Spiritual Fighters: Faith And Hope

A positive attitude towards an illness helps your body fight it faster.A positive attitude towards an illness helps your body fight it faster.

According to the WHO statistics cancers is listed among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide with approximately 14 million new cases and around 8.2 million deaths related to cancer following the year 2012. However, the numbers are improving each year and the survival rates of cancer patients are higher each year.

Still, these alarming statistics are behind hopelessness and fear in people diagnosed with cancer. But it is believed by most of the physicians that in reality, cancer fighters get best results from their treatments if they are determined and hopeful. Hopefulness provides a cancer patient with a framework for bringing to light the perspective and understanding via greater source than oneself. It builds a sense of emotional self-control and helplessness.

Researchers’ point of view:

In a study conducted at the University of Michigan Medical Center, more than 90% cancer patients mentioned that it was their faith that had increased their ability to stay hopeful.

  • It enables them to cope actively with all the hurdles and difficult life situations.
  • It builds a high quality of life.
  • Patients adjust themselves in a better way in receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • It provides them the stamina and tenacity to face the anxiety of their illness and the treatment

Another group of studies published in the Southern Medical Journal in 2004 reports that religious morals, activities, and beliefs are associated with:

  • A good immune function
  • Lower mortality (death) rates due to cancer
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Better cardiac outcomes
  • Improved health behavior i.e. (more exercise, good sleep, less cigarette smoking).

All this increases the lifespan of an individual fighting cancer.

Role Of Spiritual Mentors/Instructors:

The majority of cancer patients get anxious, stressed out, depressed and angry, thinking that “Why God is angry with me? Why am I the victim of this dreaded disease?” For such questions, spiritual counselors relax them with answers like: “It is not a punishment from God for you. It is your test of patience, and He knows you will be strong and fight this until you get better. He will help you through this. You need to have faith in Him and yourself.” It comes as a welcome relief to cancer patients and puts them in peace and serenity that is necessary for the healing process.

Spiritual mentors might not be able to change their thoughts, but they provide them that energy that assists them to fight cancer. It leads them to a state of tranquility by letting them share their feelings. They show them a bigger picture where faith, hope and medicine work together.

Role Of Family And Friends In Building Faith:

A cancer patient’s company has a high role in building confidence and faith to fight cancer with energy. A survey conducted by the researchers at John Hopkins University reported that successful coping with stress at the end stage of cancer was associated with two variables:

  • Caregivers or social contacts of cancer patients
  • Support that cancer patient receives from spiritual/religious faith

Religious teachings help the cancer patient to become a responsible and careful person. It is an important source providing long-term care. It helps to maintain a good quality of life.

Conclusion:

Although cancer challenges a cancer patient’s faith, still many people fundamentally seek their belief to be strengthened due to this experience. Learning new aspects of life restores faith in a better living and humanity. Faith and hope are equally significant in the healing process as other treatments for cancer.

References:

  1. Cancer and faith
  2. Coping with cancer (faith and cancer)
  3. Religion, Spirituality, and Medicine: Research Findings and Implications for Clinical Practice
  4. Supportive care:Rehabilitation

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.

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Tips to Control Chemotherapy Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)

Tips To Control Chemotherapy Nausea & VomitingBy Margot Malin, Founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.

One of the most dreaded and anxiety producing side effects of cancer treatment is chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). In this blog post we offer a variety of tips to help you reduce chemotherapy nausea. Controlling nausea can significantly improve your comfort and help ensure completion of your chemo treatments as scheduled.

Medications
Speak with your oncology doctors and nurses to find the antinausea medicine that works best for you. Anti-nausea medications, also called antiemetics, are sometimes so effective that experts have shifted their focus from treating nausea to aggressive prevention. Unfortunately however, the majority of people on a chemo regimen still face some risk of becoming nauseous. Some patients have to try a few antiemetics before finding the one that works best.

Food
Try eating bland foods. For example – toast, oatmeal, bananas, broiled or baked chicken with no skin, or similar items. Eat small quantities more frequently. Delay eating for at least one hour after treatment. Try not to start treatment with an empty stomach. Avoid greasy, fried, salty, sweet, or spicy foods. A recent study funded by the National Cancer Institute showed that ginger, even in small amounts, can help reduce nausea.

Hydration
It is important to stay hydrated. Try taking small sips of water during the day instead of gulping or consuming large quantities at a single sitting. Broth is another liquid that may be easy to sip. Drinking natural root beer and/or ginger ale may be effective ways to reduce CINV. Some herbal teas may ease digestive discomfort while stimulating a weak appetite. Suck on hard candy such as Queasy Drops, popsicles or ice during treatment.

Smell
Avoid foods with strong odors. Avoid strong smells such as flowers, perfumes and some cleaning products. Some personal care product scents may irritate your senses. Some essential oils can be helpful, but they must be administered carefully.

Body Position
Do not lie down flat for at least 2 hours after eating. Rest by sitting up or reclining with your head elevated.

Products to Help
biobands_ pic_ 1Biobands – This simple and inexpensive wristband utilizes acupressure, a natural pressure therapy applied to a specific acupuncture point that controls nausea and vomiting. Wearing Biobands can help control nausea during treatment and throughout the day.

Queasy Pops and Drops are the natural way to ease a queasy stomach. They are effective due to their special formulation of essential oils, aromatherapy and their unique delivery method. They are also a great way to help with dry mouth symptoms.

Integrative Approaches and Alternative Treatments

Deep Breathing Exercises and Guided Meditation can help you relax before and during treatment. They can help put your mind in a calmer, positive and more proactive place.  An example of a CD to help teach you breathing techniques is Breathe With Purpose. An example of guided imagery is the Whip Cancer app. Calm.com offers a guided meditation app. Saagara offers two pranayama apps, with guided breathing.

Acupuncture for Cancer Treatment NauseaAcupuncture lowers nausea and/or vomiting in some people. In addition to reducing nausea, some patients find that it also helps to minimize hives and joint swelling, which can be other side effects of treatment.

Exercise – Get moving as soon as you can! Find an exercise that you enjoy and do it!  Even if the movement is minimal or slow at first, or on the days of treatment, don’t be discouraged. Exercise should help you through chemo fatigue as well.  However, exercising too soon after eating may slow down digestion and increase discomfort. A good resource is the new book Exercises for Cancer Survivors by Carol Michaels.

Hypnosis has been suggested by some professionals as another helpful complementary therapy.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
There are a number of essential oils and herbs that can be helpful. Discuss the use of these treatments with your oncology team before using them, because they have the potential to block the effects of your medication. Natural Remedies of CINV by Pamela Taylor is a helpful book that can help to familiarize you with herbs, essential oils, and aromatherapy.

Medical Marijuana
It’s long been general knowledge that marijuana can soothe nausea. This is now an option in some states where medical marijuana is legal. A synthetic version of the active ingredient, THC, is in the prescription drug Marinol (dronabinol).

Important NO-NO’s
No caffeine. No smoking. No alcohol.

The more comfortable you are during treatment, the better your mental and emotional state.  A more comfortable state of mind will contribute to optimizing your outcome. Don’t hesitate to consult with your oncology team for additional ideas. We hope our suggestions will improve your comfort by reducing your nausea during your cancer journey.

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.

Yoga Brings Hope While Living With Cancer

Yoga For Cancer Survivors

Yoga For Cancer Survivors

Jean DiCarlo-Wagner, ERYT – Yoga For Cancer Survivors.

Cancer treatments may take away something essential to living:  Hope. My cancer mentor, Suzanne Lindley, continues to demonstrate the art of living with hope. Pain is constant, chemotherapy treatments, scans and the occasional blast of radiation.  More and more patients are living with cancer.  And after attending the Cancer Symposium in Georgetown University, there is reason to keep hoping about medical advances.  But what about today?

Yoga is my passion to share with other patients and survivors. Yoga brings hope that today can be better, right now, in the middle of the storm that is cancer. Research supports the healthful changes that yoga students experience viscerally. But yoga is not one thing, however, it includes breathing practices, stretches and meditation. The commonality is the relaxation response that happens during and after practicing yoga. Our conscious breathing engages the parasympathetic nervous system and cascade of healthful bodily changes begin.

Vanessa is a fellow colorectal survivor. She was diagnosed stage 4 at age 27. Aggressive and life altering treatments saved her life, but Vanessa lives with the fallout of these treatments. She is in chronic pain, and prefers naturally remedies to painkillers, which bring their own price. Vanessa tells her own story of how she uses yoga to manage her pain, neuropathy and the rigors of lifelong medical surveillance.

The power is in our choice to live on our own terms; and keep hope alive, day to day, through yoga.

Blessings and Love,
Jean

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

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