3 Steps To Develop Courage During Cancer Treatment

What is courage and how do you get courage now that you need it more than ever?

While choosing to create new COURAGEOUS plans moving forward, just remember to always look back to see where you’ve been. Remember in the Wizard of Oz that each character already had what they(he/she?) needed without realizing it? Recall how Scarecrow thinks and problem solves; the Tin-Man, an emotional connector to his core; and the Lion, leading the way to the witches’ castle. They needed the journey down the Yellow Brick Road to realize what was inside of them all along.

You have been dumped into an unfamiliar land, language you can barely interpret, and the idea of feeling optimistic or positive about seeing what you are made of is probably not on your radar. But the reality is, this cancer is here now, so you might as well learn all the things you can during your own journey down the yellow brick road.

In the Wizard of Oz, like the Lion – our representation of COURAGE – is introduced later in the movie while trying to intimidate the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. Again, Toto comes to the rescue. We watch the Lion chase after Toto until Dorothy has had enough and slaps the Lion to make him stop. You must decide to today to take control of your Lion. Taking control may take some very strong words, such as: “Stop talking about death. Stop saying this cancer is going to kill me. And for crying out loud quit wasting time on that false belief!” Others may think, “What did I do to deserve this?” This cancer is not your fault. If you want to keep up that under serving thought, just take a virtual walk through St. Jude’s hospital for children or Google children with cancer. After you have taken that virtual tour, you tell me which one of those young vulnerable children caused his/her cancer? So, why do you think you are any different than any one of those vulnerable children?

Cancer happens. Cancer happens to everyone all around the world. Statistics told us in 2011 that 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 7.6 million die from the disease. You did not have a choice, nor did you cause your disease. Your choice now is, how do you plan to live with this cancer. And the answer so far is: ACTION, BREATH, and COURAGE. You are going to build a courageous heart and a disciplined mind. You are going to fight this with all your wisdom, strength, and courage. You are going to live your life now like you have never lived it before. When you are so tired that you can’t do anything but sit on the couch, you are going to turn off the T.V. and spend ten minutes meditating. Then you are going to read something positive. Then you are going to journal or color. Then you are going to drink some green tea or lemon water. Then you are going to take a nap. Next you are going to repeat the above until you have the strength to go for a walk for ten minutes. COURAGE is developed over a period of time. It is not a magic pill that you take and everything gets all better.


  1. Read someone else’s story that has been where you are. (Great book to start with –  In A Moment’s Notice:A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer)
  2. Make an appointment with a psychotherapist, health coach, or spiritual director.
  3. Watch movies where the heroine/hero win.

Photo source: Rose Medical Center

For more information and exercises for cancer patients read Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices: Self Care Tools For Treatment & Recovery

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.

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Tests To Help With Breast Cancer Treatment Decisions

When you’ve just received a diagnosis of breast cancer, you are faced with many different treatment options. Your mind is in a whirl with fear, confusion, and disbelief. While none of these feelings help decision making, there are some tests that can help: Oncotype DX and Mammaprint. 

These tests are genomic tests that analyze the activity of specific genes in the breast tumor. They can help you determine if your risk of breast cancer coming back is high or low, which can help you in making a decision about whether to have chemotherapy, radiation, or other therapies to reduce risk after surgery.

There are two main types of tests – Oncotype DX and Mammaprint.

Oncotype Dx has two tests for breast cancer – one for Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – Oncotype DX DCIS and one for invasive breast cancer – Oncotype DX.  Mammaprint has one test for invasive breast cancer. Let’s look at these in greater detail.

What are genomic tests?

Genomic tests look at specific genes in your individual tumor and try to determine what is driving its growth. This is different from genetic tests which look at your inherited risk or predisposition for cancer. Genomic tests provide information that can help tailor your treatment plan to you as an individual. They are a type of personalized medicine. This is really important, because not all breast cancers are the same and, in fact, some breast cancers might have more in common with a prostate cancer than they do with another type of breast cancer. One size treatment definitely does not fit all.

Oncotype DX DCIS

Image showing the incidence of DCIS from blog on CALMERme.comThis test is only for people diagnosed with DCIS or, as it is often called, “stage zero” breast cancer. In addition to general information such as tumor size, margins, and grade, Oncotype DX DCIS helps determine the likelihood of DCIS recurring or invasive breast cancer occurring within the next 10 years.

It examines a sample of the tumor tissue that has already been removed during the lumpectomy for DCIS. By looking at the expression of 21 different genes in the tumor, it provides a DCIS score of between 0-100. The lower the score, the lower the risk of recurrence. Two scores are given, one to determine the risk of recurrence of DCIS and another for the risk of occurrence of an invasive breast cancer.

Knowing the DCIS score can help you decide whether to have radiation treatment  following the lumpectomy. If your risk of recurrence is low, then maybe you can spare yourself further treatment and the possible side effects that go with it.

To be eligible for Oncotype DX DCIS, you need to have recently been diagnosed with DCIS and had lumpectomy surgery. The decision should be made in discussion with your doctor/oncologist.

In the US, insurance might cover the cost of this test; the testing company will help you determine if this is the case and provide information to your insurers, as necessary. In the UK, these tests can be conducted under the NHS or privately.

Many oncologists are now familiar with these tests for invasive breast cancer; sadly, the Oncotype DX DCIS test does not appear to be known by all oncologists, so it’s good for you to be proactive and start the discussion. Here is a link to the validation work done on the test that you can forward to your oncologist, and further links are given at the bottom of this post:

Clinical validation of oncotype DX DCIS

I definitely think it is worth having a discussion with your oncologist, sharing the references as necessary, and if you don’t get anywhere with the oncologist, talk to your family doctor or surgeon.

Oncotype DX and Mammaprint

Both Oncotype DX and Mammaprint are genomic tests suitable for early stage invasive breast cancer. They both predict the benefit of chemotherapy or other types of treatment, as well as the likelihood of 10 year recurrence.

They are similar tests but have some differences, as outlined below:

Comparison of oncotype DX and mammaprint for invasive breast cancer

Looking at this table can help determine if you are eligible for either of these tests.

As with Oncotype DX DCIS, some insurance companies in the US will pay for these tests whereas some don’t include them in coverage. Both testing companies offer financial assistance or guidance, so it’s worth calling them to discuss if you are interested and want to check coverage. In the UK, these tests can be conducted under the NHS or privately.

These tests are important because some of the cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, can have many side effects and are hard to get through. If there is little to no benefit in these treatments for you as an individual, then these genomic tests give you the confidence to not have a treatment that has greater potential for risk than for benefit.

Obviously the decision of further treatment is based on more than just these results. It involves detailed discussion with your oncologist, but also personal consideration of what you want and how you feel. Remember, you can take your time over treatment decisions. You might feel rushed, but take adequate time until you feel comfortable that you are making the right personal decision. These tests can go a long way in giving you confidence in your decision, but it is still a personal choice that needs to be right for you as an individual based on your mind and spirit, as well as your body.

Here are links to each of these three tests for more information

Patient information on Oncotype DX DCIS

Oncologist information on Oncotype DX DCIS

Patient information on Oncotype DX

Oncologist information on Oncotype DX

Patient information on Mammaprint

Oncologist information on Mammaprint

Let me know if you’ve had any of these tests and how they helped you.

Ruth BaillieRuth Baillie is originally from the UK and now lives most of the year in Northern California. She holds two Master’s degrees, one in Personalized Nutrition (distinction), and another in Health Psychology. She is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Certified Professional Cancer Coach, and Cancer Guide, and has undertaken considerable post-graduate studies in integrative naturopathic oncology. She is the author of “Choices in mind-body medicine for cancer patients in Sonoma County, California” and her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment: An alternative approach

Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment- An alternative approachBehavioral therapy is a form of treatment that is more focused on how a person behaves and seeks to remove an unwanted behavior. This therapy is used to overcome many challenges including addiction, anxiety, phobias, OCD, and is now being used to cope with cancer. Behavioral therapy is action based therapy; Behavioral therapy builds on a theory that the behavior can be learned and unlearned, and the thoughts and feelings leading up to a particular behavior are also important. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment is used to foster positive change in the patients dealing with cancer and has been shown to improve resilience in these patients.

How does behavior therapy work?

Behavior therapy is a form of psychological therapy that works to alter several ways that might be harmful or causing negativity in individual’s life. Behavior therapy goes to the bottom of behavior formation patterns. It deals with emotions and experience that form an individual behavior and drives it. Behavior therapy is helpful in some psychiatric disorders. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment is helpful in ensuring compliance of patient and also shifting the emotions and thoughts that drive the patient’s behavior. It leads to decrease the incidence of depression, disability, and reliance. Behavior therapy also helps forms coping mechanism in cancer patients.

Where is Behavior therapy found?

Behavior therapy in cancer treatment patients is a complementary form of treatment that is now carried out in several cancer eradication programs. Usually, psychologists perform behavioral therapy sessions with the patient to work on specific objectively measurable goals. Behavior therapy is held in both public hospitals and private settings as well. It is being offered in group settings and on one to one basis. However behavioral therapy in cancer treatment is carried out in group settings as it gives a sense of community and several groups of people striving for the same behavior adjustment gives support to one another.

Advantages of behavior therapy with different kinds of cancers

Cancer is not only an organic pathology but cancer also causes a toll on the mental and psychological well-being of the individual affected. No matter what type of cancer does the person have, it causes stress, fear, anxiety, disbelief, grief, and fear. Fear itself causes apprehension about the disease and the success of the treatment. Doubt about the treatment and its success rate affect the compliance of the patient and mental attitude towards treatment, leading to the counterproductive behavior of the patient. Stress and anxiety further complicate the problem. Behavior therapy in cancer treatment seeks to alleviate stress and anxiety of the patient regarding the disease and treatment and lifestyle changes accompanying the treatment. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment aims to shift behavior and attitude of the patient and helps patients form productive behavior and deal with this challenge efficiently.

Does behavior therapy enhance the effect of chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that involves introducing chemotherapeutic agents in the person’s body to fight off cancer cells. Chemotherapy has several side effects, but the most widely experienced and challenged are nausea and vomiting. Several anti-nausea drugs are given to relieves nausea and vomiting. However; these side effects are not controlled entirely. After few courses of chemotherapy, many patients develop these symptoms in anticipation. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment is particularly useful. Progressive muscle relaxation training a subtype of behavioral therapy is effective in preventing and decreasing the frequency of post-chemotherapy nausea and vomiting. Systematic desensitization is also used. Systematic desensitization helps reduce the anticipation of nausea and vomiting. Hypnosis and cognitive distraction have also been used for children and adolescent.

Does behavior therapy enhance the effect of radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is also a form of treatment that uses intense beams of radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiotherapy is used in the treatment of many types of cancers. Radiotherapy accompanies several side effects. Some side effects of radiation therapy in women undergoing radiation therapy include hot flashes and night sweats. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment aims to decrease these side effects and helps patients cope with the side effects. The study, which was published in The Lancet Oncology, concludes that women undergoing breast cancer treatment who receive behavioral therapy reported 46% reduction in severity of symptoms. These effects of behavioral therapy lasted longer than the treatment period. Even after 26 weeks of treatment women who had undergone behavioral therapy reported less severity of symptoms.

Can behavior therapy reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation?

Chemo and radiation therapy are the mainstays of cancer treatment, but they do have considerable side effects. Behavior therapy for cancer patients has been shown to decrease fatigue and insomnia associated with cancer treatment. Behavior therapy helps in shaping behavior that leads to increased amount of sleep up to 6 months after treatment and is clinically useful. Depression is seen commonly among cancer patients as well as stress and anxiety. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment aims at treating these side effects and psychological impact of cancer helping the individual deal with particular anxieties related with cancer and without cancer and can be used to cope with the treatment that the patients need to undergo. Behavior therapy is also used in the treatment of pain management. Behavioral therapy for cancer treatment is used to deal with the pain that occurs in various stages of cancer. In patients who are in pain during cancer or its treatment, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy are used.

Does behavior therapy increase the quality of life and survival rate?

Cancer and its treatment have a tremendous impact on quality of life emotional health. Behavior therapy in cancer patients helps increase the quality of life of these patients, decrease disability and improve survival rates.


Behavioral Therapy Eases Side-Effects from Breast Cancer Treatment

Coping with cancer

Guidelines for Treatment of Cancer Pain

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Cancer Patients

Dr. Adem Gunes Dr. Adem Gunes has built the world’s largest database of scientifically tested natural substances with proven effects in cancer treatments. In 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Physician of ProLife Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria, and played a key role in the establishment of the research laboratory. He is also the co-founder of the first Austrian hyperthermia center. Now, Dr. Adem works closely with cancer patients from around the world (including Germany, Thailand, Dubai) to recommend them a complementary cancer clinic or to create a personalized care plan for patients to follow at home.

CONVERSATION: A Psychologist’s Guide To Meaningful Conversation During Cancer Treatments

Meaningful Conversation Bonderies During Cancer TreatmentsAs cancer survivors we all have something in common, but are we having meaningful conversations with each other, family, or friends about it? In my experience once treatment is finished the rest of the world declares us healed and cancer is no longer spoken about. It is also my experience that the thought of cancer is never far from my mind. I am inviting you to take a look inside and ask yourself, “What will it take to have a meaningful conversation about it, now?” (Regardless of whether you are 20 years out or two days into treatment)

Ah, but that brings up anxiety doesn’t it? What might I learn about you if we share in conversation? What is it that you don’t want me know your cancer and about you and you will go to any extreme not to share with me? What is it that you won’t ask me because you think I might be offended or have a less than positive reaction to? What would make our connection through the very limited English language be a meaningful conversation?

For me a meaningful conversation is about hearing and being heard. I want to tell you about my most difficult time this week and I want to hear about yours. I want to speak to you from my heart about my dreams and not be afraid that you will laugh at them. I want to share in your dreams and support you in them. Today, I want to know that you are safe enough to share with regardless of what I have to say. I want to be re-assured that even if you don’t agree that you will not go away. I want to know that there is room for us to disagree and stick together no matter what.

There are some things that are very important to me regardless of our differences.
For instance:

  • I cannot have a meaningful conversation with someone who does not respect me. I just don’t feel equal when I am disrespected. Thus, why would I bother to have a meaningful conversation? Respect creates respect. Disrespect creates disrespect.
  • I cannot have a meaningful conversation with someone who insists on being right. Conversations are an exchange of communication thus being right or wrong is not an exchange, someone wins or someone loses. If I want to win or lose I will go play a sport or to the casino. Otherwise there is no room for winning or losing.
  • I cannot have a meaningful conversation with someone who has an agenda. If you are invested in the outcome on how you want me to be at the end of the conversation, I have no interest in being controlled by your agenda. If you want to share your point of view then I am very open to hearing it and engaging in it.

What are your boundaries about a meaningful conversation? You might have more meaningful conversations if you become aware of your boundaries and stick to them. This can be scary so I invite you to start with a meaningful conversation in your journal and then find a safe person to read your journal entry to. It is one step at a time that we build a meaningful conversation. Start today and take one step at a time. First, choose the safest person to have a conversation.

One last thought; who would be the scariest person to have a conversation with? Maybe this is an excellent time to have a conversation with him or her in your journal that is just your private space to say whatever it is you need to say.

There are many ways to have meaningful conversations, but each one requires a certain level of risk. You get to decide how much risk you are willing to take.

Photo Source:PsychGuides.com

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.

BALANCE: A Gift of Mindfulness

Mindfulness, Balance & Waterfalls For Breast Cancer HealingMindfulness, Balance and Waterfalls

Come along with me as we visit the waterfalls of my memory. I have many memories of waterfalls and imagine you do as well. When I think about waterfalls, I think about the big falls like the wondrous Niagara to tiny falls in the middle of gardens, like the one at my favorite coffee shop or even the electric trickle of the one in my office. Each waterfall brings to me a sense of contentment and a peculiar sensation of being whole. When I stood and watched the falls of Niagara for the first time I experienced it radiating throughout my chest… calling forth the vibration of life within me. Just last month, in the illusion of a hot desert, Phoenix experienced the freezing of waterfalls in the front yards of many homes. For me, that was a magical experience, as magical as Christmas lights during the Holiday Season. I can never get enough of them.

A certain trip to a waterfall taught me about inner balance. Balance, personal core balance, has been an issue for me probably all of my life, even though I don’t remember being a klutzy kid, I am a klutzy adult. I walk into things that I did not notice or look one way and miss a step the other way. What does all of this nonsensical chatter have to do with the waterfall that is begging for a space within my mindfulness on waterfalls?

It was in March of 2001. My partner Pam and I took a trip to the tropics of St. Lucia. St. Lucia is a small island in the Eastern Caribbean, where the people are lovely, friendly, and have welcoming smiles. We mostly hung out at our all-inclusive but wanted to do some “adventure sightseeing”. After careful research, we took an all day jeep tour. The day included a banana plantation, sugar cane mill, an unpaved road where we bought some local coconut, and wrapped up the day with a trip to one of their many waterfalls. We arrived around three in the afternoon and the coolness of the tropical trees, emerald green vegetation, and beautiful flora accompanied us to a narrow path that led down to the rocky beach below. To our right, a magnificent waterfall bellowed out of the mountain above us. The path down to the beach below the waterfall was not treacherous, if I fell; I was not going to tumble down the side of a mountain and into the river. However, I did notice I was tense negotiating the wet rock along the way. At the bottom, our island guide told us the best view of the waterfall was across the shallow river. I was not particularly in the mood to get wet and assessed that the rock was slick, being that it was covered in green and brown moss. I began a very tentative plod across the water. I was carefully placing my feet, watchfully examining each step. I watched our guide. He was barefoot. He was perfectly balanced in his brown molten skin, shiny now with spray from the falls. He never looked down at his feet. He walked with a balance so perfect, as if he was walking on a grassy lawn in a beautiful park. Soon, he noticed my tentativeness. He watched me for a moment and I of course became even more tentative. He came back beside me. He gently took my hand and said, “Look ahead. You are going over there. Let your focus be on where you are going and let your body relax on to the rocks. Your feet, even in your tevas, will find their way on the rocks. Let them do what feet do, while you drive the bus to the other side. Your feet are your wheels. They will adjust to the rocks as you focus to that opening over there.” We started together, he let go, and coached me to keep focusing and allow my feet to work for me. I began to feel as if I was weightless. My body became upright. My posture perfect as I allowed my body to relax into my feet. I have practiced that exercise so many times since then. It is as if I gathered poise and strength from the sound of the waterfall that quieted my fears and heightened the compassion of a young island man that was one with the earth.

Finding our way in the treacherous path of cancer treatments and recovery means allowing ourselves to focus on the looking ahead and taking one meaningful step at a time.

Photo Source: Awaken.com

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.

Products to Reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects and Improve Comfort and Quality of Life

Products to Reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects and Improve Comfort and Quality of LifeBy Margot Malin, Founder and President of Lots To Live For, Inc.
It is a well-known fact that chemotherapy patients may experience a number of painful or uncomfortable side effects. Not as well known, however, is that there are quite a few inexpensive nonprescription products readily available which can significantly reduce these unwanted side effects and thereby improve comfort and quality of life. These products (all of them in the blog post) help to bridge the gap between conventional therapy by providing a holistic complementary approach to managing side effects of chemotherapy.

NAUSEA (technically called Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting or CINV)
Several simple products can reduce nausea. Biobands, or acupressure wrist bands are simple to use and non-invasive. The adjustable wristband has a small bead built in to it, which when positioned correctly on the underside to the wrist places a gently pressure on the P-6 accupressure point to prevent nausea before it begins. Queasy Drops are lozenges made with essential oils to help reduce nausea and are another natural way to ease a queasy stomach. They also help combat dry mouth. QueaseEase is a drug free all natural, essential oil therapy aromatic inhaler which can be discreetly carried in a purse or briefcase. When an overall sense of queasiness occurs, take a few breaths for an instant feeling of comfort and calm.

Other remedies include ginger, peppermint, teas and essential oils applied to the skin. Oncologists can also prescribe prescription medications to help combat nausea.Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting natural products

Cancer treatments can cause dry mouth or salivary gland dysfunction and can increase the risk of oral infections. They can also cause very uncomfortable mouth sores. Mouth Kote® eases the discomfort of dry mouth. Mouth Kote® is a new class of oral moisturizer that creates a homogeneous layer in the mouth that has a viscosity and lubricity similar to saliva. Mouth Kote® is a great product because not only does it help to moisturize your mouth, it can also be swallowed and it will also moisturize your throat. OraMagic® Plus Oral Wound Rinse reduces mouth pain and soothes mouth sores. It contains benzocaine to reduce pain. Biotene oral care products include Biotene toothpaste and Biotene Oral Balance Gel which help lubricate a dry, sensitive mouth.

If your mouth is sore: (1) take small bites of food, chew slowly, and sip liquids with your meals and (2) avoid sharp, crunchy foods that could scrape or cut your mouth. It is important to see a dentist before and during treatment.

Chemotherapy Hand & Foot Neuropathy Productds

HAND FOOT SYNDROME (also called palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia) and NEUROPATHY
Hands and feet can become especially dry and uncomfortable from certain chemotherapy treatments. In fact, hands and feet can become so irritated that they can begin to crack and peel. Other symptoms may include swelling, numbing, tingling or redness. It is important to moisturize the area. Lindi Soothing Balm was formulated to treat Hand/Foot Syndrome. This product is a highly emollient treatment for intensely dehydrated areas of the skin. The Lindi Soothing Balm has an abundance of avocado oil, and is especially beneficial to painful, cracked and peeling skin. Atopalm Foot & Heel Balm has a special composition of technical and traditional ingredients that work to leave dry, cracked feet and heels feeling silkier, softer and smoother.

Topricin Pain Relief Cream is specially formulated for injuries and pains. It is patented to help neuropathy pain, a common side effect of cancer treatment. Topricin provides pain relief by improving circulation and attracting and stimulating the body’s healing chemistries at the site of the pain.

The use of Thymuskin Hair Care Products, developed in Germany, may help reduce hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth if the hair is thinning, or after the hair has fallen out. The thymic peptides and enzymes in these products combined with the vitamins A, B, E and F normalize the immunologic system and provide important growth factors for the hair follicles and roots.

There are many products that can help skin compromised by chemotherapy. We suggest products with natural ingredients and those that do not contain parabens or other harmful chemicals. For example, CV Skinlabs products are a natural and organic collection of luxuriously soothing and clinically proven formulas that nurture and repair skin. The four CV Skinlabs products all address a different skin issue but all work to restore moisture and soothe. My Girls™ Skin Care Cream is a plant-based, calendula cream that also contains rosemary, honey and natural oils. It is helpful for patients who want to maintain the healthy appearance of their skin, avoid delays in treatment and other potential side effects that may affect quality of life.

All of the products highlighted in this blog post help to alleviate some of the difficult side effects caused by chemotherapy. You may find one which improves just the right discomfort and triggers an upward inflection in your quality of life during treatment. Or, perhaps a collection of these products can help you resume a more normal lifestyle while you undergo chemotherapy. Products that reduce side effects make thoughtful and useful gifts for chemotherapy patients. Lots To Live For, Inc. has been delivering comfort to cancer patients for almost 14 years and our products have brightened many lives by helping individuals as they seek to return to their daily routines.

Related Article:

About Margot Malin: Intellectually cMargot Malinurious and fiercely independent, Margot Malin has a passion for knowledge.  After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, she launched her career by analyzing and evaluating businesses.  In 2002 she embarked on the “creative reinvention” phase of her career with the intention of “giving back”. Margot founded Lots To Live For, Inc., an internet retailer that sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

The Ultimate Journey in Life is Going Within

The Ultimate Journey in Life is Going WithinBy: Jean Di Carlo-Wagner, Owner of Yoga Being.

The diagnosis of cancer pierces the dense illusionary promises of ‘tomorrow’. In a moment, we stand naked with ourselves, vulnerable and raw. We have immediate decisions to make. What will be my path? What will be my outcome?

Just two days ago, an acquaintance I have known through friends and through music making, was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. “Jean, I’m thinking of going to Mexico for alternative types of low-dose chemotherapy. I’m thinking that I need more time to make a decision. I am afraid the chemotherapy will kill me. And that it will kill my immune system. Will I be able to play the piano if I get neuropathy? Playing the piano is my life.”

No one has answers for anyone else. I can share my experience and what I’ve learned from other cancer patients in the twelve years since my own colorectal diagnosis. But the journey one takes is within to find their answers. Cancer is a fierce foe, and can be unrelenting in its onslaught. Pain can drive our minds to dark and fearful places. If we go within, what will we find? Beyond pain, is there stillness within?

Escape is not an option for those of us with a late diagnosis.
Time is of the essence.
What we choose can determine the length and quality of our lives.
Only we know our values and preferences.

However, they can be difficult to discern in the midst of devastating health news. Only we can decide, and if and when, we say, “Enough, I am done with cancer treatments. ”

The polar opposites of life and death seem rigidity clear. Our earthly self cries out: “I choose life!” The question sparks an internal journey: life on what terms? My mother was very happy to sit in her easy chair; the patio garden provided hours of satisfying gazing. Was she meditating? Yes, to me she was. When I asked her, “Mom, what would you spend more time doing, if you had to live your life again?” She looked up at the hummingbird feeder, then caressed the budding flowers with her eyes. “I’d spend more time with you, doing this: talking and looking out the window.”A hummingbird for Jean's Mom

It was a simple, but profound answer: a Truth. Words that I use as a compass through the rough waves of my life. I reflect on my choices. Am I doing the things that make me feel happy? Am I taking joy in simple pleasures? Am I in this moment? In my mother’s answer lies the very basic truth of being. She spent three years in her easy chair. I spent many hours beside her. Together, we journeyed along a footpath to her final days. We had a long good-bye. Ultimately, cancer claimed the final blow to her health.

She was offered chemotherapy. She refused. She chose to return home and live out her few short weeks without treatment. Her decision came from within. I believe the hours of dancing with birds and blooms gave her an inner wisdom. My mother knew the cycle of life and rebirth. Her garden flower blooms spoke of their brief joys and whispered of a new beginning. The hummingbirds heartbeats move their chests and wings. “I will come to visit you as a hummingbird and a Monarch butterfly”, she told me. And she does.

I take time to look and listen for her. When I am at my lowest, one or the other avatars appear.

Jean Di Carlo-Wagner
Owner, Yoga Being
Only Online Advanced Yoga Training
For Cancer Survivors

Jean Di Carlo WagnerAbout Jean Di Carlo Wagner: Owner of Yogabeing.net
E-RYT200, E-RYT500 certified with Yoga Alliance
Yoga Therapist with International Alliance of Yoga Therapists
Atma Yoga Teacher Training, certified 500 hours Los Angeles
A Gentle Way Yoga, certified 200 hours
Silver Age Yoga, certified 200 hours

Learn Natural Breath Breathing Exercise For Breast Cancer Treatment

Yogic Breathing For Breast Cancer

By; Diana Ross E-RYT 500 Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Learning breath exercises will aide in the recovery process from breast cancer. First it is important to learn to breath correctly. Breathing correctly is done by taking in air deeply through the nostrils so that the lungs expand. Second, learn to use breath exercises so that they are used as treatments for specific situations, such as stress reduction or increase energy.

Natural Breath is used for stress management because it has the most calming effect of all the breaths. This breath reduces stress and tension by turning off the sympathetic “fight or flight” autonomic response.

Positions for breathing exercises during breast cancer therapy can be done in either a seated, laying down, or even in a standing position. However, you must be in a comfortable position so that the mind stays focused. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing.


  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Promotes diaphragmatic breathing
  • Supports expansion and relaxation of thoracic cavity
  • Reduces lumbar spasm and pain
  • Massages digestive organs and increases peristalsis
  • Relieves constipation
  • Stimulates flow of bile
  • Increases venous return and lymphatic drainage
  • Turns off sympathetic “fight or flight autonomic response”
  • Has one of the most calming effect of all the breaths


  1. INHALE, drawing breath in through the nostrils, down deep into lower lungs; lower lungs expand and belly extends out.
  2. EXHALE, gently draw naval back towards the backbone releasing air from lower lungs through the nostrils.
  3. Let there be a natural pause of transition before you inhale again.
  4. Continue to lengthen and balance natural breath for up to five minutes.
  5. Continue and then begin to lengthen exhale; moving the breath into a 1 to 2 ratio.

Breathing exercise program aides in breast cancer recovery along with other benefits that a person gets by practicing it. Make a conscious decision to start with 5 to 10 minutes a day of deep breathing. Along with daily breathing techniques we encourage an anti-cancer lifestyle. This is a lifestyle that includes a variety of exercise, organic foods, clean, pure water and air. There are a few easy steps to keep the body safe and healthy on your road to recovery from breast cancer. Cultivate awareness of what goes into your body; stop and take notice of habits.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross:  E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana 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.


Breath Importance Breathing Exercise CD's From Breast Cancer Yog

My Coffee Enema Breaks – No Cream and No Sugar

Complementary Treatments Coffee EnemaDiana Ross, ERYT 500, Co-Founder of Breast Cancer Yoga.

Still moving right along with all my cancer protocols and this one treatment, coffee enemas is a key one. I started off doing 4 to 5 a day and then decided enough already and am down to a manageable 2 a day. Here in lies the key or operative word – manageable. If you are truly serious about transforming your health in a dramatic way, implementing coffee enemas into your regular routine is essential for achieving the life-changing results you need to drastically improve your health or in my case rid yourself of cancer. This goes for anyone. There are good reasons for incorporating coffee enemas, for example:

Coffee enemas reduce your system toxicity dramatically by 700%. Coffee enemas when prepared a specific way stimulate the production of glutathione S-transferase (GST) in the liver. It is spoken that GST is the “Master Detoxifier” in the body. This powerful enzyme binds with toxins throughout the body and flushes them out during the enema process.

Coffee enemas cleanse and heal the colon, digestive tract and manage peristalsis. These enemas cleanse and flush the digestive tract and colon without disrupting the beneficial intestinal tract flora. When you continue to routinely use coffee enemas your digestive tract will stay clean and free of debris and toxic buildup. Plus the peristalsis will move food through the digestive track and organs that connect to the bladder and kidneys.

Coffee Enemas increase energy, improves mental clarity and mood. Coffee enemas remove toxic sludge, help with decreased oxygen or clogged intestines which leaves someone fatigued and depleted. By direct absorption of caffeine and palmitates into the bloodstream, it stimulates and releases bile and the efficient removal of toxic waste. This can be so powerful that people remarkably feel an instant surge of energy, and a “feel good” mood.

Coffee enemas knock out parasites, and candida. When we expose ourselves to chemicals in the air, water, food and environment we expose ourselves to parasites and toxins. There is a build up unless we actually do detox programs or coffee enemas which help to irrigate and flush out these impurities. I would also recommend a full Parasite Detox program as well. We can infest our body again and again.

Coffee enemas help to detox and repair the liver. It isn’t uncommon to have bloating, stomach pain, gas and other problems associated with poor digestion. The liver has a big job and we overburden it with all that we ingest. This is especially true if you are doing any chemotherapy. You want your liver to be in tip top shape. Here is where coffee enemas help the livers function in unloading all the toxins. This gives the liver a chance to repair itself too.

Coffee enemas help to decrease pain. This is one of the biggest reasons my sister, Valarie (who recently died of liver cancer) used coffee enemas. It helped her manage her pain. It can offer powerful analgesic benefits.

Coffee enemas heal and prevent chronic illness. As we get older our body increasing needs to be nurtured more and more, otherwise illness can set in and become chronic. Coffee enemas are by far one of the most effective way to cleanse the body of debris. If you have cancer, a chronic illness, or any debilitating disease I would highly recommend using coffee enemas.

Dr. Gerson, the doctor I originally followed placed so much emphasis on doing coffee enemas as the key ingredient to cancer-curing. I personally love my “coffee breaks”. I get to stop, rest and welcome a healing.

History, Research and Clinical Trials
Enema Kits
How To Make & Use A Coffee Enema

Precaution With every activity – especially those concerning your health – have risks and coffee enemas are not free from risks. However, many of us are willing to assume risk in our lives because of the benefits.

Diana RossAbout Diana Ross: E-RYT 500 restorative yoga teacher, survivor that cares and founder of Breast Cancer Yoga. Diana 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.

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