differently and buying organic. OPEN yourself to positive changes in your life regarding food and exercise.

OPEN your heart to new relationships and healing relationships that have become difficult. OPEN your heart to letting others be there for you and allowing people to be present to you on this journey. Be OPEN to asking for help. Be OPEN to offering help to others who can use your beautiful smile even though you have breast cancer right now. OPEN yourself to all possibilities and take steps to move on with your life.

Dr. Robin Dilley

Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

How To Develop & Execute A Nurturing Plan During Breast Cancer

how-to-nurture-a-breast-cancer-patient-during-treamentNURTURE is an important and essential action for you as a person with breast cancer. NURTURE usually takes a seat at the end of the “to –do” list and never gets done in our day-to-day busy lives. NURTURE is absolutely essential to growth and to healing. You must move it to the top of the list now. Your cells, your mood, your emotions and your quality of life depend on it. If you are going through all of this treatment to save your life, then NURTURE yourself through it. Massages, warm bubble baths, hot green tea, ice cold lemonade, mint, fresh flowers, and a great power nap are only a few things on the long list of NURTURING actions. Today, make a list of your top 10 NURTURING ideas and then develop a plan on how to execute one of them a week. NURTURING actions are essential to you healing well and thriving as an individual. Breast cancer forces you to change your life, thus you might as well choose positive ways to change it rather than be a victim to it.

If you just throw something out into the world and do nothing to provide a stable and supportive environment for growth, then not much is going to happen. NURTURING is a fundamental necessity to attain your heart’s desires. Sometimes a “victim identity” keeps us in ruts of “poor me”, “I can’t do what I want to do because I have breast cancer”. That way of thinking is lazy thinking. If you want something, then it is important to work for it. Nothing just happens. Even those that win the lottery statistically lose it all within a few short years. It is our inner attitude, our psychological scripts that are just as powerful as our DNA. They must consistently be NURTURED in positive, generous, and supportive ways for your being to let go and allow you to believe that change is possible for everyone, including yourself.
So today choose to change. Get out into the sunlight, wear something you love, surround yourself in beauty, and do the things that make you smile. NURTURE yourself today and always.

Featured Image From The Truth About Cancer

Dr. Robin Dilley

Dr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

How To Use The Interview Technique As Part Of Your Healing Process

Interview Technique For Psychological Breast Cancer HealingYou have been given a diagnosis of cancer. I invite you to sit down and have an INTERVIEW with this cancer that has shown up. Don’t let cancer take control of you and your life. Sit down with it and get out your pen and paper and begin the INTERVIEW of cancer to see what hidden agenda we can find. Here is how you start. Get your journal, find a quiet place, perhaps even fix two cups of tea. One cup of tea is for you and the other for cancer. Be mindful of your preparation. Maybe even choose two different teas. Choose a green anti-oxidant tea for cancer and detox tea for you. Make the environment friendly, perhaps even buying fresh flowers, because you are preparing to have one of the most important conversations of your life. And you are learning how to love your enemies.

Now that you are all settled, close your eyes and imagine cancer. How does cancer show up for his interview? How is cancer dressed? What color, shape and size it this cancer? Go back to the guided imagery journal page and finish the details. What odor does cancer have? Texture? Once you have a full believable image, begin the INTERVIEW. You are in control of how this goes. Thank cancer for coming to the interview and tell cancer you have prepared tea. Next ask cancer, “You have come into my life. I am not in favor of your presence but since you are here, educate me. What do I need to learn about you being here?” Write down whatever weird thing that cancer might say.

Then ask cancer what it needs to leave your body. Sounds almost ludicrous, doesn’t it? Creative writing and INTERVIEW technique can bring us some wisdom about our situation that we cannot find in a book or treatment. I don’t believe you did anything to cause your cancer, but I do believe you can be part of your healing process. Even if the end result is death you do not need to be its victim.

Ask cancer what it needs from you. Even if cancer taunts you and says “be afraid.” Just gently respond, “fear won’t help me and I don’t allow it on this journey.” Notice how cancer responds to that assertive answer.

This INTERVIEW technique is a useful way to tap into the unconscious and gain access to information you need. If you find this process too difficult to begin with cancer, consider starting with loneliness. It may be an easier start for you and, once comfortable with the technique, you can move on to INTERVIEW cancer.

If you are lonely; depressed; angry; hurt; or feeling any other bothersome emotion, sit down with your pen and your journal and pretend to be an interested reporter. An investigative reporter or a great journalist is interested in more than just the facts. He/she is interested in the context, the background story, and the motive. For instance, picture your loneliness as an animal, object, or person. Spend a moment describing what loneliness wore to the INTERVIEW. Did loneliness bother to get dressed up or did loneliness show up disheveled? What jewelry is loneliness wearing? How old is loneliness? Now you are ready for the INTERVIEW. The INTERVIEW starts like this, “Loneliness, I see you are about (how many years old)? Can you tell me about the first time you experienced this lonely feeling inside?” Write down the answer and then ask any INTERVIEW questions that come out of that story. Can you describe to me what is the hardest part about being lonely? Can you describe the best time you have had being lonely? If you don’t like being lonely so much, what stops you from changing? What steps would you have to take not to be so lonely all of the time? Which step are you willing to take first? If your life stays this lonely, what will you have to look forward too? What can you do to change? Now you get the point. Use this INTERVIEW method to do your own emotional work.

Feature photo source: Healing Powers of Journaling

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

HOPE: How to Make Decisions From a Position of HOPE

How To Build Build Hope From The Inside OutCertainly at this time of your life HOPE is an important word. Traditional Christian and Jewish stories speak of HOPE ranging from the miraculous conception of the Christ child to the Jewish Hanukkah story of the one day supply of holy oil miraculously turning into the necessary eight day supply needed. Some schools of Buddhism caution about too much HOPE, believing that HOPE sets up expectations. That seems to be the case when people use HOPE in a passive way. One cannot just HOPE that things change. HOPE requires you align yourself with positive action. Be the captain of your ship and do not sit by idly, HOPING things will change. HOPE is needed especially when the chips are down, and it feels like every resource has been explored.

Hope and How to Make DecisionsDeath is not the enemy. We all will die. HOPE can assist us to execute what choices we have about dying. One gift in breast cancer is that you do not die suddenly. You get a chance to say good-bye and let people know how meaningful they have been in your life. It is a fine line walking the balance of HOPE and despair. Despair is never helpful or useful and HOPE helps you stay away from the brink of despair when life is looking fairly bleak. Taking positive action one step at a time helps build HOPE from the inside out. HOPE activates action and action activates HOPE. You have nothing to lose by investing in HOPE. Even if things don’t work out the way you want them to, HOPE helps your mood and keeps despair at bay. HOPE can be practiced and increased when you build positive resources around you.

HOPE is part of feeling empowered. Acting on that empowerment allows you to execute the choices that you have. It is very important you recognize that you do have choices in your treatment options and when you cultivate HOPE in your daily life, then you make decisions from a position of HOPE rather than despair. In the despairing moments it is important to use HOPE to just pass through the despair and move into gratitude and action about the options that you do have.

Reading other people’s stories that are going through what you are going through can fertilize HOPE. Watching biographical movies that tell stories of struggle and success can increase your HOPE thermometer. Going for a walk in nature can uplift your mood and help return HOPE.
HOPE is a tool of positive self-care and I wish you well on your journey with HOPE by your side.

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Exercise – Important For The Breast Cancer Recovery Process

Exercise for Breast Cancer RecoveryLack of exercise is not what caused your cancer, so relax. If that were the case, the cancer rates would be so much larger. However, EXERCISE is very important to the recovery process and is also helpful in bringing the best attitude forward for the healing process. Coming eyeball to eyeball with cancer changes the perspective of quality of life. Thus, most of us are willing to do things for our own good in ways that we were not willing to before. Some of us love to EXERCISE and can’t wait to get to the gym or on our mountain bike. Others of us hate EXERCISE and have to be forced into doing it. I would wager that those of us who hate EXERCISE are EXERCISING for the wrong reasons and doing particular EXERCISES that we hate. So there are two goals here. First, discover an exercise you like or can tolerate because you feel good afterward. Second, set up your goal for your success.

If you are still in treatment your energy is lower but sitting or staying in bed all day only causes the toxins to build up. Walk for 10 minutes, or try walking 5 minutes a few times a day. Stretch. Lie in bed and move your body gently. Breathe. Yes, breathing is a form of exercise and Breast Cancer Yoga has a wonderful breathing CD. As you begin feeling better try Breast Cancer Yoga’s exercises for Yoga that are designed just for you, gentle lymphatic stretching. Get out of the house if even to just sit on the porch. Being outside moves your cells and allows them to enjoy fresh air versus the stale air from your AC or furnace. Listen to music and imagine yourself dancing to it and then gently move your muscles as if your muscles are dancing.

Post-treatment allow yourself to build up to 30 minutes of exercise a day. Start by doing 15 minutes, five days a week, then increase to two days for 3O minutes and continue to build up from there. Even though the lack of EXERCISE did not cause your cancer, let me be clear, EXERCISE, whether you like it or not, is important to your health. Thus, establish an EXERCISE habit as soon as possible after treatment so that it becomes a part of your new healthy lifestyle. The only rule needed is to EXERCISE at least thirty minutes a day whether you like it or not. The simplest way is to walk. Other than a good pair of shoes, walking EXERCISE does not require anything else and almost everyone can do it. If you can’t walk, then you need to discover other ways to EXERCISE. Stretching is a good choice and it does not require any fancy equipment. Yoga is also a great choice because it allows your body to detox the lymph system allowing those mutant cells to keep moving out of your body rather than getting stagnant and begin to build new tumors. Learning to make EXERCISE a part of your daily routine is a very important part of self-care. The goal is to EXERCISE more days a week than not. EXERCISE will help you stay flexible and healthy as you age. It is simple. The only goal is to do it. Don’t do it to lose weight, do it because you love yourself and because you are important.

Family members, it is not only important that you support your family member in an EXERCISE routine but that you too stay healthy by finding an EXERCISE activity that you enjoy and get out there and do it. Making EXERCISE a family affair will make it something fun and something to look forward to.

Last, when you get bored, change it out. If you get sick and can’t for a few days, get right back out there. If you miss a day, dance inside for 15 minutes anyway. MOVE your body as much as you can everyday.

Featured Photo Source: St. Louis Dispatch

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

Delegate

Delegate - Breast Cancer Stress ManagementAs a person affected by cancer in one way or another, your life as you have known it has changed. You did not get a vote about the change, but you do get a vote about how you are going to navigate your life. Today’s word is DELEGATE.

Don’t let your life become overwhelming, DELEGATE as much you can to someone else. DELEGATE household chores to your children, partner, or house partners. DELEGATE things that you don’t like doing or don’t want to do. For instance, if you hate ironing, DELEGATE it to another family member or pay someone else to do it for you. Most of the things that require your time and energy can be hired out and DELEGATED to someone else who needs to make a living doing the things that you hate to do. Rather than think about yourself as lazy or unmotivated realize that DELEGATING difficult or an unpleasant chore to others for hire is a way to keep the system moving. Get as much stuff off of your to to-do list as possible because you need all of your energy to recover and let the body return to optimum health.

What is that message in your head when you ask someone else to do something for you? Where did that message come from? If you allowed yourself to be gentle with your need to DELEGATE some of that stuff on your plate what is the worst that could happen? Would it be guilt, or your fear someone else won’t do it right or the way you want it done? Transitioning your attitude to be willing to DELEGATE as a management style may not be a smooth transition, but it can be helpful in lowering your levels of stress and chaos once you learn to DELEGATE.

Chose three things to DELEGATE this week. Look at the things in your life that are irritating you, stealing your energy, or are just too hard for you to do right now. Three may seem like a lot but through this process, you will choose the number one priority to DELEGATE. Reflect over the past few days or weeks about your thoughts. How many times have you wished someone else would do the laundry but you didn’t ask or delegate? You probably didn’t ask or delegate because you minimized the task. Perhaps you said something like, “How hard is it to throw a load of laundry in the machine and transfer it to the dryer? Come on, it is no big deal, just do it.” But then when the dryer finished, you just wanted to crawl into those warm clothes and go to sleep rather than fold them. Your body needs rest. Your cells need to be strong and capable of fighting off those mutant cells that want to build tumors. Give yourself permission to rest.

Thus, back to your list of three. Choose one from the list as a practice DELEGATE task. Create a plan on how you are going to DELEGATE and to whom. Write specific instructions on how you want this task to be done and make arrangements for a finish task time. DELEGATE it and see how it goes. Then move on to the other two items on your list. As you become a pro at DELEGATION, the goal is to have time and energy for the top five things on your list that matter most for your healing; rest, sleep, healthy eating, yoga and time to enjoy your favorite people in your life.

Dr. Robin DilleyDr. Robin B. Dilley, author of In A Moment’s Notice: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer is a licensed psychologist in the State of Arizona. Her eclectic practice allows her to cross diagnostic barriers and meet clients in their need assisting them to respond to life in healthy and empowering ways rather than react to life’s circumstances.

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